Watercolor Journal - A Pebble in the Hand

Small actions end up meaning so much later on.  At the time, I didn’t know how much a few little rocks would mean to me.  Yes, they are pretty, and smooth, and remind me of a special place, but now they speak to me in a much deeper way.  Gary and I collected them at Moonstone Beach during our many visits here.  I’m here again.  This time alone since Gary can no longer leave the house.  It’s hard to leave him, even though I know he is well cared for, but I know he’d say… “GO!  Have Fun!”  So here I am. 

 

If interested click HERE for note card and print.

 

Last week, in anticipation of being here, I had the pleasurable experience of painting this exact handful of pebbles. 

 

 

 

 
I stood still for about 20 minutes waiting for this Egret to get this close, and right after this he caught the mouse and took it farther away to dine in private. 

I stood still for about 20 minutes waiting for this Egret to get this close, and right after this he caught the mouse and took it farther away to dine in private. 

I’m here to relax, remember, and make some new memories of my own.  Today, in fact, I explored a new area nearby, and saw something new!  An Egret hunting in a grassy field, and catching a MOUSE if you can believe it!.  I’m so happy I got to see 5 of them when on a walk in the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve.  They were too far away for a good photo, but easy to see in person. 

 

 

 

Gary was so good at noticing the unique things.  One time he’d say, “Let’s collect all GREEN pebbles this time.”  Another it was “Collect pebbles that look like jelly beans.”  Anyway, we did, and over the years have accumulated a few jars of smooth, little rocks.  One time I found all the colors of the rainbow and laid them out on Gary’s handkerchief.  He was also good at finding the perfect flat pebble for skipping too.  I marveled at how many skips he could get out of a throw. 

 

 

Why so special?  It was time spent together, marveling at Creation.  God didn’t have to make rocks in various hues, but He did.  He didn’t have to make light with a spectrum of color, but He did.  I’m happy to be here, for the both of us, being able to look at things with fresh eyes, and refreshed for serving again. 

Getting time away for respite looks different for everyone, but Jesus set the example for us long ago.  Let’s all try to find a way to follow in His footsteps. 

“But Jesus Himself would slip away to the wilderness and pray.” Luke 5:16. 


Tidbits & Treasures 02/18/14

I Peter 1:11

I Peter 1:11

Two words…

I was reading my Bible this week and ran across a note I’d written in the margin.   It says, “Cup & Glory.”    It’s from the book, “The Cup and The Glory” by Greg Harris.  The ‘cup’ of suffering is linked to the ‘glories’ to come, and this theme is traced through the Scriptures.  Dr. Harris was motivated to study this subject as a result of his own suffering.  I have jotted these two words multiple times over the years next to verses containing this theme.  Contrary to popular belief, it seems that the path to glory is laced with suffering, but the benefits are amazing.

He introduces his book like this.  “What follows are some of the lessons He (God) taught me from this, some of which I was most reluctant and slow to learn.  They are not necessarily for everyone, but rather are intended for those who are presently struggling with suffering in some area in their life, especially the painful perplexity of why God would allow them to experience such depths of misery, when we know He could remedy it whenever He wanted.  Hopefully, it will offer new insight into the graciousness of God as He lovingly uses suffering to draw us nearer to Him and to conform us closer to the image of Christ.”  Pg. 18

 “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10


"A Fine Romance"  Susan's diary of her visit to the English Countryside. 

"A Fine Romance"  Susan's diary of her visit to the English Countryside. 

Inspired by Susan

Let me introduce you to one of my artistic inspirations, Susan Branch.  We both share a love of being home, hand-crafted art, journaling, and watercolor painting.  We both came to the craft late (well, I came back after a lengthy break).  Maybe you’ll have fun exploring her website if you like creative ideas, and ways to make your home cozy and beautiful.  She has great, simple recipes too.  Her blog is loaded with great photos, illustrations, and vignettes of life on Martha’s Vineyard Island.  www.Susanbranch.com


A Sign

I’ve been reading about the Israelites’ great EXIT from Egypt.  Moses was hand-picked by God to lead His people out of their slavery and into the Promised Land.  He had his doubts and fears about this great task.  “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?”  Exodus 3:11

God answered, “But I will be with you, and this shall be a sign for you, that I have sent you…when you have brought the people out of Egypt you shall serve God on the mountain.” Exodus 3:12 

Moses had the assurance that he would encounter the presence of God, and THAT would be the sign that God had sent him.  After that, he was to lead the people in worship.  That’s all he needed to know…God would be with him and He was, leading, providing, and interacting with them all through the wilderness.  I want to live like that.  Believe, trust, obey, see God at work, and worship. 


Looking good...my twin bed on left, Gary's Hospital bed with special air mattress. on right.  The lump at the footboard is the pump.

Looking good...my twin bed on left, Gary's Hospital bed with special air mattress. on right.  The lump at the footboard is the pump.

Medical Air Mattress…a solution for dementia patients and their spouses.

3 years ago, when Gary began to be much more sedentary he developed some bed (pressure) sores on his heels.  At first I didn’t know what they were, but basically they looked like big blisters.  This happens when the body isn’t moving enough and one part is pressing down on the bed for too long.  The blood doesn’t circulate there, and a sore can develop.  It can happen really quickly.  It’s even worse when there’s weight loss and less padding on the bones, so the pressure is greater.  This can be a huge problem, and it is not uncommon for dementia patients to die from systemic infections, that start with a pressure sore.  So, I began setting my alarm at 2 hour intervals during the night so I could get up and roll him over.  As you can imagine, this was exhausting and I began to do research to see if there was a better way to keep him protected.  Well, I found the most amazing thing!  I know some of my readers are caring for a loved one and will want to know about this.  It’s a circulating air mattress.  It has 15 channels of air, and a small motor which deflates and inflates these channels in sequence.  You can set the timing and duration.  It’s a twin sized mattress that fits his hospital bed (in fact is designed for hospital use) but for the first 18 months, I had it next to my twin mattress on our King box springs.  You never would have known it was not a regular King sized bed.  Now I have my twin bed pushed up to Gary’s hospital bed.  But the mattress has been chugging along, pumping air, 24/7 giving us both a good night’s sleep for about 3 years.  Pretty cool, huh!  Now that Gary has lost so much weight we have begun to change his position again when in a recliner chair, but in bed, his mattress keeps his skin from getting damaged.  It was about $1500, but if you already HAVE the pressure sores I think Medicare will cover some or all of the cost with a Doctor’s order.  I got ours after the sores were healed, but it was a very good investment and I think it has really saved Gary much pain and misery.  There are lots of choices, but here’s the one we got:  http://www.medicalairmattress.com/mdt24supradps.html  Good Night Zzzzzzzz……

For more info on adapting your home to care for a loved one...click HERE