Friday, April 20, 2012

The Blind Housewife: Morning Devotions

This morning I felt the Lord leading me to read the following Scriptures. I copied them here for you. I tried to copy and paste the King James 1611 version, but the website I found had it copied from the original text, which is not a bad thing, but I didn't think y'all would be able to read it with U's as V's and V's as U's and I's as J's and... Anyway, this is the 1769 version, which reads just like my King James. So, here's what I read when I opened up the word.

1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord [is] gracious.
4 To whom coming, [as unto] a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, [and] precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ

Do I feel malice toward anyone? No. What about guile? I don't think so. What about envy? Uh...well, not the evil kind. Am I a hypocrite? No, at least I try not to be. I try to be true to what I claim. I guess, though, if I do feel some envy, even if it isn't filled with hate, then I am not being as true as I thought i was.

Now, what about those spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God by Jesus Christ? Well, I desire to do more for God. I want to be a daughter He can count on. There are places I would like to go, things I would like to do in order to spread His love and message of salvation. I want to do my part to be that living stone, part of the house. But, it feels like God is closing the door on what I want to do.

Here's where I might be a bit envious. A friend of mine has her own publishing company. Now, I don't envy her; I don't want that responsibility. :) Today she is going to a book signing. A couple of months ago she went to a book signing. I'm an author. I have published two books, and yet, I'm still here at home. Two months ago my youngest was sick. Today my oldest girl has a fever and a bit of a cough. I want to promote my books. Both of them are Christian books. I am certain God gave them to me. So, what on earth does He want me to do with them? How can i promote them, if I can't go anywhere?

Just so there's no misunderstanding, I'm happy for Peggy Hoy and her books. Y'all can check them out at either


Here's something else. I have a friend who is in the ICU, sitting at her husband's bedside. He's on a ventilator, and the doctors don't know why. He can't talk to his wife because of the tube down his throat, and he can't communicate via sign language, because they have restrained him. My friend is blind, so even if he points to something, she can't see it. The hospital he is in is about twenty miles from my house. I'd like to go down there, and at least give my friend a hug and let her know I care, but I can't. I don't have a driver; I don't have a babysitter...and well, it irritates me that I can't be of any help to my friend.

But, one thing I'm sure of, God knows best. My Father in heaven is telling me as clear as the day to be content to stay home and take care of my own. Sometimes, I find myself asking Him, "But, every day, Lord? Day in, day out, stay home?" His answer, I reckon is "YES!"

I love my kids, don't get me wrong, but this is getting hard, and i need y'all to pray for me. Being a full-fledged Titus 2 woman is apparently God's will for me, and I know He will give me all I need to accomplish what He wants me to. So, why am I struggling?

I'm stubborn, and that's the reason. I'm hard-headed, too. lol I'm tired, and the flesh does grow weak, sometimes. But, the Word does say that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. It also says, He will never leave me. Jesus tells me to cast my cares upon Him, for He cares for me. He also says His yoke is easy and His burden light.

All right, God, I give up. Your will be done, not mine. I'll stay home today. I'll care for my babies, do the laundry, clean the kitchen. I'll keep to home. :) Now, Lord, help me to do it with a cheerful attitude. As for tomorrow, well, your word says to take no thought for the morrow, so I won't.

Well, there you have it. I didn't write all that to invoke sympathy or to complain; just being as honest as I know how to be. These are thoughts and feelings anyone would have, sighted or blind. I guess if I could give any advice, it would be, live in an accessible area before you have kids. Then, when you need or want to go somewhere, it won't be so difficult. Other than that, pray, pray and pray some more. And, if you can't think of anyone to pray for, pray for me. :) Happy Friday, y'all!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Blind Housewife: On Cleaning, Laundry and Occupying Children

There was something gross on the bottom of my bath tub. I don't know what it was, but I was bound and determined to get rid of it. I sprayed the tub with Clorox Clean Up, let it set for a few minutes and took a wet washcloth and wiped it up. Um...yeah, well, that didn't work. So, I put some Soft Scrub with bleach on it. I rubbed it in, waited a few minutes and wiped again. Still no change. I went looking for a scrub brush, but aliens must have sneaked in and stolen it, because I couldn't find one anywhere. Then, I remembered that scrubby thing that I had scrubbed my pizza pans with. It needed thrown away, anyhow; I'd just use it. Y'all know what I'm talking about. Right? Not the soap pad thingies. No, the thing that feels like a net...sort of? Anyway, I put more Soft Scrub on the crud and went to scrubbing. I scrubbed and scrubbed. I scrubbed with the right hand, and then I scrubbed with the left. I had music playing on the iPod feature on my iPhone, and on my knees by the tub I scrubbed and scrubbed. After several minutes, I started to notice a difference. The scrubbing was working, but it was sure taking some muscle.

About halfway finished, I suddenly wondered what it would be like if God had to scrub like I was scrubbing in order to clean the sin out of us. Hmm. A thought. No? I reckon sometimes, God allows us to be scrubbed, but when it comes to asking Him for forgiveness from sin, He just takes it away, no scrubbing required. With one word, He can wipe the slate clean. He does this, too, when we come to Him with a repentant heart and a contrite spirit. Aren't you glad? I know I am! As for the tub scrubbing, I think I got it all cleaned up. :)

So, how did I keep the girls from bugging me while I attended to the bath tub? Easy. They love playing with those little ducks and things. Well, I told them to clean the ducks and mermaids while I cleaned the tub. I had just finished washing a few dishes, so the dish water was still warm and sudsy. I gave them the tub toys, a chair and a couple of rags and told them to clean them up. They did, and when they were done, the 6-year-old took a towel and wiped up the water on the counter. How cool was that?

I think today breaks a record. I told the girls they could have an ice cream cone after we put all the clean laundry away. I never knew a basket of clothes could get put away so quickly. lol But, my 6-year-old stepped in and helped me put the clothes away, and it was finished in less than 5 minutes. No kidding. :)

Now that my cleaning spree is over for now, I sure could use some good lotion. My hands are itching and dry. I also need someone with a knowledge of pinning up pant legs straight. Haha, my jeans are too long. I had to roll them up a bit. Looks silly, probably, but at least I'm clothed and in my right mind. ;)

It's rather cool and rainy, making me want to fix another cup of coffee. That stuff sure does go fast when a person likes it. :)

Ok, so since you sighted folks are wondering how I managed today, the tub scrubbing was all by feel. I should have used gloves, what with all that bleach and such, but if I had worn them, I wouldn't have been able to feel whether the tub was clean or not. If I can't feel it, then I can't do it independently. So, get over being messy, and get your hands in there...if you're blind,that is. Ha! As for dishes, it's the same; I know they are clean by the way they feel. As for the washer and drier, I memorize which buttons are what and too bad for me if I forget. Wait, that's not true; the 6-year-old has learned to read and helps when I ask. As for matching clothes, my children help me with their's. I know mine by the way they feel. Using my sense of touch, I know when I have grabbed a pair of my pants and when it's the hubby's I'm holding. :) He's shaped different than I am, ye know. Now, as for buying ice cream from the Schwan's man, well, I used my sense of touch to know which credit card I grabbed, my sense of touch, again, to know what foods I was putting away, and when it came to enjoying that ice cream, I used my sense of taste. lol I had my first grader to read package directions for one of the items i bought, and memorized them so I won't have to ask again.

Did y'all git all that? Ha! Well, if you didn't, feel free to drop me a comment and ask away. Until then, my sense of tired tells me it's time to git off here, so I'll catch y'all next time.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How Do You Do It?

Yesterday evening, my dentist asked, "So, how do you cook...the big stuff, I mean? How do you do it?"

A few days ago, a new friend asked, "So, what is it like being a parent who is blind?"

I started thinking about these questions and realized that many people are just too shy to ask them. Yet, they really want to know. They don't want to know what some people do; they don't want to know what studies show. They want to know what I do, because once they know that, they can modify to fit their own needs and wants. It's like cooking. Give me the recipe. Then, I can modify it to meet my needs and skill level. Of course, some folks never stray from the recipe, but that's their own fault and a subject for another post.

I could tell you cooking without sight is hard, fun, exciting, scary, and anything in between, but it doesn't answer your question. I could say being a mother who is blind is wonderful, terrible, exciting, scary, mind boggling and joyful all wrapped up in to one, but, again, that does not answer your questions. So, I am thinking of starting a series or two here on the blog to address how I manage things. I don't know what order the articles will be in, but I think I'll separate the two main questions folks have in to two series: one for cooking and the other for parenting.

If you have specific questions, feel free to comment either on here or on Facebook and ask them. If you want to email me privately, the email addy is

I'll try to address one issue a week for both subjects. Just y'all keep in mind, what I do works for me and might not work for you.

How do I drain a pot of boiling macaroni without scalding myself?
How do I fry hamburger without setting the house on fire?
How do I know when my bread/cookies are done?
How do I change a dirty diaper without wearing the mess?
How did I nurse my babies?
Which was easier, breast feeding or bottle feeding?
How did i know if my babies were sick?
How did I administer meds when they needed them?
How did I bathe my babies?
How did I manage to keep the babies clothes all matched up?
How did I feed the babies baby food?
Do I always know what my children are in to? Do you? Haha!

I'll be the first to admit, some of these questions do not have an answer. I am not perfect, and neither am I an expert. But, I'll do my best to answer these questions and more.

If you are a new parent who is blind or thinking of starting a family, then, honestly, my best advice is trust in God. Take time to put Him in the center of it all. Because, y'all, sometimes the answer is God. I'm not kidding, and I'm not being flippant. Sometimes, there is no rhyme or reason why something is a certain way, and only thing I know is God did it or God told me so.

The Bible says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It also says that the things we see are temporal, and the things which are not seen are eternal. So, embrace the fact you can't see it, and let God be your pilot.

Hope to hear from y'all soon!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Date Says it All

If you came here via Facebook, then you might hear some repeats. Just saying, just in case you can't handle my sarcasm or whatever it's called. :)

So, last night my dear husband put Angry Birds Space on his phone...I think, anyway. He also put it on the 2 old iPhones that we gave to the girls to play with. I stretched out beside him on the bed, lay there for a minute, then realized we had reached a new family pasttime-lazing around playing Angry Birds on our individual phones. Ok, so I wasn't playing Angry Birds. Not sure if it would work with the VoiceOver, but ya never know. lol And, my girls thought I would download the Angry Birds song as a ring tone. It's like we used to say when I was a lil kid in 6th grade. NOT!

There is a website where I get a lot of the audio books I listen to, for free. I went there this morning to see if they had anything new. They did, but I reckon Friday the 13th is like a SciFi day or Final Frontier day, because no matter if it was romance or adventure, every book on there had something to do with space. There were mostly Star Trek books, but there were some r-rated romances where the characters live on weird, made up planets. Not my cup of tea, but I'm glad they are out there for those who like that kind of book. Course, I ain't got any room to talk, really, I have read some vampire romances before. We'll not go in to that, though. ;)

Would it be child abuse if I put duct tape over my kids' mouths to shut them up? I get so tired of hearing, "Mom, she won't stop looking at me! Mom, she won't leave me alone! Mom, she's pushing me! Mom, can't you hear me?" Goodnight! Since it probably would be abuse to do that to them, maybe I'll just buy some ear plugs for me. Ha! lol

I'm in the mood to crochet something. Apparently, the 6-year-old is too, because she's been chaining with a size K hook and some old yarn of mine. She wanted to make something bigger, and I tried to show her how to single crochet (SC) but she didn't get it. Her biggest problem is she is too much like her mother in that if she can't do it right the first time, who needs it. But, her chain looks nice, and with age will come the want to do more. After all, I was married before I had the patience to learn how.

Ok, so the other night at church, all 3 youth teachers did not show up. Two were sick and one had to work over and couldn't make it in time. But, besides my own 2 girls, there were 3 other kids plus 2 teenagers. I told them if they wanted to go downstairs, I'd teach youth. Lemme tell y'all something, it was interesting. lol Teenagers like to try and sneak off, but thanks to the others kids who were wonderful tadlers, we made it through and nobody got in trouble. I like kids. They are so funny, and they don't even know it. Ha! The funniest part was when I couldn't think of anything else to do with them and took one of my prosthetic eyes out to entertain them. Some were like, "OOO," and some were like, "COOL!" I can say one thing, though. I sure did sleep good Wednesday night. lol I'm already looking forward to next time when the teacher isn't there, but when that happens, somebody else can take the teens. I will gladly take 10 and under. lol

Well, now that I have vented some of my frustration and talked about what weirdness has been on my mind in the last hour, I'm thinking of dozing off for a minute or 2. Get some Angry Birds going, and they will never notice. :) Then, again, they'll probably start arguing again. But, it's all good. Those babies are what keep me going. Think my mom is going to stop by here in a bit, too, and there's the usual dishes, laundry and straightening up to do. Never a dull moment round here.

Just want to leave you with one more thing... That banana song on TV is almost as annoying as the Angry Birds song! lol

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Dream: A Poem

I dream of houses big and small,
Of large front porches and leaves in the fall.
I dream of coffee steaming in my mug,
Of plenty of food and the comfort of a hug.
I dream of woodsmoke and fresh, white snow,
Blue skies in summer and biscuit dough.
I dream of plastic eggs hiding in the grass,
Of an old, spring mattress with a headboard of brass.
I dream of rhubarb so sour I shiver,
And the sting in my hand from a tiny, wood splinter.
I dream of moonlight on white, gulf coast sand,
And the smooth certainty of my wedding band.
I dream of the jangle of an old, rotary phone,
I dream of the roughness of a human skeleton bone.
I dream of apples fresh off the tree,
And of shifting sands beneath a blue-green sea.
I dream of things in the present and the past,
Of things meant to perish and things meant to last.
Of the person I was, life full of sin,
And a far away country to which I’ve never been.
I dream of a cross bridging the gap between,
The woman I was and the one yet unseen.
I dream of mercy, pure love and grace,
And when the dream is reality, I’ll see His face.

Friday, April 6, 2012

While I'm Drinkin' My Coffee

I'm about halfway through my first cup of coffee, and I've already fixed breakfast for my girls, checked email and had a shower. Not that y'all needed to know all that, but it is my blog, and you chose to read it. Ha! :)

Since this is my blog, I think I'll write about whatever comes to my mind.

It's Friday, in case ya haven't noticed. ;) Eight years ago, if I would have had the time, I might have walked to Shirley's Diner in Romney WV for breakfast. But, I was working from eight to 4 everyday, so in order to do that I would have either had to get up and be out of the house by six a.m. or waited to go for dinner. But, today would be a good day for some of their pancakes and sausage gravy...oh yeah, and their sweet, iced tea. I always liked Shirley's tea, because it's almost the same as my own. I would have walked their all by myself...wait that's not right. I would have walked their with George, my faithful Seeing Eye dog for eight years. He would lay under the table, all nice and quiet while I ate breakfast. He never begged, unless a sighted person came around. lol While eating my breakfast I liked to sit quiet and listen to the conversations around me. I sure heard a lot of gossip on those mornings. When I was ready to go, I'd pay my bill, grab George's harness handle and say, "C'mon, George. Let's go. Outside, boy."

Haven't been anywhere by myself in so long, I can't remember when it was. But, there are a few things I can do now that I could not do eight years ago. Back then I couldn't bake very well. I didn't know how to change a messy diaper, and there's no way I could have bathed and dressed three people and had them ready to walk out the door in an hour and a half. lol Is it safe to say I traded my freedom for motherhood? Maybe. Would I trade motherhood for that kind of freedom? Absolutely not! Once a mom, always a mom...or, at least, that's how it's supposed to be, anyway. A shame some folks haven't figure that out, yet.

On to another subject before I get mean.

Dear person who continues to text when I'm talking,
Do you know how rude and inconsiderate you are being? Do you even care? If what I have to say is not important to you, then why do you even come around? If you really don't want to take the time to talk to me, just say, "Shannon, I don't want to talk to you." It would hurt my feelings a lot less.
Learning to Forgive

Ok, apparently I'm dealing with some anger this morning. Why is it easier for me to write about it, though, than to go to the person who upsets me and confront them? Maybe, because I hate confrontation. I NEVER say the right thing. I can't say what I want to say without allowing my emotions to take over. Besides, I'm not so sure it would do any good, and I don't want to waste energy on something that will only make my blood pressure rise. So, I reckon for now I'll just use this blog as a sounding board.

My coffee tastes good. :) I'm about halfway through cup number two, now. I started grinding my own, and I think I'm hooked. Haha, makes me think of that Randy Travis song, where he says, "I'm going back to a better class of losers. This uptown living's really got me down. I need friends who don't pay their bills on home computers, and they buy their coffee beans already ground." Um, reckon by that song I'm uptown...or was it high class? Yes, it was high class. Sorry, Randy for getting the lyrics wrong. I'm about to go pay a bill on my home computer, and I'm drinking coffee that was whole beans last night. lol

My husband called me a high tech redneck a few days ago, but I think he's wrong. According to another country song, the not so rich and famous are supposed to like RC cola and Moon Pies. Sorry, y'all, I hate Moon Pies, and I like Coke, if I'm going to drink a pop. I do like sittin' on the porch on a cool night, though.

Since it's songs that are on my mind, think I'll close with this one.

"Tempted and tried we're oft made to wonder, why it should be thus all the day long. While there are others living about us, never molested though in the wrong."
"Farther along we'll know all about it. Farther along we'll understand why. So, cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine. We'll understand it all by and by."
"Faithful till death, said our loving master. A few more days to labor and wait. Toils of the road will then seem as nothing, as we sweep through the beautiful gate."
And, the best part...
"When we see Jesus coming in glory. When He comes from His home in the sky, then we will meet Him in that bright mansion. We'll understand it all by and by."
"Farther along we'll know all about it. Farther along we'll understand why. So, cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine. We'll understand it all by and by."

Well, cup number two is all gone. Can't decide if I'll make more or not. But, in any case, I'm done bloggin', for now. Y'all have a blessed day, and don't forget how much the Lord loves you.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

From One Mother to Another

It's the Sunday before Easter, AKA Resurrection Day. Good Friday is five days away. It's a day when a lot of churches celebrate Palm Sunday, the day when Jesus rode in to Jerusalem on the donkey amidst the shouts of "Hosanna!"

But, today I have something different on my mind...someone different, actually. I've been thinking about Jesus's mother, Mary and the crucifixion. I read somewhere that Golgotha, the place of a skull, actually does look like a human head. The writer said she was there, and the top of the cliff had two natural caves and looked like just what it said, a skull. She also said it overlooked what used to be the Eastern gate in to the old city of Jerusalem. Now, I've never been, so I don't know what the place looks like, but thinking of it this way put a new perspective on things for me. The writer quoted John 19, so I went and read the chapter and began to see things in a new light. I'm not going to copy and paste the entire chapter; you can read it for yourselves, but take note of Pontius Pilate. Can't you just hear him thinking, "Them pesky Jews! Sure wish I didn't have to deal with all their silly notions!"

Kind of makes me wonder if, under other circumstances, he might have believed on Jesus. But, I got sidetracked. Wasn't going that direction. :)

Anyway, here's the verses that stood out, when I read chapter 19. "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home." John 19:25-27 KJV.

Since I am a storyteller, bare with me for a few minutes.

Picture this:
It's hot. The sun is beating down on your head. It's also noisy. People are everywhere, and they are not quiet. Your feet are killing you. After all, you just walked up the hillside. But, the pain in your feet is nothing compared to the pain in your heart. The religious leaders you have counted on all your life have just ordered your son to be crucified. Men who were supposed to be honorable in battle have beaten him, whipped him until he is almost unrecognizable. The stench of sweat and blood permeate the air so that you can't even take a breath without it filling your nostrils. When they drove those spikes in to your firstborn's hands and feet, you felt them, too. You wanted to scream for them to stop. You wanted to grab up a spike and kill them all. You wanted to hold your son like you did when he was a tiny baby, and yet, you can't forget the many times he told you he was about his father's business. You didn't always understand what that meant, and you don't understand now, but just remembering the peace in his eyes when he said that, keeps you silent.

Your sister is there by your side, arm around your waist holding you up. Mary Magdalene is there, too, and in some weird way, you feel more sorry for her than for yourself. You wrap an arm around the younger woman's shoulders, but you have no words of comfort. All you can offer her is your embrace. She leans on you and all three of you cry together.

John is standing a couple of feet away. He hasn't left your son's side the whole time. You love him for that. You wish you could tell him so.

Then, you wipe a hand across your eyes and look up in to the eyes of your baby boy. He isn't a baby anymore, of course, but you still think of him that way. He looks at you, and then he looks at John.

"Woman," he says, "behold thy son!"

You follow his gaze to John, and then you hear his next words.

"John, behold thy mother."

You want to tell him there is no need for this, but you can't speak, because the effort of holding back your sobs is too great.

Jesus says he is thirsty, and they give him vinegar. You can smell it from where you are standing, and you can't help but cringe at how it must have burned his mouth and throat.

And then, you heard the words you so desperately did not want to hear, "It is finished."

Jesus bows his head, and you know it's over; he is dead. You would have fallen to your knees, if John and your sister hadn't held on to you, and you can no longer hold back the sobs.

A soldier pushes you out of the way, then, and starts breaking the legs of the other men who were crucified, but when they came to your son, they saw he was already dead, so they just plunged a sword in to his side.

Then, as Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus came and began to remove his body, you felt a tug at your elbow. You turn, and there is John, tears streaming down his face.

"Come along, Mother," he is saying, but you do not want to leave.

Somehow, walking away feels like betrayal. But, he is insistent.

"Let the men tend to him," John says. "The sabbath will begins shortly. When the sabbath is over, we will bring spices and anoint him properly."

Knowing he is right, you allow him to take you to his home, but it feels like your heart is being ripped from your chest. You're just not sure you will make it through the sabbath, not with your reason for living now dead and gone.

Aren't you glad, moms that there is hope beyond the grave? Aren't you glad you know the ending, here? I don't know about you, but I wish I could have been there three days later, so I could have shared in Mary's joy at seeing her son risen from the dead. What a hallelujah morning that must have been! And, what a hallelujah morning it's going to be when all the dead in Christ rise to meet Him in the air!

I don't know why God put this on my heart to share, but I pray it blesses you and causes you to ponder a bit more on Him and what a sacrifice He made for us all. God bless, and happy Palm Sunday!