Monday, October 31, 2011

Letting loneliness rule

We hear of folks being lonely, we all know the pain of it to one degree or another. Wounding happens to us all, but sometimes those wounds penetrate deep and scar deeply. Today I heard the pain in a friend's voice, tales of friendships that are no longer, tales of unspoken and not understood abandonment. Pain that loomed so large that leaving seemed a better option than enduring.

Thankfully not enough pills were taken to complete the mission. Sadly the pain was endured, and being alone and the lack of connection perpetuates the lie that others don't care. My heart cries for this dear sweet soul that was created in a special, simpler way. Family does not embrace this one well, life is often lived alone or with peers as friends and family. Distance separates us so I could not hug a neck and give the gift of touch. Happily hospitals are thoughtful to offer a modern option- e-cards! I was able to send one and as we spoke on the phone, the voice was lifted with joy-someone cared enough to send a card.

Oh how often do our words have power that we don't understand? How often do we consider the widows, orphans and ignored ones that the Lord watches from afar? Oh that we would be aware of those who dwell in the shadows, that we speak words of love and care. Oh that I would act on thoughts of contact and not just think them. That I would shore up those whom dwell in lonely places with prayer.

Tonight I am dwelling, praying for my friend, that hope and healing would come with the dawn and courage to face the day would renew within daily.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What does MS look like to me?

What does the face of MS look like to me right now? 

Change- lots of changes going on- change of routine, change of diet, change of what is normal, change of thinking, change of priorities.  Who moved my cheese?  MS did...... so I am getting use to sniffing out the scent of the cheese to find a new normal. 

Live Today- I an no longer sure what today may hold- it may be typical, normal and routine or it may have the added factor of a numbness, foginess or fatigue thrown in just because its that kind of day.  We are learning to rejoice in each day, life in each day and enjoy whatever it may hold.

Fatigue- such an unfamiliar visitor to our life until recent.  When the Bear comes home and needs a nap after work I know you have come to visit.  When sitting and vegging is about all he can do, I know you are the guider of our day.  You are unfamiliar to my once workaholic man.  You are a stranger to the one who can chainsaw for hours with great delight, but now you stop his normal, causing us to find a new normal.  Naps become part of the agenda and its ok; just part of the season of life we walk in for now.

Exercise- the dreaded, avoided and ignored activity that has plagued me for years because I never engaged.  Now you are my friend- you give me strength, renew my energy and lift my spirits.  I am learning to look forward to the audiobook or music of the session.  I am seeing the benefit to me, as a caregiver, and to the bear as he fights to keep muscle tone and strength. 

Simplify- when life causes you to stop and look anew, simplicity becomes a desired goal.  We have begun to evaluate and eliminate.  Proritiies have been shifted and we continue to adjust our life to our words and thoughts of what is truly important.  The stuff that once was so important isnt quite so valuable.  Simple things, spending time and enjoying moments together have risen higher on our agenda.

Priorities- where once the job was the priority all of a sudden health, well being and family have risen to the top.  When faced with an unknown outcome, our vision is cleared and some of the fog of "status quo" and "keeping up" and "everyone does it" show their colors and we start to see again.  Family time, loving well, making memories,  and relationships - priorities to be pursued as we walk through this MS thing.

Grief- the sadness of the unknown.  The fear of what MS looked life in the life of those from my past.  The uncertainty of what lies ahead.  The frustration of no longer being able to do what once was done withouth thought, or not having energy where it was never an issue.  Many griefs, each come and go as they are lived and experienced. I find that at times it comes in waves or laps, then i shake myself, grieve and give it over to the God of the univers who has allowed this season to be filtered through his hands of love and care, and settle in to live another day beside the one I love. 

Green smoothies, shots and supplements- our first book read about MS was Minding Your Mitochondria- the idea of a diet change helping battle MS was exciting.  We bought a juicer and began to juice then  switched to green smoothies.  Not sure how it is helping, but it sure does not seem to be hurting.  As the Bear drops pounds that need to be shed and his body systems work well we are finding a good part of the formula.  Shots- after a second round of MRI films and word of more lesions wisdom indicated shots were in order.  So, this wife who HATED needles and shots now finds herself helping her bear with shots in rotation- he gets the front side, I get the back.  So, in earnest I can speak of "shooting" my Bear!  Supplements- along with the diet shift has come supplemental oils and minerals and ??? - he handles his dosing and drops and again, we see it as part of the formula, not thinking its hurting and perhaps it is helping more than we know.  Just part of this life with MS that we live these days.

We are now ten months into the known journey of MS.  Backtracking to signs now understood we are in reality more like 3 years into it.  It is a journey we never imagined we would take, we dont know what lies ahead, so we take it day at a time.  We trust that God will continue to give us wisdom, that He will guide us and use the journey for some good.  We are changed and challenged as we move forward. 

*the watercolor was done as I processed all that was going on within as I came to terms with MS entering our life.  Each persons picture looks different- this is what my view is now, in time I expect it to change.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Change is all around us

As we move into another fall season I look around and see change all around us.  The garden season has passed, without much to show for the early spring labors.  That has inspired change- I am moving boxes and taking my eclectic garden to task and bringing order to it- straight rows and space between boxes.  Decay set into some of the wood and it is now curbside.  Ahead is a reworking of the water system and order reestablished. 

Homeschooling has taken a different focus- I am tracking time spent by subject- h/s credits must be supported.  We have shifted gears to life skill learning and prep for adult life that will be upon us sooner than we expect.  Therapy has gotten prime attention - both physical/ occupational as well as a new addition - vision therapy.  From first days I can see this need is long overdue to be addressed, so we begin.

The neighborhood has changed- no one has left but change has occurred anyway.  where once the bus came for high schoolers, it runs no longer.  Where once there were many homeschoolers about, the numbers are less this year.  Watching the young men seek out adult lives, children settle into classroom living and moms adjust to new schedules change is upon us all.

I am working my way up to 30 min of exercise 3 x a week.  Presently I am on week 3 of elliptical life, and enjoying it.  This morning I challenged the youngest to beat me on his 10 min- he countered with a 15 min  time option and made my time in 13 min.!  Motivation found for him- seek to beat Mom and throw in a carrot and he is up and walking/ jogging.  I am thankful for whoever invented ipods and their convenience to use while exercising.  yeah for external speakers and no longer fighting with headphones that want to self eject!

We are now about 6 weeks out from reality that MS is part of our lives for now.  I think we are adjusting ok.  Smoothies- check, supplements- check, exercise- check, healthy diet- check, slowing down- trying hard.  living today and not stressing about things beyond our control- trying.  Quirky stuf comes and goes, always glad to hear it has passed and not left a lingering reminder of its presence.  We are getting the meds routine down and also seeking God for strength and healing amidst the things we see to do. 

It looks like I may lose my comic relief child come October.  It seems far away but it could be way too soon.  He has been handy to have around the house to help me with tasks.  Today he blessed me by volunteering to conquer the lawn on his own.  I see him face the challenge of PT and come home sore and wiped, excited about what the Marines will hold.  I dont think of the loss of his feet under the table or the sound of him breezing through the house with his earphones sharing thier ?music?, those things will come in time and we will adjust.  For now I am prepping for the cheese to move, anticipating it but not yet ready to rejoice in that one. 

I will rejoice in the strength the Lord has given me to - give shots,  to keep getting up and exercising, for wisdom in schooling and to live today, today. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Let the shooting begin!

For the past few weeks I have been coming to terms with new reality. I left for a girls week in CA with sibilings and Mom with my bear handling home life. He juggled life well and conquered many parenting tasks as he flew solo. Just before I returned he had another MRI and doc appt. we had hoped it would be a nothing new, no comment kind of appointment. It did not turn out that way, so as I returned to civilization from 3 days of no service and Yosemite beauty our phone conversation revealed that yes, MS was declared. He would be going on medicine, MS had joined our life.

Words are easier to deal with than reality often, especially when they are words that are not fully lived and experienced. MS - a disease we've seen fundraisers for and known from afar, or in others lives. Now it has entered our home and is making itself known to us personally. So far it has been a gentleman, and so we hope it remains, yet its full nature is not known and therein lies part of the struggle of the adjustment. What lies ahead? and how will i live today with an unknown .... will i live with fear stealing my joy or will i live today for today and deal with tomorrow when it comes at me. I am choosing the later.

As the investigation of the numbness began we heard about drugs- lots of drugs, and our first response was NO! Now that reality of lesions has been seen and lived with and new knowledge has been understood we realize that we can eat well- he is up to 3 green smoothies a day (32oz each) and take supplements- his body is getting healthy intake. Yet as new tingles and symptoms occur the thought of slowing its progression down has become a reality. So, when FedEx stopped by yesterday it was to give us supplies for our shooting clinic on Saturday.

I don't do shots well, I tend to avoid shots, if at all possible, I look away, close my eyes and breathe deep. Yesterday I looked at a syringe for the first time and started to pep talk myself "I can do this" mantra. thankfully there is an auto injection tool in the kit so I have a safety net- a way to help without having to fully embrace the needle. I will be learning a new skill this weekend, another tool in the helpmeet's toolbox of life, who knew 28 years ago that my toolbox would get to be so well stocked ? (eek!)

The reality is settling in as I talk to pharmacy company and clarify monthly copays as it will continue for ?life? ???? As I realize that authorizations for me to talk to the insurance company has been lost in transit and needs to be resent- for I am the admin assistant and navigating the system on his behalf will remain in our future for the future. I am thankful to be here to walk through this with him, thankful for past experience with referrals and therapists and doctors that will serve me in the days ahead.

Often it is easy to forget about MS- for it is "invisible". No sign blares and often the pain and numbness is not mentioned, only later does he speak of discomfort, yet its invasion is occuring. It kind of reminds me of the other uninvited guest we host in our home- epilepsy- invisible until it rears its head, one we are daily dealing with in small ways, wary of in some situations and would prefer to not host, yet it remains. The mental adjustment feels similar as the words become reality and the reality remains invisible to many yet feels heavy on some days and minor on others. Slowly we adjust.

Many small changes are happening. On Saturday a nurse will arrive and teach us to give shots. Shots will be given every other day for ???? and we hope and pray he responds well to a new fluid entering his body to keep the mylon sheath from further deterioation. Fatigue is found at times, so an afterwork rest is a time to recharge for an evening of life together. We have begun to exercise, for it is found to help in many ways, and because we just need to do it. We are talking, reading and praying. We are laughing as the bear throws out "MS moment" when he forgets something- sometimes an excuse, sometimes true brain fog.

We are living today, enjoying today, simplifying our lives to what is important and most needs our time and attention. It feels good to slow down a bit. Life is a journey and we move forward to new adventures, not all of our choosing but knowing that it is filtered through eternal hands we move forward. I am learning to stretch, grow and try new things, so , let the shooting begin!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The shock is wearing off

Three weeks ago I received our first foundation repair proposal- it felt like a punch in the gut...20K+. For a few days we were in shock and awe and began to scrabble and look and realize how much this house has indebted us to it and put us in debt as we attempted to maintain it in a leakproof and waterproof manner. We found ourselves realizng that it was too much, so we asked contractor for the short list of must do's. We are still waiting, though his office folks have called to talk about financing.

At his suggestion we went to local homeshow, saw all the contractors of foundation repair of local willing to pay to be at show worth. We filled out forms and they have all paraded through the house and crawled beneath. Today I went with guy #5. I found where Mouse the cat has been of recent- guy #4 did not secure the crawlspace door and it lay open for several days- mouse has "scented it up", but I digress. I was reminded again of the layout beneath and all the jargon and conversation was given visual reference again.
This is a good thing.

Last Wednesday after a 2 hr visit from #4 man we decided that the 20K and 23 pier difference made us desire true wisdom. We were told of the county's best structural engineer/home inspector. Thursday I gave him a call and tomorrow he will arrive, look over all the proposals, look over the house and sort out the malarky from the truth. yes, we shall be paying for this wisdom, but it may save us thousands or it may affirm the need for super major work that NEEDS to be done. I am hoping for the former. Presently we have bids in the 4K, 5.5K, 7.5K and 24K range, one is still outstanding. Proposals for piers range from 8- 33. Some call for a few bridging joists where others call for major girders all over the crawlspace. There was mention of rolling girders ad colapsed joists- I have located both at the same location but wonder if I am missing something. There is talk of cross bracing and crush blocks. We hear from several that the insulation under the house should be pulled out. So, we await truth and wise counsel so that we can spend wisely the funds we have and settle the foundation issue and be done with it. We want move on with life.

Paul's MS awaits our attention. We shall travel south in a few weeks to consult with a MS doc. We spent time on the phone with a neighbors sister- she battles MS, has for several years. The reality that soon we shall be asked to choose a drug path is starting to settle in. The reality of dietary changes is settling in, and yet there still remains changes ahead. As I shopped today the veggies covered the bottom of the cart yet I found myself reaching for some of the old normal items. Finding balance between MS diet and family food is in process.

Peace rests within as we walk daily. I find that I dont look far in advance. Today is far enough, tomorrow will be dealt with on the morrow. I am grateful for all the prayers, for the encouragement and compassion from so many. We understand that others can not lift the burden of the season but in sharing the moment they are lifting our hearts and we are taking another step forward.

So, as the shock of the first proposal has settled and more reasonable proposals have come our way I find that I look forward to tomorrow, to answers and a plan of action. I find that without a plan of action we often are restless and at odds with how to cope with situations. Once the plan is set we have a challenge to face and we can move forward. After a month of wondering and fearing the worst it will be good to settle the question of what truly needs to be done.

It is time for action.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

another punch in the gut

Small cracks, over doors, diagonally traveling.... what can this mean?  doors sticking, unsticking, hope its just the weather.  pencil marks and dates are found throughout the house, watching the cracks, hoping for no new lines.  A few patched only to return.... sadly they do.  Recently some grew and so we again had to take off the blinders and face reality.  Foundation issues.  significant issues.

Today the moving house guy came- he has worked on a neighbors house, and was a known entity so he was the first to call- not sure if there will be another or not.  A walk through and short crawl under the house revealed many reasons for cracks developing.  Engineered trusses and I beams are not what they were hoped for... now we shall get to support the local economy.  Oh how weary I feel today.  The details are still to come, Insurance does not cover poor workmanship.

And so again I look to my Heavenly Father is despair and need.  He who protected another of His children allowed this house to be a platform for ministry and life.  He shall give us wisdom and help us discern the next path of attack.  He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, he can tell disease to leave and it goes- just as a king directs His troops.  So too He can provide ... oh may He be glorified in this season of our life, may it not be for naught.


A few days later I am again living today... for I can not borrow or handle tomorrow today.  And today was Home Show day- we went to see what foundation folks had to offer.  5 booths, many similar, some that made us wary, others that looked good.  We also saw the booth of the one man we had come out, saw the piers he uses and spoke with him a bit.  Next week we should get the first proposal- and begin to consider honestly what needs to be done to stabilize the house so it does not roll in on its crawlspace.

Job... the book of a man who suffered, who had live steamroll him.  He has been on my mind a bit of recent.  MS and foundation issues revealed within days of one another- our world shaken on each account, but again the Lord holds us in the midst of the quake.  We are having conversation and dreaming together, looking at life in new ways these days, weighing the days and trusting God a bit more.

  This morning the bear spoke of how he and God have had some conversations- and what he has heard is "you are not in control".  Oh how often we presume that we are, and then Job moments come to remind us that we truly are not.  The question is when we receive the punch that doubles us over and knocks us off our control diaz where do we land who do we look towards??  I am looking to the one who knows tomorrow and holds my hand through today. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

God is in the midst

Last month there was a moment when my bear spoke of numbness in his face.  As the weekend progressed it became worse and worse.  Monday he saw the doc as one friend was concerned of stroke, it was ruled out.  The following day he was sent off to get a MRI.  We took it in stride, only quietly wondering at the speed of the testing.  Thursday we sat in a neurologists office and heard that MS was high on the suspect list.

The previous Sunday MS was on a laundry list of possibliites.  I told my bear that if it was MS we'd sell the house and move to a simpler house- he replied that we'd move to the country so he could live out his days as he delighted to.  The neurologist encouraged us that MS was not what it once was- that the drugs have come a long way since 20 + years ago.  25+ years ago I cared for a mother who had MS and was wheelchair bound.  23+ years ago a friend was often thought of as drunk because she stumbled as she walked fighting for independence rather than cane assistance.  These are my first thought of MS.  Recently a neighbor spoke of her energetic fit sister as having MS- not what I anticipated ever to be on her list of life issues.  Another friend spoke of a diagnosis that came 10+ years ago with only occassional flares.

Today we returned to the doctor after a month away.  In the past month a lumbar puncture was done and we waited for results.  The numbness started to disapate.  We came to realization that perhaps there is more to this life than the beautiful moneypit that has consumed us more than we ever wanted it to.  We rejoiced at a bonus from work and splurged on a ATV and went on our first "modern horseback ride" as a couple.  It was wonderful- no thoughts of house or ailments.  We have started to reconsider many things that have been stressors and burdens and occupiers of us.  Perhaps we are jumping the gun, shell shocked.   perhaps we are just beginning to see a clearer.

Today we were told that there is no confirming MS- only reading the signs and all things point that way right now.  There is no map of what lies ahead, it is a day to day adventure that will only be known by today.  and today, and today.  Our hope is that this will have been a season of reevaluating and relaxing and reprioritizing.  Our hope that this is not a season of preparation of what is to come.  We don't know, yet we know the One who holds our lives in His hands.

So, we are looking at life a bit differently, trusting God to walk through this journey with us.  Enjoying the days of sunshine and trail rides and trying to keep things in perspective.  We are getting to know our neighbors a bit, playing with children on the lawn and learning to eat well so our bodies will be strong against free radicals and things that would tear us down.

Of recent i have misspoke the phrase - humility (pride) comes before the fall- and we are learning to walk with a bit more humility- a bit more dependent and needy and transparent and vulnerable- easy-no, delightful to the Lord- yes!

where are you finding God in your midst?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


For several years we have heard about a couple who had wanted to buy the house we live in- yet we were the ones chosen by the sellers.  We heard of their disappointment and sadness, we thought of the journey they were spared.  We knew of them, yet never knew them or even who these folks were.  Last week that changed.  As only the Lord of the Universe can do he drew our lives together and my thoughts slowly put together bits of gleaned information and at the end of a meeting I asked a question that confirmed my suspishion.

With that came revelation.  The Lord of the Universe truly is aware of our lives.  He opens and closes doors, guides us , says yes to some things and protects us from others.  The couple I speak of are being  used by the Lord to lead worship.  For the past several years they have been busy in a new body, one that we are now a part of, and seeing people come to know of the Lord through the work going on there.  Had the Lord not protected them from purchasing this house their lives would not have had the room to be used for body purposes.  And as that understanding came so did the reality that for some reason God allowed us to purchase this house, be put on the anvil by it and see His provision in the midst of each event.  If you have not followed there have been many events.

Somehow this small meeting of folks has helped my heart and head cope a bit with the reality of ownership of our Pretty House.  It guided me as I spoke to my God yesterday while meeting with a foundation man... yes, there is more work to be done not for pretty sake but stability sake.  I found myself asking that again He find some way to provide for what will be needed for the future repairs, even now I am realizing that is not only financial but also the inner strength and emotional energy for what lays ahead.

I don't think that when we have prayed in the past that our lives would glorify the Lord that we had any inkling of what they would look like.  That what it would cost- everything, and how short sighted we so easily become to how God is in our midst routinely.  And yet somehow in the midst of our mess he is shining through our cracks.  He is drawing folks and we are sharing life and His love.  We sense Him, as do others.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

waiting quietly

It is hard to wait, especially for a doing person like me.  It is hard for me to settle and sit and dwell.  Of recent I have not had any handwork to keep my fingers occupied with stitching or knitting needles clacking.  I feel a bit lost, but have turned to puzzle books- starting to understand sudoku a bit.  I search for something to occupy.

Today I find myself looking for distractions to turn my thoughts from the what if's to other occupations.  My healthy bear who plugs along is having some weird stuff go on in his face.  Floaties in the eyes, flashing of lights last week.  Doc said its normal and just part of aging.  This weekend it was a numb face, and slowly the numbness spreading a bit each day.  Yesterday doc appt.  Today fasting bloodwork and MRI.  And we wait.  Thursday afternoon is the next doctor appt- with a neuro doc and hopefully answers or assurances.

The internet is a blessing and a bother.  All the world available at your fingertips to inform and confound the reader.  A search of numb face can give you thoughts of virus, bells' palsy all the way to MS and / or brain tumor.  Hmm what would we chose, do we get a choice??  could it be simple or will it turn out to be complicated??

And that hits it- am I willing to forget the worry, the owning what is not mine to own and trust in the midst of the wait?  Am I willing to rest in the One who loves my Bear much more than I do?  Am I willing to walk in faith that nothing comes into our lives but that the hand of the Lord has allowed and will use for our good?  I am trying.  Easy, no.  Doable- when I keep my eyes on the One who loves us the most.  So I shall wait, quilt a bit, teach a few lessons, watch some movies, live life and soon enough Thursday will come, the doc will have his say and we will continue to live life.

Time has passed, two appointments later-its not brain tumor or stroke- yeah!  Still no definitive answers, we continue to wait for hoped for changes after vitamin and steroid shots, wait for appointments for more tests and more followup visit, waiting surrounded by friends and their prayers that the bears face will no longer be numb. That answers for the why and what will be answered.  We wait  for a greater understanding of strange symptoms that continue to linger.  As time goes by we are settling into a sort of peace and waiting.  Life has invaded again helping to put us back into a bit of normal pace amidst a bit  of unbalance.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

where did the time go?

I clicked on the blog and found that I had not posted since October- how could that be???  hmmm what filled my life??

  Three weeks of October were dedicated to taking the mildew moldy kitchen to its foundation and then building it back to a useable, clean space- my how our knees and old bones ached after all the tile was laid.  What a sense of accomplishment came after the final board was laid on the support joists- reinforced and the floor now solid. Not only for us but for the whole neighborhood that pitched in.  What an outpouring of support and donation of time we experienced.  We had laborors, dish and laundry fairies, food donators - where there was a need it was met in ways only God could orchestrate!  What fun to share life with friends and neighbors and to see chaos become order.  Joists, subfloor, new plumbing, a bit of rearrranging, rewiring as needed, underlayment and tile. What joy to call the tiling done and done!!!  Yipee it was... we were so very weary. 

An unexpected blessing amidst the work was getting to know neighbors we'd had little contact with.  Johnny and Darlene have entered our life and we are blessed.  We enjoyed breakfast recently and ahead is a trip to the mountain and campouts and ????  what fun amidst life to discover more life ahead!

November was a month of rest and recovery as we settled into temporary kitchen  aka camp in the kitchen.  My hubby made amazing temporary vanity and kitchen sink stands so we could enjoy running water and dishes in our sink, rather than the porch or in the sink while we awaited new cabinets and coutnertops.  I bless the inventor of metal rolling shelves and cardboard grape boxes- the mainstay of my kitchen inventory.  We also repurposed what were wall cabinets to floor with tops to help us function.

The cabinet ordering brought new lessons of learning as we found that the 4-6 weeks started when the money was paid yet it takes 2-3 weeks before you can safely hand over the down payment to start the process.  I adjusted fire and set my sights on a kitchen together by Feb 14th- if you keep expectations low it helps keep disapointments low as well.  Finally all plans were finalized and the clock began.  The plaid walls were calmed with cream colored paint and we enjoyed a fresh start to our new kitchen.

December was our month of rest- learning to love rolled up pie crust- easy on the back, not bad on the wallet yet a close to homemade taste and the joy of favorite pies to comfort us through the holidays.  I enjoyed ignoring all the "to do's" of the kitchen and lived life, quilted and prepared for holiday life.  Slowly and quickly the month passed, we were delighted to wake on Christmas morning to snow all around us.  We were blessed to be charged with care of our neighbors horses and chickens and so daily we'd walk over and enjoy the critters and the time among nature. 

Without realizing it we have come into 2011- the days have passed amidst much life and adventures- the heating system went out quietly in the night to be discovered mid morning following.  We had hoped beyond home for another year, but Heil had done his time and was done in.  The new system was installed after a few days of enjoying fires in the firepllace and spaceheaters on loan from friends.  We are now taking the heating system for granted again- a blessed state to be in.

And now we are back to kitchen work again.  All of a sudden the cabinets were ready to install- our kitchen had to once again be emptied out- oh how I was dreading the task, yet it quickly occurred and even now I am reverseing and replacing items only a few days ago were moved out.  The cabinet guys were great- the attention to detail wonderful and they look so nice!  I am now sorting items, considering what was easy to live without, what is used only ocassionaly and where each needful item should be placed.

I am delighted with a few of the changes- pullouts for heavy mixers and crockpots in deep cupboards- nice!  The pantry cabinet with bifold door was dismantled amidst tearout.  In its place is a wonderful 11" deep cupboard built in that now holds my dishes- convenient location and so much more storage that it held previously- seems to be about double the space- the BEST bang for the buck of the whole project.  The other great change is the removal of the island, dancing the fridge across the floor and the installation of a penninsula- LOVE IT!! and we are yet to get counters- no more fighting for space with folks as we squeeze by one another.

I find I am weary and a bit overwhelmed, think its time for some boxes and purging of stuff, I 've been reading about simplifying... it is in the midst.  I am blessed to be in such a season, will enjoy the joy of it yet knowing all seasons come to an end the end of kitchen suite remodel 2010/11 sure sounds good to me as well.

So 2011- welcome and may allow for God to continue to show up and be glorified in our lives as we live this life called Toney life!