Friday, November 16, 2012

What's With the Fork?

There was a woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live.  As she was getting her things "in order", she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.  She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like to read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.  The woman also requested to be buried with her favorite Bible.

Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the woman suddenly remembered something very important to her. "This is very important," the woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand."  The pastor stood looking at the woman, not knowing quite what to say. 

"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the woman asked. 

"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request," said the pastor.

The woman explained, "In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'keep your fork.'"  It was my favorite part because I knew something better was coming... like velvety chocolate cake or a piece of deep-dish apple pie.  Something wonderful and with substance!  So, I just want people to see me there in the casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder:

"What's with the fork?"

"Then I want you to tell them:  'Keep your fork... The best is yet to come.'"

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the woman good-bye.  He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death.  But he also knew that the woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did.  She KNEW something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing, her favorite Bible and the fork in her right hand.  Over and over, the pastor heard the question,

"What's with the fork?"

And over and over he smiled.  During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the woman shortly before she died.  He also told them about the fork and what it symbolized to her.  The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.  He was right. 

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you, oh so gently, that the best is yet to come!

In loving memory
Mary Dickendasher
April 8, 1927 - October 18, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday 11/14/12

A brisk morning....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Little Girls After My Own Heart

I recently discovered that I have an allergic reaction to wheat.  Since I can no longer have wheat bread, I've taken up baking my own bread again.  I don't know what it is about baking bread.  I love the way it makes my house smell and feel cozy and warm.  I also like to bask in the accomplishment of baking bread as it takes an incredible amount of patience.  One day I had made bread just in time for it to come out of the oven during dinner and it was perfect timing as I planned on having spaghetti.  I even made a salad and it turned out to be quite a nice meal without a lot of effort, it only looked like a lot of effort.  My daughters had asked if they could invite our neighbor friends over for dinner and I was happy to agree.  As these two little girls came over, Ellen was eager to show her friend our new garbage can.  She stepped on the pedal and the lid slammed up and her friend says enthusiastically, "I just knew you were going to do that!"  Ellen was just as excited about a new garbage can as I was!

A few minutes later, our neighbor friends commented how good my house smelled.  "It smells just like bread," they said. 

So as these four little girls and myself sat down for dinner, all the girls accepted salad and loaded their plates up with spaghetti.  As we bowed our heads to pray, each child took turns to thank God for the fresh bread and blessed the hands that made our meal.  To top it all off after our friends left, neither of my girls fought all evening, they were good listeners, they got their homework done and took showers without arguing.  I was beside myself in awe over how nice of an evening we had.

Little girls after my own heart!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Stifling a gigle is very hard to do

As I've mentioned before, I've been really out of it lately and my brain is still trying to catch up.  The time change has not helped me at all and I still can't seem to adjust to the new time.  Last night's dinner was a perfect example.  This time change has affected my whole family.  My daughter-in-law and my granddaughter stayed for dinner.  Yes, I actually cooked dinner.... with vegetables, too!  Ellen was acting up and it was very clear that she was very tired.  She's been getting up around 6am since the time change and the child will not nap to save her soul.  While we were eating, I was in my own little world, being tired myself.  Here's how a conversation went, or so what I THINK I heard...

Daddy:  Ellen, sit up and eat.
Ellen:  I'm full.
Daddy:  You didn't eat enough.  Eat more meat.
Ellen:  (Continues to lift her feet up in the air and twist around in her seat)
Daddy:  Ellen, if you don't sit up and eat, you're going straight to bed.  We do not behave this way at the....
Ellen:  Blah blah blah....

What?  Did I really just hear that?  I know I was out of it but my husband was so beside himself when Ellen sang that little song, Daddy about lost it and sent her to the corner.  Stifling our giggles was very difficult as my 8 year old was watching the whole thing.  My little 5-year-old somewhere learned this attitude and it was so unexpected, we weren't quite sure how to react because well, it was funny... but NO!  It was NOT!

So recently, I really thought I had hit rock bottom.  I thought I needed to make some changes, and some changes I accept full responsibility for; however, it dawned on me at 2 am this morning why I've felt rock bottom.  Our new "little" puppy has his nights and days mixed up.  He's been waking me up anywhere between 2 am and 5:30 am and once he wakes me up, I'm up.  I can't seem to get back into a deep sleep and trying to fight a cold, I've been a mess. 

Victor is 7 months old.  He came from the training facility where we had Koda trained.  So Victor has never been in a house, never been left alone and since he's still a "puppy", everything is new to him.  I've had to scrape up every bit of patience and finally after a week, he stopped pooping and whining in his kennel.  Now, he likes to scratch the bottom of his kennel in the middle of the night.  I. AM. TIRED!  I really should be in bed now but since my littlest one keeps waking up about the same time I do, I've gotten very little "me" time.  What's that new saying these days?  "I'm a 'hot' mess"?  Whatever.

So here are some pictures of Victor.  He's a very sweet dog.  Easily trained.  He doesn't bark, loves kids, doesn't go upstairs but I will tell you that I've never known a puppy to be so freakin' lazy!  He loves his walks and to play fetch, but good gracious, this dog can lay around and do nothing all day if we didn't play with him and motivate him. 
Ellen & Victor

Marcella & Victor

 We had to get a raised dog dish because Victor loved carrying around his water dish.  At least my kitchen floor was clean.... well.... sort of.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Dusting Cobwebs

It's time to dust off the cobwebs in my little corner of the Internet as it has been 11 weeks and 6 days since I've last written anything.  Well, I've written a couple of Yahoo! articles, which took the featured page and I became one of the top 500 writers of Yahoo!.  That's an accomplishment for me, but sadly those couple of articles that hit my pages hard still didn't keep my writing motivation alive.  It feels good to be back, I think.  As my fingers hit each key on the keyboard, it feels like home.  Like a comforting feeling I had as a child come swarming back to me, but still I'm only half motivated to continue.  I've got lots to say and so much has happened in the past three months.  I could blog for a couple of weeks of all the craziness my life has brought, but yet this is taking a lot of effort to get this far in writing anything.  This sounds sad, like I'm closing a chapter in my life, but that's not how I'm looking at this.  I saw these last few months as a way of God trying to change the paths in my life, like spending time at the computer is not where God has wanted me to be for a while.  There were other things that God was trying to get me to turn to and I still haven't figure out what that path is.  To be bluntly honest, I've had blinders on my eyes this whole time, wasting time playing games on the iPad, talking on the phone and creating excuses to not get anything done.  Have I been sitting around doing nothing?  Absolutely not! 


After four years of guidance from my doctor, she finally allowed me to be on a prescription medication to lose weight.  No matter what I did, no matter how much exercise I'd done, eating less, eating more, starving myself, feeding myself, trying fad diets, entering weight loss challenges.... NOTHING was helping me lose weight.  While on this medicine, my life became even more crazy because my motivation to do anything and everything skyrocketed.  I loved it, but I hated it.  I had no appetite (score!), I was crazy motivated to stay busy all day (score!), but my family suffered because I had absolutely no appetite and nothing sounded good to me so I didn't cook much.  I was so motivated to do many things at once that my family suffered because I was too busy doing "(un)necessary" things to keep my energy level at bay.  All I had accomplished was increased dizzy spells, horrendous headaches, constant chaos and only a couple pounds less.  It was so not worth it!

Damn colds....

Then the weather got colder, my energy level dropped and then I got sick.  But I can say that the headaches went away, the dizzy spells were more under control and because of that, I became a bit more motivated to accomplish the important tasks.  I actually cleaned out two closets and a kitchen cabinet, cleaned behind major appliances, cleaned out one child's bedroom, donated blankets and coats to the homeless and started doing crafts with my children.  Sounds good, right?  Yes, but no. 

Ugh!  Excuses, Excuses....

Why am I telling the world all this?  Especially in a novel-size blog post to readers who don't have time to read this much?  Because I need to make myself accountable for hitting rock bottom.  I feel that sometimes I have to hit rock bottom to realize I'm going down the wrong path.  To remind myself that I can't hack this life without God and when I go this long without praying much, asking for help and working on my relationship with God that I get all out of whack and I can't get it together.  Tonight was a good example when 5:00 rolled around and I still didn't have dinner planned.  We ended up having fried chicken and french fries for dinner just before we ran really late for our evening program that none of us was really motivated to go to.  I've got lots of praying to do and it has a lot to do with changing these new bad habits that I've created.

Some good stuff....

These past three months haven't been bad.  We've gathered tons of apples from an apple farm and I made six apple pies for Thanksgiving (all from scratch), I've perfected (well, working on) my technique for baking bread, made a green tomato pie, got a new puppy and I've accomplished many other little tasks that have made me feel good about myself.  All of these new things will keep you in suspense as I will talk about them in my future blog posts, so stay tuned!

I miss all of you and your life journeys since I've been away.  I don't know if I will be writing again soon or if I will wake up tomorrow morning high on life and ready to get back to writing (and reading).  At this point, I'm taking it day by day;  not to "sweat the small stuff" and be patient while God works His wonders in my life.  I could really use some miracles!!

And before I leave ya, all blog posts need a picture.  Here are just a couple to get ya started!

God Bless!