Christmas Gifts

I think I ate a year’s supply of chocolate over the last two weeks. Have I mentioned I love chocolate? I must have because I received lots of it as gifts. I ate every last bit as well as all the fudge and other luscious nummy-ness at parties and on the counters at school and church. I will have to work doubly hard in the new year to work it all off (she says laughingly as another Hershey kiss is plopped in her mouth).

Chocolate is always a good gift for me no matter what the occasion. But one of my favorite gifts this Christmas was from the hugs of former students as they visited church over the holidays. Some of these kids I only see once or twice a year, so as they arrive home from college with diamond rings on their left hand ring finger I see how quickly time is passing by.

It was also a great gift to watch some of my current Junior High students as they sang in the adult church choir. As one 7th grade girl I’ve known since Kindergarten sang out her solo among all the grownups I got all misty eyed and couldn’t stop smiling.

Spending Christmas morning with my 17 year-old niece was another great gift. Watching her open her stocking, I pictured her as a little girl again with curly locks instead of the hair she works so hard now to straighten.

But, I have to say my most favorite of all, first place winning Christmas gift this year was the fact that my church partnered with a Presbyterian Church for a Christmas program mid-month and shared Christmas morning service with a Baptist congregation. Yowsa! Imagine that, different churches with differing theologies getting together to celebrate Jesus. Whee!!  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Amen and Hallelujah!

Question: What were some of your favorite gifts this Christmas?

A Sister in Need is a Sister in Deed

This past August 8, a Monday evening, at approximately 7 pm, aliens invaded my body, lit a campfire and shot each other with darts causing me the worst pain and nausea I have ever experienced.  Having grown up with a sensitive stomach I’ve spent many an hour vomiting after consuming rich or high fat foods.  Since I am not Jerry from Seinfeld or Ted from How I Met Your Mother I have no proud record of how long it has been since the last time I vomited.  It has happened all too often during my lifetime.

But as I was puking up my toes for the 3rd time that evening, I said to myself, “Something is worse this time, but how handy it is that my sister lives just upstairs.  I shall give her a call and have her drive me to the emergency room.”
So I called.  And called.  And called again.  Her car was in the driveway so I assumed she was home.  I went to her front door and rang the bell.  And rang.  And rang again.  And cried.  And through up some more.
Then I remembered she was attending the Bible Study next door.  So I went, shaking and sweating with puke bowl in hand, and knocked and opened the door.  “I need Chrystal,” I sobbed.  “She’s not here tonight.  What’s wro…?”  But before their final words were spoken I was headed back to her front door for one last try.  Ring, ring, ring.  Still nothing.
Sheryl a nurse friend of mine lives nearby and I gave her a call.  She arrived in no time and I was on my way to the hospital.  Yea Sheryl.
They took me right in and gave me some morphine.  Hmm…Strange sensation intravenous drugs.  You can actually feel it ooze through your body with an, “I can see why people do this recreationally,” thought or two as it does.  Alas, this first dose helped only slightly, but enough for me to lie still.  I had to wait before they could give me more.  After a couple of hours, I suggested Sheryl call another friend, Linda, to tag team with her.  Linda didn’t have to work the next day and I wanted Sheryl to get some rest.  Linda arrived and Sheryl went home.  But not before reminding the nursing staff I needed my fluids bag replaced and that it was time for my next round of morphine.  It’s great to have a nurse for a friend.
Being in a pain meds haze I can’t remember exactly when Chrystal texted but I do remember the content.  It went something like this:  “Hey, what ya doin’.  I’m in the backyard on the trampoline.  It’s a beautiful night.  Come out and enjoy it with me.”  I handed the phone to Sheryl, or was it Linda at that point, don’t know.  Whoever it was called her and told her where I was. 
Turns out Chrystal had been upstairs in her bedroom the entire time, with the air conditioner on causing her not to hear the phone or doorbell. 
I will have to share the ins and outs of the reasons why they didn’t take my gallbladder out that night and why I had to wait two months for the surgery in Thursday’s post.  But fast forward from August 8 to October 14…
Around midnight the Friday night before my scheduled surgery on the following Tuesday, the aliens were back and I wound up on the bathroom floor again.  This time it was much worse and I felt pain in the same place as well as just to the left and in my back.  So, once again, I called my sister upstairs; no answer.  She was obviously sleeping with her phone off.  I had texted her a few hours earlier telling her I wasn’t feeling well and received no answer then as well.  So, wasting no time, I called my friend Dawn, waking her up, and cried, “Make them TAKE IT OUT!!!”  She couldn’t quite tell what I was saying because I was crying so badly, but she assumed what was happening and made it to my house. 
Waiting for Dawn to arrive, I christened my sister’s front yard. 
I shall share the details of my health issues and hospital stay in Thursdays post as well. Fast forward to my first day back at work two weeks later…
“And thank you, Lord,” prayed my principal Mr. Whittlesey, “that Dana is blessed to have her sister living just upstairs to help her out in times like these.”  Seriously?  Of course, after the Amen I had to share the real story.
Chrystal really is a great sister and feels guilty she didn’t know I needed help, but that doesn’t make it any less fun to tease her about this.
Question:  Are you a “Jerry” or “Ted” and have a non-vomit record going?  Or are you more like me?

Basement Dweller Thanks

I started thinking about my house the other night.  I was missing it but decided I couldn’t let my mind wander east 7 miles.  So I stopped and decided to count my blessings and think on all the good things of where I am now.  Being a basement dweller is working out fine.  Now do I step out and say it is working out fine “for now” or just keep saying it is working out fine.  Because it is.  But I do miss my house.
I am happy here.  There is far less to clean here than in my house.  Actually, there is just as much cat hair to clean up it is just in a more concentrated area. 
Also, my sister lives just upstairs.  You would think that would be handy but will come to find out differently in a future post.
Living within walking distance of where I work has saved me money on gas.  And when I recently had a flat tire I didn’t have to rush to get it fixed.  Funny thing, nobody mentioned to me it was looking low…
I met my renters the other day.  I have a property management company that handles most things but the renters wanted me to come out and discuss the yard.  I was happy to do so.  I was especially happy to do so when they said they liked doing yard work and just wanted my okay with what they were doing.
They had painted my bright “hello I’m yellow” guest room to a softer, more easier on the eyes sage green.  Much, much better.  That yellow was a bit harsh no matter how hard I tried to soften it.
They have a beautiful dog.  Can’t remember what kind, but just picture a sweet checkerboardy looking hound dog that would love chasing squirrels and the like through a field.  Unfortunately he just has my bark dust 10x 20 ish side yard to romp.  I think even Mary and Martha would like him.
I know God provided this apartment for me at just the right time.  It was available a year ago but I wasn’t quite ready.  If I had moved in then I think I would have grieved not being in my house instead of just missing it from time to time.
So for now, or longer, I am content, and thankful, to be a basement dweller.  God’s timing is best.
Question:  Are you content and thankful?

A Hot Single Turns 40

I am back at my blogging post after a brief hospital stay and recovery.  Thanks for being patient and mentioning that you missed me!
Me and Amy at her 40th Birthday
Camping Trip.
Amid fits of laughter my intensely beautiful and surprisingly funny friend waves her arm across the air like a banner and announces, “Aaaaaamy’s Fuuun and Faaaabulous Fortieth Frieeeends and Faaamily Festiiiivitiiies!!!!!”   Whee!  It became our mantra for the past few weeks looking forward to the camping trip celebrating Amy saying goodbye to her thirties. 
I say “intensely beautiful” because the men in Italy could not get enough of her.  She was even kissed by our very first waiter in Rome.  I was watching him throughout our meal and suspected he felt a little hubba hubba for our Amy.  My suspicions were confirmed when he wanted to personally escort her to the restroom, which upon her return is when he planted a juicy one on her cheek.  She was also hit on by a leather store owner as well as eyed up and down by any male with a heartbeat as she passed by. 
And she’s “surprisingly funny” because of the stereotype that beautiful women aren’t funny.  Well she is.  Funny in a sneaky, hee hee, sort of way.
Amy is a kindred spirit to me.  We both made it to 40 by “never finding a man who could stand to be as deliriously happy as we would make him.”  We are the special kind of SingleMinded people that know, though being married would be a wonderful thing, we don’t have to wait for a walk down the aisle for life to happen.
I watched her with the children of her friends attending the, “Aaaaaamy’s Fuuun and Faaaabulous Fortieth Frieeeends and Faaamily Festiiiivitiiies,” and knew she was making an impact on young lives.  I saw the respect and admiration of the husbands in attendance knowing she had built in handymen, heavy-thing-lifters and advice-givers when needed.
I also know she has a lover of her soul that fills the gap.
Being singleminded, when done well, can be Faaabulous when you have great Frieeeends and Faaamily for Fuuun Festiiivitiiiies!
Question:  Do you have an Amy in your life?

I’m a Sicko

Hello Dear Blog World Friends,

Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a bit.  And between having no internet at home and not being able to go to work because of a silly internal organ that is misbehaving, I won’t post again until early November.

I look forward to having my life back to normal.  Normal??

With Love From Your SingleMinded Friend,
Dana

Are you listening…

This video has been making the rounds on face book and emails lately, and for good reason.  Our God truly is amazing. 
My theme verse for my music classes this fall has been Psalm 19:1, “The Heavens declare the Glory of God.”  We discussed what that means and what it would look like.  The 3rd graders came up with this:  A Tree brings God glory just by being himself; being what God made him to be.  I thought that was pretty good. 
Then this video crossed my computer screen from several different people this week and I couldn’t wait to show it to my students.  I heard whispers of, “Wow, that is so cool,” and, “How Beautiful.”  I had to agree.
Enjoy.  Oh, and be what God made you to be.
Question:  Did you see that black and white stripy fish thing?  Wasn’t that awesome?