new glasses for Lent

Had an eye exam a few days ago. Got me contemplating having new specs. Mine sit askew on my face and they drive me crazy (I hear you….short drive! har). I poured through a popular eyeglass website to find the perfect pair. A pair that would project my superior intellect, but not hubris. One that could project my quirky sense of style, yet still earn me respect. A style screaming, “I’m with-it-and-not-old” without my seeming to try too hard.

Here’s my cures-what-ails-you, impossibly chic, older-person choices.

yellow-glassesmetal-glasses

Attended Ash Wednesday service last evening. The topic of Lent spurred my thinking, “What should I give up/add during Lent to properly prepare my heart for Easter?”

I need modern Lenten glasses. A new super-duper powerful x-ray pair that can laser into my heart and sift my motives. I donned a cool pair possessing the special power and nervously explored.

Do I need to cease consuming ice cream, carbs, doughnuts or chocolate? No…that doesn’t feel right for me. For others maybe that may be the large E on the eye chart, but luckily food is not an issue for me.

Do I need to give up TV, the interwebs or the cell phone in order to be more productive and commune with God? It might be the best thing for some, but the chart still appears fuzzy when it comes to going cold-turkey with the electronic devices. I could spend LESS time and life might be better, but it misses the mark for me as a giant issue.

Liquor…..what about liquor??! Nope, still out of focus….that’s not it either. Giving up one drink a week doesn’t seem like sacrificial service.

I peered deeply through my magic glasses. What is it? What character trait could I give up on my way to becoming? Becoming more me, more like Him?

The x-ray lenses shifted and I finally spied it! Two things I can give up, throw out, wad up with the stinky trash and say “sayonara suckers!” Two items I clutch like a grimy security blanket. Two things I pick up over and over again when I shouldn’t, even though my fingerprints are burned invisible from repeatedly picking up this bitter-hot casserole dish.

What do my special-wizard Lenten glasses reveal I’d be better without? Negativity and regret.

Negativity can be my first and most familiar reaction. I understand the ‘whys’ but I need to stop. It’s OK to not always contemplate the worst-case scenario. I think I’ll let someone else handle that for a while. Whew. Focus on the fun things like grandkids, golf, tennis and wiener dogs. The blessings of my friends and family.

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Oh…and Mr. Regret. What have you ever done for me? What is it good for? Absolutely nothin’. Huh…listen to me! Good God, y’all!! Oh wait….those are the lyrics to Edwin Starr’s rock ballad, ‘War’. Sorry, my bad.

Life’s a struggle. It’s wonderful and kooky and surprising….but a struggle. I know so many hurting right now. I hurt, too. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

I leave you with a song we practiced in choir last night. It sums up how I’m feeling today. I hope you like it. If you want to listen, check it out on YouTube.

Jesus draw me ever nearer as I labor thro’ the storm. You have called me to this passage and I’ll follow tho’ I’m worn

May this journey be a blessing, may I rise on wings of faith. And at the end of my heart’s testing, with your likeness let me wake

Jesus guide me thro’ the tempest, keep my spirit staid and sure. When the midnight meets the morning, let me love you even more

Let the treasures of the trial form within me as I go. And at the end of this long passage, let me leave them at your throne.

Hip-spectacle love to all.

 

 

walking aids

The last few months have been eventful. Inky  (the fitful octopod) was starting to get the best of me. Some of you know I was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia that slowed me down. Good news was, I was put on the list to have a cardiac ablation that could possibly cure the condition. I was pumped (har-har….heart humor!) for the opportunity to have my heart worked on by the good doctors at Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia in Austin, Texas.

octopus
I wanted Inky gone from my chest cavity!

 

While I was waiting for the surgery, the Texan came down with a nasty strep infection in his right knee. This required two surgeries to ‘clean the knee out’ and two hospital stays where he was given massive doses of antibiotics. I administered IV antibiotics at home to him for 4 weeks. It’s the Texan’s story, and I won’t go into all the gory details. We became intimately acquainted with the spectrum of walking aids.

wheelchair
We discovered the handiness of getting around in a wheelchair.

 

The Texan graduated to this walking device very quickly and stayed on it the longest.

walker
The beloved walker. I could hear him coming from miles away. The Texan required a walker for super-tall people. The grands loved pushing it around.

 

We had a trip to Florida planned to meet with our Dallas family, and generally hang out with the grands. I told the Texan I didn’t think he should go. The distances were simply too great for him to cover with his walker. He would be exhausted just trying to make it to dinner! Sprout #3 had that predicament totally covered. When we arrived in Florida, we had this zippy mode of transportation waiting for us.

scooter
Ah….the scooter! We were pretending to be sad about it, but this little thing saved our bacon. The Texan loved it, and it let him conserve his energy.

After the Florida trip, we flew to Austin for my surgery. As we traveled around the hospital for tests and doctor’s visits, the Texan used the wheelchair because of the long distances we needed to travel. Most of the doctors/nurses addressed him as the patient. He had to explain numerous times he was my caretaker.

My surgery went very well, and our family in Austin rallied and saved our lives.

kathyhospital
Nothing better than a narcotic-laced selfie…..except maybe my narcotic-laced texting. Look how serene I looked! The general anesthesia was the best sleep I’d gotten in 6 weeks.

 

 

After the surgery, I was instructed not to lift anything. This made trying to get to the airport with our suitcases and a wheelchair-person daunting for me. I shouldn’t have worried. God provided a way to every difficulty we encountered. Our family has been heroic. We are blessed.

That’s where we are today, people. Both of us recovering. Have I mentioned the Texan has graduated to a cane? I’m very proud of him! This entire episode serves as a reminder that God really does provide a way. He sends people to help out at the most opportune moments. No worrying required.

I’m learning.

Getting-well-love to all!

enter in

welcome

For sparkling cottages smelling of pumpkin bread and cider.

wienerinthewindow

For elves-on-shelves, cranberry-popcorn garland, and Mannheim Steamroller reminding us it’s December.

Dear Christ, enter in.

For drab and drafty homes and for inhabitants with gnawing guts. For the Charlie Brown tree and the bare floor underneath it.

Dear Christ, enter in.

For the vibrantly healthy who appreciate the wondrous beauty of an impeccably manicured golf fairway. For those who are working on their serve. For those able to scale a mountain and run for the sheer fun of it.

Dear Christ, enter in.

For the friend recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. For the gaunt mother sporting a colorful scarf wondering who will take care of her children. For those awaiting diagnosis and longing for ‘normal’. For the unwanted companion of constant pain. For those in brain fog. For those who feel invisible on their ride west.

Dear Christ, enter in.

For those who fa-la-la-la-laaaah and proclaim we better watch out. For the bakers, candy-makers, meat-smokers and nog-drinkers. For those who proclaim good news. For the generous shoppers and surprise-planners. For impeccable gift-wrappers and those responsible for flawless and impressively large bows.

Dear Christ, enter in.

For the alcoholics, drug-addicts and homeless street-wanderers. For the confused song of those raging in addiction. For the children of alcoholics surviving in the war zone. For the abused spouse. For the father trying to decide whether or not to post bail one more time. For the regret of a life lost one drink at a time.

Dear Christ, enter in.

For those with newborns. For those assisting proud and aging parents. For exuberant children sliding down bannisters on Christmas morning. For ruddy-faced tots experiencing the chill of the first sled ride. For those juggling responsibilities of a large family.

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Dear Christ, enter in.

For those who never got to bring the baby home. For those questioning if they did everything they could before mom died. For the widow wondering why the second Christmas is harder. For those finding it difficult to stay married. For the patriot soldier. For the selfless military family experiencing an empty chair at the table.

Dear Christ, enter in.

For the stable and the aroma of animals and hay.

graham and pnut

For those who care for dogs and cats. For those who run animal shelters and for those who care for livestock.

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For those who know the love of an earnest dachshund.

sweetdoxy

 

 

Dear Christ, enter in.

Wishing you a Christmas filled with peace. Wishing you serenity and confidence in knowing Christ walks with you, this season and always. xo

Welcome-mat love to all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

my type of excitement

Here on the blog, I endeavor to keep you readers up-to-speed on the latest trends. I’m your gal for all things dump,

dump-cakes

wiener-dog,

roxy

senior fashion

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and arts happenings in our town.

kathywithhorns

You’ll be relieved to know I’m taking time away from snapping heart-stopping photos for my new action-photography book, Captivating Drain Covers of the 19th Century, to pursue a new hobby. I’m sweeping aside (for now!) my research paper on the Breeding Habits of Dust Bunnies and I’m explaining to Benjamin Moore how I can no longer accept remuneration as the Official 2015 Paint Dry Timer. The Texan wants me to give up editing my new cookbook, 1001 Uses for White Rice, to free up more time in my schedule.

What’s the new hobby?

yogurt1

I’m making homemade yogurt!! I know, I know….pop that nitro-glycerin tab now so your heart doesn’t explode from all the dairy excitement. I bought this yogurt maker from Amazon. It’s a neat little contraption and it ferments 7 perfectly wonderful little jars of tasty yogurt. Upon spying the organic whole milk in the fridge, the tall Texan cross-examined me.

What’s this?

It’s organic whole milk.

Why did you buy organic milk?!

You know….they say it’s healthier for you. It comes from cows that haven’t been treated with antibiotics.

So…you’re buying milk from only sick cows?

At any rate, I’m enjoying my creamy homemade yogurt. I eat it with a drizzle of honey topped with blueberries or granola. Better than ice cream and so good for the gut. Can you say pro-bye-ought-icks? Probably not, if you’re under 50.

As for arts happenings, I recently witnessed a certain individual discovering her favorite genre of music. This revelation made my heart soar as I discerned this was the type of music for which she was created. Who would’ve guessed? I thought she was created for square dancing. Boy, was I wrong!

The hips never lie. This gal lives for the blues. RIP B.B. King

Hope you are enjoying your inspiration this week.

Dance-like-no-one-is-watching love to all.

inspiration found

The Tuesday morning note from the universe:

The one thing all famous authors, world-class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things. Yet, they still began their journeys.

A graceful hawk swooped from the morning crystalline sky and perched upon a naked branch. That was my view this morning as I sat in the hot tub. My inner voice harshly harangued me about being a lazy slug and starting my morning chores late. (stick it where the sun never shines, inner voice!)

The proud hawk buoyed my heart to new heights. Made me want to share with you where I’m finding inspiration these days.

I’ve been involved in rehearsals for Amarillo Opera’s upcoming production of Les Misera….bluh. Don’t think I’m going to be able to continue with the grueling schedule, but allow me to describe my uber-talented cast mates. Like the regal hawk, they provide plenty of reasons to look up in wonderment.

The Principles.

LMprinciples

You may describe them as our stars. These are the dedicated professionals who have spent their lives honing their craft. They are exactly as you would expect….off-the-charts-talented. They can blow the roof off a building with the air rushing through their vocal cords. Their acting ability can spike the stock price of Kleenex on the Dow. They are wonderful to behold. The path they travel is never easy and it’s brimming with rejection. I would enthusiastically storm the Bastille with them.

The ensemble. The community members. The rest of us. This is the group I’m treasuring today.  Let’s consider:

The community children/youth. They could be home in front of their computer screens, they could be texting, they could be involved in any number of things. Instead, they schlep to long rehearsals with school books in hand. They study between scenes and their parents run a continual carpool rivaling the busiest taxi service. They want to be involved in something bigger than themselves. I glimpse the future in their eyes. Let’s blast a rousing strain of Do you Hear the People Sing? in their honor!

The college students/young adults. This group packs tons of talent. Many of them are vocal/music students trying to learn about life in the business. They could be studying, dating, dragging the bars….but they bless us by being enthusiastically present. One of my favorite students is a young man who is working toward his master’s degree in choral conducting. He’s the age of one of my kids. I notice him not only because of his heavenly voice, but because he comes to every scene, every note, with 100% dedication and passion. I believe every measure he sings. I swear, if I touched him while he was acting I would scald my hand. He’s that red-hot! Let’s toss our berets in the air in celebration of this hard-working group!

The olders.

LMtheolders

This group includes those who sport graying hair, slipped discs, sore feet and hemorrhoids. They stubbornly refuse to believe the best days are in the past. The olders juggle grandkids, aging parents, day jobs and diminishing stamina. Consider one of our treasured olders; a lovely lady who lives in an outlying community. She makes the almost-hour commute every day. I worry about her lonely late-night drives home. During a break in last Sunday’s long rehearsal schedule, she took a nap in her car. Consider the construction worker who makes 300 mile+ work trips during the day. He attends rehearsal like he just woke up from a refreshing nap. I’m awestuck in the presence of these castmates. Let’s hoist the banner high for them!!

LMcover

You’re sure of my bias now, aren’t you? I admire-the-hell out of those who make their living in the humdrum and sometimes grayscale real-world, yet contribute colorful and uniquely textured yarn to our community tapestry. This is the cumulative art we call Les Misera-bluh.

LMonedaymore

Your efforts enrich my One Day More immeasurably. Don’t ever give up on your art.

Amarillo Opera is proud to provide a mechanism and framework in which these noble artistic efforts can occur. Bravo!

Beyond-the-barricade love to all.

tickets for Les Mis-panhandletickets.com

a stick for what ails you

Don’t usually advocate products here on the blog. Unless it’s something spectacular like a Dump Cake, then I’m all over it. You guys are smart enough to know what you like.

However, there’s now a revolutionary new product on the market…..so sublime…..so manifique…..we should stampede our local walmarts to get one. No, it’s not the new iphone. How passé!

Is your window on the world a little dreary? Tired of gazing outside at naked trees and mountains of unmelting snow?

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Let’s be honest. Are your grandkids really not all that CUTE?

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Is your dog lounging on the sofa passing gas instead of performing picture-worthy stunts?

Our very own American Sniper. Good dog.

Tired of watching the endless videos of beheadings?

photo courtesy BuzzFeed
photo courtesy BuzzFeed

Spice up your life with a SELFIE-STICK. Finally….something worthy of a photo!!

When I viewed this video of President Obama goofing with a selfie-stick, I KNEW I had to own one!

http://thesource.com/2015/02/15/watch-president-obama-makes-faces-and-uses-a-selfie-stick-in-buzzfeed-video-to-promote-health-care/

I’ve been perfecting the ‘one eye tongue out’ look for days!

Obama
photo New York post

No matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to master this face. He’s probably spent hours….maybe days!….practicing. With commitment and hard work I WILL succeed. Practice makes perfect.

I still have trouble with Blue Steel.

blue steel

Don’t you dare ask me to show you my El Tigre. It’s nowhere near selfie-worthy yet. Maybe someday!!

Don’t want to be caught on the short end of the stick, so I’ll be capturing myself in the front row of cool sporting events.

Ortiz-Obama-Selfie_jpg

I’ll always share with you how fine I  look in my new new ride.

obama-biden selfie

Want to know how impossibly important I am? Yep, I can demonstrate that for you, too. Important-person-funeral selfie!!

obama-selfie

Fun times.

Maybe I’ll get really lucky and witness a car wreck or a burning building. How cool would it be to see me in front of that!??

You can purchase the selfie-stick at Walmart for $14.99.

Feel free to send me your favorite selfie in the comments section. I could look at selfies all day.

Snapshots of love to all.