Sunday, June 24

* A handwritten letter* 

I broke my ankle 20 years ago this month, and only now have they come up with the technology to repair it permanently.  This came through the use of a cadaver tendon.  With the discharge paperwork, included was a card with brief information about the donor program and where it encouraged recipients to write a brief note to the family of the donor to let them know of our appreciation of their sacrifice during such a difficult time.  The first day that I was lucid, I sat down to write them my note.  I do not know their name, but my card included a coded sheet of paper that I could include with my letter so that it could reach the proper people.  I am a donor, and I would like to encourage each of you to consider what a blessing it can be for others if you choose to do the same.  Here is a copy of the letter that I wrote them after a prayerful desire to express my gratitude and experience to them gracefully. 

To my dear family~
I am only just recovering from my surgery that linked me to you forever and I have tried again and again to find the right words to express my gratitude properly, but as the "right" ones escape me, please accept my basic attempt.  I cannot imagine the circumstances you have gone through to bring you here, so I will share min.  It is one month shy of twenty years ago that I broke my ankle on a trampoline.  I ended up with a rather more significant tendon injury which I have gone through surgery to correct unsuccessfully.  As a result of this damage, I have lived with an unstable ankle which gives out roughly once every other week.  It has caused me to fall down flights of stairs repeated, sometimes holding children, sometimes causing concussions and so forth.  I have been scared of having problems during a pregnancy, and I am very careful when taking care of loved ones for fear of it giving out when they depend on my physical strength.  Ten years ago, when I first married, there was no real medical solution for me and so I mostly gave up tennis and other sports and learned to adapt my life for the most part.  This month, I went in to my doctor and was told of a new procedure which called for a transplant.  They tell me that now it will function as it once did thanks to your choice during such a dark time in you lives.  There is no way to express my gratitude, so I tried to offer this note and let you know that I am one of 9 children with 18 nieces and nephews thus far, and I shared with them how I was able to be healed and my choice to become a tissue donor as well as an organ donor, and I asked each of them to consider making the same choice.  I know that getting a new tendon may seem unimportant to most, but for myself, it will change how I get to live my life.  I wish there was more I could say.  I will pray for all of you for comfort and thank you for the legacy your loved one left behind. 

Most Sincerely~
                       Bethany M.

Tuesday, February 28

*Come ride with me*

Today I went out and after roughly 18 months of consideration, I bought myself a bike.  This morning, as I sat in my room doing my morning devotional, I realized today was the time to spend the rather considerable amount of money on a "toy" that I had not tried in about 20 years.  At roughly the age of 12, I went on a "death march" bike ride with my family in Dallas.  It was such a horrible experience bike riding in the Dallas heat on a junky bike, trying to keep up with others in the family, that I swore I would never do it again.  Well, I am a liar.

So this morning, I left the house with the intention of finding a bike to ride by the end of the day.  At the first shop, I walked in fully expecting to buy a fancy Electra cruiser bike with a darling basket, and a little bell.  So, the sales clerk walked up to me to greet me. So, I told him I wanted to buy a bike but didn't know what I should be looking for as I hadn't been on one since I was a child.  His advice: just pick out a pretty color.  Seriously?!? Needless to say, I was not going to drop that kind of cash at a place where they just didn't care to explain things like, gears matter, how it feels to sit in the seat, am I sitting erect, is it pushing me forward.... Anyhow.  Then I headed down the street to the next Bike shop, Taylor's Bike's in Provo, and tried again.  This time I discussed things like what kind of biking would I be doing, how did I want to be seated, how did I like the comfort? Anyhow, by the time they were done, the poor girl got a hug from me, who hates hugs! I could not have been more grateful for the family running that shop and treating me with respect and not shaming me for being a thick lady trying to go bike riding. 

I went straight home and literally prayed that the old adage is true, " it's like riding a bike..." well, luckily it is.  I was panicked at first at the idea of lifting my feet and figuring out how to get started, but that was sorted out soon enough and I headed out to explore the neighborhood I have lived in for the last 7 years.  How beautiful.  It was snowing, and cold, but a gorgeous day for a ride.  I went down a mile or so to the cemetery by my home, and determined that would be as good a place as any to try out the gears, breaking, and general biking skills.  It was so beautiful.  I am grateful for the time out of the house in the sun, and allowing for inspiration to come to me.  I was able to call my brother and have a sincere talk with him, and I was able to once again, feel like myself.  I was not hiding in my home, I was not ashamed.  I was free......

 A beautiful statue from around 1900.  I felt the familiar tingle I once enjoyed in cemeteries in Europe.

 This is the part of the cemetery called the Angel Garden.  It is the graves of the tiny children who lived only long enough to enter the world and be seen by their families, some lived a few weeks or months.  There were headstones with Birthday balloons and stuffed animals.  There was a headstone just past these for a young child that had a shepherds hook with a flashlight hanging on it for a child who was afraid of the dark. 

 My favorite headstone

This is about a block from my home. I had to loop back around when I saw this beautiful door with the wreath on the wood panel. I am thinking about asking them for it!  Perhaps, I will cut it down to a square of the woodwork section and hang it on a wall, or make it a side table.....

Home at last...I love this bike and the freedom of my days.

Saturday, February 18

*I heart organizing*

In the last week, I have immersed myself in every area of my closet/craft space I heard on an organizing podcast that I should organize top to bottom, left to right.  So, here is my spare rooms various walls.  Enjoy!

 Here I created a makeup vanity out of a tiny corner and added my ironing station and necklaces~
My first closet section has purses, scarves, accessories, glasses, drawers of sweaters by color, and my bathroom backstock supplies as my bathroom is very small in this house~

My second wall section is for my most often used craft supplies.  There are lots of cricut and cardmaking supplies sorted out and decanted as I found that when I had them out of sight, they rarely were used.  The pull out drawer is actually made for socks and ties, but I find it much more useful this way~

 My third wall section holds my bottoms by color with first pants, then skirts, and finally dresses.  I have seldom used supplies at the top (wrapping paper and summer workout tanks). Then next to that, here is my tops section and jackets on the bottom rack.  You can clearly see that I worked in clothing retail for ages as I am obsessed with having everything colorized and rotate it each season~ 

Finally, abutted against the tops section forming an L shape, I have my shoe wall. This works well for me because I cannot buy new shoes unless I get rid of an old pair as my space is limited to one floor to ceiling section~

Next up: MY KITCHEN!!!