Obviously it has been a looong time since I last posted.  I guess getting over brain surgery took a bit longer than I anticipated.  It wasn’t painful, believe it or not.  In fact, it was the least painful surgery I have ever had, and I’ve had a bunch.  I’ve been known to say I don’t have many working parts left, but I was joking.  I’m not joking about not having much pain.  Who knew that a person could have 1/3 of her head shaved, an incision from middle forehead to ear, skull removed, brain pushed to the side, tumor excised, plate attached with titanium screws, scalp stapled together with what felt like a million staples, and it wasn’t that painful?   The physical part wasn’t as bad as I imagined it would be.  Oh sure it was hard moving my head for a little while.  I felt like I had a pumpkin on my shoulders.  I couldn’t sleep.  I was uncomfortable, but no, I thought it would be excruciating.  And it wasn’t.  The hard part was waking up knowing that I didn’t not see Jesus or my mama.  I secretly  thought I would and was so disappointed that I didn’t.  Bitterly disappointed.  Once the healing began, I pretty much got over it.  By the way, the tumor was benign, no further treatment is necessary, just yearly check ups for five years.  Honestly, the whole thing was a bit scary.  Apparently I was rather hypovolemic as I woke up with more IVs than I had ever had at one time.  I think about five if I remember correctly.  And then there was the little matter of my heart rate.  It dropped, and when I say it dropped, I’m talking low.   One night my male nurse woke me up saying “Miss Nancy, your heart rate is in the 30s and I need to stimulate you”, to which I replied “couldn’t you just shake me instead?”.  Haha, I am so bad!  We laughed and my heart rate went up.  Problem solved.

In truth, I am amazed at how easy the whole thing was.  Getting used to life post surgery is another story.  I cannot explain what is different, only that it is.  I might be a little slower.  The memory process might be an issue.  Maybe I see more color.  That is kind of iffy.  One thing I know for sure is that our Lord God is a good God and His mercies endure forever!  I could go on a lengthy litany of His goodness and only scratch the surface.  How else can I claim healing but for His goodness?

I’m switching the focus to the fun part of the whole situation.  Yes, indeed, there was a fun part!  Let me start by saying how blessed I am with good friends.  Not just good friends, but great friends, the best friends.  Friends who stand by me when the going gets tough.  It was tough for my husband to see me go through this.  But he was held up by angels; my prayer group and several other great friends who traveled 3 1/2 hours and more to be with us.  And surgery was in NEW ORLEANS, people!  New Orleans!  Can I tell you the night before surgery was fun?!  We managed to get in a good tour of the French Market and sampled the cuisine that made New Orleans famous.  Yes, there were beignets.  Lots of beignets.  If you don’t know (egads!), beignets are a puffy, powdered sugar coated pastry known far and wide as THE one thing you should not miss in New Orleans.  And don’t forget the cuppa strong café au lait on the side.  Heaven on earth, I tell ‘ya.  Yes, indeed.  There are so many wonderful things about that fabulous city and I certainly wanted to do/eat/see all of them before I had surgery.  Can you imagine?   Oh forget about Bourbon Street.  Been there, done that, don’t want to go back.   I’m too old.  It’s not fun anymore.  Now that I know Who my God is, I have no desire to dip my toes in that sorry lake of fire!

night before surgery Yes, we had a big meal but I think I was the only one who had beer.  Wouldn’t you?  I am the nut on the far end of the table.  Let me tell you something; this group can laugh!

Progressing on….  I’d say I am healing well.  It has been 8 months.  The neurosurgeon told us that it would take 9 to 12 months to recover completely; to even start feeling like my old self.  I’m not so sure about that but I will trust him even though he did laugh at me when I asked him to be sure to remove some of the bad memories wreaking havoc in my brain, and replace them with a few golden nuggets of wisdom.   He must not have realized that I was serious, lol.  Oddly enough, the good doctor must have done something different because the memories are still there but somehow they aren’t as important anymore.

What is important?  The fact that I woke up when the surgery was done, eyesight intact, moving all extremities, still utilizing brain function (that part is debatable).  And I love.  I love very much.  Besides that, I am acutely aware of what I want to do more of.  I want to become a better person.  I want to praise God with every breath.  I want to open my eyes and look around and light a fire under my butt if that is what it takes to do what God wants me to do.  There are a lot of people in this world who have needs.   Maybe you and I can’t touch every one, but our prayers can.

How about you give that a try?  Pray for our country.  Shoot, pray for our world.  Pray for peace.  Please.  Oh, and love one another!  To love someone is a gift from God.  Don’t waste it.

Feel free to leave a comment.  I would love it if you would!

 

Just as I am


blessed are we

I had to laugh the other day when I read a post from an author I follow on fb. She said even though it was the middle of the afternoon, she was kicked back in her pajamas with a glass of wine, her manuscript, and a bowl of popcorn. Her hair was a mess, she hadn’t brushed her teeth yet, the house needed to be straightened up. And she was writing a steamy, sexy episode in her currant WIP (work-in-progress). We’re talking about a big time author, ya’ll. One with several novels under her byline.

I can relate. Except for the steamy, sexy part. I can’t say my experience in writing has led me there, but I’m not judging those who do. I just relate to the part about sitting in pajamas with a glass of wine for an afternoon of writing. If I had a glass of wine, I would be drinking it now. Sitting in my pajamas? Naw, I can’t because there is an old man who lives across the road who is liable to come a-visiting at any given moment. He’s funny that way. He and my man sit on the back porch and shoot the breeze quite often and for as long as a good pot of coffee lasts. I’m glad my husband has friends who are like that, especially since we live way out in the boon-docks.

I love my life here in the country. I have everything that makes me happy along with a deep and abiding appreciation for the One who led me here. I’ve had my share of disappointments and problems, and no doubt will have more. That’s life. But considering where I was and where I am… Every once in a while I have to say “You’re scarin’ me now, Lord!” because of all of the unexpected and wonderful blessings He drops in my lap. And for what? What did I do to deserve anything?

The simple answer is that I did nothing to deserve any blessing. They are His gifts. A Father’s gifts to His child. Ain’t it grand!

The reason I mention it is because last Sunday my husband and I went to church in Alexandria, some 45 or 50 miles from our home. We love to go to Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church when we can. I know the Spirit is the same everywhere but something is different for us there. The atmosphere feels holy and alive. When we settle in to pray at Mass, we feel thrust into the life of the Spirit.

And the music ain’t too shabby either. Just before the Mass is over, a period of meditation is offered and music is a big part of that. Last Sunday, the music director sang a song that gave me goose-bumps and made my husband wipe tears from his eyes. I don’t know the name of it, but I do know the message: Oh, how he loves us. Those words became real like they were coming straight from His lips. He loves us! He really does rejoice over us!

I can’t speak for everyone there, but I needed to hear those words precisely at that moment. Blessed be the Lord!

This afternoon, I am kicked back in the recliner, fully dressed, no glass of wine or popcorn (although that does sound good) and I’m trying to add meaningful words to my own WIP. Failing that, I let my mind wander and reminisce about where I am in life, how I got here, why, and where I’m going. Good questions, huh? Well….wherever He leads me, just as I am. I will need His guidance because on my own, I’m a pretty awful example, but with Him, I am awesome. Glad I thought of that. Now maybe I can get some writing done.

Blessings to ya’ll! Don’t forget to pray for peace.

It’s not what you think


DSCF6640

This picture reminds me of what my friend told me she over heard when she was at physical therapy the other day. All the women in the group were talking about how cumbersome having big boobs was. It seems the therapist had an old (I’m talkin’ 80’s, folks) lady on their table. She was struggling to turn over and said loud enough for every one in the room to hear
“Yeah, I used to ask for a size 40 D bra, now I have to ask for a 40 long!”

ANYWAY ~
My friend Sylvia woke me up this morning at 7:30. I didn’t answer the phone, but listened to the message she left on the answering machine. She said she was trying to be faithful to her commitment to go to water aerobics on Wednesdays and wanted to know if I was going. At one time Sylvia and I said water aerobics was something we were going to do together. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. One week I had to miss, one week she had to miss, etc. Once, I did go by myself but it wasn’t as much fun without Sylvia. I am, believe it or not, shy. Add that to a slightly different culture of people at the Wellness Center in that town (When you live waaay in the country, you really have to travel to go anywhere). I was downright uncomfortable.
Back to the phone call…I laid in bed for a minute trying to think of a way to let her know I didn’t want to go but then her words began to resonate in my heart. “Trying to be faithful to her commitment.” Good grief. After I thought about it, I HAD to go. You know, it’s not easy getting into an exercise routine. I’ve tried all kinds of different programs from tapes to gyms. I have quite a collection of tapes and dvds – Richard Simmons (all those wonderful old songs!), Leslie Sansone (who knew I had so many miles I could walk in my little bitty house?), belly dancing… *screech*…. Belly dancing? Yes, I did belly dancing for a while. Me, over weight, late 50’s, yes, I belly danced. I didn’t say it was pretty. There was a lot I couldn’t do because of certain disabilities I have but I did enjoy it. I’d still be doing it if it wasn’t 40 miles away and 40 dollars a month. I’m on a fixed income. Need I say more?
Back to water aerobics…I called my friend back and said I would meet her in an hour. I’m glad I did except for the fact that now I feel like a limp dish rag but that’s ok. It’s all good. The class was milder than some I have attended before which suited me just fine. You know how sometimes every bone in your body hurts and that’s before you get out of bed? That’s how I felt this morning, so movement in and out of the water was hard. Once I got going, it wasn’t too bad. But I digress. Again, the class was good and I’m glad I went with Sylvia. I don’t know, maybe I have a weird sense of humor or something but when I looked out at all the women exercising in the water, I had to fight off an attack of the giggles. Some ladies were big, some little, some gray, some not – all, myself included, had big boobs bobbing in the water like twin floaties. I hate to think what would have happened to me if I would have shared that observation!

On to another topic, semi-related:

The other day I happened to see Mika Brezenzinski on the NBC Today Show. The woman has an amazing career in journalism and tv. Wow, what a beautiful person! I imagine I was just as stunned as anyone else to hear that she has eating disorders. She’s gorgeous. And she looks like the picture of health. Who knew that she struggled so much with food? She and her best friend, who was fat, wrote a book about their journey fighting to overcome what held them down the most. I ordered the book (http://www.amazon.com/Obsessed-Americas-Food-Addiction—Own/dp/1602861765/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369255570&sr=8-1&keywords=obsessed+mika+brzezinski) right away and am about half-way through it. It really hits home and I highly recommend it for anyone who struggles with weighty issues. You read that right, weighty issues. Our problems with food aren’t the result of too many pounds. Our problems with food develop from other issues. You knew that, didn’t you? I did, but do you think I ever took the time to dissect what manifested my personal addiction to certain foods? Homework alert. Hard homework, the kind that makes your brain hurt. If you want to do this, you’d better be ready to open yourself up to some truths that might startle you. For example, rewarding yourself with food. Where does that come from? I know I reward myself often when I have done something that deserves it like finishing a project, perhaps a successful book signing, or after having a disagreement with my husband or even – um – water aerobics. Ha! (I want chocolate donuts, big, creamy chocolate filled donuts.)

Mika Brzezinski

And speaking of successful book signings~
How can there be an unsuccessful book signing? I am proud to say I had my 2nd book signing at a place called LeVillage, a B&B in Eunice, Louisiana owned and operated by Felicia Wiggins. What an awesome place! In addition to two big ol’ guest houses, the old Chappelle Grocery Store sits on the property. That building was moved to its current location many years ago from a tiny community called Turkey Creek, about 20 miles up the road. Rustic and charming, it was the perfect site for the book signing/wine&cheese tasting/Market Preview. There were several vendors there with homemade jellies, pies, cakes, quilts, and antiques! It was a beautiful setting and I really enjoyed it. Below the link to LeVillage, see the pic taken that night of my buds and me . I’m the one on the far right. What a hoot!

http://levillagehouse.com/

DSCF6636

I wrote a post in this blog in Oct, 2011 that included info about LeVillage. Here is a link to that one:

https://nantubre.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/welcome-to-my-world/

Keep praying for peace, ya’ll.
love,

Nan

I SURVIVED MY FIRST BOOK SIGNING ~ AND IT WAS FUN!


a href=”https://nantubre.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/dscf6632.jpg”>DSCF6632

Big thanks to Lisa Holt at Somethin’ Snazzy! http://www.somethin’snazzy.com

Call it a humbling experience, if you will.

First of all, I spent the whole day like a driven mad woman ping-ponging from pillar to post. I had imagined terrors haunting me; terrors that the only people who would come to my book signing would be the ones who didn’t like it, terrors that I would try to speak only to tangle my tongue in a knot, terrors that I would forget to put my pants on before leaving the house. Yeah, I had real concerns!

But, none of that happened! It was amazing. It was magical. It was a surprise.

And I loved it!

“First I want to thank the academy. Just to be nominated is such an honor….” LOL!

Seriously, I was a nervous wreck until I saw some wonderful people coming through the door. Friends! Which is really awesome when you consider that Secrets of the Old Ladies’ Club is all about friends. I consider myself an authority on the subject and what it takes to be one. I’ve had a lot of experience, you see, over the years. I’ve been both a good and a bad friend. And I have been the recipient of good and bad friends. I’ve learned that it takes a lot of patience and an incredible amount of love to cultivate a sustaining friendship and I believe the most important fact about true friendship happens to be that when you have one, you have everything. In fact, God says the same. Remember the Golden Rule? Love One Another. Real friends have a connection to each other that is kind of like an umbilical cord. It’s a soft, pliable, cord that stretches from the absolute core of one being to another. It can be pulled, pushed, kinked, twisted and torn. It is filled with a remarkable substance that I refer to as self-mending love. If you have such a connection with someone, chances are that, even if you don’t see each other for ten years, the memory of your friendship survives and is resurrected each and every time you meet. If, during the lifetime of a friendship, the cord is ever torn, it can more likely than not, be resuscitated by the very means of which it is made; the substance within.

I have been blessed. You could say I’ve got friends in high places. These last few years I have managed to grow in ways I never thought possible and do something I have only dreamed I could do. It reminds me of a time when I heard a woman tell her mom that it is a wonderful thing when you can make your own dreams come true. (I thank God – she’s my bff) Now I know what she means. I doubt I could have done it without the support and love I have received from my friends. I hope and pray that they know how much I love them and that they mean the world to me.

Got another book signing taking place Friday, May 10th at 6p.m. at another awesome place:

levillage book signing<

My book can be ordered from
http://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Old-Ladies-Club-Tubre/dp/1475975120/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368053756&sr=8-1&keywords=secrets+of+the+old+ladies+club
and
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-of-the-old-ladies-club-nan-tubre/1114583438?ean=9781475975147

and many other online booksellers around the world.

Totally and Completely Self-Centered Post


Having had such vast and varied life experiences, I can say without a doubt that there are some things a woman will fight you over. And you all know what I’m talkin’ about.
First, and foremost, would be her kids. Never, under any circumstances, say something less than flattering about a woman’s kids. And don’t insinuate anything either. So what if her kid is the school’s biggest bully? Don’t tell her that. Even if you catch her sweet child dropping a garden snake in your back yard pool, which by the way, happens to be full of assorted kids of all ages and sizes. Or if your bff’s precious little girl has sticky fingers, you notice, at the store on the corner. In that case you can tell the momma, but for heaven’s sake, be careful how you say it; ie; “But she was so hungry for that big ol’ chocolate candy bar!” Yes, in a case where the law might be broken, there is a certain – shall we say – naughty child etiquette. Of course, your child would never do anything wrong. I know, right?

Ok, Second: Watch what you say about her man. It’s ok to listen to her complain on and on (and on) about how lazy he is, that he can’t take out the trash, help with the mopping, or fold his own dang socks, but under NO circumstances should you ever add your two cents worth. If you make this mortal mistake, you will see with amazing clarity, how quickly those freshly manicured red fingernails can grow two inches. It’s only a matter of seconds. Then you’ll notice how distorted her smile is when she asks in a sickeningly sweet voice, “What did you say?” She won’t even have to drop an eyelash as she prepares her basic plan of attack which, thankfully, will be mostly verbal. Her significant other may not be perfect, but, by golly, he’s hers. You can’t say he’s the bad guy until the ink is dry on their divorce papers. And only then if she left him because of some major provocation. And please, be certain to keep your mouth shut if she complains about her sex life. That is a case where misery does not love company. It doesn’t matter who does or doesn’t want it. Keep your mouth shut. Your feelings could get hurt. You could get hurt. Take my advice; always, always listen, support, and take sides, preferably hers, if you value your friendship, life, etc.

Third: Her hair. People, don’t you know you should always compliment a woman on her hair? Chances are if you aren’t close friends or family, you won’t even notice any changes at all. It doesn’t matter. A woman’s crowning glory is her hair. Don’t believe me? Look it up in the Bible. It’s there in black and white. Women are vain about their hair, and well they should be. Even if their hair is very thin -ahem- like mine, it is a good idea to say something nice about it. Every little strand is beautiful. Seriously. A woman wears her hair. She wears it, you know what I mean? Even a woman with no hair ‘wears’ it. It’s a sign of her self-confidence, her attitude, her very person-hood. Trust me, whatever is on her head speaks volumes of what she is going through in life. For example, if you come across a woman who’s hair is a mess, and by that I’m referring to maybe a new hairstyle that she got on the spur of the moment when she just happened to pass Fantastic Sams and she was maybe a little depressed and thought she needed a lift because she was feeling old and dowdy so she got this wild hair idea, then you know what I mean. DON’T be the husband who tells her that her new style makes her look four years younger when her friend told her she looks ten years, no- fifteen years, younger. And for heaven’s sake, please don’t tell her you wish she would get rid of the gray. It’s not right, I’m telling you. It’s just not right! Smile at her like you’ve never seen her looking so lovely. And do feel free to wink.

In the interest of fairness, I am compelled to say that I really do think that honesty is the best policy when dealing with women. I know because I am one. But understand, too, that there is a way to say things and a way not to say things. And I also know that my opinion is not every woman’s gospel, although I can’t imagine why not. I do know that:
1) Many years ago, my ex told me he wouldn’t mess with me because he knew I would fight like a mama lion for my kids. Smart man.
2) Even I have been loyal to scoundrels until the last T was crossed. I don’t know why or what kind of stupid I tripped over in those days. Disclaimer: NOT my ex-husband, he, the father of my children, turned out to be a pretty decent guy. At the risk of biting my own tongue off, I may have been a tad too immature back them. What can I say, it was 30 years ago. I think.
3) So. What. I used to be a long hair girl, now I’m a short hair girl. I didn’t plan it. It happened. Live with it. And the gray hair too!