Saturday, November 9, 2013

The bamboo bee house that Will and the Man constructed this afternoon. Next summer we'll put this up in the backyard, where it will give bees a place to rest. 

Tomorrow I'm going to Kentucky to hang out with my mom for a few days while she goes through her final round of chemo. She's so ready to be done! There's high hope that the cancer is in remission, but even if she needs more chemotherapy, she'll get any further doses in pill form and won't have to be in the hospital.

I'm driving to Kentucky, mostly because I dislike flying, and when you add all the hours it takes to get to the airport, get through airport security, wait for the flight, wait for the connecting flight in Charlotte or Atlanta, then pick up my luggage when I finally reach the Louisville airport, it turns out that it only takes two hours longer to drive. Driving, I can listen to audiobooks, eat yummy snacks that don't include tiny packs of stale pretzles, talk to myself, sing, and look at the beautiful mountains of North Carolina and West Virginia.

In other words, hand me my keys, Myrtle, I'm a-driving to Kentuck'!

Last week was Halloween, and guess which Halloween birthday boy got sick on his big day? Yep, poor old Will woke up Halloween morning with a fever and a sore throat. Back to bed he went, where he stayed for the next two days (okay, he didn't really stay in bed--my children never stay in bed when they're sick--it's more like he spent forty-eight hours wandering around the house looking pale and feverish and asking for popsicles).

Will's Halloween pumpkin on October 30th ...

So no trick-or-treating for poor Will. Fortunately, we have kind neighbors who brought him candy, and I bought an extra bag on Friday at Target, so that not only would Will have a sufficient candy supply, but Jack would get his big brother percentage (Jack now being too old to trick-or-treat). I felt sort of goofy standing in line to buy candy the day after the biggest candy bonanza of the year and had to stop myself from explaining the situation to the cashier, who I'm sure a) didn't give it a second thought; or b) could not have cared less.

Will's pumpkin on November 3rd, on its way out to the compost bin.

 Of course, we all got Will's bug and so I'm a little behind on my Grand Christmas Scheme. However, I'm proud to report that I have purchased gifts for my niece and nephew in Chicago and have come up with several new ideas for things Will and Jack might like. Will continues to mock me for my efforts, but when I'm serene and carefree all through December, he'll see the method to my madness.

Today I ordered a turkey breast for Thanksgiving. Whole Foods sells fresh turkey breasts that they swear come from turkeys who lived happy, uncaged lives on a kosher farm in Pennsylvania. These aren't organic or heirloom turkey breasts, but since I can't afford organic or heirloom turkey breasts, cheerful birds who spent most of their lives strolling around a field making gobble gobble noises will have to do. I'll pick it up the day before Thanksgiving, along with the fabulous Whole Foods gravy, and be a very happy camper myself.

Amanda asked in a recent comment about what Advent books I read (Advent begins on December 1st this year, by the way). My two favorites are Watch for the Light, which contains daily readings from writers such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, Kathleen Norris and Philip Yancey, and God With Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Christmas, with writings by Scott Cairns, Emilie Griffin, Eugene Peterson, Richard John Neuhaus, Kathleen Norris and Luci Shaw. It's probably my favorite of the two, but both have a lot of wonderful things to offer.

And Gretchen asked what kind of cookie dough I made for my Christmas cookies. It's a simple butter cookie recipe-- a half pound of butter, 4 1/2 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Easy-peasy. When the time comes, we'll roll it out, cut out lots of stars and Christmas trees, sprinkle them with colored sugar, and be very merry indeed.

As always, keep my mom in your prayers, if you'd be so kind, and I'd appreciate prayers for traveling mercies. I'll be back Wednesday. See you soon!


Jo said...

Travel well my dear. And all the very best health for your lovely mum.

Nancy McCarroll said...

Prayers for Jane, your travels ( slow down on eating post Halloween candy) and enjoy the time driving through pretty country.

Thanks for the Advent books you are reading. One might go on my Kindle app.

Pom Pom said...

Yes, I'll be praying for your good mama. I think long drives are nice, all that privacy and no-audience singing!
A friend brought Whole Foods brisket for our dinner. Yummy!
I have so many eaters coming for Thanksgiving dinner that I think I need to buy a big fat (I'll try for happy) turkey.
God be with you, good friend.

magsmcc said...

Frances, I clicked on the link for the Christmas Done and Dusted Plan and I should have started on 1st September. FRANCES! I pray that your mum will make a recovery unfettered by obstacle and resplendent in miracle. And enjoy that road trip. I went to Kilkenny and back in a day last year. Not at all the same thing, but longer in the car than with the briefly visiting friends. Loved every mile of it. Oh those solitary coffee/meal breaks. Bliss!

The dB family said...

Tee hee! Love the before and after photos of Will's pumpkin!

Will be praying for your safety as you travel to be with your mom. I am thankful to read that she is on her last treatment and is doing so well. (My mom didn't get nausea after her first treatment -- just tired like your mom.)Also praying for REMISSION!!

I enjoyed reading back and catching up with you. You always manage to be thought provoking and make me smile at the same time.

Blessings, my friend!

Tracy said...

I wondered just yesterday how your mum was doing. I am sure you will all be glad for the chemo season to be done with. I hope her next lot of results are good ones.

I hope you are feeling better too. It's gastro bug time around here. It comes with the beginning of warmer weather, it seems. We have escaped it so far.

Enjoy the drive. 'See' you when you get back.

Heather said...

Praying for your mother. I'm happy that she seems to be at the end of the worst of her ordeal.

We all caught a bug this last week, too. I am hoping that that will be it for the winter.

Have a good trip! Be safe.

Amanda said...

Thank you so much for kindly sharing your Advent titles! I really appreciate it. I do hope you're having a wonderful trip, with a lot of good mother-daughter time. And that your mother is restored very soon!

wayside wanderer said...

I am so with you on the reason for driving. Prayers for safe travels and good time spent with your mom. I need to figure out what I am going to read for Advent. I need to wrap a few things up first. Oy.

magsmcc said...

Just wanted to tell you that I have made a start on the big C- commercialism. Still waiting for nearer the time for the Real Thing xx

Gumbo Lily said...

Prayers for Mom. I hope you had a wonderful visit with her and a happy journey to and fro.