Unexpected Outcomes


drop it like it's hot

I met a very sweet lady yesterday at the Surgery Center.  I was there to have an MRI /contrast done and she was there to have some injections in her back.  Bless her heart, she told me she was almost 85 years old and that her birthday is in December.  “It went by fast,” she said with a thick Cajun accent.  She was a beautiful woman, elegant and charming.  Her little boots were the exact color of her soft velour pants, the rich burgundy deepened the tones of her lively orange hair, tightly curled and sprayed stiff. 

We talked a bit, neither of us knowing that the outcome from our respective procedures would not be what either of us expected.   The poor thing told me about the trouble she had with her back.  “Me, I have to use a cane to walk now.  I never did that before but now I do.  My son, he helps me but I don’t like that, no.”  Clearly, she was an independent woman who made her own decisions, and she wasn’t crazy about asking anybody for help.  Frisky, even.   I could see it in her sparkly blue eyes.   Her procedure was before mine and she was wheeled away carrying her cane on her lap, pointed ahead like she was leading a charge.  It seemed appropriate.  I was still sitting there after she had her injections but the poor little thing wasn’t so spunky anymore.  She looked broken as they wheeled her past my seat in the waiting room.  She gave me an eye-rolling look and screwed up her pale face to indicate it was not an easy procedure to endure. 

Then it was my turn to be led away.  Soon,  I discovered that an MRI w/contrast wasn’t the easy peezy procedure I thought it would be.    I don’t know, call me crazy but I thought they would just give me a little IV or something to introduce the contrast, but noooooo.   When an anesthesiologist entered the room, I thought ‘uh-oh, what’s fixin’ to happen here?’  Trust me, I found out.  It turns out he was there to give me a deadening medication in my shoulder joint before he could inject the contrast.  It would have been nice if he waited for the Novocain to take effect before continuing.  Then he took a bigger-than-should-be-allowed needle and syringe and, using a tv monitor, guided the needle into the empty spaces inside my shoulder joint.  He warned me that there would be a ‘little pressure’ before he injected.  Geez, glad I was prepared for that.  I felt like my shoulder socket would explode.  Finally, I was ready for the actual MRI, which was uneventful.  I kept my eyes closed and concentrated on my breathing while praying for everybody I could think of.  Me and small spaces don’t get along well.  I’m a big person.  I like room to breathe.  Closing my eyes was a good idea and later I was proud of myself for not giving in to the temptation to open my eyes.  I figured nobody in attendance wanted to see a woman of my age and stature crying and clawing to shed the tunnel in which I was a prisoner.  I’m sure that would have happened if I would have opened my eyes.  Before long, the test was over and I was allowed to go back to the dressing room to change into my clothes.  As soon as I came out, the little Cajun lady was wheeled past me, returning to her little cubicle.  My heart was nicked a little bit because I could see she had been crying.  “Me, I can’t feel my legs, cher, I don’t feel nuttin’. ”  Two nurses and a doctor were expedient to reassure her that sometimes that happened with her type of procedure but it would pass.  But you know you can’t tell a little Cajun lady anything she doesn’t want to hear, especially when she has been calling the shots for most of her 84 11/12ths years.   She wouldn’t have it and set up such a commotion everyone in the front waiting room knew something was going on.   By the time I left, she was sitting up in the stretcher wielding her cane at anyone who managed to get within a few feet of her.  “Mai,”  she said.  “don’t you get near me again!  Get back, get back cher I’ll poke you, I will!”  Again, poor thing, I would have really felt bad for her if she hadn’t winked at me slyly.  It seems she would still be calling the shots.  She was going to make them pay for her numb legs in the only way she could.  By golly, she did too.  I saw an aide go into her partition with a tray of breakfast and some good hot coffee.  There’s no telling what else that old gal had them do for her before she went home!  I really liked that about her. She knew she probably wasn’t as sprite as she used to be but she definitely was in control. You gotta respect her for that, right?

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New Generations


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It has been a great day as long as we overlook the fact that my alarm didn’t go off this morning and I needed to get up at 5 a.m. Yeah. Great, huh. The good part is that I did get to my grandbaby’s house early enough for her mom to get to work on time. This is her mama’s first year of teaching and getting to work on time is very important. You know how that is. I had another errand to run while in the local area. Sheila from Susan’s On Court/Ville Platte, Louisiana, called a few days ago and told me “I guess I need to get some of your books for the shop”. It appears my book has been requested. Yay! Today I was able to deliver a pile of my books to her. Then I stopped to see my friends at the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism to find out which one of them hooked me up with Sheila. Nobody ‘fessed up but I know someone must have! Check out the shop’s facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Susans-on-Court/357737067641648. Sheila has a beautiful shop. Tell her I sent you.

For those of you who have grandchildren, you know there is nothing like it. It’s a love different from the one you experienced with your own children. The first time you lay eyes on your new grandbaby, you find out what real love is. True. And it will take you by surprise because it is breathtaking. Make that breath taking. You loose your breath. Or you forget to breath, something like that. Suddenly, your heart breaks open and it is filled with the strongest, most powerful love you will ever experience. It is impossible to describe. I believe I know the logic behind why it is what it is. Most people are pretty young when their children are born so by the time grandchildren come along, they (now grandparents) have more to give, ie; more experience and less confusion. By the time that new generation takes over, grandparents have already figured out what to do and when to do it. I love that part. It has worked well for me, if you get my drift.

Speaking of oldage, I used to be semi-insulted when young people called me “ma’am”. Now I like it. I even like it if a merchant asks me if I would like a senior citizen discount. Uh, yeah. Saving money, I’ll take that. I rather enjoy the status being a young older person gives me. Most kids (anyone above 8 years of age) think you are smart. The young people who don’t are those who think they know everything and grown ups are clueless. But if you come across a kid who has been raised right, you get the respect you deserve. And I really like that. I live in the southern United States and we take a lot of pride in raising our kids to be polite and respectful. Stand when an adult enters the room, hold the door open, use a napkin and no sass talk. Every good mama knows how to teach manners to her children. But grandparents? Oh yes. Grandparents are forgiving about ‘most everything else except bad manners. Bad manners can make a Granny go ballistic, just let a kid pee in the tub and see what happens. Luckily, grandchildren happily respect their elders. Plus they know Granny can stop a clock with just one little evil eye. An evil eye makes a kid freeze in their tracks. It can silence a room. It can command ships. It looks like this:

Are you scared yet?

Are you scared yet?

But that’s not all. Grandbabies love you like no one else in the whole world can. It is an amazing thing when they go Granny’s house because they want to and they love coming over so much. At Granny’s house, spoilage is applied with gusto. It is an art form that was acquired and nurtured as soon as oldage began to set in. Without a doubt and instinctually, grandbabies know who the beneficiary is. It is pleasing for everyone except the parents who have to take said spoiled babies home.

It’s my life. I live for them and if God says the same, I will enjoy a long life of grandbaby-love. My daughter-in-law said the darling little 2 year old I babysat today had a little present for me in her diaper bag. She helped her mommy color a picture and this is what it looked like:

Grandbaby #5 is on the way!

Grandbaby #5 is on the way!

This new generation…I hope and pray that the world we leave them will be better than it is now. So please pray for peace. Yes, it does count. YOUR prayer may be the one that helps.

My Three Life Rules (#9)


My three life rules are only second in line to our Father’s rules for life. The rules I list below are my own personal life rules. I find that they cover just about every imaginable situation and are pretty reasonable. See what you think:

Rule 1. I never go upside down. If I am upside down, something is wrong. I am either falling, on a circus ride, or drunk. In fact, this rule did originate during a time in my life when I found myself upside down a lot. Going upside down is against the laws of nature for human beings. If you are upside down because you’ve fallen, get thee to a hospital. If you are upside down because you’re on a circus ride, get thee off because you will puke and loose all the change in your pockets and whatever you have stuffed in your bra. If you are upside down because you are drunk, slap thyself until you come to your senses. Being upside down is dangerous.

Rule 2. I never get high. This rule is pretty self-explanatory. By sticking to this rule, I am staving off skyscrapers, parachutes, and drugs. Not to mention cliffs. Believe me, I’ve been on the edge a lot. That’s why I have this rule.

Rule 3. I don’t go fast. Going too fast is also dangerous. If you are going too fast, you might miss something important. Like your son’s childhood. Or the sunrise. Or you might crash into the side of a tree. Maybe if you go too fast, you will end up going overboard. It’s a relatively adaptive rule.

A combination of any or all of these rules when broken is a sure recipe for a disastrous life. In effect, they mean keep it simple, get your head straight, and just slow down. Sometimes they can be hard lessons to learn, but all of the time they are worth learning. I’ve had lots of practice but I’m still working on keeping them my ultimate deciding factor in many ways. I find that they are logical and can potentially keep me out of trouble. Most of the time.

What about you? Have you given any thought to what your life rules might be? Come on, share them here. Let me hear from you. It’s never too late to learn!

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. amen.

Just a reminder, pray for peace.

Big Deal, I missed #7


And isn’t 7 a lucky number? Oh well, such is life.

This post is NaBloPoMo #8

Have ya’ll seen that Aleve commercial that highlights good-deed-doers(said with respect NOT sarcasm)? I saw it several times today. After about the 6th time, it occurred to me that the message was in line with something I read in the Bible. And so help me, I can’t remember where the scripture was. I thought it was in Luke but I just scoured that book and couldn’t find it. Oh well, God knows what I mean.

Anyway, back to the commercial… Several women were featured for the work they did for the poor. One of them was a single mother for many years. She said that as she was raising her son, sometimes they didn’t have enough. I am assuming she meant enough food. It was for that reason that she organized a food pantry for other people who don’t have enough.

Now, about what I read in the Bible… The passage was about worshiping idols. I had a prayer partner tell me one time, or maybe more, that when we make something more important than our time with God, that is the definition of idolatry. If you work harder on something and put more effort into it, think about it constantly, go out of your way to do/see/eat, etc. than you are worshiping an idol, making the thing you love more important than God is in your life.

So the Aleve commercial jogged my brain and suddenly I saw that these good-deed-doers were actively doing the opposite of worshiping idols. They were taking care of business. They were sharing God’s love. They were a visible sign of what it means to love one another. I mean they went out of their way to do good deeds. It was their love, what they spent the most time doing. Clearly, not worshiping the things of the world, material things. At least that’s the way the commercial presented them if I’m not wrong.

What I’m trying to say in my tongue-tied way is think about what you love, what you spend the most time doing and arranging your life around. If it’s not the Divine Creator, than be careful, you may be worshiping idols. It is a useless, pointless way of life. How smart you are, what you have accomplished, how many books you’ve written, awards won, kudos showered upon you, how well you apply your talents – none of that means a thing if they become your idol. As a modern people, we have forgotten that. Information bombards us from every direction (no wonder our kids are ADD) and our thoughts are removed from what should be first and foremost.

Trust me, I am the last person who should be holier-than-thou. I can be judgmental, bad tempered, self-righteous, etc., etc., etc. I enjoy the pleasures of this world too. I love to write, create art, cater to the grandchildren every time I get a chance. Sometimes the things of this world consume me. Not one of us is perfect. I need to face up to what I am spending most of my time doing and weigh that in with how much time I spend doing His will. Damn little, I suspect.

Today I learned this: It’s not what I do that disappoints God. It’s what I dont do. If I don’t make time for Him and spend all my time doing worldly things, what good am I? It seemed to me that the do-gooders on the Aleve commercial had a peace about them. I’ve met people like that before and it seems they all do. In fact, I have a brother who is a do-gooder and he has that same peace about him. All of those people don’t seem like they would worry about a bad book review in the big pile of good ones, or waiting in line to purchase the latest technological toy, or the must-have new boots, dress, career. What matters is doing what does put a smile on God’s face. That is putting the worship and praise where it belongs. It can be as simple as loving one another.

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And don’t forget to pray for peace.

NaBloPoMo #6


When I took on this challenge to post to my blog every day for 30 days, I thought I would never come up with enough interesting matter to fill the month.

I was right.

So I am going to tell you about my plan to do everything on my Bucket List. The problem is that as I cross off one thing, two things take it’s place! Isn’t that the way it always is?

Anyway, for many years I have wanted to learn how to play the piano. I dreamed of it. I longed for it. It never crossed my mind that I actually would be able to do it. And yet, thanks to the generosity of my husband and a very good friend, a beautiful Baldwin piano sits in my living room. This is more than learning how to play. It’s more than satisfying my quest to do ‘things’ before I die. What it really is about is confidence, self esteem, and overcoming many issues. Not to dwell on the past or share a woe-is-me sob story that may or may not be as real as remembered, but I grew up with zero self esteem. Whether it was because of my family environment, my extreme shyness, or the inner dialog in my head, I was always the one to hang back and not join in or abandon my fears to reach for the stars.

Whatever.

When I started my bucket list many years after I grew up, I added things to it that I truly wanted to do at some point, but deep inside never had the confidence to start. I had to challenge myself. I had to overcome a lot of obstacles like fibromyalgia, clinical depression, and a huge tendency to rely on stinkin’ thinkin’. But I was determined that I would do something on my list, anything just to prove to myself that I could. What followed was just weird. As I began to finish and cross off bucket list tasks, I started feeling different. It didn’t happen overnight and it began with #1 on the list. My heart’s desire was to write a book. It took me three years to do it but I did. It’s not perfect, probably could still use some work, and it is self-published, but I love it. Oh not because, to my surprise, it has been received well, but because it gave me the shot in the ass I needed to begin nurturing a little I-can-do-it attitude.

This brings me to another bucket list item, my piano. I bought a piano instructional manual for adult beginners, and I opened the first page. It looked simple enough. Right hand black keys, left hand black keys. Moving on to the white keys one hand at a time. Then both hands, first one than the other playing a tune from childhood memory simple enough for an adult beginner to bravely put fingers (and heart) in position to learn. It’s only taken a few weeks to learn the Alphabet Waltz, Joy to the World, Ode to Joy, and The River Is Wide. I haven’t learned about chords, major, minor whatevers, and timing, But I am having so much fun. And like writing a book, I am going to keep plugging at it until I am satisfied that I’ve learned all I can. I have visions of playing along with a Yanni cd someday. LOL! A girl can dream can’t she? After all isn’t that what it’s all about – reaching for your dreams? Besides, if I have learned anything on this journey, I have learned this: You never stop learning, that is, if you don’t want to. I don’t want to stop learning. I feel like I was a late bloomer and now is the time to catch up.

a dream come true

a dream come true

What would you love to do/learn now at this point in your life? Believe in yourself and do it. God will smile with you.

By the way, don’t forget to pray for peace. Please.

On the Bead Board – NaBloPoMo #5


I’ve been inspired to make a few new rosaries and a bracelet or two. Normally I would put them in my etsy shop but this time I am going to save them to display in a friend’s new boutique. I will blog about her after her grand opening. If you see something you would like feel free to contact me. If you have a suggestion, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I’m always open to feedback.

These are a few of my infant rosaries. I made them with t-tiny 4mm beads. Perfect for a baby shower gift or baptism gift.

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These are a couple of full size rosaries. The first one is made out of blue dyed fresh water pearls, each one hand wire-wrapped using non-tarnish silver plated wire. The following is a Divine Mercy rosary. The Ave beads are clear, multi-faceted glass beads with red Pater beads. Together, they symbolize the blood and water flowing from Jesus’ side. The center connector and crucifix have the Divine Mercy emblems on them.

Blue dyed Fresh Water Pearl

Blue dyed Fresh Water Pearl

Drop of His Blood

Drop of His Blood

Divine Mercy Rosary

Divine Mercy Rosary

This single decade rosary bracelet is strung on strong jeweler’s wire. The beads are a cream color with gold crackle detail. The findings are bronze color.

Rosary Bracelet

Rosary Bracelet

Let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you!

Book Review – Save Us A Seat Fletcher McHale NaBloPoMo #4


save us a seat

We had a busy weekend as you can see by my previous post. Not only did we do the bike run to Monroe, but I had the pleasure of meeting Fletcher McHale at her book signing at Tincy’s on the Corner in Ville Platte, La. If you haven’t heard of Fletcher yet, don’t worry, you will. She is a woman with a dynamite personality bigger than life and describes herself as a “regular girl living in the middle of a cow pasture”. Nobody has to guess how she feels about anything; she is an open book, pardon the pun. It would be hard not to see her blue eyes sparkle with laughter, or flash with anger. Save Us A Seat is her debut novel although it certainly doesn’t read like it was produced by a first-timer.

Fletcher McHale

Fletcher McHale

Oh. My. Gosh. I love this book! Look, folks, I had tears dripping from my chin onto the pages of more than one chapter. No, it isn’t a hopelessly sappy book. How can I describe it? Real life. Crazy. Funny. Emotional. Sad. Supremely happy. Enlightening. And again, funny. The story revolves around three women, best friends for life, living in the small community of Bon Dieu Falls, Louisiana. As with most tiny communities, everybody knows everybody else’s business and nothing is off limits for discussion. Carrigan, Ella Rae, and Laine know that fact all too well. They have managed to keep their friendship solid and thriving despite all the drama that small town living brings. Then restlessness creeps in, tragedy hits hard, and life as they know it will never be the same. Written in first person, Fletcher McHale has woven together a saucy story that is captivating and wrings every ounce of every emotion from the reader. The three main characters are delightfully funny with a shot of smart-ass thrown in and a bond with each other that lasts through thick and thin, right or wrong.

I highly recommend this book. Do ya’ll remember the commercial on TV that shows a little girl telling an interviewer “We want more, we want more”? Picture me on my knees saying the same thing to Fletcher McHale. Save Us A Seat is available through online bookstores everywhere.

On another note, I want to remind you to pray for peace. I talk to God pretty regular and I know He is listening. It’s the human race – we’re a mess. How we haven’t completely obliterated the earth of mankind, I’ll never know.