Wednesday, August 09, 2006

8/3/06 - 8/9/06

Thursday, August 3 – Mother and I got around right after breakfast this morning to drive to Salina and visit with Laurina at Kenwood View for a while. We had a very good visit, and she was so happy to see Mother.

Before we went shopping, we stopped by briefly to see Elina at the bank where she was working. She was glad to see her Grandma Wilma. Then, we shopped at both Hobby Lobby and Joann's Fabrics. Mother wanted me to pick out something at Hobby Lobby that I'd like for my birthday gift. I found a quilling tool and paper strips that I thought would be fun to work with and possibly use in making some cards.

At Joann's Fabrics, mother found a kind of waist elastic that she'd been looking for, as well as three lengths of fabric. All of those were on sale, but two of them were really marked down. I was glad she could find something she'd want to sew, since she doesn't have a lot of opportunities to shop for fabric.

We needed to stop at Dillons for some fruit and at Wal-Mart to pick up Galen's prescriptions, but we still managed to make it back home by 12:30 and had lunch there – shrimp with cocktail sauce and a tossed salad.

Travis, LeeAnn, Rachyl, and Jaxom arrived a little before 3:00. The children immediately settled into playing with Aunt Patsy's toy box, as well as Rachyl's doll, who needed special care, because she was so tired from the trip. Travis took a nap, but LeeAnn, Mother, and I visited.

Their plans fell through with Daniel's family, because he got sick with stomach flu. They had planned to go out to Andrea's parents' place for their get-together. They went ahead and met Troy for pizza and doing some other things. Roma was still working at Bible School this evening.

Warren and Vivian made it back home at about 4:00. All they could suggest at the cancer center was chemo and radiation, which would just prolong his life some. The cancer is spreading in his brain, but the other areas in his lungs, liver, and kidneys have stayed about the same. I'd heard before that melanoma is one of the worst kinds of cancer to deal with, and I can see why.

Heidi came out to the farm with Chad this evening, since Carl was helping him get things ready on his race car to race this weekend. Yes, Chad and a friend have bought a race car together. We're hoping they can get this urge out of their system without being injured in the process. Anyway, Heidi came over and visited with Mother and me for a while, and I was very glad for that.

Friday, August 4 – Although LeeAnn's family was late getting home last night, they got up and around for the trip to Hutchinson. We arrived at 9:30, and Trevor pulled into the parking lot shortly after we did.

The last time I'd been to the Cosmosphere Space Museum, several of the exhibit areas were still under construction. It was great to see what they've completed in the meantime, but what was really special about this tour was being together with family and seeing the museum through the eyes of Rachyl and Jaxom. I had fun using my digital camera for "photo moments" throughout the museum. The children remained quite good-natured about taking the pictures most of the time.

Troy, Roma, and her grand-daughter, Kassidy, met us at noon for lunch. Since none of us was familiar with where the closest McDonalds was to the museum, we ended up driving around a while before we found it, but it worked out with the use of cell phones that we could tell Troy where we were. (I was thankful for my cell phone on the trip down to Hutchinson this morning, too. When we turned onto I-135 at the Roxbury exit, a couple of lights showed up on my dash – "overdrive off" and "check transmission." We stopped at the side of the road, while I turned the car off and checked with Galen on the cell phone. He gave me instructions about how to handle this problem if it happened again, and we went on our way without any further problems.)

During the afternoon back at the Cosmosphere, we went to the IMAX movie at 1:00, "Roving Mars." Rachyl has been especially interested in this space program of sending the Rovers to Mars. We all found the movie to be quite interesting. I was fascinated with the way they depicted the parachuted landing onto the Mars surface and then the bouncing of the Rover with its protective "bubble wrap." When the Rover got charged up with its solar panels and Mission Control could tell that it was working as it was designed, the people there erupted into ecstatic cheering.

We also went to the Planetarium where we learned about the constellations during each season of the year and Dr. Goddard's Lab with an "instructor" doing experiments about rocket science. This became too much for Jaxom, who doesn't like loud noises, so LeeAnn took him out. There were several explosions before we were finished, but the rest of us found it quite interesting.

Afterward, we spent a little time browsing at the Mall. Sam got off work at 4:00 and we planned to meet at his place between 5:00 and 5:30. Mother and I had fun shopping in a very interesting kitchen specialty shop. I found a silicon pastry brush like I'd been looking for, and Mother bought that for the rest of my birthday gift. We also looked in a couple of clothing stores, but weren't impressed much with any of it.

It was so good that we could get together at Sam and Lori's rather than meeting at a restaurant for supper. Lori had bought prepared sandwiches, which we had along with chips and drinks. For dessert, she'd baked brownies. We all chipped in on the cost of this meal. It was so relaxing to visit at their place. Ray came over at 5:30 as soon as he'd got off work. After supper we went to their basement and watched the DVD Travis had made of Troy and Roma's wedding. The pictures Travis had taken turned out so nicely, and then he'd put together the DVD show of them in such an artistic way.

By the time we got back to our place, we were rather tired. Rachyl and Jaxom went to sleep on the drive and were ready to play a while. The rest of us had a good time visiting until bedtime.

Saturday, July 5 – LeeAnn's family really packed a lot into their trip to Kansas. This morning they got around to go to the Smoky Hill Bombing Range for the annual air show. Mother went with them, too. It sounds like they had a record crowd for this event, so they were glad they'd taken along their lawn chairs. Heidi met them at the range, although she had some trouble locating them at first. Rachyl was especially glad that she came and wanted to sit with her. It was so hot today that the kids got tired and needed to come back home before the air show was over.

Galen went up to work this morning and then met me at Oakdale Park for a wedding reception. Tom and Beth Arpke's daughter, Brittany, had been married in June in Lynchburg, Virginia. She and her new husband, Aaron, were able to come for a short visit, so Beth planned this reception in the park at 10:00. We got to see their wedding picture album. Aaron pointed out one picture that was quite special to him. Jerry Faldwell, the founder of Liberty University where both Aaron and Brittany had attended college, was passing by the chapel, so Aaron asked if he would pose for a picture with the couple. He was wearing a black suit with a red shirt, and he looked like he was dressed to just go with the wedding colors!

Beth had made several kinds of quick breads and served mixed fresh fruit and punch. I visited with a couple who had come from Omaha, Nebraska. They've been long-time friends of the Arpke's, since the time that they lived in Omaha. Last night they stayed at the End of Iron Bed and Breakfast – just down the street from the Arpke's house. She told me it was very nice, and that they'd enjoyed their stay in this historic old house. At one time it had been a Bible College, but that closed down shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Galen had given me Elina's key chain that she needed. Her car is in the shop being worked on and won't be done until Monday. Anyway, I stopped by the bank to deliver her key chain and then made a quick stop at Sam's to pick up pictures and fill the van with gas.

Back at home I ate lunch, took a power nap, and washed my hair before the gang got back home. I managed to get the family pictures scanned to put on a CD for Travis to work on the DVD project that I want him to do of our (Kenneth Bartholomew) family growing up. We've dug up a lot of interesting old pictures in the process.

Since Dan was feeling better, LeeAnn's family and Mother were able to get together with them this evening. Andrea's parents had invited them out to their place, so the kids could swim in their swimming pool. Mother wanted a chance to see Dan, Andrea, Faith, and Parker. She took a nap this afternoon, and that will help her to keep up with this very busy schedule. The children, as well as Travis and LeeAnn, took naps, too. Jaxom was hungry for a snack when he got up. I got the pinwheel cookies out of the freezer and they enjoyed those. Later, before they left, they had cereal from the variety pack I'd bought. That was just the right thing for Rachyl and Jaxom.

Sunday, August 6 – LeeAnn and Travis got their little family around to leave by a little after 8:00 this morning, so they could arrive back in Cyril by a decent time this afternoon. When Travis got up this morning, he saw that Jaxom wasn't on his cot. However, it didn't take long to see where he'd gone. There he was on the sofa bed, curled up beside Grandma Wilma. Apparently, he'd woken up and felt a little scared about 5:00, so he crawled in with the closest warm body!

Mother, Galen, and I got around to go to church in time for me to practice and for Galen to take care of his before-service jobs. Our attendance was back up this morning, and Dan and Renee even came with their newborn baby boy.

Still continuing on the topic of "Joy in the Christian Life," Pastor Dennis began his message with some thoughts about worship. "Joy is closely connected to worship, and prayer is a crucial element," he told us. "Worship was never meant to be a Sunday morning experience. It is a moment-by-moment relationship with God that lasts all week long. Live every moment in the wonder of worship." He referred to several Old Testament passages, especially in Psalms that spoke of rejoicing and being glad, as well as praying for joy. Another point was that "All prayer for God's gifts ought to lead to His being our everything." We need to desire God himself, not just what we want from Him. It isn't wrong to ask God for His gifts, but ultimately it should be because God is "my all in all." To bring out this point, Dennis read Habakkuk's prayer in chapter 3:17. Even if complete crop and livestock failure came, this prophet prayed, "I will be joyful in the God of my salvation."

Our Sunday School class was quite a contrast to the group we had last Sunday (only three of us). Today we could barely get everyone seated around the table. Since Judy and Eugene were back from their trip to Alaska, we asked them to tell us about their experiences. They were so thankful that the churches they'd been involved with so many years ago are still going strong.

I heated up Pressure Cooker Soup that I'd made last night for our lunch along with a tossed salad and leftover biscuits. Then, all three of us lay down for a nap before going to Salina for an ice cream social at Kenwood View. Laurina had a lot of company. All of her sons and wives came, as well as my mother and Arlen and Hayley. She made sure that all of us signed her guest book!

Afterward, Galen, Mother, and I went over to Arlen and Hayley's home and visited a while longer. Mother was glad to get to see them and their house that they have fixed up so nicely. In fact, she has managed to see even more of her grandchildren and great-grands than she'd dared to hope.

This evening we had our monthly birthday celebration at church and watched part of a DVD, Beyond the Gates of Splendor about the five missionaries who were killed by the Auca Indians. The commentaries by the wives and other friends helped to picture the human, down-to-earth side of these men. It sounded like most of them had quite a sense of humor and even liked to play jokes.

Our refreshments this evening didn't include as much variety as usual. Several of us had the idea of bringing watermelon or other fruit. It was good for us.

Monday, August 7 – Troy came to pick up Mother a little before 7:00 this morning. She had her suitcase packed and all ready to go. What a visit she has had!

I got around to walk with Margaret and Bonnie this morning. Margaret seemed to have more pep than Bonnie and I did, but we completed our circuit around town.

It seemed that I had more trouble than usual with stuff not working right today. Along with trying to catch up on some household tasks, I tried to upload photos to the Sam's Club website. Over and over, the program would quit responding and left me high and dry. Then, I'd have to go back and figure out which pictures actually were uploaded and which ones still needed to be done. I don't know whether my Internet connection was being spasmodic or if they were having problems at the website or if it was something else. Anyway, I persevered until I was finally able to order them by this evening.

Also, the air conditioner compressor quit working in the middle of the day. We'd had trouble with it yesterday and Galen cleaned the filter, which seemed to solve the problem. When I called him today about it, he instructed me to flip the breaker switch in the garage and see if that was the problem. It was red, and flipping it made the compressor come back on. Later, when I was getting ready to bake salmon fillets for supper, my old oven wouldn't preheat right. It finally got up to the right temperature from just the lower element, but I really don't want this oven to give out on me. It has worked so well.

When I talked to Heidi on the phone this morning, I found out that the car races Saturday night had gone fine. Chad came in fourth place. It sounded like she had a rather busy week ahead of her, but she hoped to get some work done on her curtains.

When Galen got home this evening, he said he'd done a lot of thinking during his day at work. Finally, he'd come up with a workable idea for the machine that they're building for the battery plant in Hays.

Galen and I decided to dance a little while this evening, which helped me relax before going to bed earlier than usual. Most of the types of ballroom dancing went well, except it seems that we need to brush up on the fox trot.

Tuesday, August 8 – It was hot and very still when we walked this morning. In fact, the heat really seemed to affect my energy level all day. I had an appointment with Dr. Romm at 10:30 up at Bennington. After bonking my head hard on the van doorway Sunday my neck was in worse shape than usual, and there was another spot between my shoulder blades that needed to be adjusted. Everything went back into place well, so I'm hoping it will stay that way longer this time.

After getting Grace Ann's groceries at Wal-Mart, I arrived at her place earlier than usual, so we were finished soon enough that I asked if I could lie down on her sofa for a short power nap before going to the Mothers' Prayer Group. That really helped me to keep going through the rest of the afternoon.

Ann told us at prayer group that her husband and two daughters were getting ready to leave for Turkey tomorrow. Jenna will be going back to teach, while Dave and Nara wanted to take the opportunity for an overseas trip. They are trying to set up a tour of the locations of the early Christian churches. Megan VonBergen is returning from China tonight. They'll be going down to Wichita to meet her.

Laurina and I had a good visit in her room at Kenwood View. She was so happy about all the company she'd had on Sunday with the ice cream social, and she'd also enjoyed the visit with my mother.

I decided I could get all my shopping done at Wal-Mart today. Since it felt like an oven outdoors, getting in and out was not much fun. By the time I'd filled my shopping list there and got gas in the van, I made it back home by 6:15. Galen arrived home a little later. He was concerned about a car parked along Kipp road on his way home. The driver didn't respond when he knocked on the window, and he was sitting there with the car running. He couldn't figure out what the situation was, so he called to see if Mike was home and could check about the guy. He wasn't. He tried calling Steve Vernon when he got to our place, but couldn't reach him, so he went back and found out it was Bryon Redden (Marty and Jebbie's son). He had been up since early in the morning and was just too sleepy to make it on home, so he went sound asleep. Galen was relieved that was all there was to it.

After supper all I got done was to make a couple of phone calls and finish up with a load of laundry I'd started before I went to town. Then Galen and I watched a new DVD, Frankie and Hazel. It was about a girl being raised by her grandmother, who wanted her to be a ballerina just like her mother had been. Her comment about her grandmother was that there were only two possibilities – her grandmother's way or the wrong way.

Wednesday, August 9 – When Margaret and I walked this morning, we saw Nadine Mortimer as we went by her place. She joined us for most of our walk around town. Bonnie had an early appointment this morning, so she couldn't come.

As soon as I got my hair washed, I started working on canning Vivian's beets. She'd brought them over as soon as she got them pulled. They have company right now – her two nephews have come. As boys they spent quite a bit of time with them, so this is good to get together. Anyway, I said I'd make pickled beets, and we will have them at Christmas time. That's a rather long process, but I had four quarts canned by the time I'd finished.

For supper I fixed Taco Plate, since Vivian had given me some tomatoes from her garden. That's quite a satisfying meal and tastes so much better with home-grown tomatoes!

This was the evening for our prayer visits. Galen and I drove over to Palmer and Lucille Base's place. They live about 15 miles way on east of Roxbury. We had quite a good visit. They haven't been making it over to church for quite a while, so I'd been concerned about them. I was so thankful that they wanted us to come, when I called Lucille last Saturday night. We had all kinds of things to talk about and then prayed together before we left. Several health problems cause Lucille trouble – she's had shingles for over a year and also her sciatic nerve is causing pain in her leg. She gave me a couple of hot pads that she's sewn, using old sweat shirt fabric to line the colorful cotton pads.