Monday, March 24, 2014


I’m pregnant. With excitement. Yes, I’m expecting...and the due date is March 25th. We’ve already learned it’s a knee and I’ve named him Nehemiah.

About 36 hours from the time I’m writing to you, I’ll be in surgery for knee replacement. I’ve never been excited about surgery before. This is one I’m excited about. I’ve been ready for two years! But that’s not the subject for this blog.

In preparation for some down time, I’ve completed my spring cleaning rituals except for washing the windows inside and out. Allergy season is here and I have to avoid pollen as much as possible, especially right now. Our house looks pretty good. We’ll see how long that lasts with Joe here alone for a number of days. But that’s not the subject for this blog either.

In these few years that my right knee has worsened, I’ve favored it to the point that I resorted to using a cane. And because of that favoring and limping I’ve done up to now, my left hip feels horrible. Getting old is not for sissies. And that, also, is not the subject of this blog.

I decided that I needed to empty the refrigerator before being away for about ten days (hospital, then rehab). Therefore I’ve been eating odd combinations of foods this week to accomplish my goal. You don’t want to know what I ate. Trust me. Let's just say pickled beets should never be an option first thing in the morning.

Joe and I are planning to stay overnight close to the hospital where I’ll report at 5:30, Tuesday morning. I have lots to do between now and then. I’ve packed up a Snack Bag filled with hard candies, some meringue cookies, crackers, and little candy bars. Why? Because every time I’ve ever stayed in a hospital, caring for a loved one...I’ve had a snack drawer to share with visitors. Hospital machines are expensive.

All the Green family knew if they were hungry while staying at the nursing home with Joe’s mother, that Beth had a Snack Drawer filled with all sorts of things. Peanut butter crackers, candy, Spaghettios. (I think I’m the only one who ate the Spaghettios, which props up my theory if one is hungry enough, one will eat anything!)

When my mother was in her last months, I’d drive from Tennessee to Ohio as often as possible to share the caregiving time with my sister by staying right there with Mother 24/7.

Vangie always made sure Mother had a dozen fresh roses in her room. Yes, Vangie took care of roses and I was in charge of keeping my homemade fudge along with other snacks in the top drawer of Mother’s dresser. Our mother loved fudge! And so did our brothers who were there as much as their jobs would allow.

Mother was diabetic, and was good to not eat those sugary treats to which her youngest daughter continues to be addicted. But in those last weeks, with the doctor's permission, our family decided that it would be okay for Mother to enjoy some of her favorites as long as they didn’t put her in danger. She seemed to appreciate that decision. So I’d make Peanut Butter Fudge and Chocolate Fudge for the snack drawer...for Mother, of course...and to share with visitors. The family, as well as the nurses and CNAs knew where to find the treats.

I doubt that I’ll get to make fudge for my hospital stay because I’m running out of time...but, cleaning out the refrigerator gave me the idea to use all the eggs and buttermilk, along with the over-ripe bananas on the counter by making Banana Bread. The wonderful aroma of that bread is in my nostrils at this moment! When it’s cooled, I’ll package up the slices in little snack bags. And, while Joe is waiting for me to come out of surgery on Tuesday morning, he can be the thoughtful host who offers homemade Banana Bread to folks in the surgical waiting room! No one there needs to know that I was cleaning out my fridge when the bread idea came to mind!

Now to review my list…
My house is clean. The clothes are washed. The fridge is cleared of dated items. The Snack Bag is nearly packed...and I’d better remember to pack napkins! Hope I haven’t forgotten anything! Oh yeah, my suitcase! I'll need clothes in rehab!!!

Probably the next time I write for you, I’ll be used to the hardware in my right leg. Joe’s already bought little magnets to leave notes on my new knee. He's cute that way.

Never forget this...
If you have a pulse, then you have a purpose. Make your life count!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Way to go, Belk! (I speak fluent sarcasm.)

The scripture in Psalm 139:14 reads: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” (NIV)

Okay. I believe that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, because God’s Word tells me so. I also believe that over the years, I’ve altered God’s creation a great deal. No tattoos. No piercings, except for 1972 when my then-boyfriend pierced my ears at a kitchen table with alcohol, a large needle and a piece of styrofoam. (We didn’t have a potato to use, and when that styrofoam crunched, I nearly passed out!) In 1987, I had second holes pierced in my lobes, so my 2 year-old daughter could see what the ladies were going to do when she had her lobes pierced. (I dressed that kid in pink from head-to-toe, but her barely-there-hair had people mistaking her for a boy...hence the pierced ears.)

In the last several years I have discovered a new avenue in my life. I’ve been doing stand-up comedy in many venues...singing and sharing humor...and my body has become the brunt of many of my jokes. I do routines for mixed company; for women only; for senior adults; and whomever hires me for a laugh. Don’t get me wrong. My body is no laughing matter. But when I can joke about it and make tears run down somebody’s’s a pretty good day!

For instance...
My body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit, but I’ve added on a Fellowship Hall. When I was pregnant, it was a Family Life Center. Now that I’m 60, things have begun to shift and I think I’ve become a Multi-Purpose Room!

How about these?
I’m on a 30-day diet. So far I’ve lost 10 days.
Actually, I’m on several diets at once because I couldn’t get enough to eat on just one.
I didn’t make it to the gym today. That makes three years in a row.

But today, I didn’t think it was so funny when I went to the Belk store at West Town Mall, shopping for a specific pant I’d seen advertised. I looked all over the store and finally asked a sales person where the plus-sizes were located. I was informed that all the plus-sized clothing was sold in a different building with mens wear, children’s clothing, appliances and home goods.

Same store. Belk. Different building. I felt kind of odd about that.

It was as if we plus-sized shoppers were relegated to the ‘back room’ where we wouldn’t be seen. It was kind of like, Cinderella being locked in the attic when Prince Charming came by with the other glass she wouldn’t be seen while the step-sisters attempted to squeeze into that tiny shoe.

The plus-sized collection was not nearly as big as I’d imagined since it was placed in a different building. That was disappointing. I found the pant I was looking for, but decided that today I wouldn’t give Belk my business. I’m sure I’ll break down and shop there again someday because I’ve always liked their store. But today, I didn’t like Belk. And I plan to write to management to voice my complaint.

Maybe these feelings are from some deep-seeded problem I don’t know I have. Maybe something happened to me when I was a kid that made me react the way I did today. Or maybe the feelings are because I know I need to lose weight. (Which I am, by the way.) But I felt a bit like a second-class citizen because of the location of what they call “Today’s Woman” clothing. Today’s Woman, my foot.

Tonight, I’m not a happy camper. Can you tell?

Usually I can find something funny in a situation. But not this time. Belk at West Town Mall in Knoxville, are on my list. (Actually I don’t have a list, but if I ever do, you’ll be on it!)

Even though I’m disgruntled tonight...just as I always do, I will still close with this reminder:
If you have a pulse, then you have a purpose. Make your life count!