January 2, 2014 | My Jottings
1. It’s minus nineteen degrees (minus twenty-eight Celsius) on our front deck this morning. But it was minus forty-seven in two of Minnesota’s coldest cities this morning: Babbitt and Embarrass. Yes, these are apt names for cities that get this cold.
2. I made delicious creamy chicken, vegetable and wild rice soup for dinner last night, and we have enough left over to have it again tonight. Salad, crusty bread and hot soup. I could live on those three things.
3. Against my better judgment, I gave Mildred and Edith a piece of cooked chicken as I was making the soup yesterday. Edith doesn’t always tolerate different foods and throws up easily in her old age.
4. I was cleaning dog puke from deep shag bedroom carpet early this morning while it was still dark outside, and minus nineteen degrees.
5. I have now cleaned a Schnauzer butt two times this morning and it’s only just 8:00 a.m. Edith has diarrhea. I am not ashamed to say that even though it’s probably my fault she’s sick, I stood at the kitchen sink washing my hands after I scrubbed her and said in a whiny voice, “Please Lord. Please.”
6. I have this candle burning right now and our house smells like what I am certain heaven could smell like.
7. Michael and I started a read-through-the-Bible-in-two-years plan yesterday. If you’d like to try it yourself, click here. (the link for the PDF plan is at the end of the post.)
8. I have been doing some mindless and unfruitful things lately, like watching Seasons 1 and 2 of “Grey’s Anatomy” (which I’ve never watched before and sometimes wonder why I’m watching now) and eating Oreo peanut butter cookies.
9. Michael is confused a lot of the time these days, especially in the middle of the night, and I now get to be the bossy woman who tells him every single thing he ever needs to do for the rest of his life. “Your autopilot has up and flown, Michael,” is what the Occupational Therapist told him gently, and of course we knew this is what Parkinson’s does to the brain. He can’t do the next obvious thing. So here’s how I sound every night, all the time, when I sense him stirring next to me. (And these phrases are said quietly with long pauses in between each, over the course of about five minutes, and only when needed.) “Do you have to go to the bathroom? Okay, stand up. Turn this way. We’re going to walk toward that door. Wait. Take big steps. No, bigger. Hold on. Try again. Okay, through that door. A little closer. Closer to the toilet. Stand on the rug, a little closer. I’ll hold your cane. No, don’t close the lid, lift it up. It’s okay. You can go. No, you didn’t go yet, try again. Michael, please try to go. Okay, you’re going! Thank you Lord, thank you. Try to go some more, that was just a tiny bit. Okay, now turn toward me, take some bigger steps. This way, toward the door. Wait. I’ll help you so you don’t fall. You can trust me. Yes, here’s the cane. Toward the bed now. Ooops, bigger steps. No, this way. Okay. Now let’s put your cane down on the floor, not in the bed. I’ll help you move over. Put your head on the pillow. No, the pillow, right here. Good. Okay here are your covers. We don’t have to get up for two more hours, so try to go to sleep. It’s still dark out.” And so on. You wouldn’t speak to a young child in this way because a young child’s autonomic nervous system is working and they know all the steps they need to do when you say, “It’s time for bed” or “let’s go potty.” All the unspoken things our amazing brains do? They need to be spoken out for Michael now.
10. Eight of my nine female offspring and I went to a gorgeous Jacobean mansion recently to take a self-guided tour. We live very close to this beautiful home and it was fun to see it decorated for Christmas, and to hear the little girls say which bedroom they would choose if one of the many rooms could be their own. Little Louisa did not attend because at eighteen months she isn’t interested in Jacobean mansions yet.
Above, from left: Vivienne, Sara, Mrs. Nisky, Clara, Li’l Gleegirl, Sharon, Audrey and Carolyn. My heart almost explodes when I look at this picture. I have no idea how to come close to expressing the depth of love and emotion and prayers I have for these young women. It gets stronger day by day. I know all you mothers understand exactly what I’m talking about.
11. We had our roof shoveled yesterday. The snow was piling up so high and I started hearing occasional scary cracks and pops above me, so I knew it was time to call a crew. It took four men three hours to clear the roof of snow and then shovel it all off the deck and driveway where they’d thrown it.
12. Our new mandated health care will not be a good thing for us. The websites have been messed up, we will pay a lot more money for less coverage and higher (triple) deductibles, and I am having trouble deciding which company to choose. I have yet to talk with one person who likes or is better off by the changes.
13. As I mentioned previously, my word for the year is “gentle.” Here’s a quote I found to be jarring, but likely:
“I learned that it is the weak who are cruel, and that gentleness is to be expected only from the strong.” Unknown
And here’s my mandate from my heavenly Father for 2014, with my name inserted to remind me that He really is speaking to us through His Word…
Julie, rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all, Julie.
The Lord is near.
Julie, do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
What is your Thursday Thirteen? Or your Thursday Three?