The Christmas Challenge

Just days before Christmas, so much to be done,
My body is lagging, my spirit says, “RUN.”
My whole body’s challenged, ‘cause everything hurts.
Energy’s rationed, in bits and in spurts.

I love this season, full of joy and good cheer
Short on it now, I need a magical reindeer.
I’m jumping into the season and searching as I go
For one jolly soul to appear and shout, “HO, HO, HO.”

There’s truly a magic, that now fills the air
With evergreen wreaths with soft angel hair.
All creatures are stirring, even the mice
Grown-ups and children are all “extra nice.”

The gifts are arriving, thanks to the net
The trick is to shop and stay out of debt.
Awe heck, this is Christmas, forget about that
Come January, we’ll eat like Jack Sprat.

My Yorkie is snuggled all warm in our bed
He hasn’t a clue as to my weeks ahead.
How can I do it, so much to be done
My energy left with the rise of the sun.

It’s been years ago, when my health fell apart,
But I’m just the same, at least in my heart.
Now it’s my “gig” to drag myself ‘round.
Working through pain as my problems abound.

With Christmas approaching, now on its way,
I’m determined to let my inner child play.
I’ll festoon and garland, and jingle away,
All I have are Amazon boxes, no sign of a sleigh.

Hold it Rudolph! Hang onto your bladder,
I think my husband just fell off the ladder.
As I limp from my bed to see what is the matter
My hearts stops within me at the crash and the clatter.

The dog begins growling and leaping about;
That’s when I hear it, such a pleasurable shout.
Instead of my spouse, it’s a jolly old fellow
Who bounced when he fell, and looked like Othello.

I’ll ask how it’s done and learn how to jingle
The best source of advice, must be Kris Kringle.
We had a long chat, this fine fellow and I,
His words were so kind, I started to cry.

Here’s what he told me, this jolly old guy,
As we chatted he had a twinkling eye.
Just rely on the magic of this special season
And do what’s a pleasure, but within reason.

He said I could do it, the presents and tree,
But always remember my priority.
When I begin to fade, and forget to laugh
To go and lie down and recall my life raft.

I knew what he meant, the tiny Christ child,
The source of all comfort when life gets too wild
Or I allow too much doing to upset my applecart.
He’s the reason for Christmas and lives in my heart.

So much love He brought to the world, for such a tiny child,
With such a big job to do, as the world he reconciled.
Bringing each of us love, hope and peace of the heart,
With the promise, good times and bad, He will never depart.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, SUE FALKNER WOOD, 2017

59 thoughts on “The Christmas Challenge

  1. Sue dear, As always, your posts are upbeat and inspirational. This lovely poem is probably the proverbial icing on the cake and, as a reward, I am willing to wager that you will have plenty of energy to do what needs to be done. May God bless you with improved health and a very happy Christmas. Love you, dear lady. Phyl

    • Phyl, thanks so much. I’m pleased you enjoyed this. It’s not quite up to par on the form but the heart of it is well meant. I will be posting one more Christmas blog before the holiday but love this season so much. Hope yours is to be merry and bright. Love, Sue

  2. Yes as Phyllis says upbeat and inspirational
    A joy to read
    However I mite just tell someone I know who is tooo Christmassy toooo early to jingle away!!
    See it made me lighthearted
    Not easy at moment as the pain has got worse and am waiting for A dr to ring me back.not gonna let it get as far as last time
    Right that’s it for now back later
    Chris

    • Chris, oh dear. Please do stay on this pain this time. ANy bleeding? Do let us know when you can. Prayers and love, Sue

      • Went to dr got diver again and given augmentum again
        Sore where he pressed
        There goes the trip away tomorrow
        Not to worry. Maybe it hadn’t really cleared and with the enema and the sigmoid thingy ….
        No bleeding
        Had a bit of toast and going to bed with a hottie
        Back tomorrow
        Chris

    • Janet, Merry Texas Christmas to you as well my dear. I just talked to a smoke house down there yesterday ordering our son’s family’s Xmas gift. THey loved this particular place so much we’ve made their meats a gift to them for several years. Hope you have a blessed holiday and Dec. has more to come. Love ya, Sue

  3. This is so beautiful Sue. I’ve had an emotional day but received love and support from my church family that I desperately needed. I still feel emotionally battered but not anxious or feeling the need to try to do more than I can today. The talk we had the other day helped me so much to put things in perspective. Remi had her head against my leg all during mass and that connection plus a dear friend next to me in the pew (skipped singing in the choir today, needed the nurturing of the congregation) helped me settle my spirit.

    • Bobsled Laura, you do sound a bit more perky. I know you are alone entirely too much. Remi is a doll but we all need human companionship in one form or another from one who sincerely cares about us. Now that your spirit is more peaceful, try to hang on to that for the whole season, okay? Priorities and reading our own needs and strength…that’s the tricky part of this life for so many of us.Love, Sue

    • Audrey, you are such a sweet and interesting friend. I always feel like I know you after these years on FB together. Glad you liked the poem and indeed, we all could use a lighter, brighter Christmas. Fondly wishing you a blessed season. I’ll be back at least once more with a blog before the Day. Sue

  4. Sue, this is just what I needed. Although I feel like I am not doing enough, I think perhaps I may be stretch it a bit. Probably the extra stress, and now we are to have a cold snap. Been trying to rest, but then I think of all the things I should be taking care of or doing. Vicous cycle. Feeling a bit emotional and down today. Well, not all day. Late morning I took Sadie for a walk on the Trail since it will be a few days until we can get back there. It was nicer weather than I thought it might be, which was a nice surprise. Along the way we encountered a couple and their greyhound. A handsome, very calm and sweet gentleman. As I petted him, he leaned into me hard. His owners laughed and said he loves women. Oh, darn. 🙂 We chatted a bit as I loved on the grey while he peacefully leaned against me, enjoying every moment in his own quiet way. Made me miss our grey babies. Sadie was funny. When we first saw them, she hung back like she wasn’t too sure. I stopped and had her sit to wait while they passed by, but then when we started chatting, she quietly approached the grey, who completely ignored her, and was surprisingly calm and patient. She is normally jealous of any attention another animal gets, but she was really pretty good with this one, and the lady petted her, which she accepted without balking. Been thinking about the encounter all day. What a joy. I really should practice right now, but am tired. I’d rather lounge and watch Hallmark Christmas movies. Haha! Yes, we do shop at the shop. You would love it, especially right now with all the vintage style Christmas decor. I’m afraid I picked up more than I had planned, but love each piece. I should post a pic of the handmade nativity. Each “character” was cut out of metal, then attached to an old piece of barn wood. Very rustic, apropos to the Christ child’s humble beginning. I loved the effect when I put a few tea lights behind it, but that just wasn’t practical, so I put some string lights behind it instead. Perhaps I will post a picture on facebook. On a different subject, I am glad you have fired that cardiologist. There must be someone else who would be more willing to take in your whole picture, challenging though it is. Your GD birthday sounds magical. I can’t believe how much your grands have grown!

    Chris, do stay on top of your latest. Praying that bleeding stops and you get some effective answers.

    Bobsled, oh dear. I was thinking of you on our walk today and wondering how Remi is doing. I am so glad you got some much needed support today when you needed it.

    Wishing all who read here well. Happy holiday season, one and all.

    • Lyn, Forgive me for not answering last night. Eyes were fading and I knew I needed more time for answering your lovely long post. What a lot of memories the greyhound must have brought back for you. Sounds like a very special day out in the woods. The only thing missing was a softly falling snow. Sadie a bit jealous of her mom, huh? I know George is terribly protective and if Jim or I are holding him he is worse so we have to put him down when people are here.

      I know you have several performances this month and wish you health, stamina and your usual beautiful performances. I know you love it but have to sit on that stool and watch those vocal cords.

      Yes indeed I would love that shop. I stopped at the gift shop at the hospital today when I was upstairs at the doctor’s office and it is ablaze with Christmas and some local art work in all forms. I’ve never seen so many ornaments in my life. That is the last thing we need. Wish we had the room you did or I would put up trees everywhere. Once again we are not putting up our 9 foot one but several little one. No climbing and reaching for me right now. Several of the neighbors have installed lights on our one dry day, yesterday. Now we are going to get three of them so will get the outside lights up. The creche you described sounds unusual. I love different but go more with the old-fashioned look in all things. I still have geraniums blooming but not for long. It was 37 degrees here last night with fog…thick fog. I bought a miniature blueberry bush that is in a pot and told Jim we’d better put it up on the porch for it to make it through the frost this winter. I’m rooting some scented geraniums…too cheap to buy more in the spring. Rose scented and such a tiny pink flower, so sweet. I love them. Well, I should get up from a rest after a trip to see doc this AM and get a bit of decorating done. Little bits get the job done. Love ya, Sue

  5. Sue – I just love this. I’m so thankful for the reminder of what is most important: the Christ child, the truest meaning of Christmas. I am loving my new job at the elementary school but it’s quite different to have over 600 students to care for. Of course the level of care is much lighter in intensity but the sheer numbers I see per day can be intense.
    I’m struggling with the idea of traveling to Oklahoma for Christmas. My youngest brother Mark and his wife Laura moved to Colorado this summer and won’t be there. They always hosted and were the buffer to the rest of my siblings’ drama and dysfunction. Without Mom there, and now without them, I just don’t think I’m up to the trip. I love my sisters but their respective families exhaust me. My two middle brothers might or might not show up but never bother letting anyone know til last minute.
    I just want to stay home and be with my friends and church family here, spend my two week break playing with my friends and their kids. Hope you are as well as possible. Hi to Lyn, Bobsled, Jennie, Chris, Janet, and the rest of the gang. Love to all, a very tired “Princess 👑 Crabby🦀 Pants👖”

    • Annie, I’m so very pleased your new job is one you love…hopefully more stress free although it sounds like a lot of kids. I’m sure your kind nursing heart has a few favorite kids. As far as Christmas, always follow your heart. You don’t need stress during this more blessed season. Sometimes families can be a pain in the tushie. You don’t need any more pain in your life. No obligations to trouble…especially now that your folks are both gone. Have a wonderful season and hope to hear from you before then. Miss hearing about your new cat. Love ya, Sue

  6. Sue
    As I get to read the blog when I post it, sometimes I am late in posting on here, like today. It is a wonderful reminder of all the work we do out of love for others and the love of the Spirit of the Season. But the true miracle is the One whom we celebrate. It is His love that sustains us through our pain and misery and make our lives livable.
    Chris, please take care of you. Recover dear friend.
    Bobsled, Sue is right, Seek human company when you can and don’t stay alone so much, Prayers for you to feel better.
    Lyn, hope you are perking up today, you will have more to do with all the concerts this month I know. Take care.
    Yesterday was my honeys birthday and we took it easy all day. My daughter dropped in very early on her way back to the Carolina’s, They had made it up for her hubby’s family Christmas gathering. Next week I will be at her house for ours. Anyway, took the guy out for dinner last night. He ate way too much and we giggled and laughed like two teenagers. It is fun when you don’t remember your age !
    Well, need to get going. Swim day. Cold here this morning, and continued all week according to forecast. Maybe it will start to feel like Christmas now !
    Love to all.
    Tonie

    • Tonie, Hope your swim day was fun. Did you guys take Judy? Looks like you’re in for cold weather. Cold here with 34 degrees last night and into the mid forties today. We put Christmas lights on the fence today in that cold. I’m in bed with heating pad going full blast.
      I know you’re getting ready to go down and see your kids and their kids so you are probably still working on presents and baking like mad. Been busy here with docs and Christmas. Eyes very troublesome so only online for brief spells. All good otherwise…just same old pain. Glad birthday celebration was fun. Love, Sue

  7. Hi all
    How did you,get on yesterday sue,any luck with the meds
    I’m a bit better with the antibiotic. But my nose seems to be playing up now ,all blocked like before .but can’t use those steroid sprays again
    Going to try to go to inr appt with dh see how I am later with the runs.dont seem as bad as last time .prob as I went earlier to Drs with it
    Glad you had a good time out tonie it sounded a good time
    Hi Annie
    A new job glad you like it and settling in there. I think you should listen to,your inner voice over what to do for Xmas ..it’s usually telling us what we should do . One at home sounds good with having a new job as well this year ,but big decision to make and who to please
    Lyn your post sounds like a real magical tale..you take it easy when you can with all you do
    Bobsled
    It’s a difficult time of year.now feeling isolated seems moreso.do get out to where you feel your best
    Ok my eyes are playing up can’t see properly with drops in
    Chris

  8. Chris, what is going on with you nose? It sounds so uncomfortable. Is this almost continuous inflammation changes the shape of the septum, in the middle of your nose. I am wondering about cartilage changes for you. Oh your poor gut.I know…more creamed food, huh?
    Thanks, yes, my doctor’s appt. went well yesterday. I am back on coumadin and no cardiac drugs. I sent all my medical records to my old heart guy in Portland and he thinks it can wait until after the end of the year if that’s okay with me and I am not more symptomatic. I do sometimes have flutter and shortness of breath but not continuously and he will work me in if needed. I told my primary/internist what I thought of that cardiologist and he laughed. He said, well, it is your life and you know your body. I was so relieved he understood. My eyes are fading fast and I’m tired but wanted to check in with you. Love, Sue

    • Well that’s good you got it sorted so far…as long as you take Coumadin you are covered .if the af only affects you sometimes that’s ok..and it’s good news he says you can wait till after Xmas
      My nose has been starting again this last 10 days..ill see what’s happens
      It has been 50pc better since off spray always there tho just building up again
      The bottom of my nose is twisted
      My tum is still sore there but I feel that is from the augmentum
      See on news bad fires in California
      Have some windy weather coming in tonite apparentlytonie
      Have a good time next week with you DD
      Chris

      • Chris, Actually, I was the one who said I could wait until next year to see the cardio guy. They said they could get me in one of the urgent spots if I could feel I was having more trouble. I am trying to rest when I feel exhausted, etc. Told my internist what an “arse” I thought that cardiologist here in town is and he laughed like crazy. I do have to go up to the cardio clinic to get my finger stick for the INR but he laughingly told me I wouldn’t have to see that guy ever again. I so appreciated his attitude. He said, it’s your life after all. Hurray for the understanding doctors.
        Sweet friend, I don’t want to nag you but I have never heard if you are using Lysine for your symptoms of the nose and mouth. I could not manage without it. It is not going to harm you in any way. I found a new brand I like on AMazon from vegetarian sources.They also make a wonderful lip and nose cream OTC. Sounds like your tum never really healed. What a pain for you and I am so sorry. My situation in the gut is SO much better off the NSAID’s. We had to increase the methotrexate so, so far, no worse. Going into Portland to see the knee specialist Dec. 14. Anxious to see what he can do for me. He performed surgery on both of Jim’s knees and did a great job. Hoping for something less than surgery for me.
        We have been decorating for days. Jim, for the first time, strung up lights all over our fence and porch. I have always done it in the past and it went undone for three years…he did a great job and I love it. It’s all in clear white light and we have one little Japanese maple by the front porch we’re going to do in colored lights. I’ve been doing the inside, getting out many of my favorite things like small trees, several small Santas, etc. Love this season so much.
        Having a PET scan tomorrow and have seen such whacko instructions. No food today or tomorrow EXCEPT meat, eggs and non=starchy vegetable. NO sugar, no pasta, no bread and no starchy vegetables. I dread it so much having to wait around while the IV works and lying on a hard table. So looking forward to it being over.
        Yes, the fires in Cali are totally tragic and out of control. Just found 30 gorgeous horses burned to death as they try to empty out ranches, homes, etc. Three counties are now involved. The major problem is the high winds that won’t quit so they can’t fly over to dump on the fires. They had an excess of rain last spring, all the seeds and weeds that had laid dormant for years sprung into life, they had 100 degree plus ALL summer and it all dried out and is now burning. I talked to a dear old friend on Thanksgiving and it was still 90 degrees down there then. Beyond tragic and breaking my heart…so many old memories, good friends and family down there. I spoke with an elderly cousin yesterday and she said the older folks and the sick were told to wear masks outside IF they went outside at all.
        So much news…kept you too long. Do take care of you as best you can, Hugs, Sue

  9. Hey all:
    Yes Sue, Judy goes with me when I go swim. SHe enjoys the water and sees all sorts of people she knows and hasn’t seen. THis time it was a woman she used to work with and now is a beautician who cuts Marys hubbys hair. She didn’t get to enjoy the class cause this woman wouldn’t stop talking to her , haha ! And yes, baking all day on Monday, making candies. Yesterday broke up the Peppermint Bark and Crackers Candy. All easy and good. This evening I have to bake the Freindship cakes and wrap the remaining presents, pack the car (taking Judys easier on gas) get ready to leave early am.
    It is cold here now. No wind just that still cold with more coming in and a chance of snow this weekend. I will be glad to go see Nikki and Sean, but dread it also ya know ?
    Eating some of my pineapple rhubarb jam I made. Really good stuff ! Can’t let B have it all !!!
    Chris, so hoping your nose gets better. I have had a sore in mine for ages, finally getting better. And my face has decided it is 16 again ! I have a zit right in the middle of my eyebrows. We used to call them a “third eye” !! ANd I keep picking at it, so it is infected thanks to my immune system. Now it is really noticeable !!
    Going to Galax today to work, then on to the shopping spree from store to store, then home to work some more !!! Poor B ate a half bag of Munchos chips last night ( he usually has peanuts, but we were out) and is upset this morning with bathroom visits. He has no idea what will mess with his system. I made veggie soup last night and we had a veggie salad with it. Good supper.
    I have been reading up on hoarding. Seems it is genetic in traits. I found out yesterday, Mrs Blair has one room that is fully packed with her stuff too. So I guess either she had no room for it with all his, or she has a bit of it in her as well. I think she does, so many useless things she has to keep, “just in case”. I told her we could clean it up, but she said she could do it. Meaning, it won’t happen. It is so awful when you have the “fix people gene”. I want so bad to make it better, and I can’t. I really want to take a stick of her firewood and hit that lazy so and so son of hers up side the head. He sits in his chair all day eating and watching tv. She brings in all the firewood and keeps the fire going, does the dishes he dirties, washes his clothes and he…….just sits. Yesterday she was going to the laundry to wash some cushion covers and pillows off the couch we uncovered. I found .50 in the chair he vacated, told her to keep it for the wash. She laughed and said “I will”
    Well, everyone have a good day
    Love
    Tonie

  10. Tonie, Glad to hear Judy is still enjoying going to the pool with you. So good for her at this time in her life. No, you can’t fix the Blair’s. If he is a jerk, she allowed this behavior all these years. I wish you could find someplace else to work. These folks are not good for you. Time to give up on those two and leave them in their own stew.
    I am sorry B is not feeling well. I know he will miss you but since you won’t be gone long should be okay. I just hope his bowel can be okay.
    Prepping for PET scan tomorrow. Real pain. Can’t eat anything but meat and eggs and some green vegies. No starch, bread, potatoes, sugar, etc. until after test tomorrow. They told me to count on being there three hours. Can’t stand to think of all that sitting so will try to lie down. Two pages of instructions.
    I know you will have a good time with the kids and they will enjoy all of your hard work baking, homemade gifts, etc. to say nothing of the thrill of see their KeeKee. Also know you will love getting home to B and pets. Have fun, drive safely and love those kids while you have the chance. Hope snow waits for you to get home. Love, Sue P.S. All that candy sounds absolutely delicious.

  11. Hi ALL, please stop in to see the comments I wrote to Chris. All the latest new on us is there.Eyes bad so must write when I can…so dry everything doubles on the screen. Love, Sue

  12. Sue
    Well I know ..the lysine….as usual with me I read up the side effects and it said upset stomach and diarrhoea ..so,with all this going on for a while I put it on hold about a month go…..but I’m downing the yogurt in big amounts
    Hope the pet scan went smoothly and all aches and pains no more than usual When do you get the results ? Yes it was an odd diet for it
    Not long till you see the cardio now
    It gives heavy snow here Sunday …DD goes to Iceland on Saturday ! Lol she might have just stayed here!
    Hope the eyes are ok . It seems just the same when I put drops in seeing double ..blimmin annoying
    Back later
    Oh yea tonie could do with a third eye that works properly!
    Oh so Mrs blair is a hoarder…… Maybe he’s grown up with her wanting to do everything and that the way it is…must be irritating to be there as its happening ..why does he live at home tho ,he must be over that certain age….
    Chris

  13. Shock this AM. Woke up to SNOW. Now this is Houston, snow, a whole inch of the stuff? Now I know this doesn’t mean much to you northerners, but it was 90 just 3 days ago. This old body has difficulty adjusting to such extreme changes. Anyway love and gentle hugs to everybody. Janet

    • Janet, just saw the news this AM and thought of my son in Dallas and saw it was So. TX and thought of you. You’re right it is a shocker. Hope you don’t have to be out in it. Heard from Ruby on FB and Atlanta, same issues there and am now worried about Tonie who was traveling early this AM down S. from Virginia to see her son and daughter for an early Christmas. Also wonder how Her fiance, Bernard who isn’t used to snow will be. Please stay warm and safe. Love, Sue

  14. Odd weather for you Janet there..keep warm
    We have heavy snow starting early hrs tomorrow.amd forecast for all day
    It’s going to Be in the low minuses in temp
    Had good news my mammogram was clear and the biopsy from bowel was clear too. He wants to see me in January to discuss with me and do it all again in three years..oh joy I was ok till they started ! But it will be good to discuss the pain I still get..started the runs again but I think it’s the meds
    DH had to cut back on beta blockers app the bladder trouble is possibly the side effect..so his bp will go up now….
    He sees dr on Thursday..spoke to him yesterday.
    Drive careful tonie in this weather and get back safe
    Chris

    • Chris, first of all, I have never had side effects from lysine and looked it up just now and they said those side effects were possible in high doses. I have taken 1000 mg every four hours when my nose or mouth was breaking out and never had a problem. I usually take 500 mg twice a day as a preventive measure, especially if I’ve been out in the sun. Frankly, I couldn’t do without it and even use the lip cream with lysine in it. That’s all I’ll say about it.
      I am sorry to hear DH is having more trouble, that poor guy. Glad he’s got an appt. to see doctor.
      So? Snow for you. I do hope it isn’t too much. I hate getting out and around in that cold stuff. I like it from the window but that’s all. Parts of our south are still getting snow today and now the eastern part where they are more used to it. Wow, what a trip for your daughter. I understand it is quite wonderful there; people, food and sights.
      PET scan was long and a bit arduous but the prep and diet was the worst part. They do that for 24 hours before so you are basically devoid of blood sugar which would interfere with the results. I don’t think I”ll eat another boiled egg for a long time since that and tuna I what I lived on for two days. You two take care and I am so pleased your biopsies were all negative. Love, Sue

      • Right then I will get some and start them when I go to the shops I didn’t notice about the high strength I just expect side effects for me!
        Don’t stop saying sue……
        Ok
        How long do you have to wait for the resultslove Chris

  15. Chris, I just meant I didn’t want to keep bugging you about it. Try to get a tube of the cream for the lips and nose, also. It starts working right away. I had a breakout on my cheek right next to my mouth last month that was horrendous. Cleared it in about five days and it was hideous and uncomfortable. Sorry about that beta blocker for DH…can he manage with just the coumadin and his pacer?
    Looks like tomorrow is our last sunny, yet cold day. I got outdoor garland with pine cones draped across the front. Jim put out all the lights so beautifully this year. Going to art show our grandson is in this year tonight. He’s 14 and very talented. Of course we think so. Love, Sue

  16. Hello, everyone, I’m finally caught up, again. I dislike when I am away for a while and have so much catching up to do.
    Chris, good news!
    Sue, so glad that PET scan is over. Praying for a good result. How wonderful your DH has helped with so much decoration for the holidays and that you were able to get some inside as well. Wonderful. I know it makes me happy to see signs of the season in my living space.
    Tonie, I hope you had an uneventful trip to the kids and enjoy a wonderful visit. That storm was something else down south! It finally hit here today and we got more than they were expecting. It is beautiful looking out. Thankfully, the roadways were pretty much uneffected during the day. This evening… not so sure. I know SB went to his girlfriend’s house after dinner and it was starting to get a bit slushy. I haven’t heard from DD. She was working and had to travel home later.
    So, I spent the day enjoying the snow, baking, some online Christmas shopping, and doing things around the house. DH and I did get out a bit this afternoon with the pup. Not as long as she would have liked walking, but a walk none the less. Come evening, it was time to rest. Movie night with the DH. Time now to head upstairs and ready for bed. Rest well, all. Happy Weekend!

    • Lyn, Hope you, DH and the kids are getting around in the slush and snow, knowing you are all so experienced with it. I do love this time of year and the holy season so much. The lights all over our fence, on our corner we live on, the porch and one tree do light the way so beautifully and can be seen from in front but also from all the houses further up the hill here in this hilly city. This is the first time in three years I have dug out some of our decor for the season. We have so many beautiful Xmas items. Actually, too many for such a small house so it’s putting something away in storage to put out some tree, Santa, nativity set, etc. We bought a smaller tree. Our nine foot Balsam Hill is too much for me to decorate. Shopping is finished, now the wrapping begins in between doctor visits, lab, etc.
      The prep for the PET scan was not pleasant, no no laxatives just lots of fluids and only protein to eat for two days, no starches, no pasta, no starchy vegies, no sugar at all. Pretty much left boiled eggs, some cheese, tuna, no milk and an occasional hot dog. I’m not eating much if any meat right now. I also pray for good results but after all this time will be what will be. Late, so will close for now. Enjoy your performances, preparations and season. Watch that weather….Love, Sue

  17. Lyn I do like the way you always describe your days….and you do seem to pack a few things in always
    Sue
    The beta blocker is for his bp more than to effect his AF . That just goes on regardless but he feels ok becos he is paced in the bit that helps.
    He was just trying to bring the bp down ,even with the amount he was taking his bp was going up to 17 0/105 .mostly it averages 145 /95 with his present dose, at one time it went to 205/110..he couldn’t take beta blockers without his pacemaker in as he was on them before and he used to collapse out cold ,unconscious . It happened in the surgery once and the crash team were called ..many a time I used to call the ambulance and they never believed me as he used to come around by the time they came.that was untill it happened infront of the dr at the surgery
    So it’ll go up more now in a few days with the reduction .there isn’t anything he can take without these weird side effects he gets with all of them…I think it’s all becos of the mixture of meds for all his things he’s has
    I love pine Cones and have a few large ones that I keep and a few I’ve sprayed gold.
    Your house must look so pretty
    I’m sure you will enjoy the art show….it’s great to be able to see something they excel at .you must be proud I would be too is he the only arty one or is it a family talent?
    Ok gonna try and go back to sleep .peeped thru curtains no snow yet .its just gone 4 am ..Its due about 6 am . Still get excited at first snow….like a kid . Till I have to go,out in it..it’s frightening with DH balance ,shifting stuff under foot no good for that .
    Chris

    • Chris dear, eyes bad all day and each time I started to write to you I couldn’t. Too much time outside in and out of this cold wind is I know the reason for it. Our house inside is getting there and yes, beautiful in a Victorian, country sort of way. Jim strung so many lights outside, (see my note to Lyn.) Yes, the art show was for high school kids who were artsy. I picked his out of a whole wall full…truly. He is good.
      Sad news in our country with half of Calif. on fire. All of the areas I grew up in, went to college in and all so beautiful. Tonight lovely Santa Barbara is under attack where I went to college and so much beautiful history there.
      Please say a prayer for my kind brother in law who is dying. All of his kids, five of them are trying to get there with all the fires raging around there. He is out of hospital to die under hospice care at his daughter’s house. He and my sister, who passed in 2014 were high school sweethearts and I know he has miss her terribly. THey had five wonderful kids, all adults now. He now has pneumonia after he was found at home on his floor where he had been for two days. The neighbor finally noticed the mail not picked up nor the newspapers and called an ambulance. Nothing broken but severe bladder infection and in and out of consciousness. I remember a very tall dark and handsome basketball player who went into the Air Force and loved my lovely sister for many, many years.
      I am so sorry both you and DH are having such frustrations with your meds and health. Prayers and hopes for answers. Must get to sleep now. Kids after school tomorrow, to lab and more Christmas wrapping to do. Bit more decorating to do. Much love Sue

      • So very sad, yes of course prayers for your brother in law and all his family. The poor man on the floor so long ..I hope the family get to him now with those fires raging and he has some comfort in these hours
        Seeing your GS artwork sounds a bright moment in your day
        DH went to dr and he is sure it is his prostate and the two meds he takes for them are not now doing their job. So he is referring him to hosp. And if he has any retention to get to hosp
        So it looks like an op,for him
        He is back on higher bp dose as bp went up
        Ok gonna try and get back to sleep just turned on heating,it’s 5.30 am here and 21f and gives it below freezing all day .snow mostly gone now tho.up early for DH inr test
        I think the salts on the road don’t do us any good ether sue
        Tongue
        Hoe all ok for you
        Chris

    • Chris, oh dear,, so much going on with DH. I hope he is in a good enough condition if prostate surgery must be. I know you are worried and am sorry. Neither of you seem to get a break of sunshine in your lives this year. How is your nose feeling? Has the cold weather made things like Xmas, or just cold and miserable? Thank you for your kind words about my BIL. I haven’t been able to see him in a long time and calling him was hard due to his hearing. He was a great guy. Loved to fly his plane and it was hard on him when he couldn’t fly any longer. His five adult kid will comfort each other. They are all great. Please do take care and forgive my sporadic answers on here. My eyes are good for about 15 mins. and that’s it. Love, Sue

      • Well had the runs back today quite bad..rang dr he wanted To see me..so in I went and had to send in a specimen and wait till Friday see what is going on….mite be back on more antibiotics .but it seems to have settled..but morning is a bad time it seems for me when I’m like this
        Dh has appt with dr tomorrow..oh dear it does go on…..
        My nose is building up again
        The snow was magical at the weekend quite nostalgic
        It’s all gone now which is good as no dirty stage it just went
        Weather cold but we are doing one day at a time just seeing how we cope and where it takes us.
        Don’t worry about posting I know what it’s like for the eyes
        Dd back from Iceland she had a lovely time..waterfalls, swimming in lagoons.northern lights and their street food was great she said ..well they were little cafes doing soups and stews cut into bread rolls …looked nice.she went with three other girl friends and all good fun by the sound of it .theyve known each other for years
        So for us it’s what to eat over Xmas ….more mush for me I suppose
        So just waiting for dh to say she’s actually got home and I hope I’m off to sleep

  18. Morning all
    Yesterday was a busy day so I did read some on here, but didn’t get to post a comment or two.
    We had a tough drive down on Friday, with the snow down until we got to Raleigh, then rain. And NC has to WORST drivers I have ever seen in any state. If you are driving 4 miles OVER the speed limit, they are doing 10. All the way down people cut me off, merged in front of me and stopped….we laughed about it , but makes for a bad drive. But had a good visit with DD and family. My son couldn’t make it, so missed him. We will have to meet at a later date. No long drives right now. Judy enjoyed it, and we stopped to visit with my older brother on the way home. Nice day. Of course, it was good to get home to my FM. He had a nice surprise for me in my bedroom ( now get your minds out of the gutter ). He had brought me these beautiful two horse posters, and he had them framed and he put them on the wall in the bedroom. He was so pleased with himself that he surprised me. He can be sneaky.
    Sue, I am so glad you have gotten the scan over. Did you get the results yet ? Did I miss that in the reading ? I will have to go back over it.
    Chris, poor thing, so much going on with you. It seems like we all never catch a break with health issues. Me, I am on the laxative/softener phase after my trip. I have the opposite problem of you so miserable in a different way.
    Well, must be moving. I will post more later after I reread the comments. Like Lyn, I don’t like when I get behind on here.
    Love to all
    Tonie

    • Tonie, SO relieved you had safe if somewhat precarious travels. Saw the pic this AM of all of Nikki’s beautiful family. Iy gave me so much pleasure to see them doing so well. Hope they all liked their gifts and that you had a good visit with each one. Great that Judy got to go, too. I know they gobbled up all those goodies you always make for the holiday.
      Yes, indeedy, you have a kind person with Bernard. How sweet he is to you and probably everyone else. I know it was good to get home. Can’t keep up with your weather back there. The birds sound lovely and pleased to hear B. likes the snow.Out here we are in our second week of sunshine and cold nights. It’s been wonderful. New storm coming in on Friday. We’re off to Portland this week to see the knee guy for me. Yes, I had my PET scan, not a CT scan, and no results as yet. It was difficult and also funny. Met a wonderful young woman with rheumatoid arthritis who is now a FB friend. Wonderful girl.

      I’ve been a bit out of touch while trying to get Christmas put together. Got the inside stair rail covered with red and gold wide ribbon and festooned with green garland. Covers a lot of bad spots that need to be painted on the rail. No, our Victorian home wood trim was painted years ago not natural so the rail is a dark, forest green. Jim and I wear off the posts grabbing them like a liferaft every time we so down or up. He put up 400 lights on the porch and tree and fence rails. Looks lovely and lights our way in dark, damp Oregon.

      As far as my BIL passing, I know he has missed my dear sister terribly since she passed in Feb, 2014. His five adult children will all comfort each other along with the grands. They were and are a wonderful family. Many wonderful professions for all of them. My sister, Leona was an RN before relapsing polychondritis and mixed connective tissue disease took her down. Her dear guy worked in the aircraft industry as a communications specialist. Always hard working, he had his own plane and loved it. Thinking of the kids and how Jim and I felt when our parents died, it’s an odd feeling to realize you are an orphan with no place to go home to except the home you have created as adults. Life, circling and circling. Do take care and enjoy this season..I know you will. Love, Sue

  19. Janet, thank you, My brother- in- law passed on to be with the Lord this morning, early. All but one of his five adult kids got there in time to see him. One is flying in today. He is now with my sweet sister, back where he belongs. He has loved her since high school. Love, Sue

  20. Sue, I was sorry to hear of your BIL’s passing, although, happy he is now reunited with your dear sister. I know you would love to have been able to be there for his children. I am sure they know you are with them in spirit. Praying the PET results are good ones! Sorry your eyes are such an obstacle for you.

    Tonie, I saw the lovely wall art your dear FM procured for you! Indeed, what a sweet man. So sorry your trip was not completely smooth. I know you enjoyed your visit and the chance to spend time with your loved ones.

    Chris, my goodness, always something. You and your DH are in my thoughts and prayers. Your DD’s trip sounds wonderful.

    Well, folks, we are forecast snow again this evening. Not much, just 1-4 inches. We shall see what comes. Naturally, SB works overnight tonight. Had a nice visit with DD this evening just as the worst of the weather effects hit my body. Nice to have her visit as a distraction. Maybe early to bed tonight. Best, all!

    • Lyn
      Thanks. Yes, so enjoyed time with my daughter and family. Quite the madhouse with three small boys, but…fun.
      We too have been getting snow, cold and high winds which have put my body in a tiff as well. No snow today , it all went your way, further east of us. Hope you don’t ge too much and that you are sleeping well. I too went down early tonight, but woke up as well, lol. Made us a stirs fry with a little piece of steak. Something warm and tasty for the cold .Do take care and hope SB makes it home safe and sound.
      Tonie

  21. Morning all
    Went to bed early, so of course I woke up in the middle of the night ! B has decided to build a mud deck of sorts outside the porch, so he was working in the cold all day. Makes you tired easy, all this stuff. And nasty on the body. I hear the wind whipping around out there now. Yesterday I went to my old high school to pick up a box of citrus I bought from the FFA. So wonderful, fresh and juicy. Had to eat it over the sink.
    Chris, your dd trip sounds great. I know you will be happy she is home safe though. It is almost scary to travel abroad nowadays. Hope you can eat some good things for Christmas. We will spend Christmas Eve with family and Christmas Day with us. Our usual fare on Christmas Eve that our Mother used to fix, plus some different things. Judy always makes chicken n dumplings, and chicken casserole with a country ham. I will make potato salad, and some sort of finger food, a few sweets. But Christmas we are doing somewhat French , for Bernard. Shrimp, Pate a la Sue, breads, cheese, salmon, and some spiced German wine. I found some cookie recipes from France as well. Need to start on them and hide them or he will eat them all !
    Well, must see if I can fall asleep again. Busy day tomorrow, and until Christmas really.
    Love you all
    Tonie

    • Your holiday food and fun sounds great, Tonie. We got about an inch of snow last night, so not bad. Sadie and I had a nice little walk on the snowy trail. She loved it!

    • Tonie, I think most of us are jealous you have such a handyman and a thoughtful one. Mine is usually thoughtful but the first to admit he is not handy…at all. Your dinner menu sounds so good. I don’t know if Bernard will like the pate a la Sue because I’m sure he is used to it being made from a well fattened goose’s live. Chicken livers so different but we always love this…although I don’t make it much anymore but it’s only my son and I who loved it and my relatives in CA.How do you plan to prepare the shrimp? Oh my, I am getting so hungry just typing this and it’s almost seven here, Jim is napping after errands today. We had such a tiring day yesterday as you know.
      What kind of dumplings does Judy make…rolled or dropped? I love that dish. Later, eyes bad after all the exhaust on the freeways yesterday, wiping grey out of my eyes all day. Love ya, Sue

      • SUe
        Dumplings are rolled , cut and dropped all at the same, lol. Fios Gras is so different from what I thought. Not pate, but sort of a loaf, sliced and fried. Strange. As to the shrimp, he says boiled, which I will do in beer. And some sauted in butter. He gave me the name of a cake his grandma baked. Kugelhopf. Easy one so I will make it as well. Maybe instead of all the cookies. He is complaining about all the sweets lying around calling to him ! haha ! If it is out where he can see it , he eats it…..all !
        I must get going, have to make some candies for church tomorrow night, clean the ever dirty floors and maybe rest a bit. Also practice a song for tomorrow night’s Christmas program. Mary Did You Know.
        The deck is finished and very nice. Now he is off to other things. One is to make the mare’s stall better . finished so as not to let her or the foal get hurt on the wood.
        Hope you are resting today.
        Love
        Tonie

  22. Chris, forgive me please, somehow I overlooked answering you and thought I had but can’t find it on here. I hope by now you are getting some relief and have not had any more bleeding. Did you get in to see the doctor? How did DH’s doc appt. go? I wish I could just sit down and talk to the both of you because I know you have so many problems and are so frustrated by your health issues. Prayers for you every day and know I am concerned.

    Your daughter’s trip sounds wonderful. I have seen a couple of TV specials about folks who visited Iceland and have a friend from Finland who went there last year. All looked wonderful…friendly land of the book readers. I hear that is what Xmas is there…books given and received. How fun to go with girlfriends. Unforgettable.

    We had a long trip into Portland yesterday but the doctor, who is a knee specialist was worth it. He’s a tall, friendly very smart, tall fellow…about 5 ft. 8 inches. They thought the X-rays I brought from the ortho here were basically crap and did four new ones. Never experienced so many views of my knees. It’s arthritis rubbing in both joints and quite clear on the films. He drained my left knee that hurt the most and I was shocked how much he got out of there, syringe after syringe. Then he injected steroids..then did other knee, didn’t have to drain it. He hopes it will last at least six months. Seems better now but will take a few days. We got out of there just in time for the immense freeway traffic. It makes me so nervous now that we live in a small town for the last 19 years.It was bumper to bumper for an hour and such rude drivers. We were trying to get into an off ramp and had to wait and I motioned to the car next to us to please let us in and he gave me the finger!! Those big city drivers.Just think how many of them do that five days a week. Next time we go in there we will get up early so we can beat the traffic out of there. We finally pulled off at a restaurant and ate dinner waiting for it to get a bit better out there. On the way in I kept wondering as we drove through the forest where the usually little waterfalls coming down the sides of the rocks and hills were and then looked more closely and realized they were all frozen. It got a lot colder the closer in to the city. No freezing yet out here on the coast.

    I hate that you guys are going through all of this in this season. I pray you will both be better very soon and eat something better, if a smidge better, for Xmas. Is DD or GS coming over? Much love, Sorry I lost that last reply to you. Sue

    • Oh sue never worry about answering I know the problems it doesn’t affect me at all.
      Don’t want pressure where not needed at all
      What a trip you had ..along with the cold…and such a good idea to butt out of it and have a meal. We would do that.
      I hope your knees are improving a bit more today and he does sound as if he knows stuff and what he’s doing
      Dh went to dr and we still feel it’s the beta blockers causing prostate trouble so he cut it down a bit and introduced doxazosin.hes been on it before and it’s another alpha blocker for the bop with tendencies to help the prostate. He’s already on tamulosin. Only a small dose as he reacted to it before .ne referred him to see a specialist
      So this morning he woke up,feeling oldish
      Me…the dr had specimen results back..and no Cdiff.. so he said to go thru with it as it could all settle down without antibiotics. He felt they were contributing to it
      The runs eased and with dh felling oldish we thought bu,,er it we are going to the coast.the sun was shining..so,without thinking any more we just went..had a lovely day.stopped at a little thatched tearoom on way.oh the dr said I should eat…so I had a bacon sandwich..oh it was so good.sat by a log fire .then we finished up at a place we go to and looked at the sea from it’s consevatory drinking hot choc by another log fire!
      Dosed up,on panadol!
      Came home…oh in contrast to your trip ..when we filled up with petrol dh left the cap,off and drivers were all tooting us about it till we stopped to put it right.they were all smiling and thumbs up
      But it’s a little town compared to a big angry city
      So I’m awake now the pain woke me up but the day was worth it I bet it was the bacon that’s doing it..mind you it goes like it anyway
      So I’m going to make a cup of tea and take some pills
      Haven’t been to the coast for a long time.i was gonna do some hoovering but so what….dd coming over sunday. Hopefully I’ll be good to go shopping with her and dh ok to leave as I’m always concerned when he starts new meds and side effects I’ll do an easy meal that day
      Right off to take some panadol and it was such a strange day to just go out without thinking to just go.well we have done that before and come back before we got far..but it worked
      Hope you get more relief from your knees now
      Tonie
      Your food does sound good .as well as your time with family
      Lyn
      We too have stir frys I love them.now I am eating more I shall do one when dd comes Sunday
      Ok that’s it
      Chris

      • Chris, several years ago I had H pylori. After going through all the nonsense of that and all the pain, diarrhea, etc. all prescribed by a different doctor from a large group of GI guys. I developed a sterile bowel. It may be what you have now. You must take a lot of acidophilus liquid or pills. Be sure it has Bifidum in it, as well. Yogurt is okay but it does have sugar and doesn’t have the full range you may need to heal the natural flora of the bowel. Take it easy on any meat, soothing and vegies best. That’s what antibiotics can do to you in excessive amounts. Your day at the seaside sounds so lovely. Your poor man is a study in medicine. Poor man. I’m glad he’s being referred. It ALWAYS pays to see the smartest doctors. I learned that again with this new knee guy. Glad you’ll get to see DD and hope you do feel like a day of Christmas merriment..Love you…Sue

    • SUe
      We have those rude drivers here as well. My favorite are the ones who wait until the last to merge just so they can get further up ahead of the line waiting. I will not let them in. B says I am unchristian when I do that, but I beg to differ.

  23. Hello all
    Long day yesterday with swimming, then to shop for food in all the holiday mad rushers. hate going in this time, but must needs. So cold yesterday and couldn’t get warm last night. So had me a hot chocolate, which always does the trick. Bernard is hooked on the Longmire series on Netflix. I watched it all but watching again and seeing things I missed. Very good series. So we watch two or three episodes in the evening while I crochet. Relaxing but stay up too late and get up too early !
    Well must be getting busy. Seems everyday is such. Wanting a day to just sit idly and read or rest. Need one soon.
    Chris, your seaside day sounds so good. I never got to the ocean at Nikki’s, just waiting until it is warmer when we go down. I love the ocean, so calming that immense body of water and all the waves sounds, birds and things. Have a good visit with DD.
    Love to all
    Tonie

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