Iced Tea Chat: Humming Along

Hello love... Did you hear me humming as you came in?  It's doctor's orders.  Yes, really.  I've had this weird thing going on with a Eustachian tube and I feel as though my ear is just full of water.  Well when I mentioned it to the good doctor he told me the trouble isn't fluid at all (he did look in my ear) and he suggested I sing or hum whenever it bothered me. It has something to do with vibrations when you hum...  The sensation of being full of water comes and goes and each time I begin to feel bothered by it I start to smile because really, how often is it prescribed that you sing or hum?  Never, in my experience!  As it happens I have been singing my whole life, but I've admittedly fallen silent more and more the last few years.  I must say I've noted that the doctor is exactly right.  I hum or sing and in a while I have no more trouble with that ear at all.

Tea...I have mint this week, fresh ginger root, and lemon, or lime...Take your choice and settle in.  I'm all ready for a nice long chat....

I know I haven't written in two weeks or so.  I had my first doctor visit with my new primary care provider and that went well.  I'd lost a good bit of weight and my blood pressure was reasonable and so he took me off the blood pressure med and the bad diabetic drug that spent most of it's time kicking my blood sugar to scary lows.  He prescribed a few supplements, telling me why he thought each was important to my current health and of course, he prescribed for me to hum, which really sort of made me feel rather fond of him...It's quaint and eccentric and just the sort of thing I like.  I felt, leaving his office, that I was doing just fine and while there are precautions and such, that I wasn't quite the train wreck I'd begun to believe I was.

It was super hot that afternoon of the first doctor visit, 105F in the shade.  The next day was almost as hot and I drove for the first time.  I went to get lab work done, to fill prescriptions and pick up a few grocery items.  I went by Mama's to pick up some black eye peas and corn she'd put up for me for the freezer.  I'd meant to stay and visit, but Mama took one look at me and said "Go home.  You're worn out and don't even know it."  Well I did just what she said and truly by the time I got home and put away the produce in the freezer, I was worn down.

My oldest son contacted me late in the afternoon to ask if he and his children might come visit for the weekend.  I was so worn out and told him I just couldn't handle a full weekend but I wanted to see him and the children.  We agreed on a short visit and he arrived the next day with the two boys.  I was sorry Hailey hadn't come along but I understood the thought that two are easier to handle.  Indeed the two boys played together quite well and when they were tired they went to the guest room and music room and played quietly alone for a bit.

I was a bit put out and frustrated with over tiredness Sunday, when I discovered that the visit had been extended.  He'd asked his dad, who told him to ask me and somehow it was the same sort of thing it was when he was a teen.  I didn't get the full story and dad wasn't aware of the change in plans and I was thinking how very very tired and weary I felt and how much I was looking forward to a quieter evening...and then I overheard John talking to oldest grandson Daniel and saying, "Yes, you're staying here again tonight..."

 I went to my room and lay down on the bed and cried, because I was just that weary and just needed to relieve the overwhelm I felt.  At first, all I could think of was the long week coming up ahead. Then I remembered my new mantra: First things first, one step at a time.  I got up and dried my eyes and determined I'd just enjoy the time with them.  Because after all, those things coming ahead were not here yet, but the boys were.  I did enjoy the remainder of that visit and I'm glad I had that time with them.

The medical bills have started coming in and I'll say this:  Wow.  I'll just say one more thing, I am so grateful that I have medical insurance!  There's a good portion to pay ourselves, of course, having purchased the lowest coverage packet, but as much as I fussed about being forced into it and regretted the lack of savings due to making that monthly payment...well God knew more than we did at the time and that's truth.  As for the out of pocket portions, we decided we'd just do our very best to pay every single bill and trust God's provision for it.  God even knew we'd struggle with that I guess, because He began providing that extra cash before the claims went in.  We had a medical bill fund started by a kind soul who anticipated the need and we were so grateful for that start.  Last  Monday when I sat down to pay bills, I realized the last of the 3 pay period  month cycle bills allotted us two nice sized half payments to set aside with that beginning amount in our fund.  And that proved to be almost 2/3 of what was needed Thursday on my doctor visit to the pulmonologist office.

John and I had discussed that bill amount before we went to the office and I went prepared to pay a good bit more to be honest, but I was told that the amount owed was on the claims the insurance had settled and any remaining balance could easily be paid in installments once those claims settled, which is practically unheard of let me tell least in my experience as insurance and private pay billing in the hospital where I worked years ago.    But that is neither here nor there.  It's the provision right now I want to tell you about.

John and I discussed the bill and the amount I thought we'd have to pay and we knew it was going to a be a "bite the bullet and just do it" moment.  Well after grumbling and being a little anxious about it, we agreed again that we'd just trust God. Hadn't he already started us off with a nice amount and wasn't it providential that we'd been able to add to that fund just that week?  And so when we were confronted with a request for payment at the doctor's office,  we paid the amount happily without so much as a sigh of regret.

When we got home that afternoon we stopped to pick up the mail and there was a small sum of cash in a get well card and I looked at John and started to cry (yes, I do tend to cry a lot.  I am emotional, that's all I can say) because God uses people who are keen to listen to Him and do what He moves them to do.  I am so grateful to these lovely folks.  I am so blessed not just by God but by the generosity of spirit of others so amendable to His urging.  It seemed to me that it was just the reassurance we needed that He will indeed help us to find our way through this part of the season, as well.  I tacked that cash to the bulletin board in the kitchen where we could see it.  It will indeed be used to help cover a bill shortly, but in the meantime, it's a lovely reminder that God knows our need and is busy providing for it in His way.

We had a nasty shock of a family matter that same morning...not anything I want to discuss because some things are just too much to be shared outside of family.  But let me say that seeing God's hand in one area of my life is a great reminder that His hand is covering all my life.  So you see the Get Well card was a lot more than a get well card in many ways.  It was a huge encouragement to us on many scores and I think that truly made us feel more peaceful about the most unpleasant things that day.

That evening, after the doctor, my daughter in law Bess arrived with grandson Josh in tow.  He was so fussy and ill after that very long car ride.  It was a good bit like watching a tiny kitten get fighting mad when they aren't really big enough to do more than bristle up and hiss.  Well Josh is a year old but he's still a baby and it was funny to see how irritable he was and how he displayed his upset about the day as a whole.  I don't mean that we teased him, because we wouldn't do that.  But he did make us chuckle as he groused and pushed away toys offered or slapped away snacks we tried to tempt him with.  Later, when he'd calmed down he played happily and crawled all over the place and pulled himself up to walk around the ottomans and tables.  He has some sweet little things he does.  If you ask him if he's a cute baby, he tilts his head to one side and gazes up at you with a sweet baby smile and he looks so sweet and cute that you can't help but grab him up and kiss him.

Bess was exhausted by the long journey but we sat up a little while and chatted anyway.  The day isn't complete unless we get a little time to share family bits of news.

I fed Josh breakfast the next morning while Bess got ready to continue her journey.  She had an appointment to keep and a visit to her mom planned and a visit with a friend of her and Sam's.  She planned to come back to our place Friday and travel home on Friday night.  Well it didn't quite work that way.  She came in dead tired.  She tried to nap but didn't get in very much rest time, so the plan changed to leaving early Saturday morning.  I didn't complain.  I got to spend hours more time with Josh and we had a great time playing and dancing and singing songs.  Grampa got a full dose of that little boy, too.  I selfishly hoped Bess would stay Saturday and join us for the family dinner with Katie and the new baby, but she'd been away from her home and husband too long.

So we were up at 4am Saturday morning seeing her off.  I went back to bed to try and catch up on rest but didn't do very well at getting any more sleep.  At this point I was feeling the length and busyness of the week behind me and anxious as well over the family dinner.  We were celebrating Katie's birthday and the baby was coming of course, and I had other family coming in to visit...Dinner to cook and house to keep.  John did everything I asked but I confess feeling a tad irritable that he couldn't just see what needed doing.  In the end, all the work got done and I had time to sit down and cool off, despite having to make a trip into town.

I had to buy an ingredient that was absolutely necessary to the meal of Ranch Chicken and Ranch mashed potatoes...Guess what I discovered I didn't have?  Ranch Dressing mix of course!  I knew I could pick it up in town and of course, I made the trip count by combining that errand with a couple others.  I even managed to get in a wee bit extra exercise for the day.  I stopped at the Women's Club House to quickly peruse the yard sale items (nothing much, only spent $1) and walked across to the post office to post a bill.  Then I parked at the end of the parking lot and made extra steps in the store to insure I had some walking in.  Of course there were plenty of steps to be made once I came home.  The table to set and make pretty, moving all about the kitchen to prepare foods and cleaning up this little spot or that.

It all went off very nicely.  Tot is a darling baby, content to let every one hold her and sleep away.  In her pictures she looks big.  Not huge, but bigger than she does in real life.  She is a tiny little girl, just in newborn clothes though she's had her 1 month birthday.  She had bright eyes but somehow being here just made her want to sleep and she did sleep and sleep and sleep.  She slept right through being passed around from one to another.  It was fun to watch her daddy...He'd put her on a pallet while we ate our dinner and he'd periodically get up and check her even though she was in easy sight.  Each time as he'd gaze at her he would chuckle to himself and smile.  I think he's one proud daddy, lol.

My niece Ashley came over with her baby and she's a real cutie pie.  She is starting to try to crawl and can manage to move herself across the floor if there is an incentive.  It was fun for the new parents to get to see what was ahead for them.  I'm only sorry that Bella was visiting her grandparents because I'd have loved for Katie and Matt to see what a two year old can do.  We had a good laugh at Adi's expense though.  She doesn't get a bottle in mid afternoon but Tot woke and was being fed.  Adi just couldn't stand seeing that baby get a bottle when she didn't have hers!  She fussed and grunted and complained and cried and whined until Ashley finally just broke down and pulled out her own bottle (which was supposed to be emergency only).  Adi took that bottle and snorted and grunted like a pretty pink piglet and every one of us chuckled at her enjoyment.

It was a lovely visit all around.  Mama was here as well.  Adi's daddy came by and visited with us all and the afternoon flew away from us.  Soon it was time to pack every one off home.  I finally was able to bless Katie and Matt with the meals I'd prepared for them and packed up all the leftovers from dinner and sent with them, as well.

Now I'll say this for JD and Bess and Katie visiting this week.  Each of them put their arms around me and held on good and tight taking a long hug.   Matt isn't a long hugger but he's a dear and he made it a point to give me a hug, too.  They didn't say a word but I knew and they knew just what we were all thinking.  In time they might forget how precious time is and how fleeting lives can be but we were all just grateful to have a bit longer to be Mama and children.

Going to the yard sale at the Women's Club reminded me of a yard sale two years ago...I'd stopped in and ran into a woman who'd been something more than an acquaintance for years.  Our girls went to school together from Pre-Kindergarten through Senior year and they were close friends all but that last year when Katie was so sick.  The two girls spent hours upon hours in both our homes and it was natural that Nancy and I began to feel more than just acquaintances.  There was a time there when we hadn't seen each other in a few years and I ran into her at that yard sale and we talked for a bit.  I recalled this all Saturday because Nancy died suddenly and unexpectedly just the week before.  She was 3 years younger than myself and it was quite a shock.

I heard of her death in the afternoon...John called me that morning to tell me that he'd heard another acquaintance of ours who was just my age had died.  Two deaths in one day was pretty heavy stuff especially when they are just my age or very near.  It shook me up, coming as it all did when I was so recently out of the hospital myself.

And I think too that it being Tot's one month birthday...Well it was just the day after her birthday that I was rushed into emergency surgery.  I looked back over the month following Tot's birth and I saw so many major changes in our family's lives.  Katie and Matt as new parents, Amie's partner with a major heart attack, a major move for Sam and Bess, JD reporting to duty on the West Coast, some other family crises that shook us hard.  It sometimes boggles the mind how things can change so rapidly when no change at all has occurred for months on end.

I'm ashamed to admit this, but I have a mind block when it comes to cameras.  I have two cameras.  I have fresh batteries and memory cards in both...but I also get amnesia the moment we have a family gathering. of any grandchild, or family member from the past week.  Not one.  Katie said I might share Tot's one month picture she took.  I'd love to share a picture of Josh but Bess videoed him while we were playing and the computer won't let me save and share that. So I'm sharing a photo of him from the previous weekend when he got his first haircut.  JD took a selfie of him and the boys while they were visiting.  So I'll share what I have been able to borrow from others.
                                                   isn't he handsome with his first haircut?

                                      she's nowhere near as big as she looks in the picture!

                                                           my happy happy boys

Now all that visiting was lovely and I enjoyed it.  I was also tired.  Sunday John went off to work and I allowed myself some extra sleep.  I lolled about sipping coffee after breakfast and did just a few easy household tasks here and there all morning long.  I guess it was about noon when I started to feel restless.  I began to plan the work in the week ahead and next thing I knew I was in the kitchen giving it a good wipe down.  It felt good to be doing a bit of routine work.  John called periodically though to make sure I didn't over do it and I didn't.  If I felt tired or started feeling overwhelmed I'd sit down for a minute or ten and contemplate the rest of the work.  I paced myself and got it all done and it felt rather good at day's end to know I was back in the swing of things.

I've picked up a summer cold.  It's not gone to my chest but I've the most annoying cough and sore throat.  I'm doing my best to rest, drink plenty of fluids, taking extra Vitamin C, using chest rub on my throat since it seems to help relieve the pain.  I'm not feeling unwell, except for that cough.

So naturally I've been playing about the house.  Not doing hard and heavy jobs but tackling light tasks.  Like sorting out the cupboard where we store our paint.  I'm glad I did because I found enough paint to paint the guest bath door but also enough exterior white paint to get the front porch railings done and hopefully enough over to trim the sheds.  I'm so happy about that!

Oh speaking of sheds, how many of you have noticed the new trend is 'She' sheds?  It's usually a shed turned into a retreat for the woman of the house.  John laughed at me years ago when I suggested I might one day soon decorate the interior of my own shed.  I wasn't kidding!  I'll need to use tons of paint though, since the walls are are raw wood and the flooring is just sub floors.  Still I think it could be awfully cute and wouldn't it be lovely to slip out to my shed and find it not only beautifully organized but beautifully pretty inside as well?  Not a 'She' shed exactly as mine has no windows and I wouldn't go to the expense of adding any, which means no AC or fans or heater either.  In which case it's not really a She shed but a shed just like it is now.  Still, don't see why that can't be as pretty as anything else...except I really want to work on the house at present and funds only stretch so far and in this case not even that far, lol.  I need an infusion of funds to do all the projects on the list for the house and that shall just have to wait.

Did I tell you the nest is occupied?  There are four eggs and the Mama bird most of the time.  We seldom come across the shy mother who usually slips out unobtrusively and sits under the porch and waits on our departure.  I was relieved to discover she is indeed still sitting on the eggs, having worried about them just sitting there without Mama's heat atop them.

Maddie apparently is well aware the bird is there as well.  This morning when John was leaving, she insisted on bumping the pot with her nose, jostling it about.  I suspect she's routed out the Mama bird in such a manner before.  Well, I put a stop to that!  Not only did Maddie get reprimanded, but I barricaded about the pot with two chairs, so Maddie may well see in but she can't touch the aloe pot at all, which hopefully will allow Mama bird to sit undisturbed by silly red dog.

Oh dear.  My allergy tab has made me sleepy.  It's the only thing that stops the post nasal drip long enough to alleviate the coughing, though I dislike taking these tablets too often.  I shall go dust the bedroom which is fairly coated and it does seem while the allergy tab is at work is the best time to stir up the dust in that room.  Then I'm going to sort out the bill box, work on the new quarterly budget and illustrate the journal I'm making to replace my nearly used up old one.  There are dishes to unloaded, the fridge to clean and inventory, a linen trunk that could do with straightening, a table linens drawer that could use the same...I certainly don't lack for things to do, albeit not any of them hard tasks.

Talk to you all later!



Kathy said...

Love the pictures! what precious babies! Tot is adorable! So glad that you were able to spend time with your children. I am sure it was exhausting,but I know they are so thankful to be with you.

It is funny how He blesses us with what we need. I am sorry that you were sick, but I'm glad that you had that health insurance. Your doc sounds like a good one. I love the singing/humming prescription. Hope that you feel better and stronger each day.

Lana said...

A lovely chat and beautiful family! I have tried and tried to solve the exhaustion problem when the family visits. I guess as empty nesters we are so used to peace and quiet and going about our days in quiet says that having a house full just wears us out. Our daughter who lives just 30 minutes away comes for just the morning and lunch and then packs up the two grandchildren and rushes them home for their naps. We do this 2-3 times a month and they are just perfect in length.

What a blessing to have found such a good doctor! It is unusual for doctors to know anything about supplements so you have found a real keeper. I suspect that singing and humming are good for many other things that ail us, too. I try to play my piano everyday and I know that is good for me. I think that music of any kind is just good for the soul. I love to cook to Sinatra or Glenn Miller Orchestra in the kitchen. :)

I am glad to hear of the medical bills getting paid without too much trouble. I certainly remember how many there are from my husband's heart attack last year. It takes so long to get them all sorted out.

We have a long list of improvements that need to be made here, too. Flooring is badly worn upstairs and our kitchen counters are very much in need of replacement along with an aging asphalt driveway that badly needs repair but we had to have a $5200 heat pump instead. We would so like to downsize soon but those things need to be done before putting the house on the market. I think maybe God has need of us here in the neighborhood for a new young family two doors down. He knows how we struggle to keep things maintained here and we have to trust Him for grace and help to do so.

I love the She Sheds, too! Wouldn't it be fun? I would, of course, like one to just appear in my backyard.

I hope you are on the mend soon! This has been the weirdest year of illness in the wrong seasons. It must be the strange weather especially the heat that is keeping everyone inside so that germs can get passed easily. We had a cough and off and on sore throat a few weeks ago too and it just finally wore itself out. If you get to Wal Mart and can get some lemon grass essential oil you can put some on a cotton ball about the house and it seems to really help with coughs without taking anything. The E oils are on the top shelf of the vitamin row at my store and are just 5.97 a bottle.

Well I have written nearly as much as you so I will sign off!

Karla Neese said...

Thank you for the lovely glass of iced tea. I would love to have sweet tea but seeing as how you and I are both now eating healthy and avoiding sugar, I'll take mine plain.

So many new family members in your group! How exciting and life-giving that must be. But exhausting as well. Thankfully you only need to get small doses. My mother-in-law says if she could've she'd have had her grandchildren first. Ha ha.

Your financial blessing is so exciting! I love to hear testimonies of how God provides and surprises us. A friend of mine at church calls Him Jehovah Sneaky.

I certainly hope you get rid of that cold/cough soon. How annoying to have that! My youngest daughter went to YoungLife camp last week in Jasper, Georgia. It was her first time in your fine state and she had a great time but said it was terribly hot and humid. She was glad to be back in "cool" Oklahoma. She also came back with Laryngitis which I suspect are from allergies from all the trees she was surrounded with.

Glad to hear Mama bird came back! I just love birds and how exciting to have a "bird's eye view" of the growing family.

Be blessed, my friend! Rest, rest, rest. Sending continued prayers for you heavenward.

Tammy said...

Thanks so much for posting pics of the grands - they are all so beautiful! I've been looking forward to seeing Katie's sweet girl.

Anonymous said...

First things first, one step at a time is a great motto! Good to hear it again. I love how God takes care of us/watching over us. How He wants to show Himself strong on our behalf.

I can attest to His goodness throughout these past two months. Sometimes you have to look back to see it. And, of course, not just the past two months but all my life. Smile. The last two months have been challenging.

What cute babies. Love the pics. And I love the hugs you received from your kids. Precious!

A friend or acquaintance about ones age going into eternity gives me pause too. It's always good to know they know Jesus because they have gone to a much better place. But we want to hang onto this life and I think that is a God-given desire. Nothing wrong with that.

Thanks for the chat, good to read you here again! Smile. Pam

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