Monday, November 29, 2010

Missing Mama

This Christmas, my mama will have been gone 20 years. Sometimes it is hard to believe it has been that long. It seems like just yesterday that I spent Christmas in the waiting room outside of the ICU praying that mama could beat the odds just one more time. 

Christmas was mama's favorite holiday. We would cook and make goodies for the people who helped keep her going. Precious pharmacists, doctors, friends, and neighbors. Her tree was always beautifully decorated, often with my handmade ornaments. We would sing "O Holy Night" together, my soprano blending perfectly with her wonderful, rich alto. 

Some Christmases are more difficult than others. For some reason, this season is already beginning to get to me. I got teary eyed singing some of her favorite carols at Hanging of the Greens. Three friends have lost loved ones in the past two weeks, and their grief brings mine back, even after all these years. 

But, I am my mothers' child. I may feel sad at times, but I will get through the holiday with as much joy and grace as I can muster. Goodies will be baked, solos will be sung, and my tree will be exquisitely decorated with the ornaments she gave me. 

My memories ensure that mama lives on. 

In me. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010


I have spent the day on the couch after falling twice this morning. My myasthenia is trying to flare up and I don't have time for it. I have tried to pace myself over the past few weeks, but sometimes this is just the way it is. 

MG seems to love to pick my busiest times to knock me down. I just don't have time for this right now. Even though I have pared holidays down considerably, I still have things to do. 

The things that are weighing on me most right now are the church choir cantata, which wears me out even when I am at my best, and concern over my sweet stepmom's hip replacement surgery timed for the week before Christmas. I want to be well enough to help her and my dad out while she is convalescing. 

I have been having my annual "Pre-December" panic the past few days. Now it is time to make a plan, pace myself, and get a grip. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010


I was introduced to Godiva chocolate years ago my by friend, the late, great Elizabeth Ann Myers. She admired this candy not only for its creamy taste, but admired these candies as "works of art" as well. Ever since, I have treated myself and friends to this luscious treat on special occasions. 

On a trip to Office Max today, I began getting a bit lightheaded and realized when I looked at my watch that it was past my lunch time. I looked around to see what they might have in the way of edibles to get me through until I could finish my mission and get a proper lunch. A familiar name caught my eye and I nabbed a small bag of Godiva milk chocolate truffles. I took it over to the Copy Max counter where I was waiting for job to be finished, opened the bag, and savored one of these sweet treats. 

I struck up a conversation with the young gentleman in line behind me. I asked him if he had ever had Godiva and he admitted that he had not yet had that pleasure. I offered him a truffle and loved the look of satisfaction that crossed his features. I gave him a second one for good measure. 

I asked the nice gentleman waiting on me if he liked chocolate. He had never had Godiva either. I quickly remedied that situation. My next converts were the cashiers who had also never tasted this lovely chocolate. 

I left the store with a nearly empty bag. Spreading the "Gospel of Godiva." 

It was a beautiful thing. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Christmas Shopping

I have to admit that I do not do a whole lot of Christmas shopping. My family has pared down quite a bit over the years. But there are a few things that I need to pick up, most of which I cannot get in Vicksburg or online. 

So, the little red scooter and I are going to Jackson in the morning to try to get it done. There is no "Black Friday" deal good enough to get me in the stores that day.  I do not Christmas shop in December. That is a sure fire way to lose my Christmas spirit!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Voice Update

Today, I went to my throat doc for another laryngoscope. The good news is that the vocal cords are finally free of irritation. The bad news is that most of my trouble is now caused from the easy muscle fatiguability caused by Myasthenia Gravis.  Add to that the crushing general fatigue I often experience that is connected to my autoimmune disorders in general, and I don't have the ability to sing for very long at one time anymore. 

Basically, I have to start thinking differently about my singing. A song or two as opposed to a "program." A Sunday anthem with the choir, but maybe not the Christmas cantata. This is a really hard shift in thinking for me. I was always an extremely reliable singer who could pretty much do it all. 

The doc also cautioned me to continue to limit phone conversations and to be careful of raising my voice to be heard by elderly friends and family members. This is especially difficult as my father and my husband both have hearing loss. I am going to have to find more effective ways to be heard. 

Many thanks to all who have prayed for the restoration of my voice. 

Now I just have to use it wisely. 

Sunday, November 07, 2010


The Senior Center Art Show went better than I could have ever imagined! Donations of art works totally exceeded my expectations. Help was plentiful, with two of my young friends coming to help set up. I was able to mostly sit and direct traffic,  which worked very well. 

Attendance was quite good, considering we were not allowed (by the city) to put an advertisement in our local paper.  Word of mouth and posters sufficed. And we made enough money to ensure that art programs continue, even if our budget faces the axe. So far, we have been able to offer these programs completely free of charge so that anyone who wishes to "do art" can participate. 

I was totally humbled by the number of my personal friends and family who stopped by. Not all of them bought paintings, but they were interested in seeing what we do. And fourteen of the 18 paintings that I donated sold. And not just to my friends! :)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Senior Center Art and Craft Show

This painting is not mine, but the work of Connie, one of my talented students at Vicksburg Senior Center. She graciously donated a high quality print of this refreshing scene to the art sale that begins this Friday. 

I can't begin to describe my my delight in how this sale has come together. Some of my newest students are already able to paint well enough to offer work for sale. Their efforts and donations will help ensure that the art programs at the Senior Center continue next year. 

It has been a joy to see my students take what instruction I am able to give (and I am no professional!), practice, and develop their individual styles. It is fun to help budding artists realize that it is NEVER too late (my oldest student is 78) to learn a new skill. And this show gives them a chance to both show and sell their work. 

Local art lovers, come enjoy!

And don't forget those wallets!

Mystery Meat

I have recently become reacquainted with a substance I have not voluntarily encountered since my school years.  Mystery Meat  I brought ...