Last night I tried something new with cousin MJ and sister Melissa: a class at The Community House in Birmingham entitled “Paint Your Pet.” After arriving we each got a canvas with a light pencil sketch of our chosen pet (based on photos we had sent in ahead of time). Our teacher gave us instructions for painting, first the background and then the details. She went from person to person to suggest appropriate techniques for the animal each was attempting to capture on canvas. We really enjoyed ourselves, even though we were not 100% satisfied with the quality of our labors.
It has been exactly one year (to the day) since I last posted to this blog. Happy Anniversary to SweetMewsic’s Musings!
The last year has, for the most part, been a happy and productive one. There are two exceptions to this worth noting:
- My handsome orange polydactyl, Pawscar Awesome, had to have his right eye removed in June 2016. The pressure went out of control, and he had no vision remaining. A laboratory examination could find no explanation for the eye problem, which made me glad I had not agreed to a risky procedure to remove and analyze fluid from his eye that had been recommended some time ago. In the next few months we struggled to keep the pressure in his left eye in the normal range and cope with the diabetes which resulted from long-term steroid use for his eyes. In November, Pawscar’s left eye experienced the same rising pressure, and it seemed that I might soon have a blind kitty. Then I noticed the feel of “bubbles” under the skin of his hindquarters. I took Pawscar to Dr. R., who was able to remove some fluid under the skin for analysis. By the next day Pawscar was clearly miserable, unable to use his litterbox without pain. I made the difficult decision to let him cross the Rainbow Bridge on November 16, 2016. It was only when I returned home that evening and got a Facebook notification email that I realized that November 16, 2012, was Pawscar’s “birthday”: the day I first met him at Gasow Veterinary Clinic and determined to adopt him.
- My husband, Jim, injured his back in the summer. One morning in late August he awoke and was not able to get out of bed, even with my help. He had a fracture in his back, which was repaired surgically. The surgeon said he could come home, but our internist wanted to wait a day. By then, Jim was weak and not eating well. So began five months during which Jim alternated between a nursing home (with rehab at first) and the hospital. Finally, on January 20, 2017, Jim passed away. I am now a widow, like my mother and my sister Judy.
The birthday photos that were taken by LifeTouch for our new church directory arrived at last. I am not really thrilled with any of mine, but they do provide an idea of what I looked like when I turned 65.
By the way, the birthday cake and flowers were surprises from my sister Melissa. The cake was delicious.
The first Tuesday in December is typically the last night of the Birmingham Bible Institute fall semester, and so it was this year. Students in my Hebrew 7, Greek 7, and/or Greek 3 finished their course(s) with honor. Now it is time to take a break.
I was sorry to bid goodbye to Phil H. a week earlier. Phil took Greek from me when we were still using the first edition of Mounce’s Basics of Biblical Greek, and returned last winter to refresh his Greek skills. He and his wife are moving to Ohio, and I wish them God’s many blessings.
Although I will miss my students for several weeks, I am glad for a chance to rest and renew my strength (Isaiah 40:31). The reduced energy level associated with fibromyalgia tends to get worse with the coming of the winter months, and it is certainly true in my case.
I will also enjoy the opportunity to spend more time with my feline family. Currently numbering eleven, they range in age from 17 (“Googlie Girl”) to 2 (the sisters Jou Jou B, Jolie Fille, and Jenise). Jenise in particular–as the newest member of the family–is still acclimating to her new surroundings and will, I hope, benefit from some extra time and attention from her human mom.
Above all, I am looking forward to celebrating the births of my sister, Melissa, 59 years ago; and my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, over two millennia ago. I am so grateful for God’s gracious gifts (2 Corinthians 4:6)!