Saturday, July 24, 2010

How I'm spending my summer vacation...

Winding Road Pictures, Images and Photos

1. avoiding the heat. Oh my goodness, the Ohio Valley has been HOT this year. And since this is the Ohio Valley region, it's not content with just being HOT. It also must be HUMID. As in, an unsuspecting person can get dripping wet with sweat watering the gardens at 7:00 in the morning. IN THE MORNING! My solution to beating the Heat Madness is to pretend that we live in a cave, keeping all the curtains closed, washing clothes and running the dishwasher early early in the morning or very late at night and remembering the unusually mild summer we had last year. That and contemplating purchasing my very own snow maker.

2. Finding easy non-oven using recipes. The obvious solution would be to use the grill. However, the grilling man is not overly enamored with standing over a hot grill in the late afternoon when the heat index is around 105. I suspect if I were in charge of the grill, I would have similar sentiments. Instead, we are using the crock pot, the George Foreman grill and the car. (for carry out of course. Those poor little restaurant people already have to stand around a hot stove. Might as well enjoy their endeavors.) By the way, if you don't mind heating up the oven for a bit, these lemon raspberry bars are absolutely delicious!

3. Visiting various and assorted doctors. Because my goal in life appears to be to hit my maximum out of pocket deductible for the entire family. I keep saying that if that momentous occasion occurs, there are some things I'd like to get sucked and tucked. However, to be perfectly honest, I might be happiest at the thought of never seeing another doctor. Not that they aren't nice folks, I'm just tired of being poked, prodded and patient. I have never desired to be proficient in patience. (good thing because I don't seem to be anywhere close to mastering this particular fruit.)

4. Reading. And reading. And reading some more. I currently have a multitude of books scattered throughout the house and I have the best of intentions as far as reading them goes. I wonder how many I will finish while I am recuperating? Anyway, the titles include Appetite for Life, Julia's kitchen wisdom, The Vanderbilt era, Beguiled, In a heartbeat, The Southern Living Farmers Market Cookbook, Stuff Christians Like, Radical, the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, Left to Tell, and The Price of Stones just to name a few.

5. Getting the Boy ready for college and wondering if we've taught him everything he needs to know. Granted, it's been a billion years since I attended college but I had no idea how much paperwork actually goes into allowing your child to attend college. I have a four page list of things that need to be done sometime before August 23rd or the Boy will be stuck at home. Currently his major is art history. I wonder if anyone else is as stunned as I am/was. When he told me he was trying to get into an art class, my first thought was that people pose "nekid" in those classes. No way is my baby taking anything like that. Fortunately he's not taking "that" class. His ultimate goal is to work in a museum. Since we have the beautiful Speed Art Museum right on the college campus, it seems like a logical step.

6. Recovering. I must be honest and say that 12 hours out, gallbladder surgery hurts. With a capitol H. Of course, when I consider that the surgery was just 12 hours ago, I have to think that of course it hurts. Why wouldn't it hurt? I mean, ouch! Somebody poked4 holes in you and sucked out a body part. If it didn't hurt then I might be a robot. Or a cyborg or some such nonsense. (which may be the vicodin talking instead of me. In which case it might be time for me to finish this little essay...)

At any rate, there's a glimpse into our lives this summer. And this list is by no means comprehensive. After all, I didn't mention the homegrown tomatoes, my first fair entry, house cleaning, working, or any of the other exciting adventures that make up every day life at the Heigh Ho house. Perhaps another time when there's not pain meds coursing through my happy little veins....

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

in the midst of chaos

some of you might have gathered from comments here and there that this has not been the best of years for my health. Mysterious symptoms with no real discernible pattern have been a constant companion since February. My life has been interrupted more days than I can count. Plans postponed or canceled, life put on hold, anxiety and fear as constant companions.

Quite frankly, I am tired.

(in the interest of full disclosure, I will be sending my gallbladder to the land of misfit body parts on Friday with the hopes of alleviating a great deal of symptoms.)

However, last night was the last straw.

I had hives.

Lots and lots of hives.

I never get hives. (can't say that anymore, can I...) While I have allergies, they are to outdoor things. Or cats. They lead to red, itchy eyes, a runny nose, headaches and all other things associated with seasonal allergies. I do not get hives.

Especially hives so bad that my hives appeared to have hives. (we believe that I have now discovered a food allergy as well. As if I didn't have enough reasons to stop eating. Bleh.)

I was miserable.

Even the sight of a rainbow over the neighbors house (or blessed rain) couldn't lift my weary heart. And while I awoke this morning hive-less, my spirit was no less weary, my heart no less heavy. Don't get me wrong, I know I am blessed. I know that I am fortunate.

But this morning I was also weary.


Fed up.

Feeling abandoned.


Filled with despair.

Just plain tired.

Have I mentioned that with all the chaos this year, I am behind in my scripture reading? Well I am. I picked up my Bible this morning and turned to the place where I should have been reading months ago and began to read Psalm 73.

Truly God is good to Israel,
to those whose hearts are pure.
But as for me, I almost lost my footing.
My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.
For I envied the proud
when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.
They seem to live such painless lives;
their bodies are so healthy and strong.
They don’t have troubles like other people;
they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else. (1-5)

At this point, I am nodding my head and thinking, "yeah. Why are their lives painless? Why is everyone else healthy and strong?" I read on:

I get nothing but trouble all day long;
every morning brings me pain. (14)

Can I get an amen? Then further:

Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
and I was all torn up inside. (ouch)
I was so foolish and ignorant—
I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.
Yet I still belong to you;
you hold my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel,
leading me to a glorious destiny.
Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.

Those who desert him will perish,
for you destroy those who abandon you.
But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. (21-28)

I could have cried.

You know, He knew where I was going to be today.

That this day I was going to be hanging by a proverbial thread.

And He waited for me here.

With a comforting Word.

With the reminder of the promise.

I am His and He is mine.

Perhaps by the time I reach the end of this particular journey, I will be able to say that I have made the Lord my shelter and that I desire Him above anything else... I hope so.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. ~Epictetus

Counting everyday graces...

...good conversation

...the smell of lavender blooming

...the valley of vision

...a deep sleep

...the sound of rain hitting the skylight

...butterflies galore

...the first tomato from the garden

..."my heart and my flesh cry out for the Living God." Psalm 84:2

...a Pancake breakfast (with chocolate chip pancakes and peanut butter syrup.)

...a married daughter willing to come over early in the morning to eat her mama's pancakes.

Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done. Matthew 8:3 (MSG)

holy experience

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Compassionate Lord,
Thy mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day,
Vain will be it's gift unless I grow in grace,
increase in knowledge,
open for spiritual harvest.
Let me this day know thee as thou art,
love thee supremely,
serve thee wholly,
admire thee fully,
Through grace let my will respond to thee,
Knowing that power to obey is not in me, but
that thy free love alone enables me to serve thee.
Here then is my empty heart,
overflow it with thy choicest gifts;
Here is my blind understanding,
chase away its mists of ignorance.
O ever watchful Shepherd,
lead, guide, tend me this day...

Saturday, July 10, 2010



Can I just say that the Lord has been working on me? (and isn't that a good thing?)

Three particular areas that we seem to be focusing on are obedience, gratitude and control. Hopefully as the days (who are we kidding? The way I've been lately, it could be weeks...) go by, I will share some of the lessons we've been working through together. (Also let me be honest and say that in no way have I conquered or mastered any of these things.)

Recently, as I spent some time in prayer, I told the Lord that I would try to have an obedient heart that particular day. No sooner had the words left my mouth when I felt a little nudge at my heart. It seemed as if the Lord was telling me that by using the word "try," I was giving myself an out to fail. Which led me to ponder the difference between "trying" and "choosing." gives the following definitions for the words:

Try:to attempt to do or accomplish, to make an attempt or effort; strive, to make a sincere effort.

to prefer or decide (to do something), to be inclined, Choose, select, pick, elect, prefer indicate a decision that one or more possibilities are to be regarded more highly than others. Choose suggests a decision on one of a number of possibilities because of its apparent superiority: to choose a course of action, The formal word elect suggests a kind of official action

Choosing seems to be a word of action. A decisive word. One that suggests intent. For example:

choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...Joshua 24:15
Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold...Proverbs 8:10

Here's the lesson learned. Each day as I get up, I have options. I can choose a Christ-like attitude or I can try to be positive. I can choose to have an obedient heart or I can try to be obedient. (Believe me, at my age, I know the obedient path whether I choose to walk it or not.) Just as I know that This is the day the LORD has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it, (doesn't that verse sound like a choice?) I know that making a conscious choice to be obedient (or kind or grateful or any number of other things) determines the outcome of my day. May He give me the strength and wisdom to continue to choose that which is pleasing to Him.

God bless...