Sunday, May 31, 2009

The computer seems to be back in good working order. I've been a little lost without it. Yes, I know I skipped blogging for the whole month of April just because I wanted to, but the month of May was skipped due mainly to a computer that went crazy and had to spend almost three weeks with the Geek Squad. They finally traced the problem back to my Kodak camera's software, which they removed. Not sure what I'll do with the pictures I take from now on. Can I simply plug in the little thing-a-majig that pops out of the camera and download from it? One of you geeky guys or gals can answer this, I know.

It's been a good day, so far. We celebrated the Day of Pentecost at church, complete with tongues of fire and the gospel in several languages. We even heard 1 Corinthians 12: 4-13 read in the most perfect Southern drawl imaginable. The anthems our choir sang were totally unfamiliar to a majority of singers an hour before they were sung beautifully in the service. Sounded like we'd been singing them forever. God's grace scores another win.

Then there was our Feast of Pentecost, a delicious luncheon of international cuisine in the parish hall (Chinese, German, Italian, Mexican, American) with several different flavors of music (including dancing) and drinks (the margaritas were the crowd favorite). It's one of the things I love the most about Episcopalians - they do know how to party!

But nothing resonated with me quite as much as today's reading from our devotional book Forward Day by Day. I've copied and pasted it here hoping you will blessed by reading it, as I was. Maybe it will help you understand why I find the hymnbook to be as inspiring sometimes as the Bible. I suspect it was written by David James, even though I couldn't find his name attached to it anywhere. In the review of his book From Loss to Hope is this: Inspired by James' reliance on the hymnal as a place to turn for guidance, hope, and promise, each reflection closes with a hymn quote, using verse as a bridge back to the tradition of hope that has sustained so many through so much. It certainly suggests he wrote this meditation, doesn't it?

John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15. If I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

Here am I, O Love divine. I rise, I dress, I eat, I work, play, sleep, and rise again. It's not a bad life, and yet it leaves a cold and empty place within me. So come down, O Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven, to earth come down! Seek thou this soul of mine, for I cannot seek thee. I know neither where nor how to look. Seek thou this soul of mine, and visit it with thine own ardor glowing. Warm the cold and fill the empty place with thyself, for thou thyself art warmth and thou thyself art fullness. Thou art all compassion; pure unbounded love thou art.

O Comforter, draw near. Nearer and nearer draw to me till thou art nearer than the breath in my lungs and the beat of my heart. Within my heart appear--be seen, be felt, rule. And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing, until my heart burns with holy fire. Then let it freely burn, till earthly passions turn to dust and ashes in its heat consuming, with a flame no ocean can quench. Unhindered, unchecked, O let it freely burn!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Do you remember smoothies? I've rediscovered them, and make at least one every day. There are so many options that we rarely have the same combination twice. What a great way to get plenty of the healthy stuff like fruit, yogurt and juice! And since the yogurt I buy is sweetened with Splenda, and the juice I buy has no sugar added, it's a great diet food, very filling and satisfying. Get that blender out and whip up something good-for-you! Can't wait to try this on my 4 year old picky-eater next time he's here. Why haven't I thought of this before now?

We had a slim crowd at church today, probably because of the rainy weather, thunderstorms before and during the service. My lights went out at home, had to reset all the clocks when I got up.

Benji called to tell me he was on his way to some Memphis-in-May concerts - Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, and a couple of others whose names escape me now. I might even stand in the rain to hear BR and JT. Maybe next year.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I've enjoyed my Saturday. How about you? Probably the most fun thing I did was a wedding this afternoon and the reception afterwards. Or was it entertaining my friend Lucy this evening? It's a toss-up; I enjoyed them both.

I noticed lightning to the north of us while we were on the patio, and the weatherman is predicting thunderstorms, so I guess we'll be wetter by this time tomorrow, which is okay with me. I hope everybody enjoys their Sunday.

I attended the service at Beth Israel again last night and heard a good sermon by the Rabbi entitled, "For God's Sake, Love Your Neighbor." From the Torah, in the middle of Leviticus, there was a passage that sounded a lot like The Golden Rule, but I was not familiar with it, and haven't been able to find it in my Bible since I got home. If anyone knows where this is, please tell me.

Friday, May 01, 2009

With a Little Help From my Friends- The Beatles

Great song and video. Enjoy!

A month without blogging?!? Did I really do that? I did. It was a very difficult, but productive month for me, a month of introspection rather than a lot of meaningless blah, blah, blah. Sometimes I just have to do that. Most of you understand.

Mike has gotten strong enough to go back to St. Dominic's Outpatient Rehab for physical and occupational therapy. The peripheral vision in his left eye is gone, so I'm driving him everywhere he needs to go. He may get his peripheral vision restored, he may not, nobody knows for sure.

He's also had a neuro-psych evaluation by Dr. Irby, who has been his neuro-psychologist since the 2004 stroke. He had test results from then and now to compare, and on the 7th, he's going over those results with us. He did notice some fatuous lability in his initial interview with Mike on April 17th, which explains why I feel like I'm living with a 14 year old boy most of the time. It also explains why he's perfectly content to watch TV all day and night and tends to favor comedies and comics. For now, he's stuck in "silly mode" and wants to be entertained, to be amused, and has very little tolerance for the frustrations of adult responsibilities. His short fuse can swing him immediately to the other end of the emotional spectrum with lots of hostility, belligerence, etc. He has very little control of his emotions due to the pre-frontal cortex damage. That condition could improve, but it may not. He is working on it. Please, friends, continue to pray for him.

I've been through a spell of insomnia and sleep deprivation, but that is beginning to correct itself. Most of it was due to stress, I believe, but once I worked through a good bit of the internal head noise and unhealthy attitudes, I'm sleeping much better. It's taking lots of journaling, counseling, prayer, meditation, exercise, antidepressants, and friends calling attention to unhealthy behaviors to get me back to the middle of the road; now let's pray that I can keep it between the ditches. It ain't easy. Today I feel grounded, not something I take for granted any longer. I got a solid 8 hours of sleep without pills last night, and that is a real blessing.

I appreciate those of you who have expressed concern.

I get by with a little help from my friends.