Sadie’s Drinking Fountain

When Sadie and I came back from walking, she checked the drip bowl for water as I plugged in the fountain. It was dry, of course, since the leak had not yet begun. Hearing the water flowing in the fountain, she decided it would be much more elegant to drink standing up. She didn’t say if it were more efficient or not.

[Grammarians and proofreaders — Barbara, Ellie, Nancy, Chrissie. Would you comment on “if it were”? That was proper usage when I was in school, but I suspect common usage today would be “if it was”. I tried looking it up on line and got hopelessly lost. I would like to know what is proper usage today.]

My New Game

Thanks to neighbor Bob, I have a new game. Bob repaired a faulty wire in the electric line to the front porch. After John cleaned out the angel fountain, I set it up again and ran it. I hoped the fountain would work better in its new position. It didn’t. It has leaked for seven years, because the water clings to the under side of the middle pool instead of falling into the pool below. Changing the slant at three different levels did nothing. This year I added some plastic film to encourage the water to fall straight down instead of running back to the base and dripping. There is one improvement. The sound is better than it has ever been.

The new game is a race. I plug the fountain in, read a devotional book, and work the daily game of Set on line. I win if I finish before the drip bowl on the floor is full. I’ve done well, except for the days the scripture readings are exceptionally long.

Sadie was on the porch with me after our walk. She was sure the fountain was her new watering hole. She wasn’t quite tall enough to get water from the lowest pool, so she helped herself from the drip bowl.

If anyone has another idea to fix the fountain, please let me know. Sadie can get her water elsewhere.


I was happy when the cancer test came back negative a few days ago. I had cancer seven years ago – diagnosed on June 1 and removed on July 1. You don’t take life for granted after that. Although there are no guarantees, I expected to feel free longer than a few days. John put his hand on my back this morning, paused, and asked, “What is this?”

There was a lump on my shoulder blade. Although I couldn’t reach it, I could see it in the mirror. He went on to his doctor’s appointment in Asheville, and I walked to the stop sign. It was a sobering walk, with lots of things going through my head. It’s best to pray before panic sets in. By the time I got home, I had seen two paths ahead. It would not be my choice which to take, but I could choose to ask God to lead the way. John had suggested I call the doctor’s office, and I got an appointment for early afternoon. He was home in plenty of time to drive me. As I sat in the waiting room, a message came on the phone that a young family member has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Doctors will be considering the next step. What a blow! Lots more prayer is needed.

Amid all this serious stuff, get ready for amusement. The doctor’s assistant asked many questions, typing things into a computer. After she left, Dr. Ramsey came in and glanced at the computer. She examined the lump briefly and said in a pleasant voice, “It’s fat. Nothing to be concerned about.”

My brain went into overdrive, processing an hour’s worth of material in a few seconds. Fat has been the bane of my existence all my life. How can a serious lump be FAT??? It can’t have been there long, because the dermatologist would have noticed it a few months ago. FAT??? I’ve been worried about FAT lumping around my back? How useless! That inch I lost around my waist – are you telling me it was FAT creeping up my back, unnoticed and unhated? FAT deposits, you say? No! I make a deposit at the bank, and that is good. I made a fat deposit here, and I want an immediate withdrawal.

Having good manners, I let her talk. She explained that fat accumulates under the skin and is not dangerous. If it becomes painful or bothers me, all I need to do is call her, and she’ll set up an appointment with a general surgeon. She measured it and was most reassuring. I thanked her profusely for seeing me quickly and putting my mind at ease.

I went out to the car and immediately told John the news is good. It isn’t cancer. It is FAT!! Of course, I didn’t stop there. I want a transplant! You remember years ago a doctor told me I’d lost the fat pads in my feet? Well, I want that lump on my back to be transplanted to my left foot. What good is it on my back? Let’s put it somewhere useful. FAT!! OK. Shall we go home and have lunch?

For those who pray, please thank God with me that my cancer has not returned. Also, please pray for healing for our young family member and for guidance for her doctors. I appreciate it. God bless you.

Neighbors on Labor Day

Our marvelous neighbors can pull a party together in 18 hours. John and I texted six households, and four were available to celebrate Labor Day. The photos show the crowd from each end of our porch.

Since my posts have become my memory, I’ll list the people. Deb, Joyce, Jeff, John, Logan, Mark, Bob, Dawn, Shawn. Deb and Mark are college friends of Shawn and Bob, visiting for the day. Mark was too far away for me to hear him, but I enjoyed hearing about Deb’s background. Her dad was in the service, and she lived in 18 different places before she was 18 years old. All the states were on the east coast. The state she enjoyed the most was South Carolina.

When Joyce asked what she should bring, I said our impromptu gatherings should be run like a come-as-you-are party. Instead of coming to a party dressed as you are at that moment, you should bring food that is already in your house. She immediately said she would break that rule, because she has very little that is extra. She keeps mostly foods that she eats on a regular basis. I might envy that. We could feed a small army for a day or so by pulling things from the freezer and the pantry.

For the foodies: Our table had hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, condiments, salsa dip, chips, baked beans, potato salad, warm blueberry muffins, cantaloupe, and TWO pans of warm Brownies. I told Joyce that Brownies were always welcome. It turned out that two kinds of Brownies were doubly welcome. The ones that Joyce and Shawn prepared were different, so of course everyone had to eat both. Indulgence at its best! A year or so ago our pot luck non-planning resulted in a different set of Brownie doubles, ones made by Holly and me. It’s safe to say that Brownies are very popular in the US.

Did you celebrate Labor Day?

The Kiss

When they were reunited, they had eyes only for each other. The world didn’t exist inside their bubble. Can you hear him tell her he loves her? She could do nothing but dance for joy.

John $ and Sadie

Son John $pencer said he felt he had been away for a month because of all he and Rose packed into their week in the Cascade Mountains of Washington. Sadie, if she could register time, would insist it felt like TWO MONTHS. She moped while he was away, not eating and not going for walks with us. It was marvelous to see her world tilt the right way again.

$ bent down to pet Sadie, then he knelt to get closer. She examined his bag, not looking for drugs like an airport dog, but searching for the faintest scent of her beloved Rose.

Many thanks to husband John and Rose for aiding in this production. A few days before, Rose sent me the souvenirs I wanted from their trip, photos. John backed the car into the drive so that $ and Sadie would be visible as I filmed from the porch.

John and Rose

Son of the Congregation

At the end of the Sunday morning service, there was a blessing for Adam and his wife Emily. They moved to Indiana the next day for Adam to begin seminary. That, in itself, was special, but there was more to it. Adam grew up in our church, and his dad was the pastor back then. Pastor N moved away to serve other churches, but Adam stayed. After college he worked in the area and was very active in the church. He did many things, but I saw him running the sound board for our service and playing his marimba with all the hymns. His dad was invited to do the blessing. What a moving address it was! As the young couple stood before the congregation, Pastor N. recounted high points of Adam’s life and how God led him toward seminary. He said it was good Adam waited until he was sure that was what God was calling him for. Pastor N. was also 33 years old when he went to seminary.

People were invited to greet them at the front of the church. I took a bathroom break, and when I came back, only a few were there. Shirley, a grandmother who had been especially close to Adam, walked up. She was like a magnet. In a few seconds, everyone moved into a circle, drawn by an invisible force. They prayed softly, so low that I couldn’t hear them. It seemed like an impromptu laying on of hands in the Biblical sense. Since it was moving for me, I can only imagine what it was like for Adam, Emily, and Pastor N.

The amusing part was going on concurrently. Shirley’s grandchildren took full advantage of no supervision and were testing the acoustics loudly. My lovely friend Susan, a former teacher, rescued the situation. She didn’t shush the children, but sat down and quietly chatted with them. I thought that summed up Christian living. Some are called away from the world to pray, and others deal with practical problems in the world. Both are necessary. Both are blessings to others.

God bless you, Emily and Adam.

Document, Then Write

I took a photo of the crime (?) scene. You’ll notice no yellow tape and no inert body.

A few minutes before, I reached for the alarm and found myself falling out of bed. On the way down, I said to myself, “Falling! Nothing to grab! Don’t break a bone!” THUD!

No “out of order” reports came from bones. I wanted to crawl back in bed, but bed was five levels above where I was. Crawling wouldn’t work. Sadie came to the edge of the bed and questioned with her eyes, “What did you do that for? Are you trying to make me go for a walk?”

“You can fall all over yourself, but I am NOT walking with you!”

Because I get up off the floor once a day, that was not a problem. I followed my daily routine – doing stretching exercises, a short resistance band workout, and walking a mile. My reasoning? I wanted to keep the blood cells rushing around so they couldn’t take a collective nap on my shins. Rehashing the event, I blamed it on the bed topper. I think it shifted, and there were three inches hanging over a column of very thin air. No support there!

Did I learn anything from this? Yes, I don’t scream; I whimper in the middle of an accident. Although David has excellent hearing, he will know nothing of what beFELL me. My first reaction was to look for dents from the acciDENT. I had to move to keep this moving experience from being lethal. The fun part was writing this in my head. Now I’m going to DEADhead the roses so I don’t STIFFen up.

What Sadie Missed

I slept through the Johns’ leaving at 4:30 in the morning, though Sadie must have said goodbye to John $pencer. He was flying to Washington state to celebrate Rose’s birthday. Sad-sack Sadie was moping at 7:00.

I said brightly, “Want to go Sadie? Come on. Let’s go for a walk!”

No, thank you. Not today.”

“We’ll just go to the stop sign and come right home.”

“I am staying right on this bed to mope.”

“Let’s go walking! It will be great!”

“Look at my face. I’m giving you the Stink Eye. Please go away.”

Eat your heart out, Sadie. Look what you missed on the road – two pieces of pepperoni pizza!

Sadie did not see through Holly’s roof like I did. I sat on the porch to savor the cool morning and saw tree branches on the other side of the house through the dormer window. My one eye told me something my brain refused to believe. There is no second floor, and all you’d see through the dormer window are roof tiles.

The camera insisted on showing you where the branches really were – attached to a tree in the front.

Sadie knew I was looking at something near the window on the porch. She wandered over when I pointed the camera down at it.

I took the spider’s view at its eye level. The spider was looking at the window, with the reflection of the porch in front of it. Those were the last few seconds of its life.

Sadie finally saw the spider and wanted to eat it. My garden shoes went into action, clapping the critter senseless. Sadie still wanted it, so I scraped its remains into a crack between the boards. There! We didn’t have to find a vet for emergency treatment! By 9:00 I’d had enough excitement for four mornings.

DIY Eyeglasses

I didn’t know where to start when the eye surgeon mentioned readers. Many people buy them when their eyes can no longer focus to read. I was going to be in limbo for a while, with eyes that were set for distance vision. The old glasses were no longer usable, and I couldn’t see to read. John helped me pick out two pair. He could read the magnification, and I tried on several before choosing plain readers and sunglasses with bifocals for reading. At Dollar General, they were VERY affordable. Several days later I checked the internet for information. had a chart to print (found here). Great! I had picked out the right ones. It would have been much easier if I had known what I was looking for.

Readers are probably not a long-term solution for me, because I think my eyes are different. Right now I see only a blur with one eye, anyway. Until the doctor says it’s time to get glasses, these will be a valuable crutch for daily living. Now, if I only had an automatic toothbrush loader, I could breeze through that cleaning routine!

Aye, I had the Eye Shot

Thank you all for your prayers and concern. Everything went well, and the next injection is a month from today.

The preparation (eleven letters) took longer than the treatment (nine), just like those two nouns. There were yellow drops, followed by two sets of numbing drops, and a 10-minute wait for them to take effect. That’s when the amusement started. I thought the assistant said, “We’ll give you something to hold your eyelid open.”

I responded, “I HAVE TO HOLD MY EYELID OPEN????”

Hearing my disbelief, she laughed and said, “No, no! The doctor will do that FOR you.”

We both had a good laugh while my eyes were still closed. Soon she said she was ready for him. A man’s voice said, “I heard my name.”

Knowing it was Dr. Komanski, I asked, “Your name is HIM?”

He laughed and said it was better than Injection. He saw the notice sent to me that Dr. Injection Komanski would take care of me.

“Look up,” I heard. In two seconds the eye was held open by some small gizmo, which I hardly felt and couldn’t see. The assistant had a comforting hand on my shoulder as Dr. K. gave me the shot. It was over in the time it took you to read that sentence. There was a bit of pressure, but no pain. She squirted cold liquid into the eye before telling me what was on the instruction sheet she was handing me. I walked out, made the appointment, and John drove me home. Easy as could be!

Six hours later the eye feels the same as it did in the office, a little scratchy. No immediate change was expected in my vision, so I’m still wandering around in a fog. So, what else is new??