Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First and always, the rose. This marks 7 Tuesdays - give or take a Tuesday or two - before my beloved & I are reunited.

It's been awhile since I last wrote. Why, I don't know. There were periods of intense longing for my beloved....there were periods of feeling so very much alone....and there were periods when I just wasn't feeling well.

I remember the self-advice of counting one's blessings. I find it amusing how we can offer such sage advice to others, but neglect to take one's own advice. My blessings which I have neglected to remember.....

* A husband who God gave me to be my soul mate, my friend, my lover, my husband....

* A mother-in-law who is more than a mom-in-law. Though she lost her husband just mere months ago, she has shown great fortitude, strength and love.

* Two visits from ladies whom I knew only through emails. Email is a wonderous invention.

* The gift of sewing - and seeing quilts emerge from pieces of fabric

*The ability to cry over movies that touch the heart

*Knowing my sister who struggles every day - yet, continues on and still loves no matter what and finds joy in the little things

*A brother who calls me frequently just to talk - even though Email is a wonderous invention!

* Two grown children whom we both are very proud - and their spouses - not to mention the wonderful grandchildren they provided to their parents

*A very strange winter in Ohio - with temperatures in the 40s

* Parents who are still with us....

I know if I sat here long enough, the list would continue to grow.

Counting one's blessings is a powerful tool to combat the blues. No doubt about it. Try it. It works.

I quilt


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Only 9 Days Until Christmas

Always first up - the 16th of December rose. This one fairly shouted Merry Christmas with springs of Christmas sprigs. Oh yes.... And my beloved - thank you.

Today was a fairly nice day - even if it did start off a little rocky. Fell asleep around 10:30pm & woke up promptly at 1:30am. No problem. I can handle those wake up calls with the best of them....unless I.cannot.get.back.to.sleep. Yes, indeed. I couldn't get back to sleep. After 30 minutes of tossing & turning (much to the delight of kitty cat Faith who thought it was a marvelous game of find-the-feet-and-attack), I gave up and actually did some sewing for 3 hours. By 5am, I was wonderfully tired. I slept until 8:30am. Alas, my body wasn't too cooperative at this interrupted sleep business and a headache attached itself until well after 10am.

I had pizza with our son at lunch. That's always nice even if he DID have 3 days of pizza prior to mom's invite. Now - that's the epitome of politeness. Dewey's pizza - in my book, easily in the top ten of favorite pizza places.

My next move was to take sis out for some shopping. Mind you, there's a weather alert going on. Freezing rains and some snow. I'm not one to believe much in weather forecast. However, when we ventured outside to go to the car and found the sidewalks to be one gigantic ice rink, I conceded that perhaps this time the weather forecast is correct.

So now I will happily reheat my 2 pieces of leftover pizza - turn on the DVD player to check out a movie from NetFlix and perhaps even do a little more sewing.

But in closing ...here's a marvelous YouTube video that says it all for me....Christmas with a capital C.....

In the meantime, I'm back to quilting.

Oh yes....I quilt.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Chess Tournament Reflections.....

...before reflecting, I've been remiss in not posting for awhile. Life's ups and downs perhaps....and there was the momentary oh-my-gosh-another-weekend-tournament-I-have-to-deal-with panic. The bright spot in my life is the weekly rose from Riley...and his wonderful messages that accompany the rose. This is the 9 December rose...and each message is a warm hug. Riley - how you manage to be so romantic thousands of miles away in Iraq is ...well, words cannot describe - other than, I love you.

Now - on to the reflections of a weekend chess tournament.

It was a small tournament - 14 in all. God provided an even number of players in the 2 small sections. At 10:15am, I was starting to have these doubts (sorry, God - but it's the truth) about the uneven number of players in the top rated section. And in walks a young man whose rating is quite high. What a gift!

I still have these doubts about running a chess tournament. I don't read the chess rule book like I should (I think I'd rather watch paint dry) .... and so I am unprepared for life's little challenges when two players come up to talk to the tournament director (which is ME - and I really do have to stop looking behind me to see who they're talking to). But! on the positive side....I am getting quite good at looking up the rule that applies to situations.

Riley stood by via Skype or telephone and helped me through the very last round in the top rated section...and with bated breath, I had the pairings ready early. No complaints...everyone was happy. I really need NOT to be surprised when all goes well. I should meet those situations with confidence and poise. I.should.do.that.soon.

What I find most interesting are the little stories that invariably happen during these tournaments.

One father & I talked for over 30 minutes on raising children....and found his child raising stories humorous and worthy of publishing. And this same man, I made a grave mistake in the last tournament which affected his son. The fact he returned with his son was a testimony to God only. Forgiveness is powerful.

Another story - his son drew with a master. For those of you who are unfamiliar with chess terms.... each chess player who plays in rated chess tournaments ends up with a chess rating. Please don't ask me how they get these ratings .... Lord knows I've tried to understand it, but it just doesn't seem to penetrate. At any rate, the afore mentioned young man who walked in at 10:15am on Saturday to play in the tournament has a rating of 2227. Oh yes, that is a very good rating (grin). The aforementioned son of the father - he's rated 1443. The son drew with the 2227 rated master.

Another story. Just when I think I have had enough with these weekend tournaments (and no, there is no sane reason why I get to this 'I've-had-enough-of-this mood), a parent of a chess player - or the chess player himself (or herself) will walk up to the counter and say with all sincerity "thank you for having this tournament". This happened not once this tournament - but from three separate individuals. God at work again.

Another story. Friday evening I discovered I was low on coffee cups. Horrors - chess players without their coffee. No time to run to Sam's Club - so I pondered aloud that a trip to the grocery store would have to take place early on Saturday before I opened the chess club. To the rescue - a chess player tells me not to worry and drops by a supply of coffee cups on Saturday morning.

So there is much to learn about chess. Not chess-the-game per se - but about the stories behind the chess. I never had the dream of becoming a chess tournament director - not by a long shot - it was born of necessity while dear husband is away in Iraq. Chess has been a powerful life enriching experience I never thought possible. When I think I've experienced it all, God says - oh no, you haven't even experienced my power yet....here's another experience for you.

I have learned so many things since Riley has been gone.....

...the power of admitting a mistake was made & the art of attempting to correct it

...finding out listening skills are vital

...there are people who really do want to see the Dayton Chess Club succeed

...chess players are some of the kindest, smartest and caring people you'd ever want to know

...trust God to work this all out....after all, He didn't lead us to buy the building in the first place if He didn't have a plan for us.

I know there are many more things ....but right now, God gives me what I need at the time when I need it. Can't ask for anything more, could I?

And in between being the chess queen, I quilt.


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Story of the Hand Therapy

First things first....2 December 2008 rose from DH. 11 Tuesdays to go before we are together again. Oh yes!

Now - the story of the hand therapy. Let me tell you one thing to always keep in mind: Doctors do not have a clue as to what is done in their therapy clinic. In the event you have not kept up to date on my extremely fascinating life, I learned my sore arm was due to a case of tendonitis. I refused a cortisone shot in his office....something about extreme pain for all of ten seconds (make that agonizing pain) for relief of maybe a week or so just doesn't make sense to me. So he offers something called "sonic therapy" and to go across the hall and make an appointment to come back for treatment.

I make the appointment for the following Monday. I showed up at the clinic 5 minutes ahead of schedule...finally was ushered into the sacred hall of pain about 45 minutes later. Ironically, there's a sign next to the 'greeting window' that reads "If you arrive 15 minutes past your appointment time, we may have to reschedule your appointment". Gave me much to ponder. So... I meet Sheila, my hand therapist. Sweet lady. I let her measure my wrists - loves my bracelets - we chat. Then a nice warming towel for 10 minutes....ah, I'm beginning to feel like I'm at a spa. I look around, I read a little and then Sheila returns. Okay - so now it's hand exercises. Oh yeah - I can do these. Two minutes later, I'm in agony.

But wait - there's more. I ask Sheila about the "sonic therapy". She gets this puzzled look on her face (not a good sign) and then brightens. "Oh yes - we've found that it really isn't beneficial...so we're going the patch route".

Oh yes - the patch route. She walks away - returns with what looks like a butterfly shaped bandaid. A very large butterfly shaped bandaid. She then proceeds to tell me that the medicine I picked up @ the pharmacy has been applied to the bandaid .... good so far. And she pats that huge bandaid patch on my arm. So far, so good. Then attaches a tiny little oval shaped apparatus on top. "This will feel like little needle pricks - you'll hardly feel it. It'll stay on for 3 minutes ..and it has its own timer". Good so far. One minute into the 'therapy' and the intensity of the "little needle pricks" increases...and increases...and increases. Holy smokes - if these are "little" pricks", Lord help me if I have to have the big guns. By the time the 3 minutes were up, I was mentally kicking myself for refusing the cortisone shot. Finally, the little oval thing is removed....that's a good thing.

I'm told to remove the bandaid patch in about 2 hours. Okay - that's do-able. I make a quick stop at WalMart - and now I'm feeling a little under the weather. Stomach starts to roll & pitch and a nice little headache starts. Surely not connected to this bandaid patch. I manage to check out ..... thinking that if it really gets bad, I'll open up the bottle of wine I bought and chug it done - and to heck with the consequences of being stopped by the police. This is not good. I make it home.....and by now, I'm feeling terrible. Head is pounding - stomach has decided to to stop with the rolling & pitching - let's just kick it up a couple hundred notches - let's jump up and down and sideways. This.is.really.not.good. I look at my watch....ah, get this bandaid thing off NOW.

I tug slightly. Resistance. I tug a little more. Resistance. Okay - I can do this. I pull hard and it finally comes off - along with every bit of hair on my arm where the patch was. Super glue folks take note - you really need to get with this manufacturer of this patch. Your super glue has nothing on this adhesive on this patch.

So now it's been over 24 hours since therapy....have done the hand exercises twice so far .... 2nd time not as bad as the first. I return to the therapy clinic on Friday. Today is Wednesday.

I should have gone for the cortisone shot.

One of these days....I quilt.