Through Every Season

Year: 2012 (Page 1 of 3)

A Ponytail for Yard Work

Judi came in the house today laughing and said, “Help, Mom, I might need a hair cut.”

I had to look twice before I understood what was going on.

She had the weed eater caught in her hair!

I ran for the camera.. thought I’d help make a memory, but she ran into my bedroom and locked me out before I could get a photo.

Through the laughter and tears we were able to get her hair untangled bit by bit and didn’t have to cut it.  🙂  Thank God for engine oil.

She’s a fast learner: A ponytail for yard work.

I did get one photo.. of her running out of the house with her weed eater free ponytail.

While finishing up the yard, a spider bit her.. she’s such a trooper.  A shower and a little lavender oil and she was off to work at the Y. again.

Hope your day was better,


2 Bicycle Wheels = 1 Pot Rack and 1 Mobile

I love bicycles as art.  
Mike and I’s first piece of art was a poster of bicycle. 
It’s hung in many homes; 
living rooms, a bathroom and now in our kitchen.
I found this bike at a thrift store last Friday.
 It was small, old, rusty, and the seat was torn to shreds
and the color of the wheels remind me of my car!
 It was exactly what I was looking for 
and for the exact price I was hoping for – 5 dollars!
I “hid” it in my garage with our other bikes 
over the weekend hopping Mike wouldn’t notice and 
I wouldn’t have to explain why I bought it.
 Saturday morning he asked,
“Why is there a little girl’s bike in our garage?”
I didn’t want to say, 
“I am going to use it for a pot rack and a mobile that I saw on line;
see how cool they are?”
So I said, “I bought it for parts.” 
He was a trooper and didn’t ask any more questions.
Thank you, Sweety.
Monday morning, I got to work.. 
I looked up on youtube “How to take off a bike wheel.”
I LOVE youtube.  I learned that you have to disconnect the brakes
first then turn the nuts “counter clockwise.”  Knowledge is power.
The only problem I had was with the little safety screw thingy above.
The screw wouldn’t budge.  I had to cut it off with a hack saw.
Once I had both wheels off, I took one to the store for parts
which came in a little under 6 dollars.
 Then I cleaned up the wheels a little with soap, water and sand paper;
they were pretty rusty. Then I taped up and painted the inside rims
with rustoleum primer (to stop the rusting) then metallic paint,
which I had on hand from other projects.  🙂
I saved the smallest gear to hang up my back wheel;
I thought it was cute and I needed something to fill up the big hole.
I had the ceiling hook on hand, too.  It matches, too. 🙂
This nut from the bike was big enough not to slip through the gear hole.
I took some picture wire (from other projects) and tied on 
with an overhand knot to secure it,
 then wrapped the end of the wire around and 
pulled it through the gear and back wheel.

I made similar loop/knot on the other end to hang on the hook.
I dug through my school supplies and found this world map.
Pretty isn’t it.  It’s from 1975.
So old that I felt guilty using it for school 
way back when the kids were little. 
I googled “How to make paper airplanes” and found diagrams on this site.
I cut up my map and made it into 8 paper air planes.
I tried to make each one a little different.
I “laminated” my map with clear contact paper 
way back when.. so they were nice and thick.
I stapled in a small strip of map to make a loop to hang them from,
 then hung them from my back wheel.
 Isn’t it great?  That space looked so naked before.
 On to the Pot Rack:

 These are the parts I bought earlier.. 
(all 3/8″ – same as the bolt from my bike)
a wood to metal screw, couplings, hex nuts, jam nuts,
 washers (I only used one), 
and a 10 inch carriage bolt that ended up being too long,
so I switched it out for a 6 inch one later.
 I really appreciated the instructions from the link above.. 
but felt like I needed more pictures, so I took some.
I filled up the medal side of the wood to medal with nuts
and topped it off with a washer,
 leaving just enough threads for the coupling to screw halfway up.
The jam nuts are what keeps everything from unscrewing.
When you tighten them against the other nuts, they lock in place.
 I found a joist in my ceiling with my stud finder,
 drilled a small hole through, then I used my wrench 
to screw the wood to medal screw into my joist.
I always wondered how you were supposed to screw those
things in without missing up the threads.
 I tightened all the bolts together 
and I had a secure place to hang my pot rack.
 The threads on my bike wheel bolt were tighter than the threads
on my carriage bold so I was unable to keep my ball bearings and cone. 🙁
I exchanged my 10″ carriage bolt for a 6″ one.
filled it up with nuts and the extra coupling.
The guy from the web site above used a bunch of washers.
The nuts were more economical and lock nicly.
I left enough room to screw into the coupling
and a little room near the wheel so I could 
get to the tightening ridge under the head of the bolt, and
so I it would be a little loose for turning and reaching my pots.
I screwed it into my coupling and tightened all the nuts.
Next I got out these $9.00 shower curtain hooks I found at Target.
They were much cheeper than any pot rack, or “s” hooks I could find.
  And ta-da.. they match my cast iron pots and pans..
I like it..
Much easier access than in my crowded cabinet,
much cheaper than any other solution I could find
(just under twenty bucks), fun and a little artsy,
and my pans can air dry without getting rusty.
Hope Mike lets me leave them up.

“Watch Out for the Vomit Chunks”

.. was a title I considered for my last post.  🙂

Later that night, Mike and I settled in to watch
an episode of a fun TV show to relax.
Their theme was intentionally, overtly obvious:
“Leaving the past behind.”
I told Mike, “I want to but it keeps following me around.”

Afterwards, he checked the mail and there was something
from one of my surgeons.. it was a $25 refund.. which was nice..
but all I could think was “Will this day ever end?”

I spent yesterday worshiping again.  It was less emotionally trying,
but more physically trying as I struggled with my corn allergy.

I bought new curtains for my bedroom.
They needed ironing.
The steam from the iron made the sizing
(starch – from corn, of course)
steam up and make me sick.
I would have washed them first,
but they are dry clean only.

I spent a good part of the day re-designing the curtains (future post)..
and part on the floor because I was so sick from the steam.
I didn’t want to quit and have to face them another day.
Many times my reaction to a second exposure is much worse

All that and I still felt much better having vomited up that last post.  🙂




An Honest Update: Not the One I Wanted to Write

Today I am taking a day of worship.  It’s been a really long time.
It had been my normal way of life.
Work; Sew; Worship; Pray.
“All I want is Your will,” lyrics played from my ipod.
I couldn’t sing them. I don’t want God’s will at all.
I want mine.  His feels risky.

I know He is good and all He wants for me is the best
and that He works all things for my good.  BUT I don’t want
Him to have to work all things for my good.
I want to control everything in such a way that it’s all good to begin with.
“God, please, change of heart.”

I noticed that I’d started feeling safe (last few days).
I haven’t felt safe since I was diagnosed
with breast cancer a little over 18 months ago.
I’ve had at least a little “discomfort” since my surgery last June.
It’s hard to feel safe when you are in pain.  Pain is stressful.

I realized I only felt safe because I’ve been refusing to really pray.
The kinda prayers that are two way.. where I listen and obey as well as talk.

I’ve been shooting off these kind of prayers when I notice Him..
“Oh, God, it’s You creeping into my thoughts.  I am still kinda hurt.
Don’t really want to talk to you. You are scary.  I don’t feel safe with
You in control.  I’d rather pretend that I am in control and
can live happily ever after; no more facing death, loss, trouble.”
I don’t want to deal with stuff..
clutter, car repairs, food allergies, selling used books, school.

I only want to play; sew decorate.

I found a TV show I like to watch while home alone.
I never watch TV alone.

The noise helps cover up the silence
of not praying, worshiping and listening continually.

I was due for my one year check up last month.
I’d really rather keep pretending that I am in control
and avoid any more possibilities of
“suffering much from many doctors.”

I’ve stopped fighting the pain.
It took a really long time to accept that
it may be a part of the rest of my life.

I HATE when people ask how I am doing.
Mostly because it reminds me: I am the same.
I still have pain; pain that I can ignore when I busy
but that annoys the heck out of me when I try to relax.
I haven’t seen any improvement since last October.
My allergy is actually worse. Things that didn’t bother me.. bother me now.
How much more sensitive can.. I won’t even finish that question.

Please, think of some happy thought when you see me, instead of,
“Oh, I need to remember to pray for Jenny.”

I feel silly asking God to deliver me all the time..
I know I’ve asked enough, believed enough..

How are we supposed to live?????  Pray and fast until healed?
Might help with the weight I’ve gained from stress eating.

How do you move on to the acceptance part of the grieving process
when you are praying and believing for wholeness and restoration?!

Months drag on, hopes raised and dashed at every little sign of
improvement or dis-ease. I want it all to end!  I can’t take it anymore!

I’d rather accept what I have than live with
a split personality of acceptance/rebuking/pleading.
Then.. God whispers my name, or I see someone else’s suffering…
and I long for wholeness again.  Not just for me,
but an overflowing wholeness that touches everyone I meet.

“Come on now, God, if You aren’t going to
heal me this side of heaven, just tell me.
I’d like to think happier thoughts when I think of You!!!”

God often speaks to me in dreams.
I dreamed of a weasel biting me two nights in a row.
Lost a bunch of sleep (sorry for the sleep deprived rant).
I have definitely felt like God has weaseled out of His promise to me;
felt like He has be come dangerous… might bite me if I let Him close.

My feelings are ALL WRONG; A LIE.
God is not a man that He could lie.
All His promises are YES AND AMEN IN JESUS.
I am healed by His stripes.
He loves me ACTIVELY..
not only in word but IN TRUTH!!!

“Lord, help me not to only know and believe but to trust.
Give me one heart and mind to love you.”

Worship brings it all out into the open.



First Garden Harvest

My First Garden
May 8th
June 8th 
 July 2nd.
 We had over 100° weather last week.. and I still only needed 
to fill my self watering containers every other day.
Don’t ask about the tomato plant leaves.. they were
yellowing up when we had lots of rain every day.  See?
Watching my watermelons grow has been so much fun.
 This is what they looked like when we came home from CA.
They had flowers, lady bugs,
I had 9 baby melons at one point.
Only 4 survived (2 per plant) which is normal.  
Maybe that’s why they are so expensive.
  I used an old pair of pantyhose to make them slings.
  Some of their leaves have brown and yellow spots now.??
I need an expert gardener to move in next door.
My pepper plants have been fun too..


My baby jalapenos are huge now.
I heard that if you wait for them to turn red and
 “cork” that they’ll be sweet & spicy, too.

 Had lots of lady bugs in the spring, but think I needed

something bigger to eat whatever was eating my sweet pepper leaves.
They grew many more leaves and the peppers are looking good.
My first Cajun Belle was ripe this morning.
It’s tiny.. but good.

 The birds decided that my tomatoes were ready to harvest before I did.

I seen them spying on my garden for weeks.  

They been pooping on my watermelons too.

 I was going to wait one more day to harvest..

but I guess they were ripe enough.
I just had to shoo them away again.
Time to make a scarecrow.



More California Adventure

On Tuesday, Savannah had to go back to work and Mike, Judi and I 
went to back to Disney and visited their California Adventure Park.
Our favorite ride was Toy Story Midway Mania.  It almost always has at least 
a 45 min. wait, no fast pass, and it’s basically only a 4D video arcade game??
You have to try it.  
Part of what makes it so fun is the competition between 
the riders in your car to break as many plates, pop as many 
balloons, ring as many aliens and gain as many points as you can. 
We discovered that the lines were a little shorter 
during the nightly water and light show 
which was actually better than Disney Land’s fireworks.
We stood in line around 2 hours for three 5 minute games.
The huge roller coaster behind it, “California Screamin’,” 
was our second favorite ride at California Adventure. 
It’s the second longest coaster in the U.S. and
what makes it really special is that it launches you 
from zero to 55 miles an hour up the first hill in 4 seconds.
Even more fun the first time when you aren’t expecting it.  🙂
Our two other favorite coasters in the Disney parks 
were Thunder and Space Mountain.  🙂
Judi and Mike also really enjoyed riding down Grizzly River right
before the park closed; it was extra special after dark.
Mike spent Wednesday through Friday at his conference 
while Judi and I spent Wednesday running back 
and forth between the two parks for fast passes 
and to ride our favorite rides one last time.
We shared some spicy jambalaya at the Blue Bayou for lunch. 
It was way over priced but has a nice atmosphere as 
it overlooks the Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride.
On Thursday, Judi and I shared lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and
a piece of Kahlua Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake with a fudgy, brownie crust.
We were happy to be sharing the calories, and had more than enough to eat.
Then we walked three miles to our new, favorite outlet mall.
Judi actually asked Mike if we could move to CA so we 
could live near this outlet mall. It was that awesome.
We bought a couple of new t-shirts; my flying giraffe glows in the dark.
And Judi’s Paris shirt gains color sunlight (last photo).
Friday was our girls day out with Savannah.
Savannah braved the traffic and took us to China Town for lunch and
shopping where Judi and Savannah found some cute black lacy shoes 
and I bought a jade elephant necklace and bracelet to match.  
Our next stop was Hollywood Blvd. where I was surprised 
to discover that characters like Mikey Mouse,
Donald Duck and Kermit the Frog have sidewalk stars there.
Then she took us to Universal’s Citywalk where 
Judi found the coffee shop that she’d heard so much about.
Defiantly better than Starbucks.
Before it got too late, we dove back to the mall across from 
Disney Land for a little more shopping and dinner at 
the Cheesecake Factory where we shared three appetizers 
and a piece of Heresies Chocolate Cheesecake for desert.
It was so nice getting to spend so much time with Savannah.
We are so proud of the beautiful young woman she is becoming.
If we get to go again, we hope to spend some time hanging out 
in her neighborhood and at her house with her dogs.

Laguna Beach, California

We flew into CA on Memorial Day weekend.. so Savannah 
actually got to spend 2 days with the 3 of us and a third day just us girls.
On Memorial Day, she took us to the Laguna Beach.
 See the mansions up on the hill?  They have a great ocean view.
 We enjoyed wondering in and out the local shops.
 Laguna Beach is a favorite beach for artist to come and paint.
 It reminded us of our favorite beach 
in Florida (Lido Key)…maybe even a little nicer.
Knew this was a good one.  
It was pretty crowded.. Memorial Day 
Mike decided it was too cold to swim.
 We learned that Savannah used to go surfing all the time.. 
She said the water in CA is always cold. 
 We should do this again sometime.  

Disney Land California

Our hotel in Anaheim was next door to the conference center 
and just down the street from Disney Land.  
This was Judi’s third trip to a Disney park.. Mike’s 9th.. 
My first trip to Disney World was with Mike on our honeymoon.
He’s been a few more times than I.
 The two parks are a lot a like.  We decided that the weather makes
Disney Land nicer.. but Epcot makes Disney World better.
 We actually went inside the castle for the first time…
 It was kinda cool.
 Savannah joined us for lunch at Shakey’s 
(Mike and Judi and I had their lunch buffet 3 times that week.)  
then spent the rest of the day at the park with us.
Waiting in line for “It’s a Small World” ride. 
The girls ducking the camera. 
The girls joining in.  Judi was so happy to have someone to ride with.
They hadn’t seen each other since Judi was 6 months old.  
I think they enjoyed getting to know each other.
 Mike and I like the quiet, boat rides the best.
It’s a small world after all.. 
Glad we don’t have to travel to Thailand to visit Savannah.
She got her U.S. Citizenship last year.  🙂
We had smoked turkey legs for dinner.. with plenty left over 
for Savannah to take home to her dogs.  

Trip to LA

We had a great time in CA.  
So glad Judi and I got to go with Mike on his conference trip.
Joel drove us to the airport at 4:30 AM.
 Sunrise at the airport
Of the three of us..
Who looks the happiest to be a wake? 
One of those mountains says HOLLYWOOD..  
Our first time to see the sign in person.
And just outside the baggage claim door we saw
our first and only Hollywood star..
Mike jokingly said, “Look!  There’s Monk!”
He’s always teasing about spotting celebrities..
When I looked up, there he was in the flesh.. the real “Monk,”  
our eyes locked for several seconds as we walked by.
He was calling a taxi.  He may have been on the same 
plane with us.  We could have had breakfast with him in the 
Dallas airport.  I couldn’t believe how star struck I was.
Judi asked incredulously, “Is that the real Monk?”
She couldn’t believe that he actually dressed 
like the “Monk” on the TV show.

Judi offered to take our picture with him.
We couldn’t do it.  
Go back and ask for a picture?  
We’re way too shy.  
Instead I took these lame pictures from where we waited for our shuttle.
He’s the one in the khaki pants and brown jacket standing 
between the kid and his security guard.
 And there goes his taxi.  
Silly me.

Texas Smile Lines

The night we left for Texas, I looked in the mirror and noticed how
pronounced the little smile lines around my eyes are getting and wondered,
“Will anyone we visit say, ‘You haven’t aged a bit since I saw you last.'”
Savannah said something like that when we saw her last year in CA.
It makes you feel so good to hear it.. even when you know it’s not true.
It had been 16 years since we’d last seen her.
I think she actually meant I was thin rather than young looking.
 I’ve gained 20 pounds since then.
This trip we heard something a little different.
From Mike’s aunt we got, “Where’s all your gray hair?” 
and “Well, you don’t look sickly.”
I think maybe the things they’d heard about us
sounded worse than we looked and hopefully are.
Then when I posted this picture of my new 
cowboy boots on FB, my Mom Commented: 
“Oh, grandmother, what big feet you have.”
Love them both to death.  I think they caused more smile lines in my face.
I had thought about trying to smile less to prevent my lines
from getting worse.. but only for a second.
I guess this camera angle does make my feet look a little bigger.
They are size 8.5.  Is that big?
For those of you who don’t know (Mom), cowboy boots
are made with heals to help you stay in the stirrups  
and with extra inch or two in the pointy ends, 
so if a horse steps on your boots 
(horses can be ornery) they miss your toes.
Will I ever out grow being embarrassed by my parents?
Guess that’s what I get for being so vain.
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