Saturday Sixteen

June 7, 2014 | My Jottings

1. It’s raining today after a few days of beautiful sunshine. I woke up at 6:00 a.m. when Schnauzer Edith did her little dance at our bedroom door, telling me she needed to go outside. I got up and fed Edith and Mildred, put their anti-bark collars on them, put their don’t-run-away collars on them, let them outside, and then had to yell-whisper at Edith to actually go down the deck steps into the yard. She’s so prissy she would prefer not to get her feet wet. “Get out there!” I whispered loudly, and gestured toward the yard with as much authority as I could while wearing an old plaid nightgown and sporting a nice case of bedhead.

2.  My grandson Mr. McBoy is coming over this morning to visit with his Grandpa Michael while I go grocery shopping. Some things always on our list: Kombucha, Babybel cheese, and golden delicious apples.

3.  Sara planted our deck flower boxes last week, and I asked her to do something different. I wanted to try putting one color of different kinds of flowers in each of the three boxes, and we both love how it turned out. You can click to enlarge these if you like.




3.  I’m reading this book and am expecting God to speak to me from its pages.

4.  While Mr. McBoy is here today I expect we will have a fun time playing with this toy.

5.  This summer I will be hosting our annual women’s Bible study in my home, and there will be twelve of us. We’ve been doing this over a decade now, and I’m not sure there’s ever been a time when so many of us have been in some kind of very serious life situation. Here’s what we’ll be studying for nine weeks.

6.  Our stinker Schnauzer Millie has a plastic cone on her head to prevent her from doing damage to the stitches she has in her upper eyelid. She had surgery last week to remove a skin tag which was scraping her cornea. Also, she had a mass growing in her lower gums near her back teeth and this had to be removed. The biopsy revealed that it’s a “benign cancer” called an epulis, and while it’s not terribly invasive or dangerous, it could grow back in a year or two. We’ll be doing gum checks around here now. The cone has humbled and quieted our little bad seed of a dog. I wonder if they make them for humans?

7.  Our daughter Carolyn and her husband Jeremy are expecting their fifth child this fall — such happy news! I look forward to meeting and smelling my new granddaughter, and have been frequently looking at her ultrasound profile, which of course is stunning.

8.  Next week will be the one year anniversary of my knee replacement surgery. What a life changer that was! It took away all the horrible grinding pain of standing and walking, and brought in its place intense stiffness and restricted bending. I wasn’t exactly expecting this, but the pain relief is such a blessing I’m gratefully living with the limitation.

9.  I’ve been listening to a set of CDs every day that remind me of my mother, who was a professional organist. Yesterday morning when this song came on, Michael and I sat at the breakfast table and gazed at the blue of Lake Superior while taking in this yearning song. It will open in a new window and you can finish listening to it as you read, if you like. 🙂

10.  A sure sign of summer is when I take our heavy black and cream toile comforter off the bed, wash it and put it away for a few months. I did that yesterday and brought out our lighter weight black and cream toile quilt and put that on our big bed.

11.  I have my hair highlighted twice a year. It’s pretty short (as you can see from any photos on this blog) so aside from those two visits to the salon, it’s pretty low maintenance. I noticed about two-three years ago that my natural color was getting a bit gray, especially around the temples. And there was about 20% gray elsewhere. I have always planned to stop highlighting my hair when it’s fully gray. Well. I have an appointment to have the highlights done next week, and because I don’t/can’t leave the house very much anymore, it has been several months since it’s been done. I also don’t look in the mirror much these days, so imagine my surprise when I finally looked at my roots the other day and saw that in six months’ time my hair has turned almost 100% iron gray. Sara said what I was thinking when she jokingly said to Michael, “Dad, you’ve turned Mom’s hair totally gray!”

12.  The Parkinson’s Disease that dictates so much of what we do each day is slowly advancing. I’ve learned that most people with PD who have a dementia component (which Michael does) have Lewy Body Dementia rather than Alzheimer’s. Michael has all the hallmarks of PD with LBD, and it is CRUEL. I remind him and my own self frequently that nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even Parkinson’s.

13.  The seventh season of “Foyle’s War” has been released on Netflix, so I’ve been enjoying that in between the almost daily games of Michael’s dear Minnesota Twins. Do you have any movies or series you could recommend?

14.  We saw on the news yesterday that there’s still ice on Lake Superior, in June. An iceberg the size of a small car still floats somewhere near Wisconsin, and a few seagulls and two bald eagles have been sitting on it, somberly posing for boating photographers.

15.  I believe I’ll make tacos for dinner tonight. Home-fried corn tortillas, red and juicy chopped tomatoes, a little lime juice squeezed into the sour cream we spoon over the lean beef, all sounds good to me. If I were ambitious I’d make some pico de gallo too. Have you ever made it? It’s good on everything, and there’s a simple recipe here.

16.  They say daydreaming isn’t healthy, but I do it anyway. I’ve been dreaming of a remote cottage in the Highlands of Scotland, of a small crackling fire at my feet and a thick, transporting book in my hands. I’ve been dreaming of naps and slow walks near the shores of lonely lochs, of bagpipes and no clocks and no illness and no appointments and no hurt feelings and no tears, and of family wholeness and joy. I know that day is coming. I’m not sure if it will be on this earth, but I know it will be here someday.

What are your Saturday Sixteen? Or your Saturday three or seven or one?


  1. Kay in Cornwall says:

    Hello Julie. Such a lovely surprise to see your new blog post!

    My Saturday Ten:

    1. It’s my birthday today and I’m exactly in my mid-fifties now. But inside I really don’t feel older than early forties! 🙂 I’ve had a lovely day spending time with family and having tea and cake at a lovely tearoom in a sweet village called Shortlanesend, near Truro.

    2. Our puppy has been born! On 21st June we will be travelling to Somerset (about 140 miles from here) to choose him (or possibly her) from the litter of four. We’ve decided on Luca for a boy’s name and Heidi for a girl’s. Of course I’ve already HAD to buy some toys for him/her. Do you have an opinion on whether boy or girl dogs are gentler?
    We need a gentle dog because of Alan’s haemophilia. We’ve chosen to have a Bichon Frise because of their sweet, kind nature.

    3. I’ve planted out some bedding plants, mainly begonias, marigolds and snapdragons. Our garden is looking much better now with a new patio and some smart wooden fencing to cover the ugly concrete-block walls. Instead of a holiday this year we’re splashing out on the garden to make it prettier and more user friendly for Alan’s wheelchair.

    4. Talking of the wheelchair, Alan currently has a haemorrhage in his right foot. This is his first since 1st April. 🙁 🙁 But we’re getting out and about using the wheelchair.

    5. I’ve recently bought some red and white toile bedding for our bedroom. Inspired by someone’s office, perhaps?! 🙂

    6. I gave up on trying to grow out my natural hair colour. After six months’ growth, I looked in the mirror one morning and saw my nan looking back at me. And my nan was not a gentle, kind, soft sort of grandmother either! So I’m back to having blonde highlights. I’m letting my hair dry naturally now, to improve it’s condition. But the curls are very strong and sometimes I look like a blonde Crystal Tipps! Here’s a link:

    7. Alan and I like to watch Lewis. It’s a detective story about Morse’s sidekick. We also love Foyle because he never lets anyone get one over on him. Mr Foyle is supercool.

    8. Your daydream about living in an isolated spot in Scotland is lovely. Although I love my Cornwall immensely, I do have a soft spot for Devon and a country cottage there with no street lights or traffic noise would be lovely. We are hoping to find a holiday cottage in Devon next year for a break – obviously it will have to be a dog-friendly abode.

    9. Our church at last is the owner of the old Methodist chapel in Pool. It’s taken 25 months to complete the purchase – quite a marathon! Now it’s all systems go to get it fit for use. We intend for it to be a lively hub for the local community, not a Sundays-only building.

    10. I recently joined a slimming club called ‘Slimming World’ and I’ve lost half a stone (7 lbs) in the last five weeks. I have to do this because of aches in my back, hips and knees. My diet has improved dramatically and hopefully this will increase my lowish blood iron count.

    (We continue to pray for you and Michael. Alan and I often mention you in our day to day conversation as well.
    Such lovely news about the new granddaughter!)

    Sending lots of love and hugs … xxxxxxoooooo

  2. Just Julie says:

    I loved reading every part of your Saturday Ten, Kay. And Happy Birthday to you! I’m so sorry Alan is going through this again, and you along with him. I’m not a dog expert, but we have always had females, and are very partial to them as dogs. The names you’ve picked out are perfect. I look forward to being in touch with you soon, dear friend. xoxoxo

  3. Jodi says:

    Julie, I trust you’re current with the PBS series “Call The Midwife”? I hate to throw the word “love” around, but I *strongly like* that show!

  4. Just Julie says:

    I will throw the word out there Jodi — I love that show! I haven’t been able to watch for at least three times though, and a friend told me Jenny is leaving and that just did not sound right. What was she thinking! I had a home birth and also did a very short time as a midwife’s apprentice (only attended three births), so I love the subject and the wonder that comes with it. xoxo

  5. Linda says:

    A baby for Carolyn & Jeremy!! Such wonderful news…..everyone loves a baby! Such joy they bring with their special “smell” …I soooo get it! My little “baby” grandson is now 1 year 1 month and brings the greatest joy in my life these days…… God knew. Please let me know what you think of the book you have chosen to read “Spiritual White Space…” I’m not able to fathom fitting one more thing into my day….& I’m retired….from a “paying job” that is! But if you think it’s a helpful read, I would go on your recommendation to squeeze it in between “life” happening…i.e.., aging in-laws, mother,sisters, kids, grandkids, friendships….husband…church activities, bible studies (a must!…oh how I wish I could attend yours..). I still have empty flower boxes & it’s been planting season here since early April! I turned 63 yesterday…my back ain’t what it used to be… I’ve definitely seen the difference in my physical health sneaking in the past few years. Praying for myself a lot these days….for healing in my body so I can take care of everyone who needs me still….that’s a fair request I think! So glad to hear your knees are causing you less pain even tho you have the trade off of less flexibility…physical pain is so draining…. Could I borrow Sarah to do my flower boxes? I have a spare bedroom with a lovely view of my backyard (less flowers in flower boxes right now tho :)……My son has a nice veggie garden and loves flowers too….I think Sarah would like him :)…… &…. he is still my ‘Mr. Mc”Big” Boy–he has the same hellicopter…..says he got it for Rody…yea right! Ask your Mr. McBoy if he thinks a 1 year old can fly that thing?! 🙂
    Am always thinking of you dear Julie……not a day goes by that I don’t. So glad to read such a terrific post…sharing “real” life with us as only you do in “Just Julie” style …have missed that. I know it’s hard. Life is hard. But deep down I know too, God is good. You are right …we all need to remind ourselves of Romans 8:38,39 often.
    with Love, hugs, joy and hope to you and your precious family….Linda

    ps….that song!… “Moonlight in Vermont”….never heard it before but it blessed me! So whimsical….and meaningful to me. My family vacationed in Vermont each summer during my childhood ….and we continue to take winter ski vacations there with my children and grandchildren. Will share it with my 88 year old mum…bet she’ll know it….

  6. Just Julie says:

    What a lovely long message, Linda. I’m glad other readers can get to know you like this too. I always want my friends to know and like my friends. You have a lot of your “retired” plate too — I pray you have strength and health and joy all along the way. You are a blessing to me… xoxo

  7. Pat says:

    Just catching up on your blog and loved this post. Your flower boxes are stunning and “Moonlight in Vermont” is such a beautiful song. I love that era. You have so much on your plate right now – I’m impressed that you are still blogging! I’m going to make your Thai Shrimp and Noodles sometime soon. It sounds delicious! Maybe I will have time when I’m through painting. Right now my left arm feels like it’s ready to fall off. Painting the deck with all those rails has been challenging. Love you, my friend.

  8. Just Julie says:

    I’ll bet things are looking nice at your house, Pat. I do have some blank periods of time when Michael is napping, to update the blog. Although I sometimes wonder what the point is anymore. 🙁 Love to you, dear friend… xo

  9. Ganeida says:

    Don’t believe *them*. Daydreaming is very good for you indeed.

    Our bible study is studying this:

    we are wet & cold.

    Cait is singing solidly for the next 2 months.

    Our prayer group is getting to know you & Michael very well. You are always remembered.

  10. Just Julie says:

    Awww…thank you Ganeida. If daydreaming is good me, then I’m getting healthier by the hour! Thank you so, so much for remembering us in your prayers. Will you greet your group for me? Hugs… xoxo

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