Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Greetings

"The meaning of the Christmas season can be summed up in four words...
God is with us."
  ~author unknown~

Wishing you a merry and blessed Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tea Time Tuesday

Even when the tea grows cold, your friendship warms my cup.

I'd like to say I was fashionably late for Tea Time Tuesday, but I think I'm just plain old late.  We have company this week- my daughter's college roomate from Japan is with us.  My apologies to Sandi, our hostess at Rose Chintz Cottage!

In honor of the holidays, today I am sharing this miniature tea set.

I found this little set among the dozens of boxes of Christmas things that my mom had.  I'm sure she could have kept the Hallmark company in business singlehandedly!  She loved Christmas and it was always a grand occasion at her house.  But then, she could make a trip to McDonald's a grand occasion if she wanted to!

Here all of the pieces of the set.  The set has a holly design.

Last year I found an indentical set while at a yard sale.  I gave it to my friend Lynnette last Christmas.

Thanks for visiting, and please check out the other parties on Sandi's blog!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A decision, for now...

We heard from the transplant coordinator yesterday.

At this point, my daughter is not being put on the transplant list.  She will be having a few more tests, and probably a TIPS procedure (putting a shunt between her liver and spleen).

I have mixed emotions about this.  I'm glad that they don't think she's sick enough to be on the list.  But I know my daughter is sick and tired of being sick and tired.

So, we wait...

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Tale of the Pink Christmas Tree

It's the first week of December, and I haven't done any holiday decorating yet.  Granted, last week was a bit busy, and I'm not one of those who start before Thanksgiving.

When I was a child, we had one of these aluminum trees...

With the color wheel, of course!

We used it for several years.  There was one Christmas that Mom decided it took up too much room, so she only put half of the branches on, and pushed it against the wall.

After that, we had real trees for a while, with an occasional flocked one.  I remember a few in particular...the one my dad picked out that was bald in back- it went in the corner that year.  Another was so dry that it was shedding needles as we tried to decorate it.  And then there was the year we had a live tree...it dripped sap over the presents, the tree skirt and the carpet.  The tree skirt, unfortunately, didn't make it.

When I was a teenager, my mom bought an artificial tree.  It had branches that you had to put in individually.  It was flocked, and shed more snow every year.  Eventually, she replaced it, and my family used it for a few years.  It finally died when my cat decided to climb it and broke two of the branches.

A few years ago, I finally bought a pre-lit tree.  Before that, I think my husband and I fought every year trying to get the lights on!

And here begins the tale of the pink tree...

First, you have to understand something.  My family is always excited to put up the tree.  But when it comes to doing it, this is what happens: my husband sets it up.  He's done.  The kids disappear.  And I decorate the tree.  Just moi.  Alone.  I don't know why that happens, but it does.

So, a couple of years ago, I figured that, since I was the one decorating the tree, that I could decide how to decorate it.  I decided to do a "shabby chic" type tree.  I didn't use all of the ornaments we had, just the ones that fit the theme or were special.  I made bows with pink ribbon and cream tulle.  It turned out beautiful.

You know what's coming, don't you?

I got complaining all December.  It was too pink.  Too girly.  Too much of a "Mom" tree.

The next year, when the tree was set up, I told my family that since they complained so much last year, that they could decorate the tree themselves.  This was the first part of December.  A week before Christmas... NO ORNAMENTS!  I finally bribed my youngest into putting some ornaments on.  It did prove my point that I'm the one who decorates the tree.

Since then,  I've compromised.  I still decorate the tree by myself, and pick what ornaments I want to use, but I don't use the pink bows anymore.  But I'm thinking that when my current tree needs to be replaced, I should pick this one...

(Insert evil laugh here)

Tea Time Tuesday

A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards. ~A.A. Milne

Time for tea with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage!

I'm sorry that I missed last week's tea parties.  We were busy all week with multiple appointments, and I wasn't organized enough to get my post done early.

Today I'm sharing this tea cup.

It is marked Colclough, made in England.

I think it's very regal looking with all of the gold.

Thanks for visiting!  Be sure to check out Sandi's blog!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Sorry I haven't posted lately.  It was a crazy week.

The transplant board is to meet on Monday.  We should find out then if the decision is to list, wait, or do more tests.

We appreciate everyone's prayers and good wishes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Tea Time Tuesday

The daintiness and yet elegance of a china teacup focuses one to be gentle, to think warmly and to feel close. ~Carol and Malcolm Cohen

Time for another Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage!

I'm a little late posting...blogger was having hiccups and didn't want to let me post pictures.  Maybe it's the snow, we're having our first big storm of the season.

My friend Lynnette and I decided to make up for our shortened day together last week, and went to a flea market this weekend.  One of my finds was this demitasse cup. 

It has a pattern of pink roses and little blue flowers.

It's marked Dimity, Spode Copeland China, England.

Thanks for visiting, and check out the other tea parties on Sandi's blog!

Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving

Monday, November 15, 2010

Tea Time Tuesday

Though I cannot flee from the world...I can prepare tea with water from a mountain stream and put my heart to rest. ~ Ueda Akinari

It's time for another Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage.

Today I am sharing this demitasse cup.

 This cup was from my mom.  I'm not sure, but it may have belonged to my grandmother.

It has no markings, so I don't know the maker or the pattern.  I think it's very unusual and beautiful.

Thanks for visiting!  Please join the other tea parties on Sandi's blog!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Best Laid Plans...

Thursday was supposed to be our "Sharpie day".

My friend Lynnette and I came up with that term for our "girls day out".  It started as a response to our trying to schedule time to hang out together.  We decided we weren't going to "pencil" each other in on our calendars...we were going to use a Sharpie permanent pen! The name stuck.

We went to Wight's Home and Garden in Lynnwood to see their "Wonderland of Christmas".  Every year, they set up 30-something themed Christmas trees, and carry everything you need to decorate for the holidays. Lots of ideas. We laughed about the black (fake) poinsettias, which we thought looked like they belonged in "The Nightmare Before Christmas".  I understand decorating in black and white, but black flowers just don't do it for me.

We headed to Olive Garden and had the soup, salad and bread sticks.  We talked about the various things going on in our lives.  She has been an incredible support to me, as well as being a great friend and a lot of fun! 

Next we headed to Value Village for one of our favorite activities, thrift shopping!  Like usual, she found more good stuff than I did... she even found a "Nightmare Before Christmas" t-shirt for one of her daughters. We thought finding that was a great coincidence.

Then I got the text message.

We'd had trouble with one of my daughter's medications lately- her blood tests had shown she didn't have enough in her system.  This last week, we'd been very vigilant about making sure she took it on time.  She had blood draw on Tuesday to check the levels.

Her GI doctor had called- the test showed the medication was at a toxic level, and she was concerned about possible kidney damage.  My daughter drove herself to the local hospital for blood and urine tests.  (Of course, this all happened in the evening when the clinics were closed.)  We decided we'd better head home, in case I needed to take my daughter to Children's.  When my daughter got back, we waited for Children's to call.  Long story short, we ended up going to the ER at Children's.  We got there about 11pm.  She  was given a magnesium IV as her electrolytes were all out of whack.  That made her blood pressure a little low, so she was given extra fluids to bring it back up.  It was 5am before they moved her to a hospital room.  Now, they may have couches and recliners for parents who stay with their kids, but  if you've spent much time in a hospital, you know that you don't get much sleep.

Thankfully, there was no problem with her kidneys.  Because we were at the hospital, we started meeting with some of the transplant team- doctors, nutritionists, social workers.  She was able to come home Friday night.

So, my day didn't turn out as planned...  

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

I"ve been a bad blogger.

I apologize.  I haven't felt much like blogging lately.

We will start the liver transplant evaluation process on November 29.  It means two full days at Seattle Childrens, with testing, scans, meeting with doctors and surgeons, counseling, and who knows what else.  It's been pretty emotional at our house lately.

My 17 year old daughter was diagnosed three years ago with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH).  I've had people ask me how she "caught" it- she didn't.  It's not transmittable or contagious from person to person.  Basically, her immune system is attacking her liver.

When she was diagnosed, we were told that she would need a transplant in the future, probably in about 10 years.  This is progressing much faster than anticipated.  Somehow, even back then, I knew it would.  Call it what you will- a mother's intuition, a gut feeling, a word of knowledge.  Some might say I was just pessimistic, but it wasn't that.

This whole experience is a scary thing.  After all, this is my baby we're talking about.

I am so thankful for my church that keeps praying, for my friends and family who support me, let me vent occasionally, and take me on "girlfriend days" once in awhile.

Most of all, I'm thankful for a loving God who promised to never leave me or forsake me.

Tea Time Tuesday

Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea. ~Author Unknown
I'm linking with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for Tea Time Tuesday.

Today I am sharing this footed tea cup.

I think this is a cup that my mom gave me.  I've had it for quite a while so I don't remember for sure.  I know it's one she would have liked, since she loved violets!

It also makes me think of my paternal grandmother.  Today would have been her birthday.  She loved any thing lavender, purple or lilac.  She would have been a great Red Hat lady!

Thanks for visiting, and be sure to visit Sandi's blog!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tea Time Tuesday

"Four o'clock is time for tea. The world can wait until five." ~ Cicely Rude

It's time for Tea Time Tuesday.  I'm linking up with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage.

This cup was a thrift store find.  I don't remember what I paid for it, but it was probably less than $5.

It's made by Gladstone in England.

The majority of my teacups were either given to me or purchased at garage sales and thrift stores.

Thanks for visiting, and check out the other tea parties on Sandi's blog!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tea Time Tuesday and asking for prayers

"Come along inside... We'll see if tea and buns can make the world a better place."   ~ The Wind in the Willows

(I certainly hope that the above is true!)

Once again, I'm linking up with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage.

I was slightly delayed in my Tea Time post by this...

No, this is not my dog!  We are puppy-sitting for a week... long story....

My post is a bit different than usual today.  I am sharing two cups with you.  They were both gifts from sweet friends.

This pansy cup was from my friend Shirley.  Shirley is one of my heroes!  She is raising three grandchildren and two nieces that she and her husband adopted.   The oldest was hit by a car a few years back and suffered brain damage, which has resulted in several surgeries and behavioral issues.  She also runs a business making wedding dresses and volunteers at church.  She can always make me laugh.  She is an incredibly strong woman.

This miniature cup also has pansies.  It was a gift from one of my best friends.  Lynnette and I met when our kids were small, and she is everything a best friend should be.  She is loving, caring, funny, supportive, and always there whenever I need to talk.

There's a reason I'm sharing cups from friends today.  I'm realizing how much I need and appreciate my friends.

My daughter had a multi-stage CT scan last week.  Her doctor was concerned about the possibility of cancer, which apparently is a complication that can occur with autoimmune hepatitis.  My husband talked to the doctor today.  The test didn't show cancer, but the doctor wants to move forward with transplant evaluation.  I still don't know many details.  We will be having a family meeting tonight.

This is all happening much faster than we ever planned on, and I know that part of it is due to the poor decisions my daughter has made in the past.  I'm asking for your prayers as we proceed with this.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tea Time Tuesday

"Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. And whoever this "Earl Grey" fellow is, I'd like to have a word with him... "
-Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek, The Next Generation

Time for another Tea Time Tuesday with Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage!

This is a miniature tea cup.  It stands about 2" high.

This cup has a gold rim, and the pattern is either grapes or wisteria.  I'm leaning toward grapes.

The saucer is flower shaped.  The mark says that it was made in Portugal.  That's all that I was able to figure out.  My husband lived in Brazil for six months before we were married, but he doesn't remember much of the language, so that doesn't help.  Oh well.

This is one of the first cups that my mom gave to me when I started collecting tea cups. I think I did because my mom had so many beautiful cups!  Most of them are mine now.  My sister didn't have much interest in them.

Thanks for visiting, and be sure to check out the other tea parties!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Before the Morning

The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see.
  (Hebrews 11:1, The Message)

I've always loved that verse, but the translation in "The Message" makes me look at it in a new perspective.

I've been struggling the past couple of weeks.  I've posted before about the issues with my youngest daughter. ( here) Physically, there are things that should be happening, but aren't.  Emotionally, she can go from zero to nasty in 1.6 seconds.  But what tears at my heart the most is that she seems to have turned away from her faith.  She says she still believes in God, but I don't see her living that way. 

Our church's former pastor was preaching on Sunday.  Part of his message really hit me.

He talked about Jesus going to Mary and Martha after Lazarus had died.  Martha told Him, "If you'd been here, my brother wouldn't have died.  But I know God will give You what You ask."  Jesus tells her that Lazarus will be raised.  She tells Him that she knows her brother will be resurrected at the last day.

 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
"Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."

A few verses later, Jesus says, "Roll away the stone."  What is Martha's reaction?  "He's been dead for 4 days.  He's going to smell!"

How many times have I had the same kind of reaction? 

It's easy to say I believe.  And I do.  But then doubt tries to make its way in.  And sometimes, I just get tired of pressing on.

Jesus wasn't worried about what Lazarus smelled like! And if He isn't worried, do I need to worry?  God hasn't given up on my daughter.

I'm posting the words to one of my favorite songs, "Before the Morning" by Josh Wilson.  This is one of those songs that encourages me at those times when things look hopeless, and I can't see a solution.  It reminds me that God sees the bigger picture and is working in ways that I can't see or imagine.

Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you?
If there's a God who loves you
Where is He now?
Or maybe there are things you can't see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending
Someday, somehow you'll see, you'll see

Would you dare, would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing?
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It can't compare to the joy that's coming
So hold on, you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends
And you know where you're going
You just don't know how you'll get there
So say a prayer
And hold on
'Cause there's good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time, but you'll see the bigger picture

Would you dare, would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing?
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It can't compare to the joy that's coming
So hold on, you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the dark before the morning
Yeah, yeah, before the morning
Yeah, yeah

Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory
Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory, memory, memory, yeah

Would you dare, would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing?
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It can't compare to the joy that's coming
Would you dare, would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing?
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It can't compare to the joy that's coming
Come on, you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the hurt before the healing
Oh, the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the dark before the morning
Yeah, yeah, before the morning
Yeah, yeah, before the morning

Songwriters: Ben Glover, Josh Wilson  © 9t One Songs;Ariose Music;Meaux Hits