May 24, 2011

Your Sista's Havin' a Hysta - Part 1

I recently went in for my regular "lady's check" only to have my doctor peep her head up over my draped knees and proclaim, "Nancy, your uterus is huuuuuuge!" I'm not sure which caught my attention more, the news itself or the look on her face when she told me. Lifting her slim tall frame to standing, she positioned her index fingers about 8" apart and said, "We're gonna have to make an incision this big to get it out."

" big is it?" I inquired, grasping for a tangible visual. "About this big" she motioned as if holding an invisible ball. The light mood in the air turned a tad serious. With only one minor bladder symptom, neither of us expected the findings.

I left her office dazed trying to absorb the news. All this time I'd had some stealthy thing growing inside me and was totally clueless to its presence. Now surgery with a six week recovery was on the docket. This was a lot to assimilate. Pulling out my cell phone to call Jimmy, I paused to search my mental dictionary. How shall I describe to him what she showed me with her hands? I got the visual I needed from her but now had to convert it to words for him. Where could I begin?

My first inclination was to scan the world of sports, since nearly all games involve balls. Jimmy loves golf but a golf ball is far too small. Her hands held a much bigger sphere. No. Softball? Nope. Bigger yet. Basketball? Ugh, thank goodness that's way too big. Soccer ball? Naw, still to big. I was at a loss to come up with any more balls to describe my huuuuuuge uterus, so I left the arena and headed to the grocery store.

Walking down the glass corridor of the medical building, cell phone still poised and ready, I set off on a mental voyage to the produce section of the grocery store. I was convince beyond a shadow of a doubt I'd find a fruit to fit my doctor's grip. Ok, let's try this again. Strawberry? No, that's smaller than a golf ball. Apple? Negative. Pear? Nope. Watermelon? Well, that's bigger than a basketball but I could sense I was getting warmer. Ahhh hahhh! That's it. What else is round, grows on a vine, and has seeds you have to dredge out of the middle? Cantaloupe! Yes, yes, yes! I have a cantaloupe sized uterus. Perfect. That will be his visual. Now I can explain the finding to him in a way he'll understand.

I gotta say I'm not thrilled about having surgery and came a hair's breadth from keeping it all private. But then I wondered if maybe this experience might help someone. I have no idea how but I don't know a lot of things. I do trust that the Lord can use it in some way if He chooses to do so. That's why I've decided to chronicle the journey. It won't be about me or my scar but rather what I learn through it all. After all, nothing comes to a child of God that is not first sifted through His hands. There is a good reason why I must stop life long enough to allow my doctor to pluck this fruit and there is some rationale as to why He's allowing it at this time.

Surgery awaits me tomorrow and while I'm not fearful, I am dreadful. I don't hurt at all right now, I never have, but tomorrow things will be different. Life will grind to a halt, leaving me to slowly recover and regain the strength that is so abundant today. I don't look forward to the discomfort but I do look forward to a harvesting of this cantaloupe. My doctor assures me I'll feel better once this thing's gone. My pants will fit better and I will be able to bend over without feeling 4 months pregnant.

We'll chat again soon. Until then you may hear from Jimmy a time or two. I've given him permission to be my right hand blog man.

Much love and blessings to you all.

Be good!

May 19, 2011

Envelope Therapy

I kid you not, it takes only a few minutes to make a lined envelope. You can Google the craft and get ideas that'll keep you busy from here to eternity. The sky's the limit and though I'm not the most creative soul perched in the Lord's quiver, I come up with enough to keep me plenty busy. I have no doubts you can do the same if you put your mind to it.

Here's a few creations...

Diamonds are a girls best friend

Ditzy dots are playful and fun

Flowers are a blooming

Results from only a few hours of fun
Now it's time to tackle some coordinating stationary.

May 14, 2011

Let's Make an Envelope!

I confessed my fetish for paper in Paper Passion, now let's see what it can produce. Some of you showed interest in learning how to make envelopes and stationary that exhibit your own personal flare, so here's a quick and easy how-to.

Paper Source carries an
impressive assortment of decorative paper sheets
that are big enough to accommodate envelope templates,
which depending on the size of the envelope can require
a fair amount of space.
If you don't wish to purchase large sheets of paper,
you can make smaller envelopes using 12"x12"
sheets available at most craft stores.
(Sheets below were $2.50 each.)

Envelope liner template (left)
Envelope template (right)

Supplies needed: scissors, Lick & Stick glue, bone folder,
wall paper roller (does same as bone folder),
and tape dispenser that dishes out two-sided adhesive.

Envelope and liner after cutting and before folding.

Fold and glue envelope flaps, insert and affix the liner,
press envelope edges with bone folder or roller for crisp edges,
and you are done!
For about $26 you can purchase envelope and liner templates. It's the perfect personal touch to any gift for that special someone. The options are endless and for me provides great relaxation therapy. In fact, this morning I made two cards but forgot to take pictures along the way. I wasn't sure how they'd turn out but when all was said and done, regretted not taking you along for the ride.

If you are interested in paper therapy, I hope this helps you get started.

May 7, 2011

Mother's Day: Then and Now

It used to baffle me when folks, who were not my child, wished me happy Mother's Day. Clerks at the grocery store would confidently bid this salutation at the end of a transaction, void of any knowledge as to whether I had a mother or a child. I couldn't get past the fact they were wishing me Happy Mother's Day and they weren't my child. I viewed the day as one reserved for the family party's involved, not every Tom, Dick, or Harry. (I get hung up on peewee pressures in the world, bare with me.)

Time, however, has changed and so has my life's season. When I was younger life was simpler. Mom was alive, our children were young, and I had oddles of energy. Mother's Day involved fine tuning my observation skills months in advance, listening closely to even a whisper's hint of something mom might enjoy. Years ago she was into frogs, so I snatched up every frog item I could scout out for her. She ended up measuring rain with frog rain gauges, propping reptilian jumpers in her garden, entry hall, and living room. Her knack for decorating made it all come together in good taste, but I assure you if even one of those figures had been the real deal, I'd have never set foot on her property. She had a platoon of frogs.

Mom's been gone for 4 1/2 years and a new season is in bloom. This year in particular I've noticed two distinct traits come to surface I've never before exhibited. First, for some reason, I want to visit mom's grave. As a youngster I thought I'd visit her grave every week or more when she passed, but after six months of caring for her as cancer's squeeze gradually carried her away, the grave has been the last place I've wanted to visit. I suppose it reminded me too much of the pain of her last days. This Mother's Day, on the other hand, is different. I've had time to recover, I want to commemorate her life, and I'm ready to visit the cemetery.

Then there's the second trait a bloomin' in my heart and who'd have thunk this could ever pollinate in me of all people. Can you guess? I think you might have an idea. Dare I say? Should I reveal? Here she blows...I'm wanting to wish other ladies Happy Mother's Day too! Can you believe it. Have tables turned or what. The notion snuck up on me like a freight train. One day, before I realized metamorphosis had occurred, I found myself rehearsing a checklist of who I wanted to wish you know what to. On what I envision will be a sunny bright Mother's Day, I'm going to call my sister and sister-in-law (that's two). Then I will text my three co-workers and bid them the same salutation of grocery store clerks past. That totals five women of whom I did not come from or give birth to, surely this is one for the Guinness Book.

I have a lot to be thankful for on Mother's Day. I don't have a mother here on earth anymore, but I did for a time. Our relationship wasn't perfect but I learned a lot of good things from my mother, the value of faithfulness, the importance of remaining steadfast, how to work hard in all I do, and keeping life simple and family first, just to name a few. I try to pass these attributes on to our son, Drew, just in case one day he finds himself looking back on how he was brought up and deciding how to raise his own children. Who knows, maybe one day he'll find himself wishing Happy Mother's Day to women folk who aren't his mama.

May the Lord bless you this Mother's Day and whatever life's season you are in at this time.

Mom's last visit to our home
before she died.
I knew she'd never return.
Her and dad are both with the Lord.