Saturday, December 7, 2013

Feeling Under the Weather

The Bumper has been feeling under the weather for the last few days and I am getting a new appreciation for the all night vigil. When I was a new mom and the Bumper was very small I spent a lot of sleepless nights with her. She was what is known as a happy spit-er, although at the time I was not convinced there was anything happy about it. These days she sleeps nearly all the way through the night, waking occasionally for some comfort nursing or cup of water, until she gets sick.
I have gotten used to getting a good nights sleep, being woken at 2am by vomiting was quite a shock to both our systems. The big difference is that this time around I was prepared. I know enough now to put everything I can on hold and sleep when she sleeps. Although I certainly did not mind holding her head and wiping her mouth after each round, I did mind that she could not keep still. The Bumper insisted on getting up and wandering around, which made for some very messy clean up!

Because she  did not get any better and was unable to keep anything, liquid or solid, down, I took her to the emergency room at our local hospital. Fortunately the Bumper was not severely dehydrated and the hospital just gave us some medicine and sent us on our way. That night, for the first time in over a week we slept peacefully.The peace did not last, as Nana and I both came down with the same virus. YUCK! Three people sick at one time was definitely not fun. I can laugh now, but at the time all three us us taking turns running to the bathroom did not inspire humor!

Fast forward to December 6th. I was the Bumper's birthday and time for her well child check up. Well this pleased mama is happy to announce that my three year old kiddo is doing fine. She was healthy, well coordinated, and talked the doctors ear off. I could not be happier! After the events of the last month, we needed some good news.



Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mourning and Peace

After three weeks of sleepless, harrowing nights, when every sound made me start and reach for the phone, the call finally came. At 9:52pm EST on November 25, 2013 I got the call from the hospital telling me the Bumper's dad had passed away. I knew it was coming, and still I was not prepared. In spite of myself I expected him to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat and pull through. I am still expecting to get a phone call or a text message from him telling me that somehow it was all a mistake. I keep pinching myself to be sure this isn't some kind of deranged nightmare. It is all too real. Yet it is quite surreal, and I am told the way I am feeling is quite normal. I know the people who are telling me this mean to be reassuring, I do not feel reassured. I feel sad, angry, relieved, cold, empty and hurt all at once.

The funeral was Monday December 2, 2013. I did not realize, until it happened to me, how hollow the words people say at funerals seem. I must admit I was in shock then, and the shock has not worn off. Underneath is a vault of tears I have yet to open. I know right now I need to  be strong, for the Bumper, and to get through the legal aftermath. My strength comes from the peace I gained on Sunday November 24, 2013. Let me explain.

On Friday November 22, 2013, the hospital called me and said if I wanted to visit with Matt that the coming weekend would be a good time. This announcement filled me with a quaking dread, I wasn't sure I wanted to see him sick, but the hospital kept saying they were trying everything they could and he was still not responding. Saturday proved to be impossible, so I called the hospital on Sunday morning to check to see if he had improved; he had not, in fact he had gotten worse. The Bumper's dad, the hospital told me, was going into liver failure and his kidneys and pancreas were not far behind. The settled it, off we went. Nana, the Bumper, and I drove the six hours to the hospital where the Bumper's dad was being treated.
I had been warned about what to expect when I got to the Medical Intensive Care Unit. I had been told he could not speak, and was in and out of consciousness. On the drive down I wrote him a letter of all the things I wanted to say to him: how I felt about the verbal abuse, the separation, the custody agreement, his illness, everything. I had been warned. I thought I was prepared. I wasn't

The Bumper's dad lay in a bed swollen and jaundiced -- he was the color of a dirty yellow tennis ball, where the whites of his eyes should have been were filled in with blood, and he could do barely more than moan. There was however light in his eyes, his mind was still there, trapped in a body that was slowly failing, I could see his pain and distress I immediately went to him and grasped one of his hands with mine, and placed my other hand on his chest where I could feel his rapid heartbeat. All I had written, except the last two lines, seemed pointless. I knew what I had to say and I said it.

"I forgive you," I said, "I forgive you for the past eighteen month and for everything that led to our separation."

The Bumper's dad closed his eyes, and sighed, his heartbeat slowed and when he reopened his eyes there was a calm and peace that was not there before. Not willing to simply leave it at that I asked him to forgive me if I had in anyway harmed him. The Bumper's did lightly squeezed my hand and I took that for absolution. Peace settled upon the both of us and we were at ease with one another again,
For the next three hours we stayed with our hands together. We reminisced as best we could about the good times we had shared,. I sang him all of his favorite hymns and a few of our favourite songs. A news story came on about the town where we got engaged and the Bumper's dad shook his body as best he could to point it out to me. I am also confident he made his peace with God because he allowed the hospital chaplain to pray with us and when I asked if he wanted a priest to come and give him the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, he gave me a thumb up. I sat with him until the anaesthesiologist came to begin the last treatment the hospital was going to try. Before I left the room I leaned over and one last time told him I had forgiven him, whispered 'I love you' and reminded him of God's love for him. I refused to say good bye instead I said:

"Fare the well, be at peace and if you need to go, rest assured that I will do my best to let the Bumper know how much her dad loved her."

We did not get back home until two in the morning on Monday. At 7:00pm the hospital called and a teleconference was held with the rest of the family (I was unable to go back to the hospital because of the distance), The treatment they had tried the night before was not working, and the hospital had run out of things to try except to make him comfortable. We agreed to let nature take its course and later that night I got the final call.

I will always be grateful that God gave me the chance to reconcile with the Bumper's dad. I am glad I took the chance when it was offered. I can now look my daughter in the eye and share the good things about him without bitterness or feeling false. I cam mourn with out guilt. I take comfort in the look of peace the Bumper's dad had on his face when I left him that night. The tears will come, but for now Peace sustains me.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Autumn Splendor

I love it when the air changes from warm to cool for fall. I love the crisp hint of winter in the air and I am a complete sucker for the changing leaves. I adore the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows this region produces. This year has not yet been good for fall colors. It has been too dry and hot or too wet or too something. So I am going to post a few pictures from last year.
The Bumper has had a nasty cold for the last several days and  much as I enjoy snuggling by the fire with her I am anxious to have her well.
One of the highlights of this Autumn has been watching the Bumper eagerly call out the colors on the trees. She has also been fascinated by the squirrels hiding their acorns. Whenever we go walking in the woods, the Bumper insists we walk quietly so as not to scare the squirrels and make them forget where they have put their nuts.
It has been so much fun experiencing this season with a small child, her pure joy lifts my spirits.
Ok this is a bit of a cheat, these are our mum from this year.
I just love how cozy the house look snuggled into the foot hills
The soft warm colors are so pretty
This fireball stood out
More mellow trees that make me want to curl up with some tea.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Faith, Trust and Carrying On

Warning: If you are expecting a happy carefree post about homemaking, crafts, or Christian living turn back now.

I am not in a happy place right now. I am in a faith filled place, I am in a grateful place, but it is not a happy place. It is more like an angry, grief stricken, shock-y, this is not really happening to me place.
I debated about blogging this, but I know I am not the only person in this situation and sometimes writing out my feelings helps me sort through them.

On Friday, November 8, 2013 at 4:00 in the morning I got one those calls. The ones that only come in the middle of the night or early morning and come with terrible news. A hospital called  asking for my  permission to treat the Bumper's dad because he had ingested Tylenol, aspirin, and rat poison. My first thought was why would anyone over the age of three mistakenly eat rat poison
then came the realization. The Bumper's dad had tried to commit suicide.
He is now in the hospital's ICU. He has not regained consciousness, he is not responding to external pain stimuli, he is on a respirator, I have been told there is some brain activity.  The doctors have thus far been unwilling, or unable to give me a prognosis-- they do not know if  he will recover or when. It could take up to thirty days for the poison to leave his body. Thirty days of uncertainty. Thirty days for me to deal with my pain, anger and grief.

Even with everything that had passed between us, with the verbal abuse, I  was still cognizant that this was someone I had once loved enough to marry and have a child with. So I feel betrayed--again.
It hurts to know that he was in so much pain that he thought dying was better than living. Then I get angry, because he kept telling me how much he loved his daughter and all I can think is : Well if you loved her so much, why did you do this to yourself? What about the Bumper? What do I tell her? Best case scenario is he recovers fully and this incident never gets mentioned.  Other options include having to explain to her why he chose to end his life, or why he is so incapacitated that he can not be a father to her. For there are things worse than death.

For example as the legal spouse I have medical power of attorney by default, so I may be called upon to make end of life decisions for someone who should still be in his prime. At the risk of sounding completely selfish: I am so not prepared for this. I do not understand this. Someone said to me recently, after I had explained the situation that many people in my position might have committed suicide themselves or at the very least dived headfirst into a bottle. Neither is an option for me.
Firstly I believe my life is a gift from God and I do not have the right to take it and secondly I am the Bumper's mother. I love her and she needs me. How could I abandon her? As to diving into the bottle-- I will have five years sobriety this November and I am not going to lose that. Anyway it would not do any good, because I certainly would not be able to take care of the Bumper in a drunken stupor and hangovers are a pain.

 So what am I doing? How have I gotten through the last few days without going completely insane?
I have relied on God. I have prayed. I have put my trust in the Lord. It has not been easy. I have read the Bible and called friends to have them pray with me. It helps, but only so much because I am still very human. I get up, I make breakfast, I go through our daily routine. I give and accept hugs from the Bumper. I smile with her as she points out with childish delight the trees arrayed on scarlet and gold. I laugh when a much anticipated rain shower does not produce the lovely splashing puddles she so wanted to jump in.

In the midst of sorrow life still goes on. I am praying for those in the Philippines affected by the Typhoon and grateful my friends are safe. I am trying to look beyond what is going on in my life and reach out to others. I am simply carrying on.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Peace Corps has nothing on Motherhood

The slide
The motto of the U.S. Peace Corps is "The toughest job you'll ever love," and until I become a mother I thought they were right.  They are wrong. Being a mother (or father) is the toughest job and I love it.  I don't always like it, but I always love the Bumper. Yesterday was one of those days when I did not like being a mom very much and it was one of those days that nothing could have prepared me for.

The Swing
On Tuesday the Bumper and I  spend a fabulous day together. In the morning she colored with her crayons, and played with her play-dough while I did the house work. In the afternoon we went to the local zoo and park, where she spent a good twenty minutes watching the squirrels find and bury acorns before heading to the swings, slide and sand box. She even left with out a fuss. I was thrilled, I was ecstatic, I was duped.
The sandbox

A view of the river that runs through the zoo
I should have known it was too good to last. My first clue ought to have been when her teacher at nursery school gave her a sticker for being a good listener. I felt so tickled I decided to take her to the school's playground. I reminded her to "listen to mommy" and off we went. All went well until it was time to go home. Then my cherubic toddler threw her biggest tantrum to date. She flung herself down to the ground, howled, cried, screamed, threw sand and refused to move. I tried being firm, I really did. I told her in a no nonsense tone that the tantrum would not get her what she wanted so she might as well get up off the ground and come with me. She didn't budge. In the end I had to drag her out, while twenty or so other parents watched. It was not pretty. The Bumper did that whole go completely limp while still squirming thing that little kids are so very good at and I literally dragged her to the car where she refused to get in. I had to explain to her the only way she could go home and talk to Daddy on the computer was to actually sit down in her car seat. She finally did and a few minutes later while happily munching her afternoon snack the Bumper announces "I'm sorry I cried Mom, I just wanted to stay and play. I'm sorry. I love you Mom"
Sigh. I am putty. "I love you too Bumper."
Parenthood is not for the weak.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nesting Instinct - Well kind of


Snicker doodles
We have entered the time of year here on the East Coast of the or rather Mid-Atlantic or the United States, when the weather starts to cool down and the crock pots start to heat up. It is time to, or nearly, to break out the sweater and head out into the woods. It is time to put away the swimsuits, much to the Bumper's dismay, and take out the running shoes, summer gardening is being replaced by baking and crafting. I am enjoying this. I am ready to make hearty soups, stews, and chili, I am ready for apple pie. Okay I do have to wait a few more weeks for the crisp tart apples just right for pie and apple butter, but I can dream! Kale and cornbread will feature heavily this Autumn, they are two things I like to cook and the Bumper likes to eat. Of course weather or not I actually do any of this remains to be seen, but for some reason fall brings out my inner domestic goddess wanna be and that includes crafts.
Every year around this time I convince my self that I can learn to sew, knit , crochet, spin and felt with the best of them and give my self all sorts of ambitious projects to work on. This year will be different! (please insert maniacal laugh) I have given my self two goals:
 1. Sew an apron
 2. Finish the throw the Bumper's Nana wants by Christmas
I am working on a new crochet project for the Bumper's Nana, she requested I make her a Granny Square throw. Since I am addicted to making Granny Squares, I am happy to oblige. I love how relaxing crochet is. I feel so  much better when I have knocked out a couple of squares. I am not wild about her color scheme, but she likes it and that is what matters. I can't decide if I should do  two-toned squares or single color in a patchwork design.  My next step is to find a simple full coverage apron pattern. Wish me success!  I did not make the curry yesterday so I will make it today, the mushrooms did not make it to the table either, but the Bumper and I gorged ourselves on ripe tomatoes, cucumber, yogurt ( yeah I know not vegan of me but we do not have access to soy yogurt here) dill and mint. Yummy!



Monday, September 23, 2013

Meatless Monday

Ok. I cave. I give in. It is official. Autumn is here and I thought the best way to celebrate would be to try out some hearty autumnal type recipes:

For Breakfast:
Pumpkin Oatmeal
Hazelnut Coffee

For Lunch
Sautéed Mushrooms
The last of the cumbers and tomatoes

Some sort of curry or soup.

These are my good intentions anyway. I might get carried away by the glorious weather, bright blue skies, a slight chill in the air, packing up some peanut butter and jam sandwiches and spend the rest of the day at the park with the Bumper.
Yesterday the Bumper and I had some surprise visitors from out of town, who had never been to our part of the country before. What did we do? We took them to the beach of course. Our visitors got a kick out of the Bumper very fussily ordering everyone to hurry up and go when she wasn't even dressed yet! The Bumper loves to be out of doors and in weather like today's I couldn't agree more. I don't really have a favorite time of year, but I do enjoy mid-September. It is not to hot, nor too cold, it is just right!



Monday, September 16, 2013

Meatless Monday



I am totally in love with vegan baking. My favorite item so far are Snicker Doodles. Okay this does not come under the realm of health food, but as a fun way to spend a couple of hours with the Bumper it can't be beat.  Cooking is become a family activity and I could not be happier. The Bumper loves to help cut up raw cucumber, tomatoes and carrots (by this I mean eat the pieces I cut up when I have my back turned-- the last time I made carrots she ate them so fast I had to peel and cut two extra just to steam them.), she thinks mixing cake, muffins and cookies is better than playing with Play-Doh.  Having her participate makes our mealtimes go so much more smoothly because she is almost guaranteed to eat what she helped prepare. So tonight I am going to see if she will be interested in helping me make the spinach chickpeas and pasta which is my quick go to for a week night supper.



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Summer's Not Over Yet!

Blog-land is awash with all things autumnal: Pumpkin recipes, the familiar orange and brown décor, crafts, and crock pot cookery. I am so not feeling that. Where I am temperatures are still soaring into the 90's (30's C) and the ocean, only thirty minutes away, continues to beckon. I am not ready to give up Summer yet. Yes I know school has started, but I am in denial and will stay that way until first frost. Unfortunately the weather around her tends to go from very hot to very cold without much in between. Occasionally we get a few mild weather perfect fall days, but until then I am clinging to Summer with every last fiber of my being! I am now off to make banana smoothie ice-pops to beat the heat!.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Yesterday was the Bumper's first day of pre-school. I don't know who was more excited! For once I had no trouble getting her to eat her breakfast. In fact the Bumper was dressed and ready to go by 9: 45am - a record for her!  I was a little nervous, but just as I predicted she shouted : "Bye - Mom!" when I walked her to her classroom, and she did not look back. It was a bittersweet moment.
My baby isn't a baby anymore. She is two year old little girl full of spunk and personality. I cherish being a stay at home mom for the Bumper during this season of her life. Yesterday, was the beginning of the end of that season. Yes right now it is only two days a week for a couple  of hours, but in a few short years she will be in school all day. *sigh*
I spent the time meeting, in the café at the school, with the other first time parents. We exchanged our hopes and worries, and before I knew it; I was greeting and enthusiastic Bumper who proudly gave me her very first painting!
I am so very blessed to enjoy such little things!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

This and That

I am going to have to start drafting posts for this blog, so I can still post even when I am busy.
 I hope everyone had a good weekend. I have lots to share, but I am having trouble getting all my pictures posted.

Labor Day was a  wonderful weekend and a long one at that. The Bumper and I went to the beach and had a barbecue (I brought a vegan pasta salad and lots of roasted veggies! Um - nothing like roasted eggplant when you don't have time to fire up the grill) with friends. I just love living so near the ocean, although I don't get there as nearly as I would like.



Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lazy Days

The Bumper has had so much fun this past week. She has had her favorite babysitter over every single day. They have gone to the park, played with her blocks, colored, played in the back yard, chased each other around the house and generally done all the things kids should do on summer break.
I have been using this time to put out resumes and write, or at least that is what I had planned to do. Ah! planning, when will I ever learn? The Bumper's babysitter is only 14yrs old. I had forgotten what it was like being 14. I had also forgotten that 14yr old boys also need to be taken care of. Throw a bored younger brother into the mix, and it all adds up to a busy week for me, because instead of one child I had three! So in reality I wrote one short story and have almost completed one job application. The rest of the time I have been playing referee.
Yesterday we went to see the Bumper's dad. He is doing much better. He can speak reasonably clearly now, although his voice still sounds hollow and far away. The Bumper was able to play hide and seek with him. She did all the hiding and seeking, but he was able to count to ten, for her. The Bumper took delight in being strong enough to push him down the hallway in his wheelchair. These visits are a bit of a trial for me because I am waiting for the nastiness ( the form of accusations an ride comments from him) to begin again. Yet, I am glad the visits give the Bumper such pleasure.

I have decided to go back to being a vegetarian with the goal of being vegan for a while. My body feels so much better when I eat that way. Tomorrow I will be trying to come up with something healthy and delicious and vegan for a party I am going to. The Bumper's babysitter has already requested vegan snicker doodles, I wonder what else I can come up with?




Monday, August 19, 2013

I am back

Sometimes I get so busy living that I don't get a chance to blog. We came back from St. Louis and I have been busy ever since. First the Bumper, then Nana and I got sick, to get ready for Bumper's first day of pre-school , then I had I had some personal stuff to take care of and so with this that and the other I suddenly realized it had been well over a month since my last post.  Yikes! That being said over the next week I am going to play catch up.

The St. Louis Trip:

Nana and I decided it was high time the Bumper met her relatives, so we packed up the car and drove 15hrs. To visit my aunt and uncle in St. Louis. This was the first time we had ever travelled such a distance with the Bumper. All did not necessarily go well, on the trip out there. We ran into some late night fog in West Virginia and had to spent the night in the car at a rest stop. I think the only person who slept well was the Bumper, because she was in her car seat!. The next day we stopped off in Columbus OH, to visit some old friends of Nana's. The Bumper fell in love with them, and now she has a new set of surrogate grandparents.! They were so thoughtful! Ruby and her husband Gene, made sure the guest room where the Bumper and I stayed came equipped with kid-friendly storybooks for nighttime reading and they took her to a local playground so she had a change to have some fun. The next day we went to St. Louis and the Bumper met Aunt Jean and Uncle Nathan, but more importantly the Bumper met her cousin PJ. She liked him right away and he took to her as well. I will say however, that what the Bumper liked best at Aunt Jean and Uncle Nathan's was the Trampoline! She stayed on that thing for what seemed like three days straight!.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Just Tired

I am tired.
I am tired of the "Mommy wars" - seriously are there not bigger problems in the world?
I am tired of being asked when I am going back to work. Truth is I don't know - I am enjoying being at home with the Bumper and I would like to find a way to earn a living from home.
I am tired of being asked when I am going to wean the Bumper. Truth is I don't know -- We have both been through a lot in the past year and we have had a lot of trauma and drama. The last thing I want to do is upset her further by abruptly cutting her off from her only consistent form of comfort before she is ready.
I am tired of the Bumper testing me at every turn. I know she is only 2 and a half, but can't Mommy get a break?
I am tired of being asked when I am going to get a divorce. Things are really complicated right now and I don't have a ready answer.
I am tired of my Christian friends asking me when I am just going to forgive the Bumper's dad and get back together like God intended. Wow! I am so glad they have a mainline on what God is thinking and wants for me -- I sure wish I did! Oh and last time I checked marriage was a sacred covenant, an equal partnership, not an excuse for abuse.
I am tired of being the good one, taking the Bumper to visit while her dad is sick-- sometimes I feel like I want revenge for all of the meanness. Sigh -- I know vengeance is mine says the Lord.
I am tired of not having enough time to get everything done in a day -- the housework, resume posting, job searching, taking care of the Bumper, writing on my new novel, crochet and pleasure reading.
I am tired of being tired - I want an uninterrupted eight hours of sleep -- for several nights!
Sometimes I just need to vent. On the days when I feel like this I try to take some time out and pray, read the Bible or just count to ten and remind myself I can start me day over anytime I want.
I will be back to regular posting soon. I have a lot of things I want to write about, it is just a matter of writing them down.
Today I have found Psalms 39, 40 and 70 quite encouraging.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Living Simply or Simply Living

What does living simply mean? What does living plainly mean? What does homemaking mean? I have, thanks to Rhoda Jean, over at Down to Earth ( been thinking a lot about this.

When I first got married I had a certain notion of what a homemaker did, and I researched, read blogs, and came up with plans and strategies to implement my vision. When things finally seemed to be falling into place in that regard, the rest of my marriage fell apart and I found myself a refugee at my Mom's house. Well a year later I am redefining what it means for me to be a homemaker. I find myself looking at the word quite literally - to make a home.  I am in the process of doing just that. I am making a home for the Bumper and myself. I am learning the art of being and adult child living at home. I have discovered that is not so much about how well I keep the house clean, although that is important, but more about the little ways I make sure we are comfortable and content. It is about the mealtimes, the story times, the bath times and bedtimes. It is about taking the time to play with the Bumper, to teach the Bumper and to discipline the Bumper. It is about keeping the door open and creating a welcoming, loving atmosphere for family and friends. For me being a homemaker means creating a home regardless of where I live.

I will cover simple living and plain living in another post.

I am going on vacation this week. We are traveling to see Nana's family in St. Louis MO. This will be the first time the Bumper has gone on an extended car trip. I am going to try and keep posting  will on vacation, but I will see how it goes. I will be back for sure next Wednesday.



Monday, July 15, 2013

Happy Meatless Saturday-- I mean Monday!

We had our first official harvest from the garden this weekend, and it was wonderful!. We feasted on fresh tomatoes, green beans, peppers, yellow squash and eggplant. Oh Yum!, Yummy and did I say Yum?

 In addition to what we had harvested, while we were at the gym, the Bumper picked out a cumber from the basket our gym instructor's garden, I do not have and pictures of the cumber because the Bumper ate it before I could get my camera.

It was truly a family effort to get supper on the table Saturday night. The Bumper picked the vegetables, I chopped them up ( the Bumper nibbled the raw veggies as I chopped) and Nana, marinated them in a wonderfully simple olive oil and herb mixture. We were all ready to fire up the grill, but the weather did not cooperated. It rained, but we were undaunted we popped the tray in to the oven and roasted the little suckers. They were delicious, although the Bumper was not fond of the  texture of the roasted eggplant --she preferred the crisp, lightly steamed green beans. We rounded off the meal with my busy mom's go to Black-bean and mango salsa and East Indian flat bread.

Tonight promises to be more of the same except with the addition of fresh corn on the cob and watermelon. Oh I do love the summertime!



P.S. Tonight's the night! Fire up the grill! I have some eggplant that is just begging for char marks, I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Random Thoughts on Faith

I don't often write about my faith, but today that is what I feel like doing. I consider myself a Christian, yet I don't go around quoting the Bible, I don't admonish the Bumper by citing parables, I don't listen to only "Christian" music, and I don't think I have ever asked anyone if they were saved.

I do however pray. I hit my knees, most days, in the morning and in the evening. Sometimes, the only prayer I utter is in the shower and goes something like: "God please just help me get through the day." Other times the only thing I can mange is a quick thank you just before I tumble into bed.

For me being a Christian is about trying, to the best of my ability, to live the Gospel with my life, to follow Christ and to do what the Lord asks of me.

I like what Thomas Merton has to say about this.

I feel like this prayer is very appropriate for what I am going through with the Bumper's Dad right now. His condition is getting worse and I am at a loss.


Thomas Merton's Prayer

 of Abandonment


My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.


I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.


Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.


But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing.


And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it.


Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I have this blog because of these documents. I live in a stable, prosperous, country because of these documents.  I can practice my faith without fear of government persecution, live free, and nor under the yoke of slavery, and share my dreams because for the last 237 years men and women have sought to do their best to put these ideas into practice. To them I am grateful, because otherwise these documents would be just two more flowery speeches on yellowed parchment. Happy Independence Day.


The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor

The Bill of Rights: A Transcription
The Preamble to The Bill of Rights
Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the "Bill of Rights."

Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment VII
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Playing Catch Up

Here it is Wednesday already! This week has just been zooming by! Sunday I had a sleepless night as the Bumper is afraid of thunderstorms and kept both of us awake. On Monday we had such severe weather that the internet kept going in and out I couldn't even stay online long enough to check my email let alone anything else. Monday night I decided to take a sleeping pill. That was a BIG mistake! Yesterday I was so groggy and out of it, I could not get any thing done. I kept trying to write, or clean, or crochet, but just kept sitting and staring. I finally accepted that I just needed to rest, drink plenty of water and try and get the rest of the drug out of my system. It is chamomile tea for me from here on out. So I settled my myself of the sofa and let Nana watch the Bumper. Well the Bumper wasn't having any of that! She wanted to be with mama, and on mama, and under mama. It wasn't until very late last night that the Bumper finally settled down. So what with one thing and another I decided o not give myself a hard time for the things I wanted to get done, but could not.

 It may not be what I had planned for my week, but it is what God has given me. I am making the most of it. I think the hardest part was giving myself permission to be out of commission a couple of days. Life happens and that is just fine with me. Oh Yeah, the Bumper stress eats raw Broccoli, more on that later, life is grand.



Friday, June 28, 2013

I am Currently Thinking About This, That and the Other

This past week I have been struggling with some things in the personal arena. Mostly with the nature of forgiveness, and what it really means to forgive and forget. Forgiveness, for me at least means not letting the hurt someone has caused fester in my soul. Forgetting? That is more difficult.  I remember the events that caused the hurt and with good reason, remembering prevents me from putting myself back in the same position. I can choose to let go of the bitterness and anger, much easier to do when it is a toddler throwing a tantrum, than an adult. I think I have managed to find a balance and the serenity feels good.

In that spirit of serenity I am currently thinking of all the little things that a bring me joy.

A bed that is made with a few rumples and lumps because the Bumper wanted to help me with the morning work.

A glass of tea and some quiet crochet time.

A bright blue summer sky.

A jar of homemade apple butter given to me by a friend.

Snuggling up with the Bumper to read a bedtime story.

Such little moments give me such great joy, even in the midst of trial.

Have a good weekend.