Sunday, February 28, 2021

Keeping Lonnie in Our Prayers......

 Thank you for keeping Lonnie in your prayers.....

we love our brother and this has been another hard day.

Michele gave us two updates today........

Lonnie - July 2019

this morning's was not so good.
Lonnie had a bad night with several set backs.
Elevated heart rate and ammonia levels so he received medications for both of those.
The MRI showed a sub acute stroke but they can't say exactly when that happened.
His eyes are open now but he's still not focused.

Lonnie - February 2019 
Going to see his grandkids

We were all just heart sick over the news but kept a prayer vigil going for him from our separate homes.

January 29th, 2019
Lonnie's 64th birthday

Deanie sent us photos and that helped us. Just seeing him makes me smile.

He loves his family and nephews, nieces, siblings, cousins. 
Lonnie is a truly loving man and as gentle as they come.

Everyone loves Lonnie!

Then later in the afternoon, we received another update that was more encouraging.
Michele sat with him for a couple of hours and Lonnie knew she was there.
The medications worked and his blood pressure and heart rate improved.
She and the pulmonary doctor kept missing each other so she will get a call from him later.
And the neurologist will see Lonnie tomorrow.
All of this was good news but the best was yet to come.
Michele sent us this beautiful message.....

I kissed his forehead and said, "I love you, Lonnie."
He opened his eyes and nodded his head with a hard YES!
The nurse, Matt, said, "Now that's the response I was looking for!"

So we continue in prayer as we wait on the Lord.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Update on Lonnie and Thank You for the Prayers!

I am a believer in the power of prayer and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for every prayer prayed for our beloved brother, Lonnie. 

Photo from our last Sibling Trip in 2018

Things did not look good for Lonnie on Friday.
Michele and I talked and cried and even laughed together on the phone as we prepared ourselves for what could possibly lie ahead....

Lonnie is only 66 years old and has had severe health issues for years.
He is a Christ follower and has been since he was a child.
Life has not been easy for Lonnie but the last 15 years have been the happiest of them all.
God saved the best for last for both me and my brother.

Michele, Deanie and I all met over at Nita's house this morning.
Nita drove us all to the hospital knowing that only one person would be able to go up and see Lonnie.
Michele was so gracious to allow me to be the 'person' to visit this day.
Lonnie is allowed only one visitor per day and then just for a few minutes.
While we were parked at the entrance, and I was about to get out of the car, Michele received a call from the staff giving her an update. This happened yesterday, as well. Michele's friend had driven her to the hospital and, while still in the car on the parking lot, she received an update from the doctor.
God poured out his grace when she arrived!

The update was encouraging.
Lonnie is still in ICU and he is still on a ventilator.
However, he is breathing on his own....meaning he decides when to take a breath as opposed to the ventilator doing all the work for him.
The nurse said he is more stable today than yesterday.
He is being weaned off the sedation slowly so as to gently wake him up as opposed to him being abruptly woken as in a fire alarm.

I went up to see him and he looked good.
He was not awake but he was resting and breathing well.....not struggling at all.
His color was good and he was not swollen, as he had been before.
I held his hand and prayed over him. I stood first on one side of his bed and then the other so I could hold both of his hands. I prayed with my hand on his head.....and asked the Holy Spirit to give him peace and comfort. I watched his face and he was not agitated at all but I did see eye movements and he would lift an eyebrow from time to time.
These were the most precious minutes of my day.
I was holding my brother's hand and talking to him and praying for him.....
and I thank Michele for the gift she gave me....I had not seen Lonnie since Christmas Day nor have I even spoken to him to hear his voice.

I left the hospital with a lighter heart and was so happy to be able to give a good report of his condition.
It's one thing to hear words from a doctor or nurse but it's another to see with your own eyes.

We went back to Nita's where she had prepared a delicious meal and, all of a sudden, we were all starved!

Salad, a pot of good seasoned beans, and Mexican cornbread mini muffins!
It doesn't get any better than this!!

Next to holding Lonnie's hands - my second biggest blessing was seeing my beautiful sister!
Deanie has had more than her fair share of health issues over the last 8 years and I was thrilled to see her looking so GOOD!!!

Leah joined us for lunch.....Leah being Nita's daughter.

You can see my Visitor bracelet here in the photo.
I am clipping it to my diary.

We ate lunch and lingered long at the table telling stories and recounting memories.
Michele said she needs to remember that Lonnie has NO clothes at the hospital.
I asked how so??
Well, it was shortly after midnight on Wednesday morning when it was obvious to her that Lonnie needed to go to the hospital. He refused to get dressed and refused to get in the car. So she did the only thing she could. Called 911!
The paramedics came and asked Lonnie to get dressed. They even tried to help him. Lonnie said NO!
The paramedics said, "No problem!"
Lonnie was wearing only a pair of boxer shorts.
The two guys got a blanket and wrapped him up like a burrito and said, "We've got you!"
And one of them picked Lonnie up at the shoulders and the other one at the feet and they hauled him out of the house and into the ambulance.
I must say, Lonnie did not take this well and, Christian though he is, he was giving them what for with his words!!
We laughed together and said we woul dhave so much 'material' to share with Lonnie when he gets better! He won't remember any of this!

It was a good day to be together.
Lonnie is not out of the woods and we do not yet know what the prognosis is.
But we do know that today was better than yesterday.
And we do know that we all love and support one another and we are so grateful for Michele.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Friday News....

 I thought about not posting a journal entry tonight.....
our hearts are heavy with concern for our brother, Lonnie.
Last night it looked like he would pull out of this medical emergency.

Then this morning the news was not nearly as encouraging.

Lonnie was transferred to the ICU and is now on a ventilator.
Our hearts are broken as we continue to hold Lonnie in our prayers and our hearts.
I'm going over to Fort Worth in the morning.
We sisters - including our beloved Michele - need to be together.
We need to hold hands, hug one another and cry together as we pray for Lonnie.
I ask all my friends to continue to hold him in your prayers and especially pray for Michele.....
Lonnie calls her his 'Beautiful Bride.'

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Recipe Memories, Herb Garden Prep, Scenes from Puerto Rico and Update on my Brother........

Wednesday Louis Dean got outside in the sunshine and cleaned off his new deck, scrubbed down two rugs from the kitchen and then started back in on the soon to be new herb garden. 

This is what he does when I tell him he can go outside and play!

He credits his manly biceps to digging in the dirt - something he dearly loves to do!

While he was working outside ......
I was working inside! In the sewing room which is where I have a bookcase filled with cookbooks.

When I was cleaning out all the cupboards in the kitchen preparing for our new countertops, I emptied one that was full of old recipes. It was in a hard to get to place so I have not seen these in years.
Bea's Peanuts! 
I was 26 years old and Summer was 11 when we made these for the first time!
Such good memories. We stitched up the burlap bags and gifted these at Christmas....using Mod Podge on the burlap. Mod Podge was invented by Janet Wetstone in 1967 so this was still relatively new back then. By the way, Mod Podge is short for Modern Decoupage

The recipes used to come in our gas bills as I recall.
Such treasures to rediscover on a February day in 2021!

These are the original recipes I copied off. 
The sugarplums from 1970 - before I started dating and signing them.
The original recipe is from 1966 and I know this because I copied it from the package of  Pure Cane Confectioners sugar and made it the Christmas after my son, Jesse, was born in November of that year.
I caught up by writing '1970, 1971 and 1972' on the recipe page. I used spiral notebooks back then to write my recipes in.
The 5 pound fudge recipe was a bit later and Jesse, Jr made it famous among his church group friends and our family!
Funny story about that fudge!
He made it up for Christmas one year and I put it in a tin and stored it in the pantry.
Summer would get up in the night and go in there and sneek a piece.
The thing is - I forgot it was there.
One day I opened up the tin, discovered the fudge - all covered in MOLD - and wondered why Summer looked sick all of a sudden!
We STILL laugh about that!
From that year on - I kept it in the fridge!

I remember baking these for Christmas way back when and have tried to find the recipe online several times. They are delicious and people loved them even when they thought they didn't like mincemeat!
I am going to make some of these for my stepson. Dean LOVES mincemeat!

And I did NOT remember that I have been making fruitcake cookies BEFORE 1985 when my Aunt Irene gifted me a Hood County, Texas cookbook with a fruitcake cookie recipe in it which is the one I use now. For Christmas 2021 I intend to make my cookies from this recipe!

Do you know why these vintage keepsake recipes mean so much to me?
My home burned in 1983 and I lost nearly everything.
My kitchen literally burned up.
I remember taking a stick and stirring the ashes as I made my inventory for the insurance company.
Where WERE these recipes that they survived??
They had to be in this house which I still live in today.
I can't remember where they were but they survived and it is impossible for me to throw them away now.
They will not mean anything to anyone else......but I do love holding pieces of my history in my hands and seeing them with my eyes.
My handwriting has changed. My life has changed. I have changed.
We never stand still. We never remain the same. We are a work in progress and when I see these pieces of my past, I am so grateful for the way God has led me through this life.

Recipes and cooking will always be a part of my life.
At this stage - I am cooking for two - and I try to be a good steward and NOT waste food.
So last night we had a second run of the Shrimp Scampi - with the addition of Alfredo sauce and diced chicken. Louis Dean - while out on Sunday on his shopping spree - bought a huge bag of frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts. These are so handy in making meals for two! I found a recipe for chicken pot pie in my collection so that will be on the menu this weekend.

While we meant to be down at the ranch by now - rain has arrived - both here and there.
So we are stuck at home until around March 15th when Sherry and I get the opportunity to see veteran bee keepers (they have 50 hives)  splitting them! We will observe, learn and assist!

Today (Thursday) has been a good one.

The Birthday Quilt for great granddaughter, Kaitlyn, is finally finished!
Rain was in the forecast today so I went out early and spread the quilt on the deck so I could pin it to tack in place on the sewing machine in lieu of using needle and yarn.
One more quilt in line to do - a birthday quilt for our Chandy Girl.

Since I'm talking about recipes......

I mailed this book made by the Karate Federation to Chandy.
It was published in 2009.....and I was reading through it before I sent it to her (I have a scond copy for myself) and forgot all about contributing my Sugarplum recipe in it!

This is a photo of Dean and his mother, Ellen, on the first page.
So recipes and cookbooks can be emotional and memorable treasures as well as practical ways to feed our loved ones.

I went out this afternoon and took Christmas down from the gazebo!
It's really late but we haven't been out there due to all sorts of reasons but today was the day!
Tabitha wanted to see what I was doing so she kept vigil at the sewing room door.

Our dear friend, Jimmy, whom I have known since he was a child, is in Puerto Rico visiting Summer and Sabrina. I am having an amazing time visiting as well through his photos and videos.

Puerto Rico is a paradise and it's always fun to share it with someone.

Jimmy knows how to have fun and he loves LIFE more than most people I know.

What a perfect picture!

Someday I wll be there and seeing all this with my own eyes!
Until then - I am having such a good time enjoying his trip!
Summer left Texas on November 9th and will be returning on March 5th.
I have missed her so much but we have kept in touch by phone, photos. messages, Facetime and Marco Polo. I am happy she has had such quality time there and been able to share it with a childhood friend.

And now I have a good update on our beloved brother, Lonnie.

He is in the hospital tonight, as I write.
His wife, Michele, wisely called 911 sometime after midnight this morning and he was admitted and will remain there for a few days. Michele has been gracious in keeping all of us sisters in the loop and the prognosis is that Lonnie will be able to pull out of this. But going forward, he will have to step up in his self care if he wants to regain his health.
Thank you for each and every prayer.....

And in other news, I talked to Lillian today and she was excited about getting a card from my blog friend, DeeDee in Gainsville! I intend to go to Fort Worth on Tuesday next week to see my brother and I told Lillian I will stop by the nursing home and take her some goodies and a pizza - or maybe take out form Jason's Deli - and we can have a visit together in person! She said there are no active Covid cases there at this time. I will check with the office first, of course, but at the very least I can deliver her some lunch and groceries.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Tuesday Treasures....

 Last night before we went to bed, Louis Dean and I were both hungry for something light and sweet.

I sliced up some strawberries and was glad I still had some Cool Whip!
While I would have preferred some shortcake to go with it, we made do with as few saltine crackers.
I suppose crackers are like a staple here. As a matter of fact, crackers have been an important food to me my entire life!

As I was carrying our dishes back to the kitchen, I glanced out the French doors and spied a possum!!

Not a baby and not a huge adult, either!
I'm so happy to see one again!
When I cleaned out the pantry last week, I threew out some old raisins and dried cranberries, thinking the birds would eat them. I guess possums like them, too!! Today I went out and brushed all the ones that were on top of the table off onto the deck. Hopefully we will have a visitor or two tonight and they can clean it all up!

I have to tell you about my shower last night.
I was so excited about getting one. The thing is - Louis Dean stayed confusion through the entire freezing weather ordeal - about the back cut off valves. One is for the hot water and one is for the cold.
I hopped into the shower and it wasn't long before I realized there was NO cold water!
I started screaming and scrunched over out of reach of that steaming scalding water! He had to go BACK out there and reach his hands down in the cold muddy water - because the valves are in a 'box' thing and all the snow melted and filled it up with water - dirty water! He finally got it turned on but by that time I was just wanting to rinse off and get out of the shower!

However, this morning I woke up to hot and cold water in both bathrooms, the kitchen and the laundry room for the very first time since February 13th! AND I could flush the commode any time I wanted to!

Since today is Tuesday.....I decided to hit up a thrift store and a Goodwill.

I got all this plus four big notebooks for Louis Dean for about $25!

Love this brand new set of inspirational coasters from DaySpring.

Another good book......

Love this bistro sign - it's hanging on the antique children's desk in the living room now.

Another Woodland Santa to add to my collection.

Such a beautiful tablecloth!
It was folded so nicely that I am using it on my living room coffee table now.

Okay! So last week we woke up to -2 degrees and snow and ice!
Today it was 79 degrees and I have the attic fan on!!
Of COURSE, I needed a sleeveless denim shirt for just such a day as this one!

Our dinner tonight - shrimp scampi, steamed broccoli (with cheese sauce on his) and a garden salad.
We have leftover scampi and spaghetti so tomorrow I am going to add Alfredo sauce and some chicken to make round #2! Another salad and garlic bread!

We actually ate dinner tonight in the newly cleaned dining room.

Table is set for entertaining!
I will add napkin rings when I clean the sewing room tomorrow.
I have so many I keep them in a tub under the table in there.

It seems like this was just a regular Tuesday for me but I have had Lonnie and my siblings on my mind all day. Deanie and Charlie took Lonnie to the doctor at 10:00 this morning and he was not in good shape. It appears he has not been taking his medications and he hasn't done the follow up appointments from his hospitalization in Decemeber. My sisters and I are very concerned for him. Deanie did a good job letting us know what was going on. He is back at home but I'm not sure he's doing any better.
I've stayed busy but have kept a prayer for Lonnie in my heart all day long.

I kept our youngest sister, Luann, in the loop as well as my children.
Part of me wants to rush over there and - do what? 
Then part of me wants to give him his privacy and let him use what strength he has to get better.
Deanie wisely pointed out to us that this past year of Covid has been especially hard on our brother. He has spent most of the time home alone. And Lonnie has always been a people person.
He's also been in chronic pain and has been for years.
So I have done the only thing I know to do.....pray and claim scriptures for our brother and continue to trust God to do for Lonnie what he can't do for himself.

I just want to hug him and tell him how much I love him.