Saturday, July 24, 2010

Heart thread - 07/24/2010

Amid the many challenges Margaret has been facing, now this:
UPDATE: Joel is in respitory ICU. Nearly lost him overnight.... he is in stable but guarded condition.

I am okay.... numb --which I consider a mercy. Doing what comes next. I am grateful for your prayers.


Joel is in the hospital. He had an acute onset of his myasthenia gravis... he couldn't breathe, swallow--kept choking.

Please keep him in your prayers.

Margaret posted an update:
Thank you all so very much for you prayers. Joel continues in stable but guarded condition in the ICU. They've brought out the big guns on the MG stuff. He is speaking--which is good. They are doing a scan of his chest later this evening. I'm okay --tired but unanxious... really. All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
For Joel, Margaret, Juan Manuel, and all the burdens Margaret carries on her heart.

Ongoing prayers for Kirstin and her entire support team. (You can follow her posts here.)
The nurse came in, started my IV, and we got talking. We probably talked for twenty minutes. She is an oncology nurse (not all of them on my floor are), has been for seven years. She’s young, and startlingly competent. Right now, she’s looking up my paper chart and printing information about the neuropathy drug they’re discharging me with. (I have the beginnings of peripheral neuropathy, in both hands and feet. It’s scaring hell out of me.)

We talked about my care team here, in Sac, in Oakland. We talked about my support system. I told her some of the things I wrestle with—see how healthy I am, how can I be sick? She told me she thought I’d do well.

I asked her why. She said, “Because you’re so positive. When the mind gives up, the body follows.” I didn’t tell her how much I hate this.

For Jonathan and Jim and David. For Mark and Sandra and Bruce and Doris.

For my sister Shirley.
Shirley will be going in for a angioplasty in a month. Too many ahead of her.

For KJ's father and for David's friend Rosemary.
Prayers for Rosemary too please- she is really having a difficult time, and i`d ask prayers for her husband Dave, their two sons and my sister Jenny, that if this is Rosemary`s time they will all have the grace, love and strength they need.
My coworker Shae says "Thank you" to all who prayed for her; her knee is doing much better.

For Patricia's mother Evelyn Rose.

For Fran who is home and gaining strength and health (but could not join her friends for the Paris trip that had to start without her). She said today was her best day yet but we're not stopping the prayers.

For children everywhere and those who worry about them. For those facing deadlines. For those caught up in anxiety of any sort.

Padre Mickey tells us:
The Lovely Mona is down with sumkinna nasty thang wut makes her sleepy alla time. I hope the sleeping makes her feel better.
For those endangered by the failure of a dam in Iowa.

For the two US service members missing in Afghanistan since yesterday.

For those killed in a stampede in Germany.

For all the burdens carried by any who read this post. Please add your own requests in the comments.

--the BB

Today's letter to the President

Dear Mr. President:

I shall be brief. If you do not appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection it will be widely seen as a betrayal of the middle class and likely abandonment of hope for real economic reform.

There is far too much compromise in today's political atmosphere and it is neither buying the good will of the opposition nor the confidence of the electorate.

I urge you to appoint the one person we feel confident will represent the vast majority of the people of the United States. This nation has become a corporatocracy and we need a strong signal that you really mean to do something about it.

Half measures are not enough.

Thank you.

--the BB

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Yes, Niagara spray starch.

Among the clearance rack shirts I have purchased lately is a white linen shirt, the kind with tabs and buttons to hold your rolled up sleeves in place. I decided I the initial wearing will be Friday when we go to Santa Fe after work for dinner and opera (Madama Butterfly). The noted cool factor of linen (temperature, not with-it-ness) appeals. Alas, it looked a bit rumpled off the rack. So tonight I tackled it with starch and ironed it into submission.

Yes, I know that linen wrinkles as soon as you put it on. That's OK. I just feel as though I am putting on the Ritz and that's all that matters.

I also touched up two other new shirts (spraying only with water) so they are ready to be worn to work.

How many of you remember when your mothers had starch, bluing, and Fels naphtha soap? And your fathers had Lava and Boraxo soaps?

--the BB

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


As I reported earlier this evening on Facebook:

My exciting life. Relentless day at work (one third of us in training, the rest trying to keep up). I was talking on the phone for two minutes short of five hours today. Retail therapy: a couple more summer shirts on clearance. Italian class. Some protein and a strong drink when I got home.

But Friday: Butterfly!

--the BB

Heart thread - 07/20/2010

My friend Mike bids our prayers for Wes. Wes' partner Scott is one of those who worked hard at the Our Saviour clean-up day (and was at San Gabriel last Sunday).
Wes had a stroke this afternoon. He's at UNMH now and doing "okay". It seems to be on the right side affecting the left side of his body with some (unknown to me) level of paralysis. He's alert, can speak though with impaired articulation due to the paralysis, and his memory seems fine. All good signs. Scott doesn't have much more info until more time has passed and more tests are done.
David@Montreal invites us to pray for many who need to be held in our hearts.
Beloved Giants of prayer and practice

I've had two calls this afternoon for prayers for Rosemary, our little Armenian bird, who last Thursday was rushed back into hospital with severe breathing difficulties- one call from Dave, Rosemary's wonderful husband, the other from my baby sister Jenny who is Rosemary's friend and chief caregiver when Dave is obliged to work in Ottawa during most weeks. As you might remember from earlier prayer calls, this is Rosemary's second bout with cancer and her determination to get through this is incredible. Dave and Rosemary have two young sons.
So prayers for Rosemary and Dave please, their sons, and my baby sister Jenny please.

Prayer's for dear Kirstin please- undergoing her second round in the school of cancer also. Kirstin has just begun a very aggressive course of teatments which will be taking over the forseeable future. Last I heard she has been released from hospital from the first round and is currently at Bishop's Ranch in California. [Update: and is now heading back to hospital for the next round.]

Another cherished sister in faith, Fran has been having a really rough time recovering from a gall bladder operation, and has been on a medical fast. Fran, her Beloved, and her step-daughter are due to leave for holidays any day now, and she's still struggling with the first steps towards healing.

Prayers please for my former colleague Louyse who underwent brain surgery late last week. The tumor was only discovered after her throid had been irradiated, and she was experiencing balance, perception and speech defecits. Louyse will have a long path of healing ahead of her.

Prayers please for a fiesty friend who manages a life with some pretty incredible challenges and demands made on her. She is currently travelling overseas for her work, .... Prayer for all involved- for the children, for the pressure and multiple demands my friend tries to balance.

And speaking of fiesty- one beloved sister who might occasionally admit to certain mother bear-like qualities; she, her husband, and their chosen son have been undergoing some horrendous trials in the last days- the system at it's near-worst. This sister is one of the most articulate, passionate, spirit-filled priests I know, so prayers for all three- that grace and strength, insight and peace will be given sufficient to the path ahead and that generous, life-giving justice will prevail.

News of Frank- he and his latest round of cancer appear to be at a standstill. The effects of the ongoing treatments are mild compared to what he as previously been through, and his attitude is incredible. With restrictions, he and Carol are having a simple summer, surrounded by their three wonderful daughters, their spouses & the grandchildren out in BC. He called Mam the other day to see how she is doing with her situation and three times sent along his thanks to 'David's Giants' who have 'made all the difference'

And speaking of Mam, even if she is my Mam, I have to say she's incredible! No complaints, no despair, she's the first one to tell you just how lucky she is that she's still got her arm, that it wasn't her hip, that she's got family to look after her, and that they're doing it so wonderfully. The whole experience has visibly aged her, and yet though there is still occasionally some confusion with individual words, her attitude is always grateful and positive. Mam saw the surgeon late last week, and will begin physiotherapy next Wednesday. She's still unable to live on her own as long as she has the cast, soshe is staying with my sister Joanne and her husband Ken. Today, for the first time since the accident she actually made it to Church with my sister Jenny.

So much to be grateful for, but even more to offer up , and like Frank says you guys really do 'make all the difference.'

love always- always Love

Continued prayers for Doris, Mark, Mother Sandra, Tad (who gets around with greater ease as time passes). For Alex and his mom, for Jack and his family, for my sister Shirley, my nephew Jay, and my grandniece Esther.

For the unemployed, the homeless, and especially the despairing.

For those killed or injured in the train crash in eastern India.

--the BB

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Do you see any weeds?

I thought not. (Unless you count the "ornamental grass" on the left, which propagates with a vengeance through small hair-like devices that cling to everything. I call it "pendejo grass" because, well, the filaments resemble pubic hairs. The clump you see in the photo is not destined long for this life. Why people plant this vile thing I have no idea.)

Yours truly was on his knees under the mid-morning sun yesterday pulling weeds between the curb and the sidewalk. Yesterday evening I tackled much of the south side of the house. This morning I did the back yard and more along the side of the house. This evening I finished the south side and returned to the main front yard. Tumbleweeds have sprung up with an especial vengeance this year. Most of them were only half an inch to an inch high but they were uprooted one by one, ripped from the earth with my own hands.

The temperatures were hovering about 100 Fahrenheit and I do not want those who fear for my dehydration to fret. I, who normally never let water pass my lips, have consumed about four liters of it this weekend in addition to my usual wet chemical poison.

There are few muscles in my body who have not had something to say about all this.

But I have photos and the homeowners' association cannot say I did not clean up my weeds.

This weekend also involved visiting with friends on both days, preaching this morning, and catching a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream this afternoon. I am plum tuckered out.

--the BB