Monday, October 31, 2011

No Use Crying Over Spilled Milk...or Coffee

I try hard to take good care of Pop all the time; but with his shoulder surgery, I've tried extra hard to be helpful and get what he needs.  Simple things like brushing your teeth are not to be taken for granted!  I've cut up sandwiches into bite sizes and prepared foods at temperatures that wouldn't burn his mouth.

I recently set him up with some coffee - of course in a thermos-type mug with a screw on lid.  He picked it up and took a sip and I watched wide-eyed as liquid dripped onto his shirt and noticed that the lid was askew.  I grabbed it and quickly fixed it as Pop began to laugh...hard.  Me too.  I felt really silly and it felt good to laugh.

I hope we maintain a sense of humor about things that will most certainly come as we get older.  Good thing the coffee wasn't crazy hot.  No use crying over spilled coffee.  I love Pop.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I caught a glimpse of light reflecting off my wedding ring in the wee hours of the night.

I had been up giving Pop some medication following his recent shoulder surgery.  He has been a great "patient" but the pain associated with this type of surgery is notoriously excruciating and we had been diligent to stay on top of the pain which means round the clock medications and the patient sleeping in a recliner.

I was settling back into my blankets on the sofa beside the recliner and a small ray of light from the night light found a way into the diamond in my ring, refracting a brief but brilliant light.  As I snuggled in, I pondered the day Pop and I were married more than thirty-five years ago and about the vows we took that day.  When I spoke the vows to Pop I did so unreservedly..."for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health, so long as we both shall live"...of course at a tender young age at the beginning of marriage, the understanding of what those vows truly mean is severely limited...I just knew that I meant what I said with all my heart, all my mind, and all my being.

Pop and I have been tested so much less than many couples and while we have no idea what the future will bring; the vows still stand.  They are unconditional. Whatever comes, with God's grace and the help that only He can provide, we will figure it out.  We don't have to do it alone and for that I am eternally grateful.

Friday, October 21, 2011

X Does Not Necessarily Mark The Spot!

Jewels and I were on a mission...Stop the ridiculous squeak in the floor of the master bedroom.

So we got out the screws Pop had purchased for this purpose and got started.  We used math, we measured, we used deductive reasoning, we popped a chalk line, we used a drill.  We even used the knowledge that in the room below (before it was finished) there was a neat row of nails that were intended to hit a floor joist but missed.  We thought it would be a simple job that wouldn't take much time.  After all, this task was on my "productive procrastination" list.

So we began.  After screwing in a number of screws that seemed to help only slightly we employed the use of another tool.  A long piece of copper wire.  We removed screws and inserted the wire into the holes...if the wire hit wood we circled the hole...if it didn't, we marked it with an "X".

It might not have been the most scientific approach but we eventually identified the line where the screws SHOULD go.  Now we have some extra holes in the sub floor now but they won't hurt far as we know, anyway.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pre-Surgery To Do List

As you know, Pop is facing shoulder surgery.  He is one tough guy.  I am convinced that a lesser man would have already undergone the procedure but Pop (with his surgeon's permission) is doggedly completing the tasks on his "Pre-Surgery To Do List".  He is nearly there.  We have been blessed with family and friends who have chipped in to help.

When we began the main floor renovation, we could not have dreamed that the pace we were planning would have to be accelerated due to injury.  We were thinking that we would just chip away at it.  We planned to still "have a life" while we were rebuilding...after all, we have our living space in the basement that is comfortable and don't have to live in the sawdust.  When Pop learned he was facing surgery we knew we had to at least put things together enough that we wouldn't be heating all our acreage this winter with propane.  Because of the progress we had already made in tearing things down, we really had no wise choice but to "button things" up with insulation and that is the goal.  If we had had it our way, we would have taken our time and done most of the work on our own.  Instead, God chose another way to rebuild our house and with His grace we are almost to get it done with the help of our precious family and friends.  We are blessed and we are grateful!  The Lord is indeed building the house and we give Him the glory.  Our prayer is that it will be used to honor God and be a blessing to all who come here.

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Productive Procrastination

Old Insulation - after messing with it to get to things above it.
 I totally dislike doing insulation.  It is yucky.  A mask is required which makes it hard to breathe and sometimes fogs up my glasses.  Little particles of spun fiberglass and 35 years of dust fly freely and in our case, there are more things flying.  I have chosen not to take pictures of the gross stuff.  Some things are just better forgotten.

You see, in our "attic" space there was apparently a condo village for mud daubers as well as a large "herd" of mice at some point in the life of this house.  We know this because as we have moved insulation to do wiring and to fix things "up there", we have been inundated with know what I'm talking about...mouse droppings...but that is not the worst.  We have even had mouse skeletons drop out of the insulation.  Once I even accidentally picked one up thinking it was just a piece of insulation.  I'm not overly squeamish but I almost threw it into the next room!

Newly Insulated Ceiling
So when insulating is the task at hand, I tend to procrastinate.  My friend Jewels was working with me recently and saw evidence of this.  When she tried to steer me back to the task (several times) I kept finding something else we needed to do BEFORE we got started on the insulation.  You know...start the laundry, clean the mud room up after Pop and I had slung sawdust all over it installing a new back door...things like that...they HAD to be done!  Even cleaning toilets sounds like a  preferred chore.  So even when I am procrastinating, it is productive.  Do you get me?

Saturday, October 15, 2011


This is my friend.  I call her "Jewels" because that is what she has been adding to her crown lately...she has been a constant at Four Sisters Farm.  She can manage power tools, staple guns, hand tools of all sorts, water name it.  She was raised on a farm and loves the farm life which is fortunate for me and for Pop!  

She also recently celebrated her birthday here which I felt pretty bad about!  We worked all day and evening that day.  We did have a delicious dinner and some angel food cake to celebrate.  She claims it was a good birthday but I think I was the one who got the gift! 

Thanks, Jewels!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Okay, Lord! Show us how You build a house. We're willing!

This is Pop...he is many things...passionate...playful...powerful.  I love him so much that sometimes it is nearly painful!  If you know him well, you know that his passion extends to his family, his friends, his coworkers, and oftentimes even to some fortunate soul who simply crosses his path.  He cheers for the underdog and encourages others to succeed.

Pop is facing a challenge right now that is really testing him.  He has injured his right shoulder...seriously...he has seen a surgeon and faces surgery soon.  The recovery will be long and difficult.   I know he can handle it and will overcome.  I've seen him ignore pain and carry on.  I've watched him train for and run a marathon (among other races).  I've watched him power through injuries to accomplish tasks that weaker men would have surrendered to.  But this time, he must submit to the repair or suffer further debilitating damage.  The repairs should be effective and Pop should soon be able to do all the things he has always done.

If you have been following this blog, you know that we are in the process of renovating the main floor of the Four Sisters Farm house.  It isn't a good time for Pop to be injured.  There is still much to be done before we can call in the drywaller.  There are walls to be moved, wires to be run, a tub and a shower to be put in place, doors to be installed, and the list goes on.  Pop continues to work, with pain.  We knew the renovation would be a time-consuming challenge; but we didn't plan for Pop's injury.  It is intensely frustrating for him.

Our precious sons (acquired through marriage to the Four Sisters) have all stepped in to help when they can.  Their schedules are full, responsibilities heavy, and they take their commitments seriously.  Pop and I know that it is a sacrifice for all of them to offer their time and abilities.  We are simply grateful.  Oh, so grateful...for them and for the friends who have helped off and on since we started "building" Four Sisters Farm.

In a recent post I stated my desire to allow the LORD to build our house.  Since we took on the renovation, Pop has often looked at me and asked, "Can we do this or did we bite off more than we can chew?"  My response is that we CAN do eating an bite at a time...Lord willing.  I am watching to see God's hand in our lives...and specifically in the building of this house.

Stay tuned.