BY mamala

04/01 Direct Link
Maundy Thursday is the celebration of the Lord's Supper. We had a very meaningful service tonight. Music was sung, prayers were prayed, sins were confessed, scripture was read, candles were extinguished leaving us silent and in the dark. A barren and fitting end to a solemn service. We'll gather again at sunrise on Easter Sunday to celebrate the risen Savior and how He has conquered death. This single horrific act provides salvation for all who would believe. So find a church, learn of our Lord, and open your heart to His love. It's never too late to believe.
04/02 Direct Link
Fridays are always good for me because I keep my 6-month old grandson every Friday. It's a help to my daughter and son-in-law; it's a joy for my mother who lives with me; it's a wonderful opportunity for me to experience once again the joy of unconditional love from a child who would expect nothing less from those who come in contact with him. He is a happy perfect child who is growing and learning in all the appropriate ways. When he smiles at me, recognizing my face and voice, it is no less than a perfect miracle.
04/03 Direct Link
Beautiful pink dawn this morning. Looking at the sky with my neighbor's dogwood tree in full bloom is like looking at a shadow box. The tree standing against the pink sky is an awesome sight.

The pine pollen is so thick in the air these days that in some places it looks like a yellow haze. Those of us affected by this scourge of the sinuses watch with a wary eye, pulling out our antihistimines to ward off the inevitable crud. But by the time you can actually see it in the air, it's pretty much a done deal!
04/04 Direct Link
He is risen! He is risen, indeed! Sunrise service this morning. Short, sweet, foggy. But the sun rose and will warm the day and burn away the mist so that by 11:00 it will be warm and beautiful. Wonderful day to sing, laugh, enjoy friends and famiy.

Steak and chicken on the grill at daughter no. 1's place today. All the kids and significant others are coming. We'll have a great time together. Next time we'll be together will be to move daughter no. 2 + hubby to new house - new town - new job. Nothing stays the same.
04/05 Direct Link
I push her wheelchair down the sterile hallway. The door opens into a small waiting area. Technician, face covered with a mask, takes her paperwork. I push the wheelchair into a teeny tiny room filled with table, chair, boxes of needles, viles, bandaids, cotton swabs. The rubber ribbon is placed around Patient's arm. Technician looks carefully at the inside of Patient's elbow. The veins distend at her command. Patient turns her head, squeezes her eyes shut. Technician slides the needle into the vein; blood flows into the tube. Bandaid applied, we roll back down the hallway to the waiting day.
04/06 Direct Link
No sleep. Too warm - turn on the fan. Too cold - cover up. Bad dreams about people choosing to die! What's that about? Toss and turn. Turn on the light; read for a few minutes. Book is good, but not enticing. Turn off light. Try again. Can't sleep! Get up. Wander around house looking out the windows at the darkness; shadows thrown across the lawn by the streetlight. All the houses are dark and mute. Try laying on the couch - not sleep worthy. Back to bed. Turn off fan, beat pillow into submission. Sleep for 2 hours. Another day begins.
04/07 Direct Link
Paper beads made from rolling strips of wrapping paper or old sheet music, strung on wire or fishing line to make a necklace or a bracelet with matching earrings. Beautiful beads made from old paisley paper and left to dry after being sprayed with shellac. A project unfinished as many before it. Small beads, fat beads, thin long beads, all painstakingly produced to be put together to make a gift - something so unique that the oohs and ahs would be gratifying to both the giver and the receiver. Paper beads joyfully made and left to dry.
04/08 Direct Link
"Follow me." And they gave up everything and followed. The invitation is simple. The accepting is also simple. But letting go of everything you know and following is hard. It is what God wants for us. He wants us to follow - first follow the star - the marker in the night sky that lets us know He is here with us. Then follow Jesus. Doing as He does. Living by His example. Give up everything and follow Him. He will guide; He will provide. All we have to do is humble outselves and accept His invitation to follow Him.
04/09 Direct Link
Yesterday Casnoozle was six months old. He's growing up so fast. Rolling over, cooing, sputtering up a storm. Generally he's the happiest baby I've seen in a long time. He's going to be just like his dad - he never met a stranger either.

Oak trees abound in my town and my neighborhood (called Forest Hills, after all) and when they open in spring my allergies kick into high gear. It's a pain in the head and knocks me off my stride for a week or so. This year is worse than usual. Maybe because of the unusually COLD winter!
04/10 Direct Link
Here I am, coughing, wheezing, sniffling, sinuses needling me, exhausted from coughing all night (I was the fool who told the doctor I didn't need that cough medicine. WHAT WAS I? CRAZY??) Now I feel like I'm moving in molasses and my brain is definitely grinding the gears trying to get going this morning. Fortunately, the only promise I made for today is to make curtains for Casnoozle's bedroom - pretty much a no brainer project and my Darling Daughter will come to help me. Well, coffee is beginning to loosen things up, so off to a hot shower I go.
04/11 Direct Link
Coffee, black. Coffee, hot. Morning dawning. Sky pale. Cough hacking. Eyes bleary. Sleep illusive. Computer light beaming. Friends chatting. Pen scratching. Ink flowing. Paper filling. Scrabble playing. Farm farming. Stomach growling. Cereal eating. House awakening. Mother moving. Quiet ending. Shower flowing. Steam breathing. Hair drying. Body dressing. Make up applying. Church awaiting. Voice missing. Energy dieing. Praise lifting. Prayers offering. Scriptures reading. Hugs receiving. Home heading. Couch beckoning. Nap needing. Day fleeing. Evening approaching. Medicine taking. Night returning. Cycle beginning - again.
04/12 Direct Link
Attending funeral today for a stately older gentleman who has been my friend for fifteen years. He always stood tall and straight and dressed impeccably, wearing a suit and tie every time he stepped into the church, no matter what the occasion or purpose. He was a gentleman's gentleman, accompanying his wife everywhere she needed to go, sharing his love and good humor not only with her, but with everyone. Their joy in 50+ years together was always evident. Such a special man, he reminded me of my father. So alike were they as to have been brothers. I will miss him.
04/13 Direct Link
My daughter's anniversary is today, married to policeman hubby for eight years now. When she married him I worried that every time he went on duty I would be fearful for his safety. But after a short while we all began to accept the circumstances of his work and to understand how well he does his job and to trust in God that hubby would be able to handle whatever came his way. So now, policeman hubby and my first born child have a 6-month old child of their own, and are celebrating their eighth anniversary filled with joy!
04/14 Direct Link
Frustration: Can't talk above a whisper and trying hard to preserve what little voice I have by not squeeking at all! My mother can't hear below a roar and can't see my attempts at sign language unless I'm standing a foot away from her. We're a vaudeville act in the making!

Frustration: Preparing for a singing engagement for months and now not being able to squawk!

Knowing: Like it or not, this is all out of my control. I might as well relax and let prayers be answered, even if they aren't the way I'd want.
04/15 Direct Link
Tax Day! I'm happy to say I have already submitted mine. Did wait until the last minute -waiting until April, when I could have done it a month earlier - but I am a well-known procrastinator.

I was also pleased to know that the new house I built to spend my retirement in qualified me for a tax credit. A sizable one - getting me about three times the return I would have gotten otherwise. So now - to decide whether to save or spend...A week at the beach in the fall sounds pretty good! What do you think?
04/16 Direct Link
Playing scrabble online with several friends. Seldom win, but am thrilled when the score is close. Makes me feel like I can hold my own with people I consider well-read and knowledgable.

Also play Farmville - mindless game involving planting, harvesting, sending gifts to neighbors who are also mindlessly farming.

Don't get me wrong - I hail from hardworking fruit and vegetable farmers. I appreciate the hard work and long unforgiving hours spent to put healthy food on my table. This computer game resembles that in name only. Typical for me - stimulate mind; sit body on couch!
04/17 Direct Link
Money - I don't need more than I get. More is always a boon, but I don't NEED it. I am retired and satisfied with my lifestyle at the moment. I would love to do some traveling, but my mother is not able and she sets the parameters because of her health and mobility and I am her sole caregiver. So at this moment in time, I am where I am and that is fine. I think. Maybe. Most of the time. Maybe I wouldn't be writing this if it really was fine. Hmmm...
04/18 Direct Link
Yesterday the Gracenotes sang, but I realized after we were done that I never talked to the audience. We just sailed from one song to the next all the way through. The previous band dismantled their equipment behind us while we sang. Because it was outside and we had no microphones it felt like our sound just disappeared. The audience was patient and small. That doesn't bother us. We're generally used to small. Now we have this program ready to go and no place to take it. Something will come from it. It always does. Nonetheless, it was an experience.
04/19 Direct Link
Went to church today to meet with a friend and work on vacation bible school decorations. When I got there, I discovered the Deacons had set up a meeting with a company to replace our sound system. I was happy to be there and glad they are taking this step - we need an updated system, there is no doubt - but I would have thought, as the Director of Music, I would have been included from the start. Oh, well. I ended up being there, and it was a productive meeting. I'm looking forward to moving forward on this project.
04/20 Direct Link
Doing nothing today. Doing nothing today. Doing nothing today. Does this sound like a reasonable mantra? It will never happen, there are so many things to accomplish, but it sounds good. Doing nothing today. Doing nothing today. Wonder how long I can keep this up?
04/21 Direct Link
Picked up Casnoozle from daycare today. Daughter is not happy with the daycare situation, so I may be keeping him more often. He's such a cutie and Gram thinks the world of him. It gives her a real lift when he's here. She loves to watch him and get him to smile and coo at her. He's rolling over now, but can't quite figure out how to get his knees under him, but it won't be long and he will be scooting around on all fours! Serious baby-proofing is in my future!
04/22 Direct Link
M y responsibility is to care for my mother to the end of her days. She has cared for me through my crazy mixed up life and has provided support and help to me and my children forever. Now she needs me to do the same for her. That's what love means. She is my mother and her love for me is unconditional and has always been so, and I will love and care for her to the end of her days.
04/23 Direct Link
O ur relationship has been rocky sometimes. I have been an obstinate child and she has been a critical mother. I must say, in hindsight which is always 20-20, that as much as I hate to admit it, she has usually been right in her observations. I just hope, that in learning from my mother-daughter relationship, I have learned that I may think something without always voicing it. Hopefully my relationship with my children will benefit from this lesson.
04/24 Direct Link
T ogether. We have lived together for thirteen years. It has sometimes been frustrating and it has had it's infuriating moments, but we have each filled a need for the other. When I was a single mother, she helped raise my children and was the hands, eyes, and legs I needed to help me get from day to day. I provided a shoulder for her to lean on after the death of my dad and sister, and a home where she would not have to be alone. We have needed each other and continue to do so.
04/25 Direct Link
H ostess. My mother has always been a shining example of a terrific hostess. She loved to entertain and be the center of the party. She has always had the perfect way with planning a party or gathering. She loves people to come together and she glows when they appreciate her efforts. She takes great care with the details and finds great satisfacton in entertaining others and making people happy; a skill that seems to have skipped a generation and landed squarely on my first-born daughter.
04/26 Direct Link
E ach day our routines settle more firmly in the rock garden of our lives. Now that she is unable to deal with many of the day to day things she used to do and needs more and more of my assistance, we are closer than ever. I, however, am feeling pinched out of any real time for myself, and anywhere I go she has to go, too! So that is changing my life completely. A sad and sometimes frustrating circumstance for both of us.
04/27 Direct Link
R eal life is definitely upon us. For the past couple of years we have moved along fairly easily. I was still working and she was able to entertain herself while staying at home alone all day. Six months ago everything seemed to change. She was no longer comfortable being alone, so I retired from my job and became her full time care giver. Her hearing and vision have deteriorated, and she needs more attention for every day needs. Her most recent bout of bronchitis landed her in the hospital for three days. Real life - everything has changed once again.
04/28 Direct Link
Hospital life is awful. The one saving grace during the three days my mother spent there was that so many people from church stopped by to visit and check on us. It truly made us both feel cared for. The worst part was the reaction she had to the medication. She spent one whole night as a child, alternately trying to get out of bed and relating to me antics from her childhood growing up on a farm with 6 brothers and sisters. We are now at home, all that behind us, but at 94 recuperation will take forever.
04/29 Direct Link
Check the mail. Pay the bills. Throw out junk mail, more of it every day it seems. Check my email and read through all the entries on Facebook before I move on to other things. Laundry is done, beds are changed. Nothing on the grocery list so far, so here I am, writing one hundred words about my daily life. Doesn't sound too exciting, does it?

Can't wait to see my grandson, affectionately known as Casnoozle. He's the cutest six-month old I know. My first grand; my mother's first great-grand and the love of our lives.
04/30 Direct Link
Last day of April brings me to the completion of my first batch of 100 words. Spring is supposed to be over, but my allergies are hanging on. Better, just not gone yet. It's been a tough month, what with my mom in the hospital and the accompanying guilt and stress over what could I have done, what should I have done, which all comes down to here we are so let's look forward and how could I have done it differently? Moving ahead to a new month, and 31 new days ahead.