Monthly Archives: April 2011


The LORD is RISEN!!!


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Mama’s Coming Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was at the hospital all morning, hoping to catch up with Mama’s doctor — and when he finally came in, he said that she can go home.

Today, if they can get all the arrangements in place. 

She will need an oral antibiotic for a few more days, but all cultures, blood and urine, are negative and he thinks she is good to go!  They are arranging “in home” physical therapy, but at least she will be with family in somewhat familiar surroundings. 

She is going to come to our house for now.  Daniel and I are going away over Mother’s Day weekend, Lord Willing, so this gives us a few weeks to see how things are going and maybe by then she will be able to be back at her own little house.  (With some security measures in place, to be certain!) 

Thanks for all the prayers, visits, cards, care and concern.  She has a ways to go yet, and we feel a need for your continued interest.  Don’t hesitate to call.  I’ve been so glad to talk to those of you who have called.  Thanks again!

And for those of you who may have worried about me after my last post — I’m sorry if I caused undo alarm.  Sometimes I am feeling something intently and God ministers to my heart in a specific way, and I share all about it and then go away and don’t come back until evening and realize that things may have sounded more intense than I realized or intended.  I hope people don’t hesitate to call or visit when Mama is here.  It’s a wonderful privilege to have her with us.



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Tuesday ponderings

The days have been a stretch for this old grey mare.   I think I am feeling my age more than I ever have.  With Mama sick, and the days full of deadlines and details, what I have wanted most was some privacy to cry and pray and refocus.

This morning, in my Bible reading, I came across some notes in the margin of my devotional Bible that I had put there two years ago.  The reading was from Psalm 46: 

 1 God is our protection and our strength.
       He always helps in times of trouble.
 2 So we will not be afraid even if the earth shakes,
       or the mountains fall into the sea,
 3 even if the oceans roar and foam,
       or the mountains shake at the raging sea.

 4 There is a river that brings joy to the city of God,
       the holy place where God Most High lives.
 5 God is in that city, and so it will not be shaken.
       God will help her at dawn.

The markings in my margin have some water damage — It was an intense time in 2009, right about now.  This is what it says:

“. . .even when a knee is slow to heal, a favorite uncle dies, a mama has a blood clot and the dream that was Baby Boo seems to be a long time coming to our lives . . .”

I had had surgery on my left knee, hoping to keep it from a replacement.  My Uncle Luke had taken his journey HOME to Heaven, and my mama was in the hospital with a pulmonary embolism.  The hardest thing was that the baby that was to be our grandchild was about two months later being born than expected, and there were some serious questions as to whether she would be allowed to be adopted by Jesse and Christina.

And the knee didn’t heal.  It had to be replaced.  Uncle Luke wasn’t coming back, and there is no earthly “fix” for that.  But there has been healing.  Mama got better from that blood clot and did very well for a good long time.  And she continues to get better from this hospitalization, too.

And the dream that was “Baby Boo” is our very own Charis Nicole.  Only God could have orchestrated such an incredible gift to our family. 

And in the reading of these timeless verses, I once again acknowledge that I do not need to fear. 

God is our protection and our strength.
       He always helps in times of trouble.



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Update on Mama


Just a quick update to let you know that Mama said she had a better day today than yesterday.  She is still uncomfortable, and would really like to come home to a recliner and the familiar things, but the hospital isn’t backing down on letting her come home any time soon.  They did an ultrasound today of her kidneys and bladder and she has a kidney stone.  It is small, and they don’t think it is obstructing anything, but I wonder if that is what is causing the pain.  They are planning to do a CAT scan for further diagnostic purposes.  She is so “weak” she says and the slightest exertion makes her feel exhausted.  Deborah says that we need to insist on some physical therapy.  As of now, she is pretty much just in her bed and that worries Deborah.  I guess we will see what they have to say about that on Monday morning.

We had a funeral today, and I had a house full of company tonight,  so I didn’t get in to the hospital until after nine.  I was there until eleven, and I do feel like Mama is coming along, but there continues to be bumps in the road.  Out of the blue tonight she said, “I wonder how Grandpa and Grandma (her parents) are doing.”  I must have looked surprised and worried because she hastened to add, “I mean, up there.  I wonder how they are getting along Up There.” 

I said, “Well, Mama, you know they are getting along just fine.  No trouble up there!”

“Well, yes, I guess that’s right.”  she said a bit pensively.  I decided not to pursue that line of thought right then. (But the sudden comment left me a little uneasy, to say the least.)

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers.  It helps to “smooth the rugged road!” 


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I hear people are getting really, really tired of chicken soup.


Well, I don’t blame them.   I am, too.  


But my life is not my own right now.  As a matter of fact, it never really is — but some of the pieces (that feel like they SHOULD belong to me) are certainly otherwise appropriated right now.


Hold on, Folks.  One of these days I’ll have not only the TIME, but the energy to put some words together.


That being said, please pray for My Sweet Mama.  She was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday evening and will be there at least until Tuesday.  I am going to copy here part of an e-mail that went out to our family and our church:

She has a urinary tract infection that went septic as well as a condition known as “rhabdomyolysis”  which they think is a result of the truama that she has had over the last three weeks.  To briefly recount that:  She had a blood clot in her lung, she had nearly a dozen teeth pulled, she had a fall down the front steps here at my house resulting in some spectacular bruising and abrasions, then she had a bowel impaction that was traumatizing.  All of this time, apparently she was brewing a severe urinary tract infection.  Then during the night on Tuesday night at my house, she got down on the floor and couldn’t get up.  I had gone to bed around midnight and got up around 5:30, and apparently she had been on the floor most of that time.  She was very sick while she was down there, with copious amounts of diarrhea and vomiting, and was so embarrassed and sad and exhausted from trying so hard to get up and not being able to.  She had managed to get herself back in her chair when it “got light enough for her to find it,” but I seriously wonder what happened during the night.  Her doctor is saying that she is not critical, in that she isn’t in shock and she isn’t having seizures and such, but I have to wonder if any of that may have happened while she was down because she does not remember much.  The way things were scattered around in that room in the morning made me feel like there was some unexplainable activity in that room while I wasn’t there to observe.  It looked like a war zone. 

I say all that to say that my heart aches for our prim and proper Mama.  As siblings we hate this so incredibly much for her sake.  I am struggling with the fact that this all happened “on my watch” so to speak — at least the most of the trauma, but I also know that God has been so gracious to us as a family.  I feel like He has “equipped” us for this time in so many different ways and unexpected provisions, and my brothers and sisters and their spouses have been incredibly supportive and comforting and encouraging.  We don’t exactly know what will unfold over these next few weeks, but the knowledge that God is Already There is a lifeline for us all.  Please continue to pray for her and for us as a family that we will find the best things to do for her.  She has been such a good Mama, and we certainly want her to be comforted as well as comfortable.


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Recipe for Chicken Corn Noodle Soup

Take one whole chicken. (Usually sold as a whole fryer) Put into a large pot — (I like to use at least an eight quart size) cover with water, add 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 medium onion, and two or three ribs of celery. Cover and bring to a boil. I usually let it cook on medium for an hour and half to two hours.

Take the cooked chicken and vegetables out of the pot. (I put it into a 9X13 Cake pan and let it cool until you can handle it enough to take it off the bones.) Discard the cooked onion and celery, skin and bones.

While the meat is cooling, I like to strain the broth if there are lots of “floaties” in it and skim off excess fat. Put the broth back into the pot, and add about a four cups of corn (I use the home frozen variety) two or three cups of lima beans (If you don’t have home grown ones, be sure to buy frozen Fordhook limas in the supermarket) a cup of chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped onion and one carrot shredded and two or three packages of chicken flavored Ramen noodles with the seasoning packets. I would probably use three, and I usually take my meat mallet and break them up in the package just a little before I put them into the broth. Bring everything to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the meat that has been taken off the bones and stir into the soup. (You can cut the meat into whatever size you want it.)

And it is ready to eat.


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It was a busy morning at Shady Acres.

My Sweet Mama had eleven or more teeth extracted on Monday, and she has spent the week at our house. 

Certain Man and I were away over night on Friday night.  We were up to see Joseph at Sight and Sound, had a delightful stay at the Teakettle Inn Bed and Breakfast, and spent a leisurely day looking at clocks and furniture and even bought one chocolate and one pumpkin Whoopie Pie at an Amish market.  We ate early supper at an old inn turned into a restaurant in Historic Delaware City and came home to our own cheery home and house dwellers a great deal more rested that I could have hoped for, and with wonderful memories.

This morning was the usual hustle and bustle to get ready for church.  Sweet Mama stayed home because she is still experiencing considerable discomfort from her teeth. so I left Cecilia at home with her.  Our Sunday School lesson was the Last Supper, and there were more than the usual amounts of getting ready that needed doing.  I baked a small batch of unleavened bread and brought grape juice up from the cellar.  I got some copying done and got everything ready to go.   Early this morning, I had gotten my hair combed and gotten all dressed except for my Sunday frock.  As the time got closer and closer for us to leave, Sweet Mama was getting worried.

“Mary Ann,” she said with that concerned edge to her voice.  “You’d better get your clothes on.  You can’t go like THAT!”

“I know, Mama,” I said. “I have it down here in the closet and I’ll grab it just before I go out the door.” 

Time has a way of marching on, as we all know, and suddenly, Certain Man was loading the car and saying over his shoulder, “You need to get dressed NOW!!!”

“Alright, already!” I said, and grabbed my dress with its jacket off the hanger and ducked into Nettie’s room to change.

“Boy!” Said my Sweet Mama as I reappeared.  “You really do change quick!”  Ever the encourager, she said, “You look nice!”

“Thank you, Mama,” I said as I gathered up the last of the things for my class.  “It’s easy to slip this on and be ready to go.”  Which I was and so we went.

Once at church, I discovered that I had left both my Bible and my notebook at home, but decided to take one of the extras that are in the church library, and hoped that I hadn’t forgotten anything more important.  We actually got to church on time, and I got things set up in the classroom for the morning lesson.  The children were attentive, participant and engaging.  They even tasted parsley dipped in horseradish as part of the recreation of the Passover meal’s “bitter herbs.”  They ate the entire stack of unleavened bread that I had baked for them this morning and swished everything down with the grape juice.  After Sunday School, Boy Daniel reported to the congregation that “We learned about the Last Supper.  We had grape juice and lemon bread.”  But.  He reported without written props and he spoke clearly and confidently and I was just so proud of him.

Then we had worship time.  Love Bug came to sit briefly with Pea-bawl and Gammy, but returned to her seat when her Pappy (James Bontrager) began the sermon.  I had borrowed some paper from Certain Man so I could take notes on the sermon, and was engrossed in the the sermon and thoughts of the Kingdom of Heaven and how that is expressed in our world today (sometimes wrongly and then sometimes, gloriously accurately!).  I was looking down over my skirt when I noticed that there was a seam straight down the middle of the front. 

Oh, No!  Not again!

Yepper.  That pretty dress was on backwards.  Zipper slide right at the top of the seam as plain as day!  I leaned over and told Certain Man that I had my dress on backwards.  He looked puzzled.  I grabbed the neckline and tilted it out.  He didn’t even bother to hide his amusement. 

Oh, well.  It really was a busy morning.  And manufacturers should NOT make dresses that slide on without opening the zippers.  It confuses Christian Women on Sunday mornings when they are in a hurry.

Okay, Ya’ll.  I should probably not tell you this.  But there is a “rest of the story . . .”

I decided to wear the dress backwards until this afternoon.  We were having company tonight, and I just figured that I could turn it around when it was about time for my company to get here, and the front would be clean and who cares about the back?

So a little before my company was due to arrive, I ducked back into the Nettie’s bathroom and tried to turn my dress around without too much ado, but there was complications.  Something got all bunched up around my arms, and great was the bunching of it.  So I betook myself to the mirror and checked what was going on.

For crying out loud!  All bunched up was my pink nightie.  So not only was my dress on backwards, but I had my nightie on underneath it.  All day long.  I can’t blame that on the manufacturers.  Someone want to help me find a good excuse?


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