Sunday, February 26, 2012

Crossing the Bar....

Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star,
    And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
    When I put out to sea.

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
    Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
    Turns again home!

Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
    When I embark;

For though from out our bourn of Time and Place
    The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
    When I have crost the bar.

JULY 26, 1924 - FEBRUARY 25, 2012

You may have crossed, but we know you are there, waiting for us to follow. We love and miss you.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A time and a season and a beautiful gift.....

Life is a challenge sometimes. It's just the way it is. We can take those challenges and grow, or we can let them stunt us and make us bitter, or angry or selfish or all of those. Sometimes we have to put off the things we would like to do, either for lack of resources or time or both.
It's been an interesting journey working with my in-laws as we try and make my father-in-law as comfortable as possible. This has meant that I'm not home most of the week, and that my husband and I only get two nights together alone. My social security benefits are dwindling as I've not been able to contribute for the past 3 years due to helping others. I won't be doing any repairs on our retirement home this summer as I haven't made anything towards that goal. On the flip side, I've seen the tears of gratitude as I help my father-in-law settle in for the night. I've seen the fear in my mother-in-laws eyes as she watches her husband waste away and have been able to help calm her. She knows that she will be without him soon and worries that she will be a burden to us. Sometimes she retreats to her happy place mentally and pretends none of this is happening and since she can't really see or hear very well it requires that we work to divert her attention away from Dad so she isn't asking more of him than he can give. The moments of pleasure she gets when she wins a game of Upwords, or when I find a picture or graphic she can use in her letter writing is worth the effort. My heart breaks when as she asks Dad if he wants more food or milk or whatever and he says no she gets offended. She thinks he's rejecting her, not realizing or truly seeing just how much he's struggling just to be at the table. Sometimes she doesn't hear his response and gets impatient with him, so we have to gently interject. Funny though, that although there are things she refuses to recognize, she will always ask a blessing on those who are helping when it's her turn to bless the meals, as she does know she just can't keep up any more. It's so sweet to hear her go through the list of nurses and aides as well as hubby, his sister and hubby and me. So we have the sweet with the challenge. My biggest challenge is sleep when I'm there and lack of exercise. I have to take that day by day, depending on whether we had a good night or not. There are days when I can tell she doesn't want me around, she wants to do it all and if you get in the way she gets snippy. Having someone always there, doing what you used to do, taking up space in a teeny tiny house, and never having real time to yourself or spouse must be hard. So I will hide in my tiny bedroom there and she will find me when she's ready for real company. Other days I can do no wrong. I'm always glad for those days as it makes life easier for Dad as well.

 There are those whose hands are in need of holding, and those who just need to get to work and get a life.  We better have a good attitude and forgiving heart or the grievances we carry may come out as we age. The little bits of inspiration we get as we try to seek help in prayer are a reassuring testament that Heavenly Father is always there for us, especially as we try to do His will. Having a user friendly home will be so important as we age. Hubby and I have had a debate on tub versus shower. Ugh! I want my tub! I love to soak my weary bones after a long week or a day in the yard. So we will have to see if we can have a walk in shower/tub installed, the kind you see in all the ads nowadays. Not sure it will fit, but we shall see. We may need to consider changing homes when we retire so we can be ready for whatever comes our way, at least as much as possible. I'm seeing that faith can waver, and that our testimonies are fragile and need constant nourishing. I'm learning that I'm not as physically strong as I used to be. Stress can take you down quickly and it has gotten me at a point where there are days when I'm constantly on the verge of tears. I have to assess whether it's because I'm being selfish as I want to do something, or whether it's just fatigue. Sometimes it's just the food. I really like lots of fresh fruits, veggies and so on, and they are meat and potatoes folks. So I compromise when I can get to the store. I get cranky when I don't have fresh stuff around.

The nurses and aides say things are much more peaceful and calm when I'm there. I can afford to be more calm as these are not my blood parents I suppose. We are coming to the end of this phase in our lives. Dad is barely hanging on now. Each day becomes more of a chore for him and he prays every night to be able to go home. He is slowing down on his eating, and he is getting weaker and weaker. He will soon be bed bound and then Mom will really go into a panic. We've been blessed by an incredible nurse and aides who take such good and gentle care of Dad when they put him to bed and get him up. They have become like family to us. I have been blessed, as I have finally had an opportunity to help someone move from this life to the next in the best way I know how. To be able to ease Dad's fears, and comfort Mom when she gets anxious, to be able to set a calm tone so that the rest of the family isn't anxious, and to know that I can do that because I know that God lives, what a wonderful gift that I've been given. Thank you Heavenly Father, I hope I'm doing okay.....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Roses....the many colors of love.....

Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Delight, Promise of a new beginning, Welcome Back, Remember Me,  Jealousy,
"I care"
 Appreciation, "Thank you", Grace, Perfect Happiness, Admiration, Gentleness, "Please Believe Me"
 Friendship, Falling in Love
Desire, Enthusiasm
Appreciation, Closing the deal, Let's get together, Sincerity, Gratitude
Love, Beauty, Courage and Respect, Romantic Love, Congratulations, "I Love You", "Job Well Done", Sincere Love, Respect, Courage & Passion

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Late night confessions....

 I finally got my daughter's birthday present done...after her special day....sigh....
I so wanted to have this to her in time, but I found out that I didn't have the right tools. I tried drilling a hole with a regular bit but it didn't make much of a dent. Rats! Oh sure, I sent her a card, but I was really hoping to get this out to her sooner. Living in Wendover you don't have much in the way of options. It's either order online, or go to the city. After searching the internet, and looking high and low in Salt Lake City, I found a drill bit I needed to put holes in the pendant I made from a broken plate.
 My girls used to tell me they wanted my dishes when I didn't any more, so here is the first I've been saving my broken dishes with plans to do different things with them and was so excited that I finally found a way to drill holes in the pieces after I smoothed the edges with a grinder.
I can't wait to get back to Wendover as I've got several pendants and charms started with my plate pieces, and am itching to make some jewelry among other things.
For now, it's back to rousing Upwords tournaments with my MIL, and tending to her and my FIL. I'm praying Dad will be able to sleep tonight so I can. This dying stuff is not for wimps, and old sailors die hard. I've probably said that before, but I'm sleep deprived so you'll forgive me for repeating myself won't you? Poor fella is praying to go quickly as he is miserable, and we don't blame him. We pray for him as well. He had a blessing today in which he was told he was a good man and lived a good life and Heavenly Father is aware of his trials. He will go when it's time. For now, I get the blessings of serving, and once in a while I can create something that hopefully brings a spot of joy to someone else. It's time for bed...I wish you sweet dreams and hopefully a good Monday.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Easy Valentine Chocolate Boxes and Dessert Cups

 Above is a little preview of what's to come. These may look rather difficult, but they are so fun that you might find yourself coming up with all sorts of ways to use chocolate.
 First you need to find your mold. They must be somewhat flexible as these pans are, without being squishy. Oil them very lightly and wipe to make sure there's no excess otherwise the chocolate slides back down the sides.
 Melt in a double boiler over low heat 1 bag of semi-sweet and 1 of milk chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of shortening.
 Once melted take a spoon or somewhat stiff rubber spatula and spread the chocolate around your molds, covering all the inside surface. Don't worry if it doesn't seem thick enough at this point.
 See? Chill this in refrigerator.
 Now take a piece of paper and trace the bottom of your mold. If you trace the top, the lid to the box may be too big.

 With a pen or marker make curliques all over the design, trying to have an even look on both sides, which forgive me but this one is a hurried example as time was of the essence.
 Spoon into a squeeze bottle some of your melted chocolate and add more chips if necessary. This means you should probably buy 3 Keep your bottle in a cup of very hot water to keep the chocolate squeezeable.
 Lay a piece of wax paper down on the design sheet and tape to table or counter.
 Now cover your design with chocolate piping, going double over the outside lines and inside if necessary. Let harden.
 Add more of the chocolate in the double boiler to the sides and bottom of your box as needed for strength. At this point you can put this in the freezer to make this easy to pop out. Take the pan out of the freezer and gently flex it to loosen the chocolate from the sides. Turn over and it should pop out easily. Be careful as the chocolate will melt in your hands so handle lightly. Peel the top of the box off the wax paper gentley and ......
TaaDaa! Now you can fill it with any treat your sweetheart desires. So 3 bags of chocolate chips, some shortening and filler treats to put in your box are all you need. Oh, the photo at the top of this post? I thought I had a post on that! Well, now I need to find a chocolate mousse recipe to share for that which will be forth coming.  Happy Valentines Day!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A New Nautical Bracelet for Spring

Doesn't a day at the beach, squishing damp sand between your toes as the sun warms you sound wonderful? It sure does to me! With winter slightly there, as in no snow in the valleys and temperatures in the 40's I'm already itching to be outdoors, playing somewhere, whether it be at the beach, which is hundreds of miles away, or in the garden, one if which is 100 miles away right now and the other several hundreds. Sounds as if I need to move right? Wish we could, but in the meantime I'm dreaming of waves crashing on the shore and spreading their treasures of seashells, sand dollars and driftwood on the sand.
Find the bracelet here: SimplySheryls on ETSY