Happy feet…

When Statler, our black cat starts winding around my feet, I know he’s wanting some love. Some “mommy pick me up and cuddle” time. As soon as I do, his paws start opening wide, then closing right. I call this his “happy feet”.

Happy, happy feet!

This week, I also have happy feet, for the first time in years. I was born with my right foot twisted in towards my left. It was corrected with braces before my memories begin. Over the years, I had to wear “corrective” shoes. They were ugly, expensive and invariably made my long flat feet look even bigger than life. For a few years in my early twenties, I tried wearing ballet style shoes, and heels. That didn’t last long, as the pronation caused ankle pain. To a podiatrist I went and I have worn orthotic inserts ever since. They would relive the pain for a few years. When the pain returned, I would try a different style of orthotics. Sports shoes were my life, but I wanted to wear sandals during the summer with dresses. I took a few summers wearing sandals, and seemed to do OK. It’s probably good we have short summers here.

Anyway, over the last three or four years, I noticed a bone had shifted in my arch area. I began had a three month episode of crushing pain at the end of the day that would cause me to limp horribly. Not good for the back or hips or knees. I could no longer wear my Birkenstock’s, as that dropped bone hit the arch area hard, and it was downright painful. The pain in the inner ankle continued to increase, making walking uncomfortable. I began to limit my activity around the house and property, and stopped walking with friends. I went through several sets of orthotics during that time, each set working for a while, but the pain eventually returning. Soon, I began experiencing unbearable pain with my first dozen steps each morning. After a bit of research, I decided to sleep in a plantar fasciitis brace. It keeps your foot flexed at a bit over 90 degrees. I figured if the tendon was shrinking at night being relaxed, and the pain was from re-stretching it, then keeping it in a semi stretched position would help. It did. No more pain in the morning. The daily pain continued to increase. I went to one foot doctor who listened to my symptoms, looked at my X-rays, but never touched my foot, only to tell me that it was just a matter of time before I would need surgery. No compassion, no intermediate options presented. The other day, I went to another foot doctor, basically to be told that I just needed better orthotics, and he could sell them to me because the ones I was wearing were crap. I asked about options, specifically if physical therapy could help. He pooo-pooed it and said it was structural, better orthotics would fix everything.

I left his office in tears feeling without any hope for a pain free future. I decided to make an appointment with a physical therapist any way to ask if it could help my condition. While we talked, the therapist worked my foot, twisting it, pushing on bones, etc. She said it was definitely a good fit and recommended an exercise and dry needling (acupuncture) to relax the muscle the tendon was attached to. I said I would do anything. By the time my first session was done, the dropped bone was up again, not to its original position, but definitely better. The muscle in my calf felt beat up, and I had a tight piece of tape around my foot, which was uncomfortable. She said that because I have always had a structural issue, we probably couldn’t get it back to 100%, but could get it at least 50-75% better. I couldn’t stop the tears of joy. The best thing I left with that day was hope.

Yep! That’s one of my long, size 12, narrow feet.

Twenty four hours later, the tape has relaxed and doesn’t hurt anymore, my calf feels great, and I walked up the stairs on my toes again, not flat footed like I have had to for the last few months. Monday I get my current orthotics adjusted for my new foot structure, and I have happy feet too! The pain has been minimal today, and I have hope. My attitude has changed, I am not consumed with worry about whether I will be able to walk next year, and I feel like a weight has been lifted from me. My soul is at peace. I even slept better last night.

Hope is a powerful thing. I pray that you can find hope for whatever it is that you are worried about, and that your soul can find peace in hope, and that you can have Happy Feet today!

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Rough week…

It seems that things always seem to go wrong just before we celebrate God’s set apart special occasions. The fall feasts are upon us: The Day of Trumpets, a day to watch and wait for the return of Yahushua/Jesus. The Day of Atonement, a day to examine our hearts for sin, and thank Yahushua/Jesus for the work of forgiveness done by his death. And finally, The Feast of Tabernacles, a week to celebrate with other believers and look forward to spending eternity with him. These are joyous times, or supposed to be. Seems that this year, the enemy of my soul would like to steal my joy.

In the past two weeks so much has happened. Multiple people I know with Covid, one hospitalized. The Afghanistan withdraw and the suffering plastered all over the news. Very emotionally draining. My 18 year old van apparently had an alignment issue which damaged one of four tires. I had to drive to a neighboring city to find the same tires, so I could buy only two, instead of a whole new set. And, my battery went defective at the same time. Having to rearrange things based on the van not being available. Finding out that a ductless hear pump head had been leaking in our wall since installation a year ago. The drywall was cut into, wet insulation removed, wet floor planks removed in our main living space and six huge fans and one heavy duty heater running non stop for a week. It was deafening and hard to focus. Then, to really amp up the emotions and stress, one of my husbands best friends from college suddenly passed away while battling cancer two weeks before their daughter’s wedding.

We agonized for a day about whether to rearrange everything in life to try to rush out to where the funeral would be (a two day drive). We finally decided to ask if it would be ok to plan a trip out to see the wife and kids in a month, when she has to start adjusting to a new normal without her husband. So, we are getting that planned.

And so, the process of cleaning up begins. The drywall patch has a first coat of mud on it. The subfloor remains uncovered u til the flooring guy can fit the repair into his busy schedule. Spare flooring has been ordered. A new battery was installed and an appointment for an alignment made for next week. I also began work on transferring our friend’s Caring Bridge journal into book format for his family. He journaled extensively. His writing was humorous, eloquent and inspiring. I am not sure if his family actually got to read the journal while they were living through the trial.

Tomorrow I rev up the freeze dryer again, and plant a patch of flower garden on one side of a new pergola. Hopefully I can get the other side prepped and planted in time to give the new plants a chance to really take root before winter hits. We hope that maybe someday, our grandchildren might choose to get married on our property. And we would like to have it available to bless anyone in our fellowship of believers to use for special occasions.

Monday, we will watch the live stream of the funeral with another college Buddy and his wife, and our son and his family over brunch. We will toast our lost friend/brother and reminisce.

Getting enlightened…

This is about Covid, but not in the way you might think. So, please, don’t tune me out just yet. So, last year, and this, I have tired of hearing everything being blamed on Covid. Late deliveries, lack of product availability, etc. However, after reading a letter from one of the online companies that I regularly order from, and talking to various people, I am beginning to see, that it is our response to the virus that is to blame. I guess you could extrapolate that out to say it’s the virus’s fault.

Shipping delays: One co-op that I order hard to find bulk foods from sent out a letter explaining the following: On the day after our nation shut down last year, a couple things happened. People panicked and started stocking up. Locally that resulted in the famous “toilet paper shortages”. Our co-op saw orders quadruple in a single day. While that may seem a good thing, think about this; demand quadrupled, workers to process the orders did not, inventory did not, delivery trucks did not, available drivers did not. How to get four times the product to people with the same amount of drivers, trucks, inventory, workers to process orders, etc. became a logistical nightmare!

Product availability: Fast forward a couple months. Back ordered products become a regular occurrence. Certain shelves in the supermarkets and other stores continue to be empty. Why can’t I find a cheapy, plastic ammo box to hold some homeopathy vials in at the local sporting good store over a year later? That was finally explained to me by the gal who runs a metal recycling company locally. She shared about a relative who worked in manufacturing. Many times in manufacturing, workers work shoulder to shoulder on an assembly line. Let’s say you have 100 workers. With the advent of social distancing, you now need six feet between each worker. Roughly, that means you can now only have about twenty workers on that line. That means your production drops by 80%. That’s a huge drop! But it costs the same to run the machinery for a day. Thus, less product availability.

Inflated prices: Now, f you can’t enlarge your building, you are gonna have to lay off employees. If you have to run a night shift to have to try to keep afloat, you are spending more money to produce less product (now you can do 40% of what you were doing). Prices get raised for the finished goods in hopes of keeping the company’s head above water until this passes. I’m mainly talking about the little guys, but some big corporations are really feeling it too.

Why is this still an issue a year later? Workplace social distancing is still in effect. It takes time to train semi truck drivers. Companies are wondering if the increase in demand will continue, and if so, for how long. This uncertainty may keep companies from hiring too many employees, or growing too fast. our workforce has changed dramatically also. Many who were initially laid off, didn’t go back to work later because of the government making unemployment benefits more lucrative than their jobs were. Why go back? I think many moms realized that after paying daycare expenses, they really weren’t bringing in enough money to make it worth working. Families are learning to live off one income. Companies are having to offer higher wages to lure people back, and to cover that, prices for goods and services are rising.

Add to all of this the vaccine. More and more pressure is being placed on the skeptical to relent, give in to the science. Employers are having to make decisions about hiring the unvaccinated. If the unvaccinated numbers for the nation remain low (currently around 40%), and employers get on the “mandatory vaccination” bus, how will that affect the supply chain? what about the cost of mass transit (planes, trains, buses, etc) if the unvaccinated have to drive or cease traveling? The lost revenue will have to be made up somehow.

All that said. I am beginning to understand a bit more how interconnected everything is in this society we Americans have created. And, just how fragile it is. This pandemic storm has toppled our U.S. house of cards. Our world is changing. I am trying to change with it. Trying to see into the future and plan accordingly, without panic or fear. That has been a challenge for me. I have family overseas. Will I ever be able to physically hug them again? I try not to think about it often. The rules are so fluid right now about everything right now. One day at a time is all I can handle. Today, I remind myself, “take no thought for tomorrow; for tomorrow for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”Matthew 6:34

Today, I walked to get our printed newspaper. I saw the sun rise above a mountain. There were cows In the neighbor’s field, and a pheasant making his cool call to the ladies. The sky was still blue today. I am still breathing. Yahuwah God’s mercies are new every morning. Thanking him for that. .

New life…

There’s nothing like the miracle of birth and a new life to give you perspective on what is truly important. While my husband and I and about 100 friends were celebrating the Day of Trumpets in our shop, our son and daughter in law were at the hospital delivering our fifth grandchild, their third child. People asked why we weren’t at the hospital. I reminded them that COVID has emptied hospital waiting rooms. We waited at home. Thankfully, mother and our new grand daughter were both happy and healthy after a c-section.

When I look at a new baby, I feel hope for the future. I feel joyous and excited. All thoughts of current world events disappear, and there is a new life. A tiny girl to pray for, and to eventually take to ice cream and listen to her chat about friends, and other things. a beautiful being to share about the love of Yahuah God for her with, to celebrate his goodness with.

This child is my father’s seventh great grandchild. His eighth was born three days later, and number nine will be born sometime in November. He has crocheted baby blankets for all seven of his grandchildren and all nine of his great grands. I wish that I could carry on that tradition for him when he is gone someday. The traditions I have started for my grands are I order baby announcements for each one, and try to create a photo book for each ones first year of life. Most of them also get double sided flannel blankets from me too. For my kids, I used to make them matching flannel jammies for New Years. Our ten year old grandson was wearing a nightshirt I had made for his dad at the same age. That brought back lots of memories.

My day is ending. By the time you read this, I will either be snoozing soundly or waking up for some Sabbath pie. As each day ends, and your head hits the pillow, I hope you can identify something that brings hope and joy to your heart, that helps to erase the events of the world, if even for just a moment.

Yesterday…

Yesterday… I was in a hurry getting my clothes hung out to dry that I didn’t see the Praying Mantis that has been hanging around our back porch. He was on the ground in front of my drying rack, and I stepped on him. I feel awful. For some reason this incident has had a profound effect on me. The other day, I showed him to the grands, they asked why he was hanging on the screen. We looked up what they ate and read about them. When we looked again, he was eating something. I developed a respect and appreciation for the majestic, yet carnivorous insect. And now, I may have ended his life…

Yesterday… My honey wanted to check out progress on the shop work. I showed him that we created a mechanical closet and decided on decorative beam sizes and locations. as we went outside so I could show him the pillars and how they were getting wrapped, I was surprised and thrilled to see that the long wall was completely sheathed, and half the battens were on too!! I didn’t realize they had gotten that much done before they left for the weekend.

Yesterday… After dropping my honey’s car off for an oil change and several maintainance items recommended for 120K miles, I came home and found three large bowls of produce on our kitchen counter! Beautiful green peppers, corn, cucumbers, zucchini and an entire bowl of blackberries! What a blessing. Seems some friends of ours wanted to bless us with the abundance of their garden. I immediately sent them a text thanking them.

Yesterday… When I went out to the garage for something, I saw the neighbor’s black cat heading our way for some food and petting. While dinner cooked in the Instant Pot, I sat on the front porch with her. After a few minutes of pets, she lied down on a stair and we both sat quietly, listening to a blackbird in a tree close by, with the periodic buzz of a fly near my head. It was warm in the shade, but pleasant. It was one of those perfect moments, and I was sure to thank Yahuah our Creator for that moment.

Yesterday… Since I like to get my Sabbath meals prepped the day before, I made time for cooking a few things. I had enough time to strip a precooked chicken down and prepare a casserole for my daughter in law for after she has a baby sometime in the next few weeks, make gluten free shortcakes and strawberries for this morning’s Sabbath breakfast, and start the crockpot with the chicken bones and skin to make some fresh chicken stock.

Yesterday… my honey and I walked after dinner, and were awed by seeing the sun setting behind our house. It looked huge, and was deep red colored due to smoke in the air. We could look right at it. It was spectacular.

I hope today, will become a beautiful yesterday for each of you also.

The definition of insanity

We’ve all heard this funny before. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. I guess my kids have it right about me!

I bring this up, because one of my emotional meltdowns has been brewing for the last few weeks. Spurred on by a hot flashing induced lack of sleep, it boiled over last night after an evening with friends. I’m not even sure what triggered the deep desire to cry… at everything… over nothing…. There has been an underlying current of deep sadness/grief in my heart for many years now. I am beginning to see that I am a broken person. I have lived with past rejection driving me to perfectionism, which overwhelms me emotionally, always waiting for the rejection shoe to drop. That is so unfair to my husband, as it keeps me from true, trusting relationship with the man who has never rejected me. Sorrow from three miscarriages, chronic illness in the family, carrying burdens that are not mine to carry.

Well, I am done with the insanity! In the past, I have sucked it up and stuffed the tears. I am tired of crying, so I just won’t. This never really works though, as it always seems to show up again. Last night our friends shared the name of a ministry that helped her work through past life traumas. I filed it away in the memory folder of my mind, which I can’t always remember where I placed. After a long, tearful talk, my honey asked me if I would want to go through the biblical study/counseling our friend had gone through. After doing some research this morning, I have decided to do that. No more insanity. If I want to be free from the emotional pain, I MUST deal with it differently. Do I want to experience the pain. No. But I probably will have to walk through it, to get through it.

This is my year to let Yahweh God heal me emotionally and physically. Yea, I said let. I think I have shut him out too, for fear of being rejected, when, once again, he has shown me his incredible love for me, not only in forgiving my sins through Yeshua’s death, but in a hundred little gestures every day. My trying to avoid the issues of my heart have kept him from being able to set me free from them.

NO MORE! I am ready for that abundant life, and I am am going to let him in to EVERY area of my heart, not just certain ones.

Here’s to hope….