Thread: Fields of Gold Board: Glory / Ship of Fools.

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Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
"I've never made promises lightly, and some there are I've broken.
But I swear to you in the days still left, we'll walk in fields of gold." (Sting)

I borrow these words to indicate to my dear shipmates that I want to be with them, laugh and cry with them in their joys and sorrows, tease them and be teased by them, challenge and be challenged by them, in all the time I have left.

So, with Motherboard's encouragement, I begin a new thread. It will be a sort of diary, a place to post my musings, and a place where I will try to answer any questions you may have about this time in my life.

Does anyone have any particular questions, or a desire to know about any particular area of my life at present?

God bless all my friends for their tenderness and prayers.

[ 11. May 2011, 16:10: Message edited by: Spike ]
Posted by Timothy L (# 2170) on :

I love you.

We all love you.

May the Risen Christ bring us all together on the Last Day.
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
No doubt about that.

In the meantime, what's a nice ECUSA girl from Missouri doing in Utah?

You may have missed some of the fast and furious postings on the LDS while you were off-line; I was alternately horrified and amused. But it did make me wonder more about you in that vast land (both area and population to a mere Antipodean); so, if you feel so inclined, a little about you.

(an endlessly curious)m.
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

I hope you are getting on well without your cats. I remember reading in the thread about your illness that you have a good view from your window. Can you get to see any birds or wildlife? i know you can feed the ducks and geese once you get into the park (if you have any bread). It's not the same as having pets around but I think it can help animal lovers to be able even to see birds or animals - and it's rather safer from an infection and potential-for-being tripped-up perspective if they're not in the house.

The other thing I wondered is, do you have anywhere outside where birdfood could be hung up that you could see? Just a thought

Love and God Bless

WD (Maria)
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
My 'particular question' is - did you get the cross-stitch picture and brooch I sent to the hospital?

The picture was a small pansy (for thoughts, of course!) and the brooch had an 'M' on it. I have to admit that I'd made the brooch previously, but thought that the 'M' would suit you and lead to lots of 'but I thought your name was Linda' conversations!

Thanks for all you have done to pull the inhabitants of this mighty Ship together. I've seen her grow vastly in size over the last couple of years, and this has proved to me that the 'community' aspect hasn't been swamped by the weight of numbers.
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
Molly , have you anything that you still pray to do or be?


( if you need help it may have to be a practical being or doing [Wink] )
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
Miss Molly, you have a lovely soft American accent.
One thing I forgot to ask you on the 'phone (Exeter meet): did you ever decide on a strapline - we all tried to invent one for you. Given the pivotal role you play on the Ship these days, may I suggest: Ship's Anchor
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
What interesting questions you pose, dear shipmates! Much more entertaining than the ones I have been answering lately....

Gill, I am disappointed to say your handiwork and brooch never came into my possession. Knowing you thought of me and intended them for me warms my heart as much as having them, however.

Welsh Dragon, I live on the third floor, with no window ledge so I cannot put out food for the birds. However, I sometimes am treated to the sight of them flying past.

I have had animal visitors, though, WD! When in the hospital, my friends brought the cat who is most attached to me, that dainty feline diva (she really does sing!), Mahalia. I should just point out that, technically, all cats belonged to the Hammargrens, but I loved them too, caring for them in their true owners' absence, helping with vet bills, etc. Mahalia apparently felt I was her person; she was much distressed when I disappeared. When she saw me in a hospital bed, with oxygen attached, in a place that smelled of disinfectant, she immediately knew this was the v-e-t-'s! She hid under the bed, in the motor housing, for the duration of the visit. Apparently, she ran away a couple of times, it is thought to look for me, so she was also brought to visit me in my new home. She inspected the whole place, rubbed her cheek on the jamb of my bedroom door, to mark her territory and lastly crawled under my duvet for a comforting nap surrounded by my aroma! Since she has seen me, she is calmer and happier, I am told.

St Sebastian was kind enough to bring his kitten, Rufus, to see me while I was in the motel. I was ill from the chemotherapy at the time, so this little furry charmer made a great difference in my mood. Thanks again, St Sebastian!

The lady across the hall owns a dachshund, named Duke. She came to see me last Thursday, Duke accompanying her. I must report that Duke was very interested in Freddy, but my fearless feline companion retained his sangfroid through two episodes of thorough olfactory investigation!

Pyx-e, do you remember the scene in Star Wars, in which Han Solo is piloting the Millenium Falcon through an asteroid belt to escape the minions of the Empire? Princess Leia asks him what he will do next; he replies, "I don't know sweetheart! I'm just making this up as I go along." I feel pretty much the same way, except I am trying to discover ways to do/be what God intends for me to do and be in the time I have left. I must admit, the desire to discover and the execution of, said design, is frequently feeble! Other than that, I had a vision many years ago that warned me I would die about now, so I really tried not to waste time or effort, but to do the best I could to live a meaningful life.

Chorister, I did apply for the title "toujours gai", but it has not been awarded yet. Those who were here when I came on board may remember this as part of my original signature, a quote from Don Marquis' immortal creation, the alleycat Mehitabel.

Multipara, I was born in Missouri and spent my childhood summers there, but I was raised just outside of Denver. Moreover, I was raised in a church that no longer exists--further information available on request---and converted to ECUSA 26 years ago, in my 26th year. Another long story, but a salient point is that I had read a novel as a girl which had an Episcopal priest as a character, and contained remarkable and elegant prayers, which seemed to me "meet, right and our bounden duty." I vowed someday I would belong to the church that had those prayers.

I went to college in Logan, at Utah State University, as a "university scholar". College would otherwise have been impossible for me. However, at the close of my first year, I was taking far too great an interest in the VietNam War, and almost no interest in scholarship, so that was the end of my academic career there. While there though, I met a man with whom I fell in love and remained in love for many years, although it was never possible for us to marry, as he is a homosexual. Nevertheless, when the position I had obtained with Union Pacific was abolished in Denver and I was told there "might be" work for me in Salt Lake City where he was living, I did not hesitate to pack my grip and move to be with him. I have been here ever since, almost 30 years, and we remain good friends, although he now lives in Texas.

Utah is an interesting place, indeed. St Sebastian brought me most of the Mormon thread. I was glad to see an LDS person posting. I hope Barmint is still reading the boards. I do not frequent the serious discussions (too much like work), so I do not know if he is still posting. I hope he is, though.
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
I'll just have to start work on another little piccy for you - now where did all my cat patterns get to?
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
Molly, God Bless for not being anywhere near having "if only.... " on your lips. Making it up as we go along is pretty cool also. Be assured of my prayers.

Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

Thank you for your reply. It sounds as though you have a lot of animal friends still!

I wondered if you would be interested in having a bird window feeder that would attach straight onto the window, that way you wouldn't need a ledge. You probably do have a lot of birds going past if you are near a park. It might be that you would need some help setting it up, it might be that the birds would make a mess (and I guess we'd have to be sure they weren't too unhygienic even outside a window) and it might be that the idea doesn't appeal so I would like to check with you first, but I would be very happy to arrange for them to send you one, maybe a simple one like the cafe [Wink] or the banquet for example if you think you would like that.

I have limited experience of this sort of thing but I understand that having wrens and robins hopping through one's window boxes, for example, can help quite a lot with feline deprivation symptoms!

(I have no personal financial interest in the above company! it's just for illustration...does anyone have any experience on using this sort of thing or any better suggestions on what would be a good one to get if that's what Molly would like?)

By the way I really like Fields of Gold too. I first heard it on a compilation and was very struck by the words. It seemed so different in quality to the other songs. It's a very beautiful love song isn't it? And a lovely image of walking in golden ripe fields. I notice that your signature mentions raising corn in Missouri - do Fields of Gold make you think of images from your childhood? Can you tell us a bit more about why it's so special(I know you can't always explain these things, but I'm sure we'd love to know, in case you have already explained this at length some place else [Embarrassed] !)

love & best wishes

Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
I enjoyed your responses so much, dear friends.

Welsh Dragon, it is lovely of you to think of a bird feeder, but I don't think it would be practical. Next door to me lives a cat, Kissy by name, who sits on the inside window ledge a great deal. I believe she would be too excited if many birds were to fly in to a bird feeder. Furthermore, and I hope you will not mind my being honest about this, but I fear I would find the necessary maintenance of the bird buffet "one more thing to worry about". I have very limited energy; I can make shift to do my housework and very basic cooking, but more is beyond me. Please know that contact with you all provides me with interest and pleasure more than whole flocks of birds.

In my mind's eye, I actually see wheat fields when I listen to Sting's song. It became meaningful to me when I was engaged. The engagement ended, but the sentiment of the quoted stanzas expressed my feelings for the ship.

We did indeed raise corn on my grandfather's farm in southeastern Missouri, also wonderful tomatoes, muskmelons, various kinds of tree fruit, and two kinds of grape vines. The farm had belonged to bootleggers during the 1930's and they had planted the apricot and other trees to provide them with the makings of brandies! Their efforts meant we made wonderful jams and jellies each year; we also had a large blackberry patch, with luscious fruit for pies and dumplings, as well as jam.

There was a raised pond as well, stocked with bass and rimmed with floribunda roses. We went fishing every year. The pond also provided the water for flushing the toilet, washing clothes and watering the lawn.

Thank you for making me think again of such a magical place.
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
'Morning Miss Molly!

You are a great one for a cliffhanger....what was your childhood church which no longer exists? Did it disappear altogether or was it absorbed into another (as all Methodists, the more liberal Presbyterians and most of the Congregationalists were in Australia about 25 years ago-and now known as the Uniting Church in Australia).

Thank you for your communication and looking forward to more. Second question-how did you come to the ECUSA?

Your mention of the Vietnam war stirred up some memories for me (we are contemporaries); it reminded me in particular of the Berrigan brothers (for those of you who do not recall, they were RC priests who were very involved in the anti-war movement in the USA in the late 60's-early 70's.) Do any of you 45 plus-ers remember? They were extraordinary days.


Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
Chorister, I did apply for the title "toujours gai"...
Apologies for the inefficiency... let me know if I got the proper punctuation/capitalization/etc.
Posted by Timothy L (# 2170) on :
wotthehell Erin, better than no sig.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Mme Erin, thank you so much for your assistance! The strap line is perfect as it stands. You were NOT inefficient, just very busy I am sure.

Multipara, I was "born in the covenant", that is born into the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This church was split irreparably by conflict between those who believed women should be ordained and communion should be open to all Christians, and those who did not.

The first group are now known as the Community of Christ. They have as a principal objective the promotion of peace in the world. Their headquarters is in Independence, Missouri. Incidentally, my sister is a pastor in this faith group, and her husband is a sort of archdeacon for a six state area in the Northeast.

The second group is actually many groups. The last time I counted, there were thirteen of varying sizes. Two of the better known ones are the Restoration Branches I mentioned, and the Church of the Lamb of God. These continue to adhere to what they term "restoration distinctives", for example, that the Book of Mormon is scripture, not an historical document as the Community of Christ says, and that the world was left in error after the apostasy of the church, walking in darkness with occasional nightlights in the form of people like Luther, until the church was restored in 1830, by revelations and heavenly ordination of Joseph
Smith, Jr. and his friend, Oliver Cowdery. These churches are in no way connected to the Latter Day Saint Church, headquartered in Salt Lake City.

Incidentally, my father is an elder in the Restoration Branches movement. This has occasionally made for tense moments in our family life. I think, on the Last Day, he plans to have both my sister and me declared insane and so not responsible for our religious errors!

As I mentioned, I read a novel containing some prayers. I knew no Episcopalians and had no way to further investigate. However, when I slipped the leash and arrived at college, a dorm mate asked if I would like to go to church with her. She was planning to attend St John's Episcopal Church. Delightedly, I went to church with her, and fell more and more in love with ECUSAn polity and practice.

There was one more hurdle, however. During Lent, St John's held services on Sundays and Wednesdays. St Jerome's, the local Roman Catholic church, celebrated the Eucharist every day. Besides this, I was coming from a church which was very much "the one true church". I was drawn to another "one true church". Finally, the man I loved was a Roman Catholic. So, I was conditionally baptized into that family of faith in July of 1970. Incidentally, at that time, the rite included exorcism. My friend has since remarked he doubts the ceremony was completely efficacious.

By temperament, I was not suited to that church, however. I spent a few years drifting. Then one day, after a particularly worrying session with my counsellor, discussing what further measures we might try to get me past some pretty crippling problems, I passed St Mark's Cathedral. I noticed a service board promising a Eucharist in an hour or so. I felt impelled to attend, then immediately said to myself, "no the roof will fall in!" Very clearly then, I had the thought, "if you don't go, you are resisting Grace".

I duly appeared at the Eucharist. The sermon topic was spiritual healing! I observed where the celebrant went after the service and there lay in wait until he emerged. The rest, as they say, is history....

PS Multipara, cliffhangers are time-honored plot devices, designed to ensure a continuing audience. [Wink]
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

I do understand about the bird table being impractical. I did wonder actually how you are managing for shopping and so on – can you get stores to deliver? Are you using the internet to order? I guess you are likely to be much better geared up for all that in the states than in the UK.

But I thought your childhood memories sounded idyllic [Angel] . Though it can be hard work on a farm – did they have animals as well as arable– it’s often all hands on deck isn’t it? My mum was brought up on a farm and used to dispatch me back home to the grandparents for the holidays –tho not to the farm– for the fresh country air. It brings you so close to that part of your roots, getting to know both the grandparents and the place that (possibly homesick) parent came from.

Fascinated to hear about your religious backgound. I’ve never met (or corresponded) with anyone who’s been exorcised before (or who I less imagine needed it [Smile] ). And I am intrigued about the next instalment….

Love and God Bless WD
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Thank you Welsh Dragon, for your continuing concern. I have a nurse friend who has appointed herself to private duty with me. She calls every day to see what I need and brings it to me, whether groceries, household supplies or personal items! So I have plenty of healthy, tasty things to eat, and even some tasty but unhealthy things ;-) Also, Saint Sebastian, when not accusing me of ingesting felines, has been known to bring me milkshakes and hamburgers. Last week, he brought me what is known locally as a Crown burger: it is a quarter pound of hamburger, dressing, onion, lettuce, and cheese topped with a big helping of pastrami!

My grandparents farm was a weekend proposition until they retired. They lived in a small, shabby apartment in a not-too-good area of Saint Louis for many years while making payments on the farm. They would go down on weekends to work on their huge garden. In the summer my grandmother would stay on the farm during canning season, with my grandfather coming down on weekends. We mostly visited during canning season, so I was there as unskilled labor and an enthusiastic taster of all the bounty.

My grandfather had grown up on a ranch outside of San Antonio, Texas, and retained a longing for country life. He succeeded in paying off the farm and retiring to it, but was not able to enjoy it long, as he developed health problems. He and my grandmother moved to Georgia, to be near my uncle. The farm was sold to provide for their continuing needs. We all grieved when it was sold, but memories cannot be sold. We remember our times there, and talk about the countryside, the neighbors, and our happy days four miles from the Mississippi River (you could hear boat horns), and ninety miles south of Saint Louis.

Today I went to the doctor, expecting to start my third round of chemotherapy. However, my red blood cells, which had been making a slow but steady climb out of the basement, had lost a little ground, my immune system also showed signs of some weakening, and I had lost another five pounds in the last three weeks. Another worry is occasional blood in my urine. So Dr Reilly ordered an injection of epoetin alpha for me, and postponed the chemotherapy. This drug stimulates red blood cell production. He also ordered urinalysis to see if I have a urinary tract infection, or if, as is possible, I now have cancer in my kidneys. I should know tomorrow what the results of the urine test are. I will be seeing the doctor again next Wednesday, having my blood drawn to see where I stand at that point and receiving another injection of epoetin alpha.

The good news is that the doctor revealed to me today, in the course of discussion of my wishes concerning end-of-life treatment, that "based on how you were in the hospital, I did not expect you to live so long." My tumors are stable; they have not grown since three weeks ago. I remarked to him that I am very strong physically; eventually the cancer will kill me, but it will be a fight because the rest of me is so strong. He said "you have a strong body and a strong will."

There has been considerable research done in the past few years on the health value of friendship. The research has shown that strong social ties enable people to resist life-threatening illnesses, reduces stress in life, and even causes people to have fewer colds. A couple of studies have shown that having no friends can be more dangerous than smoking. One researcher has been quoted as saying, "one of the worst things you can do to someone is to isolate him."

The way you have all rallied around me, supporting me by email, cards, gifts, phone calls, chats on messenger and in the cafe is like being held in loving arms. I am grateful and I know part of the reason I am still alive is because of your love.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
I just want to mention that Saint Sebastian also is my chauffeur to the doctor, which is most generous of him since he has to make up the time lost at work.
Posted by Clíona (# 2035) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
Your description of your grandparents' farm sounds really idyllic. It reminds me very much of lots of lovely children's stories I loved to read...or still do read [Big Grin] It also reminded me a bit of a book I read recently, by an author you recommended. I was desperately looking for a book to bring on holidays with me and hadn't found one by the time I got to the airport, and lo and behold, there was "Lake Wobegon 1956." I thoroughly enjoyed it, despite all the baseball.

So, is there any place you would like to visit in the world that you haven't been to?
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Dear Molly,

All your talk of food has made me quite hungry! - I adore pastrami on rye, as does my Dad.
It is good to 'hear' you being so strong and positive - you are a true inspiration!
I thought I'd let you know that my tomatoes are ripening very fast now - I ate one this morning and thought of you [Wink] .

Take care sweet Molly - I await the next installment! xxx
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:
In the summer my grandmother would stay on the farm during canning season, with my grandfather coming down on weekends. We mostly visited during canning season, so I was there as unskilled labor and an enthusiastic taster of all the bounty.

Miss Molly,
Are you talking about "home canning?" I have heard of folks doing this and always wondered how they got the cans sealed. I've worked in a cannery (I come from a fertile strath in Scotland), mainly with peas, raspberries and strawberries, and managed the huge clincher and sealer machinery, but there's no way that sort of stuff could be domesticated.

So how did you do it?

And yes, I also enjoyed the sweet taste of the produce till I got fed up of it!
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Hello again, dear shipmates!

Cliona, mo stor geal, I would have liked to see Westminster Abbey, with all the tombs of famous people, and all the historical associations. I would also have liked to see Paris, its old churches and Pere La Chaise cemetery. I confess all my life I have been a graveyard fan, forcing my family to take sidetrips so I could check out the tombstones. When my brother went to Argentina on business, he found time to visit a very famous cemetery in Buenos Aires and take pictures. He knew no other souvenir would please me so well. I imagine the people who asked him why he was doing this and were told "it is for my sister", must have chalked it up to the well-known eccentricities of los Americanos.

I hasten to make it known my predilection for the cities of silence is not due to any ghoulishness. I am interested in cemeteries from a historical and philosophical point of view, as mute testimonies to disease, famine, accidents, war, changing notions of what constitutes one's family, changing levels of mobility, and ethnic majorities in an area altering through time, and as witnesses to the truth that "as I am now, so you shall be. Prepare to die and follow me."

DaisyMay, I suppose what we call canning in rural America, you would call bottling. We sterilized glass jars, poured the fruit, vegetables, or even meat into them, put on lids with rubber gaskets?, secured with screw-on rings, and placed the jars in a pressure cooker. When the jars had been pressurized enough, the lids were on tight, and the food would last for as much as a year. To this day, my sister, who lives on a farm in Maine, "cans" chicken, vegetables, and fruit each summer. Of course, she also has a large freezer full of beef and pork they have raised, as well as berries and other foodstuffs, but she finds the bottled items easy and convenient, when, as often happens, she has unexpected company.
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
Hello again, Miss Molly and thank you for explaining your childhood church. For this congenital RC, it is always fascinating to hear about and then reflect on the spiritual journey of someone else. The rite of exorcism....I recall being mildly put out when my eldest was baptised in 1977 and the devil wasn't driven out!

There are still lots of enthusiastic bottlers of fruit in Oz; even in the city. My mother-in-law is a dab hand at same. The agricultural shows (especially the Sydney Royal Easter Show, which is the grand-daddy of all of them) always have amazing displays of bottled fruit and veg, often multiple fruits in a jar very artistically arranged-the competition for Best Bottle is fierce!

I am hoping for good news on the pathology front , that your blood count is back up and that you can go ahead with your next cycle of chemo as planned. I hope it has not made you feel too sick, so far.

Still thinking back to the 70's and the anti-war movement; what was happening in Utah in those days?

What was your favourite music at that time?

Waiting for the next instalment,

Posted by Ham'n'Eggs (# 629) on :
Dearest Miss Molly,

What did you study at college, and did you subsequently lose interest in it?

How broad is your taste in reading? Your grasp of general knowledge seems quite formidable - to what sources do you attribute your informal education?

What single piece of advice would you give to someone starting out on their adult life?

And where did your penchant for whalebone arise?

Your friend,

Posted by Equinas (# 2907) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

This thread is wonderful, so glad you're doing it. Glad, too, to know there's another graveyard fan, makes me feel a bit less eccentric! I like them for many of the same reasons, but mostly a sense of history and wondering about their lives, especially seeing multiple graves of infants and young children in a family plot and acknowleging their long ago grief. Like in battlefields and places of great loss, time seems blurred and we're connected to those moments and lives, almost as though the place itself holds the memories. Rather fey for a hard-headed Calvinist, eh?

But back to the thread. Reading your history, thoughts, daily life, seems to be like watching a photo develop, the details continuing to clarify a remarkable image. Thank you.
Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
Molly it is a wonderful thread!
LOVE hugs and prayers
sophs:) [Sunny]
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Posted 20. September 2002 01:39                       
Miss Molly said,
"DaisyMay, I suppose what we call canning in rural America, you would call bottling. We sterilized glass jars, poured the fruit, vegetables, or even meat into them, put on lids with rubber gaskets?, secured with screw-on rings, and placed the jars in a pressure cooker. When the jars had been pressurized enough, the lids were on tight, and the food would last for as much as a year."

Well now, Miss Molly,
We used to do the same. Large glass jars, full of beetroot, rhubarb, plums, raspberries. But we put them in the centre of the oven for a long while. Then they had to have an extra turn of the lid to ensure the seal. Never meat, though. The fruit was delicious, not over sweet, still a tongue-stimulating tartness.

Are they called Kilner Jars or something similar?

I now have to revise all my fantasies of Americans with their little home canneries! I've puzzled for years over that. Thanks for enlightening me. [Sunny]
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
DaisyMay, I suppose what we call canning in rural America, you would call bottling. We sterilized glass jars, poured the fruit, vegetables, or even meat into them, put on lids with rubber gaskets?, secured with screw-on rings, and placed the jars in a pressure cooker. When the jars had been pressurized enough, the lids were on tight, and the food would last for as much as a year.
I used to can fruits and tomatoes in a boiling-water bath. You put the hot fruit into a hot jar(I used my dishwasher to heat the jars), put the lid on the jar, and process it in a pot full of boiling water. The water has to cover the jars by at least two inches. This processing drives all the air out of the jar. When you take the jar out of the boiling water, a vacuum is formed as it cools, and the lid seals itself with a clicking noise.

I used to make homemade applesauce. I went to a nearby apple orchard and picked up drops. The best applesauce is made with three kinds of apples. One day I went and picked up three half-bushels of drops. The next day I made and canned 46 pints of applesauce. It was very good. I wish I had some now.

Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

I think we will have to compile a Miss Molly cookbook, or at least a guide to canning fruit in your honour!

I am so glad that you have been confounding the doctors and hope and pray that the new tests will come back in the way you and the medics would most like them [Smile] .

I had this image - in the bath - a very good place for visualizing images - of all the messages from the Ship of Fools bobbing up and down outside your window waving at you in as much of a friendly shipmatelike [Yipee] sort of way as is possible in mid air. The chorister looked very sedate [Angel] and the pyx_e [Big Grin] took to the air like a natural but the dragon [Help] hit its head against the window pane, singed the frame and alarmed the cat in the window next door before sinking to the ground in an ungainly sort of way. (The dragon apologises for any distress its images might have caused). And waits with bated breath - which may be a relief to next door's cat [Wink] - for the next instalment and some answers to all these intriguing questions. Especially about what happened next in your cliffhanger of a spiritual journey... and the books that you most love...
Posted by Motherboard (# 54) on :
All this talk about canning is getting me hungry. I haven't done much canning lately, but I do dehydrate apples, which get eaten as soon as I do it and Virginia apples are just THE BEST!

Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
i've helped my aunt do canning sometimes. not as often as i'd like. miss molly, did you ever make watermelon pickles? my aunt makes the greatest watermelon pickles. but she hasn't in years.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
An amazing thing happened! Gill H's longlost brooch and pansy picture, both in beautiful counted cross-stitch have arrived. Thank you so much Gill.

Perhaps they went to Papua New Guinea first as well. Christine from Canberra's nice card did. And the Irish Music Mail must have stopped for a seisiun in several places enroute. Your tape of Granuaile is finally here, Cliona. Thanks so much, my dear shipmates. I really am the most spoiled woman alive.

Multipara, I liked Bob Dylan's album which included "Lay, Lady, Lay". I could not buy albums myself at the time, so I don't know the album name. I also liked the song "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" by Simon and Garfunkel. And I learned a song that I later found out was one of Peter, Paul and Mary's, called "You'll Know Me By No Other Name."

Utah is a conservative state, and was even more so in 1970, the year I decided the Cambodian Incursion was wicked. The students who were protesting the war in Logan (one of the most conservative towns in Utah---sort of the buckle on the Book of Mormon belt) met on the Quad, a grassy square in the middle of campus. There they pitched a tent, sang songs, argued with passers-by, and in my case brought a rosary to pray against the war. Trucks of gawkers would drive around and around the square, taunting us, and on one memorable nocturnal occasion, throwing a "cherry bomb" at us. I missed all the excitement as I was availing myself of the facilities of Old Main, the administration building, which was kindly left open for those of us to shy to find bushes! No one was hurt; and after a final parade down Main Street, the protest was at an end.

Ham 'n' Eggs, I studied several subjects as an undergraduate. My parents wanted me to be a librarian, as this would be a good occupation for a plain and bookish girl. (Indeed, my mother, who realized she had raised an old maid, remarked to me that I must have a college degree. "If you were going to get married it would be different...")

I chose to study elementary education, as I am a teachery sort of person, though not at my best with children. When I lost my scholarship, I went to work for the phone company and later for the Union Pacific Railroad.

While working at the Railroad (all the live-long day!), I underwent academic probation at another institute of higher learning, known as Metropolitan State College. This school was located in various shabby buildings all over downtown Denver, and not the most salubrious part. Indeed, I took an evening class, and while waiting for the bus home, had ample opportunities to study the local practitioners of the sporting life! At this college, since I already had a job which paid well, I studied history.

When I moved to Utah to work, I went about 6 years without cracking a book. Eventually I was lured back to school as an undergraduate in family and consumer studies. This was with a view to an eventual master's degree in social work, as my therapist had told me I would make a "crackerjack" social worker! I really don't remember at this remove in time why I didn't go through with it. I think it may have had to do with having a job which paid better than I could expect to earn as a social worker.

I also studied Latin (an accelerated course concentrating on the Aeneid) and Modern Israeli Hebrew. I was accounted the best student Latinist and was offered a departmental scholarship in Hebrew. (This is long ago, when I had a brain; I have forgotten absolutely everything now.) I turned down the scholarship on the grounds I could well afford to pay for my coursework. Scheduling problems and departmental politics caused me to leave this course of study.

Patience, however! I did finally finish something. When the Union Pacific Railroad decided to abolish my job once again, I had been on board long enough to be a protected employee. This meant they had to find me a job, though not necessarily one I would like, or in Utah. The alternative was for them to "buy my seniority". In exchange for giving up all future claims, I would receive a lump sum equivalent to approximately a year's salary.

I took the money and went to nursing school. In 1987 I was a licensed practical nurse, and in 1988 a registered nurse. I have never regretted this decision. It turned out to be the place that called for my love and my utmost effort. It was also the place where my natural bossy bootness was an advantage! :-) Oddly enough, I never was one of the little girls that bandage their dollies, and never was a candy striper (junior volunteer in a hospital). When I left the railroad, I needed something that was worthwhile, that was a secure occupation, and that I could finance with my limited resources. Nursing turned out to meet all the criteria, so a nurse I became. Again I am glad I did.

In answer to your next question, dear porcine shipmate, I suppose I have always read widely. I especially enjoy history and "popular" science that deals with people, not atoms or machines. When I went into the hospital I was reading a book concerning the 1918 flu epidemic. It was not written as a science journal article, but was written accurately and non-sensationally.

As a child, I remember choosing two books from the school library: Elizabeth Enters, concerning the childhood of HM your Queen, and Follow the Reindeer, an account of life among the nomadic peoples of the far north of Sweden, Norway and Finland. I avoid giving them a name, as I don't remember at this moment what their preferred appellation is, but I believe what the book called them is considered an insult. These books were the first in the two broad streams of my interest: history and how ordinary people live and die.

Advice to a young person? Remember you must die. Also, chagrin lasts the rest of your life.

The whalebone is just a feature of my screen persona. I have never worn anything personally confining since my days at the phone company when female employees had to wear girdles! Incidentally, our nether regions were not the only controlled thing about us. Operators were only allowed to respond to the public in a few memorized phrases, no individuality allowed, and no latitude for improvisation in an uncommon situation. I have worn trousers and lace-up shoes ever since, and spoken my mind all too often as well.

The last question I remember came from Chorister, I think. No, we did not make watermelon pickles, although I have heard they are very tasty. We made dill pickles and bread and butter pickles, which are a milder variety, on the sweet side.

Thank you dear shipmates, for this invitation to think about my life. So many memories come back. Please know, though, that you are making wonderful memories for me now.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
I am sorry, Daisy May and Welsh Dragon! I rambled on and lost the thread of your comments. Daisy May, the jars were called Mason jars here. Welsh Dragon, if your post will come to my door, I will let it in! I don't want such a dear creature hurt. Indeed, all of you--just press my code on the security panel, and I will let you in.
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
Miss Molly, your employer made all you ladies wear girdles!!!????? There weren't girdle spot checks, were there?


Thank you for that, you anticipated my next question which was how you got into nursing. What has been your specialty in that field ?

(still ungirdled, though probably should be)m
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear mother of several children, they did not need to conduct underpinnings spot checks. These were the days before aerobics, stairsteppers, and weight training for women. In walking away from any supervisor, an operator showed whether she was following the rules or not!

The first three years of my career, I was a nurse on a medicine floor. This was an excellent training ground, in terms of seeing a wide range of conditions, learning to manage one's time, and coming to terms with bodily decline and eventual death. We cared for patients with GI bleeds, liver failure, congestive heart failure, lung cancer, pneumonia, severe asthma, blood clots, stroke, HIV, etc. Our patients were weak and most required total care. Quite often, we would see a patient on several admissions, each time edging closer to eventual death.

I next became a nurse on a surgical floor dedicated to orthopedic, gastrointestinal, and non-cancerous gynecological patients. We cared for patients after all manner of joint replacement and back surgeries, ileoanal pull-throughs for the relief of colitis, and hysterectomies and bladder suspension. This was at the University of Utah's Medical Center, a regional referral center and trauma center recognized for the excellence of its orhopedic care. I worked there for 10 years, until I needed to give my own left knee a rest.

I next worked as a night supervisor at St Joseph's Villa, a nursing home. This institution is sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, based in Texas. Several Sisters are assigned to the Villa, providing spiritual care and a very special, caring atmosphere.

My last few months as a nurse were spent working for a staffing agency. I was intending to move to Colorado to look after my parents, and wanted the additional money and freedom to "pick up and go". I was chiefly assigned to fill in for a night nurse on the rehabilitation unit at University Hospital. Naturally, this was a very comfortable posting, and the unit was glad to have a nurse who could "hit the ground running".

I am glad to report that it turns out I do indeed have a urinary tract infection, not cancer in my kidneys, as was possible. I probably picked up the infection when I had a catheter placed in the hospital, and was too generally miserable to notice it until it got a deep hold. I am on an antibiotic now, and the symptoms are diminishing.

A curious feature is, while I thought the blood in my urine was another feature of my cancer, I didn't really feel (or allow myself to feel may be more accurate), the malaise and discomfort. Once I knew it was an infection, all of a sudden I was miserable! I am gradually feeling better, though, with four more days of nitrofurantoin to go.
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

It's very good news that the explanation for your symptoms is the less serious one, though I am so sorry that you've been feeling poorly with it and hope that the antibiotics will continue to do their good job at making you feel better [Smile] .

I have been confusing myself a little musically and theologically. I'm very fond of Wesleyan hymns (it was nice hymns but shame about the preacher's church politics today [Devil] !) but also like choral music (am hoping to go listen to some with Rowan later in the week as she is in Oxford [Happy] ). I wondered what sort of hymns / music / masses / chants you most like and is it a mixture having had an interesting spiritual journey.

Oh and it is so nice to hear your voice in print again now that the server's back up [Yipee] !

love and God Bless

Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
How wonderful to see you online! I'm excited to get to talk with you and be touched by you. A nurse, wow. I've heard the hardest patients are nurses! My best friend is a maternity nurse, and my daughter is an EMT at the Elmendorf Air Force Base Hospital in Anchorage Alaska. I feel so safe when I get to be around her! I too love cemetaries and a standard joke around our house is that no vacation is complete without going to one! When my father died my mother had their tombstone engraved of a pair of characters that he created, Mudd, an enchanted unicorn that fell from the rainbow one day and as it faded, he couldn't get back on. He fell into the garden of Violett, and she is taking care of him until the rainbow reappears. The sketch shows Mudd and Violett (really an AKA for my Mom and Dad) hand in hand along the beach (they used to live just a block and a half from the beach in Monterey, CA.). They together made an incredible legacy. Mom wrote the story, Dad did the pictures. Every Christmas card had Mudd and Violett in a new setting with a poem or story for the year (about 16 years worth). My daughter got a special picture every year for her birthday. Mudd and Violett celebrated all the great moments of her life, and when my Dad died, my Mom completed the collection with a picture of him drawing.
I hope that you have had a legacy to belong to, and it's never too late to start one. Remembering the legacy that you've been a part of too, is worth recording and passing on. I've loved hearing about your many lives (I don't think that you've had nine yet though!) is wonderful. Did you spend summers with grandparents? I did too. Mine were in Lakeview, Oregon and yes, I helped can, but mostly I loved being out in the mountains, on a horse that my grandfather had for me to ride when I was with them. I would hike up on the hill behind their house and there was this cliff like promontory that my grandmother always told us not to sit on, but we did anyways! We would throw off pieces of shale and name them with all our unhappy thoughts and watch them sail away and burst on the pile below! It was great therapy! I hope to hear from you, and hear more about you. Take care, Lady A
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
internet cafe, oxford...
Oh my dear- how lovely to talk on the phone to you last week, and I look forward to doing it again when I arrive on your continent next month... you are in my prayers, and need to know that I keep lighting candles for you in exquisite cathedrals....
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Good morning to all my UK friends, warm thoughts to my sleeping friends in various parts of Canada and the United States, and pompom cheerleading to the Australians who are in the midst of another day Down Under.

Welsh Dragon, I love the novels of Elizabeth Goudge, particularly The Dean's Watch, the White Witch and Green Dolphin Street. Her unassuming characters living lives of quiet faith, and her joy in the beauty of the created world have always refreshed me.

A more recent book that has given me great pleasure is Little Saint. This book, which was its author's only book before dying, concerns St Foy of Conques. It is an affectionate look at the remarkable characters living in this little town, a retelling of legends concerning the saint, and a revealing of the author's encounter with holy mystery.

I love Barbara Pym and Angela Thirkell for barbed humor, and sly observation of England between the wars.

I always count on Terry Pratchett for an enjoyable if dizzying escape from Utah. I am a distance learner at Unseen University!

I commend to you Kristin Lavransdatter, a novel by Sigrid Undset. It is in three volumes and traces the life of a medieval Norwegian woman. Unlike so many "historical novels", the character's thoughts, ambitions and feelings are in accord with her era. The novel is meticulously accurate in terms of the features of daily life as well.

These qualities are shared by Patrick O'Brian's enthralling Aubrey/Maturin series, concerning the loves, adventures, and maturing in joy and sorrow of two friends: a Royal Navy frigate captain and his ship's surgeon, who also is an intelligence agent. The pair live during the Napoleonic Wars.
O'Brian relies heavily on actual naval accounts of the time in framing his tales, which are engrossing and exciting. Setting sail on the Surprise or any other of Jack Aubrey's commands is a sure way to escape life's doldrums!

As far as music goes, I am an Episcopalian but I am afraid my vocal chords are Baptist/Disciples of Christ. In trouble or in joy, I turn to the old warhorses of religious music, singing songs about "When we all get to heaven", "A Volunteer for Jesus", "The Uncloudy Day", "The Old Account was settled", "To Canaan's Land I'm on my way", "When I wake up to sleep no more", and how "I love to tell the story"!

There are hymns in my own church's hymnal I quite like though, special favorites being "Come Away to the Skies" and "Come thou Fount of every blessing", which we obtained from the Southern Harmony. In the old hymnal were songs I was sorry to see deleted from the more modern offering. "The Son of God rides forth to war", sung to the tune of "The Minstrel Boy", and the medieval hymn beginning "Brief life is here our portion. Brief sorrow, shortlived care! The life that has no ending, the tearless life is there. Oh, happy retribution: brief toil, eternal rest. For mortals and for sinners, a mansion with the blest.", inspired me before I was diagnosed with my disease, and continue in my mind.

Lady A, your father and mother were very special indeed. Thank you so much for sharing their story with us. I am really looking forward to meeting Mudd and Violet!

The annual cards with story or poem enclosed remind me of my own mother's efforts towards Christmastime during my nephew and niece's childhoods. She invented a leprechaun named Clancey, who was one of Santa's helpers. He would write the children and send them small presents. Mother took care to disguise her handwriting and arrange for the letters and presents to be delivered in secret, not via the mail. Rob and Jennie still remember Clancey from their lofty adult ages of 25 and 22 respectively.

Incidentally, I just received a lovely photo frame from their mother, my sister-in-law. It is one of those that holds a number of pictures. She went through her albums and copied pictures of me holding them as babies and small children, proudly standing beside them when a bit older, and basking in their good looks when grown!

I rejoice to say that I was raised with a legacy. The chief features of it were faith, music, and story-telling.

We were brought up by parents who prayed and taught us to pray, who valued the Bible, took us to church, by word and example showed they believed God was present in our lives, and that all our actions were to be measured against His standards. They believed His guidance was available in daily life, and encouraged us to seek it. Each of my parents has received this guidance, sometimes in very direct ways.

I never remember our house without music. My father, when younger, could play many instruments by ear. He was especially a guitarist, but was also a good fiddler. His grandfather, who lived long enough for me to know, had been a champion fiddler in his day. We sang Depression-era country songs, old hymns, and one song I have never heard anywhere else, concerning the marital and parental adventures of a barefoot boy with boots on! We sang at home, while travelling, and when visiting relatives. On the farm, we all looked forward to the cooling of the evening. We would sit on the front porch and sing for hours. My father's half-sister, who married my mother's father and raised my mother, had an especially sweet voice.

I was raised among great story-tellers as well. The chief interest and avocation of all my relatives was talking. The thing they loved best was turning the daily round into a chapter of the saga we were all living. They also loved a pungent turn of phrase, a memorable proverb, or a story with a sharp point. My father's father was the author of some specially memorable ones. A favorite was "A wise man don't need advice and a fool won't take it."

And now that I have shown I was really "vaccinated with a phonograph needle", I will sign off! My best love to you all.
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

Thank you for the last instalment which was so finely evocative of the atmosphere of your childhood. I think it is such a wonderful thing to have had love and security as a child, it is like a great invisible bank of faith in life to have with you always.

I'm sure lots of us will be thinking of you and praying with/for you I'm sure, as the days roll by before your next hospital appointment and set of blood tests/possible chemotherapy. And I do hope that you are feeling better after that last infection.

It was fascinating to see your list of favourite books. Terry Pratchett I have read I think in entirety (and I'm not ashamed of it [Smile] ) but many of the others I haven't come across - it's always very exciting to have ideas for new books to read - the Undset sounds particularly interesting. And also I would very much like to hear some of the hymns you've mentioned that haven't been central to the particular traditions I've been exposed to - I am going to have to find out more about the Southern Harmony I see...

Also, I'd love to ask you a little bit more about your family - I think from what you've said I make out that you must have at least one brother and one sister - do you have any more? And were you the baby of the family? Or did you take care of the others? I can imagine you taking a turn at putting the "daily round" into a story chapter [Wink] ...

love [Heart] and God Bless

Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Ah, yes, I can hear the storyteller in your posts! I do hope that someone is copying this all down to keep for you and yours. What an enriching way to grow. Are you keeping these for your family to read? I know that if I were your family, I would be so honored by your memories. Did you ever play an instrument? or just sing along? Did you ever sing as a nurse quietly to your patients as they sleep? How did your faith impact your work life? I pray for you.
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
Hello Miss Molly,

Just to let you know I am following the thread, with interest and affection.

You and your cliffhangers....


Posted by Motherboard (# 54) on :

All I can ask is, when do you get all this time to read? [Eek!] I seem to never have the time! [Frown]

Did you get my message last night?

[Sunny] Mother
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Welsh Dragon, you are a clever reader. I do indeed have one brother and one sister. I am oldest. My brother, a petroleum engineer, married to the estimable Sue Ann, and father of the recently married electrical engineer Rob and the brilliant young artist Jennie, just turned 50 this summer. My sister, of ministerial, farming and Civil Air Patrol talents, married to Arthur Emerson and stepmother of two grown sons, one an executive for Mercedes Benz and one a tech support angel for a computer outfit, will be 46 this December. She was born on the first and I on the last day of December, an early 6th birthday for me.

We have had our share of squabbles, even serious ones down the years. My sister and I had actually been having a cool period in our relationship, due to vastly differing temperaments, and an episode in my life which hurt her and my parents and which I was not able to explain, when I was diagnosed with my ailment. We never stopped loving each other; we just did not seem to be able to connect warmly.
On hearing of my trouble, she immediately made plans to come and help me. Her husband, who needs her on the farm, said he would manage without her---she must go to me. Her two sons pledged support in money (the older son) and in taking her place in caring for the animals (the younger son). While here, she aided me in all my travails with officialdom. She even entertained the hope that she might be able to save my life by giving me a lung, altough she is severely asthmatic and certainly needs both of hers!

My brother, being an engineer, is more careful in his actions, but his support is there for me, too. A man of science, he is finding it especially hard to envision me dying of an entity to which they can put no certain name. It is a cancer, and it will certainly kill me, but it cannot be identified as any known kind. He wishes it was a known quantity so that perhaps there might be really effective treatment. My sister-in-law sent me a wonderful present yesterday: banana nut bread and a photo frame with pictures of my niece and nephew as babies, children, and young adults. Their proud aunt holds them, then stands by them. The tiny baby that was Rob now towers over her, but retains the quality of sweetness that so enchanted her when he was small. The little niece with the bright smile blossoms into beautiful, confident womanhood, still with the same smile.

Lady A, I did play an instrument, the Appalachian dulcimer. My instrument was the first my cousin Michael Shedd ever made, dedicated to the memory of our common great-grandfather, Lendle Orr Cook, the champion fiddler, and was given to me. I am sad to report I have not played in maybe ten years. I am going to try to regrow my callouses and "fire 'er up" again. It is a she, and her name is Sally Ann, after a favorite jolly tune of mine. "Did you ever see a muskrat, Sally Ann? Dragging her fat tail through the sand? Haste to the wedding, Sal, Sal! Haste to the wedding, Sally Ann!"

Yes, I did sometimes sing to my patients, particularly as a student nurse caring for infants. I was a dab hand (tongue?) at singing babies to sleep. I did once sing for a woman who was being nourished exclusively through her veins, using a verse of "the Waxie's Dargle", the one that says, "when food is scarce and you see the hearse, you'll know you've died of hunger!" She laughed. I also sang to lull an agitated patient, with whom I was on "one to one" duty to prevent further attempts at suicide.

My faith definitely affected my work. I had my days when I was cranky of course, and my days when I didn't feel much like being a nurse, and I confess days when I was not looking for any extra work, but in my heart, I knew it was my calling. I was there to be God's eyes, hands, brain, heart,and voice in a given situation. I was his gift to my patients, if I was willing to be given, and they were his gifts to me. The rewards were far beyond anything I deserved. I remember an old lady, in one of her few lucid moments, saying to me, "I'm not afraid when you're here." I remember an old man kissing my hand, and another man, after a long night of careful monitoring for his new kidney's function, pulling my head down to him to kiss my face.

I used to pray for my patients, the doctors and my colleagues. These were quick mental prayers. It startled me when my "private nurse" revealed to me that when she told a prisoner who was often in our care that I was dying. he remarked, "She's the one who prays all the time, isn't she?"

Mother, I plead guilty! There are many things I should have done, but I read instead. Besides, I had the good fortune to have a job for eight or nine years where I could read all night long, provided I listened to the buzzer for incoming calls. Among other things, I read the Book of Mormon at that time. I had always been afraid to read it. I knew I could not belong to a church that held it as scripture, because those churches' liturgies no longer fed me. What would happen though if the Book were true? Where would I go? I read and even used a study guide, and at the end, came to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon was not the word of God, except the part which appears to me to be lifted bodily from Isaiah. I respect other people's conclusions on the matter, I hasten to say, because "other people" includes my own dear father.

Tomorrow (or later today, depending on your location), St Sebastian takes me for blood work, an injection of epoetin alpha, and a chat with Dr Reilly, who I would like you all to know has the complexion of a young girl, despite being in his late sixties. I am feeling better in terms of the infection, and hope my blood is rebounding, too. Further developments on this channel....
Posted by Clíona (# 2035) on :
Dear Molly,

Thankyou for sharing your life with us in this way. I think I should stop reading this at lunchtime, because you move me so much through your lyricism and with the wonderful history you're sharing. But, then, I'm glad I do read it at lunchtime, because you bring me back down to Earth and remind me to keep God's will in mind at all times. And that usually gets me through the afternoon.

I'm glad you got 'Granuaile' finally. I hope you enjoy it.

Posted by Moth (# 2589) on :
Molly, I also love the works of Elizabeth Goudge. My love of them started in childhood with 'The Little white Horse', which my mother read to me when I was very young.

I think my favourite is 'The Dean's Watch', although I love all of them. I have thought for a while that you remind me very much of Miss Montague in 'The Dean's Watch'. She is useful and beloved although she does not know it, or need to know it. I think you are very like that yourself, Molly.
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Dearest Molly,

What a way you have with words! I'm hooked on your thread - compulsive reading every lunchtime. [Big Grin]

I really will try and put pen to paper and send a letter to you soon, honest... But in the meantime, keep it coming - it's fascinating to learn more about you!

God bless you always, Molly.

Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
molly your thread is really interesting and it's very cool to hear more about you and your life
love and prayers
Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Miss Molly, you studied modern Hebrew!!! (Sorry I've taken so long to notice that, I haven't been able to spend much time on a computer for the past few days.) Well, me too, though in my case informally with an Israeli friend, and I've forgotten all mine too - but I've got exactly the right card to send you. I bought it in Israel a few years ago and wondered why I did, but now I see it was meant for you, so I'll put it in the post.

Your Hebrew was obviously a whole lot better than mine!

Love, Margaret
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear shipmates, greetings from Utah!

I have just sent St Sebastian home. He drove me to the doctor today, sat with me while I received my chemotherapy, and, on hearing that I was not finished preparing for my parents' visit, vacuumed and dusted for me! Lest you think I am a total slattern, everything else was done, and, of course I made appropriate noises of protest...

I had not expected to receive chemotherapy today, but my hematocrit was up from 29.6 to 33 today, and my white blood cells were at 4,000, so Dr Reilly ordered it to be done. Some of you have expressed an interest in what is involved in chemotherapy, so I will write a little bit about it here.

The chemo is administered in a room full of overstuffed lounge chairs. It looks as though someone forgot that living rooms usually have sofas and coffee tables and, having found a big sale, bought the furniture store's stock of Lazy Boys out. There are a couple of prime locations in this room. One is behind a half wall and next to a small TV and VCR with videos available on a shelf. The next best location is in the corner facing the door. Here there is enough room to kick the leg rest up without interfering with the nurses getting around. There are pillows and blankets for those receiving drugs that take a long time to administer.

Cara, whom I knew from St Joseph Villa, is my chemo nurse. She uses a vein on my left hand to place the angiocatheter that will carry the drugs into my body. She is an excellent starter of IVs, never requiring more than one try to get the catheter in my vein.

First, she gives me a drug called Anzemet to prevent nausea, and a steroid to decrease the chances of my going into shock These are diluted in half a liter of fluid. It takes about half an hour to run them into my body.

Now comes the Carbiplatin, the chemotherapy agent.
Like all chemotherapy agents, it is designed to kill fast-growing cells. Because an "aggressive" cancer like mine grows faster than anything else in my body, it is hoped more cancer will die than normal cells. Even so, it is the chemotherapy agents that hamper my recovery from anemia, and depress my immune system. A normal white blood cell count is about 10,000, mine is less than half that. Consequently, I must be very careful, and my friends must be careful to wash their hands and not come around me when they have an infectious illness. I don't have a strong defense anymore. The carbiplatin also takes about half an hour to run in, also in half a liter of fluid. Cara comes and removes the IV, and I am done until next time.

On my own, I take ten doses of VP-16, also known as Vepicid. This medication is a "helper" to the Carbiplatin. I take it as a capsule, once a day; before I take it I must premedicate myself for nausea. The Vepicid is causing me to lose my hair, but don't worry, colorful scarves really appeal to me. My mother also says she will make me a dust cap or two such as my heroine Sophie Aubrey might have worn. Ruth W's Jane Austen avatar is wearing something similar, though hers is lace and mine will be opaque. Or I might get baseball caps!
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
I just want to add that the time this was posted was seven hours after it was begun. My parents arrived (hurrah) and we had KFC, my mother's good potato salad, which she had made at home and brought 550 miles in an ice chest, and very sweet watermelon, also from Colorado.

Then we engaged in the family avocation. Topics tonight included Bull Halsey, U S Grant, adventures in nursing, the status of various family members, why baseball is better than football (or not) and how best to display the holy earth from New Mexico.

Now they are asleep in my living room, my mother on my futon sofa, and my father on an air mattress. He has also dozed a bit on my lazyboy chair.

Tomorrow, a trip to the drugstore, which will be getting my Vepicid and an alternate anti-barf drug, since I truly dislike the one I have been taking. My father plans to find the genealogy library as well. My mother has given him a big pad and lots of pencils and markers. He has been working on our genealogy for about a year (no, none of us come from another planet), and this will be engrossing and wortwhile for him. I told mother about a genealogy book available there, which was written by a Dillon who was an Air Force colonel, but apparently spent to much time pulling G's and blacking out. This man contends we are all descendants of Thor! There are certainly some of us you don't want swinging a hammar in your vicinity, but we don't have blonde braids, or the ability to fly! We shall see if my father finds it and what his reaction is.
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Dear Molly,
last night Welsh Dragon and I went to sung Evensong in Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford. It was beautiful and glorious...
We looked for a candle to light for you, but there were now around- so we just prayed instead.
The music was lovely...
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

I am so glad that the doctor's review went so well and hope that you won't be feeling too bad after the chemotherapy and won't have too many adverse effects. I think that the description of the chemotherapy suite as having a Lazy Boy emporium vibe is rather good!

(By the way have you told Dr. Reilly that he has "the complexion of a young girl"? Despite being in his late sixties? And if so did you manage to get any kind of rise out of him? Just wondered...I have the impression of a rosy cheeked, kindly, white haired and possibly rather good looking physician tho of course my imagination could be playing tricks again...)

I ended up wandering round a music store [Smile] , having some unexpected time on my hands yesterday, and found a Gospel section that I had not seen before, so I had a good rummage for the hymns you were discussing the other day. Only one I could find was Uncloudy Day, from what I could remember (uncloudy -unusual word!* an uncloudy sky over fields of gold would be rather good [Sunny] wouldn't it?). Liked the hymn too.

I then was rummaging about in the hymnal at evensong at Christchurch while we were being sung at and found the Brief Life one, with 2 alternatives for tunes and a handful more verses (would you like them copied?). Also an impressive pedigree - 12thC - St. Bernard of Cluny I think.

3 cheers I think for St. Sebastian who is being so wonderful, even to doing your vacuuming (here is where I restrain myself from any jokes about the danger of his swords catching on the vacuum hose).

God Bless you both


[Sunny] * un cloudy, a. (Oxford English Dictionary)

1675 GASCOIGNE in Rigaud Corr. Sci. Men (1841) I. 223 A clearer and more uncloudy sky than ordinarily England doth allow. 1711 GAY Rural Sports I. 108 Now..twinkling orbs bestrow th' uncloudy skies. [Sunny]
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
Many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many many more hugs!


[Heart] [Heart] [Heart] from David [Heart] [Heart] [Heart]
Posted by Ann (# 94) on :
Miss Molly, I've really been enjoying this thread. I wish I could write so well.

I was looking round the web with my favourite search engine and found the words to The Barefoot Boy with Boots on and, as it's on CD, a two minute sampler if you can 'read' real audio. (The sampler seems to be from a cassette which is out of print, but a CD by John McCutcheon has it.)
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
Miss Molly,

I was delighted to hear that you were able to have the chemo but simultaneously thought "yuck" at the thought of carboplatin and VP16. Reminds me of afew years back when a friend of mine was having chemo for brest cancer (she is doing well 13 years down the track). I was the support person on her treatment days but unfortuntaely the support team also included her 18 month old son and my 2 youngest-aged 2 and 4. It was quite a job to keep their sticky little paws out of the IV trolley! We used to arrive very apologetically but the other patients and the nurses were at least able to see the hilarity of our visits.

Great that your mum and dad are in town, complete with potato salad and watermelon.

I will be watching these pages for the next blood count.

A big hello to St Seb, domestic goddess extraordinaire. There is a special spot in heaven for such stalwarts as he!


Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Just a quick post, dear friends. I could not sleep last night because it was too hot, so I am pretty tired, and mean to go to bed soon. I will try to post later also.

For right now, the news is the pharmacy could not give my parents the Vepecid. As a medicaid patient, I am required to use a generic substitute. They could not get the Zofran, either, as it must be specially approved, due to cost and no generic substitute. The pharmacist was very apologetic and promised to have at least the Vepecid on hand later today. If they don't approve the Zofran, I will stick to the Phenergan. I don't like it, but it does the job; I can live with grogginess and slowed digestion for 10 days a month.

In other news, my dad assembled a TV stand and hooked up a VCR that was used by my grandmother/aunt when she lived with them. We watched Kismet, a musical my father and I both love. With true sacrifice, he is lending me his copy to enjoy. How much do I love Kismet? Well it was playing some years ago at a movie house here in town that specialized in old films. It was the second film on the bill; the first was Royal Wedding, a great Astaire film. I formed the habit of walking to the movie house every night to see Kismet. (I had no car at the time) One night I got there a bit late and they had closed the ticket booth. However, they told me to go in, as I had paid so many times to see it! [Cool]
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
I love the classic musicals too, Miss Molly. As I've said elsewhere, my fantasy would be to live in an MGM musical.

This morning Sarah Kennedy on Radio 2 played 'Fields of Gold' and I immediately thought of you walking through the cornfields.

It also brought to mind the only time I've ever walked through cornfields, which wasn't so romantic! We were on our honeymoon, and the guest house had recommended a nearby pub for an evening meal. They told us there was a path through the cornfield. The 'path' was practically non-existent, and since both of us have bad hayfever, we looked a comical sight after a 20-minute blunder through Pollen Central. I'm sure the meal was lovely, but all I can remember is constant sneezing and streaming eyes from the pair of us!
Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
Originally posted by Gill H:
This morning Sarah Kennedy on Radio 2 played 'Fields of Gold' and I immediately thought of you walking through the cornfields.

I heard it and immeditely thought of you too. It wasn't Sting thought, but a female singer with a lovely haunting voice.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Hello again dear shipmates!

This will be a short post, I am afraid, but I will hope to post more entertainingly tomorrow.

I was able to get the oral chemotherapy drugs today (or rather my parents were able to pick them up for me), and medicaid cleared me to have the expensive anti-barf drug!

I am very tired and queasy just now, so I will sign off. Thank you for your prayers and messages. I feel you all upholding me.
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Sometimes the body just needs to rest, and heal itself. So yes, please, take a nap, read, and let us know later! Have you taken trips? I've been privileged to travel in Germany, England, and France. Also a car trip to Alaska with my daughter (we had an absolute blast!). Anyplace you'd love to visit? I'd like to see more of the US, I've only seen the Rockies from a plane. More of England (the ruins! I think the stones resonate within me and I take many pictures and sketch, touch them, feel the brushings by of people who lived there centuries ago - my folks once brought back a rock from a wall in France and commented to my Dad's son that the rock was very, very old - his comment, "What rock isn't old? Ha, ha!) Israel, even with all the unrest. The Barrans of Canada (I've read too much Farley Mowat!). Hiking the Gates of the Arctic. Tundra is so wonderfully springy to walk on! Back at ya!
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Miss Molly

I'm happy and relieved that you got your medicines. I can't imagine feeling so sick and having to wonder and fret about procuring the necessary drugs to ease your symptoms. [Frown]

You sound like you handle it with grace, gentleness and patience. I would be collapsed in dispair, I'm sure.

Praying that you rest well and long and that the queasiness will abate.

The candles I light tomorrow at Vespers will be for you, and I'll picture you in my mind and heart, so that in some way, you'll be in the service with me.

Love you, as always. [Heart]
Posted by Bronwyn - far from home (# 52) on :
Just been talking to Miss Molly on MSN(naughty me when she should be resting). She is very nausous with the current treatment of chemo she is having. She asked me to put a note here saying she is too tired and feeling she can not post here today. She is thinking of her shipmates though as always.
I was glad to know her parents were there when she was feeling so unwell and they were able to help her.
Please pray that the nausea will go.

Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

So sorry to hear that you have been so badly affected by nausea. I will be praying for it to go away.

I have been staying with some friends who for various reasons needed comforting, and the best and most appropriate thing to do seemed to be to go into the garden and do some picking and have a baking session. Was thinking of your earlier posts about your childhood on the way home, the farm produce canning ones. It's so satisfying making things, if you can put love and creativity in it.

Glad you have your parents with you to take care of you. I wish I could visit (or at least send you some tidbits to tempt what appetite you have) but I cannot so I will send you prayers and ((( [Heart] virtual hugs [Heart] ))) instead.

Please [Not worthy!] don't think of posting till you feel well enough, and don't overtire yourself. I think that what you have already written has been so beautiful and has touched so many of us, you have already achieved a great thing.

God bless you and your family.

Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Just a brief post, dear shipmates, as I have promised my mother to go to bed in five minutes.

It has been a very hard day, but I think the worst of this round of chemotherapy is over! Last night, shortly before I spoke to Bronwyn, I fainted enroute to the bathroom. Very inconsiderate of me. I made quite a boom going down (hit my head on a closet door)! My folks ran in and were trying to help me all the ways they could think of. My father wanted to help me up, but eventually, I managed to grab the back of a chair which he wheeled over, get to my knees and then to my feet. All night long, my parents kept coming and peeking at me asleep to make sure I was still using my share of air.

Today, in the afternoon, I had a severe bout of nausea, lasting a couple of hours, but I am much better now, and holding down a poached egg on toast, two cinnamon wasas, a cup of tea, and of course, the Vepecid.

Saint Sebastian came for supper tonight, but I just languished in my chair. No hostessing from me, couldn't even open my eyes. If they had told me the building was on fire, I would have thought seriously before I attempted escape. [Razz]

However, I think he had a pretty fair visit with my folks, and hope he enjoyed the pork chops, fried apples, new potatoes, and peas. I shall be having the leftovers, never fear. I know they liked seeing him very much, and hoped this indicated in some way their gratitude to him for his care of me, and indeed their gratitude to you all.
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
The singer was Eva Cassidy - I'm sure Miss Molly has that version by now!

Yesterday at church we prayed for a member who does not have much longer to live. Space was left for people to pray for others they knew, so I was able to pray for you, Miss Molly. I led worship, and used a variety of songs on the theme of God being our hope and strength: Before the throne of God above (to that lovely Celtic tune), Rock of ages (the new tune with the chorus 'My Rock, my Rock, my Jesus, my Rock') and this one:

'Every day I look to You
To be the strength of my life
You're the hope I hold on to
Be the strength of my life'
Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Bon appetit, Miss Molly, and I hope today is a really good day for you!
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
[Heart] HUGS [Heart]

Did the CD work? It's supposed to play in any CD player...


Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Miss Molly:
Report on London today - warm weather and a glorious sunset with wispy pale pink clouds gently floating in a light blue sky. All up and down the edge of the tube line, there are clumps of mauve Michaelmas daisies showing off.

Had a visit from Flossie, my daughter's cat, pure white and softly fluffy, elderly and very sensuous. Her name comes from candy floss, not dental floss.

Laughed at myself when I opened a can of fruit tonight - all these years I've had pictures of the wrong kind of canning when I've read books by American authors. [Sunny]

Sweet dreams.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
No nausea thus far today, I am well, except tired.

Thank you Rowen, Welsh Dragon, Gill, and Bessie Rosebride for your prayers for me.

Gill, your pansy cross-stitch now hangs on the wall on my "eclectic" prayer wall. To me, it stands for all the thoughts and prayers of my dear shipmates, but especially yours. The area really is diverse. In addition to the holding cross and medal of the Sacred Heart I have mentioned before, there is a deeply mysterious Book of Kells style Christ reigning from a cross, and a dreamcatcher given me by Deacon Libby. On the chest of drawers beneath these resonant things, there is a special cup holding the holy earth from New Mexico that JB and Motherboard obtained for me, a red candle, and a small felt tyrannosaurus rex. This last was a present I gave a friend many years ago, when she was undergoing a difficult time, telling her to keep him in her pocket and sic him on the bad guys! Now she has sent him to me to sic on whatever may be bothering me.

I have not yet dared to tell Dr Reilly how lovely his complexion is. I doubt it is on his top ten list of things in which he takes pride. While he can take pride in his beautiful skin, he can take much more pride in his excellence as a physician. He listens carefully to me and my wishes, and does everything he can to keep me comfortable, but does not try to push anything on me. Every visit, he asks me if I have pain. I have occasional twinges and aches, but I have a secret aid against them. The measure of Dr Reilly is that he didn't turn a hair when I told him I had a visualization (suggested to me by a nurse when I was in the hospital) of rabbits eating carrots AKA my cancer. I have a strong capacity for imagining, and I imagine that the Prince of a Thousand Enemies has lent me his aid. There are many rabbits: a large white one, a wild one, a lopeared one, one that is mostly black but has a white streak on his face, and two rabbits that I knew when they were alive, Koala and Panda by name. I have a pleasant, moonlit night for them, with watercress and clover to eat for dessert after they have eaten carrots. There is soft grass for them to lie in, and no fear of predators. So whenever I hurt, I direct these lapine allies to the pain. They always succeed in relieving me. Dr Reilly, the day he heard about them, said at parting, "keep those rabbits working; they do a good job."

Ann, thank you for the link to the barefoot boy! I showed it to my father, who much enjoyed it. It is a sign of how quick the folk process is in music that the song I grew up singing has the same general kind of humor, but is at variance in many ways. Apparently, talented members of my family, not remembering the exact words, made up verses that fit.

Lady A, I was fortunate enough to travel. I have been to Boston, and to Ireland three times. I hope you can hike the tundra, and see all other places that intrigue you. St Sebastian tells me that it is Orthodox belief that after you die, your guardian angel has so many days to take you to all the places you longed to see in life. I would very much like to see Dublin Bay again, and Kilkenny.

Dear Chastmaster, your CD has not arrived, but I scarcely need it, your hugs are so warm and encouraging.

Welsh Dragon, I am glad you liked Uncloudy Day. I love the verse "where the tree of life in eternal bloom, sheds its lovely fragrance on an uncloudy day." These old hymns are so simple and their simplicity speaks directly to the heart.

Multipara, I am sure you were a tower of strength to your friend. I am delighted she has remained so long in remission. I was amused thinking of little children in the chemo suite. I have not seen any in ours. The youngest person I saw was a young lady, quite lovely. I felt so sorry for her. She had lost all her hair and was thin, obviously severely ill. I thought how hard on her to quite possibly losing her life just as it was opening out for her.

In case any of you have been doing any worrying about who will care for me during my next round of chemo, St Sebastian called today to say he would be spending the nights with me next time. I said I hoped I would not need his aid, but that I appreciated the offer. Certainly, telling my mother and father that someone would assume guard dog duties when they couldn't, made them feel much better.

Daisy May, your post made me laugh. Thanks.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Re: Flossie: here she would be named Candy, Daisy May, as we call the fairground treat cotton candy. I had a clear picture of what her fur must be like from her name. We had two soft, loving cats with cotton candy fur.

As long as I am doubleposting, I may as well say it is just my favorite kind of autumn day, rainy and cool. The trees in the park are just beginning to yellow. The clouds are a lovely soft grey, with wide white streaks, and patches of pure pale blue sky.
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Miss Molly, glad to hear that you are so much better! I have two bunnies to add to your crew! Blackberry is a common bunny, mostly white with grey patches, and a grey stripe down his nose. Higgins is smaller and a wonderful soft charcoal grey. They have a huge cage with a loft (!) and in the winter they spend much time with us (except when they tried to chew through my sewing machine cord last year!) I'm glad you have wonderful bunnies to help you. Have you read any Brian Jacques and the Redwall books? I love his bunnies in there, a truly fighting & valiant crew. My bunnies love clover, of course, but a bunny favorite is apple tree limbs. They will eat the leaves, then strip off the bark. Tough little critters! Glad you are feeling better, maybe I'll be lucky enough to get to Ireland. Where did you get to go?
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :

I haven't come across much Southern Harmony, although I have sung 'The Midnight Cry'. We used to have a pianist from Pittsburgh in our church who taught it to us. That was fun.

I'll be humming it all day now...
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Molly, you're on to something there with the rabbits. I know from my own experience that visualizations can work surprisingly well, not just for yourself but for others.

I saw some little wild rabbits not so long ago from the train, scampering around a newly harvested field in bright midday, while the cows stood looking bemused at these audacious little creatures. Most of my journeys lately, including commuting, have been through rather a lot of countryside and have generally been quite uplifting. It's that poignant time of year here when the early mornings are just beginning to be frosty but midday is as warm as you expect from late summer, and the trees are showing the first signs of autumn colours. The fields are beautiful in the mornings with the mist rising off them like clouds of steam, and the sheep and cows just beginning to wake up and go in search of breakfast. The early morning light tints everything a pale gold, and I have even seen deer and hares from the train window. Arrival at Oxford comes as a sudden shock to the system, but a welcome one none the less.

I've lit candles for you in some of the cathedrals I have visited recently, and have tossed a bright coin into the steamy, copper-coloured depths of the sacred spring at Bath. I wish you well with all my heart, and will continue to do so.
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
Miss Molly,

I hope that's the worst of the nausea for this cycle of chemo, and that your blood counts don't dive too much in the next few weeks.

My good mate Marg has been as a much a tower of strength to me (more so,probably) than I ever was to her in those dark days.

Hang in there, I think of you often.

cheers to you and also to the faithful St Seb

Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear Shipmates, good morning, afternoon, evening or wee small hours as the case may be.

Lady A, thank you for sending your rabbits to help me. I will make sure they get treats, although not apple tree limbs or electrical cords. In answer to your question about where I travelled in Ireland, I was in Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny, and Dublin, and on a bus tour to Drogheda, the Hill of Tara, Brugh na Boinne, Monasterboice and the Battle of the Boyne's reputed site, also a couple of excursions to Glendalough. I spent most of my time in Dublin, as I had a close friend there, and came to love that "dear, dirty" city with all my heart. I avoided, except for the bus tour, living like a tourist, preferring to go around on my own and on foot. Once, to my great delight, I was asked for directions on O'Connell Street, by a couple of Irish people no less! Fortunately, I knew how they should go to reach their destination. The last time I was in Ireland, I stayed with my friend, who was remodelling a house he had just bought, and had the interesting tasks of shopping, cooking, laundering and DIYing according to the possibilities in Dublin. I learned, among other things, just how hard it is to hand-launder bluejeans, and how long it takes them to dry hanging in the backyard! (Luckily, we had clear weather.)

Ariel, thanks so much for your finely-crafted (as always) description of the English countryside. It was like a vacation to read it. Long may you enjoy such delights.

Multipara, my blood counts must be improving. After my lengthy bout of nausea the other day, I was white as chalk, but my lips were redder than they have been in my adult life. I have always been anemic, usually hovering around 34 on my RBC, and always had pale pink lips, so red ones now must mean things are improving. Additionally, I am not so short of breath, which is another sign of improved oxygen carrying capacity, as we know. Thank you for your warm interest.

My parents left for their home yesterday morning. I was sad to see them go, but I know they have many tasks to perform in Colorado. It was not a jolly toot for them to be here! My poor father never did get to the genealogy library, what with assembling furniture and taking my mother shopping for things she insisted I needed. Anyone want to come help me eat all this food? You could bring a regiment or two of HM's forces if you like---there's plenty! One day my father came in with a plastic object, that to my first horrified glance, looked like a Habitrail. I thought, "oh my God, they've bought me a hamster!" However, it proved to be a bin storage system to place under the sink. It comes in handy to hold lots of kitchen items my mother thought I needed, bless her heart.

My father did get one pleasure, however. His WW2 buddy, Donald Hunter, who lives about 100 miles north of Salt Lake City, was in town Monday, and he and his wife came for a visit. My parents and the Hunters went to lunch together, and I believe my father enjoyed himself very much. My father has only recently been in touch with this friend; they lost track of each other after the war, and Mr Hunter never comes to the annual reunion. However, one day my father was wishing he could find his friend, and I, knowing Mr Hunter had been a devout member of the LDS Church, suggested that my father write the president's office of that body, since his whereabouts would be known to them. Mr Hunter duly received a message from the First Presidency office, giving my father's contact details, that he had been trying to find Mr Hunter, and a personal message from my father to the effect that Mr Hunter did not have to eat the Book of Mormon! It had been a bet they had during the war, that my father would read this book and if he found anything in it contradictory to the Bible, Mr Hunter would eat it! So, Mr Hunter knew the message was really from his old war buddy, but he concluded my father must have become a member of the LDS Church.... However, he has swallowed his disappointment, and he and my father have a good time together.

Fans of Freddy will be interested to hear that he has become an (unwilling and protesting) father. Last Wednesday two kittens arrived, bearing a remarkable resemblance to Freddy. He swears he only waved the tip of his tail at their mother, for politeness' sake. She, meantime, has skipped the country, so Freddy is grudgingly allowing the kittens to sleep near him. Not in his basket, however! Fortunately, each has a tiny basket of its own. Kitten name suggestions now being entertained, unisex preferred as they are too little for me to reliably tell what they are in terms of gender.

God bless you all, dear Shipmates
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Goodnight Miss Molly,
The clouds have come in and are being shaded by the master's hand in wonderful shades of pink fading to lavender. We shall have rain tomorrow and my lawn will rejoice! The beauty of this world can stap nearly any activity (even driving down the road!) so I can rejoice. I hope you are enjoying your autumn. I rejoice in the visit with your folks. Boy, I'm just in a rejoicing mood! I thought of you today, when one of my managers came in, her name is Molly, and I rarely see her. She brought you to mind as I called out "Miss Molly!" she smiled. I did some rewriting on my Narnia story for a friend's website and know you would like it there. Maybe I will have to have a visitor come by.....
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Thank you Margaret, for the Israeli get-well card. I picked up my mail today enroute to the doctor's for my epoetin injection. I really enjoyed making the patient well by pulling down his temperature strip! I have been meaning, also, to send you and Troy my gratitude for your use of Reiki on my behalf. I know all these mental disciplines take a great deal of effort and drain energy from their practitioners; I really thank you.

Thank you Dolphy for the postcard of lovely Cambria. I am so glad your holiday was delightful as you are. I imagine Jessie, the part-Welsh wonder dog was ecstatic to be in ancestral territory.

And gratitude and "right back at ya" to Smudgie and Chukovsky for their good wishes sent by Margaret.

Dear friends, before I go to bed tonight, I will be standing in front of my prayer wall. I will say, "Oh Sacred Heart of Jesus, here I stand before you, my heart and all my dear ones safe in your Heart. May our pulses beat in accord with the great pulse of your love for us. Amen"
Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
How about "Magnificat" as a suitably Godly handle for one of your pusses?


Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

I am so glad that you have been feeling better. A triumph for bunny-power! Will say a few special bunny-prayers (the sort that hop about a lot and are rather fluffy and hopefully have effects that multiply...)

God Bless

Welsh Dragon
Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Miss Molly, I'm so glad the card's arrived - I didn't think it would be that quick!

I'm covered with guilt and confusion now because I forgot the Reiki yesterday evening (we had a dinner guest who arrived horribly early) but I'll redouble my efforts today! The nice thing is that the more I do it the easier it feels, and the more vividly I visualise it floating over Wales, Ireland, the Atlantic and most of the States to reach you in Salt Lake City.
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Dearest Molly,
I am so very glad that the postcard arrived so quickly! Jessie had the time of her life (as did we) and although she missed Brandy she did her best to wear us all out! She went crazy when we arrived at our little log cabin - tearing around like a puppy. We didn't bother to unpack so went straight down to the harbour where she headed straight into the sea. I threw some pebbles in the sea for you, as promised. The weather was so wonderful... the sun shone every day and the nights were starry and moonlit and so peaceful. We did a great deal of walking over the cliffs and down to our favourite hidden cove - as per usual, Jessie went mad! She raced around the beach and played in the waves and had a wonderful time.
She had a wonderful birthday too including a breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast - well you have to spoil them sometimes! She had some lovely pressies, including a very sweet card and some treats from Brandy.
When the time came to go home she refused to get into the car and has had a bit of a mood on her since we have been home. Little does she know we have booked to go back in March. I will send you some photos as soon as they have been developed.
Hugs and lots and lots of love from us all.
Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Dear Miss Molly, I'm afraid my cats owe you an apology - they forgot to mention who they were when they signed the card, and are very embarrassed to think that it looks as if they've been impersonating shipmates! They're actually a brother-and-sister team called Smudge and Katie - Smudge is the brother, huge, fluffy, not very bright but very loving, and Katie, the sister, is mostly white, intelligent, and rather brisk (but also very loving when she gets to know you). If they visited you, Smudge would rub himself round your ankles and then collapse on your feet, while Katie would size you up, decide you were a good cat person, and jump on to your lap.

I've got photos of them somewhere in the depths of this computer - I'll look for them and e-mail them to you.
Posted by Michelle (# 53) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

You won't know me yet, I'm a devoted lurker but only occasional poster! But I have been reading forever and have a warm spot in my heart for you since the "Sophie Aubrey" days. Such a warm-hearted gentlewoman you are!

I also cheered mightily as you defended our sweetest, most precious friends, the cats. My all black (with white diamond on chest) kitty has been urging me to write for months and thank you for your valiant defense.

My cat Lilith is amusing me mightily lately. Until this past year, she was solely an indoor cat, and had become a little, shall we say, neurotic through living with me alone in a two bedroom apartment. (My sweetheart calls her "psycho-kitty" but he just doesn't understand her...) Last spring, I moved to a small house with a yard, far from traffic, and began letting her out under supervision. Since then, we have progressed to letting her be out all day long.

Now, it is fall, and the famous west coast rain is arriving, and she does NOT like it! Yesterday she went to the door, meowed for me to open it, I obeyed, she went out, turned around and came in, and meowed balefully at me for allowing it to rain! She is doing a good job chasing the squirrels that are stealing all my dear neighbour's walnuts and hazelnuts, and has never yet killed anything living (except for bugs which I heartily encourage...) She did chase a baby bunny around the yard last spring but they are horrendously harmful here (not indigenous) so I gave her indulgence...

She is a sweetheart with me and a bit of a devil with everyone else, I'm afraid. She carries on a continuing conversation with me and will follow me around like a little dog. But let someone else come in the house and watch out! My poor sweetheart has to deal with her hisses and swipes at him. She will even meow at him everytime he says something, as if to say, "Hey! Who asked you?" Every time he leaves, she happily snuggles up with me. Yay! He's finally gone! But soon enough, he arrives again, and she is extremely put out...Oh, you AGAIN!

I am very happy to hear about your sweet kittens. Do tell us what colour they are and what you name them...I also vote for "Magnificat" and would suggest "Tabitha" for the female...I have always wanted a calico named that...

You are daily in my prayers, although you haven't known it until now!

God bless you in your journey, and know that Christ is with you.

Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Loving greetings to you all, dear shipmates.

I am feeling well today, but sleepy. I took a nap which stretched into a 4 hour snooze! But my recent distresses are over, and I actually ate the pork chop, potatoes, peas, and fried apples left from Sunday for tonight's supper.

This evening I am expecting two visitors. One is Deacon Libby, who is coming to bring me the Sacrament and take my picture for the parish directory. In the prior directory, done about 8 years ago, I was vain enough to leave my specs off. I wonder if this time, I am vain enough to leave my specs AND my oxygen tubing off!?

The other visitor is a lodge sister. In June, I was initiated into the Eastern Star, and this was very meaningful for me. Alas, the only meeting I have been able to attend is the one held for my initiation, but I am hoping to be able to be present next Tuesday evening. If I cannot be there, I will be able to follow the ritual at home, as Laura is bringing me my own book of the ceremonies. I have often wondered if I have any Eastern Star brothers or sisters on the Ship?

Multipara, I think Magnificat is a splendid name! You always come through, don't you?

Margaret, tell Smudge and Katie that of course they are my shipmates! You may be interested to know that when I told my mother, who is most religiously conservative, about your Reiki on my behalf, she not only did not turn a hair, but expressed her warmest gratitude to you and Troy. If there is any information you could send on this practice (easily accessible and not difficult to send, I mean), she and I would be very glad to read it.

Dolphy, I chuckled to hear of Jessie's escapades. I have whispered to her photo that you are going back again. How lovely of Brandy to give her a card and treats, but I am sure she also gives him wonderful gifts, the best of which is her love. Who protected Brandy against the awful cat down the street while Jessie was gone?

I am glad to meet you, my Canadian friend. I am glad you have enjoyed my posts. I wonder if you know about the "door into summer"? This is a concept that forms the title of a work by Robert A. Heinlein, a seminal science fiction author who also loved cats. He discovered that cats believe that there is always a door into good weather, and cannot understand why their humans persist in opening the one into rain or snow! Your companion reminds me very much of a cat my mother had, who used to guard her from my father. Because of various ailments, my mother has had to sleep alone for a good many years. This cat used to lie across the threshold of her room. When my father would come up to kiss my mother goodnight, she would run in and assume a protective position on her bed. I also remember a cat my sister had, Pumpkin by name, who during a romantic interlude between my sister and brother-in-law, decided he was hurting her human and bit him on the behind! This cat was a general enforcer, and I am afraid, an equal opportunity one. She particularly disliked raised voices. Once, my sister was recounting an episode at her work, and was speaking in a loud voice. A black and white streak appeared, and bit her smartly on the ankle to remind her of the rules!
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
The kittens are a pale gingerybrown and cream. I will call one Tabitha as you suggest, Michelle.
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
miss molly, i was rather stunned to see you mention "the door into summer" in your post above, as this is the second time today that i saw that book (which i read many years ago, and still recall fondly) mentioned in an on-line post. it makes me wonder, do you by any chance also read or post on another discussion board, one devoted to science fiction? if not, it is a most amazing example of synchronisity. if you can remember the name of the cat in that book (sadly i can't) prehaps that would be a good name for one of freddies foster kittens!
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Molly, if you need a ride to the Eastern Star meeting next week (or any time) let me know. Or anywhere else for that matter. I don't want you to come to associate me only with dr visits! [Wink]
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Dearest Molly,

Brandy was protected while we were gone, fear not! In fact he mostly stayed home missing us dreadfully. The nasty viscious cat hasn't been seen around for a while - possibly something to do with the bucket of water that was thrown at him (I dread to confess!) I hope I have your forgiveness for picking on him but he really did deserve it!
I am glad that you have told Jessie that she is going back to Wales, she hasn't let on to us that she knows but she has a little smile on her furry face - I think it pleased her to hear it from you!
I will pm you very soon sweet Molly.
Take care and keep the strength up.
Much love from all here. xxx
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
My grandmother was something official in the Order of the Eastern Star. She was so into it, and she and my grandfather spent so much time teaching and training that my father and uncle wouldn't have anything to do with any lodges. So I am not a participant.

Our family cat member (who is buried under a York stone slab in the back yard) also believed that we were responsible for opening doors into rain. She would turn away from the back door and go and check all the windows and the front door to see if she could find an entry to a dry sunny world. She was also a slasher and shrdder if she disappoved of anyone. grown men have been known to ask for my assistance to get up the stairs when she sat there, tiny and spitting at them. [Devil]
Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
miss molly, i was rather stunned to see you mention "the door into summer" ... if you can remember the name of the cat in that book (sadly i can't) prehaps that would be a good name for one of freddies foster kittens!

It was "Pete", short for Petronius I believe. Molly, are you a Heinlein fan? He had a lot of cats in his books, didn't he. Do you remember Pixel, the cat who could walk through walls?
Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
Oops, I also meant to say: Nicole, can you tell me the name of the sf discussion board?

And Molly, I meant to say your Dr Reilly sounds an absolute darling!
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
pm'd you, sparrow.
Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Miss Molly, there's a website about the Reiki tradition I learned here - especially the first section. And if you and your mother would like to know more specific things about it I can scan my course notes as text and send them to you - I think they make approximate sense, as I wrote them up right after the lectures!

I'm sorry I haven't sent you the cat photos yet - today has been a bit hectic and Smudge has had to go to the vet's to have a little lump on his nose removed, so he's feeling rather sorry for himself at the moment. But I promise to find them and e-mail them over the weekend.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Loving salutations to all my shipmates, widely separated in space, but not in our hearts.

Ariel, the other day I forgot to mention my gratitude to you for your candles and bright coin, the signs of your continuing care for me. I am glad to think of you in the cathedrals and by the holy spring; I feel as though I have been there in a sense. These are places that have always lived in my imagination, and now your imagination and constant goodwill have brought me to them.

Welsh Dragon, your prayers are much appreciated. The rabbits are in plenty, and brisk and joyful about their work.

Nicole, I post nowhere else but here. That is amazing that a relatively obscure work of Heinlein's should be cited twice on message boards twice in one day.

Daisy May, if you are ever interested in yourself becoming a sister of the Eastern Star, you would qualify through your grandfather, as I did through mine. It might interest you to know, as I have the idea that you come from Scotland, that the Grand Lodge of Scotland governs all the lodges in the British Isles!
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
A couple of wonderful cat books, The Wild Road and The Golden Cat by Gabriel King. Reading about doors and cats, the Wild Road is about the roads that cats can take through our world. When you see cats that just seem to reappear, or disappear, they have just entered a doorway to the wild road and can travel anywhere on earth. A wonderful story of love (an ancient Egptian breed and a remarkable, hum, I can't quite remember what they called him) run away from a cat show together. They escape from the Alchemist because they are destined to have the Golden cat in their litter. A wonderful set of stories.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Back again, dear friends.

Margaret, thanks for the link to Reiki.

Sparrow, yes, I am a fan of Robert A. Heinlein! He really delivers a rivetting tale, even when he is in a fascist mood. I started reading him as a teenager, even before his book, Stranger in a Strange Land, was a cult classic among us hippie types. (or would-he hippie, in my case. It's hard to run away to San Francisco when you are not allowed to go across town by yourself!) I remember Pixel fondly.

Lady A, I read the first book you mention, the Wild Road, but could never bear to re-read it or read its sequel because of the terrible dangers the cats undergo. I don't mind books where the human heroes undergo severe trials or even death, but cannot bear to have feline characters similarly in peril. You are right, though, it is a brilliant work.

I think it was you, Lady A, who mentioned you had heard that nurses make the worst patients. I suppose in a way we do. Would you like to hear the story of the night I almost died?
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Now, I'm tantalised. I'm going to have to read Door Into Summer. I'm going to go later today, on my way to my grandson's football game, to search for this book in a couple of second hand book stores. They have mammoth amounts of SF. so I hope to be able to pick it up.

Stranger in a Strange Land was the first SF book I ever read. Loved it, but wasn't aware of the hippie fascination with it. I was a wannabe hippie, too. Not many real life ones in backwoods upstate South Carolina. [Roll Eyes]

Being one, I can truthfully say nurses can be extremely difficult patients. So please carry on, Miss Molly, with your story, if you desire to share.
Posted by Aardvark (# 2295) on :
Miss Molly, I have read all the the threads that concern you but haven't posted much yet, so you probably don't know me very well. You are in my prayers all the time. I too am a cat lover and have had cats in my home for as long as I can remember. As a child I used to share my bed with at least two little feline bodies every night. I must introduce you to my tortoiseshell cat Stella. She is an old lady (about 10) but still catches birds with the best of them. At the moment she has her eye on a robin who has set up home in our tree. I hope he has his wits about him as she tends to blend into the background and may creep up on him unawares. She is so placid and gentle with humans but hates other animals, so we will never be able to get another pet as long as she is around. The children would love a dog but this would upset her too much.

Talking of books, did you or anyone else ever read "Nine Lives" by Lloyd Alexander? It's about a boy and his cat who visit nine different periods in history. It was one of my favourite books as a child.
Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Miss Molly, this is another apology, from me this time and not the cats - the pictures of them I tried to e-mail to you were far too large and I see that the second one I sent, the one of Katie, has been sent back because there wasn't room in your mailbox. I'll print them out instead and send them to you snail mail!
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Greetings to my dear ones! A happy, peaceful, roborative Sunday to you all.

I will be posting later today with the promised story. Please know that I am fine; I just am very tired.

Bessie, I hope you found the book and find it enjoyable.

Aardvark, I have long admired your LSD geode avatar! Thanks for telling me about your cats. Since I cannot have one, except for Freddy and his kittens, I love hearing all the cattales I can! I read the Lloyd Alexander book a few years ago. I think it would be a great childhood read for a cat lover.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
God bless all here!

Margaret, I got the photo of Smudge. He is wonderful. I have been pruning my hotmail account so now I may have some room for Katie. Alternatively, I have an account with Lycos: Iniondiolun just means Miss Dillon.

I decided to start from the beginning of my hospital course, so you could see just how bad a patient I am. So here goes, part the first!

The last day I worked was July 5th. I had been feeling tired and a little short of breath for some time but put it down to overweight, and quite possibly congestive heart failure. I felt I could manage the heart failure with over-the-counter diuretics and fluid restriction until I was able to move to Denver and start work there at a job with benefits.

After July 5th, there were really no shifts that appealed to me, and I did not need the money, so I stayed at home but was steadily growing worse. On July 18th, I told my landlady I was going to have to give up and seek treatment at one of the freestanding clinics that IHC operates. Accordingly, she drove me there on the 19th, and the receptionist, thinking I was having an asthma attack, took me right in. I didn't even have to fill out my own paperwork---unheard of!

I was seen by a nice young physician, received a shot of Rocephin, a broad spectrum antibiotic, an albuterol treatment (they didn't believe me apparently when I told them I didn't have asthma), was placed on oxygen, and underwent a chest X-Ray and an electrocardiogram. After all had been done, the nice young physician informed me she was admitting me to LDS Hospital. I protested that I could not possibly go to the hospital as I had no insurance. Could I not receive an injection daily, perhaps with some tablets? But she showed me my X-Ray, and I knew she was correct in saying they could not manage my ailment: my right lung had a very large whitish patch, extending over half its dimensions. I didn't even bother to wonder what "anomalies in your lungs we want to investigate" meant. I simply resigned myself to entering the hospital for the treatment of pneumonia, coming out heavily in debt, but then being able to work to pay my debt.

I was meant to go to the hospital that night, but by the time we came home from the instacare it was around 7 PM and by the time I had washed clothes and notified Timothy I was being admitted it was almost 10 PM. Being an old nurse, I knew two things about being admitted at that time of night: it is a tremendous burden on a tired staff and it would mean being charged for 24 hours of care of which I would only be consuming two. (The billing day runs midnight to midnight.) Accordingly, I call the admitting office, and told them I would come in next morning. (You can see I like to run my own show, can't you? [Devil] )

I passed a pretty uncomfortable night. By now I was so breathless that just walking a few steps would cause me to have to gasp for breath for five minutes. In the morning, I packed a small tote, picked up Freddy to take with me (he had providentially arrived the day before), and called a taxi to go to the hospital.

I arrived at the hospital, and to people's anxious inquiries, naturally replied I was fine! Miss Manners lays it down as an ironclad rule of etiquette that unless you are actually spouting blood or carrying your inside bits in your arms, the only conceivable answer to people's queries is that you are fine. I walked to the emergency room where admitting is done on weekends, checked myself in, and refused the offer of a wheelchair. It was very important to me to reach my room on my own, possible as a charm to guarantee that I would be able to emerge from the hospital and work again. If I gave up so soon, who knew what would happen?

I arrived on the floor, announced myself to the ward clerk, and walked to the room she indicated. A nurse arrived immediately and just as soon as she got there I was on 3 liters of oxygen. We did the usual admission stuff. I filled out my own health history to save her time. The room was very large, actually one usually given to VIPs, and known to the staff as the "Luxor suite", but I did not have much time to enjoy it as I had to go for a CT scan.

The scan was difficult to undergo, as I had to lie flat, which hampered my breathing tremendously, and because the transporter had forgotten to bring any oxygen for me. Additionally, there was a problem in the scan going on ahead of mine, so I had to wait in the hall for about half an hour. But I did not yet think of myself as oxygen dependent, and was used to being short of breath at rest, so I didn't worry or feel particularly bad. The CT was finally taken and I was sent back to my room.

After a while, someone on the hospitallist (internal medicine doctor taking care of patients exclusively in hospital) team came in to tell me the radiologist said I had metastatic cancer in both lungs. There were 17 tumors, the largest three inches across. I knew right then I was going to die, that there would be no curative treatment.

I was not surprised, really. When I was in my 27th year, I took training as a hospice volunteer. This was in the days when the modern death and dying movement was just starting. Part of the training was to undergo a guided imagery session to envision one's own death. I proved to be a very gifted subject. I had a vision of my death with an apparent time marker. My nephew, who had just been born was in the vision and seemed to be about twenty-seven years old. I also tasted blood in my mouth, although I did not know at the time that frequently the dying have small blood vessels break and taste blood at the end. The instructor for the course told me I might have had a true seeing, based on the last detail. I, too, thought it was a real vision, and, accordingly, from then on the knowledge of my probably early death guided me, as I have mentioned elsewhere in this thread. So, when the news of my cancer was given me, I felt "oh yes, I was told about this."

I am glad, incidentally, that it came a bit "soon". My nephew is only twenty-five, but really I might have made a mistake---there is not much difference in looks between twenty-five and twenty-seven. And, as the years wound down to fifty-four, I would have been a bit nervous, waiting for death to show up. This way, I worked until very nearly the end and had no fear. Indeed, Dr. Reilly, seeing the tumor burden and the fluid in my right lung, was very surprised I had worked for so long.

I am glad. too. that it has finality to it. I never wanted one of those last ailments where hope and fear alternate until there is no more hope. I always hoped that my death, when it came, would wear its true face from the outset.

I hope this has not ruined anyone's day. If it has, let me know, and I will post warnings at the top of my posts if I am going to be "grim".

Tomorrow, chasing the wild primary tumor with whip and pistol!

My love to you all.
Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
Ruined my day? Hardly! To see someone share such an intimate part of themselves with friend and stranger alike is a reminder of the calling of the wounded healer. To watch someone own their fate as surely as you do is sheer inspiration.

Miss Molly, I know that someday I am going to walk on the same road you are walking now (or one like unto it). Having had the guided tour will only make it easier to walk with confidence.

Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Dear Molly, rather than ruin my day, I have an overwhelming urge to hug you...
I write now from a friend's house in Plymouth, UK... my trip continues, and it is so much fun. One of my objects in coming so far for so long, was that I find what I called a heartful of memories. You, I think, must have several heartfuls- or at least it sounds like it. When you go on the final journey, won't it be fun, sharing them again with God- who has been there all along of course, but will love talking them all over again with you?
At least, that's my belief anyway.
Shalom, blessings and, of course, hugs.
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
Thank you, Miss Molly. You might like to know that our church prayed for you yesterday. Last week one of our members (in her 20s) finally went to be with God after a battle with cancer, and as it was the first funeral our church has had, we were in a reflective mood. Your story inspired a great deal of heartfelt prayer.

I'm sure that by now someone has sent you the Eva Cassidy album 'Songbird' as it has your favourite 'Fields of Gold' on it. Yesterday I was listening to it and the track 'Wayfaring Stranger' caught my attention. The gutsy, passionate struggle with life and longing for Heaven in that song once again brought you to mind.
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
Molly, thank you so much for sharing your experience with us.

I don't think it's grim at all. These things are part of life, and I am blessed by seeing how well you handle them.

Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
A picture of Katie will soon land in your other mailbox, Miss Molly (I'd forgotten how limited the storage space Hotmail gives you is). Thank you very much for not complaining about such huge attachments, especially since now I can't do what I promised and print the photos out, as my printer expired last night!

And thank you for very much for the account of your illness and diagnosis - not depressing at all, but inspiring, and somehow very heartening and encouraging to other people who may well one day find themselves facing something similar. Bless you!
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Thank you Molly, not only for feeling that you can share these things with us but also for being the woman that you are. I have said it before and I will say it again, you are an inspiration to us all. [Heart] To 'hear' you write with such strength is wonderful and your sense of humour, as you know, never fails to make me cry tears of happiness. Thank you and keep the stories coming!
[Heart] (big bunch of sweet scented yellow roses) and love from us all here!!! [Heart]
Posted by Ancient Mariner (# 105) on :
There isn't a trace of self-pity or sentimentality in any of your posts, Miss Molly.

Long may you face the issues we must all encounter at some time with the kind of grace and rigor that truly inspires and humbles us.
Posted by Ham'n'Eggs (# 629) on :
Oh, Miss Molly, how I laughed when reading about your admission! [Big Grin]

And then was amazed yet again at the grace that is reflected from you. It is such a privilage to know you! [Heart]

Thank you for filling us in on more of the details that I've wondered about, but not had the temerity to ask.

BTW - you remember that ragged rapscallion who made so bold as to email you about 2 months ago? You were shrewd enough to spot some association with myself. (I have to admit that I did give the lad a helping hand at a crucial point in his life.) I'm sure that you will let me know when you have worked out his origin... [Wink]

With love and adulation,

Your Pig :oink:
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Molly, yes I did get the book, and I read half of it prior to sleep last night. [Smile]
I'm at the part where he goes to confront Miles and his former girlfriend before taking the Big Sleep. That Pete, is one tough Kat. He just went through the battle with Belle and has escaped out the door. [Frown]

What all the rest above me have said applies to me, too. As I mentioned on another thread (probably the one that earned me membership in the Unsuccessful Thread Beginner's Refuge) I've always tended not to disclose pain, sorrow, suffering, sickness - even to absolutely deny anything is wrong. Then when I collapse or go crazy everyone is astounded and says "I never even knew this was going on." I learn from you how to be. God has told me in the past, not to stay so come out into the light.

So I thank you....awaiting more as you can.

I have pictures back from Chrismation! Just as soon as I can make copies I'll send them for you and St Seb to see. (this week for sure)

Love always, Bessie [Heart]
And assorted purring noises and paw pats from Fearless.
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
Yes, I was the one that said "Nurses make the worst patients" I would love to hear your story if you would tell it. I so love to hear honest and true stories, not only of situations, but also with their own role in it. I am a mediator by temperament and now by study (!), and a big part of that is learning to look at yourself. I have never had an experience of death, except a vision of being a part of the rapture, but I sincerely love C.S. Lewis and his attitude towards it. I read his "Letters to an American Lady" and wonder how she felt about his thrill that she may die and be on the other side at last! I am honored that you would share that with me. Your sharing has been so open, and honest, a true blessing for me in that I have never had to really deal with someone in your situation. You have given me insights and a heart for those that are on a journey they will not return from, and I have grown in compassion coupled with knowledge.
Thank you so much. In spite of all, I pray for you and the gift you've given all of us.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
(discovered in front of her mirror, combing her hair to conceal her horns.)

Good afternoon, my Australian shipmates, my sympathy to you, my British and continental shipmates who will be having to rise to a new day soon, and of course, sweet dreams to my American and Canadian shipmates.

To continue with my tale, Sunday was a day of rest as the Bible commands, except for ritual cleansing for the following day's CT ceremonial, where the mysteries of my abdomen were to be revealed. This cleansing was accomplished by drinking a special beverage, citrate of magnesia (known as the green bomb) and eating special tablets. These nourishments provided me with exercise and diversion, successfully preventing any melancholy.

In the morning then, I was conveyed, this time with oxygen, to the CT exam room, where again I lay down, passed through the portal of the machine, held my breath and released it as instructed, and so provided the doctors with a look at my innards. The procedure is painless. A dye is injected into your veins which provides contrast in your organs, improving the clarity of the picture. This dye causes a warm feeling to spread throughout your body as your circulation carries it in your arteries. The only difficult part of the procedure is holding your breath for the required interval if, as I was, you are gasping a bit for air.

After the procedure, I was taken back to my room. Here, I must just say a word about the friendly transporters. They were courteous and strong. I couldn't believe the speed with which some quite slender female transporters wheeled my bulk the great distance from my room in the new hospital to the X-Ray department in the old. They were also obliging. There were historical displays on the walls, and on two occasions, when I asked, they were willing to pause and let me examine the objects and texts. And, they always wrapped me warmly so I would be comfortable if I had to wait in the X=Ray department hall. The one who forgot my oxygen was covered with shame when she discovered her mistake. She never forgot again.

The CT scan was not the revelation for which Dr Reilly hoped. We were searching for a primary tumor that was the mother of the ones in my lungs. The ones in my lungs were so poorly differentiated, that is to say, so undeveloped and useless except at using nourishment and growing very fast, that their origin, and hence the best treatment, could not be determined. The scan showed no tumors in my belly.

We thus had to go to the next step, an endoscopy and colonoscopy, to look for cancer in my gastrointestinal tract, a frequent source of metastases. The ritual cleansing I had undergone the night before was not sufficient. If I had been reasonably kosher, now I had to be kosher for Passover! Accordingly, I was brought a large jug of clear liquid, and told I must drink the whole thing. This was Colyte, a combination of potassium, sodium, and polystyrene designed to cleanse any secret wrinkle of your bowels that the other measures missed. I have bullied patients into drinking it myself, with the best of intentions. A 'scope does no good unless you are literally pink and squeaky clean inside; if you are not, disease can hide. However, I repent in the dust! The stuff tastes like melted plastic picnic forks, naturally enough, as they are made of this plastic. Your body knows very well it is not supposed to ingest forks. Your mother warned you when young to be careful! My body was doing an uncanny imitation of George Bush, Sr. (very odd this for a life-long yellow dog Democrat) and speaking to me in these words: "Nope, nope! Not gonna do this. Wouldn't be prudent."

In short, I am convinced it is one of the beverages served to the damned. I resolved to be good the rest of my life. I succeeded in drinking about half of it, turning deaf ears to all pleas to ingest more. I really could not have drunk any more, if you had promised me it would cure my cancer!

But not to worry, the team had another liquer for my delectation. In the morning, I was provided with a "phospha-soda". This delightful refreshment simply tasted like salt diluted just enough to be swallowed. It did have the advantage of being small in volume! I choked it down in about five swallows.

My body showed these cocktails had been effective by producing clear lemonade at the targeted orifice. I was glad I was at LDS Hospital and not University, because at University, we often practice the art of "enemas until clear" on our patients. Again, I repented and resolved to be very good in future.

After all was over, I cleaned up, and collapsed in my comfy bed to wait for my journey to have my lung punctured and then my journey to the tender mercies of Dr Petersen and his team. I made this trip in my bed. Going down the hall, I felt rather like the late Queen Mother in a state landau. I practiced my gracious wave at passers-by, who did not realize how privileged they were.

Why were they going to puncture my lung, you may ask? They had decided to obtain a sample of the fluid that was now almost filling my right lung, and had actually collapsed one of the lower bronchi in that estimable organ, which I came to refer to as Dex. Accordingly, I assumed a seated position, leaned forward over a tray table which had a pillow on it on which to rest my folded arms, and let a maniac, excuse me a gifted and dedicated physician, thrust a needle into an important bit of my anatomy. All while he watched a CT representation of my lung, so he wouldn't miss and hit something else, say my heart. (tongue in cheek smiley)

The needle was attached to rubber tubing, and the tubing was attached to a vacuum bottle. Dex was very obliging, spouting fluid first try. I was curious to see the fluid, and the doctor obliged me. It was rootbeer colored, dear friends. Not a good sign, in case you wondered. When I told my mother about it later, she commented, "I have told you and told you! Drink it, don't inhale it!"

Then on to the colonoscopy suite, where they started an IV and the last thing I remember is a huge injection of Demerol and Versed. The Demerol, for non-Americans, is Meperidine, a potent painkiller, the Versed is a drug to relax, assist sedation, and not least, to provide you with amnesia as regards the procedure. Fair enough, having tubing snaked down your throat as far as it will go and up from your posterior, also as far as it will go, would not be most people's choice of a golden moment to treasure in memory.

These recreations were jolly, but in the event, unhelpful in locating the cancerous mother lode. My digestive system was healthy, and there were no shed cancer cells in my lung fluid. I was actually relieved, however. I had been dreading them finding cancer in my bowels and having to decide whether or not to let them remove some of my intestine and make me an external emptying system. I had made up my mind, no. The surgery and the recovery period would eat up a good deal of any remaining time I had. Also, I have often cared for patients with various ostomies. For many people, it is a good and lifesaving option. But I knew, that in my case, as I grew steadily weaker, someone would have to deal with it for me. Put it down to stubbornness or unreasonable pride, but I was determined to deal with my own digestive products, as long as my bowels might function. I thought I could bear the pain when a tumor might cause complete blockage. I also was grateful there was no fungal infection in my lung, as it was possible there might have been. The physicians, being thorough, were ruling out everything besides cancer, including fungal diseases of the lung and tuberculosis. If I had had such an infection, the drug of choice would have been one known to nurses as Amphoterrible. Enough said?

So, all in all, things might have been much worse, I felt. And of course, so I wouldn't be bored, there were more diversions planned.

Stay tuned for: extracting lung tissue through a tiny hole and through darkest ICU-land!
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Molly,

Am following the saga with interest. Awaiting the next installment.

[Heart] Love and prayers [Heart]

Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
dear Molly
God bless you
love hugs and prayers
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
My Mamman Rita died at the age of 81 this summer... (this summer past, I guess it would be, for Northerners & Europeans. This winter passing, for Australians?)

She had some congestive heart failure, and was taking that blood thinner that's also used in rat bait. [Razz] [Razz] [Razz]

I had moved from South Louisiana to wait out the "oil bust" of the 1980's, settling in the the tri-state area of Iowa/Nebraska/South Dakota. My dh Michael worked mostly for the big worldspanning meat processors. I wrote obituaries and delivered singing telegrams.

We came back home in the summer of 1995, bringing with us the best of the gain of almost 10 years away from the bayou: a third child, named for my father and Mike's grandfather, and a red brindle pit bulldog.

We were blessed to move in across the road from Mamman, and to descend again into the Cajun lifestyle. I began to love her all over again, as an adult and a mother myself, building rich layers onto my child-love and memories.

She was a strong woman, reveling in all-season gardening. She kept a huge flock of chickens and sold the coveted home-grown eggs for $1.00 per dozen. I'd often find her caring for an uncle's pack of deer dogs, wearing her floppy gardening hat and jeans and orthopedic tennies.

I remember her uncharacteristic gentle hug of my husband's niece (we are not a touchy-feely family), who was staying with us to escape an abusive home life.

I remember her flashing movie-star smile... great false teeth she had. The old Cajun way is not to fight to preserve the teeth, you see, but to yank 'em at the first sign of trouble, and to obtain a fantastic set of false teeth.

So many trips to her various doctors... I was blessed to play chauffeur, since Mamman never did learn to drive. She was such a homebody, content on her home ground. It was odd-feeling to bring her out for increasingly more frequent medical appointments, she who could barely be persuaded into a daughter's nearby brick home when hurricanes threatened...

One last project she tackled was to be hostess, along with my sister Jolene, to a visiting documentary crew from Canada. From Quebec, I suppose, since all the dialog was to be in French. They were filming the various aspects of my sister's life (imagine! my baby sister, a documentary star!), as she is a linguist and the directoress of the Evangeline/Longfellow Acadian Museum in St. Martinville, Louisiana.

So, they filmed her working, and they filmed her fiance's family, as they all speak Cajun French and are active in preserving the culture of the Cajuns. Then they came to Thibodaux to film Mamman and Jolene cooking an eggplant cake.

A spitting, scratching cat-fight between the director and the "star", a Canadian actress of some soap opera fame, was also conducted in French. Around Mamman's sacred kitcen table!

Jolene stood there amazed, wondering why Mamman didn't grab them by the scruffs of their necks to wash their mouths out with pumice soap! Such extravagant cursings! All with religious overtones, too. Translated, it was "You tabernacle!" "You chalice!" "Holy idiot!"... Things like that.

(Are the arguments on the streets in Quebec all filled with churchy cursings? Or are those code-word references to prostitutes' body parts, or some other mysterious cultural adaptation?)


You remind me so much of Mamman, M.M. Not on the surface, perhaps... but you are both wise women, who shed love. Mamman wasn't educated, having left school after the fourth grade. Her wisdom was apparent, though; she told me how and when to plant things, and she was sharp about people and their motives.

She kept track of the intimate business of an extended family with wildly different lifestyles. She enjoyed life and sharing the work of her hands. She kept a succession of special cats as far back as I can remember.

Uncle Charles found one morning that she had passed away in bed. How uncharacteristic that was; no one was more interested in being 'up and doing' than Mamman Rita.

You have reminded me of a particularly great lady whom I loved, through your wit and lovingkindness. My sincere hope for you is that you continue to travel this rough road you're on with strength and style and wit and grace and love. I pray for your complete recovery, but even more urgently I pray that you draw ever nearer to God... as that is the most important bit, yes? [Angel]
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Molly, my dear,

I promised I'd make time to stop by your thread, and here I am, with many apologies for my long-ish absence! May I first of all offer the services of two more bunnies - if I didn't send you photos of them, their pictures are on my website, which I will email to you.

George and Alice are enjoying the nice autumn days that we're having at the moment, but I think the weather is just becoming a little too chilly for their liking first thing in the morning, judging by their recent reluctance to go out. Alice was a dirty great stopout the other night - did not appear at all, although she was called a great number of times. The next day we had a note from our next-door neighbour through the front door, just to say that Alice had appeared out of her spare room that morning. Sue had left the window open a crack the previous day, to air the room ready for her granddaughter's visit. Once certain cat, in disgust at not being allowed into her own house, regardless of the number of times she (presumably) stared in through the kitchen window, had let herself in and settled down in peace and comfort for a good night's sleep! [Disappointed] What a good thing that Sue is a good neighbour, and is very fond of cats!

Must get on with some work now... Much love to you, Molly. May you know that you are always on my mind, forever in my heart.

God bless you (and yes, that halo is just about hiding your horn buds!) [Angel] [Devil] [Angel]

Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Dearest Molly,
Just got home and am ready to throw myself at a shower, eat and sleep! But I wanted to say thank you for your email... i will respond tomorrow, once my brain is back in gear! But thank you thank you thank you.... [Wink] [Heart] [Heart] [Heart] Don't think I need to say more right now!

Love forever,
All of us here!!!
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Oh, I've been meaning to offer a bunny to you, Molly. His name is Fred and he would be quite pleased to have his little life be useful to someone - in such a wonderful assignment as nibbling pain away.

He belonged to my daughter's nephew - who lived across the street from them. Sadly, he became homeless due to a unspeakable tragedy.


My daughter, son-in-law, and 2 grandkids took him to keep. He has a 2 story condominium outside with a fan, heat lamp, quilt covering and as many rabbit amenities that can be given. But, you know - it's not much of a life for a beautiful long haired brown rabbit. He is quite large, a real thumper. He misses, I'm sure, his original Justin, who loved him.

So, I'll be happy to know he's on your team.
(and so will Becky, Steve, Ashley and Stevie)
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
P.S. I'll try to get a picture of Fred to send with the other pix I'm sending. I've left Becky a message to ask for one.

Posted by clare (# 17) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

Have to echo Scotts comments - reading your brave and generous accounts helps bring together aspects of life, living and dying that normally exist in separate compartments. I have a real adversion to hospitals, I hate being in them (thankfully so far only at birth, the odd bit of stiching up and visiting other people), just reading the posters about illnesses to watch out for turns my stomach! and I avoid hospital dramas on the telly. Part of this is good old fashioned squeemishness, maybe part of it a fear of illness and pain and the sacrifice of normality that comes with ill health. But hearing your stories makes it sound less scary, less 'other'. It will probably come sometime, if not to me to people I love. And God will give me strength too.

thanks again, and may you continue to enjoy all Gods blessings.

love clare
Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Dear Miss Molly, one lot of Reiki will be coming to you from a very slightly different angle for the next three days, as I'm going down to Cornwall, in the far south-west, to visit friends until Saturday. I'll catch up with this thread then - meanwhile I admire you more than ever for managing to swallow all those melted plastic forks...

Much love, Margaret
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Miss Molly,

I read through your entire thread today with interest. I meant to earlier but things keep popping up...and God then gently tapped me on the
shoulder when I heard Sting singing "Fields of Gold" this morning...on my FM car radio.

My update: grandma still alive, in hospital in Iowa...I may go out there on Thanksgiving. My boss's temperment has been very nice lately..she let me know I will not be canned since I have a "positive attitude" [translation...I am doing a good enough job $$$ in sales]. As they say, Money talks.

My life has definitly been touched by your Molly. Even through your ordeals, you still are always curious to hear about mine. When I talked to you on the phone, I was always scared I was depleating your precious energy. I could have talked to you forever.

Hopefully you have recovered from my naughty posts on msn to you and the cat-eating-rumour-starter (St. Seb) on msn (remember that? [Devil] )

I find all the details you write about your treatment a big comfort. My thing in life is always to KNOW EVERYTHING. I want to know DETAILS of what you are going through...and your thoughts since I do get down about you having to leave the mothership. I don't want you to be in pain...and sometimes I imagine it worse than it is for you.

I must put this link up...this is incorporating my idea for a hyprocrite on the ship and Scot and other's idea for someone banging their head in frustration:

(courtesy of Scot's webpage, where he put them)

I don't know why...but I always laugh looking at these. I hope they make you laugh as well.

May God continue to sustain you with His unbinding light...yes, I wish Him to heal you, dear sweet sister.
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
One more thing I forgot to tell you Miss Molly...
hunching the shoulders up...tightening...and then releasing IS HELPING me at work whenever my boss fires daggers like "I know it's Friday but we've still got to WORK"...thx for the tip. [Big Grin]
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
Afternoon Miss Molly,

I've been off-line for the last few days and have just tuned in to the Great Primary Hunt Caper....

A great lesson in irreverent demystification of the investigation process! I wonder whether your various attendants at LDS know how they have been displayed like so many butterflies in cyberspace? Love it!!!

On tenterhooks for the next cliffhanger and thinking of your white cell count all the while,

Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Ahoy again, dear shipmates. I say this sotto voce for New World maties who are asleep, in a determinedly brisk and cheerful dayshift nurse tone for the UK and continental contingent, and in winding down-to-the-end-of-the-workday cadence for those in Oz!

Thank you, Beets and Bessie, for sending your rabbit companions to help me.

Thank you, Janine, for the wonderful memoir of your dear Maman. You may be interested to know that traditional Ozarkians often lack teeth as well. However, they usually try to retain a couple, preferably in opposition to one another. They do own dentures, but often they are for ceremonial use.

I am glad the tense and release is helping, your Grace. My prayers are with your grandmother. If you ever feel inclined to call me, please do so. I found it delightful to talk to you.

Dear shipmates, I just ran out of oomph. I will post more later today.
Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
A Watership Down full of rabbits to you, Molly!
Posted by Clíona (# 2035) on :
Dear Molly, mo chroi agus mo chara dhil,

I'm really enjoying your storyteller turn of phrase here, despite the content being so gorey! You do have a gift. You could have taken the title 'Ship's Seanchai' but then, nobody would have understood except you and me, and perhaps Fudge! (A Seanchai is a story-teller in Gaelic to everyone else who's reading.) You make me laugh out loud and also cry from hearing your story. Thankyou for sharing. I can't believe I'm stupid enough to have read your description of the CT scan and various beverages and punctures done to you while in front of one of my training classes! [Eek!] (They were doing an exercise.) I'm sure I turned various shades of green and red as I alternatively felt nauseous and wanted to laugh. (Hmm. Must set them a harder exercise so I have more time to write! [Devil] )

Anyway, my dear, Ireland's feeling very Autumnal at the moment. The skies are grey and full of rain - but, when you can see the trees through the driving rain they're a panoply of gold and red, dressing up to celebrate the end of another year. The rain brings another joy too - the smell of the earth at this time of the year is really pungent. It smells of fertility and promise, giving hope that will extend past the cold, dark days of Winter. The fields across the river from my house are all golden as the hay has been saved, which means you're constantly in my thoughts.

I hope your rabbits are like the Beast of AAaaarrggh! from Monty Python, that they will gobble up your pain so you can feel some comfort. This is my prayer for you. Although I'm sure it makes God laugh to hear it! [Big Grin]

Posted by Ham'n'Eggs (# 629) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

Thank you for your latest episode which made me laugh lots again. I see what you mean now about not being a good patient!

Love and prayers, as always.


P.S. I received this communication this morning, and cannot make head or tail of it. What do you think?


Skimmit, Sidle & Dash
Solicitors, Commisioners for Oaths, Mourners
12 Sea-Dumpling Lane, London, EC.

7 October 2002

RE: Investigations on behalf of your client Master B. Ocean.

Dear Sirs,

In accordance with your kind instructions, we have commenced the requisite searches.

We are awaiting a response from the main line of enquiry that you supplied (being Sister Perpetua of the Corporation Foundling Hospital, Portsmouth).

We shall revert to you forthwith upon further developments.

Please be assured of my utmost attention to this matter.


Eustace Sidle.

Mr. Hashem Djaroueh
c/o/ Djaroueh Imports/Exports International,
Pikine Road Market, Fass, Dakar

Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Note to Hammie:

Hunh?!? [Paranoid]


Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
Think it's something to do with our friend Blue.
Posted by Ham'n'Eggs (# 629) on :
Hi Janine, and welcome to the Ship. [Smile]

Miss Molly likes a good puzzle. (Even when the pieces are spread out over several months.) I think that this may be one.
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
Don't worry Janine, Hammy Eggy has always been mad (he hit his head falling off a gangplank when he was a baby) and is unlikely to stop now.

But if you think he is weird, you should meet some of the other shipmates...... [Paranoid] [Yipee]

I, of course, am perfectly normal [Wink]

Keep up with the everlasting sentences Molly! At least they're not too tiring to post, you can almost do them in your sleep [Snore] [Big Grin]
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Sleep well, dear one.
Hugs, hand holds, purrs, pats and all that jazz. [Heart]
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear shipmates, thank you all for your kind words.

Thank you, Margaret, for continuing the Reiki even on a pleasure trip. I hope you have a good and relaxing visit with your friends.

Thank you, your Grace, for your phone call! It is always a pleasure to talk to you.

Thank you, Cliona, for your description of an Irish autumn. I could almost see and feel "the road wet, and the wind close".

Ham'n'Eggs, thanks for the puzzle! I am noting all clues.

Bessie, thank you and our sweet Fearless for your affection.

And now the saga continues! (cue John Williams music)

I must say I resisted the patient role. For instance, I usually did not wear my identification bracelet, as it got in my way in the loo. And after all, I was prepared to tell anyone who I was. (Joy of the World and Glory of the Purple, Byzantine Holy Roman Empress, in case anyone has forgotten.) The day I was abducted by aliens and probed, I had left it on my bedside table, and the longsuffering transporter had to go back for it.

After the aliens released me, I was back in my room, with my friend Marian at my bedside to help. Because of medication needed to successfully pass the scope down my throat, I was a little slurred in my speech and I could not swallow, but I expressed as well as I could my gladness in seeing her. I kept on talking and trying to make my swallow muscles work, until she finally said, "Rest! You don't need to entertain me." I said to her that I was afraid to rest, because I feared I would choke. I knew this was silly, because I had also had medication to decrease my saliva flow, but I still was afraid. She told me soothingly that she would not let me choke, and on this assurance by a nurse I trusted, I was able to fall back asleep.

After a rest period, I woke up, and found myself able to swallow once again and hence eligible for a tray containing hot cider, jello, and broth! I was very eager for this and hoovered it up, the nurse part of my brain having been bound and gagged by the hunger and thirst part of my brain. (If I had been my patient, I would have told me to take a few sips slowly and see how I felt.)

Just after this delectable meal, my friend Lincoln Ure showed up. He is a priest, and had come to give me the Sacrament. I was delighted to see him, and most glad to make my Communion. But just after he had left, my indiscretion in diet caused me to vomit. Please don't tell Fiddleback or similarly inclined shipmates, as I think the Inquisition's writ may still run in Utah...

Marian had had to leave, but she had passed the conn to Jean, another nurse friend. This worthy patiently held the trash can for me to deposit my toenails in. More than this, her excellence extended to not turning a hair as I set the floor awash with urine, since my bladder has the curious idea it is supposed to empty at the same time as my stomach.

Although I had often tended nauseous and incontinent patients, and never felt they were any less as people, I had sworn if ever I were a patient, my body would be under control. It was good for me to have the experience of being helpless and humiliated.

I had also sworn I would never call out for a nurse, but express my requests on their rounds or in case of emergency only, use the call button. This also came under the category of vows that caused amusement in high places. The first night I wore my C-PAP, I slept so well I forgot I was basically breathless. In the morning, needing to use the loo, I swiftly rolled over in bed, sat straight up, and was immediately completely winded and gasping. In my case, I can only wear the mask if my breathing is controlled. If I am gasping, it feels as if I am drowning in the flow of air. So I pulled off the mask, thinking this was not good, but that I would just reattach my nasal cannula tubing to the oxygen source and so be all right. I could not find the tubing! (Later it proved to be coiled up neatly on top of the machine, but I could not locate it in my haste.) Again I thought this was not good but I would call the nurse. Accordingly, I pushed the call button. Of course, no nurse appeared within the next nanosecond, which I was feeling as an hour or two. This was not good either, but I thought I would now be justified in yelling for help! I emitted feeble little cries, no doubt inaudible if you were more than a foot away. Of course, I had insisted my door be shut at all times, as well... However, at this juncture, an aide appeared. She was very frightened by my breathing, but I was able to indicate to her what I needed, and soon was back to baseline!

My best love to you all.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :

Not to say I have anything less than a sky-high opinion of nurses... my maternal grandparents Granny and Pappy Green were both nurses... but there are only so many nurses and aides available on a split-second's notice.

So, I always try to stay with loved ones in the hospital if there might be any urgent need at all during their stay.

Well, except for when my mom-in-law is in a critical-care cardiac unit after her occasional angioplasties. At those times she is fully visible and only 15 feet away from the nurses' station. They wouldn't let me stay there 24/7 anyway.

It's great that you have people who check on you and help you, but please don't feel like a failure if you need to ask for help when they aren't around to jump to your side.

I agree with you; the humbling aspects of physical infirmity are good for us, I think. I have always been the tough one, the strong one, among other women... I was Daddy's "boy" when I was small.

Now that I am approaching 40, I find it necessary to make a grand campaign out of it if I want to keep my body at the level it had 10 and 20 years ago... thus far, I've not been willing to do the work, so downhill I go.

You're likely doing yourself a world of good with your postings-in-a-bottle to the Ship, and your e-mails, etc. I know you're doing me a great deal of good!

Thank you! [Not worthy!] [Angel] [Sunny]
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
((wonders if all this bodily fluid falderal was before or after he made his fateful appearance at the behest of shipmates. Thinks sullenly that that a chapter entitled "The Radiant Light of Extreme Humility and Compassion That Is Sebastian" had best be forthcoming....))
Posted by Ham'n'Eggs (# 629) on :
St Sebastian - looks like she is building up the expectations. Am eagerly awaiting your entrance stage left.

Miss Molly, what am I to do? I appear to be acting as some sort of post office for armchair detectives. Yet another missive has gone adrift:


Skimmit, Sidle & Dash
Solicitors, Commisioners for Oaths, Baliffs
12 Sea-Dumpling Lane, London, EC.

8 October 2002

RE: Inv on bhlf your clnt Mstr B. Ocean.

Dear Sir,

Further to my communication of the 7th inst, I gives me pleasure to inform you that there have been developments in this matter.

I have received a communication from Sister Perpetua. (I would rather not quote from it. Suffice be it to say that she appears to have attended the Seminary of Life) The substance thereof is that Master Ocean was, at the age of about 4 months old, deposited on the doorstep of the Foundling Hospital wrapped in a brown paper parcel, by a mysterious cloaked figure that vanished into the night.

I shall revert to you as soon as further information is forthcoming.

I remain Sir, your obedient servant,

Eustace Sidle, BA(London)

Mr. Hashem Djaroueh
c/o Djaroueh Imports/Exports Intnl,
Pikine Road Mkt, Fass, Dakar

Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Hi, Miss Molly and Cliona!

I know that storyteller person as the Sennachie. I think it's also the person who recites the genealogy of the monarch at their enthronement.

Miss Molly, I'm afraid I disposed of all the artefacts and books from the family. I didn't know that I could be embraced because of my grandparents, BTW.

In London, the sparrows have all disappeared. Only this year have we encouraged any birds into our back yard (paved with York stones, an old London patch as big as a room, not and American "yard"), since the decease of Jerry who is in cat's heaven chasing everlasting butterflies in the sunshine. Now we have been blessed by the regular visits of a dunnock, a hedge sparrow, which comes and lurks around in the clematis and jasmine. It's totally unfased by our presence.

We also get flocks of marauding tits, who whizz down, munch up all the insects they can find in five minutes and then chatter off to the next fly-in-cafe.
Posted by Bronwyn - Nearly home (# 52) on :
I have crept back onto the ship, dispite being on shore leave. Sean managed to fix the computer for me but I can't have MSN so I am sad because I love chatting to you Miss Molly. This connection is by the minute so I have to restrict it and with the moving I can not be here too often. Still will keep up when I can.

Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Hello again, dear shipmates.

Daisy Msy thanks for the account of the birds in your neighborhood. As you know, I have ducks and geese living across the street. When the sun should be coming up, the geese take the place of roosters and summon him from his slumbers with loud honks! Yes, your grandfather would count as your Masonic affiliation for purposes of joining Eastern Star; I am assuming he was a Master Mason. If you wish to join, you list him on your petition. Then all depends on the report of the investigative committee assigned to meet with you and see if they like the idea of you as a sister. I am sure this would just be a formality.

Bronwyn, I had been missing our chats. I kept seeing you sign in, but you never hallooed me, so I thought it must be Sean at work, and did not want to bother him. I am thinking of you during these last few stressful days before your move, my dear. God bless you and keep you safe on your journey, and be the guardian of your new home.

Ham'n'Eggs, thanks for further clues. I, too, would say that "Sister Perpetua has been out and night and seen the sights."

And now for our main feature:

The day after I escaped from the aliens was a state holiday, so I could rest.

However, we still had no idea about the primary tumor as nothing was seen in my GI tract, and no cells were available in my lung fluid for the pathologist to examine. Therefore, it was decided to risk a needle biopsy.

Accordingly on July 25th, and early in the morning thanks to the pushiness of my physician, who saw that I could not really stand too much more at that point, I returned to the all-too-familiar X-Ray department and entered the CT examination room again. By now, despite my lung being drained of about 500 cc of fluid, I was in increasing respiratory distress. The first time I tried to lie down for the scan I simply could not breathe. I knew, however, that somehow I must do this. I asked to sit up for a minute, and I pounded my right fist on my thigh, repeating to myself, "you have to do this somehow." Then I tried again and succeeded in holding my breath, letting them get a picture, and then rolling on my side so the radiologist could insert a needle and attempt to draw out enough of my tumor tissue to permit the pathologist to get an idea of what we were dealing with from the metastases. Fortunately, one of the seventeen tumors was in easy reach of his needle. He skillfully extracted his sample and I was allowed to return to my room.

The pathologist examined the tumor tissue for a match with as many types of cancer as was possible. The sample was small, however, and he simply ran out of material. Dr Reilly ordered a tumor marker blood test as well. The only marker that was significant was one that indicates a muscular origin for my cancer, so no joy there.

The next step was to be a bronchoscopy and if need be a thoracoscopy. I was concerned by both these options, as I would have to be under sedation, and I wasn't sure my lungs could stand up under it. The second option actually frightened me a little, as my stress level was such that I heard the word as thoracotomy. I had taken care of many people with thoracotomies, which is a surgery to remove a portion of lung, and involves rib removal, a large incision, draining the lung with a chest tube, and a great deal of pain. I knew from experience how necessary it would be for me to cough to keep my healthy lung tissue clear and expanded; I also knew that it would be very painful, and I was already so tired.

Dr Reid, the surgeon came to see me, and to my great relief, explained that what was planned was a visually aided thoracoscopy, which is a relatively new procedure, postdating my time on a ward with many lung patients. It would involve making small key hole incisions in my back and under my arm. By inserting a tiny light, he would be able to see my lung tissue well, and with tiny cutting instruments, be able to remove a wedge large enough to permit diagnosis he hoped. Incidentally, he was a cautious man in naming my illness, kept referring to it as perhaps a cancer. I thought, a bit irritated, as it was very hard for me to have people not on the same page of the book as I was, "I don't care if you call it chocolate pudding so long as your eyesight is keen, your hand steady and your knife sharp!"

Dr Reid was actually a very responsive surgeon, however. He spent about thirty minutes talking to me to weigh options. My great desire was to spend no time in the ICU, and to wake up from surgery without the ventilator tube in my throat. Indeed, I would have much preferred not to undergo surgery at all. I had begged that they do as many needle biopsies as needed, but it was felt this would not work.

It was hoped the bronchoscopy would yield a tumor for inspection, but if not I would simply have to undergo the thoracoscopy. The question now was, which lung? After weighing all the options, Dr Reid decided my best chance for avoiding the ICU and lengthy intubation was for him to scope my right lung. At the same time, he could drain all the fluid and perform a pleuradesis. By this, he meant he would peel the pleural membrane back from my lung and paint the lung itself with sterile talcum powder, before restoring the membrane to its place. The talcum would cause my lung to "glue" itself to the membrane and prevent a future collapse of the lung. Together with draining the fluid, he felt this would give me considerable relief of my symptoms.

I agreed to this, but warned him, if I woke up intubated I would pull the tube out. I just knew I would never be able to bear something down my throat; I would feel as though I was choking. The other proviso was that I requested him to write "do not resuscitate" orders. These orders were already in effect on the floor, although Dr Venner (the hospitallist) had been very uncomfortable with writing them, but I knew that once I was in the operating room, and later, in the ICU, that Dr Venner's order was voided, and Dr Reid was the law.

Thank goodness, he understood my wishes and agreed. My mother has had to make many extremely difficult decisions in her life; I wished to spare her one involving turning off machines that might be keeping me alive. I knew my father would let her make the decision, and was determined to have it taken out of her hands.

Marmot came to visit me during this time, and what a eucatastrophe it was (thank you Professor Tolkien) to see her smiling face peek around my door. Her smile was like sunshine as she announced, "I'm Marmot!" How she brought love ot me from you all! I cannot thank her enough.

Indeed, the e-mails, cards, gifts, and phonecalls from you all were my daily sustenance. The hope of attending the mountain meet was the thing that kept me struggling on through all these procedures. I knew I could not be cured, but I hoped I might be strong enough, for long enough, to attend this meet and do one or two other things, if I went through all the doctors had in mind.

God bless you all, and I will return with further adventures.
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
A question for you, Miss Molly.

In the ballroom dancing world, when a dancer dies a last waltz is danced for them.

Is there a particular prayer, poem, song or something which you would like shipmates to do to mark the day when you are 'promoted to glory', as the Salvation Army so beautifully put it? A sort of 'Tom Bowling' equivalent for 'the darling of our crew'?

(Now I've made that suggestion, I can see you requesting that we all learn and perform a sailor's hornpipe in front of a webcam...!)
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

I have been following your posts every day. It is so difficult to talk about such very intimate things. I felt drawn to this thread, well, because the fleeting contacts I had with you when you came back were so charming, and because the posts you wrote were so witty and articulate (true, true) but also because I had lost my mum (who was only 61) to cancer just a year before.

It was diagnosed (by me) less than a month after my Dad died, and was very advanced and I found myself holding her hand through the round of tests and scans and sitting by her bedside ambushing her clinicians on ward rounds etc etc. I am a doctor, but I had very little experience of dealing with cancer even when I worked on the general wards as a junior dogsbody-doctor. I couldn't bear not to bring her home to spend her last months with me, and found myself running a sort of makeshift oncology cum palliative care ward for one in my dining room. We got on very well and it also had an element of a student girlie houseshare to it, which was great fun a lot of the time.

Fortunately there was an orchard outside my window and she really loved that; watching the squirrels and magpies and chaffinches almost made up for having to leave behind the retinue of rather pampered stray cats that she and my Dad had accumulated at home (they used to have home made chicken soup specially cooked for them in winter in case they felt cold).

In England I believe our cancer medicine service is rather inferior to that in the states. I am very glad to think that you are getting a high standard of care. Even though I am a medic, I found it very difficult to get all the bits of care that mum needed coordinated. I wished so much reading your earlier posts that I could come round and lend a hand, with St. Sebastian. I hope that prayers help.

Mum gave me many wonderful gifts in her life and one the greatest was her example of sweetness and patience as she coped with her illness and left her retinue of nurses and doctors and care assistants etc cheered for having met her. I remember her happily plying the assorted ambulance crew, who grew very fond of her, with chocolate.

I think everyone on the ship is so glad to be reading your posts and there is such a courage in this - in talking about such intimate things, in starting this thread knowing that some days you wont have a lot of energy for writing. But it's part of life that we don't often talk about and there is so much value in doing this.

I think that's enough from me really.

I await the further adventures promised.

God Bless Molly
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Miss Molly, the feminist bit of me is grumbling. Only through my grandad (who was, yes, well in)! What about through my grannie?

I'm glad you didn't have that horrific procedure of sawing through your ribs. [Frown]

I had a liver biopsy once, and the young doctor who did it was being taught how. He got the needle jammed on one of my ribs, and the whole room (all the nurses on the ward had gathered to watch) suddenly began discussing which football team they and I supported. [Big Grin]
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
((((Welsh Dragon))))), thank you for being so brave and generous as to share your experience. It must have been so hard for you, making the diagnosis, knowing as a physician the sort of things your mother needed and having to fight for them, and watching, with a physician's eye and ear, as each body system faltered and she grew closer to death. I am glad you were able to care for her in your home, and that there were good times for you.

Daisy May, I know what you mean. There are a couple of Grand Chapters in the USA who permit a woman to petition for membership on her own merits, just as a man petitions the Blue Lodge he wishes to join, but Utah's Grand Chapter is not one of them, and I imagine the Supreme Grand Chapter and your local Grand Chapter are conservative as well. Another thing I disagree with is requiring a Master Mason to be present, and to administer the Obligation (special oath to keep the order's secrets and to work for the aims of the order). The Worthy Matron is considered to be the presiding officer, but in practice, she cannot function without the Worthy Patron (the Mason). I think it would be just as fair for the Worshipful Master of a lodge to be unable to preside without a Worthy Matron at his elbow! I had plans to change all this, as I worked my way up the line, but now I will have to leave reform to you! I still believe the aims of the Order are noble and I enjoy the fellowship and value the meaning of the ritual, so I hope someone will come along and improve things! In the meantime, I will travel East in the time-honored ways.

and now the next exciting episode:

The night before the surgery, the anesthesiologist came to see me. He looked at my mouth and throat to make sure there would be no problem inserting the ventilator tube, and asked me various medical history questions which would flag potential problems for his team. His plan was to try to use intrathecal narcotics, as this would not be as dangerous for a person who had only one functional lung. I would also recover much more quickly from the anesthesia. If this form of sedation proved impossible for some reason, the team would use the traditional inhaled anesthesia. He was a very kind man, and told me how a member of his practice, a young man, had just died suddenly of cancer, and how badly they all had felt. I think he told me this because people do tell me things (I have a kind, stupid face), but also to let me know his partner, who would be my anesthesiologist, would do his very best for me. He was very open about the tube; I certainly would be intubated a number of hours after surgery, and could count on at least a brief ICU stay. I told him my fears about the tube but he felt that I should have no trouble, and anyway would have a lot of medication on board to calm me.

You may have asked why I did not want to stay in the ICU at all, given that I would have the closest supervision and quickest response to complications there. I actually had several reasons, but not necessarily all reasonable. In the first place, ICU's are where the worst hospital "bugs" live, the most intractable ones. I feared acquiring some form of resistant staph infection. Secondly, it is very hard for ICU nurses to resist "doing something" to save a patient. It happens that do not resuscitate orders get lost, and the patient is on drips to regulate blood pressure, and drips to feed, and drips to protect the stomach, and of course on a ventilator if the lungs are dodgey,in no time. Then it is a battle to shut off the drips and machine. Although my family has discussed our wishes many times, and my mother and father knew mine, it would still feel to them as though they were killing me to order the efforts stopped if there seemed to be no hope of my recovery to my current baseline. And if I did recover? My death would be all to do over again, and probably not so easily. The final reason was that I had become familiar with my room; it had become home. I knew very well what ICU's were like, noise and no privacy. I wanted my four walls.

That night, I was supposed to take sleeping medication. Indeed I had scheduled sleeping medication for most of my hospital stay. I was a non-compliant patient in this regard as well. I did not like being "knocked out"! So I routinely refused the pills. The night before my operation was no different. I had an inchoate feeling that if this was the last night of my life, as was possible, I wanted it to count, not to be spent unconscious. So I sat on the side of my bed, as I did most nights, thinking, dozing, praying, drifting.

The next day, I was prepared for surgery. I had to take a shower with special soap, concentrating on scrubbing my chest and sides. I had a urinary catheter put in, with some difficulty, as of course its destination was not in the usual location. (Trust me to be like this. I had never actually checked where it was, worked was all I knew.)

Technicians then appeared and gowned, masked and gloved themselves for the procedure of inserting an ART line in my arm. This is a special heart monitoring device. I have very poor access to my circulatory system. My blood vessels are small and deep. The vessel they used, beginning in my wrist, was very twisty, and veered off the path they had anesthetized. I managed to hold still as it seemed a wire dug its way through my flesh, but it is not on my list of experiences I care to repeat. As it turned out, their efforts were for nought, as the line stopped working halfway through my surgery. They were hard-working, cheerful young men, though, and given a fighting chance I am sure their lines work perfectly.

It seems to me, though my memory may be faulty, that Marmot was with me until shortly before my surgery, when she had to leave to catch her bus. I want to say again how wonderful it was to have her cheerful, loving, understanding, company. May God reward her as I cannot.

An IV nurse had started an IV, and I was given an antibiotic and a dose of pain medicine through it, and then transported to the holding area. I was very sleepy, so sleepy in fact I didn't open my eyes, but I remember the anesthesiologist and a young doctor in training attempting to install an intrathecal catheter. Naturally, my spine was no more cooperative than my blood vessels or my urinary opening. They punched my spine three times and I felt it every time, but was too groggy to say anything. Then they gave up and I was put completely under using inhaled anesthesia.

Apologies for the cliffhanger here, but you know the heroine has to be alive in the next episode, so there is nothing to worry about!

my love to all my dear shipmates

Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Dear Molly,

How I wish we could all take a part of your experience and glady bear it for you...I hate it that you must go through all that. I am glad though you share the experience since it is a comfort to know what in the heck is going on. I also hope it helps you to write it out.

I was watching a movie the other day with Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson.I think it was called the Last American in Paris. The movie is post WWII in Paris and Elizabeth Taylor plays Helen, a cheerful, smart and sassy gal. The movie is cheerful yet gets a little deeper and skillfully you don't realise it till it suddenly hits you. I think sometimes that is more like life sometimes. You ease along and then WHOA you are slapped upside your head. Then, like the end of the movie, you get a new beginning.
(Trying not to spoil the movie in case somebody wants to see it and hasn't).

I kind of think these experience is like that for you. I can only imagine what it is like...but I pray for God's peace for you and comfort. I think the bravest people in the world are the people who take all the tests and surgeries hospitals do. I mean that!

I have gone through only a few in my life and I have literally been sternly lectured by a doctor two on my reactions. I will pray for you are able to bear these treatments.

Fields of God came on my radio at work today agin. That shall forever be your song Miss Molly in my heart. My God's love sustain you and the people who love you, us included here.
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

Just logged in to catch up on the next episode-Therese of Liseux's "journey of a soul" has nothing on this...I shall think of you the next time I put an IV into some unsuspecting member of the public...there are few things worse than difficult venous access, both for the owner of the veins and the would-be accessor!

Albert the tiger cat sends his regards; unfortunately Signor Farinelli (of the high -pitched squeak meow) is not about after he called in last night and Albert (territorial beast that he is) sent him packing with a bite on the rump.

Spring in Sydney has brought the magpies out in full force; a few weeks back the young were all hatching and woe betide any hapless pedestrian who walked beneath a tree with a nest-the irate mum and dad would swoop most aggressively! Now we have the young maggies (who are nearly as big as their parents and incredibly dopey) being instructed on the art of looking for grubs in the ground. Fortunately Albert has retired from catching maggies....

Will stay tuned for the next episode,

Ever interested,

Posted by marmot (# 479) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:

It seems to me, though my memory may be faulty, that Marmot was with me until shortly before my surgery, when she had to leave to catch her bus.

Yes, I was there, Molly. Before I ran to catch my bus, I nearly stopped at the desk to demand that a more experienced member of the IV team go to your room. But I wasn't sure you'd approve, so I said a quick but fervent prayer for your tormenters instead. [Help]
Posted by Michelle (# 53) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

It is the Thanksgiving long weekend here in Canada, and on the West Coast, it is beautiful. Sunny and crisp autumn weather, blue sky, yellow and orange and red leaves, squirrels scampering in front of my window (stealing my neighbour's hazelnuts and walnuts before they can get them!), and my cat Lilith wanting in, out, in, out, as cats are wont to do...

I hope you are having a beautiful fall where you are...the dying of the year induces in me a more reflective mood.

Thank you so much for sharing your most sacred story with us. It is truly a gift and a blessing. Your self-awareness and your intentionality about living your life every day, is inspiring. And your faithfulness and trust in God, and in the adventure that is before you, is moving and a true witness to the faith.

Lilith sends a meow and warm, purry hugs.

shalom, michelle
Posted by chukovsky (# 116) on :
Miss Molly,

just wanted to say how nice it was to finally speak to you yesterday and I hope I didn't wake you - I know you're too polite to say.

I foolishly left my washing out while I went to the Museum Tavern meet, and, lo and behold, it did rain and it was sopping wet when I got home but I was too tired to bring it in. So it was even wetter this morning. But it's cold enough to put the heating on (actually I put it on in September because I had a temporary lodger from Kenya who was feeling the cold, poor love) so it can dry inside happily.

It was pouring again this morning when I went to yoga class but nice later on.

Posted by Bronwyn - Nearly home (# 52) on :
Well Miss Molly, every day the house looks bearer, and people come, take all of our things away. I can not believe in a few days we will be flying. I have Sean's parents down for the weekend but they bought a camper two years ago and as a result would prefer to sleep in it rather than here.
Really missing having MSN and can't even chat in either cafe, so the puter is rather harder to manage than usual. It will be going itself tomorrow or Monday. I will have contact in Pakistan but do not know what access is like ie pricing and do not want to spend all time on.
I feel so worn down at the momment, having been ill and stress. Still soon it will be all done.
It has to be done soon.
Hope you are keeping ok, please take care,
(need to stop now as I write all I see below is the projectile smilie, which is how I feel right now)
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
Have been reading Little Saint (from a thread here!) and was entranced on reading about the west tympanum (the sculpture scene over the door to the church) and was charmed to hear about a rabbit. He is in hell, but his job is to spit and roast the 'wicked hunter'! I had visions of your bunnies sitting and roasting cancer cells over the fire. I can see them now, chattering away, a carrot or two being munched gleefully as they spit and turn every cell collected and brought in....!

Does it seem to you that once you've been to the doctor that a wave just takes over and before long you are doing these things that you said before you would never let anyone do that to you? Almost like a giant machine that once you enter, it is very hard to exit. Like you are saying about the 'not to resusitate' order. Hard for someone who's not been there to judge. I love your composure, and also your will to fight for as much as you can get.
Love you, prayers for the fighters,
Lady A
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
*adjusting new wig and lacey cap over her horns; no matter how she files them down they grow out new overnight*

Dear Marmot, I might have known you had thoughts to spare for me even in your rush.

Thank you all for descriptions of weather and feline activities in your respective neighborhoods. It is like being there with you, and like travelling for someone who spends all too much time sitting down.

Bronwyn, my prayers continue with you. Please rest as much as you can.

This is my thousandth post, dear shipmates! I wondered several times if I would see this day.

I regret to say, I am too tired just now to launch into the account of my ICU stay, as it really has no convenient stopping place and will have to be told in one long post.

Lady A, you are right about letting the doctors get hold of you! (Apologies to dear Welsh Dragon and to Multipara) Having been a nurse for so many years, I realized the truth of a metaphor I once read: letting the doctors examine you is like letting a mechanic under the hood of your car. In other words, you may be in for a long "service", and one thing will lead to another, until finally the fuel filter replacement has led into lowering a new engine block!

Accordingly, I was always one of those nurses who never saw a doctor. The other kind are always up on their recommended exams, etc. Please know this was not the advice I gave my patients, just my own method. I always joked they would only see me unconscious and strapped to a gurney. As my readers know, that was not so far away!

And I always swore I would never have chemo, etc., but just go ahead and die. However, it is apparent to everyone that all the tests I underwent were for the purpose of determining what chemo might work. I knew perfectly well surgery was not an option as my lungs would have looked like Swiss cheese when the operation was done. As for radiation, in the famous VietNam metaphor, we would have to burn the village to save it.

A close friend asked me today why I had chosen to accept the risks of chemotherapy. I told her I chose to fight because I felt my mother would wish it. She and my father would not want me to give up. I also had a hope that I might be able to live and enjoy a few pleasures I did not have while I was a wage slave. I wanted to attend the Colorado meet, and I hoped to travel to my father's Marine Corps reunion with him. As it turned out, travelling is not possible for me. I still am willing to fight a while longer however, because I have a few things I think of as my job. When I feel I have done them I will let go.

When it comes time, I will "put out the fire and call in the dogs." Until then, or until death falls to me because it is more than time, I am

your loving shipmate,

Linda Marie Dillon RN
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Miss Molly -

Fearless is lying on my lap beneath the keyboard all snuggled up, warm and purring. I'm sure she is surrepticiously purring messages to you somehow - since you have acknowledged receiving some from her. [Smile]

It has been a wonderful weekend at church. Our bishop came to help us celebrate the 10th anniversary of the parish. There were 6 priests, the bishop, many deacons and readers; lots of tat, incense, pomp, ritual and reverence during the liturgy this morning. It was without a doubt the most Orthodox thing I've experienced yet! [Happy]
I felt as if I was in Heaven. And in a way, the Orthodox believe that - that we are sharing the liturgy with all the saints and it is a timeless and placeless experience and that Heaven is with us. This is some of the significance of the icons - to visualize the saints, the apostles, Jesus, Mary, and the angels who are amongst us.

God is so good to us, isn't He? He has brought me to a home where I can find Him while I'm stranded on this earth. And then at His pleasure, He will take me to my true and everlasting home. I am beginning not to mind thinking about that, Molly.

There's an old song my Dad liked - "there is no secret what God can do, what He's done for others, He'll do for you" - I have a friend who has been living with AIDS for quite a long time. He has always accepted his diagnosis with trust and faith in God. He likes to say "Heaven is just a blink away". I think I see this loving acceptance in you, too, Molly.

I pray that when it is time to "call in the dogs and put out the fire" that just one more blink, and you'll see Heaven, Jesus, the Saints and angels just that easily and gently.

We love you, Fearless and I.
Bess [Heart]
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hello Miss Molly,

It haas been a wet and blustery day in Oxford. Autumn is one of my favourite times of year here, term started on the 13th ie yesterday, so the streets are full of new students, away from home for the first time, embarked on one of the biggest ventures of their lives. I think the air is charged with dreams and hopes and fears.

There is something very comforting too about warm scones and toasted crumpets when the weather outside is so chill.

If you paid a visit of the imagination from the states we would go for a long walk down streets of honey coloured stone and over cobbles. We would wander into a pub that shyly hides from view down a tiny medieval entrance - and out again via a different and equally hidden alley. We might watch the autumn leaves fall into the river over Magdalen Bridge or go for a walk through parkland where deer graze, having passed the rooms where CSLewis worked and taught and wrote. We might even see a contingent of rabbits, bounding with energy along the grass.

And we could have tea in the Randolph Hotel, all funny turrets and gothic arches, and enjoy the plush and chintzy comfort and look out at the energetically damp shoppers and their umbrellas and talk about life and love and the Southern harmony and the quality of jam and books and studying old languages and different faith traditions.

Well, we talk about all those things anyway, but in my minds eye now you are sitting on a comfy, red velvet sofa with your feet on a foot stool and I am ensconced in an enormous matching armchair with slightly rococco curlicues at the arms.

Even if you can't travel physically, there is always the imagination isn't there. Come and have a sojourn in Oxford for a few sentences.

Yours with insomnia

Welsh Dragon
Posted by PaulC (# 2256) on :
Dearest Molly, I am certain that you travelled in spirit with me too when I visited St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin on Saturday morning, it is, I think, quite the loveliest cathedral I have ever been to.

I was a little unsure about spending the weekend in Ireland at such short notice, but after the kind invitation from Cliona, the sudden disappearance of the work I was supposed to be doing, and the exhortations from you and Sophs, God nudged my heart about it too! As I told Cliona: "I'm on a mission from God"! (hee hee, I've always wanted to say that!) [Cool]

So thank you Molly, for you are at least partly to blame for my first introduction to the Fair City. I would also like to thank you for the wonderful accounts of your recent trials and tribulations. These are details that I dearly wanted to hear. I am eagerly looking forward to the next installment, or as I like to think of it it: "Dillon Trek 3: The Search For The Meta-Nasties"!
Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
My Dear Molly
I thought of you over this weekend, when i went to witby, and lit a candle in a lovely old church, with no electric lighting or central heating, just and old stove and lots and lots of candles. It was beautiful, i wish you could have seen it, i'm sure you would like witby, and all the ledgends...i scared my sister by tellilng her that the Hell Hound would get her if she walked out of the Youth Hostel, and she wouldn't go for the walk with us!
It was lovely!
Love hugs and many many many prayers,
sophs [Sunny]
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Dear Molly,

well I have to say that Beethoven and I had a wonderful time in Oxford on Saturday. the only downside was that time passed all to quickly. We had a wonderful lunch in the Turf Tavern - we both had cheese and roasted vegetable baguettes, with salad and fries. Beets even ate a lettuce leaf to prove a point! I had two glasses of dry white wine and Beets had fizzy water with ice and a slice since she was driving. I got there first and waited patiently, full of jittery nerves, for her to arrive... we knew each other instantly! We have sent you a postcard as promised. We talked and laughed and talked - mostly about other Shipmates (which was fun!!!!) and also about things in general - was much nicer to chat face to face than on MSN.
So, it really was a wonderful day!

I am off to Exeter tomorrow but hope to catch you online real soon.
until then, all our love and hugs and purrs and waggy tails,
The Dolphy Clan. xxx
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Dear M.M.:

Since you are Nurse Dillon, it is only fitting that you have at least one Mr. Kitty. [Big Grin]

Would you like another couple of bunnies? We've raised them for food from time to time. To equip our now-grown daughter for the time of slaughter, we made sure she knew as a pre-schooler that we enjoyed rabbits, but that we would be enjoying them on the supper table, too.

Jess was given a rabbit to be her special pet, one we would never eat. He was a large mixed-breed white fellow with black ears and splotches. She named him "Food".

Much later... Jess must've been nearing 18 years, and again we were raising rabbit fryers. (One mamma bunny can put 300 pounds of digestible, low-fat meat on the table each year.)

Due to bad weather (and bad planning on my part), we had several fryers ready to process, but kept them awhile longer. Since they were old enough after that for breeding, they did. (They were rabbits, of course they did!)

Being housed together in one large cage (not ideal nesting conditions), and being disturbed by the bad weather, they eventually produced only a couple of kittens. (Did you know baby bunnies were 'kittens'?)

These shared kits received motherly attentions from all the lactating females. They grew abnormally quickly and hugely roly-poly fat.

Seriously, the one we named "Michael Jackson" was perfectly round, except for 4 little feet sticking out of his pudginess. He literally rolled around the pen, only a little larger than a tennis ball. (We called him Michael Jackson because he started out black but we were not sure he would stay that way. [Big Grin] )

After we'd kept them all that time, through several catastrophes, we didn't want to eat them. Michael Jackson and his harem of mothers were sold off as pets and breeders.

My husband enjoyed Fred, a breeding buck from the years between Food and Michael Jackson. Fred was a mixed-breed bunny, natural-wild-rabbit-colored. He was a very efficient and enthusiastic stud, complete with squealing sound effects. He always sired large litters, such as a 15-kit one with a purebred Flemmish Giant female twice his size.

It's fun to tour memory & find these rabbits again. They served us well and taught us much about life & death & service & responsibility.

Food, Fred and Michael Jackson were very special, and I hope you can use them in your visualized Chewing Bunny Wellness Clinic.
Posted by Ham'n'Eggs (# 629) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

Just call me Mailman Ham [Roll Eyes]


Skimmit, Sidle & Dash
Solicitors, Commisioners for Oaths, Baliffs
12 Sea-Dumpling Lane, London, EC.

11 October 2002

RE: Inv. in bhlf yur clt Msr B. Ocean.

Dear Sir,

I have received further information in this matter.

The baby was in good health, and warmly attired, with the exception of the absence of one large handsomely embroidered bootee. Inscribed on the brown paper parcel was a smudgey address.

Please note the statement of expenditure will reference disbursements in respect of a considerable quantity of gin (the specific lubricant in this case).

I remain Sir, your obsequient servant,

Eustace Sidle, BA(London. Well sort of...)

Mr. Hashem Djaroueh
c/o Djaroueh Imports/Exports Intnl,
Pikine Road Mkt, Fass, Dakar

Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Dear Miss Molly, I'm back from Cornwall, so your Reiki is arriving from the usual angle again! My friends live in St Just, almost at Land's End, and it's the most extraordinary place, not really part of England at all, but one of the Celtic lands. Everything's built out of the local granite, and all the churches are dedicated to Cornish saints - St Buryan, St Sennan, St Levan, St Ia, and so on. The parish church of St Ives is St Ia's church, and it has a huge candle stand where I lit a candle for you.

Quite apart from taking me round mediaeval churches, prehistoric stone circles, and Celtic wayside crosses, and feeding me lots of food, my friends introduced me to their two cats, ginger Twinkle and black and white Charlie, and they join Smudge and Katie in sending you purrs.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear Shipmates, I am sorry I did not post earlier. I was being slothful, dozing in my chair. Indeed, so comfortable is the chair that I did not wake up until around 4 PM today (UK time).

How wonderful to read all your messages!

Dear Bride of fragrant roses, indeed at all times we are surrounded by a "cloud of witnesses" as the Apostle says. When I receive the Sacrament in church, I take all my friends to the Altar rail in my heart, and I know that all my dear ones, living and dead, are with me in that moment of meeting the Lord. The icons and architecture of Orthodox churches are wonderful in reinforcing the truth that all of us are together before the Lord, and that the Kingdom of Heaven is already among us.

Yes, Bessie, Fearless sends me messages of love and encouragement often. Indeed, dear friends, I receive messages from Brandy and Jessie as well. Thank you, Janine, for the addition to my rabbit herd! As I am having pain more frequently (but still nothing the dear rabbit allies cannot handle), they are most welcome.

Dear Dragon, I went with you on the tour of Oxford on which you so kindly invited me to accompany you. How lovely your city is.

Sophs, my hobbit cousin, thank you for taking me to Whitby, and thank you for your loving thoughts in the old church. I did not know about the Hell Hound; I only remembered Whitby as being the English landing point of a certain evilly charming and bloodthirsty Count!

Margaret, dear friend, I am glad you had a good time. Whatever angle your Reiki comes from, it is strengthening and received with gratitude.

My dearest cetacean, thanks for your account of your meeting with Beets. What point was she trying to prove by eating a lettuce leaf? And what did you eventually buy for Baby B? And now the Oxford constabulary can relax until the next time you two arrive.

Paul, how glad I am you went to Dublin for dear Cliona's birthday. Thank you for going to St Patrick's for me. I am glad you thought it beautiful! It is a favorite place of mine, not least for the memories of Dean Swift. I laughed at your title for my hospital stay! You always cheer me up, dear Thunderbird One.

Dear mother of several children, and most excellent physician, I want to apologize for a grammatical error! The adjective "dear" in my last post was meant as a modifier to both your name and our draconian doctor's!

And good Lady A., gratitude as always for your thoughtful post.

Now on to the serial! (Everybody got her/his popcorn or jujubes? No one is allowed back into the theater once the feature begins!)

The curtains slither back and the screen shows a recumbent form well known to us all...

Dr Reid and his team are discovering that Molly is an uncooperative patient even under sedation. He has bronchoscoped her, but no cancer is available for sampling, so he has proceeded to make the little incisions and insert his instruments. Managing to remove the lower lobe of her right lung, to obtain a sample that will surely be large enough for anything, and which will not be missed as it is totally non-functional due to fluid and tumor burden, he then drains her lung of two and a half liters of liquid. Together with the half-liter removed by puncture previously, this makes 3 liters produced by Miss Molly's pulmonary still.

While waiting for the pathologist to say whether the lung sample will be adequate for his divinations, Dr Reid attempts to peel back the pleural membrane in order to carry out his plan to paint the lung with talcum. Of course, Miss Molly's membrane is resistant, just like its owner, but he perseveres, and succeeds in exposing most of her lung, though not as much as he would like, to his beneficent artistry. The report comes back; the pathologist feels he has enough tissue! By the way, I was never able to positively confirm the rumor that Etruscan books are part of a pathologist's medical library.

Since the pathologist is satisfied, Dr Reid turns his attention to placing a chest tube to drain the lung and keep it from collapsing in the post-surgical period. With her typical inimitable balkiness, Miss Molly has a lung in which he cannot get the chest tube to the apex. Consequently, as he wearily recounts in his op report, he placed the tube in the "best possible position" he could, closed the two smaller wounds and dressed the chest tube site.

Miss Molly is taken to the recovery room....

There, as soon as I was conscious, I demonstrated that although I couldn't see (my eyes still being covered with pads), my proprioceptors were in fine fettle! Despite the anesthesiologist's feeling that I would be too sedated to care about the ventilator tubing in my throat (and too groggy to do anything about it), with remarkable speed and strength, despite cries all around me of "No! No!" , I yanked that tube, and sat up. I remember telling them, "I can breathe!", and hearing Dr Reid ask, "can she?", to which the anesthesiologist replied "she's at eighty percent", this being a level of oxygen that cannot be supplied other than by intubation.

Bless his heart, Dr Reid at least inquired, in case there was a chance I could continue without the tube he knew I dreaded. But, since there was no way I could manage, I was intubated again, which was a matter of great skill. If they had not been able to re-introduce the ventilator tubing, I would have died.

This time they made sure I was well under! Indeed, I knew nothing until the next morning, when I woke up to find my hands tied tightly against the bed rails. I heard later that they had tried everything, but I continued to attempt to extubate myself, so reluctantly, they had to place me in bondage.

Discovering that my hands were tied, I carefully moved all my fingers to make sure they still functioned. Then I thought, " I wonder if my feet are tied, too?" I was glad to find that my feet and legs were still mobile, and did a bit of range of motion with them.

The nurses had come in earlier and given me a bath, but since then I had been on my back, a position I do not tolerate well. I wanted, with a desperate yearning, to communicate my desire to be turned on my side. I tried tapping on my bed rail, but this was not noticed. Of course, the nurses had all my vital functions on monitors, so if anything had been seriously wrong, they would have been there immediately, but my tapping on the rail just didn't set off any alarms.

The tube was irritating, despite medication, and so I coughed. This did set off an alarm, and the nurses were very quickly there, offering to suction me or to give me pain medication. In fact, they did both, but I still could not communicate my need to be turned. With my hands tied, I could not gesture effectively, you see. They could not tell what might pointing finger might mean, and assumed I was pointing to the tube and wishing to be suctioned.

I felt pretty desperate, but the pain medication sent me under again. When I swam up from the depths again, I found I could breathe against the vent, and proceeded to do so. This is known as "bucking the vent" and is a sign to the medical and nursing staff that you are recovering. I heard them say, "she is doing most of the work herself", and put my best efforts into breathing, hoping, in a very groggy way, that they would see it and remove the tube.

A little later, they told me, "we'll be able to take the tube out pretty soon!" I wondered how soon this would be, as I was feeling more and more desperate to turn and to have my ability to swallow back. I really felt, if they did not hurry up, I would not be able to behave with dignity much longer, would not be able to lie quietly, but would start thrashing in the bed. Dimly, I knew this would not be a good idea. Indeed, they would have given me anti-agitation medicine and more morphine probably, which would likely have meant a continuation of the tubing I so hated.

After an interval that seemed eternal, but was only a few hours, they stopped the ventilator machine to let me breathe totally on my own. The tubing was still down my throat, but I could swallow! My faithful readers will remember how important this is to me, and how I fear choking. I still could not speak, and I could not turn, but at least I felt I would not choke.

Finally, the moment I had not really dared to hope for arrived, and someone pulled the tubing out of my throat. It was uncertain whether I would be able to speak for a while, as I had "blown" my vocal cords by extubating myself. I am sure no one will be surprised to discover that I managed to command "untie my hands". Once this demand had been complied with, I said "let me sit up", and then "let me get up to the chair."

My nurse, bless her, permitted me to walk the six or eight feet to the chair and allowed me to sit up the rest of the afternoon and most of the night. How much better I felt, with my back eased! Finally, though, she had to tell me I must go back to bed, as my head kept drooping forward, cutting off my airway, and decreasing the oxygen in my bloodstream.

Tomorrow--I escape from the ICU!
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
dear miss molly, thank you for your expression of sympathy on the thread about my fathers death. since i'm not sure how much of the ship you have the time or strength to read, i'm going to repete here what i posted to you there, amplified a bit.

my father always was a big fan of archie and mehitable, so much so that my brother and i both mentioned it when we were speaking at the funeral. and my brother ended his remarks with "toujours gai". i had forgotten that you were also a fan, though now that i've been reminded, i do believe in fact we once exchanged a few posts on the subject in heaven.

my fathers death has reminded me that death is by no means the worst thing that can happen to one. i am certain that my father is much happier and better off where he is now than what he had been going through for the last few years. i still pray that by some miracle you can be restored to health, but if that is not to be, than i know theres something better waiting at the end of the pain. and if you should happen to run into my dad at some celestial archie and mehitable fan convention or something, please pass on my love to him. (we really need a "smiling through tears" smilie, please imagin one inserted here)

one of the nurses from my father nursing home came to the viewing, so i am feeling quite warm and fuzzy towards nurses in general right now, so please accept my thanks on behalf of your wonderful and caring profession.
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
It's been a wet day in Oxfordshire, but it cleared up towards the end. Late afternoon sun slanted across recently harvested autumn fields with rolls of pale gold straw looking like nothing so much as a giant's breakfast cereal. The leafy green hedges are thick with brambles laden with blackberries, and indeed the trees I've seen from the train all seem to have rather a lot of berries: small dark purple elder, scarlet rowan, crimson hawthorn, which they say is the sign of a cold winter to come. The leaves are only now beginning to change colour, and will be glorious in about 10 days from now. A huge flock of birds, easily about 50, wheeled and circled over the treetops at one point, probably getting ready to fly south for the winter. Others perched in treetops, silhouetted black against the early evening sky. In a nearby field, a pheasant had stopped to watch the train pass, standing staring motionless. The odd thing was that it was in exactly the same position when I had passed by some hours earlier. If it's still there tomorrow, I'll know for certain that it's stuffed.

Wishing you peace and calm and freedom from discomfort and tiredness ... sleep well and take whatever time you need. We will continue to be here for you, each of us in our own way. Peace and blessings, Molly.
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Hey Paul, I have been to the St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland too! [Big Grin] . ..back in April 2000. Lovely place. There is a gold plaque in there with one of my favorite verses, Psalm 119:25.

Here is a picture of me out in front taken by my sister for you Miss Molly. This is mainly so you can enjoy the view of the church. My sister managed to move too much to the left and was too far back to even get me very well, let alone the church...this picture does not do it any justice but you get the idea. [Wink]

duchess at St Patricks

(fixed picture link)

[ 15. October 2002, 01:15: Message edited by: Motherboard ]
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Psalm 119:25 not 199! Argh...didn't mean to add to Scripture! [Frown]
Posted by Motherboard (# 54) on :
Scripture, all fixed, Duchess!

Love and saintly hugs,

Motherboard [Heart] [Angel]
Posted by Ham'n'Eggs (# 629) on :
Dear Miss Molly, someone is working overtime:


Skimmit, Sidle & Dash
Solicitors, Commisioners for Oaths, Bespoke Cat-Furriers
12 Sea-Dumpling Lane, London, EC.

12 October 2002

RE: Inf en behoof yr clint Mast Blooshun

Dear Sir,

Our agent has obtained the following futher information:


Mister Sidle, like what you said, I axed ver lady ergain, but she were a right tata. On leaving the premisees (with hed held hi an feet held highyer), the grdener lyured mi inter his shed, an filled me in (itterl costyer!) He sed that ther niyt vat Blew was left, he saw what gone on, an he follered them wot left im, an it were a wiman onner skaitbord! An she got onter the Eyler White Fairy!

I remain Sir, your obsequient servant,

Eustace Sidle, BA(Brixton)

Mr. Hashem Djaroueh
c/o Djaroueh Imports/Exports Intnl,
Pikine Road Mkt, Fass, Dakar

Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
Molly, I hope you don't mind me taking refuge in your thread whilst I recover from 20 minutes of sweat-inducing terror in Quizmaster's knockout quiz. [Wink] I tried your tip, didn't work for me. However, a quick trip onto another board yielded the necessary info first go! [Big Grin]

So glad to hear that the cd arrived safely.

Must plunge out into the wild and windy morning now.

Miffy [Smile]
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Hello again, dear shipmates!

Nicole, how kind of you to post while you are still in the first days of your grief. My prayers continue with you and your family. Even when we are sure death is not the end, and that it is a door out of a lesser existence than we would wish for our relatives, it is still so hard to part.

Ariel, thank you for the emailed photos, and thank you for the lovely description of an autumn countryside. I was amused at the "giant's breakfast cereal", simile. When my mother and I had occasion to travel across grain country, we always called the cylindrical bales "shredded wheats".

Your Grace, I loved the photo. It brought back many happy memories of my times in Baile Atha Cliath.

Ham and Eggs, I have warned a certain skateboarding lady that she might wish to fee a solicitor. She denies everything, of course.

And now our feature entertainment!

The next morning I got up at the first possible instant. My kind nurse gave me a bath, all except the private bits which I did myself. Then we waited for Dr Reid to show up on his round.

He came in to see me and recounted how I had pulled my tube. I reminded him that I had warned him I would. He laughed! I asked if I could please be off my breathing mask and on nasal oxygen, and he agreed I could try. If things went well, I might even be able to leave the ICU that day.

I immediately applied myself to making things go well. I held down breakfast (liquid) and asked for a regular lunch, which I also held down. They were able to stop my drip, since I was eating and drinking. I asked them to leave the line into my subclavian vein, as I knew this would be likely to last through antibiotics or any other plans the doctors might have, but they insisted on pulling it out, leaving only an IV in my right arm.

Then I told them I would like to walk, and succeeded in walking from my room a brief distance into the hall. After this, I collapsed into bed to await developments.

I must mention that Moo's brother-in-law's Lutheran pastor was wonderful during these days. He came to see me before surgery and in the ICU. I was grateful to have an old-line minister. I did not need someone to talk to me about the "white light of peace and serenity" or what I should do to comfort my inner child. I needed someone to tell me about Jesus! This man did, relating to me the feeding of the five thousand as an example of our Lord's intimate concern for the bodies he made.

That afternoon, I was told I would be moved up to the eighth floor again. My parents had told me before surgery that they would be here on this day as well, another reason I was trying so hard to leave the ICU. (I felt it would distress my parents to see me there.) I had begged them not to come, as it is a long journey and they are elderly, but they insisted. They wanted to see for themselves how I was. Hearing accounts from others, such as good Deacon Libbie, who was designated as the person to whom the surgeon should speak after my operation, was just not informative or reassuring enough when it came to their eldest baby.

So, I was packed up and my friend Marian helped take me to my new room. This was known as the "mousehole" because it was the smallest room on the ward. We had only been there a few minutes when my dear father and mother walked in. I still did not have much of a whisper, so we did not talk much, but I believe they knew how glad I was to see them.

Marian had to go, but Libbie appeared, and she and my father offered prayers for me. I was much touched at my father's plea that I might be healed, and his closing statement, "but you know in all things she desires to do your will." An amazing statement since I was a more than usually rebellious child.

They all saw I was very weary, so our good Deacon took her leave. My mother sat down at my bedside, took my hand and hummed Cielito Lindo to me. I could just rest, knowing she was there, and drift on the music. It really was a gentle, loving gift to me, a gift she had learned to offer during her father's final illnesses.

Now I will say goodnight from my end of the world, hoping each of you has a good day, and someone gentle in your life.
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Miss Molly. You never fail to cheer me up, especially your "I don't need to hear about a white light and inner child, I wanna hear about Jesus!" I laughed out loud at work just now.

I am glad I reminded you of a place I can not pronouce but I gather it is in Ireland?

Dang it, I feel selfish, I want you to stay HERE Miss Molly, on the Mothership, not going up up to the heavens yet. I want to get to know you better! I am comforted though by your strong belief in Jesus and your gentle wisdom. I know someday you and I, and other shipmates, will laugh together in a garden up there if we don't get to here. I am hoping to hear "Stayway to Heaven" up there and see the drummer from Led Zep.
I think heaven is bigger than any of our imagination. It is like telling a blind person from birth about the color blue, somebody who has been to heaven and back, trying to tell us about heaven. I know since my massage therapist has been there (like I told you about on the phone...) and she could not explain it to my satisifation.

Blessings to you, you little Irish Lassie Princess.
Posted by chukovsky (# 116) on :
Originally posted by duchess [green]:
I am hoping to hear "Stayway to Heaven" up there and see the drummer from Led Zep.

people aren't supposed to stay away from heaven!
Posted by Smudgie (# 2716) on :
It is a fact known to many on board this ship that I do NOT have a skateboard, and furthermore, do not use it. However, I do believe I have seen a certain Pipkin using one recently. I may be mistaken.
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Arggh! In heaven I hope I never have to spell! [Ultra confused]
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
I had to take a day to cry. The gift of you giving out your true name was so meaningful to those of us who don't know it already. I always wonder if we will have a special name when we are called by God, but we will instantly know it and the certainty that it is our true self's name. I have heard my name whispered twice in the darkening of the day, when no one else was near. Closer than my ear, but so audible I had to turn. In many cultures giving out your real name is entrusting yourself to that person, I thank you for your trust.
I thought of an old cartoon I once used to watch, The Amazing Three. There were 3 aliens who come to earth and live here. One of their friends was dying in one episode, and said that she would die when the sun set. Well, they built a supersonic ship and followed the sun around until she decided that she would live just so the ship would stop! I figure we already have a ship, and between all of us around the clock prayers for you. Besides, you need to post 2000 times before you can go!
Peace, prayers, and postings,
Posted by Christine (# 330) on :
Miss Molly, I thought of you at a wedding on Saturday. One of my daughter's friends, a girl I had known through church since she was a little thing, married her boyfriend-since-highschool, and they processed out of the church to 'Fields of Gold'. And knowing your courage and acceptance of the fullness of life, I though you might think that very suitable. It was a joyful occasion, full of pink lilies, saxophone music (played by the bride's younger brother, happy people. And I prayed for you and the bridal couple together.
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
Miss Molly, I'm afraid my request got lost in a barrage of good wishes (a nice place to be lost in).

So... is there a particular song, prayer, poem, bizarre handshake, embarrassing dance etc etc which you would like us all to learn and perform to mark your passing?

(Skateboards would definitely have to be optional!)
Posted by Ginga (# 1899) on :
Miss Molly,

I rarely post, but I read these boards a lot. I just wanted to add my thanks to those of the others who have already posted. You are an inspiration, truly.

Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
Originally posted by duchess [green]:

Dang it, I feel selfish, I want you to stay HERE Miss Molly, on the Mothership, not going up up to the heavens yet. I want to get to know you better!

I want you to stay here to...and i'm always trying not to cry when i read the thread in college... [Waterworks] But i guess gods in charge...i hope so anyway...

And i'm echoing Gills request, what can we do?
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
Remembering that you're a Pratchett fan, how about the Lancre Stick and Bucket Dance?
Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
Hadn't that been Banned, after Lords and Ladies...we could play cards with death!
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Molly my dearest,

Many apologies for my silence since meeting a certain aquatic shipmate... Unfortunately baby b has been a bit poorly with a bad cough recently, so I've had 2 days off work (and offline!) to look after her. Normal service is now resumed, however!

As the dear Dolphin said, we had a wonderful time on Saturday. The Turf Tavern is a lovely, out-of-the-way pub, although an alarming number of tourists still managed to find it! [Wink] The food was indeed delicious, and I even managed to eat a small amount of salad, even though no salad cream was provided. Dolphy keeps trying to tell me that lettuce is nice, but I have yet to be persuaded on this matter! [Big Grin]

Unfortunately our time together was very limited by the bus timetable to return Dolphy home, and the time absolutely flew past - as it seems to every time we start chatting! And although you weren't there with us in person, I'm certain you were in spirit. [Yipee]

Mr B got on well on Sunday, and has a formal interview there in 3 weeks' time - please do keep him and all of us in your prayers. We think this really might be it, but are trying not to get our hopes up too high, to make sure we really are listening to God's call, not our own desires... It's not easy though!

Hopefully catch you on MSN one morning soon for a chat...

God bless you, Molly.

Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Oh, sigh...

MM, why cannot we simply get you a lung transplant, since all other systems stubbornly refuse to expose themselves as either originators or the recipients of the tumors?

Where, oh where, is Doctor Leonard McCoy, running through the hosital on his way to save the world...

With a neat little pill that will grow you new lungs...

And cause all the physicians to have poisonous-polite disagreements in the hallway about exactly how it happened?
Father God, Abba, Pappa, You Who reign over all, hold Linda Marie Dillon in Your arms, as only You can...

Sweet Jesus, meek and strong, You understand suffering so well; please, please be beside our MM in her firey trial...

Divine Spirit, Holy Ghost of old, permeate all the Christians around Linda, causing them to overflow with Your love and power to perform Your best will, with her and upon her and around her...

Holy God, in all Your facets, keep Your eye on Linda, and draw her ever closer to You. [Angel]
Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear friends, it is a lovely early morning here, only about 45 minutes after sun-up. There is still a pinky-gold in the sky, and the trees in the park look soft against it. The hills in the north end of town look blue in the morning light. I was writing Sophs this morning and telling her it looked like the sort of day to set out on an adventure, just as the Nine Walkers did in the Lord of the Rings. I hope the day is lovely where each of you is, too.

Your Grace, Baile Atha Cliath is just the Irish name for Dublin. It means the "town of the hurdle ford", as originally there were reed hurdles at a shallow point in the Liffey as a crossing route. Thank you again for the photo in this thread and the one you PM'd me. Alas, my computer is extremely balky and won't let me look at the one in your private message, but I have a few tricks up my nightie sleeve, so despair not. Indeed, we will all have a shipmeet in heaven, but for now, believe I am with you here, happily and as fully as I can be.

How interesting, Smudgie, that alone of all my correspondents on this thread, and unaccused of any wrongdoing, you yet hasten to post your innocence in the matter of Blue! I am reminded of a Biblical detective maxim: "the wicked flee when no man pursues." [Razz]

Lady A, it is never my intention to make anyone cry, but if possible to tickle them into laughing with me. God bless you for your loving thoughts and prayers.

Beets, my soft hug and tender kiss to your little one. Thanks for clearing up the mystery regarding what point you were trying to prove by eating lettuce. I am not too fond of it either, with or without salad dressing. When I go to a salad bar, I take a token leaf, and then load my plate with the other vegetable offerings. I specially like chickpeas, mushrooms, carrots, green pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, and peas. I like a few drips of Ranch dressing on my salad. I am glad things went well at the parish. I knew they could not be too idiotic if they invited him for an inspection. I am praying that God's will be done, and hoping that your husband receives this call.

Ginga, thank you for your good wishes. Is your name pronounced like the spice or like the "better man" in Kipling's poem, the one whose last name was Din?

Gill H, I should have posted that I was taking your suggestion under advisement! I was touched, but embarrassed at your thought. However, I promise I will think of something, or perhaps some alternative somethings! Actually, I suppose I have always hoped for the response mentioned in the third verse of a folk song: There was a big fish and his name was whale. This song combines the Jonah story and the sign of Jonah that our Lord promised.

"There was a big fish and his name was whale,
A few days, and a few days!
Swallowed Jonah head and tail, and I am going home.
I've got a home up yonder, a few days and a few days.
I've got a home up yonder; I'll be going home.

Swam the ocean 'round and 'round,
A few days and a few days!
Spat out Jonah on dry ground, and I'll be going home.
I've got a home up yonder, a few days and a few days.
I've got a home up yonder; I'll be going home.

Going home in a little while, a few days and a few days!
When I do, I hope you'll smile, 'cause I'll be going home.
I've got a home up yonder a few days and a few days!
I've got a home up yonder, and I am going home.

My little Sophs, remember what fun we had chatting yesterday. There will still be chats. Remember, I don't want to go either, but as the old saying is: we can take God by the hand and walk according to his will in these things, enjoying the pleasures that are on every pathway he travels, or we will be taken by the hand anyway, and because we are balking, will miss the pleasures, will stumble and skin our knees as we struggle against his guiding hand, and will not see the flowers and hear the birds, but only the grey sky, the cold, and the stones that hurt us.

My mind is prone to senior moments these days and I cannot now remember who went to the wedding. Please know that I enjoyed the account, loved the idea of a saxophone, and pray that the newlyweds have every grace and blessing in their new life together.

Janine, thank you for the entertaining image of Doctor McCoy! I know he would have just waved his salt shakers over me to discover the mother tumor, and another pass would have healed me. How much easier the salt shaker treatment would have been than the picnic fork meal! As it is, though, a new set of lungs would simply develop tumors in their time.

Last chance to get your Good 'n' Plenties, your Red Hot Tamales, your nachos, popcorn, Jordan almonds, chocolate covered raisins and your Coke!

The curtain over the screen once again sussuru's back and we see the mousehole, where our heroine and her mother are receiving a special visitor!

The visitor is tall, suave, charming, with a soft North Carolina accent. He bears a gift, an amusing porcelain cat, wearing a little bobble top cap. Thoughtfully, the cat is even provided with his own bed and toy. As we know, Freddy is not a particularly sharing-minded feline. The visitor has bravely come into the room with no mask or gloves on! Southern gentlemen fear upsetting ladies by reminding them of their leper status more than contracting disease! Actually, dear friends, I did not have methicillin resistant staph aureus, it was just something that had contaminated the culture grown from my lung fluid, but the hospital was taking no chances, and nurses masked and gloved and encouraged visitors to do so.

And who was this Southern, Antiochan Orthodox gentleman from North Carolina? It was none other than that radiant light of humility, charity and true modesty, Saint Sebastian! Seriously, he charmed the proverbial socks off both my mother and me. We could not believe someone I didn't know would go to all this trouble for a shipmate. Renee had made an amazing journey to bring me succor, but she and I had at least exchanged private messages and chatted in the cafe. Later, when I read of St Sebastian's worries that we would not like him, or feel imposed upon by his visit, and his seeking information from shipmates on how to make himself pleasant to me, I was deeply moved. I want you all to know, including Seb, that he indeed brought the love of the ship to me, still does, and brings also his special love, help, quirkiness, and humor to this odd relationship. Now if he would stop spreading vicious rumors...
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Christine, I just wanted to mention that I got your lovely embroidered card and the little koala finger puppet. I couldn't remember if I had thanked you (another senior moment), but please know how much I have enjoyed them. The finger puppet lives right next to Seb's cat.

Janine, thank you for your beautiful prayer. Reading it was like being held in loving arms. I think your maman handed on her special gift of affection to you.
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Miss Molly,

Can I just clear up a little salad here?!! Beets actually loves to eat lettuce but will not admit to it!!! [Wink]
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Slander! I don't even give it to my bunnies! [Disappointed]
Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
Originally posted by Gill H:
Remembering that you're a Pratchett fan, how about the Lancre Stick and Bucket Dance?

Molly, you're a Pratchett fan too! I hope you have someone lined up to rush you a copy of "Night Watch" when it comes out at the beginning of November.
Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
(tearing by en route to parents evening at school)...

Dear Molly,

Your salad preferences remind me rather of our male PE students from college days. They used to load their dinner plates with salad, add a layer of fries on top, and then proceed to drench the lot with salad cream!

As a honorary bunny I suppose I should be fond of greenstuff but... [Confused]

I wonder - do you think Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny ever enjoyed sprouts and broccoli?

Must dash

Posted by Ham'n'Eggs (# 629) on :
Skimmit, Sidle & Dash
Solicitors, Commisioners for Oaths, Kitten Wholesalers
12 Sea-Dumpling Lane, London, EC.

14 October 2002

RE: Mashter Blue Ocean

Dear Shir,

Fred Dingle has liberated the following items from the gardener's shed:
I remain Sir, blah blah, blah blah,
Eustache Shidle, BA(Brixton. Well nearly...)

Mr. Hashem Djarouewhatsit
c/o Djarouifingy Imports/Exports Intnl,
Pikine Road Mkt, Dassh, Fakar SHENEGAL
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
I had forgotten... I have been a bunny!

When I delivered singing telegrams umpteen years ago, I needed a bunny costume (a la Playboy) for many deliveries.

I got my husband's input & came up with a compromise that didn't bare much; the stretchy body suit was black, with a normal neckline and long sleeves; and I wore black pantyhose usually underneath my black fishnet hose. Black pumps, only 2 or 3 inches high, no stillettos for me. And white furry ears, detatchable white satin colar & cuffs with black piping. No tail.

Altogether a most tame-looking Bunny, not quite the sex-kitten (sex-bunny?)image of the Playboy servers of cocktails and doe-eyed admiration.

The most memorable "bunny-balloon-boquet-singing-telegram" delivery was to a young man on the nearby Sioux Indian Reservation. I think it was his mother sent it to him as a joke.

Then there was the gorilla costume... roaring and grunting and vocalising "Happy Birthday" as a gorilla cannot be topped as a surrealistic thrill. Especially when I ws heavily pregnant wearing it, and sported a frilly pink ballet tutu over it... big black rubber feet... goodness!

What dusty memory-lockers you do open, MM and other sweet Ship folks! [Yipee]
Posted by Christine (# 330) on :
We have been having strange goings-on here, Miss Molly (Disclaimer - this has nothing to do with Ham and Eggs - I think). Overnight Canberra became a town of dirty cars. Last night there was a wild whirling wind from the west, laden with red dust, and at the stategic moment there was some drizzle too. Result - falling red mud! Last week it was hail the size of marbles. Something very odd is happening.
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Good morning my dear Molly,
And what a truly beautiful morning it is here - the sun is shining, the air is crisp and cold, there was ice on the cars as I walked Jessie this morning (Brandy could not bothered to get out of his warm bed!), there is condensation on the windows- all we need to complete this perfect picture would be some snow! The little robin I told you about last week is singing in the tree and yes, we have put some more food out for them.

You can be sure that Oxford is now safe again from the Beets and Dolphy duo - well just for now!I am planning a return visit soon and am going to buy Beets lunch in the new salad bar that has just opened [Devil] (must remember to buy Beets some salad cream for Christmas!)

Oh and Molly, just a quiet word between you and me, try adjusting your bonnet, your horns are beginning to show [Wink]
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Dear Molly.... my last full day in the UK...oxford internet cafe... What a great time I have had, meeting such lovely shipmates around the place, plus sundry dear friends and cousins/aunts.
Canada tomorrow... but I wanted to tell you about my Aunt's cat, Zoe- who adores water- in the shower, the sink, the loo, anywhere really. So cute and determined to get water anywhere, anyhow... She would drink it, dance in it, wash in it, swim in it- such a silly little dear. She lives in Somerset, UK.

Last Monday it was cold and wet. Friends took me to a lovely wee town called St Alban's, with the loveliest cathedral. We walked in cold and wet, but left warmed by the light of God's Spirit... it was near dark, but candles were lit in the church, and a little boy was singing some anthem, with an adult playing the organ. It sounded like an angel singing- just for us. I lit some candles- 1 for you; one for my sick father, and one for the tragedy of Bali... So, if your dreams are occasionally coloured by the sound of an angel singing, then maybe God is thinking of you with great love, as are your Ship friends...
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
my daughter was a baby bunny on her first halloween when she was only 5 months old. (we were having a party so we put her in a costume too). she wore a pink one-piece stretchy, a set of ears on elastic (only for the brief bits we were showing her off of course!) and a home made fluffy bunnytail safty pinned onto the stretchy.

she was adorable!

so theres another bunny for your collection, miss molly. she has grown up quite fierce, so she will, i hope, be helpful.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
My dear Shipmates, loving greetings to you all.

Christine, I was a bit worried by your account until I recollected that the Chief Executive of Australia is not styled Pharoah! Seriously, I know all the ship is praying for the relief of Australia's drought.

Miffy, I don't think those two rabbits ever ate broccoli! It was not a feature of English gardens at the time. I well recall my first visit to Ireland, when I was invited to lunch at a friend's house. His mother, wishing to please her exotic guest, cooked broccoli. But, as it is not a staple of the traditional Irish diet, she did not realize it should be removed from the pot before it was dead. The poor little buds were cooked off the stalk! However, I greatly appreciated her courtesy and courage in trying to cook an unknown vegetable to honor me.

Dolphy and Beets, on my thread, no slagging of shipmates is allowed. Play nice.

Curiously enough, Janine, when you mentioned you had delivered singing telegrams, I wondered about your personae. For my birthday one year, my sister and her then-husband arranged a singing reindeer. I remember part of the lyrics as "best birthday wished from a reindeer who looks suspicious"! It was New Year's Eve, and very cold, so a reindeer costume (long brown Dr Denton-y garb with hood and antlers attached to hood) was very sensible as well as seasonal. I think your bunny attire was sensible and "smart", by the way.

Thank you for the heads-up on the new Pratchett, Sparrow. I love the chronicles concerning the Guards, as I take it this one is. By the way, I think my favorite Pratchett character is the Patrician. A vignette I often remember is his "imprisonment", with his needs supplied by mice. As mice are not connoisseurs of good literature, when he asks for reading material they bring him back a book on lace-making. The Patrician applies himself to reading this, managing to derive entertainment and information which may sometime be useful!

Rowen, thank you for lighting a candle for me. I am glad you had this time in England. I shall be praying for your safe journey, your sister(?) and your father.

I hope I have remembered everyone. If not, I will check again, and respond later. Please know that I am strengthened by all your concern, and interested in all your doings. I have been reading up on lung cancer. Many people who have this disease are terribly depressed; some even to the point of suicide, because of the debilitating nature of the disease, the way the debilities tend to isolate a person from previous social groups and the extremely poor survival rate, even with the best treatment and early detection. I have your company, dear shipmates. Your love upholds me in any momentary sadness and distracts me from my limitations. I shall not survive, but I live, fully and richly, among you.

We now return to our serial.

I was weak after my surgery, but the measures taken by Dr Reid were extremely helpful. Before surgery, my oxygen requirement rose almost daily. The night before surgery, I should really have been on a mask, as I needed 6 liters a minute to maintain a decent amount of oxygen in my blood. I was so short of breath I could not raise my arms above my head to tie my gown. I had to "pre-tie" it at the neck, bend forward and slip it on. It even made me gasp to tie the fastener at the gown's waist. This was because of the fluid continuing to increase in my lung. I was told that the tumors, of their nature. produce fluid, and that they were also blocking the normal drainage system that would permit me to cough up the secretions.

After surgery, even with the chest tube, my oxygen requirement diminished. With improved breathing capability, I also got some energy back. I was able to be up in the chair all day.

I had feared pain after surgery. The nurses offered me morphine into my vein frequently, but I only occasionally made use of it. To me, pain is not being able to move or do what one needs to do; it is not being able to attend to anything else because the pain has grabbed your mind. My friend Marian, however, was observing me carefully. She asked one day if I had pain. I said I was a little uncomfortable, but not in any pain. She persisted, "Tell me what it feels like." I said that it was funny, but the tube beneath my arm felt as large as a garden hose, and the drainage collector seemed to be under my arm and not on the floor. Being a woman who does not mince words, she responded, "You ninny! That is pain! Take something for it!" After that, I took pain medicine with a little more frequency. However, the morphine, in combination with the antibiotics I received by drip every eight hours, was burning out all available veins at a great rate, so I asked for oral medication. I took three doses of the prescribed synthetic codeine and Tylenol, then decided I could manage on Tylenol only. I did quite well, remembering to ask for something when my tube felt a bit large!

Dr Reilly came to see me, to bring the news that despite exhaustive tests, there was still no name for my cancer. Accordingly, he proposed chemotherapy that had helped people with tumors that looked like mine. His plan was Taxol, a drug made from the Pacific yew, in combination with older agents, carboplatin, which is a platinum based drug, and vepecid. We might, if extremely fortunate, achieve remission for a time. At the least, he felt he could guarantee good palliative results, with the tumors shrunk to a tiny size, and my symptoms relieved. I agreed to this therapy, which would begin after my chest tube was pulled.

I needed the chest tube from the Tuesday of my surgery until the following Sunday. Each day, the drainage in the collection chambers was measured to check for its diminishing. Each day, I went for a chest X-Ray to check my lung. On the Saturday after surgery, the suction was turned off on my chest tube to see if my lung would stay inflated without it. The Sunday morning X-Ray was good, so the surgical resident pulled the tube and dressed the wound again.

This was such a relief. I no longer had to take my "friend" everywhere. I could shower and wash my hair if I covered my dressing carefully. I had been longing to wash my hair, and I had hated basin baths. I would not have done well in any era without plenty of hot, clean water and adequate water pressure for a good sluicing.

I hoped to have a day or two to continue recovering from surgery, but the chemotherapy was scheduled for Monday. I was disappointed, but knew the financial considerations that made moving things along necessary.

Tomorrow, playing Cripple Mr Onion with a character who talks in ALL CAPS!
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
I don't think any of us post here for the recognition when you reply... although of course it's nice. But, you need do nothing you haven't energy for. Hugs! [Sunny]
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
Oh, I nearly laughed when I read that you did not post to make anyone cry, because I am a person that is probably sillily (is that a word?) ready to cry at any moment. Weddings, funerals, doesn't matter, when it touches my heart, I just don't think I can contain the emotions, and so I let it go! Though I do believe that God had a great laugh on me one time. My daughter and I were headed home from Alaska on the Marine Highway, coming into Sitka. We had just come through the Perilous Straits and turning south at the tip of Baronoff Island and there after an incredible trip through this amazing waterway, you could see out to the Pacific. It was getting dusky, and the haze off the water was turning that roughish rose. I was listening to Chris Rice on my casette player singing 'Halleluah' all about how creation praises its Creator, and had tears just flowing down my face as I sat on the back of the boat thinking how fortunate I was to be there, right then, in God's company, at loose in his creation to see this work of eternity come together in this moment of a purity even angels in heaven had to envy. After crying for several minutes (replaying the song a couple of times!) I finally dragged myself out of sopping in the wonder to see that everyone else was looking at a tree on the other side of the boat. I took out my binoculars to take a closer look, because there were these huge funny looking pinecones hanging there. What was revealed? Those weren't pinecones, but plastic flamingos!!! In the absolute middle of nowhere. (Turned out a former mayor of Sitka wanted to be sure that the tourist seniors would feel more at home with flamingos in the trees than eagles, so he supplied a treeful!) From sublime to subcomic in a heartbeat. I'm sure God was trying to tell me something there about walking lightly (or maybe pinkly!) in my voyages! Your stories have brought more chuckles than tears to my heart, so you have obviously learned this lesson! I'm glad you won't stop with the saga (Maybe you could begin to number them - Episode I - The Phantom Cells! etc., etc...)
With all my love (tears and laughs)
Lady A
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hello Molly,

Am also awaiting the new Pratchett [Devil] . I think the character who speaks in CAPITAL LETTERS is probably reading this thread with interest and has got rather distracted.

I noticed that Miffy and Dolphy had been visiting the Turf Tavern which is the medieval pub nestled against crooked old college buildings with multiple hidden alley entrances that I mentioned in our virtual tour of Oxford. We must just have missed them! This particular pub does make me think of Terry Pratchett, it is designed in such an antique and eccentric way it would be right at home in Ankh Morpork. Although the standards of hygiene are rather better and the menu just rises above the level of a sausage inna bun.

I'd meant to follow up some of your fave books but I have been so taken up in reading ship threads in recent weeks that I have been distracted. I have however been playing my new Country Gospel CD in the car quite loudly and yodelling along happily down the motorway (no one else in the car I hasten to add). Hmmm, will have a hunt around for the Jonah song.

And I had a odd little encounter with an elderly chap in Waitrose (supermarket) car park who gave me a strange and penetrating look. Then realised that as I was reversing my car a particularly soupy version of "learning to lean on Jesus", also on the same CD, was blaring out. Whether he was trying to greet a fellow believer or just thought I was rather mad [Embarrassed] or didn't appreciate my taste in music I'll never know.

It's been so interesting imagining this sort of music in the setting of the farm singsongs that you described, which gives it a real context for me. I went to Greenbelt this year (big UK Christian art festival) and they included songs in the main service which I hadn't heard before, "Over my head I hear music in the air" and "I'll fly away" which I really loved (and have been singing in the bath ever since). "I'll fly away", which is so joyful, really reminded me of my mum's triumphant love and faith and lack of fear, which left our (weeping) primary care physician telling me that it was one of the highest privileges of his job to meet people like her.

I really like "Farther along" as well - which you've mentioned elsewhere -"farther along we'll understand why" is probably the best and most succinct answer to the "Does God have a plan?" thread currently running in Purgatory.

Would you recommend any performers of this sort of music in particular btw?

It is strange being a patient when you're used to being the one who looks after them isn't it Molly? It must have been so hugely frustrating not to be able to move your hands or even to breathe by yourself. And a big step to come to accept that painkillers might be useful. And things like how to manage to wash your hair become so important if you cannot easily do it because of interesting medical accessories.

I am so glad that the Ship seems to have helped so much through this time. "They" say that it is very helpful to have goals and objectives of things you would like to do or enjoy, flexible ones that you can look forward to, if you are lving with cancer. I really think that this thread is a amazing achievement.

Even if you can't physically get to a shipmeet you can greet friends all round the globe, individually and by name, on a daily basis. Even if it is hard for you to get to a church service you are still in communion with all of us in such a rich and valuable way. And the gift and blessing is really from you to us, of sharing your most precious time and memories and your very intimate experiences in such a true and honest way.

It is an extraordinary thing to give so much to so many people in these circumstances. In the middle of all this illness you are still a pivotal member of the community - a real community of real people even if we meet over the web - and you are still able to give so very much.

God bless [Heart] (((((((((Molly))))))))) [Heart]

lots of love

Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Nicole, thank you for offering your fierce daughter. I gladly receive her help. I was finally able to read your father's obituary by using Opera rather than IE. I am glad that your memorial statement was used, rather than the original one you mentioned; you have paid true honor to a good man's memory.

My Porcine Shipmate, I continue to think about the clues you so generously and wittily provide.

Dear Janine, I know none of you are here to have your names up in lights! I appreciate the love that prompts you all to post, and my appreciation leads me to want to extend the small courtesy of reply while I can.

Lady A., I see we share the uncommon birth defect of having our kidneys hooked up to our eyes. Thank you for the account of your voyage. I would have loved to see those flamingoes. I am reminded, for obscure reasons, of a car trip with my grandfather Rivas. We were looking at, and exclaiming with excitement, over various sights, culminating in some white peacocks. A little later, my grandfather called out "Look, look! Two horses and a cow!" This has become a catch phrase in our family.

Welsh Dragon, your post regarding the Ankh-Morporkian qualities of the Turf reminds me of my first visit to the Brazen Head in Dublin. This was in the summer of 1986. The Brazen Head is famous locally for receiving its license under Charles the Second, and for being the place where the abortive Irish uprising led by Robert Emmett was planned (they still have his writing desk). The building is not original to that time, but is certainly old, and the site is old enough that it is below street level.

When I went there for the first time, the walls were scratched wood panelling, many of the seats had springs and stuffing bursting out in odd places, and the basket seating could be used only with caution, just like the seating in an Ankh-Morpork tavern. There were old posters of various sporting events of several years back decorating the walls, and concerts, ditto. However, they drew a good pint! As indeed they should, being near to that holy place, the Guinness brewery.

I am glad you have found a country gospel collection, and that "I'll Fly Away" has a home in your heart. I am caught somewhat at a loss to recommend artists, as we just sang the songs and didn't have records. However, after the generous gift by a shipmate of Ralph Stanley: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning on Freeland Music, I can most heartily recommend Sunday Morning. These were new songs to me, as most have been written by him or his brother, now deceased, but they have the flavor of the faith songs we sang. I especially love "On Heaven's Bright Shore", "I'll Meet You In Church Sunday Morning", and "Little Bessie". You might also see if any Hopeful Gospel Quartet CDs are available. The quartet consists of Garrison Keillor, a radio variety show host and three people who frequently appear on his show "A Prairie Home Companion".

Monday morning arrived, and I was awake at 5:30 AM. I was dreading my move to the chemo ward, but also anxious to get on with the next stage in my treatment. I wanted it over with and myself recovered in time for the Colorado Meet.

We waited all day. No chemo nurse was available for me; they all had a full patient load. Consequently, I walked over to the chemo ward about 4 PM, like a bwana with my bearers following me. They carried an amazing amount of personal stuff, considering I had arrived with the clothes on my back, a small tote, and Freddy the Cat. On arrival, my medication was not ready, so we all settled down to wait.

Any bets on when the chemo was actually ready?

About 10 PM things started looking hopeful. The nurse said it would be soon. I asked her for literature about the drugs I would be receiving. The plan was to give me all three, one after another, beginning with the Taxol. It was anticipated it would take about 5 or 6 hours, counting the premedications.

I had not been afraid of the Taxol, as I had frequently given it in oral form to breast cancer survivors, and noted no special problems. I was worried about the carboplatin and the vepecid. On reading the information. however, I saw the ranking of my fears would have to be revised.
The nurse gave me a printout from a professional handbook concerning Taxol or Paclitaxel as it is also known. With mounting concern, I read the list of possible adverse reactions, including the magnificent passive voice sentence: "Deaths have occurred."

I had discussed at length with the nurse my wishes regarding no cardiac resuscitation or intubation, but I did want to know if other, less drastic measures could be taken. Accordingly, when she returned, I asked her what equipment would be in the room and what rescue drugs were available. She replied she would gather the information and return. On her return, she announced that nothing was available.

I told her if there was any other drug she could give me, I would not let her give me this one. (I had a bad feeling.) However, since this was my chance, the big gun against cancer, with the carboplatin and vepecid being thought of as helpers, I wanted to go ahead.

Accordingly, she premedicated me with a steroid, to decrease the chance of anaphylactic shock, an antihistamine, and a drug to decrease the risk of nausea. When she finished, it was midnight. She hooked up the big bag of medication and left the room. I had decided I must remain awake, although I was exhausted from the stresses of the day. I was chatting to Timothy, who had kindly agreed to talk to me so late at night. It was 2 AM for him, but he was going to keep me company. All the time I was hospitalized, he was my strong support, and tonight would be the night I needed him most.

Just a few seconds after the drip started, I felt a burning sensation, quickly followed by a warm glow spreading out over my body. I did not think it could be the drug, as I felt it was too soon. I stood up to look at the drip, but could not really tell. I told Timothy something was wrong and I was going to call the nurse. I reached for the call button, but did not succeed in using it.

The nurse was just finishing washing her hands in the sink outside my room when she heard me make a vocal noise. She ran back in to find me collapsed back on my bed. I am always considerate of my co-workers, you see. However, I was not dressed in the best of taste, as my skin was turning purple, as she told me later, and my eyes had rolled up in my head!

Timothy, meantime, was not getting any response from me on the phone. He called the nurses' station and was told to call back in fifteen minutes. He did this, identifying himself as my fiance, which indeed he was at one time, in order to have some leverage to extract information. The nurse answering the phone then asked him, "Is she really DNR (do not resuscitate)?" Despite his fears that in so doing he was killing me, he backed me up and told the nurse to follow my expressed wishes. I can never thank him enough for supporting me in this. I regard it as the mark of truest affection.

My parents, who had just gone to bed a little while before, were called and told to "get here right away". Thanks to Timothy, they did not also have the pain of deciding my resuscitation status.

<tangent> I hope this episode in my story warns everyone how important it is not only to announce your wishes and obtain doctors' orders, but to make sure all your loved ones will back you in a crisis.

Where was I during all this? Not following a white light, meeting deceased loved ones, floating above my body, or looking at my life as it appears in eternity. I was just_ not_there.

And then I was! What happened next makes me angry, so I want to process my feelings and decide the best way to post about it.

I will see you all again. And to you all, "what can I say but thanks, and thanks, and again, thanks."
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
Molly, what can I say but (((hugs))). Glad you're still able to post.

I do hope someone can get the music for the Jonah song. It sounds very fitting for a shiply tribute - just the right mixture of silliness and sanctity. (Ah, my alliteration pills must have kicked in!)
Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:

Thank you for the heads-up on the new Pratchett, Sparrow. I love the chronicles concerning the Guards, as I take it this one is. By the way, I think my favorite Pratchett character is the Patrician.

Yes Molly, the new book is about the Guards and apparently features the Patrician heavily! I can't wait, he's my favourite character too. So cool and calm and in control, yet you feel there are tremendous hidden depths.

The book is apparently due out simultaneously in the UK and US on 7 November - but confusingly, Terry is supposed to be signing copies in a SF bookshop in London on 2nd! Just say if you would like me to try and get you a copy then, I'll be waiting on the shop doorstep that day to get my own copy, so it'll be no trouble. I can get it in the mail to you the same day!

Sparrow (alter ego of Magrat!)
Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
God Bless you Miss Molly, And in the Words of Mr. Prattchett: Theres always time for another throw of the dice!
Posted by Clíona (# 2035) on :
Dearest Molly,

Again, here I am reading this on my lunchbreak, wondering when I will ever remember that I shouldn't because of the effect it has on me...

But then, you have a good effect. You take me out of my trivial day to day moans and remind me to rejoice in life, not death. Thankyou.

Would you believe I've never been to the Brazen Head? [Eek!] Isn't that disgraceful? And me an Irish woman! I wonder what it's like it still Ankh-Morporkian, or has it been revamped for the Tourists? Hmm...checks diary...maybe I'll go and check and give you a report!

It's a beautiful clear, cold October day here again. Fluffy clouds are scudding across a pale blue sky in the wind, sailing out to sea. Trees are trying valiantly to hold on to their summer covering, turning red and yellow with the effort, only to let go eventually. Children are collecting dead wood and disgarded tyres for bonfires [Roll Eyes] and wearing maskes and witches' hats they made in school. The world is getting ready for winter, but oh so magnificently rejoicing in the present.

With much love,
Posted by ChrisT (# 62) on :
(( Miss Molly ))

Don't know what to say really, but I'm glad you're still fighting! Keep it up [Not worthy!]

Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
*HUG* [Heart] *HUG* [Heart] *HUG*

Molly, if you like Pratchett, have you read Good Omens?


Posted by Ancient Mariner (# 105) on :
OK, MM, so which 'deceased loved ones' would you LIKE to have met when you collapsed in a heap on the bed - and why?

Consider this a sort of Mystery Worshipper proforma. No more than 50 words per loved one - to include description and virtues.

Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Miss Molly, I am fearful that something happened to you while you were awake but they thought you were under. I am praying that is not what happened and I am concerned, my dear.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Dear MM:

My husband is already percolating thoughts about music to send to you.

He has a good voice for leading certain types of music... the shaped-note, singing-school heritage, the stuff like:

"Brethren, we have met to worship
And adore the Lord our God.
Will you pray with all your power,
While we try to sing the Word?
All is vain unless the Spirit
Of the Holy One comes down!
Brethren, pray, and holy manna
Will be showered all around."

Kind of a slightly nasal very determined baritone.

I pray for your tranquility. [Happy] [Sunny] [Wink]
Posted by Brojees (# 3333) on :
Miss Molly,

You do not know me nor my person, but as we share a faith in the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings may I ask you to aid in prayer?

A gent by the name of John Nicholas Kennedy is dying of cancer. He is not a Christian in any aspect and firmly declares his oppostion. Recent catostrophic events have served to soften his resolve, we exist day by day here in a land of turmoil. In his fear he may be reaching out.

Would you pray that he may find the Lord?

God Bless you,
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Dear Molly,

Firstly I thank you for your kind words and prayers to Beethoven yesterday about me. I will email you all the details later!

As for Terry P's books, personally speaking I loved 'Soul Music' but must admit that the 'Hogfather' was rather good too. I have read Soul Music more times than I can mention - but I guess there is no real surprise there!

I have just come home from town - no virtual tour for you today since it was full of scraming children tearing around on skateboards, dithery people not really knowing what to do or where to go, people Christmas shopping!!! - Yes! Already! - and people generally being annoying! Saturday shopping is not a good idea in my opinion. Anyway, I now have nice new spectacles and even managed to find a birthday card for a friend hiding away in the swamp of Christmas things! I must share a funny moment with you Molly - In the card shop I heard a rather loud voice saying "Molly, Molly , where are you?" I confess I thought to myself, she's here sitting on my shoulder where she always is! [Wink] (I hasten to add that the Molly in question was sitting by the cuddly toys.) I also took the lastest camera film in to be developed - so you should have some more photos soon as promised.

Jessie and Brandy are fine and well and send you their warmest hugs. J is great too although shivering at work as I type. We all send our love to you.

Please keep the stories coming if you feel that you can. Dad has many stories of the length of time it took him to actually be given his Chemo treatments. He got most frustrated just sitting in the room all wired up and no Chemo in sight! Mind you, he was grateful at times since he hated having to wear his little black box for a week afterwards.. how many times he set the alarm off!!! - we lost count! They also send you their love - they are home on Tuesday after ten days away house hunting; sadly still no joy. But we are almost certain that their house will be sold before the end of this year.

Enough from me just now.

Love, hugs and God bless!
The Dolphy clan. xxx
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Terry Pratchett - I like the Truckers trilogy. I love these mini space people. And I laugh out loud when I've been reading them; I think I've been prejudiced about the others as my grown-up son tends to wander round the house reading extracts out loud and expecting me to listen. [Mad]
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear friends, I post this to let you all know I am all right. However, I don't think I will be able to continue the saga today, as I have an errand to do and must save energy for it.

I would just like to respond to a few of your kind posts.

GillH, I finally got the computer to show me your picture at the Croydon Meet. It was such a pleasure to see you. As for the music to the Big Fish song, I am at a loss where you might find it. I learned it from a children's TV show called the Songbag over 20 years ago. However, if people would like, I will sit down with someone I know who can read music and have him transcribe it as I sing it.

Cliona, the last time I was at the Brazen Head it had been tarted up for the Millennium celebrations (the preceding year). It now had patio seating outside and a fairly posh inside. Thank goodness the poshness did not ruin the Guinness! I am grateful to you for another description of dear old Ireland.

Ancient Mariner, I already know who will come for me. I saw her out of the corner of my eye the other evening, just as I used to see her just after her death. It is my childhood cat, Pookie, who taught me love and respect for others. She also gave great love to my brother, sister, and me, lying in bed with us and nursing us when we were ill, and attempting to follow us to school. I know as my time draws nearer, I will see her more often and more clearly.

Quite right, my Sophs! And have you heard the saying, "Trust God but cut the cards."?

Brojees, I will pray for your friend, but I just want to say that I believe we all are in God's hand. If a person cannot honestly believe, it is important for him to remain in his sincere unbelief, not be pressured by well-meaning friends. Your friend lives a Mystery just now, let it speak to him. God will sort these things out. He made us to have integrity and freedom; your friend's allotments of these qualities are important to Him. I will pray also for you, as your post shows how important your friend is to you. May God bless both of you.

Janine, bless you for your intentions. You are one of the "kind friends whose tender care has.. engaged my love", as mentioned in that great shaped note hymn, "I'm a long time travelling here below".

Sparrow, I am sorely tempted by your generous offer. How could I get money to you in time? If you would PM me with a way, I would be delighted to have this book. I have never bought a hardbound Pratchett, but I have decided to indulge myself!

Chastmaster, I loved Good Omens.

Thank you for your post, Dolphy, and for passing on all that love. I got your lovely photos yesterday and the great CD. Jack does have beautiful eyes.

I must go now, dear friends, but in the words of the song, "Here's a health to the company"

"I will always remember your kindness to me"
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Greetings, jadies and lentlemen of the Ship! I hope those of you who are asleep are snoozing deeply and not snoring too loudly, that those of you who have just finished with church have a good dinner to look forward to (and a good left-over supper as well), that those of you who are thinking about rising are not feeling too creaky, and that the night owls are up for their pleasure, not due to pain or anxiety.

When I arrived in the land of the conscious and cranky again, my mother says I immediately started barking orders: "Let me sit up! I need IV fluid! Why isn't she giving me IV fluid?" Whether the nurses had no clue and were genuinely glad to have someone bark orders, or whether they had recovered from their dismay and were now able to work, my bed was cranked up at the head, and the IV nurse put in an appearance to start another IV, as using the one I had would put another cc or so of Taxol in my system. They could not risk it, as only 4 cc, less than a minute's worth of the infusion had nearly done for me.

I am a person who is allergic, not to Taxol, but to the diluent necessary to carry it into the body. The diluent had caused me to go into shock. The warm glow I felt was my blood heading into my capillary circulation, resulting in my blood pressure plummeting. My mother told me that when she and my father arrived I was fire-engine red and hot as an oven to the touch. This was due to the blood being so close to the skin.

Your Grace, it was very fortunate I was awake and able to make a noise, as I would certainly have been dead when the nurse next came to check on me.

As it was, my room was full of activity for awhile. Sitting up with a nasal cannula for oxygen proved not to be enough, so I was fitted with a mask, and then as I grew sleepy and was nodding, with the C-Pap. My dear mother obtained iced fruit juice and cold wet washcloths, giving me sips and tenderly wiping my face and neck. Nothing ever tasted so good as that juice, nothing ever was so healing as her touch with that wet cloth.

I became concerned with finding a priest to come and give me the annointing and if possible, the Sacrament. I am ashamed to say I barked at my mother, too, telling her how to find a priest in the phone book. Poor woman, in her anxiety, and because my instructions were not clear, she could not. I said "never mind"! In a moment or so. a clearer mind came to me, thank God, and I realized that I did not need a priest as I had been annointed and received the Sacrament just a day or so before. What I needed was someone who could pray. The Lord who always provides arranged for my help in this extremity, too.

My father is an elder in a church that believes in annointing and laying on of hands, and has many times prayed for people. Oddly enough, he had received a gift of a small metal tube to hang on his key ring, so that he might carry oil with him always. That night was the first time he would open it.

He annointed my forehead and prayed with great power and sweetness. I weep remembering it. Peace came to me with his prayer. I believe that it was meant that he should pray. He has told me since that because I am not a member of his church anymore, he felt I might not believe in his calling. This was a sad thing for him to think, and in my asking him to exercise his office, he received a healing also.

By now, I was very, very exhausted, and had pretty much done all I could. The nurses had transferred a call from Timothy into my room, allowing me to reassure him I was really alive and likely to remain that way. I don't know how much sense I made talking to him but my conversation was probably not an example of lapidary art. I handed the phone to my mother, as I recall, and then remembered I had one more thing to tell Timothy. Before I went swimming in the depths, we had been talking about a medication he needed but was finding it difficult to take, and what measures might assist him to tolerate it. I called to my mother, "Tell him he must take his pills!"

Then I really had to rest, but I knew I would not be able to tolerate lying on my back, so I asked to be turned on my left side. My mother bathed my back to cool it. The nurses left, having hooked me up to a machine that would automatically take my blood pressure, and one that would measure the oxygen saturation in my blood.

Here is the part where I lose my Christianity, dear shipmates. I think the original nurse had simply never seen a severe reaction before, and so she forgot that she should remain with me for the first fifteen minutes at least of the infusion. This is standard practice for blood tranfusions, for Amphoterrible (Amphoteracin B), and for any other drug that can cause life threatening reactions.

But what happened next is very hard for me to understand. The nurses left and did not come back to check in fifteen minutes, or in thirty, or in an hour! My parents were left watching monitors which were essentially useless, as no nurse was checking the results. The alarm on the saturation monitor was not turned on, and the vital signs machine was not designed to give an alarm at all. My parents watched as my blood pressure gradually sank again, and my oxygen saturation decreased. Finally, my father said he would go to the nursing station. When he arrived, no other emergency was in progress, and no work of any kind was holding the staff's attention. Instead, a couple of staff member's appeared to be sleeping, and the others were chatting.

He persuaded them to come with him. My blood pressure was 53 diastolic and headed south, my oxygen saturation was in the low 80's instead of above 90%. He asked me the next day how low the diastolic pressure could go. I told him that at less than 40 diastolic my brain and kidneys would begin to die. He had made the right decision in "bothering" the nurses.

I had contributed to the problem in asking to be turned on my left side. My left lung was my "good" lung at this point. They turned me on my right side and again left, but this time my saturation and blood pressure climbed to a normal level and remained there.

Nothing replaces a human being's eyes, hands, and mind. I well remember my obstetrics rotation in nursing school. I was assigned to sit with a post-partum woman, to assess her fundus, massage her uterus, monitor for increased bloody drainage, take vital signs. We did not have widespread use of machines to take vital signs at that time. In fact, we were just beginning to use oxygen saturation monitors routinely. A lapse had occurred, and as we found out later, this lady should have been on such a device. My instructor, however, said, "She had something much better. She had Molly." The machines help a nurse, yes, but all the devices in my room would have accomplished, if my blood pressure and saturation had continued to sink, was to meticulously record my death.

I am furious that my nurses were not vigilant. When Florence Nightingale nightly walked the wards of the hospital at Scutari, she was not being a sweetie. The lamp was not a symbol of holiness; it was to help her keep watch. The death rate went down after the nurses arrived, not just because they cleaned things up and provided smiles, but because a new standard of care was set: someone was to be awake and watching the patients all night long. The current standard is for a nurse to see her non-critical patients at least every two hours. Someone should have checked on me at least every fifteen minutes for the first hour, and if I was stable, every half hour for the next hour. Instead, they left frightened, elderly parents alone to watch over me. They did not explain what had happened to me, or what might happen.

I am trying to think that the nurses may have been terrified, too, and processing the fear. Under ordinary circumstances, as soon as my nurse saw me purple, she would have called the code team. I had forbidden this. So there they were with a patient that had almost died, and could still die. They may have felt helpless and not wanted to come in until I was well and truly gone or until I had survived the night.

I had not needed the measures the code team would probably have taken. Almost certainly I would have been given medication to raise my blood pressure. However, nearly all I had required was what I was barking orders to get: to be put in a body position that would improve my ability to breathe, and to have fluid pumping in to support my blood pressure. This was just basic nursing care, taught to students in their first year.

I am even more furious to think that maybe no one in future will be any safer than I was. It appears, from what my father told me later, that the nurses chose to regard my survival as a miracle. Of course, miracles have nothing to do with the competence of those around--they are just out of the blue!

Yes, it was a miracle. I believe the prayers of shipmates were heard by God. I also believe that a large part of the miracle was my being an experienced nurse, aware of the need to stay awake and monitor myself, and knowing also what orders to yell at my caregivers! In short, I have always been of the school that holds that God gave us brains, hands, eyes, etc, so we might help ourselves and others. "Pray as if everything depends on God ; work as if everything depends on you."

Here endeth the rant. God bless you all, dear shipmates. Please do not think you are in danger every time you enter the hospital!
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Molly,

I don't really know what to say. I am so very glad that your own skill and your parents' watchfulness and concern and their loving touch and over it all the will of God allowed you to come through this time. (I feel very selfishly glad because I have enjoyed reading what you have written and writing to you so much.) But it is so understandable that you feel so angry. And so infuriating that not only have you had these bad experiences but then you have to come to terms with them in trusting your caregivers in the future and in dealing with the emotions that all this gave rise to.

I hope and pray that all your care in the future will be governed by loving kindness and a high professional standard of expertise. And that your relationship with your parents and with your father in particular will be strengthened and healed further in the time ahead, and that your love for each other and the faith you each have in God will overcome any difference you have in the ways you choose to worship and the finer points of belief. Bless them too at this very difficult time. They must have been so worried and afraid for you. God's love and healing power be with you all Molly.

Love and prayers

Posted by marmot (# 479) on :
Sometimes I wonder if people don't misunderstand the order "Do not resuscitate" and think "Do not treat". Have you spoken to anyone in hospital administration about what happened?

Having said that,maybe it will have been a valuable experience for the staff that night, who,having been through it with you, will be more careful with patients who are not as assertive on their own behalf.
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Miss Molly, thx for sharing what happened. Unbeliveable that the nurse left you alone like that. I am so thankful you made it through. I will continue to pray for you, as my and other shipmates prayers hold you. your father's prayer with the oil was very touching for me to read.

Just half an hour ago, I met a good friend from highschool, Valerie. I have not seen her in 17 years. She was pregnant then. She is 35 now and her daughter is the age Valerie was when I last saw her. She looked young and radiant, like time never past. What is amazing is this young lady has MS. She has had it for 19 years or so. She has even lost sight in one eye...then the other. Her mobility went way down. Then she got chemo which has helped her. She looks normal, doesn't have to use the wheelchair or the walker but has. She literally doesn't know when or if she will use them again.

She is at the end of her chemo...she has had so much that the hospital will not give her anymore after her next treatment. Evidently, a human body can only handle so much. There are new theories (like bee sting therapy)...and even marjuana is said to help certain pains. She won't do the marjuana since her ex husband was stoned 24-7 with it. I told her of a drug I read about Friday that is a suppository of marajuana, I told Valerie about that and she was excited.

Her little 4 year old was with us and precious. Her momma's eyes totally. Valerie is a believer but kind of lax about pursuing her faith (doesn't go to church anymore). Please pray for her to go back to church (I am not sure what faith she is...I think maybe Episcop.). She belongs to Eastern Star. Please pray for her MS too.

Thanks again Miss Molly for your sharing. It means a lot to me to read this thread.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Please please please please please Divine Miss M, print out the post where you told us about the ineptitude, adapt it any way you see fit for the purpose, and PLEASE give it to the hospital administrator. Or at least to the head of the nursing staff.

They need to know how things are working [Yipee] . They need to know staff are asleep on-shift:snore:.

PUH-leeeeeeeze won't you tattle? [Paranoid]
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Duchess: I have a friend, whom I've known only a couple of years, who has MS. I've never heard from her of any other illness.

She has a lot of nervous-looking mannerisms and the constant amazing ability to blurt out whatever pops up in her mind (a la the grandmother character, who had suffered a stroke, played by Estelle Getty, on "The Golden Girls").

I realize there are several forms of MS, but I had no idea symptoms like my friend's particular quirks were part of the package.

Do you know enough about MS to say, "yes, that's normal" or "no, she must have additional problems"?

I don't think her family is real "up" on her care...

How about you, Miss Molly?
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
Well, I am glad that you are still here! Also glad that you haven't said "Drats, I'm still here, hey, do that again, but more this time!" My daughter is going through some agonies with her nursing choices right now. She's trying to get into the nursing school at Anchorage U. but they say her biochemistry from Jr. college isn't enough and she'll have to take it all over again. She so dreads doing that again! She also is looking at getting out of the military in a year, and where to go after that, or just stay in. Being a Mom, I said "Get the heck out of there before the world situation gets any worse!!!" Anything you've heard on good programs and schools that I can send her way? I may also copy all your saga and send to her, and that may give her some incentive to really work at stuff because it can be soooo important to the patients. Any good words of encouragement I will also pass on to her!

[Angel] What else do you put for a nurse?

Love always,
Lady A
Posted by Bronwyn - Nearly home (# 52) on :
Miss Molly Greeting from Pakistan. Internet connections are slow and erratic but we are ok.

Will tell you more when back in Australia,
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear friends, I don't know if I shall be able to post to this thread for the next couple of days, and I regret to say I lack time at present to continue the saga. I wanted though, to greet you from Utah, and to thank you for your continuing concern.

I hope I shall never have to worry about my caregivers again, as I intend never to be admitted to the hospital again. My chemotherapy takes place in Doctor Reilly's office, and I tolerate it well, so I have no fear. There is no other treatment they can offer me for my cancer that I will accept. I do not plan to have stents placed or laser treatment of my bronchial tubes if/when the cancer again invades them. These treatments would require general anesthesia and intubation, which I will never permit again. I am to be interviewed by Hospice, which will be able to manage most things for me at home. If I develop pneumonia, for example, they can give me morphine to decrease my need for oxygen, and so any discomfort or fear that comes with the sickness. I will not permit antibiotics to be given, as pneumonia in my case will be a friend, just as it used to be considered for the elderly.

I thought about reporting all those involved that night, but decided I did not have the energy to fight the thing through. I would be leaving the fight to my parents soon, and they do not have the energy either. Please pray, friends, for good nurses to become better, and for careless nurses to improve.

Your Grace, I will certainly pray for your friend, and think of her when I attend our chapter meeting in November, as I very much hope to do. I am glad you had this meeting with her, and hope you two will be able to remain in touch.

Jolie Janine, my only suggestion would be to look on google for MS information. The tics made me think of Tourette's syndrome, but you do not mention involuntary vocalizations such as barking.

Lady A, your concern to get your daughter out of harm's way is most understandable. It is very frustrating to have one's earlier courses dismissed as not good enough. I would imagine if she contacted the state nurses' association they would be able to give her good leads on programs/schools. She might want to remain in Alaska! From what I read, the state is innovative. There is a shortage of nurses there, as everywhere, but I have a feeling they might have more flexible programs to encourage entry into nursing. I am glad she is setting her sights on a BSN. I feel I received an excellent nursing education, but without the BSN, my opportunities have been somewhat limited. It is important to get your BSN to begin with, as once you begin to work, all kinds of things, including just plain bone weariness seem to get in the way.

May God bless and keep all of you.
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:
Jack does have beautiful eyes.

Why thank you Molly - I think so too!!! I will be sure to pass your comment on this evening!!!!

Off to send you an email now.

All our love and hugs,
Dolphy, Jack, Brandy and a freshly bathed and now fluffy Jessie! xxx
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Miss M:

My plea to you to "rat" on the nurses/attendants was not, believe it or not, along the lines of "Smite them! Pound them! Fire them! Kill them now!"...

I really-truly wish the administrators to know about a knothole in their pirougue, that's all.
Posted by Bronwyn - Nearly home (# 52) on :
Connection is bad here I thought I posted this yesterday. Sean and I are both really well and having a great time. Catch up in Australa
Posted by Bronwyn - Nearly home (# 52) on :
The nursing care you recieved is discusting I just want to say. Rest assured I would do a lot more for you. I HATE hospitals...
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear Shipmates, just sneaking in a quick post as a reward to myself for completing a task I had been putting off!

Janine, imagine me slapping my forehead in disgust with myself! No doubt there is an MS Society branch near you, who could direct you to information and support groups. Some support groups are even on-line, I believe. The people in these groups, by living with the disease, acquire a very good understanding, and could help you and your friend to know what is going on.

I have decided, too, Janine, that on Wednesday, when I see him, I will tell Doctor Reilly about the nurses' failure. As they care routinely for his patients in the hospital, I believe he needs to know. I know you did not mean your post as a "kill 'em all" one, but just to express your thought that someone who could change things should know.

Dear Sister K, I know very, very well that you care for your patients with vigilance and compassion. I hope your journey continues safe and pleasant.

To continue our serial...

Marian called the nurses' station about 6 AM to see how things had gone. She was told I had passed a quiet night, that I had been sitting up in a chair, but had now been helped back to bed. She had been calling every morning to check my condition, and the staff knew she was a nurse. You can imagine her fury when she heard the true account of the night's events!

Early in the morning the resident came to see me. I had been piecing together in my mind what my symptoms must have meant, for certainly none of the nurses bothered to tell me or my parents. I told him what I thought had happened, and he agreed with my diagnosis!

The nurse who had administered the chemo came in to say goodbye and to tell me that courtly, calm, Dr Reilly, on being notified of my reaction to the Taxol, actually said, "oh, shit!"

The nurses' aide came in to check my vital signs. My blood pressure was good now, so I asked to sit up. The aide told me I could not. After she left, I knew the nurse for the day would be in soon and decided to present her with a fait accompli. I carefully rolled on my side, and sat up, dangling my legs over the bedside. When the day nurse came in, I informed her I was not in the least dizzy, that I would stand for her and walk for her (and I did so before she could stop me), but I needed to go to the toilet! She released me from my IV tubing, and I was able to go and relieve myself in a dignified manner.

Doctor Reilly came in and asked if I remembered what had happened the night before. I gave him an account, leaving out the nurses' behavior. I said, "This means no Taxol, right?", which he affirmed. I then inquired, "Will the other drugs help without the Taxol?", to which he also gave an affirmative answer. He seemed to be surprised, though, and asked, "Are you game?!?" I said I had to try. We agreed that the carboplatin and vepecid would be given later that day.

My mother has commented since that my near-death seems to have been a turning point. Prior to this experience, I had been fairly passive, and as Marian says, I looked like I was just wishing people would go away and let me die in peace. Presented with the real possibility of shuffling off my mortal coil, I apparently changed my mind at some deep level. Mother says, "When you started barking orders at them, I thought 'aha, she is going to fight!'"
Posted by Ancient Mariner (# 105) on :
Fight on, Molly.

How dare you even think of withdrawing your wisdom from us at this time.

It may be injury time but some of the most significant goals have been scored with the whistle dangling in the referee's mouth.
Posted by Ham'n'Eggs (# 629) on :
Surrey Constabulary - Farnham Forensic Laboratories

21 October 2002

Dear Mr Sidle,

RE: Brown Paper submitted for forensic analysis

The address, as you have previously remarked, is smudgey.
Here are the results of the Electro-Static Detection Apparatus test:

Indentations commensurate with a letter having been written whilst in contact with the brown paper. ESDA supplies the following text -


Dear Ms Smudgie,

It is so very generous of you to open your home to the offspring of impulse and calamity, without any hope of reward. May heaven bless you, I fear that none other will come your way by it.

Please make sure that the unfortunate creature is brought up in the full knowledge that God is not to be mocked, and that there is an awe-ful day of reckoning, at which he will receive most particular scrutiny.

The pouch of jewels in the infant's right bootee are to be held in trust until he comes of age. I am sure that you will honour this sacred trust.

The Ursulines will pray daily that God will aid you in your solemn duty, and will curse you with addictory afflictions if you fail.

May Our Lord and his Holy Mother be with you,

Mother Superior
The Convent of the Ursulines

Yours faithfully,

Jack Hardcastle (Inspector)

P.S. I shall call at your office on Thurday. Gilbeys is AOK!
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Alas, the shame of Sophie Aubrey, and her rakish seducer, Olorin, comes to light! Truly, there is no way to bury sin deep enough, or cast it into a sufficient depth of ocean.
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Miss Molly,
Yes, I agree, I think to stay at home is the right thing to do. However, do not pack your bags and be waiting at the door when God has not even ordered the taxi for you yet! (He has still to train Pookie to drive after all! And we all know how notorious it is to get cats to do anything..)
Lady A
Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
Greetings from another time zone Molly!

It does feel strange being online when most of my fellow Brits are tucked up in bed. Pitch black outside, no signs of the dawn chorus (yes, the cat hasn't yet twigged that I'm up and about!) [Wink]

Hopping off to see what you've all been posting about.

Miffy [Sunny]
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Hello again, dear shipmates.

Ma jolie Janine, I looked on the net today for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. They have a well-designed and informative home page, complete with a feature that lets you type in a zip code to find the support group nearest you.

I also spoke with a friend, and she tells me tics and sudden blurtings-out of thoughts can be features of this sad illness. I hope the web page and a support group are some help ot you and your friend.

Ancient Mariner, I really am not much good on non-baseball metaphors, but if you mean that a team member can "play hurt" and still score for his side, rest assured I am still on the ship's team. I appreciate your doing the wave, by the way! [Big Grin]

Lady A, I loved the thought of Pookie at the wheel. If determination would meet the case, she has enough determination to let her drive a Mack truck.

Dear Marchioness of Miff, how good to see you. How have you kept Mephi from knowing you are awake? Cotton balls stuffed carefully in his furry ears, maybe? Of course, you would never stoop to putting brandy in his nightly cream!

And now our feature presentation:

Accordingly, that day I received the carboplatin and the Vepecid. The Vepecid made me suddenly nauseous, and I could not ensure that all the vomitus reached the proper receptacle. I thus caused the dreaded "chemotherapy spill", which had to be cleaned up by gowned, gloved and masked personnel! After throwing up, I was still quite queasy, which was a good sign, as it meant the pill was probably still in my system, and had not been vomited. I was given some medication after an episode of dry heaves, and then I was fine.

I went to bed, and the next morning I was to be released. A social worker had come to see us, my parents and myself, and I regret to say was not much help. The problem was I slipped through too many cracks. I needed a place to stay while having my chemotherapy pills. I could not stay in the housing the hospital maintains because of my need for constant oxygen. I was not ill enough to go to a care facility. I could not go back to the Hammargrens with whom I lived for almost 5 years, because my immune system was at risk from the cats. I could not afford the average motel. Finally, I had decided we just needed to find something and we would work it out once I was released. I was able to locate a motel that would take me at a reduced rate as I was technically still a patient, and had cooking facilities to further cut down on expense. My parents elected to stay where they were.

An respiratory therapist came the morning of my release, bringing a portable oxygen tank with her, and explaining how my home needs would be handled. However, it turned out that the company they thought would be handling me would refuse on the grounds of my unfunded status. She left, taking the tank with her, as though fearful we might steal it and sneak out of the hospital.

I was exhausted, so when next she came in and I happened to be in the loo, I remained there and let my parents' tempers handle the situation. Finally, after they got mad and the therapist also expressed her anger at the system, she went and used her anger where it apparently did some good. Now I had oxygen for the journey and a company alerted to set me up with my "cow" and my C-Pap machine.

We packed, and my father went down to get my prescriptions. I signed the forms the nurse gave me. Thinking we had everything, we left. On the way to my temporary abode at the Homestead Village Suites, we stopped by my parish church. I wanted to leave a beautiful bouquet my uncle had sent me, in thanksgiving to God for bringing me through pain and danger. I was not able to leave the car, but my father gave it to the receptionist to be placed in the small Chapel of the Resurrection, where I used to worship at the Eucharist.

We arrived at the Suites and got me settled, and arranged for the oxygen. That evening I was looking through my various pill bottles to get out my evening ones. I noticed that there was no Vepecid. I called the ward, a nurse looked at the records, and somehow, Vepecid had slipped the mind of the resident and of Dr Reilly. She called him at home and he duly called the hospital pharmacy so it would be ready for my father to make another 4 mile trip to get it.

I felt badly about this. The pharmacy had already hassled my father. The bill for my medications, exclusive of the chemotherapy pill was about $318, which they handed him expecting payment. He explained I was to be on medicaid. With a poor grace, they checked and grudgingly agreed. Not only this, but they were reluctant to give him some anti-emetic suppositories that were ordered, in case I might be too nauseous to take pills to control my vomiting. "They are very expensive!" My father told them he didn't care; they were what was ordered.

So I was not at all eager for him to have to face the pharmacy staff again. However, he succeeded in wresting my prescription from them without any lectures as to expense. In case you are wondering, each Vepecid pill costs $57.20.

I duly took my Vepecid and elected to remain in my armchair for the night, as this seemed the most comfortable thing to do. My parents went off to their motel, hoping no further entertainments were planned for their diversion. I hoped I would not throw up, but I really didn't much care what else happened. I was walking through the thickest molasses and seeing through vaseline.
Posted by Fudge (# 425) on :
Dear Molly,
Gee whizz! I really think I would have gone insane in the situations you've been in this week! It will teach me to not sweat the "small stuff", as right now, a month's worth of multimedia work has gone down the virtual plughole because I saved it in a newer version of the program than the college has, and would you credit it, it ISN'T backwards compatible!


Anyway, that's nothing compared to those stupid nurses. They seem to forget you are a still-living breathing human being, not a number on a chart. May they be taught a lesson from this!

Anyway, keep hanging on dude, it isn't time yet, obviously.

Fudge [Sunny]
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Dear Molly, the more I read the more convinced I am that it really is a miracle that you're here to post at all, and the way you've handled the situation is something I can only admire. I've always been scared of hospitals - the smell of antiseptic, and sharp cold glittering instruments - and hope fervently never to have to go into one - but I suspect much of my fear is based on ignorance.

I had to smile wryly at the account of your throwing up suddenly and in the wrong place at the wrong time. This seems to have been rather a feature of my own life, especially as a child, and I number amongst my successes the Eiffel Tower, Victoria Station in London, and an ashtray in the Commodore Hotel, Beirut. This last was one of those posh ashtrays on a stand, that has a button-operated cover. I've always wondered whether the next smoker that came along would suddenly have been cured forever of any desire to smoke by finding when he'd finished his cigarette that someone had mysteriously puked in his ashtray.

Can I ask how you are doing in day to day life at present - whether you are able to enjoy a good lunch, and maybe get out for some fresh air at the time of writing? It's a beautiful day here, cool but sunny, after a few days of heavy rain that turned the pavements into deep puddles, sent small streams cascading down hilly streets, caused drivers passing by to shower pedestrians with tidal waves, and flooded the fields so that they are still small lakes and bogs with seagulls perched on the waters and disconsolate cows grazing glumly on the waterlogged fringes. I love rain, and don't mind getting wet, but I have discovered that my shoes leak in wet weather. They don't generally do this on a dry day, so I'm in two minds about ditching them.

Anyhow I shall wish you all the very best as usual and squelch off to have lunch. Take care now.
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
May I suggest to Pookie to try a St. Peterbuilt?!? (heavens, I don't think they have a St. Sebastianbuilt! Maybe they should!)
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Thanks for the suggestions, Miss Molly. Re: the support group. There's a drawback, or a delay, before I can take her there.

I need to give a little more time for the church elders' work upon the hearts and guilty (I hope) consciences of my friend's husband and grown sons. They apparently are so irritated, dealing with her affliction(s), that they long ago stopped taking her anywhere.

Her husband comes with her on Sunday mornings to worship; that's something. But, we have regular gatherings to eat together, women get together for Bible study, prayer meetings, etc. We try to be a community of believers serving the Lord together... it's not just about showing up for a sterile hour or two on Sunday morning.

Jane comes to as many of these gatherings as she can find a ride for. Various church women carry her to events. But, she misses a lot, and her condition is certainly not so bad that she needs to be confined to her home! She's lonely.

So, we would love to see her taken by her husband and the boys to support group meetings. It would be one thing they could do for her that would help her, and perhaps help them to be more involved in caring for her as a person, and not just a burden. Maybe some exposure to others & how they work with their spouses/mothers, would provoke improvement at Jane's house.

{Confidentially: Compilation One, Sacred/Secular Positivity, on its way...)
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear Shipmates, how are you? I hope the Oz shipmates are safely tucked in bed, in whatever sleeping garments they voted for, that the UK and Continental shipmates had a supper more entertaining than spaghetti and beans on toast, and that the USA shipmates are struggling through another day without too many hassles.

I see I have inadvertently misled Fudge. Dear Fudge, the last few postings concern events of August, and were written to show that indeed nurses are bad patients. Please know that nothing so vile is happening to me now. I am living in a nice little flat, the only nurse I see is my dear and trustworthy friend, Marian, and I am very happy.

Lady A., I laughed and laughed at the image that arose of Pookie standing on a truck seat, her paws extended on a wheel, her plumey tail up to help her balance, and a well-remembered look of responsibility and concentration on her face!

Ma jolie Janine, I am glad you mentioned your friend's name; now I can pray for her using it. I am also praying that her husband and sons may find a stirring in their hearts of the love for her I am sure is there, and may be able to receive her love however obscured it may be by her tics and blurtings. With this love, may they find joy in her company and pleasure in taking her the places she would like to go.

Ariel, dear Sprite of Oxford, thank you for the word-painting of an English rainy day. I laughed at the sly humor of the line regarding your shoes. It reminded me of the grudging Arkansawyer host in the "Arkansas Traveller", who couldn't repair the roof during a rain storm, and didn't need to otherwise.

I don't actually leave my apartment anymore, except for doctor's visits. Yesterday, I was treated to the sight of many beautiful autumn trees along Seventh East, the road we use to reach the Salt Lake Clinic. This is a glorious autumn, with glowing colors. There are green trees holding torches of a deep, almost marooney scarlet up to the sky. There are others of old gold, and a fire-yellow. There are bushes of a dusty rose color. Through my apartment window I am able to watch the changes in the big trees in the park. There is one tree of which I am especially fond. It always seems to wave its branches cordially to me. It is still quite green, but with little bouquets of gold in its branches.

I still enjoy the taste of food, but I have to eat very slowly or pay the price in windedness and coughing. Last night I spent two hours consuming a sandwich. Some things, of course, I can eat faster; it only takes forty-five minutes to consume one of those combination frozen dinners. The upside is that I have license to consume very high calorie combinations. Night before last, for example, Marian was here and fried me some fish and hashedbrown potatoes! I eat cookies and various snack crackers when I can, too. And I have always held "to hell with diet Coke!", but now I drink all that sugar and all that caffeine with impunity!

My hours are good ones, Ariel. I doze a lot, but I doze peacefully. I listen to music; I read slowly but I savor my reading, and although I do not read much of the ship any more, I continue to enjoy the wit, wisdom, exacerbation, silliness, and feuds of shipmates.

The serial describing events in August concludes:

I took the course of Vepecid, gradually came out of the pit of weariness and queasiness I was in, and prepared to move to my apartment. I was glad the w and q was not a permanent thing! I had seriously and sadly wondered if I was trading my last good time, for the surgical interventions had helped so much, for a therapy that might not work and certainly was preventing me from enjoying my remaining time.

An old man was once asked to quote his favorite words from the Bible. He replied, "And it came to pass..", saying he was glad it didn't come to stay! My w and q came to pass also, and I was able to participate in the rest of the story, which has been outlined to you in the update thread and my postings since I came on line again.

Taking up the story from yesterday then, I went to see Doctor Reilly. I had been feeling more short of breath, and having more pain. (The brilliant and warlike rabbits however are successful at all times in quelling it.) I was fully prepared to be told that the last chemo had not worked. The news was actually a bit more ambiguous. It appeared my tumors had not grown, but that indeed I had less breathing capacity in my right lung. The doctor thought this was due to the encroaching effects of the tumors on healthy tissus. Since the carboplatin and vepecid were not shrinking the tumors, he wanted to present two other options to me. I might quit the chemo, and would likely die pretty soon, or I might try a chemo regimen usually used for sarcomas. This would involve three actual chemotherapy drugs and one drug to protect my urinary tract from bleeding as a side-effect. I could expect severe nausea, hair loss, and a much weakened immune system, with infections possibly resulting. He offered this possibility to me because it had, in his estimation, a twenty to thirty percent chance of working well, shrinking the tumors, and giving me a good quality of life for some months. I asked him for time to think it over, and told him I would call him Friday with my decision. In case this was the last time I would see him, I told him about the nurses strange behavior. I judge some changes will be made! I also told him that I had appreciated his care. He remarked that it was difficult to be unable to do more for a person who was "fighting so hard". We are tough old hospital types however, and we did not get mushy, although mush was welling up.

There it stands, dear friends. I have decided one way and decided another, and decided back the first way. May I please have your prayers for God's guidance? I will, of course, let you know what happens!
Posted by flev (# 3187) on :
Miss Molly, I've never posted to this thread before as it always felt like I'd be intruding, since I've never really exchanged messages with you before. I have to say, though, that I've been reading and praying pretty much since I found this site a couple months ago.

Just to let you know that you're very much in my prayers tonight - may God hold you close in his arms and give you wisdom to make the best choice, and peace with whatever decision you come to.

Much love [Heart]

Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
God bless you Miss Molly. I will be praying for you tonight and I will go light a candle tomorrow.

love WD
Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
Father, I bring to you our dear Miss Molly. Though I am tempted, I am not going to ask you to heal her body. You already know my heart. Instead, I am asking you to give Molly the clarity of vision and soundness of judgement that she will need to make a wise decision regarding her future treatment. Especially, please grant her the peace of mind she will need to not second-guess herself once the decision is made.

I know that Molly is prepared to leave this life behind and walk on. But I also know that those of us who are staying are not ready to see her go. We have come to know and love her, even if she does not know us yet. Our lives, made brighter by her presence, will be dimmed by her departure. Lord, please give us the peace and faith to accept those things that are to come.

Thank you, Father, for hearing me.
Posted by Lyra (# 267) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

First post to this thread, though I have followed your activiities with much interest and prayer.

Sounds like a tough decision you have to make - please know that I am praying for you each day.

Thank you for all you are


Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

Whatever decision you come to will be the right one for you.

Thinking of you especially tonight when (our time) you will be getting back to the good Dr Reilly.


Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:

I don't actually leave my apartment anymore, except for doctor's visits. Yesterday, I was treated to the sight of many beautiful autumn trees along Seventh East, the road we use to reach the Salt Lake Clinic. This is a glorious autumn, with glowing colors. There are green trees holding torches of a deep, almost marooney scarlet up to the sky. There are others of old gold, and a fire-yellow. There are bushes of a dusty rose color. Through my apartment window I am able to watch the changes in the big trees in the park. There is one tree of which I am especially fond. It always seems to wave its branches cordially to me. It is still quite green, but with little bouquets of gold in its branches.

I also have not posted to this thread before. Thank you for this vivid and beautiful picture of a Salt Lake City autumn - I have never been there, but I see it in my mind's eye, as if I was standing beside you.

God keep you safe in His arms.
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :

Your handmaiden Molly desires only to please you and accepts Your will and perfect plan for her. Grant her in Your Mercy, all wisdom and knowledge necessary to make the decision You desire.

Give her peaceful sleep, respite from pain and joy in the morning.

In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
Posted by Equinas (# 2907) on :
Praying, Miss Molly. God bless you with His wisdom and His peace.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Miss M.-

We don't usually have much autumn color. Thanks for the "picture" of your Salt Lake area.

Well, except for the Chinese Tallows... brilliant sunshine yellow, pulsating orangey scarlet, deep edible-looking vermillion, burgundy velvet, lingering green, all those leaves on the same tree.

Bark's usually textured grey-brown, turning black when wet, and the year's spent seed pods having burst, the white seeds still cling to the black twigs...

And there are the Swamp Maples. They're all scarlet.

Otherwise, it's mostly green, with a few shapely tall deciduous trees scattered about naked.

Thanks for any prayers you can breathe for Jane, and especially for her menfolk, all of you Ship denizens.
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Dearest Molly,

I must share with you a little saga that happened the night before last. Deciding to have an early night due to overtiredness, we left Jessie asleep on the sofa and Brandy asleep in his bed in the kitchen. Around 3am I heard Brandy go out (he has a cat flap), I closed my eyes and went back to sleep. About two hours later there was a bit of a commotion downstairs that woke Jack and myself up. It went something like this:


Meeeeeeooowwwwwww GRRRRRRRR

AAAAARRRRwoof, Arrrrowwwwfffffffff


And so it went on until I finally decided to go downstairs and see what Jessie and Brandy were up to! Brandy was lying on the kitchen work top with his paw on the microwave. Jessie was lying on the kitchen floor looking at him. Nothing new there, so I thought, so I told them to behave and I went back to bed. Around 6am Jessie came up into the bedroom and started on again... translates something like this:

Mum, Mum... Mummeeeeeee
Mummy come see...
Mummy come seee

I ignored her and Jack grunted at her. I told Jessie to go away until the alarm went off. But no... she was staying...

Mummmeeeeeee Muuummmeeeee
come and seeeee.

So it went on until the alarm went off. I got out of bed, dressed and went downstairs a little grumpy that I had not had a peaceful night. Brandy was lying full length by the microwave with both his paws under it. As soon as he saw me he gave Jessie what I read as a real 'look' and he sat up and looked as innocent as he could. Jack came downstairs to see what had been going on. I said 'not sure but he had his paws under the microwave'. We both looked at each other as the tiny little sound of 'Squeak' came from the underneath of the microwave. Brandy was banished from the kitchen and armed with a container we lifted up the microwave and caught a tiny little very scared field mouse - all in one piece I have to say! I set the mouse free. Brandy was then let back into the kitchen, went straight into his bed and sulked - the look he gave Jessie for the next ten minutes was as if to say 'Thanks for telling'.
I swear that was what Jessie was trying to tell us!!!

Bless you Molly,
With all our love and hugs,
The Dolphy Clan. xxx
Posted by Clíona (# 2035) on :
Dear Molly,
My prayers are with you also, and I'm asked to pass on love and prayers from Olorin too, who doesn't have Ship access at the moment.
Le gra agus beannacht,

Dear God, hold Molly close in your arms and give her comfort and rest, and a few extra rabbits.
Posted by Fudge (# 425) on :
Ah Molly, I can imagine that nurses make bad patients, as my friend Jo, was in nursing training while having terrible asthma, which she still has, and it was quite embarrassing for her to be seeing her nursing tutors in the ward! What an excuse for not doing your homework! Sorry, I was in hospital!

Well, I hope that Dr Reilly does speak to them and reminds them that it is not a good idea to treat fellow professionals as if they are ignorant of the facts!

Anyway, news from wet and windy Aberdeen. I was deprived of my Ralph McTell concert on Tuesday as this well-known folk singer was prevented from reaching the Granite city by floods and landslides literally!

I had heard that he was going to be live on Tom Morton's show on Radio Scotland at lunchtime, and I thought, hey, if he's in Glasgow, how's he going to get to Aberdeen in this weather?

But nevertheless, I made the mad journey to the bus stop - having to put on the green wellies and waterproof trousers and wade through a 2ft deep flood at the bottom of our road - and down to the venue, whereupon they said the concert was cancelled!! So I repaired to a nearby hostelry before getting the bus back up the road, walked back through the floods, where the water came up over my boots, and the waterproofs did not prove watertight when I got in the door!

Then yesterday it took 15 mins to defrost the car to go to work, and last night it was raining again!! The only people that are happy are the skiers at the Lecht, because snow is baling down there!

This, Moll, is typical Scottish winter weather! But its interesting you mention your trees, I too have trees outside the window of my house, and most of them are still green! They are elms, sycamores and rowan. I also notice that the trees across from the bus stop (only take the car this week cos it is college hols and the car park is empty!) are horse-chestnuts! There are a fine crop of conkers appearing now, and its great!

You should get Marian to bring in some lovely golden leaves for you! I was just drooling over some autumn pictures of Jasper in Canada and they had golden-turned maple leaves on their photos.

So the weather for the next 300 years according to the report in the London Independent today is rain, rain, rain, then a dry spell of 3,000 years, so you won't be missing out [Big Grin] !
I think the Creator may have something to say on this score! [Roll Eyes] Scientists! [Roll Eyes]

Prayers for you in making your decision about the chemo... [Heart]

p.s. have to use the cool new smilies -
this is what I think of the weather reports [Killing me]

and this is what I think about some of our students [brick wall]

much love
[who often rants on friends' behalves at the sound of injustice]
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Molly dearest, may your heart know God's guidance as you face making such a difficult decision. Much love, and many, many prayers from all the Beethoven clan.

Pictures of Clover and Comfrey are ready to be sent to you. My colleague's computer is free at the moment, so I shall just go and scan in the other 2 pictures for you, then I can post them all this afternoon. Clover is no longer quite as fluffy as she was when the photo was taken, but Comfrey is still very fluffy. And yes, they both still have the long fur around their faces, since they're Lionheads [Smile] Vicious [Help] , good at damaging things that need damaging, but very cute and (becoming) rather friendly too! [Big Grin]

Right - time to go and use the scanner [Wink]
Posted by chukovsky (# 116) on :
Dear Molly,

I had a bit of a shock yesterday. I got an email - necessarily short - telling me that a colleague is terminally ill with cancer. This is a colleague who I have never met but there are three, maybe four, people in the world who work on one of the topics I work on (language acquisition in Bantu languages, the group of languages which is spoken in most of Central, Eastern and Southern Africa) and she is one of them. I had applied for a grant to do work on this and she was one of the named referees, and we had had many (I have to say, quite lively) chats about my application and my work in general. She teaches at Wits university in South Africa.

It is hard to know what to think about this but it is a bit of a blow. Apparently it is a matter of weeks. Somehow it seems even more wrong that two people who I know quite well, despite having never met, should be in the same stage of the same illness at the same time, across the world from each other.
Posted by SpO-On-n-ng (# 1518) on :
Again, been lurking on this thread without posting for all the above reasons. May God give you guidance, and quietness of mind when you have decided. And prayers also for all those suporting you.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear Shipmates, dear Friends, thank you from my heart for your prayers.

Flev, Lyra, and Spo-O-o-ng, I have long felt many people were reading this thread and praying for me who had not posted. So you and I have met, and now I know your names!

Fudge, I am sorry for the mishap of lost data, and sorry for your disappointment in not hearing a concert to which you had been looking forward. To have your waterproofs reveal themselves as, not, in fact, waterproof must have been the straw that would have made someone else shriek imprecations and resolve to sacrifice an American tourist to the old gods at the next opportunity!

Ma jolie Janine, I continue to pray for Jane. Thanks for the news of the compilation tape! I am really looking forward to it. If it is to include secular music as well, could I request some Cajun songs? I do not know French, much less Louisiana French, but I love the music. Thanks also for the description of the Tallow trees. They sound like fit trees for the birds of Paradise to sit in, the ones that have a hundred feathers, and for every feather, a hundred songs. I love scarlet leaves, and I know your Swamp Maples must also be beautiful.

I loved the description of Jessie's tattling on Brandy, and Brandy's reaction. Here he was doing his bit to provide, and no one appreciates him! What is a poor hard-working feline family man to do?

I will look forward to the rabbit photos, dear Beethoven! Alice and George need company on my bulletin board. My love to Mr B, Baby B, and your delightful self.

Cliona, mo stor geal, thank you for your love and prayers, and for passing on Olorin's support. I hope your teaching is going well at work. I hope. also, Olorin's new job is a good fit for him.

Dear physicians Welsh Dragon and Multipara, your prayers and support mean very much. I saw a picture of you at a meet, dear Dragon, and I want you to know how I admired your hair and skin. A true black Celt..

Chukovsky, my heart is with you in the prospect of losing such a person. May God bless and help your friend.

Dear ones all, I decided to refuse the projected chemotherapy. I asked Doctor Reilly if he would let me have the current drugs. Although they are not shrinking the tumors, they seem to be preventing tumor growth, and I can tolerate them. I will probably receive the last two treatments of the originally planned five. The hope is to get me through Christmas in reasonable shape. Then I will be treated by Hospice.

I want to tell all of my shipmates why I made this decision. I know many will find it incomprehensible. Indeed, I believe Doctor Reilly was disappointed, although he said I had made the right decision for me.

On Wednesday, going in to the doctor, I had a feeling that the chemotheraphy was not working. I was a little sad, but I was much more relieved to think I would not have to undergo the side effects again. I remembered this relief, and the profound feeling that I had: "the only way out is through", in making my decision. To undergo further and chancier therapy is not finding the way out, because it is not going through. It would be to insist on losing myself in a maze when the clue to leaving has already been given.

I used the internet to read about the proposed drugs. The more I read, the more I realized I would be absolutely miserable. I would be giving up my last "good" time in the hope of better times. If there were no better times, this would be for nothing. My mother has a great longing for one last holiday season together. If I were on this drug regimen, I would not be able to give her and my father a happy memory. My mouth would very likely be too sore to let me eat, my stomach would likely be in revolt at the smell of my mother's cooking, there would be an increased risk of falls and terrified nights for my parents, and the chemo-induced weariness would not let me share in the special rituals of Christmas. I would also be isolated due to a severely depressed immune system. I would not be able to attend an Eastern Star meeting, not be able to ride in a wheelchair to look at the Christmas decorations downtown, not be able to have a visit from Mahalia.

It may justly be asserted that these severe discomforts and privations might lead to my living longer and having some months of much greater comfort. This is very true. But I still must die, whether now or later. I feel, day to day, as though some store of resilience and ability to cope is slowly being drained, some secret reserve of strength is being consumed. This share of resilience and strength is, under God's Providence, the gift that enables me to enjoy my days and cope with the little miseries that are mine. For instance, I am aware of every breath; my easiest breath now is one I would have felt to be slightly labored a year ago.

The proposed regimen would have eaten ravenously of my remaining strength and resiliency. The "better" months, the "good quality of life" months I would be gambling to get would not, I felt, be able to replenish them. When the inevitable, and final, decline came, I would not have these invaluable reserves. I am not such a believer in my wonderfulness that I think I can make a good death without them. I believe they are God's gift to help me to "fight bravely, die gallantly", as Robert Heinlein once specified an adult human being should do.

While I am here, I remain your devoted shipmate. I do not know how long I will be aboard, but let us enjoy the weather we have, watching the sails and rejoicing in the moment out of all time that we all are voyaging together.
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
My dearest Molly,

I thank you for your honesty.

I thank God for the times we have shared both on the Ship and on MSN... and I thank God for the time we still have to share.

Love always,
Dolphy and the gang!
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Molly, for my own part I agree with your decision. I know it wasn't made lightly, but these things never are. When it comes down to it, it is about quality of life and if you have a limited amount of time you have to make the best of it. I think I'd probably make the same choice. The other choice might have led to increased comfort. But a 20-30 percent chance means that it is 70-80 percent against, and considering all the attendant unpleasantness, I think you have made the right choice for yourself.

All I ask, and I am sure that others will agree with this, is that you put yourself first. We love to hear from you and read your postings. But please, if it becomes an effort, take what time you need to rest. The last thing any of us would want is for you to feel guilty that you haven't posted for a while or responded to emails or so on. You are dispensed, with love, from any such obligation.

Meanwhile, we shall continue to enjoy your company, and be glad that we don't have to part just yet.
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
Molly, I think you made the right decision, but I mourn the situation that gave rise to it. There is no point in buying extra time if that time will be full of physical misery.

I am praying that you will have the kind of Christmas you and your parents want.

All my love,

Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
[Heart] HUGS [Heart]

[Heart] and [Heart]

[Heart] PRAYERS [Heart]
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
No, sweetie, not a French bit on the tape.

But, that is easily remedied, Cher (pronouced hereabouts as "Shah", with the 'a' as in "apple"). There will be a French one in the "pipeline" right behind the comedy one.

My husband grew up here - he was born in Lake Charles. South Louisiana between there & here (southwest of New Orleans) is about as Cajun as you can get... frontier French, some words and phrases frozen in time for 200 years or more...

Yet, even though he's from here, he can't get into the Cajun music. It always sounds so sad to him, and he knows even fewer French words than I do. Hates opera for the same reason, wants to be sung at in English! Poor man, our eldest daughter is a music education major with opera-quality lungs! What he hears around the house!

Well, he's right, the older the Cajun music is, the more of a lament it sometimes is. The people were exiled, weren't they?

But, everyone needs a good [Waterworks] sometimes, so I like it that way.

My baby sister is the director of the Longfellow/Evangeline museum in St. Martinville, La., a National Park site dedicated to the Cajun and Creole influences, the slaves and carpetbaggers and Indians and Chinese and Spanish and... well, it's a rich heritage, I'll tell ya. If I can't dig up some good French stuff, I know she can.

Note to All: I appreciate this thread so much, and I'm exceedingly glad to read the Saga of Miss Molly, but I thank her as well for the forum her thread provides to hear about some things that really matter in all your lives. She's doing us all such a service! [Angel]
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
I read a book on the Navaho BlessingWay and here is their prayer:
"Beauty shall be in front of me, beauty shall be in the back, beauty shall be below me, above me, all around me." On top of that you say about yourself, "I am everlasting, I may have an everlasting life. I may live on, and lead an everlasting life with beauty."

May you walk with beauty, may you walk the blessingway on everlasting paths in fields of gold....
Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
It was a warm, sunny Sydney spring day on Sunday and I wondered what your decision had been. I was wandering past a wonderful stand of jacaranda trees, in glorious full flower with their tender lavender bells and intoxicating honey scent.

There used to be a custom at one of the Sydney maternity hospitals (multipara would know which one) of giving the parents of each new baby a small jacaranda tree to plant. The tree became popular and the city now has a wonderful collection of mature jacarandas to perfume the air every November.

I have not met you personally, but you have such a capacity for drawing pleasure from small things as well as from great ones. It's a God-given gift and a strength as well as comfort. Yours was a strong decision and I think the right one for you.

Have the best Christmas. Enjoy it and let your family enjoy you.

[Love] and prayers
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Dear Molly, it is a glorious autumn in Ohio, and at long last am with my dear sister and her family. My great-niece is a delight; the family here are welcoming...
My thoughts and prayers are with you.
God is with you.
love Rowena
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear Shipmates, thank you all for your support, your love, and your prayers. Please know my love and prayers are with all of you.

I have much to look forward to this week. Tomorrow afternoon, Jennifer and Dwight (the people with whom I lived for the last few years) are coming to visit, bringing knickknacks and books for me to sort through, and my darling Mahalia. I shall be sleeping with a small towel in my bed tonight, to imbue it with my aroma, as Jennifer tells me they recently cleaned the duvet in my room, and Mahalia feels bereft!

My parents and sister will be here Wednesday. They had an excellent but exhausting time in the South at my father's military reunion and then touring some sites connected with family history. My mother came home with respiratory problems, and I was much afraid she had bronchitis again, but my sister assures me she is improving daily.

This coming weekend, William, Jennifer and Dwight's son, will be coming with his digital video camera, to get a movie of me receiving a package from some friends. It has been in Salt Lake City since last Wednesday, but the proviso was I might not have it until means were found to make a record of its reception. I may add that St Sebastian has been very secretive; no winkling has been able to pry any information loose as to the character of the present. In fact, he has been teasing me that it is, in fact, a very large hamster ball, designed to provide me with exercise! I asked if there were treats in the ball, but he says I must provide my own. Hrrmph!
Posted by Smudgie (# 2716) on :
Glad to know you're going to get some exercise at last, Molly, instead of just running rings round poor St Seb [Smile] (Not that I read this thread, of course!)
Posted by Clíona (# 2035) on :
Dear Molly,
All my love. I am praying for a Happy Christmas for you with your family.
God bless you all,

Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Dearest Dame Molly [Wink]

Thank you for having a little chat with Brandy. He was sitting on the top of your armchair last night while Jessie was curled up on the seat of the chair by your side. Brandy must have listened to your talk about his 'male' role since we had three pressies this morning: One worm (alive), one snail (alive) and one slug (alive) [Disappointed] Perhaps you would be kind enough to tell him that although these were kindly thought out and hunted gifts, I would prefer if he left them in the garden. I will not admit that Jessie was a little excited by the snail!!!
Our thanks,
The Dolphy duo. xxx
Posted by Fudge (# 425) on :
Dear Moll,

I kinda guessed you'd make the decision you have, I prayed God would make it totally clear to you, and it looks like He has.

We all pray a wonderful fairytale Christmas for you and your family.

as for my software, at least it works at home! I talked to the techies here and they're investigating, and it gets me out of going to the evening class, ha ha! So I am quite pleased about it, and the concert cancellation wasn't too much of a bother, and I actually enjoyed wading through the water, because I knew I was only 2 minutes from home, and being wet only lasted that long, unlike in August when I was mega-miserable after being dragged up a mountain by a very un-helpful un-sympathetic bunch of 40-somethings who were tons fitter than me.

Wading about in a puddle was "pAAAAAAArty"! [Yipee]
Gee have you noticed how weird the smilies are getting? [Two face]

Realised on Sunday night - God really doesn't want us to do ANYTHING to earn our salvation, He just is nuts about us [Love] You lucky dear, you will be there before us all, and my brother is there already too.

All the best, dear Shipmate,
and the best xmas ever to you [Angel]
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
Hurrah, the perfect smilie and the perfect person to use it on:

[Love] [Love] [Love] [Love]
[Love] [Love] [Love] [Love]

from David
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
dear miss molly, i though i'm saddened to hear your decision, i think it was the right one. as i said before, my fathers decline with the alzheimers and his death taught me that there are worse things than death. one time i had stayed on at college for a week or so after classes were officially over, and it was the only time during my college career that i ended up horrifically homesick. when dad came to pick me up and help me pack up my room so i could go home,i told him how much i'd wanted to go home. he said that one thing he'd learned over his life was to always leave somewhere just a little bit before you think you want to. he ment parties and things, but i think it's applicable to the larger situation as well.
Posted by ChrisT (# 62) on :
Miss Molly, you are an inspiration to many people, and a source of constant joy and encouragement on this Ship. I really don't know what to say, but I am imagining your smile lighting up the room, just as it lights up every life that you touch. May God keep you safe in his hand, and lead you through fields of grace.


Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
miss Molly I don't think you have at all made the wrong decision, because only you can know the right one for you.

On Friday at Choirpractice I sang a hymn for you. [Embarrassed] Although you couldn't hear it, I hope it helped.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Bon soir from my time zone, dear shipmates.

Lady A, thank you for reminding me of the Navajo prayer, since I will soon I hope, be walking in the house with walls of sky.

Rowen, I am so glad to hear you are enjoying your time in Canada, and being with your great-niece. Nieces are so special. I hope your journey home continues to go well, and that your father and sister are well when you arrive.

Dear Sprite of Oxford, thank you for the charming picture you sent a few days ago. I had not looked at my box for awhile, and it was a real treat to see the photo.

Janine, ma cher, thank you for indulging me. I remember remarking to my father many years ago that all our homemade music was sad! There is Ozarkian music that is satirical or meant to be funny, but there is no really happy music. Most of it is about various horrible deaths, parents left behind and their children hearing of their deaths years later (and their remorse), faithless wives, and loneliness. The hymns are all about the heaven that will infinitely outweigh this misery, and how to arrange to go there! (For example, there is a modern song that is perfectly in this genre: "The first step to heaven is down on your knees.") So I can well believe that the Cajun songs are sad. I remember hearing one called "La Louisiane", which I am sure must be one of those homesick and far from home ones, but I just enjoyed it so much all the same.

It was a quiet day in Lake Wobegon West, my home. I rose fairly early, showered and made my bed, then sat down to catch my breath. Conveniently, my computer chair is at the correct distance from my bed and bath to provide a perch for this activity! Whilst I am in my chair, there is nothing more natural than to check on the prior watch's activities. So I did this, and chatted on msn to a few people who could not escape before I hailed them. Then, being British and polite, they were doomed!

The last unfortunate shipmate finally wriggled free, and I walked in to the living room, again finding a chair at a convenient distance. This one is my favorite easy chair, which rocks and even has a footstool that will rock with it. I sat down to catch my breath. I am really thinking of investing in a leash for my breath, as it escapes me so often. Perhaps some kind of net. too, to scoop it back into my lungs!

The chair is just perfect in terms of comfort, the furniture equivalent of the arms of Morpheus, and I fell asleep without realizing it. I awoke some hours later, just in time for my friend Marian's visit. She has a set of keys, and the code number for the security system downstairs, so the first I usually know about her being here is her key in the lock. She never has to worry about finding me! I am at the end of the oxygen tubing.

She had been grocery shopping for me, and had finally succeeded in locating a kind of pastry I wanted: Swenhardt's Bear Claws, which I will enjoy with cold milk as a bedtime snack. She very kindly made me two sandwiches while she was here as well.

We talked about her day in the infection control department. It was Monday, and so a busy shift, with needle sticks to examine, record, and for which to administer prophylaxis, and with tuberculosis mask fittings for new staff on the floors that take T.B. cases. (The staff have to be taught how to fit the mask onto the face properly to protect themselves in caring for these patients.

Tomorrow, the physicians are having a meeting. Part of the agenda will be a visit by the "shot patrol" to give flu shots. Marian is not looking forward to this. She says doctors are far and away the worst people to whom to administer injections. They are nervous, and apt to be afraid of pain, according to her.

After she left, I went on line to talk to Timothy, and receive an account of last week's convention and awards ceremony. This was most interesting, especially the mad scientist themed party, with fog and smoke generators and a machine that apparently arced electricity between two eight foot rods. For those of you who may be interested in Timothy's taste in masks, he wore a feathered one!

I have cleaned up a bit of outstanding email as well. I appreciate hearing from people, and I appreciate still more people's patience in awaiting responses from me. I have my times of energy, and I am gradually learning to know when they are likely to be and schedule my tasks for them.

Now I must bid you all farewell and wish you all a fair wind on your watch, or a comfy snooze in your hammock!
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
Many more hugs, Molly...

[Heart] [Heart] [Heart]
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Hey Fair Maiden Molly,

May God bless the time you have left on earth with much joy and peace as only He can bring. Lord please lift her up and have her feel at all times your wonderful love and mercy.

I understand why you made your decision and it makes perfect sense.

I just got back from my sister's wedding in Lacey (near Olympia, south of Seattle). She is quite into theater and there was a belly dancer, juggler...unicycle. My niece and nephews were quite impressed, they could not sit down the whole time. My littlest nephew decided to moonwalk, a little 5 year old dance, while his aunt sang a song with 2 other lovely ladies. It was some old chorus song and it was so lovely it made me cry.

My sister and her husband danced to Tom Leher's "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park" since it was the song that he was singing when they first met.

I did feel sunrise sunset as you say...I am older than my sister and she is married now! [Smile]

I wanted to ask you, did you ever see Oh Brother Art Thou? (the movie with George Clooney?) I thought of you, that you would like it. I went out and bought the soundtrack. I really like "Man of Sorrows".

Anyway, you are always in my prayers.

Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
How odd, I just this a.m. mentioned "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" to a shipmate via email.

Considering Molly's Ozarkian reference, you bet she'd like "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow", or whatever the name is. As well as that (Holy) ghostly song used in the scene where the three travelers are distracted by an entire church congregation, dressed in white, floating dreamily through the forest on their way down to the river to be baptized.

I don't post very often, and I've just barely hoisted myself above "apprentice" level, so I mightn't be missed... but still I thought I'd courteously let folks know I'm going on a "computer fast" for the next few days. I have several projects simmering, not the least of which is the music-related stuff for (mostly) Molly.

So, y'all pray for me, that my "busy-ness" might not hinder my walk with God. I hope to "see" you all soon, when I check back in on sweetest Molly. Email me if you need me for anything.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear friends, a warm embrace to you all from me. The USA shipmates are struggling through their workday, the UK and continental shipmates have finished supper and are wondering if going to bed now will ruin their credentials as cool, happening people, and the Oz shipmates are in dreamland, hopefully not in the section populated by nightkangaroos! God bless them all.

Chastmaster, I don't think I have ever thanked you enough for all the beating hearts and loving phone calls. So, herewith, a big THANK YOU. I have been wondering why I keep thinking I know you. The other day it came to me; your voice pitch and sentence patterning are the twins of my dear nephew's speech characteristics! So, two nice guys, one in Washington DC and one in Colorado, are helping hold the fort for gentleness.

Your Grace, I am glad the wedding went well. I would have loved to see the five year old dance. I smiled to read about "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park", as I have the "Best of Tom Lehrer". Where was the groom singing this immortal piece when the bride met him? Thank you for you loving prayer. I have never seen the movie you mention, but I have the sound track, and enjoy that.

Chorister, I see I neglected to thank you for your singing for me. May I know what hymn you chose?

Ma cher Janine, I received your tape yesterday, with great glee. Thank you and your friends so much. I do not watch the news any more, so I did not know about the flooding. Bless all of you as you attempt to help the victims, and bless the victims with courage and resilience. Indeed, I did already know the song from the scene you mention, but I knew it with the words "Let's go down to the valley to pray." An amusing sidenote is that my friend Dwight received the "O Brother" soundtrack for Christmas last year. He was surprised when I said I knew some of the songs as he thought they had all been composed especially for the movie! He may be excused, however, having grown up a Seventh Day Adventist in North Dakota (not a hotbed of southern mountain singing).

In the interests of truth, I must report I was not brave yesterday. I received a phone call from the woman processing my Railroad Retirement claim. I had more or less forgotten all about this, once my social security was approved, as it will only come into play when I am qualified to receive disability pay in February. I had submitted the forms back in late August. Now she was telling me there were "big holes" in the documentation. The effort to fill the holes would be nothing for a well person: a trip to the instacare where I was initially seen to authorize a release of their medical records, a trip to the director's office here in the building to copy the surgeon's report. one more entry regarding my employment history. However, at the moment I was talking to her, she might as well have been asking me to run a race. The effort of going to the director's office is truly major. Riding in a car, and walking even a short distance into a building makes me short of breath for ten minutes or so, and wears me out for the next hour. So, I burst into tears. I really had fought to get all the paperwork done, and had thought everything was arranged and I did not have to worry about finding energy and concentration for it any more. Now there was still more to do, and I felt, judging by my experience with social security that even this would not be the last. It seemed there would always be one more piece of paper! I told the woman, who was upset that she had made me cry, and kept saying, "I really want to help you", that I knew this was not her fault, but that I really did not see how it would benefit me to go through any more, as I would be dead before any money was paid out. We agreed, finally, that I would call her back to make an appointment for the phone interview she had also to do, if and when I felt able to answer questions, obtain the records and send them, etc.

Of course, I will have to do as I am asked, because if I don't, they may use this to deny me the benefits I am already receiving under the other retirement system. So, I have bucked up, and made arrangements to go to the instacare and to copy the documents she is asking for. I called her office this morning, but she is not in, so I must call tomorrow to set up an appointment.

I was talking to a friend today, who is also an invalid. She and I had not been in touch very often until my illness, but now we try to call every few weeks. She has chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, both poorly understood and limiting diseases. as well as an extreme susceptibility to bronchitis, which pretty much keeps her housebound at this time of year. She asked me if I was ever lonely. I could truthfully tell her I never am, thanks to my dear shipmates.
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
[Embarrassed] blush [Embarrassed]

[Heart] hug [Heart]

A music CD is on its way, by the way... [Wink]

Drat! No hamster icons!
Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
Miss Molly, couldn't the medical records release form be handled by mail? Or by someone to whom you could assign power of attorney?

Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
Came home today to find my green lawn covered with brilliant red leaves that had blown off my vine maples today. Had to kick through a sidewalk full of leaves, all crinkley and crunchy. I must enjoy these things, they are such a fragment of life, but a whole slice of joy!
Love to you,
Lady A
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Where was the groom singing this immortal piece when the bride met him?
In sister worked in Europe for 3 years. She went to a theater group (she loves theater...and sings quite wonderfully)..her future husband was walking around singing that Tom Lehrer song.

She thought "Wow, people in Holland know Tom Leher?"

It was like fate since my father drove all of us crazy growing up playing Tom Leher over and over again.
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
Miss Molly, 'Fields of Gold' is now permanently linked to thoughts of you whenever I hear it. A nice reminder to pray!

Must tackle my in-tray, but I await further posts on my favourite thread with interest.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear shipmates, dear friends, my apologies for not posting yesterday. I was just being extremely lazy, and not prioritizing as I should. Thank you all for your continued concern and prayers.

I look forward very much to the CD, dear Chastmaster. Please, no more blushes when people remark on your niceness (is that a word) and gentleness; they are only speaking the truth.

Lady A, I am glad another grownup likes to walk through leaves. I love the dry sound, and the earthy smell. About 26 years ago, we had a winter here when it never snowed. The leaves remained on the ground for a long time. At the time, I used to walk to work at about 11 P.M.; one of the great delights of walking in the night was the ghostly colored leaves under my feet, their rustle and their earthy smell. I am delightedly imagining you and the crunchy red leaves! May your slice of life's pizza contain many more such wonderful toppings.

Scot, I did work out a way to handle the situation. When I called yesterday to set up my appointment, I reviewed with the case worker all she wanted in the way of documentation, to make sure there would be no further surprises. In talking to her, I discovered that a copy of the surgeon's report on my operation, which I could easily provide, would not be enough. She also needed the account of my visit to his office to have the sutures out! I thought, this will never end. She will have me chasing all over town. Providentially, I remembered that when I was filling out the social security forms, the case worker told me, you can either sign a form that permits us to pursue your medical records, or you can obtain them yourself, which will expedite the claim. I chose to obtain them myself. It was not difficult, since Dr Reilly had all that Social Security required in the way of records, and I had to visit his office anyway. I asked the Railroad Retirement worker if she could not send me a form to sign allowing her to pursue my records, and she readily agreed. Whew! An additional "hole" that she now identified was an account of my railroad employment. I had not written an account, because the vocational history form only asked for fifteen years of employment history, and I ceased being employed by the railroad in 1985. I was surprised to be asked, as I had assumed that the Board had all my employment records, and as I told her, my disability has nothing to do with that job! However, I still must write an account with dates, and job duties performed. All of this can be mailed, however. I am grateful to you, Scot, for your suggestion, as I believe it jogged my memory to inquire about a form!

Your Grace, I see your family is just as interesting as you are. Hurrah for you all.

Gill H, I see your pansy every day, as it hangs on my prayer wall. It reminds me of your prayers and love, and the love of my shipmates. It grows in beauty and significance every day.

And now the news...

My father will not be able to come to visit me, as it turns out his appointment for his cancer treatment is within the projected dates. He is a seven year survivor of prostate cancer that had metastasized to his spine. We are grateful that he was chosen for an experimental protocol that has arrested the progress of the disease.

My mother and sister had planned to be here Wednesday, but the weather has held them up. There has not been a favorable day in between storms. The newest projected arrival time is tomorrow evening. I will know if this is likely by watching the weather out my window this evening. If a rain storm passes through here, it will bring snow to them, and a further delay. I am grateful for the delay, though, as it permits my mother to continue to recover from a sinus infection. It is very hard on her to travel; she becomes ill every time! The sinus infection is from her trip to my father's reunion. (Of course, any hints on my part that she might delay seeing me a month or so fall on deaf ears.)

I continue to watch the park with interest. Last weekend, on Saturday morning, there were three people that entertained me. A man got out of his car, walked onto the little footbridge over Millcreek, and stood looking into the creek bottom. I can only suppose he shares my interest in the ducks and geese. After he finished his inspection, he got back in his car and drove away. Then there was a man with a metal detector, who strode purposefully into the park and stopped at a planned area. I don't know if he is systematically checking the park for lost treasures, and the area he stopped at was the next on his grid, or what, but it certainly looked planned. He used his device, and then did some excavation. I could not see what he found, but I hope it repaid the labor of putting the earth back. Finally, there was a young man in his prime, walking briskly through the park, enjoying the day and his strength and energy. I was so glad for him.

I had an email from a friend's mother the other day. She is a breast cancer survivor, a loving person, and a committed Christian. I appreciate her concern and prayers. I was deeply disturbed, however, by her expressed belief that her cancer was to humble her and make her a true Christian, to "knock her to her knees at the Cross", if I remember her phraseology correctly.

I do not and cannot believe God sends suffering. I believe he created a world in which we might be free to become his children. We are also free to hurt each other, to damage our world, and to do things that set harmful forces in play. I believe my cancer is probably the result of a virus. As a nurse, I worked in an infection-dense environment for years; it was an occupational hazard, just as working around whizzing bullets, etc., might be for a soldier. I think the virus simply slipped by my defenses. The virus might be one we have bred by changing our environment, or by how we have used various drugs. It is not God's will. He did not give me cancer. His will is for me to love and serve him here, and to enjoy him forever. I live in a free world, and I make my contribution to its beauties and its dangers. I have this disease which will end my life as a result. God's will is for me to come through this as his daughter. He sustains me every moment and gives me rich blessings of enjoyment and love. These amazing gifts bring me to kneel at the cross, not knocked to my knees by a punitive divinity, but drawn by awe and love for a God who loves me so, loves me more than I can imagine or receive. The love I am able to receive now is enlarging my capacity to receive, so that one day I may live in the presence of Love.

God bless you all, my dear ones.
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
As promised, here are the words of the simple, but lovely hymn I sang last week. I hope you like old hymns with lots of 'eths' in!

(Tune: Ravenshaw - adapted from a German Mediaeval Melody by W.H. Monk, words by H.W. Baker.)


Lord, thy word abideth,
and our footsteps guideth;
who its truth believeth
light and joy receiveth.

When our foes are near us,
then thy word doth cheer us,
word of consolation,
message of salvation.

When the storms are o'er us,
and dark clouds before us,
then its light directeth,
and our way protecteth.

Who can tell the pleasure,
who recount the treasure,
by thy word imparted
to the simple-hearted?

Word of mercy, giving
succour to the living:
word of life, supplying
comfort to the dying.

O that we discerning
its most holy learning,
Lord, may love and fear thee,
evermore be near thee.
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Miss Molly,

I am finally putting some pictures in the mail first thing in the morning. I despair that it has taken me so long. [Frown] Expanse soap operas have taken over my life, it seems...which have thwarted my task time. My car just got inspected today (2 months late). [Roll Eyes]

The pix are coming priority mail so you'll have them soon. They are for St. Seb to see also. Hope y'all will smile and the happiness I experienced will be evident.

Thanks for sharing. I relate to what you say about the occupational hazards that nurses experience. I've been hit by one of those whizzing bullets, too. But, as you say - that was not God's intention. He is Love, and His mercy is perfect. We just live in a fallen world for the moment. Sickness abounds here.

Fearless is fine and we love you. She marvels at the idea of babyfood meats for her food. oh, my beating heart anymore. do I really have to use the heart shower? yes, I must.

[Love] [Angel]
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Miss Molly,
I was at my conference this week and I sat, in front of my fireplace, watching the evening glint off of Haystack Rock. I was writing a calendar to my daughter for her 25th birthday. One of those '52 weeks of adventure & fun' things. I went back over my old calendars and wrote in on different days, "went to see Grandma and Grandpa B in 1988" or "jazz dance recital - 1990". So, I was filling in the blanks with once each week telling her "I love you" and Fields of Gold came on. So I danced in front of the fireplace, with the flames, and the waves out the windows praying for you, holding you tenderly in my thoughts.
My daughter has pretty much decided to stay in for 9 more months, and apply for the nursing program which she'll be able to do there if she stays. She loved your thoughts and said that she felt encouraged by what you had to say, so thank you very much.
Our bunnies have been inside for several days now because it is so cold out. Last night for Halloween I opened the door once and they both raced for the door! The two trick or treaters both totally forgot they were there for candy and started to come in to pet Blackberry and Higgins! They were so funny! I was trying to deposit candy in bags that had been forgotten, shoo bunnies away from the door, and herd the two kids back out to Mom! (I also made sure that my front walk was totally covered with leaves so that all would have to crunch up to the front door!)
Nibbling thoughts to you!
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
I apologise if you have seen these before but they were brought back from the Shetland Isles by a lady at my church and are rather lovely. They are the Itinerary Prayers, originating from the Celtic Tradition:

In the name of the Father
In the name of the Son
In the name of the Spirit
Three in One.

Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy
(As Jesus taught us, so we pray. Our Father...)

O Everlasting Father
Creator of all things
Take this your servant Molly
In your own generous clasp
In your own generous arm

May you be with her in every pass
With her on every hill
With her on every stream
On headland, road and rill

Each sea, each land, each moor, each meadow
Each lying down, each rising up
In trough of the waves, on the crest of the billows
Each step of the journey she goes

May she rest in the love of God, our dearest
May she rest in the love of Christ His Son
May she rest in the love of the Comforter Eternal
Ever rest in the Three in One

May your guarding, O God, be hers
May your guarding, O loving Christ, be hers
May your guarding, Holy Spirit, be hers
To cherish her, to enfold her, until we meet again. Amen.

Michael, prince of angels, go with her
Raphael, encompass her under the covering of your wings
Gabriel, shield her soul and keep her ever in the ways of God

Lord, you who are the light of our path
The guiding star above us
And the joy of our hearts
Set us in your love, this day, this night and for ever

Of your power protect us
Of your love lift us
And in your arms accept us
From the ebbing of the tide to its flowing
From the waning of life to its waxing. Amen.
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
Originally posted by Chorister:
As promised, here are the words of the simple, but lovely hymn I sang last week. I hope you like old hymns with lots of 'eths' in!

(Tune: Ravenshaw - adapted from a German Mediaeval Melody by W.H. Monk, words by H.W. Baker.)

And the hymn can be found in the Cyber Hymnal, here.

[edited because I am stupid and forgot the link. [Roll Eyes] ]

[ 02. November 2002, 11:38: Message edited by: Nunc Dimittis ]
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
Except that when we sing it, unlike the cyber hymnal, we don't go:
thump, thump,bang, bang, thump, thump
bang, bang, thump, thump, bang, bang, thump.....!
You will have to insert some musicality to imagine what it really sounds like [Big Grin]
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Molly, you say some unbelieveably beautiful stuff...changed my signature to your great words.
Posted by Pipkin (# 1401) on :
Que Dieu Te Benisse ma Chère.

Thank God for your beauty, wisdom, Grace, openness, righteousness, and for the love you give to your blesséd family and friends.

I pray you will have treasured time with your family.

love m
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
My dear shipmates, I have long felt you are brothers and sisters to me. God bless you all in all your activities this day and always.

Your Grace, and cher Mme Pipkin, thank you for your loving thoughts. Your opinion of me humbles me. I will do my best to become the kind of person you think I am.

Dear Chorister, thank you for the words to the hymn and the chords. It is exactly the kind of old-fashioned church hymn I like!

Nunc Dimittis, thank you for the audio link. I love the cyber hymnal. Now I have speakers, and I love the music available on the net.

My mother and sister arrived Saturday afternoon, at the exact moment predicted by my father, to whom I had chatted earlier that day! He keeps a mental map and chronometer for all places to which he has driven. Sometimes, people don't arrive when they should by his calculations, due to variables like choosing to stop for lunch, or to use a restroom, or choosing not to "fly low" on a rainy day. Then he is very frustrated! However, on this occasion, my relatives had done their duty and made the time he thought they should.

They brought me a lovely multi-photo frame to hang above my sofa. There are far too many pictures of me from toddlerhood, through little girlhood, to high school graduation, and the winter before my nephew was born, but there are also pictures of my beautiful young mother, my sister the day she arrived home from the hospital, my uncle and a lot of cousins, my brother and my sister-in-law, my father, and my father's parents. It makes me very happy to see all these memories captured on film, and remember the circumstances of many of the photos. For instance, in Dona's "debut" picture, a very disgruntled-looking older sister is holding her! The facial expression is due to a swollen cheek from a visit to the dentist that day. Looking at the photo, I also see I am wearing a green plaid dress I liked very much. Another great photo is one of my brother and myself, wearing our night clothes but also proudly wearing our new Roy Rogers and Dale Evans cowboy hats and gun belts, pointing our pistols at evil doers!

My mother has been telling some stories about me I had not heard before. There is one photo of me at about age five, sitting on Santa's knee. I want you to know my coat, dress, and little leather pocketbook were all fashioned by my mother. This was not without difficulty, as apparently I decided to cut some of the dress fabric out for my own purposes! This was from a sleeve, the last bit of the dress that was unfinished. My mother, with her heart in her throat, dashed down to the Penney's store hoping there might be a scrap of brown gingham left to complete my ensemble. Fortunately there was! Another story is also attached to this photo. My mother says I was taking no chances; I not only told Santa in great detail what I wanted, but gave him my name, address, and phone number! I have always been thorough, you see. And thoroughness works! Santa Claus has come to see me every year of my life. [Big Grin]

Part of today was spent by my agile and determined sister in hanging ribbon streamers on the wall behind my chair. I was able to tape many cards and post cards to them, that previously I had not had room to display. Now many more of your cherished communications are available to see. Since every kitchen should have a window, she and my mother purchased a mirror made to look like one. My sister's amazing, loving energy extended to hanging this, too, as well as a decorative ribbon bow and streamers to frame my picture window.

Through the window today, the geese put on an air show! Back and forth, up and down they flew. They were beautiful and graceful in their element, the air.

Dear Saint Sebastian is frequently in pain these days. It is possible he has one of two glycogen processing disorders: McArdle's disease or Acid Maltase Deficiency. Either one leads to pain and weakness in the muscles. There is no cure for either, and not much in the way of treatment. Please pray for him. I will, too, of course, and I have given over whipping him with my oxygen tubing.

I had a visit from the Hammargrens this evening, who brought the dainty feline diva, Mahalia. She loved all the attention she got from my mother and sister, explored the apartment again, and played a little with some scrap ribbon. She even sat on my lap and let me stroke her briefly. This is hard for her, as cats do not like hissing sounds, such as my oxygen makes, but she lovingly bore with it to give me this tactile treat. At the close of the visit, we put the towel I had been steeping in my aroma in her travel box, and she seemed to be comforted by it.

Dear shipmates, I send you my true affection, at whatever time it is for you, and in whatever place.
Posted by Brent (# 3498) on :
Miss Molly,
I have just recently joined this community on a recommendation from a dear friend of mine and I look forward to interacting with the members. I am, at this time trying to learn my way around and I may not have enough time tonight to read through all these posts of yours, but an interesting start. I can sense from some of the posts that you enriched in God's blessings while enduring some difficult situations in your life and I commend you for your strength. I have someone very close in my life who has, and is, enduring some difficult situations also and her strength is an example that reminds me of my shortfalls and how much I need his presence on a daily basis. I thank God every day for this special person. You are an enlightened individual from what I can tell so far and I look forward to reading the rest of the posts you have entered. I can tell already that I will be enjoying myself in here.
Blessings to you....
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
Molly, here are two more websites that play hymns.

A Methodist site and an Anglican site.

I hope you enjoy them.

Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
Hi Brent, and welcome. This is a good thread to start on. Miss Molly is a very special person, as you'll soon find out.

(BTW those hands on your avatar are actually mine ! Fame at last.)

Exits singing Chorister's lovely hymn.
Posted by Brent (# 3498) on :
Thank you for your welcome Gill, I was wondering where those wandering hands came from, I feel the music but I sure can't play it, so play away, and let your music touch those who are part of your life.
I am sure in time I will feel a bit more comfortable in posting and welcomes like yours are helpful. Enjoy the day and all that God has to offer.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear Shipmates, once again I am keeping the graveyard watch! I laugh as I think how appropriate this is.

Welcome aboard, Brent. I hope your voyage aboard the Ship will be as blessed as mine has been.

Dear Gill, what elegant hands! Now I will imagine you playing.

Dear Moo, thanks for the links to the two music sources. By the way, I, too, [Two face] love "I will pass over thee" on the Ralph Stanley CD you so kindly sent.

Today was spent in dealing with more bureaucratic snags. I had my telephone interview, and the case worker identified more information she needed. She agreed, that instead of waiting for her to mail me a supplemental vocational report and the release forms for medical records, that my sister could drive to her office and obtain them. The forms could not be faxed to us at the office here, as the government requires original documents, she said. My sister thought this was incorrect, based on her experience working for the General Service Agency of our government, but we decided it would be simpler to "go with the flow".

While she ran this errand, I spent time with various dunning doctors' offices, explaining my circumstances. The prize today for hilarious remark goes to the lady at the radiology practice, who wanted to know if I could pay if they came down a bit on the bill! The upshot of talking to everyone is that I must contact the patient eligibility worker at LDS Hospital and have her send them all paperwork relating to the decision by them to write off my bill as a charity case. Then each practice: pathology, radiology, and anesthesiology will make its decision whether to extend charitable consideration. Accordingly, I called the hospital caseworker and left her a message. She has not returned my call yet, so tomorrow I must call again. Incidentally, I did a quick mental addition of all the bills and they amount to $63,000+ for care I received while in the hospital.

When Dona arrived home, she brought the news that I must re-do my descriptions of what constituted my duties as a registered nurse. I had ignorantly followed the instructions and detailed what sort of machinery I operated, what technical knowledge the post required, what kind of writing I did, and what supervisory responsibilities I had. The instructions said nothing about detailing how often or far I walked, how much I lifted, and how often. So I spent a fair amount of time rewriting the section to include the information.

As my sister said, the Railroad Retirement Board caseworker is trying to help me, by pointing out all the facts that will make a difference in deciding my case. I was pretty irked, however, as I had done as the form requested in the first instance. I did not think it was fair that the form did not ask for what it really wanted. However, I do have to remember that the form is geared to railroad jobs. The people on the review board know what these entail; they do not really have a clue just how much physical effort is involved in being a nurse. My sister says they could very well have decided I could perform my duties while riding in a wheelchair with an oxygen tank attached, and denied me benefits accordingly.

It is a very good thing my sister was here to explain and encourage, as my inclination was to be rather childish and tell the bureaucracy to go to H-E-double toothpicks, and take their dratted money, which they seem bound and determined I shall never see a penny of, with them! Please note, the caseworker is helpful; it is the forms,
regulations, and hidden agenda that are causing the revelation of my basic nasty-temperedness.
I know this ruins my chance at sainthood, but it is my true nature. [Two face]
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Still haven't mastered the smilies. The hypocrite one was meant to go only at the end of the post. I do sincerely love the Ralph Stanley song mentioned!
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Just buzzing by, hi y'all!

Get all the help and concessions re: protocol you can, Miss M., when dealing with the blankity-blank-blurp-blank "system". Yeech.

I enjoy allowing the bang-bang-bang electric hymnal to play while I read & post, thanks y'all for the sites.

My music project for today is to record, for my church sisters who will go with me on retreat at month's end, the song "Louie, Louie", by the Kingsmen... because that's the tune to the Bible-camp-style "Pharaoh, Pharaoh". (Pharaoh - Pharaoh, oh, no, baby, we gotta go... yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah... with hand motions... quite the opposite of the several-part Doxology we'll also do for contrast...)

A tape of the pieces we are to perform on retreat, to entertain the other women, is a great toll. All we semi-literate musicians can brainwash ourselves with the tape, you see; thus we'll need only a few rehearsals.

Dodging out into the rain now to carry little Joe to school. God bless Miss M.!
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
Janine, we do that one too - only we sing

"Pharaoh, Pharaoh, oh baby, let my people go
Hoo! Hah! Yeh yeh yeh yeh..."

... with appropriate walk-like-an-Egyptian actions.
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
I was reading the last two posts and had the funniest sight of your Pookie doing an Egyptian cat walk to "Pharoah, Pharoah, oh oh,....."

(smilie of a cat doing little paw Egyptian thingys!)

Pawsing to send love your way,
Lady A
Posted by golden key (# 1468) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:

Please note, the caseworker is helpful; it is the forms,
regulations, and hidden agenda that are causing the revelation of my basic nasty-temperedness.
I know this ruins my chance at sainthood, but it is my true nature. [Two face]

But Miss Molly, you can be the patroness of those dealing with soulless bureaucracies! Of course, that would keep you rather busy... I myself am wading through a paperwork process, and sympathize very much!!

2 small presents for you; if you find them unsuitable, *please* ignore them! [Smile]

First is my current sig, which I'm pasting in--in case I change it later.

From Pure Joy springs all creation;
by Joy it is sustained,
towards Joy it proceeds
and to Joy it returns.
--Ajit Mookerjee

2nd is one that I've found comforting since childhood.

--Crossing The Bar--
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.

Anyway, I offer these journeying poems with disclaimers and some trepidation. While I've been in tough situations of my own, I've never been in your situation and don't know what thoughts/approaches are appropriate for you. I know how irritating it can be when someone offers well-meant but clueless advice. So this is just FWIW. [Eek!]

Best wishes,
Golden Key
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Happy days, dear hearts! That is what I wish for you, that you may be as blessed and happy as I am.

Ma cher Janine, and dear Gill, I laughed to think of the Kingsmen's immortal ballad used in this way.

Lady A, I am still remembering you dancing. Pookie never danced that I remember, but I can imagine her doing a sort of heiratic prance to the tune. Thank you for the image.

The Hamster Ball arrived tonight! A large box wrapped in gold foil paper and with a big bow of gold ribbon was handed to me by none other than St Sebastian, who I am glad to report is feeling better. To the clicking and whirring of cameras, I performed surgery on the wrappings, opened the box and discovered the most beautiful and thoughtful and loving gift! It was an embrace from many, many shipmates, bound into a comforter, so it could be contained in cardboard and shipped to me.

It really is the loveliest, snuggliest, most delightful object. It is a patchwork, with squares on which shipmates have signed their names, drawn pictures, embroidered, and appliqued
with touches of humor and whimsy as well as deep affection. There are patches from the bulletin board headings, and patches showing what's available in the avatar shop, and even an enlarged picture of my avatar! I am of course, equally genteel in the family size package.

I managed to collect some information from two shipmates regarding the way this amazing objet d'art was constructed. I gather Chukovsky honcho'd the project in the UK, with Ham 'n' Eggs on hand at one point. The comforter was then shipped to Jedi Judy, who collected squares in the USA and sewed them together. There was a card in the box that had a cross-stitched cat, that looked suspiciously like work I have seen before! Another card was also a cat, a Florida one this time. One can never have too many cats on hand. They will join the pride on my walls.

I would like to quote from the musical Scrooge:

"Thank you very much
Thank you very much!
It's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me!"

It is the nicest thing because it represents the nicest thing--your affection and prayers.

God bless you all.
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :

Miss Molly, you don't know how long some of us have been holding our breath waiting for the quilt to reach you. It's felt like being seven years old on Christmas Eve all over again! Can't wait for the photos.

Just to make today perfect, Sarah Kennedy played 'Fields of Gold' on the radio as I woke up this morning, so my first thoughts were of you and the quilt.

I promise I'll post the rest of the 'Pharaoh' lyrics at some point, so you can imagine the whole spectacle.

Have a wonderful day wrapped in your Ship-hug!
Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
We have tried our best to keep the project a secret and have been communicating by emails and PMs. We contacted as many people as possible who posted on the orginal thread, but because of time constraints there are bound to be people who were missed out.

The quilt was made by a certain group of shipmates, but it comes with love from all of us.

Posted by Smudgie (# 2716) on :
Molly, deprived of my computer and MSN and email, and unable to get through on the phone yet, I am forced to post on this thread which I obviously never read ;)I am delighted to know the "ship-hug" finally arrived - you have no idea how difficult it is holding conversations in two MSN windows about the quilt, while talking to you in another window and frantically trying to avoid mentioning it. I nearly exploded at one point. So now you know I really can be a bit of a [Two face] too. I long to talk to you again properly. I will persevere with the telephone.

Take good care of yourself, my friend, and be good. God bless you Molly
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Delighted you now have your Ship-Hug. I agree with others as to how difficult it was not to let the cat out of the bag, as they say!!!

With very much love from all in the Dolphy household. xxx
Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :

If I'd had to hold on any longer, I'd have burst! I'll echo Smudgie re the msn dilemma. Many's the time I've deliberately avoided talking about the quilt when you weren't there, just in case you should be invited into the conversation and find out the dreadful truth by accident.

Wonderful to know that you've finally received it. I'm looking forward to seeing those photos! [Yipee]
Posted by chukovsky (# 116) on :
I'm so glad the secret's out, I would have died if I had had to hold onto it any longer. The worst bit was when I was talking to Molly on the phone and then I put the phone down just as the doorbell rang for the first person to come over and tie knots in the quilt!

You can see some pictures on my website, and special thanks should go to a bunch of stars including Gill (the non-red person in the pictures of the European half) for hosting a pinning- and tying-together party; Strathclydezero for organising the email list while I actually had to get on with some w**k; babybear who valiantly sent about a million PMs after I refused to do it any more (at 2 mins flood control per person!); and Michelle who was the person who sewed the patchwork on the North American half; and anyone else I've forgotten!
Posted by Moth (# 2589) on :
Molly, I'm so glad you've got the quilt at last! You might be interested to know that ShadoK tried to help with the tying (the only sewing he's attempted since I caught him trying to repair the hem on his trousers whilst still wearing them....). I also managed to get one or two stitches in the right place, after a great deal of trying! Chukovsky, Kingsfold and LJB(?) were very patient with us that evening! (Eventually, Chukovsky agreed we'd done enough and let us go to the pub, to ShadoK's great relief!). [Big Grin]

We really enjoyed our tiny part in this great project, and we're so glad you like the result. The pictures certainly look very handsome! [Yipee]
Posted by Fudge (# 425) on :
Dear Molly,

please don't imagine I forgot you, as Babybear says, it was only the folk that posted to start with she contacted, and since I didn't know till later it was you, I missed out.

I would have loved to contribute to the quilt, as I am a stitcher myself!! Boo hoo! [Waterworks]

Anyway, thanks Chukovsky for the pics, at least I can see what folk did. (Love your site by the way)

Happy Christmas Molly, when it comes. They have all the xmas lights up in Union Street here in Aberdeen, but not switched on yet. Set my own fireworks off last night in the carpark, what great fun! I hope you got to set off some sparklers, they are such a reminder of childhood.

The trees outside my window still have leaves on, but the ones at the bus stop are nearly all bare now. Walked through the two little parks beside the doc's last night and there are HUGE horse-chestnut trees there, and as I walked past, a conker fell to the ground and split open. Cool! [Eek!]

Posted by jedijudy (# 1059) on :
We can breathe again! Molly, this was the hardest secret ever to keep!

Did you like the back of the quilt? It's a bit unconventional, but so is a world-wide quilt!

We hope that everythime you wrap it around yourself, you remember that we love you to pieces, and that we wanted to send you the tenderest, biggest hug in the universe!

Now we can talk, and I don't have to worry about saying the wrong thing!!

Your Jedi Sister, waving her lightsaber in pure happiness!
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
Molly, I'm very glad you like the quilt.

Your list of those who helped put it together was missing one name. Michelle put together some of the North American contributions.

There was a Yahoo group dedicated to the planning and execution. There were probably at least fifty posts.

Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
When our priest was going to be elevated to Archpriest during the recent visit by our bishop; the parish council, the entire church and even his wife kept it secret an entire year. The banquet committee even fictionalized a banquet plan to present to Father, so he wouldn't be aware of the celebration in his honor.

He was delighted, of course, but amazed that he hadn't found out even a hint. Now he says, over and over - he is surprised that more people aren't addressing their deceptive natures in confession. [Smile] [Big Grin]

Good and fun secrets are wonderful. I do hope this has been like the beginning of your best ever Christmas, Molly. [Not worthy!]
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Molly, I once recieved a quilt as a farewell gift from a parish, and they kept it secret too- so I know a little about how you must be feeling. It is one of my most loved possessions. Boy, they had to chase me around England to get a piece of material to me, so's I could get it back in time.
But use the quilt, molly, and feel wrapped in our love.
I am at my sister's now, in Ohio. My family here are great, especially my 5 year old great-niece, who does accents remarkably well, and is already running round saying "G'day!"
Posted by chukovsky (# 116) on :
Originally posted by Moo:
Molly, I'm very glad you like the quilt.

Your list of those who helped put it together was missing one name. Michelle put together some of the North American contributions.

All of them! as I mentioned previously


There was a Yahoo group dedicated to the planning and execution. There were probably at least fifty posts.

more like 150! it's been pretty busy.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
My idea of a hug with a tangible free-standing form of its own IS a quilt. Good going, guys.

Here's a giggle, M.M., for when the drudgery of paperwork seems to outweigh chemo and fatigue on you "bad things" list.

Click on the - ah - individuals - and you'll find you're suddenly able to play a furry new instrument. [Killing me]
Posted by kingsfold (# 1726) on :
Hooray, hooray, the quilt has arrived!

I'm so glad you liked it, and it was wonderful to be able to do a bit for you,

with love
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
A huge 'good on ya' to the Australian contingent too, especially Nunc (I believe it was Nunc - it was a little strange keeping real names and Ship names straight.)
Posted by Rossweisse (# 2349) on :
I'm so glad it finally got there! This has been a VERY hard secret to keep! (My Senior Child drew a pair of Anime-style cats on one square, and she's been asking when you were going to receive it too.) Wrap yourself tight in a multi-continent hug!

Rossweisse // honored to have had a small part in it
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
I also heard Sarah Kennedy play 'Fields of Gold' this morning, and wondered how close to the time the quilt was being presented that it was played. Maybe Sarah Kennedy is a secret SoF poster?!
Glad the quilt arrived and was presented safely - can't wait to see the presentation pictures! (sunny smilie) [Smile]
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
YAY!!!! I too am honoured! [Not worthy!] By the way, that is supposed to be a HAMSTER on mine rather than the cat everyone seems to think it is, in honour of your liking of my hamster icons! [Smile]

(Did the CD make it this time? Hamster songs are on it.)


Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Ya'll think YOU had a hard time keeping it secret! Molly was worse than the Grand Inquisitor, trying to wheedle clues out of me.

Fudge, it's not too late to add a panel. Apparently there are a few that didn't make it to the quilters in time to be included. Katie is sending me some and Molly and I will rent a movie and sew them on some evening, so feel free to send one to me if you like. I'm at 740 East 300 South, #306, Salt Lake City, UT 84102.

I'm taking the pictures to Sam's Club today to get them processed. I don't know if they can be attached to this thread somehow or not, but I'm going to email them to Katie to put on her website. If anyone wants their own, I'll certainly be glad to email them to you.

I had one of Molly getting in one last flog with the oxygen cord (my gift wrapping skills were not up to par, you see)but she ripped the film out of the camera while I was unconcious on the floor. [Razz]
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Hugs, St. Seb.

Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
OK, bag that. I spoke without understanding. I didn't know that the squares had to be measured, pre-washed, etc. If you don't already have a square, it's too late (but Molly knows many more would have "squared" if there had been time). If you have one you haven't returned, you can still return them to Judy or Katie, whoever you were supposed to return them to.

I took the film in today and lo, the prints will be available online for 30 days for your viewing or downloading pleasure. I'll let you know the address and password when the film place gives it to me (in about 3 days). I love modern times!
Posted by Jack the Lass (# 3415) on :
Miss Molly, I must confess to being another 'lurker' here, I’ve been reading this thread for a while and have been so touched by your bravery, honesty and loveliness [Smile] What can I say ... your grace and serenity are an inspiration. Praying for a truly magical Christmas for you and your family, and sending you another hug (sorry I’m hopeless at sewing so will just add a sincere thoughtful hug as a virtual square to the quilt).

With much love [Love]

Posted by Brent (# 3498) on :
I am truly touched by the magnificient outpouring of love in this quilt you have received. I joined SOF after this project actually got off the ground, however, reading through all these posts and realizing the effort that has been put forth is wondrous. What beautiful hearts to grace you with such a wonderful gift. I am moved, God's blessings to you all, and continued strength for you Miss Molly as you now can embrace yourself with the warmth of your friends here at SOF.
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
miss molly, my square just has my name and a big red heart (to match the one in my avatar). but if i'd remembered that you were an archy and mehitable fan, i'd have drawn a cockroach. [Wink] so whenever you look at my square, just imagane a little archy crawling across the heart. [Big Grin]
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Here's another fun thing with which to while away the hours.

Music to watch the geese by?

Music to flog by?

I like the site.

So it ain't opera. Call me lowbrow if you want, I won't mind. I'll just keep smilin' through the great overhanging thatch of my low-hanging brow and keep on listening. [Paranoid]
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
Molly I am SO GLAD the quilt reached you! Reading about how you opened it etc brought a huge grin to my face. It's made my day!

PS - Did the Australian squares make it on?

[edited to add info]

[ 06. November 2002, 23:17: Message edited by: Nunc Dimittis ]
Posted by JoyfulNoise & Parrot, O'Kief (# 2049) on :
Now the full Ship can (((Hug))) you in reality. [Smile]
Posted by Motherboard (# 54) on :
I'm so glad I don't have to lie [Roll Eyes] to Miss Molly anymore when we talk on the phone. So I am glad you got the quilt, at last. I have to say that the shipmates who joined us considered it to be a labor of love, MM. [Love]

Love and saintly hugs,
Motherboard (sadly missing her beating heart smiley) [Angel]
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Miz Molly:

Found a shape note singing gathering (Sacred Harp tradition) you can listen to, recorded & w/ a playlist & interviews.

Being part of the churches of Christ/restoration movement, I particularly enjoy a cappella worship music. Shape-note stuff usually is a cappella. At least, the only common non-vocal accompaniment is the tapping of feet! I suppose that still qualifies.

Two interviews were especially interesting to me:
*The guy from Alabama who had come up to New England for the singing, whose family for generations had been using that style of music in worship on a regular basis, and
*The (presumably Hindu)lady whose employer had moved her there from Kansas, who came with a friend to one singing event, & was "hooked" on the fellowship & circle of instant friends. And food.

I have always promoted singing as an aerobic exercise.

Just another place for "background music", a soundtrack for your life. Use it when you're feeling all 19th-century-ish, Frontierish or even a bit Colonial.

(Recall the stories of "Singing School" when Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder were courting "on the prarie"?)

If you split screens you can pull up the "Fasola" site & get an index of the Sacred Harp tunes to help you find a number you like.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear shipmates,

I am sorry I did not post last night, and sorry this post is so short.

I am well, but tired from the chemo. I now have your quilt hanging on my bedroom wall, just by my bed, so I can see it from the living room and while lying down. It is really beautiful both from a distance, as an art object, and up close as a heart object. With all_my_heart, I thank you again. When the time comes for me to get on the train, I shall ask that the quilt be put over me. I shall die in your arms.

I will post later today. In the meantime, my love to all of you. Indeed, I do know many would have added a square, but could not for various reasons. I consider that those who read this thread, those who lurk, and those who communicate in other ways, all have a square on my quilt. As I said, my love to you all.
Posted by Rossweisse (# 2349) on :
Originally posted by Janine:
If you split screens you can pull up the "Fasola" site & get an index of the Sacred Harp tunes to help you find a number you like.

The tunes and the harmonies are nifty. However, the raw singing CAN be a bit difficult for the unaccustomed ear. If I might make a suggestion for the uninitiated: check out the recordings of Sacred Harp/Southern Harmony tunes by His Majestie's Clerkes (now known as Bella Voce, but the CDs are unchanged) and Paul Hillier. It's an easier way to listen to this beautiful music.
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
This seems appropriate, and I thought I'd post it here. It's circulating the net right now and I thought of the Ship and of [Love] Molly [Love] (I miss the heart smilie too!!) in particular...


Dear Lord:

Every single evening
As I'm lying here in bed
This tiny little prayer
Keeps running through my head.

God bless all my family
Wherever they may be,
Keep them warm and safe from harm.
For they're so close to me,

And God, there is one more thing
I wish that you could do.
Hope you don't mind me asking,
Bless my computer too.

Now I know that it's not normal
To bless a mother board.
But listen just a second
While I explain to you 'My Lord'.

You see, that little metal box
Holds more than odds & ends
Inside those small compartments
Rest so many of my FRIENDS.

I know so much about them
By the kindness that they give
And this little scrap of metal
Takes me in to where they live.

By faith is how I know them
Much the same as you
We share in what life brings us
And from that our friendship grew.

Please, take an extra minute
From your duties up above
To bless those in my address book
That's filled with so much love!

Wherever else this prayer may reach
To each and every friend,
Bless each e-mail Inbox
And the person who hits Send.

When you update your heavenly list
On your own CD-Rom
Remember each who've said this prayer
Sent up to Amen.

Hugs all! Especially to Molly! [Not worthy!]


PS: Sorry, I couldn't resist adding the link above... [Razz]
Posted by Fudge (# 425) on :
Dave, that was beautiful - it reminds me of my alternative Psalm34 - which I will dig out from the depths of my PC - and St Seb, it sounds like a good idea. If I have time, I will give it a bash, and Moll, I will send you the poem soon, off out to Makro (cash&carry store - floor to ceiling with goodies) and then pizza and a movie.

nighty night
Fudge [Love]
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
That shape singing stuff is amazing.

Now I know where the eccentric hymn-books with odd shaped notes in my bro-in-law's church in North London stem from. They sing a cappella in four part harmony every service. It's very beautiful, even if they give theological reasons for avoiding musical instruments, about which I reckon they're mistaken.

They are a church that originates in the USA, and obviously the founders brought the musical tradition (and the books) with them. [Cool]
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Miss Molly...I am so pleased you got so much happiness from the ship with the squares and thoughts of squares.

God be with you today, my dear.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
While Miss Molly is resting up, here's a tangent re: shape note singing... y'all can run get a glass of tea or something if it doesn't interest you...

daisymay -

The main religious movement I know anything about that is devoted to shaped notes, and abhors artificial musical instruments (as opposed to the one God made, the voice... [Big Grin] ), would be the churches of Christ, of Restoration Movement fame. These are my church family. "Cousins" include the Disciples of Christ & Christian Churches.

Thomas Campbell and his son Alexander got tired of layers of churchiness and just wanted to worship God & have Christian fellowship with other Christians.

When Thomas went to the US, he left the family w/ oldest son Alexander, who was in school in Scotland. (Seminary?)

By the time they all got back together, in the States, they'd both come to the conclusion that they were ready to kick over the traces of tradition and just be Christians, following the Bible. (The Campbells were correspondents with Thomas Jefferson, etc. The US was still young & unspoiled... [Razz] )

To the extent that we still do that (shedding man-made religion & going with God's religion) we are successful in 'restoring' the church Jesus died to set up.

Of course, it can all degenerate into a "secty" little denomination that worships the church instead of the Christ if you don't watch out. [Roll Eyes]

Anyway, you can blame the Irish/Scots Campbells for the movement, and for the strange songbooks. [Snigger]

I need to get a new copy of the shape note tape I wore out, by the Word of Mouth Chorus from the Nonesuch label. That was a good one.

Shape note singing is really a singer's music, not meant in its natural state to be performed & listened to by an audience. It's heavenly to take part in it, though. Really ups the old blood oxygen level!

Thanks for checking out the links.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear shipmates, another short post I am afraid. I am not having any nausea so far with this chemo, but I am much more tired than usual.

I am touched, Moth that ShadoK would try to help in this way.

Bessie Rosebride, I now have your chrismation pictures. In fact, they came the same night as the quilt. How beautiful you are, and how moving the ceremony must have been. I can see it on all your faces.

Thank you Bessie, for your square and for Fearless' paw square.

I cannot remember whose daughter did the anime cats, but they are really professional looking. I smile at them every morning.

Chastmaster, I am embarrassed not to have thanked you before this for the tape! The Bilbo Baggins song really must have been the nadir of Leonard Nimoy's career; however did he get roped into attempting to warble that one? I love your square on my quilt, too, especially the determined mood of your hamster.

For those wondering when I received the quilt, in case it was when Fields of Gold was on the radio, I can say that it was about 4 AM UK time. There is no truth to the rumor that I flogged St Sebastian! (Although I was tempted when he made me wear the package ribbon in my hair...a custom I thought I had sidestepped neatly and forever by never being the recipient of any sort of "shower".)

Thanks for the information about your church, Janine. Thanks also, to those of you who posted information on fasola singing.

Nunc, the Australian shipmates did indeed have their greetings added to my quilt. You and the Coot are both on there. I love the blue ink in your signature.

Babybear, my mother and sister were charmed by your tiny signature and little paw print! I was, too.

Take care of yourselves, my dear ones. I shall post again, and I hope at greater length.
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
Miss Molly I miss you on MSN... [Frown]
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
M.M., have you checked w/ your physician re: guarding against (the usually inevitable during chemo) anemia? People tell me they think that's the part that made them "tiredest".

I daren't send you any of my energy, as it's particularly laid-back and que sera sera energy (translation: "lazy energy"?) [Paranoid]

So I'm praying for His for you.
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

Have been watching all the unwrapping with great interest. Here is yet another musical offering which is an alternative version of Farther Along -see below( and I hope you don't mind me fiddling around with the lyrics). I am still yodelling my way to work every morning you see, and I tend to rewrite lyrics in my head while I am doing it...and I have spelt harbor what I think is the American way specially.

I have also been busy practising the macarena with Judy - she is much better at it than me - and we were having a go at it in the Cafe the other night. On line dancing...And I am also practising shouting "WooHoo" which seems to be the appropriate exclamation. Maybe I should buy some pompoms...

I need to ask your advice at some stage about stocks and shares - I know nothing you know about these things..I thought perhaps I could find a company that dealt in corsets... or maybe hats... or catfood...actually maybe a champagne vineyard would nice...

Now let me see [Two face] [Yipee] [Killing me] Woohoo [Two face] [Yipee] [Killing me] Woohoo

*twiddles pompoms*

Bye for now


Farther Along (ship version)

Tempted and tried, we're
Oft made to wonder.
Sometimes the salt wind
Gets in your eye.
We're a cre-ew sailing
On our hearts' true quest.
We'll understand it
All bye and bye.

Farther along we'll
know all about it
Farther along we'll
Understand why.
Cheer up m-y shipmates,
Live in the sunshine.
We'll understand it
All bye and bye

Many a-a storm wind,
Many a high wave,
Many a tempest,
Many a chore.
Truth is ou-r compass,
Faith is our lifeline,
Hope is our ration,
Till we reach shore.

We have many questions
We are still searching
Love is our engine
T(o) understand why
One uncloudy day we'll
Find a blue harbor
One day drop anchor
B(e)neath a clear sky.
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :

It is about 70 degrees here this morning. I have a window on the south side open and Fearless is sunning in the sill. She is curious about all the falling leaves; every one catches her attention. mommie will be so busy later raking them all into bags.... [Roll Eyes]

Rest well.
Hugs, Bess and purrs, Fearless
Posted by Willyburger (# 658) on :
Originally posted by Nunc Dimittis:
Miss Molly I miss you on MSN... [Frown]

So do I, Molly. We've had such nice chats. I miss just seeing your icon up because then I know you're at the other end.

I'll be out of town for training next week and may not have much chance to be online. I will check every chance I get though.
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
The rain has finally arrived here in OR and it's a good day to run on the ship! Yes, I too donated to the quilt and am so glad that you have it! My signature for me is in Tengwar elvish in case that information didn't make it all the way to you! And the square with the light blue 'silvery stars' in the corner and the snowy fields at night. I still have some of that fabric and will always remember you when I see it.... I hope that your tiredness is a gentle and peaceful one, held in the palm of the Father's hand, rocked to sleep in the scent of His love.
Peace be all around you and within you,
Lady A
Posted by Eanswyth (# 3363) on :
Hello Miss Molly,

I've not written to you before but have been blessed by reading what you have written.

Like Lady A, I am finally seeing rain. San Diego had one of its driest years ever and this long, slow, gentle drizzle has been a Godsend. Things look so much cleaner after being rinsed by Heaven.

Looking forward to reading more from you.

With fond affection,
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
The pictures of Herself receiving the Quilt will be online at Sam's Club until 12/9. If you didn't get an email inviting you to the album and would like to see the pictures, email me and I'll see that you do. I'm afraid there are some pictures of my cats, too, because they were on one of the rolls.
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Hello Molly, I have been meaning to write, but the highlight of my day yesterday was defrosting the fridge and I wasn't sure if this revelation might not be a little too exciting and saucy for those who read this thread.

Since I moved I have really been getting into cooking, and yesterday I made a meat and quince stew. Everyone warned me that quinces were things best left alone, and horribly bitter, but I bought a fat yellow one at the Covered Market in Oxford out of curiosity. They have a delightful scent which I hadn't expected and I am told you can have them in a basket to scent up the room. I can now tell you that the stew I made turned out to be delicious and quinces aren't bitter at all, and I'll definitely be making this again. A much under-estimated fruit I think.

I also roasted some chestnuts last night. I haven't had these in years, and had forgotten the pleasure of trying to peel them hot from the oven, and the nutty, faintly spicy flavour. Washed down with a glass of cider (mulled for preference) it's the perfect thing for a dismal winter's evening. And dismal is right: it's raining again, the fields have become flat shining lakes perilously close to the railway tracks, and the hills I can normally see from my window are veiled in three shades of mist and look like something out of a Chinese painting. We've been promised gales and localized flooding, so who knows, perhaps I won't be able to get to work tomorrow. [Yipee]

Sorry I don't have a cute cat anecdote to cheer you up, unless you want to hear about how I chased one out of the dustbins yesterday, but that's about all I have to tell you for now. Glad you liked the quilt and looking forward to seeing the photos. I was very touched by the idea that you will use it at the last, it's the closest some of us will come to giving you a hug, but I am sure it will make all of us, not just you, feel better. Take care and all the best as always.
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hello Miss Molly,

I do apologise for being so noisy yesterday, so I shall curtail the singing and dancing, and I do hope I didn't disturb you when you were trying to rest.

I have had an enjoyable day, largely because I got to go shopping and have found a see through black lace blouse that I like - that would look very fetching with a corset underneath- I do like corsets [Smile] - but also because I very much enjoyed the services I went to. It is Remembrance Sunday, when we are commemorating the tragedy of World War by wearing a red poppy on our chests and I was so pleased that my local church managed to make a day of unity out of the memory of war by getting 3 local churches to worship together. I was also thrilled to discover that there is a hotbed of this shape note singing in this very parish so I am going to make a point of going along and finding out more about it [Smile] .

It's great that Ariel's abode is being sweetly scented by her quince. I bought one the year before last after reading Jane Grigson's description. Apparently they were the sweetmeats of kings and are famed for their lovely smell. The reality wasn't quite as glamorous as the wretched things are as hard as concrete, almost impossible to peel and take hours to cook, but they are very nice in apple pie, which is part of my "very special invalid appetite tempting" repertoire.

Wishing you a cosy comfortable restful day, sweetly scented by love if not by quinces

Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
Chorister's songs, part 2.

The first quaver on my quilt square stands for 'Lord thy word abideth' which I have already told you about.

The second is for something we are practising for the festival in Exeter Cathedral on Saturday, and which I shall sing for you. The tune is Penlan and the words are by Anna Laetitia Waring:

In heavenly love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here:
The storm may roar without me,
My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me,
And can I be dismayed?

Wherever he may guide me,
No want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me,
And nothing can I lack:
His wisdom ever waketh,
His sight is never dim;
He knows the way he taketh,
And I will walk with Him.

Green Pastures are before me,
Which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o'er me
Where the dark clouds have been;
My hope I cannot measure,
My path to life is free;
My Saviour has my treasure,
And He will walk with me.

There will be about 300 choristers from all over Devon in the Cathedral singing in a massed choir, plus the congregation who join in all the hymns. So this time you should be able to hear us over in America (5.15pm service, UK time).
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
Oh, I love that one too. We used to sing it at school (don't know that it meant much to a bunch of 10-year olds, though).

Miss Molly, yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in our church. (Our vicar and his wife are from California.) It's around the time we started, and every year we have a gift day and a time to thank God for His blessings over the past year. People were invited to the microphone to thank God for particular things. The church have heard all about the saga of making the quilt, and have been praying for you, so no-one was surprised when you were one of my 'particular things'!
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Molly dearest,

I'll email you properly later, but for now I just have to say we had a good weekend, and the parish looks lovely [Yipee] Just waiting for the bishop's approval now...

The bunnies send you lots of love and whiffles, and the cats say they would love to stomp all over your lap before settling down to purr there all afternoon [Smile]

God bless you, Molly

Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear friends, dear shipmates, thank you all for your kind thoughts. I have not been able to post for a while, due to weariness and queasiness, but I am better today, and shall do my best to give you thanks and news.

I am thinking today of the all the wars, and all the veterans, and of those serving in their country's defense forces. I especially am thinking of my father, and Dolphy's, who I know are veterans, but I am sure many more shipmates' fathers, uncles, grandfathers were in the armed forces, and possibly even some older shipmates were, too. I am praying that our own Mid may never have to use his naval skills in a war, and for his safety if it should come to that. Today in America, flags will be flying, speeches will be made, concerts will be played, but surely the truest recollection, and honor, as well as the sweet music of affection are in our hearts.

Ariel, thank you, as always for an evocative description. I am glad the quinces pleased and that the chestnuts and wine made for a cozy, old-fashioned evening. Never fear, I read your description of the cat's doings in Tony K's domain. [Smile]

Welsh Dragon, I love your ship's hymn! Indeed, "hope is our ration, 'til we reach shore". I was amused at the thought of you yelling "woo-hoo", mentally picturing you and Jedi dancing. Thank you also for the elegantly depicted dragon square. It is quite a fierce-looking dragon, you know, and at first I wondered if I should be afraid. Then I noticed the dragon's fiery breath is in the shape of a heart, and knew the great beast was my friend.

Janine, thank you for your query regarding possible anemia as a source of my weariness. I had several injections to correct anemia, and my red blood count is okay; the problem is that the cancer uses the energy available for its growth. Thank you also for the two music links! I laughed at the furry instruments and had great fun making them sing '50's doowop style. I am reserving the other link for a particularly grey day; I know it will cheer me.

Nunc, I am glad we had the chance to talk for awhile recently; I had missed you, too.

Willyburger, I will look forward to chatting to you again as well.

Kingsfold, I don't know if you ever received a thank-you for your card back in August. I really appreciated its delicate goodwill. Thank you for your quilt square as well.

Golden_Key, thank you for the two poems. I have loved "Crossing the Bar" since early adolescence. The other poem is new, but lovely.

Gill H, Hugal, and Chorister, thank you for the musical squares! I look on your notes with great affection. Thank you Chorister for the lyrics; I know you will sing beautifully.

Smudgelets, thank you for your lovely picture of the giant sunflower and the lovely potted plant, also your portraits and signatures. I miss talking to you on messenger, but someday we will chat again. Give you dear mother a big hug for me, will you, boys?

Atlanta, your script is so graceful; it is like swirls in an ocean wave. Thank you for your serene square.

Lady A, thank you for your elegantly calligraphed tengwar greeting. Alas, I am no scholar of the elven tongue! Could you favor me with a translation?

Thank you, Bessie, for an account of the leaves and Fearless' thoughts. I often communicate with her via her picture you know, but she had not told me about the leaves.

Beenster, I love your cheerful, witty bee.

Unshaggy and Daybreak, thank you for the square you sent, which was not shaggy, but does break sunshine in my room.

Soggy Amphibian, thank you for your reminder to have fun! I hope you have as much as I do.

Sean and Bronwyn, never apart, indeed signing your square as Seanwyn, I hope your unity continues to give you happiness and strength and confer blessings on others in your new home.

A hostly square from Tony K.! I must rate! Thank you, kind stablekeeper of my favorite Dead Horses.

Dear Marchioness, known to shipmates as Miffy, thank you for your square. I hope the new bath fittings continue to give satisfaction!

And last in this posting, but never least, dear Joyful Noise, my first friend aboard, thank you for your expression of affection and prayer.

The latest from my peaceful, sweet abode:

My mother and sister went home last Thursday morning. They labored late into Wednesday night working out how to hang a certain quilt to best advantage, with a special set of hangers my sister had found which in no way damage the fabric, staining a pair of knick-knack shelves, so small oddments of mine could be displayed, hanging a guardian angel chime in my bedroom doorway, and doing laundry. My efforts to tell them that Rome wasn't decorated in a day, and that I could manage the laundry fell on deaf ears. Note to self: buy mother and sister hearing aids. They arrived safely in Aurora on Friday. My mother, thank goodness, remains fairly well, not ill again as I feared she would be from her exertions. My sister has been busy clearing up the back yard for winter.

I spent Thursday, Friday, Saturday and most of Sunday in a doze, interrupted by rousing to eat or drink a little, or tend to other urgent needs only. I took the first three doses of my oral chemotherapy agent, but I decided not to take it Saturday or Sunday night, because I was so queasy and tired already. I just didn't feel able to put up with more. I have been trying to straighten out my digestion, however, in hopes of tolerating the medication tonight. At least, I now am at my usual degree of weariness, not the sort of walking coma I seemed to be in earlier.

St Sebastian has checked on me often, and of course would help me in any way I need. My friend Marian also is attentive. Today she came over and baked me a lovely bread pudding. It was more like a fruit cake actually. It used stale bread, eggs, milk, and vanilla but also citron and lemon peel, dried cranberries, egg nog for moistening and a touch of amaretto. It is very rich and good.

Dear friends, I will sign off now, knowing you will sail well in either fair or foul weather, because you have such stout and loving hearts. God bless you all.
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:
A hostly square from Tony K.! I must rate! Thank you, kind stablekeeper of my favorite Dead Horses.

A very minor contribution, Molly my dear - and I know that other hosts contributed!

But you can imagine how proud I was when I saw that the skilled hands which assembled the UK part had put my sig. directly under the SoF logo!

Glad it arrived safely - and that the secret did not get out!
Posted by chukovsky (# 116) on :
I am so glad you are continuing to enjoy the quilt... one thing you should know, if you want to put it on your lap or on the bed... it is completely machine washable and dryable. Like people that are trying to love in the best way, it can take a little abuse... fear not the orange juice, the TV dinner, the breakfast in bed (or even the breakfast no longer in the breakfaster). It doesn't need molly-coddling... we just hope it will molly-coddle molly!
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
We have no quilts at my house that are hung up & admired. I've used them that way for ladies' day decor @ church, but not at home. I haven't much decor of any sort at home. When I craft something I usually give it away. (Saves me from the nerve-wracking business of protecting the item from my boisterous kids and husband.)

A sweet half-size 'tied' one, given to my youngest when he was born (and showing repaired signs of his love since) lies on a director's chair, under the cat, under the carport, out of the drizzle, right now. Mr. Kitty has adopted it as his throne-cover, his surveying-spot comforter.

You might like Mr. Kitty. He's a tom, about two years old now. You know the silver-cream-colored, striped-at-the-extremities look of a Siamese cross? That's him, Paul Newman blue eyes and all. If he were 'pointed' rather than 'tigered' he'd be a seal-point.

And, thanks to the Siamese blood I guess, he talks a lot. I like a cat to talk a lot. Lets me know what he's up to when out of eyeshot.

My youngest, Joe, named him 'Meowth' in his kittenhood, after a Pokemon character. He does look rather like Meowth. But, the name didn't stick, only the vet has it on record now.

I've called him Mr. Kitty a-purpose, as it is humorous to me, this delicate prissy name, 'Kitty', on a great beefy hulking lion-jowled tomcat.

He's a good cat. Never sprays in the house, seldom anywhere near it. (His territory encompasses enough space so that I don't smell it, out there on his borders, where he does leave scent...) Never claws the furniture (hard to get a grip on my caramel velour sectional, I guess, so he never began).

We live amidst bayous, canals, cane fields, woods, and new house construction, so one would think there'd be plenty of disturbed mice and field rats trying to come in for the winter, as they did when I was a girl between the cane and Bayou Terrbonne in Schriever, La.

Also, my flower bed out front is the jungle gym of dozens of green/brown anole lizards by day and pale geckos by night, wasps and hummingbirds by day, and startingly large moths by night.

So, where are the critters that ought to be longing for the comforts of my bed, pantry, ceiling lights and broom closet? Nowhere, thanks be to God and to Mr. Kitty!

We would love our Mr. Kitty anyway, but he sure earns his keep.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
P.S. Ariel re: Quinces

My favorite canned brand of tropical fruit salad has white chunks in it, looking remarkably like pear, but with the texture & "bite" of perhaps a jicama.

These are supposed to be the quince bits, at least I think so after I rule out the other identifiable stuff. I like them. I've only recently started to see them in the produce section at my usual grocery.

I'd love to have a recipe to stew them with meat. Pork or venison would be lovely.

Email me your recipe, please pretty please with quinces on top?
Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
Originally posted by Janine:
[QB]P.S. Ariel re: Quinces

My favorite canned brand of tropical fruit salad has white chunks in it, looking remarkably like pear, but with the texture & "bite" of perhaps a jicama.

These are supposed to be the quince bits, at least I think so after I rule out the other identifiable stuff. QB]

The quinces I know have a thin yellow peel, a delicious scent that does indeed fill a room and stew down after 3 hours or so to a beautiful rich ruby colour. Somewhere I have a Tudor recipe for "queynce counfette" or stewed quinces, but I do think quinces would be a lovely addition to a venison stew. The Spanish also eat a quince paste with cheese.

The loveliest thing I saw this last weekend was at the Rose Festival at Kennerton Green, an eight acre garden about an hour and a half drive south of Sydney. There is a round lake there with japanese water irises growing in it and bearded iris in apricot and white all around the edge. There are roses there too, trained up pillars and along steel cable, so that the entire lake is crowned with a living scented rope of perfect pink roses.

A friend of mine jokingly said of the garden to a lady loitering near the reception "It's so wonderfully indulgent, it's obscene!"
"Yes" the lady chuckled "I'm a lucky old thing aren't I." It was the owner, Maralynn Abbott - and she is.
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
I'll write out the meat and quince stew recipe tonight - I adapted it from a Moroccan one and involves, among other things, cinnamon, saffron, and wine. The quinces when chopped up small don't take more than half an hour to become tender and soak up the flavour beautifully.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear shipmates, dear friends. It is a peaceful middle of the night here, except for some thoughtless person who keeps coughing! I really must put some cough syrup on her computer desk as a subtle hint! I hope your days, late afternoons, or various watches of the night are passing in a towardly fashion, as well.

Thank you, dear Chukovsky, for the reassurance of the quilts washability. It is on my wall at present so I can admire its artistry. I will continue to try to be careful of it for my mother's sake. The day after I received it, we were talking over my will as she is in charge of my few bequests. She was eying it very wistfully, and asked who was to receive it upon my death. I told her, of course she was, if she would like. Her eyes were glinting with tears as she said she would like it very much.

I appreciate the difficulties of maintaining decor in a house full of people, ma cher Janine! It is an advantage of old maidhood that I can keep things nice! Thanks for the portrait of Mr Kitty, his ways and deeds, and for the sketch of your surroundings.

To continue my thank-you tour of the squares:

Thanks, Birdie for your smiley! It goes so well with the cheerful yellow strip they made on your patch.

Likewise, PaulC. It is amazing how different and characteristic a smiley becomes when hand drawn. Yours is yours alone, different to dear Birdie's.

Ariel, dear Sprite, your handwriting is clear, and scholarly, just what I would expect from the author of your posts. Thank you for the good wishes!

And thanks to you, too, Stephen. I like to imagine your little green car has just tootled off the edge of your square.

What can I say about your jolly square, Tigglet? It is orange and black and bouncey! Thank you!

Thank you, Aardvark, for your patch! I wondered what an aardvark would do to sign. However, I see that the penmanship lessons given your kind have borne fruit.

And Dolphy has managed to hold a pen between her flippers, and even to draw (not too fishy) kisses. Thank you, dear aquatic friend.

Viola, your signature looks as though it is tuning up to play something. I am sure it is a lovely piece. The way "V" swoops makes me think of this.

And what can be said about Rowen, the "wonder from Down Under"? Thank you so much, those of you who chased her over the length and breadth of the UK, waving a scrap of cloth, so I could have her signature, too.
Someone asked me last night to identify the two ladies in my photo shoot. They are none other than my mother and sister. If my sister looks unhappy in the pictures, it is because she was so tired, and her mind was on the projects she felt she still must complete before departure.

I was trying to mug for you in several of the photos, especially the ones with the knife. I had my best "mad scientist about to operate" expression on my face, but I see I simply look mad. Perhaps the picture of me with my head in the cardboard chapeau is the safest one! However, I hope you can tell how much fun I had opening the box.

Goodnight from me now. God bless you all.
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hello again Molly,

I am in the hospital library and taking a quick break from some report writing. It is a sunny day, which is an unexpected blessing at this time of year, and light is streaming in through the window and slanting across the library floor. I have a thing about libraries that goes right back to childhood when my Dad used to take me (on his shoulders) as a treat on Saturdays with him.

Outside I can see woodlands, bare branches starkly sillouetted against the clouds illuminated like cotton wool heaven in the Autumn sky.(And a more shady moment now as the sun steps back for a minute).

The view reminds me of some watercolour prints I saw at Taize where the countryside was bleak but very truthful in its starkness - but you know that the bare branches are going to bud again and bear flowers and fruit - and the quiet drabness of winter has its own melody and value and simple beauty too.

I am sitting here -thinking of you - and hoping that I am going to find out where these photos have been put on the world wide web sometime soon so I can compare them with your account of the glamorous photo shoot.

Hope you are having a good sleep back in Utah - or waking up to a comfortable and welcoming world and not in any pain or discomfort.

Take care Molly

Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
It is a Church of Christ that my in-laws belong to. My brother-in-law leads the singing sometimes with a sort of pan pipe to get the right key to start with!

At school in Scotland, we had to learn sol-fa sight singing. But we had ordinary shaped notes and had to translate them into sol-fa.
Posted by soggy_amphibian (# 2487) on :
Glad you liked the square, Miss Molly!
I hope the hamster ball [Smile] will be a source of comfort to your mother and a reminder of how much you've meant to a lot of people.
I don't find it easy to deal with death or, possibly because of that, relate to the dying. There have been quite a few times when I've thought of posting on here, but not quite seen how I could. The way you're so open and honest about it, and with such bravery (even the bravery to admit when you haven't been brave!) is so humbling. (which is probably a good thing, humility isn't really my strong point).
You're beloved of us, and even though there'll be days when you doubt it, God has His arms around you and is smiling at you, and is preparing you a very special room in Heaven (where you'll be allowed lots of cats! [Smile] )
May God really bless you in your remaining time here, and may He keep the worst of the pain off you.
[Love] [Not worthy!] [Love]
Posted by Willyburger (# 658) on :

I too want to thank you for the courage you have shown in the stark face of death. We dress it up and make it pretty and acceptable but it still is an ending that must be walked by unalloyed and annealed faith. We can thrash out philosophies and near-death experiences all day, but still we must face the void with nothing but our faith to sustain us.

I'm presently away from home and family and stuck at the end of this crappy modem. I miss the chance to chat with you. I can't even get my IM client to work properly. [Smile] [Frown] It has given me much time to just lurk and think.

You and I have supported our patients and their families in the face of death. As hard as that was, it can't be as hard as what you're facing now. I am truly humbled by the courage and humility with which you are facing this.
Posted by Bronwyn - Nearly home (# 52) on :
Miss Molly,
We are finally in Melbourne, but at someones house who does not have MSN [Ultra confused] I will ask them if I can install it, as we are going to be here a while, whilst Sean sorts our house.
It is quite warm and Sean seems to be settling in ok but I was a bit worried about him as today he went out to explore the public transport system all by himself. Still he took a map. There are a few hundred things to sort like a tax number, and joint bank accounts, phone lines to install, buying a new vaccum cleaner as the person I loaned it to broke it [Mad] and it is hard to know if it was one of two people, or it may have happened anyway. Also Sean has no way of getting money unless I give him cash so I am following him everywhere, and paying in credit. We need to buy him a bike which is fine except it has one seller here in Melbourne who was unhelpful but we then managed to get another person to order one in.
Things I thought I kept I must have thrown out, so we are furously trying to work out what we need. I start work tomorrow too, the old workplace.
Pakistan was wonderful, but both feeling like we need to have our own home now. still it wont be long now. Ready for the Melbourne meet. We are painting and sorting something Sean discribes as severe wood rot, as well as many tasks over the last six years of owning it I never fixed.
Oh I must tell you here, the Exeter meet we had which they put us in a smoking area and I kicked up a fuss about sent me twenty pounds to spend in their pub, with sincere apoliges. I have passed it on to Star and Amanda to use at the next ship meet(might buy a round of drinks before going elsewhere for food).
Drinking heaps of red and green cordial which are not avaliable in the UK.
Well the others will be back soon better make it look like I did something today!
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
My Dearest Dame Molly,
Sorry that I have not posted here for a few days but, as you know, I have been pretending to be an academic! It was a hard couple of days but I came through in one piece.
A bizzare moment happened on the way home however; I was sitting having a glass of wine in the hotel before boarding the train home when my mobile phone rang, it was Beethoven! She was wondering how things had gone and was phoning to have a general hat; anyway, just as we got into conversation Fields of Gold started to play on the bar stereo... how bizzare was that?!!!

Anyway, it is nice to be home!
We all send our love and hugs.
As ever,
Dolphy, J, Jessie and Brandy. xxx
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Silly question:

Ah... what's a general hat?

I'm often left to wonder if something's a misspelling or a typo (I've begotten plenty of those)...

Or a regional American colloquialism...

Or a Britishism or an Aussieism...

Or my simple, thick self, not "getting it".

I'm off to that women's retreat I've been gearing up for, Friday lunchtime. I kept imagining it was not until month's end, but I was wroooooong.

So, my little fun projects (Molly's 2nd & 3rd tapes of comedy & voice, and some southern/country/western gospel for a certain dark & fair lady) will have to simmer back-burner for another 5 days or so.

Blessings on all Molly's posters & lurkers, her family & friends near her, and especially upon The Molly.
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Originally posted by Janine:
Silly question:

Ah... what's a general hat?

A general hat is a hat you wear when you feel like it which is suitable for pretty well any occasion. Dolphy hasn't said much about this in public on SoF but she is actually quite a talented needlewoman, and often makes things for her friends, so when Beethoven rang up for a general hat, she knew she could rely on Dolphy to make her one, and a good one.

(If you check your PMs, Janine, you should find a recipe for quince and beef stew. If anyone else wants it (it has wine, saffron, cinnamon, etc in it) drop me a line and let me know.)

Sorry, Molly, didn't mean to divert your thread. I really don't have any news to tell you, except that it's still raining, and the evil cat has wisely gone into hiding. Of course, it might just be biding its time and plotting something unpleasant involving dustbins and joyriding again. I shall let you know if it does anything interesting. Take care and all the best as always.
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
I must confess to some help with the signature in elvish...I didn't have a signature scrap and so did it off the computer and sent along to Michele with my square. It says Lady A, of course! With hopes that one day you will arrive at the Grey Havens and travel by ship with wondrous shipmates into the west.....
Love always,
Lady A
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
All my dear shipmates, how wonderful you are! How faithful you are in posting your greetings and prayers, wordpictures and allusions that make me smile, even when I am goofing off, lazing in my bed or chair. Please know that even if I do not manage to post every day, not a day goes by that does not contain prayers for my dear companions on this voyage.

To continue the thank-you tour of my quilt: (I look at it and smile every morning before I get out of bed, and I touch it on my way to getting the day going!)

Another graceful penwoman is Adrienne. I begin to think that the teaching of the Palmer Method of penmanship in the USA is a mistake, since most Americans have abysmal handwriting, and you all have such lovely signatures.

Distinctly unFreudian is Sigmund's signature. No couch or cigar. Perhaps he is another kind of Sigmund? I enjoy his patch anyway.

I rather think Clare is responsible not only for the patch she has signed, but for its neighbor. These are a cheerful orange and white. One looks rather like blood cells tumbling about. I have chosen to view it as booster red cells. Thank you. Clare.

Margaret, I smile every time I see Smudge and Katie, with their little embroidered faces and their satin-stitched markings! Thank you for this pleasure, and please stroke them for me.

I am glad to hear the women's retreat is Friday, Janine. I shall be watching eagerly for an account of their reception of "Pharoah"!

And Ariel, and others posting about quinces, I am very interested. The other night I was wondering about a vague memory I had of a photo of a stew that had yellow things in it. And I seemed to remember quinces were red inside. So, suspicions confirmed. Now, if someone can tell me if they sometimes are stuck full of cloves before they are put in a stew! By the way, Ariel, I am sorry I mistakenly typed wine for cider in thinking about your evening with the chestnuts. I am sure they would be better with cider. I have never eaten chestnuts, except in a bread dressing my mother was prevailed upon to prepare one year. (For an elderly relative. We always have sage, onion, and giblet dressing when left to our own devices.) She encountered great difficulty in peeling and dicing them, and I cannot say the dressing drew rave reviews in regard to taste, although Uncle Alex enjoyed it.

Beethoven, the length of time it took me to write my post caused me to miss yours last time. I am so glad to hear the good news. My prayers continue for you in this regard, and for Baby B at her new birth into the Church.

However it was managed, Lady A, your square is elegant. Thank you for your unusual idea.

Welsh Dragon, I too love libraries. I have many happy memories of the little library I went to as a child. My parents took me twice a week. I loved the low tables and chairs and the window seats in the children's section. My idea of perfume is still books, paste and wood! The only disappointing thing was the limit on books I could have at one time.... I am glad you have a lovely library to work in. The tree that is my special one is bare now, too, but still lovely and somehow friendly. Have you had a chance to wear the lacey garment yet, or must that wait until spring? Inquiring minds want to know, as the slogan is!

I am glad to report that Willyburger and I had a chat last night. He is laboring away at a conference in Colorado, but seemed in fair spirits.

I had some good news a few hours ago. My sister-in-law called to say she and my brother would be coming to see me. They expect to arrive Friday evening. This is just about perfect timing, as the house is still lustrous from my mother's and sister's ministrations [Big Grin] My brother is having a very hard time with all of this, so it is especially brave of him to come tackle things head on. Please pray that this visit is a comfort to him. I really feel my sister-in-law is supporting him in all this, and I am grateful to her for her love for me and for her husband.

Bronwyn, thanks for your post regarding your safe arrival and taking up housekeeping in Oz. I hope the wood rot responds to Sean's measures, and that Sean himself does not get lost. I am sure your old colleagues were glad to see you back.

I want to say just a word to all of you who lurk and then decide to post. I know it is hard to do this. I want to say how much I appreciate hearing from you. A number of people in my mundane life have not been in contact with me, because, according to other friends, "they can't think of what to say". So, I am gradually calling them. You all seem to know perfectly what to say: "I am sorry for your trouble. I am praying for you. Maybe this story would interest you or amuse you." If you have any friends in mundane life who are in "trouble" of whatever major variety, please be sure that what you say to me will also be welcomed by them. No one needs to come up with an epic poem, or develop a new vocabulary, or wear special clothes, etc., to talk to someone who is dying. That person just needs his or her friends assurance of caring and prayer, and some news, jokes, interesting information, etc. One's own illness is very tedious and boring indeed, at least for most people. (I know there is a certain type of person for whom it becomes a new and absorbing career! I know you can adapt to this, too.) It is good to have information from the wider world, and progress reports from friends' lives. Your lives are precious to me; I like to think of them going on after I have left. I like to think of marriages and children for those who are unmarried but looking, new careers or progress/recognition in careers for my talented shipmates, happy holidays, pets bringing joy, children I feel I know growing up into wonderful young adults, and happy changes in all areas of life. If some changes are not so happy initially, I know that the courage and faith of shipmates will turn these changes to their good as well. So, kudoes to you all for knowing what I need, and so generously supplying it!

My love, and my prayers for rich blessings to you all.
Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
Morning Molly,

A quick note before I whizz off to face the day. Although I have been up and about since about 5.30 our time,(incriminating evidence on the boards!). Mephi is rather confused, for of course this meant breakfast several hours earlier than normal. He's now curled up beside 'Little Dell.' With any luck he'll not notice me edging quietly out of the front door in 30 mins time.

The Miffy household is bracing itself for the much planned Ms Miffy's 16th birhday party on Saturday night. The 'real' day is tomorrow. She'll be at school at 9.32 am - the time at which 16 years ago she made her way into the world amidst National Childbirth Trust breathing exercises (Mr M)and copious swearing (me!). Her first action after having airways de-gunked, was to liberally decorate Mr M's shirt front and trousers with meconium. He, of course, has this incident carefully filed away in his "embarrassing tales to relate to future boyfriends" file!

Tomorrow evening she'll be taking part in her school house evening, singing, orchestra, directing Roald Dahl's alternative version of The Three Little Pigs, and repeating her virtuoso, and entirely authentic performance as the french guard in Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

As to the party, a Murder Mystery event is planned for the first half. This has involved much sorting of evidence, looking through the plot, and allocating 'celebrity' characters to the guests. As all the guests are 16 yrs or under, Ms M has substituted more 'up-to-date' personalities for such 'unknowns' as Jack Kerouac, Jackie Onassis, Marlene Dietrich, and Jimi Hendrix!!! Mercifully, Marilyn Monroe has been allowed to stay.

This, she says, will take up the first few hours. Then comes the real party. Please pray that we all come through it with house intact (could do with you to organise the clear-up teams!), and with the same number of grey hairs as when we started. [Yipee]

Signing off now. Best wishes and prayers to you.

Posted by chukovsky (# 116) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:
I rather think Clare is responsible not only for the patch she has signed, but for its neighbor. These are a cheerful orange and white. One looks rather like blood cells tumbling about. I have chosen to view it as booster red cells. Thank you. Clare.

Clare is responsible not only for those two but for all the (four? five?) patches that have been drawn on... she was very self-effacing about it all (kick me now, Clare) and just asked for fabric and pens so she could have a relaxing time drawing, "just fit them in if you can", she said. But we had plenty of space (partly because we were doing it so quickly that we couldn't get hold of lots of people - this is why there are some patches that are just a whole square of patterned fabric) so all the drawings were put in.
Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Dear Miss Molly, I went straight from reading your message to the bedroom, where the cats were asleep on the bed recovering from the exertion of eating their breakfast, to give them your strokes. Katie miouwed enthusiastically - she's a very articulate cat, and I'm sure was sending you her thanks and love. Smudge is more the strong silent type but looked very appreciative, so I think his sister spoke for him too.

I'm glad you liked the patch. I hadn't embroidered anything for ages, but I loved doing it (and think I ought to start embroidering again) and I'm so glad it gives you pleasure!
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Good evening, Miss Molly, from an amazingly soggy London. We have had showers of whole water at irregular intervals, and then golden sunshine.

There was a double rainbow spread out wonderfully above the wet and grimy buildings when I went to work this afternoon. It was so bright and cheerful that it made me feel really happy.

Does a double rainbow mean that God doubles his promises to us?

A teenager told me today that she had been warned by her boss at work that her bright chestnut red dyed hair was not acceptable to the company she was working for. (Think famous underwear [Wink] )

I think she looked great. Not even as if she had gone tiger-striped.

Is this a UK thing (or just that particular manager) or would it happen in the US of A?
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
You would find individual managers speaking against the odd hair all over the world, depending upon the type of employment...

And it's just brilliant rich red hair, yes? Not fire-engine-fire-cracker-red-crayon red?

I've done mine plum black, blackberry, burgundy brown, etc., but the one time it was 'unnatural', it was platinum blonde scalp-to ends, with brilliant cardinal red for the last inch or two. I wasn't sure the church or the job could handle it, so I "beiged" it a little, went blonde for 6 wks or so.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear Shipmates, I am signing in a bit early tonight, as I must rise a little earlier tomorrow!

Thank you Daisy May for the account of a rainbowy day in London. May it mean double blessings for you. I have been meaning to thank you as well for your tact in commenting on Eastern Star. Without in any way compromising your position anent Masonic and Masonic related bodies, which I have found on another thread, you avoided any possibility of hurting my feeling! Emboldened by your courtesy, may I be very curious and ask you in what language your signature is, and what its meaning might be?

Thank you, Chukovsky, for enlightening me regarding the other marker decorated squares. I enjoy them all very much indeed, Clare. I think my favorite may be the Star.

Ma cher Janine, you never cease to amaze me! I had never thought of you with such imaginative hair colorings. I am sure you brought a bright spot of interest to many people's grey days.

Daisy May, the issue of hair color depends on the type of employment. People working in stylish clothing shops, record stores, etc., have a lot more latitude than those working at McDonald's or in a law office. A young friend of mine, enamored of Japanese anime, decided he wanted navy blue hair last summer. This took some doing as he is naturally blond, but eventually he had the look he wanted. He was able to enjoy it only briefly before it all had to be bleached out to comply with his church-related high school's ban on unnaturally colored hair!

Continuing the thank you tour of the fabulous and supernaturally comforting comforter, we come to a square prepared by QLib, which is regal but has the common touch as well.

We come also to a square contributed by a daughter of Granuaile. Go raibh mile maith agat, a Chliona, mo stor geal. Is an blath alainn.

On the obverse of the quilt are some signatures of note as well! Thank you, Ham'n'Eggs for your signature and the hand print of Poached Egg. I wait with great eagerness for further accounts of her adventures in education.

DaveC kindly signed and drew his motorcycle, on which he so generously offered to let me travel pillion long ago. Thank you for reminding me of the fun we had in the start-up days of Tigglet's matchmaking thread.

Our esteemed Captain also signed! I am suitably humbled.

Someone named W sent a humorous drawing of herself making papers fly off a desk. What is the secret of your success, dear W? You should patent it.

Today was a fairly quiet day, dear friends. Well, quiet in terms of mobility for me, but perhaps not quiet if you asked my downstairs neighbor!

I decided I was in a Bruce Springsteen mood today, so I played Born in the USA and The River. I was very much in accord with the protagonist of Sherry Darling, whose life contains a significant other and her annoying sister, whom he must chauffeur around! Life has other prickles, irritations, sore spots and disappointments as well. In the chorus, he sings "But I got some beer and the highway's free, and I got you and you got me. Hey, hey, hey! Whaddaya say, Sherry darlin'?"

I would have been delighted to take off down the road with my own significant other and some beer, but I was listening to the Boss to get my mojo working in order to deal with the avian demise planned for me by various doctors' billing departments, i.e. being pecked to death by ducks!
I would cheerfully tell them all to go take a flying leap off a short pier, knowing they cannot possibly get their legal cases together to sue me before I pass beyond any human writ, but I have now made an official will. As well as my few bits and pieces, my mother will inherit any outstanding debts.

So I keep explaining my situation, filling out forms, and trying to be patient. I told one account representative today that I really had had no intention of cheating anyone. If I had known none of these procedures would be covered by Medicaid (as I was not Medicaid eligible at the time, which I did not know), I would have refused all of them and signed myself out of the hospital.

The form I am engaged in filling out at the moment asks for my monthly income and a list of all my expenses. I have to figure out a way to justify every dime I spend, or they will set up a monthly repayment plan from my income. The income is enough to keep me and to let me save a little for unforeseen emergencies. I also have money left over from the unexpected bank account pay out, which they will try to take, if I cannot justify keeping it. I am deeply amused at some of the questions on the form: list my automobiles(!), and my mortgage payment with the value of my house, and describe my efforts to find work! Can I say I have applied for work as a cross-post fixer on the endless sentence thread? I wonder!

However, all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

My love to all of you, and wishes for a restful night, or a happy productive day. And special birthday wishes to Ms Miffy, who is Sweet 16! God bless her and make her a good and useful woman, who is much beloved by others. Virtual neck and shoulder rubs to the Marchioness, and Mr M (she is a Marchioness in her own right). I shall be around to clear things up late Saturday night, never fear.
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
Dear Miss Molly, Dear St Sebastian, I am very much enjoying reading the details about the quilt, but I would love to see the picture of the presentation. I have not received any information on where to find it. Please could you help. [Confused]

This morning, Sarah Kennedy played Fields of Gold again and also Life is a Roller Coaster. That, together with Big Panty Woman, means I'm sure she is a secret Ship of Fools admirer!
Posted by Michelle (# 53) on :
Originally posted by Chorister:
Dear Miss Molly, Dear St Sebastian, I am very much enjoying reading the details about the quilt, but I would love to see the picture of the presentation. I have not received any information on where to find it. Please could you help. [Confused]

Me too! I sent you an email, St. Seb, but haven't heard...

Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Me too! And I would love to see the pictures.
Posted by DMarie (# 2267) on :
Me, too. I haven't posted to this thread but have read it through and want to add my prayers for Miss Molly. It's amazing how you can feel like you know someone without ever meeting them. I'd love to see the photos.
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
"I have been meaning to thank you as well for your tact in commenting on Eastern Star. Without in any way compromising your position anent Masonic and Masonic related bodies, which I have found on another thread, you avoided any possibility of hurting my feeling! Emboldened by your courtesy, may I be very curious and ask you in what language your signature is, and what its meaning might be?"

Oops! [Embarrassed] Here's where illegal sock-puppets would be useful.

The language is Hindi. It's a quote from a Hindi Christian bhajan (worship/praise song). it basically means, "I am the Messiah's" and is part of (rough translation) "Rejoice. Give praise to Jesus the Messiah. He was born for me, lived for me, died for me, rose for me. I am his and he is mine." All repeated at least twice to the vigorous clapping of hands, and finishing with a loud call and response.

My husband is Asian - mainly Nepali. So we have some variety of music around.

Day before yesterday my son took his sitar to our church nursery school to play to the little ones, teach them about the instrument and let them have a go playing it. You play it with a little wire triangle fastened over your finger, and he provided them with some baby ones. They apparently had a good time. He reckons a few of the three-year-olds could make good players as they touched it and twanged it sensitively. But it's twice their size!
Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
Ms M asked me to say thank you for your kind birthday wishes, Molly. She will have a nice long lie-in tomorrow,and then, preparations for the party!

I was thinking about you tonight during the school house evening, where one of the girls sang us 'Fields of Gold.'

Must wind my way bedwards now. Tomorrow is going to be a long day!

love and prayers
Posted by DaveC (# 155) on :
Glad you liked the picture of my bike, Molly. Unfortunately, it's currently stuck in my garage with a couple of major problems which may not be worth repairing, and I'm not sure what to do with it. But one day I'll be back on a bike, and I'll think of you when that happens.

You like Bruce Springsteen too! I remember being knocked out hearing "Hungry Heart" years ago - the sheer energy of it! He always seems to put his whole being into his music - body, mind and soul - not wanting to short-change any of his fans. It still amazes me how Ronald Reagan could interpret "Born in the USA" as an affirmation of his sort of American values.

Thanks for all the posting - your wisdom and serenity are an inspiration to us all. But where are the photos of you with the quilt!
Posted by Michelle (# 53) on :
Ooh, Miss Molly, I have seen the pictures of you receiving the quilt - how wonderful! I was very impatient, and it seemed to go in slow motion...Miss M looking at present...Miss M touching bow...Miss M starting to pull on bow...aagh! I wanted to race ahead to see your face when you found out it wasn't a big hamster ball at all...I hope not too disappointed! [Razz]

I love the pictures of you showing your mother some of the squares, I can just hear you saying, "and this is chastmastr, and his determined hamster...and this is chukovsky...and this is nicole in new york...and this is michelle (don't much know her yet but a lovely girl I'm sure)...and this is..." and so on and so on.

I pray that it will give you much joy. My kitty Lilith enjoyed rolling around on it as the half here came it comes with her love too (and hopefully no black cat hairs...)

lots of love and prayers,
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Ah, yes, another Friday night of pizza and a movie. But ho, what is this? The doorbell rings and boys appear. I have suddenly become mother to 3 more enchanting teenage sons with possibly 2 more arriving this evening. I guess I shall have to decorate in blue. We are going to enjoy the new Lord of the Rings extended version [Big Grin] though if they should pester me I will take it into my hobbit hole and post "no visitors" on the gate! My bunnies are guarding the fireplace, and will no doubt enjoy having furry heads to sniff this evening as the unknowing youngsters lie sleeping. Hopefully they will not nibble too much off! Peace to you, Lady A
Posted by Tigglet [Green] (# 1368) on :

Long time no chat to you... sorry. I have been lapse. I guess you have been reading about my busy plans.

Tomorrow night is the TDA Dinner Party. I did some cooking tonight... and the rest will be tomorrow. I hope it all works out right.... I wasn't totally sure about the dessert I cooked tonight... it might need re-making from scratch... time will tell. (I hope not... as tomorrow will be busy enough as it is!!)

Also have been planning for my hectic UK Tour with Soggy... fortunately that seems to be coming together... although we only have 8 days to sort it out before departing!!!

I am still single without sign of "Miss T" on the horizon... but as always, she might around any corner now! [Wink]

My sister is back to being due to give birth in the New Year again.... (they brought it forward to end of Nov... but have dropped it back again)... much to everyones relief... so I will become Uncle Tigglet for the first time soon. [Big Grin] (looking forward to it actually).

They have nicknamed it BEANO (which means something in Italian... where they honeymooned!)
If it is a girl, they want to call her, Seren. No boys names though yet. If they call her Seren, I will want to give her the middle name "Dipity".... [Wink] (or Dippy for short!) [Razz]

I have posted the Menu finally on the Dinner party thread.... so take a peep. Also after the event we will post pictures and reports!!!

Glad you like the blanket. It was a real pleasure to be involved in such a cool project... and top marks for Chukovsky for making it happen. I was just sorry I didn't have more time to get my fingers in shape for embroidering better. It has been a long time since school!!!

I was a bit dissapointed in my piece's outcome. The writing was too small for the thread thickness which made the bottom writing blotchy! Also overall neatness wasn't up to my perfectionism... but others have spontaneously said it was good... so I am probably being overly hard on myself. Anyway... you know it comes with love from my fingers... and that the love there displayed is from deep in my heart for you. They say it is the thought that counts... and on that score ALL the squares are blooming marvelous!!! [Big Grin] Wrap wamr in those hugs!!! ((((((((Molly)

Love to you.

God Bless

Posted by Tigglet [Green] (# 1368) on :
Here's the other side of that hug....

"))))))))" [Wink]


Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Michelle, you're spot on with your description of Molly pointing out each square and giving a little accolade to the donor. (Why do I always start using Britishisms when I'm on the Ship?). I wish I'd thought to record it on audio. Apparently her mother knew all about everyone because she kept exclaiming "of course!" and "right, right!" and even identified a few herself! We all had fun picking people out. We kept going "oh look!" and "here's one from . . .!" I was very impressed by the quality of the Ship's logo and Herself's avatar, I must say.

It's possible Miss Molly needs a stern talking to. Or it's possible I almost killed her today, I'm not sure which. I went over during my lunch hour to see if any tidying up was needed before her brother arrived. I arrived a few minutes early, and rang and rang and thought, "well, she's probably in the bathroom or shower and now I've sent her scrambling!" [Frown]

Her(breathless)self eventually answered and let me in. When I arrived she was fair desperate to breathe and I had to turn her oxygen to max before she could settle. Now, this is either because I almost killed her, in which case I beg the forgiveness of one and all, or because the wretched woman had cleaned the bathroom so I wouldn't have to! [Roll Eyes] I mean really. I know it's hard to accept growing limitations and that she worries about being a burden, but this goes beyond common sense! It's difficult to reprimand a gasping woman so I decided to do it here with, I am sure, the Ship's chorus backing me up.

Miss Molly, don't you be silly, now. I'd rather clean your bathroom than have to figure out complicated medical equipment on the fly! [Razz]

I just want to say here and now for all to hear: nothing I have done for Herself has been in any way a burden, inconvenience or trial. Now if she ever throws up on me, then we'll talk trial!

So, in front of God and all these witnesses, Molly, I command you: don't overdo it and never hesitate to ask for what you need (even if it pisses you off mightily to need it!).

Allright then. We'll say no more about it.

Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Originally posted by St. Sebastian:
Miss Molly, don't you be silly, now. I'd rather clean your bathroom than have to figure out complicated medical equipment on the fly! [Razz]

[Killing me]
Speaking as a nurse, I'd have to say these are perhaps the wisest words I've ever seen. Absolutely priceless.

Molly, get a grip and do as you're told. Consider yourself properly scolded. In love, of course. [Wink]
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear shipmates, dear friends, my thoughts as always are with you, and my prayers follow you.

I have private messaged the Saint to tell him how many people are looking for his photographic work. I am sorry I cannot help you find it, as I am hopeless at cutting and pasting. However, isn't this a nifty way to extend my fifteen minutes of fame? [Razz]

I am remembering Beethoven, Mr B and Baby B today. Happy new birthday, dear little one!

Tigglet, dear, I hope your party goes well tonight. I am sure the dessert will be fine. I hear your tour of England includes a visit with an offshore shipmate. I know she is eagerly awaiting you and Soggy Amphibian.

The first time I met you, you were busy crafting lovely necklaces for a friend's charity stall. Your paws have lost none of their nimbleness, I think. I love your bouncey embroidered signature and smiley! I can't refrain from stroking it occasionally.

Actually, I am just awfully tactile about this quilt; I stroke the squares as I pass night and morning. Don't worry, my hands are clean!

DaveC, I am sorry to hear of your bike's indisposition. I can only say, regarding Ronald Reagan's misapprehension of Born in the USA, that he was known to require a hearing aid. Of course, I believe he had great powers of imagination, too, as when he presented himself to an elderly English group as one who had taken part in the air war in Europe. Admittedly, his true service on the back lots making Army films is not so suitable for cinemascope, although it was honorable.

Thanks for the information, dear Daisy May. It sounds a great hymn for reminding one of eternal truth in a direct way. I am glad your son got to show the sitar to the little children. Who knows? Years from now one of them may be a virtuoso. As a child, I loved to handle my father's guitar and fiddle. I did not grow up to be a virtuoso, but I grew up loving music, and eventually learned to play the dulcimer.

Lady A, thanks for a laugh! I am imagining the bunnies harvesting hair! I hope you were all able to enjoy the Lord of the Rings together.

Duo Seraphim, I don't think I have thanked you for your word picture of the beautiful flowers and their guardian and servant.

More squares on my quilt! Gill B, thank you. I remember when we started the quirky alone thread together. I still remember your kind PM relating to my inquiry. It meant a lot, coming as it did from a senior shipmate.

Mrs Tubbs and Polly, thank you! I love Polly's little paw print. Thank you too, for the thread you started about "why don't we sing that anymore?", not only for the music, but because it was a place that promoted my friendship with a very dear friend.

Gambit and Holly, my dear young lovers, thank you for the two squares wishing me well under your ship names, and then for good measure, your IRL names. And remember, I shall sing for the young monsieur and madame!

Another graceful signature is Laura's. Good thing I did not have to sign this quilt; I would have disgraced Mrs Carlton, who taught me cursive writing in third grade.

And now the news:

My brother and sister-in-law, hereafter to be known to you as Dave and Sue Ann, arrived yesterday afternoon in good order, having had a pleasant and safe drive over the Continental Divide.

They brought me lovely presents: a photo frame of wedding pictures of my dear nephew and his beautiful Lisa, and a book of drawings and literary quotations regarding angels.

Today was the day for brilliant presents! I also received Night Watch from Sparrow, and a card I treasure. Thank you, Sparrow; you shouldn't have but I am glad you did.

We got takeout Chinese for supper, and I for one ate far too much. We had beef with snow peas and the very rich and good snowball shrimp. These are shrimp cooked around walnuts and covered in a thick, tangy-sweet sauce. So you can eat all this lusciousness without guilt, they come with broccoli. My brother kindly gave me his! Like a certain former president, he never lets it pass his lips.

I caught up on the news about my niece and nephew, and we watched a video Sue Ann made of photos of Rob and Lisa growing up. It had two Jimmy Durante renditions! One was of As Time Goes By. I do love Jimmy Durante. I hope he is with Mrs Calabash now.

Later today, they will be coming with lunch. Tacos! Hurray! We will visit for a while and then I will have a nap in preparation for the late showing of the new Harry Potter movie. On Sunday, they will take me to church, and I shall have the pleasure of introducing them to my friends there.

I have thought about the Saint's post, never fear. I shall be posting on this subject after the weekend. I must say I was glad he was here to turn the oxygen up. I must have sounded like a dying cow telling him to do so. Poor man to have to figure out how with no assistance from me, who really was short enough of breath to be afraid.

However, toujours gai! Never fear, you will all hear from me again. Much love to all!
Posted by Pipkin (# 1401) on :
Dearest Molly

It is always such a joy to read your posts, they are simply outstanding!!

I am sorry not to have spoken in a while. Things are going busily at college, but well. I have an important Maths exam on Monday - it's a modular thing, with coursework in between it. All over in June. But one of those "must haves" in order to get to Uni. I did well with the mock though, so am bigly encouraged. Maths and me never did connect. I keep thinking of Dad, and how proud he would be - he was always so disappointed how poor I was at Maths!

I go every Wednesday to a sweet cottage Midwifery unit. It's got a posh name since we used it. It's now a Birthing Centre! I have yet to witness a birth, but am loving the contact with the ante and post natal Mums. I hold your encouragement in my mind, as well as dear sweet Bron, when it gets tough at college.

[Smile] [Smile] [Smile]

Last night we went to an Open Evening at the school we hope Em will go to next year. They have 20 places. She is so happy now, and her current school has enabled her to regain her childhood, after the stresses and tears of last year. She is playing a flute solo in the Abbey for School Christmas Carol Service. And I can't see a smilie for "proud" .. it makes me want to [Waterworks]

I have been thinking about Sammy a lot this week. We got some photos dev'd finally, and he was in them - poor boy looked so sick. I thought you'd love to know that Daisy is v. settled with P know. I don't think she'll ever be a lap cat, but she comes across to our side of the house to be let in at night and sleep on our bed! She's such a good girl - wakes me up purring just before 7 am, a purrralarm! She's a plump little thing, but it is really good to see a healthy cat. She never disturbs us in the night, Sam used to clamber over our heads giving us kisses!

Pipkinettes due home shortly from swimming lessons, so will sign off now - have a mountain of paperwork here to do - the insurance man is getting a bit stroppy about the fact that the car is still on French plates! [Eek!]

Lots of love and hugs, and a special one to your Own Saint, and hello to Tim.

Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
I've just been sitting here admiring the photos - I never thought watching someone open a parcel and get its contents out could be so much fun! I can't imagine a nicer way of enlivening a grey British Saturday morning.

Miss Molly, I hope you have a very happy and enjoyable weekend with your brother and sister-in-law! This morning Katie and Smudge are sleeping on the landing, by the radiator, and send you a squeak and a grunt respectively.
Posted by LouiseF (# 361) on :
I'm one of those lurkers.....

Would love to see the pic's of the quilt (what a fab idea - inspired!)

Every time I hear Fields of Gold on the radio - I've been thinking of you Miss Molly - and offering up prayers for you (as have my congregations...! Who think I spend too much time playing on the internet as it is!! This just confirms that!) [Embarrassed]

Thank you for being so brutely honest about what is happening to you in your life. Death has a way of robbing people of thier ability to be honesty about what is happening. Thank you for being Grace personified.

This ship has been a richer place because of you, your friends and this thread.

My prayers are with you,

Much love and any excuse to use this smilie.....


Louise. [Yipee]
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Anyone who would like access to the pics, just pm me with your email address if it isn't in your profile. It's the way the thing is set up by Sam's Club: I have to provide the email address of anyone to whom I wish to give access, and Sam's sends the link. If I copied the link here (which I'm not sure would work)I'd have to give you my account login and password and like I'm going to trust a bunch of strange Christians with that! [Killing me] ohhhh, I do amuse myself!
Posted by Willyburger (# 658) on :
St. Seb,

Instead of giving Sam's Club a whole list of valid email addresses of shipmates to spam or sell, I offer idle webspace to host the pics. I've got a temporary email address that you can provide for my access. Once I get access, I will save and move them to my server, where they will be available to all.
Posted by Eanswyth (# 3363) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

I would like to thank you [Not worthy!] for sending your cat-loving mojo through the internet. Spencer is the feline version of the eight year old boy who doesn't want mommy to hug him because it's yucky, but curls up next to her on the sofa when he's sleepy. He follows me all over the house like a puppy-cat but is not a big one for purring and wriggles when I pick him up.

While I was reading you post from this morning he came in to the room, stood next to my chair and yelled MOW (tr: pet me for approximately 10 seconds right now). I complied with his demand but then selfishly picked him up and held him against my chest with his paws resting on my shoulder. This is the only position in which he will reluctanly allow me to hold him at all. As soon as I scratched under his chin, he started purring loudly and rubbing his face on mine. He hasn't done that since he was a baby! It only lasted three or four minutes, but it was lovely.

Kisses from kitty-boy
Hugs from mommy-person [Love]
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
I did actually send an email (rather than a pm) saying I would like to see the pictures and I suspect that if SS checks his hotmail account he will probably find more than one request from other shipmates in it.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
To all asleep in their hammocks, a good rest, rocked on a slow, deep ocean. To those about to clamber aloft to trim the sails of our ship, surefootedness, and the pleasure of clear, crisp air. To those tired from a day of exertion, a warm meal and friendly chat around the mess table.

Hello from the middle of the night in Utah, dear shipmates. I am shortly going to bed myself, but I wanted to check in with all of you.

I am ending a wonderful day. Dave and Sue Ann came by at one o'clock with the tacos. I enjoyed three with great gusto. They had also been to a chocolate shop and brought me a solid chocolate turkey, who is strutting on my bookshelf, and each of us a chocolate treat. Mine was marshmallow covered by caramel and dipped in chocolate---just yummy.

Sue Ann hung the frame with the delightful wedding pictures for me, and insisted as well on doing my laundry. My brother taught me some tricks to deal with my balky computer. They revealed their astonishing insight into my condition as well. They informed me they had driven way out south of here where they had located a rental place, and obtained a wheelchair for my use at the movies and at church.

It made all the difference in the world not to have to walk more than a few steps! I did rather feel like a bwana with his bearers, though. Sue Ann rolled my oxygen cannister and Dave pushed me. Good thing he is so remarkably fit!

At the theater, which was predictably packed, we met with great consideration. We had arrived about an hour and a half before the Harry Potter screening we planned to attend, imagining a long wait in line. A movie employee, however, told us to wait in the cafe area until we saw the people coming out of the screening before ours, even providing what time it would be, and then for Sue Ann or Dave to give him a sign and he would take us in for early seating.

He took us in the elevator and showed us where we were to sit. We had very good seats, better than the other area where I knew there was room for a wheelchair. He told us to use the elevator without him if we needed to, if for instance I had to leave the auditorium for any reason. I was really astonished at such courtesy. We thanked him, of course, but I plan to try to find a way to pass on to his boss how much difference this consideration made to my enjoyment of the evening.

Harry Potter was, of course, spellbinding.

Later today, we are having scones and honey for breakfast, and then attending church. For the first time, I will have to receive the Sacrament seated in my wheelchair, as I now know I have no hope of climbing the chancel steps. It will feel odd, but I will be so glad to be there, in the place I love, and among so many old friends.

Thanks for your posts, my dears. I will respond next time.

This post comes to you with love and prayers from your Molly.
Posted by JoyfulNoise & Parrot, O'Kief (# 2049) on :
Hi Miss Molly,

Yeah, it is is so amazing how the smallest courtesy and consideration can make so much difference.

So glad you got to see Harry Potter - both films have been brilliantly captivating.

Love & God Bless,
JoyfulNoise & Parrot, O'Kief
Posted by Brent (# 3498) on :
Good Morning Miss Molly,

I thoroughly enjoyed our chat on Friday and learning more about you and hearing about the quilt. It was good conversation and at the perfect time as I was feeling a bit alone at the time, so I just wanted to send you an appreciation note for the chat.

I went to the SoCal Shipmate meet last night and met some great mates. The evening was filled with great conversation, some serious, some hilarious and I look forward to meeting mor friends. To Scot, Madgeo, RuthW and Kenwritez, thank you for last night, I had alot of fun.

Molly, my prayers for your continued strength and I hope you have a great weekend, full of God's blessings.

smooth waters,

Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
G'day.... moved back into the States today... WA... nice and cold- even some snow. Molly, it was great to chat with you this week!
I loved the HP movie too! We saw it late Friday night, and sat- spellbound.
I do enjoy reading your comments here, my dear.
love from me
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
For the first time, I will have to receive the Sacrament seated in my wheelchair, as I now know I have no hope of climbing the chancel steps. It will feel odd, but I will be so glad to be there, in the place I love, and among so many old friends.

I remember what that was like. I wasn't in a wheelchair, but I couldn't walk to the communion rail. I sat in the front pew and the elements were brought to me.

Strangely enough, I didn't mind. I was there in church for the first time in eight weeks, and I felt so good it didn't make any difference that I couldn't go to the rail.

I hope you had the same joy being in church today that I did back then.

Posted by Shoehorn with Teeth (# 2420) on :
Dear Molly,
There have been so many times I've wanted to post, to tell you that I still think of you often--when I read this thread, when I see the golden leaves, and in times of prayer. (My words seemed inadequate, but I still offered them to God on your behalf, each time thanking Him for the tremendous grace He has given you, and asking Him to be with you.)

The way you tell of it, it doesn't seem that your life is terribly mundane...certainly not much more so than mine...but I suppose the difference is that you have learned to enjoy the moments as I am only beginning to learn.

This last week for me has been a very good one, full of time with my parents and sister. Monday started with a few hours of prayer and togetherness. Thursday we celebrated my mother's birthday. Friday we worked for many hours to make our basement suitable for company. (Well, we did try, but there's a bit more work to be done yet.)

The time we've spent together has been sweet. I am so thankful for it and how God is using each of us in the other's lives... to teach, to comfort and to sharpen.
May your remaining time with your family be as blessed!

Love and prayers,
The Shoehorn
Posted by Aardvark (# 2295) on :
I'm one of those lurkers who doesn't post very often on this thread, but I love to read your news. I'm glad you liked the quilt, I, too followed its progress avidly and I'm glad I was able to make my own tiny contribution to it.

Fields of Gold is one of my favourite songs and now I'll always associate it with you.
Posted by JoyfulNoise & Parrot, O'Kief (# 2049) on :
Alright - just showing my total lack of the world around me. It is time I found out what this song is. Who wrote it, what do I ask for at the shop / library to get a copy of it etc etc. Maybe I should pay more attention to Sarah Kennedy. Has anyone emailed her to ask her if she is a shipmate he he. Right, off to bed now - I may wake in time for dear Sarah to penetrate my eardrums.
Posted by golden key (# 1468) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:

Harry Potter was, of course, spellbinding. to speak! [Wink]

I liked it, too.
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Molly my dearest, thank you for your thoughts and prayers this weekend. As you know, there was a round of applause to welcome the newly baptised baby B into the church, but only I know who was really leading it! [Wink] You and Dolphy were both very much there in my heart.

The service was absolutely wonderful - I'll put a copy in the post for you, and I'm about to put the photos up on my site, so I'll email you the link (and anyone else who wants it!). I won't bore everyone here with a long description of it; suffice it to say that our vicar kept his welcome mercifully short, although not without a subtle 'dig' at Mr B [Frown] , Baby B behaved reasonably well, but made sure that there was no-one in doubt that she was the star of the show and the centre of all attention! Lunch was delicious, and a joyous meeting of family and friends.

Unfortunately both our mothers were ill, so Mr B's mum was unable to come up at all; although my mum managed to play the organ for the service as arranged, she had to miss the meal. Both our grannies were there, though, which was lovely [Yipee]

Much love to you, Molly - and of course, whiffles from the bunnies and fussing from the cats!

Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Hello Molly, I have just realized with some gloom that the highlight of my days is mostly commuting, unless you count my conversations with the electricity board about my budget plan repayments. I haven't the heart to share my interesting discoveries with you, so I shall tell you about the journeys back from work in the evenings instead. Although the trains are now seriously random, if you get on one the journey can still be a visual treat.

Friday evening was a pale lemon sky darkening to deep blue with grey blue clouds looking like elongated, fantastical creatures. Leafless trees silhouetted jet black against the sky, reflections making perfect, feathery symmetry in the still, flat expanses of water that used to be fields, beautifully mirroring the heavens and clouds. Venus extraordinarily huge and radiant, low in the darker part of the sky, brightening suddenly and then as quickly fading to insignificance. The waxing moon hanging high on the other side, clear enough to make out its seas and valleys. You might be able to see it tonight, and Venus, from where you are. Twilight is a strange time of day, when the boundaries between this world and the next seem very thin, and the land looks very far removed from the normal, everyday fields of the Oxfordshire countryside and begins to look a little like the setting for ancient legends. A nice transition between a busy city and a market town.

It has been foggy most of today, and this morning it was impossible to see anything, but this evening there were pockets of low-lying fog on the fields, blotting them out, but oddly, a huge pale copper moon could be seen quite clearly shining through it on the eastern side. As the fog thinned and the train sped along it seemed almost that we were racing the full moon. Sometimes it leapt through puddles and along rivers and dashed ahead in front, at other times it lost interest and slipped back behind us. It was a close thing but we won in the end.

Ah well. And now I must ring up the water board and have a chat with them about my budget plan repayments. What will I do when this is over? I shall have to get a life. In instalments perhaps.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
How perfectly that phrase describes my life, "life in installments"!

Snippets of joy separated by expanses of mundanity? Mundaneness? Mundanitude?

An occasional stretch like this past weekend of spiritual and physical "recharge", then back to the house (which really wasn't quite so bad as I had feared it would be after my absence).

You pay the installment payments of humdrum or even "nasty-necessity" living, and you get back installments of thrumming blue-and-gold joy.

I wish I could flip it around. Where can I arrange to pay into life the short snippets of normalcy, but get back a return of great big gobbets of juicy joy?
Posted by Wandering with Hope (# 3431) on :
Miss Molly:

Just wanted to say hello properly. As I told you in the pm I already feel as though I know you - through your posts and mom has been speaking of you for quite some time.

Fearless says "hello" and the CJ (the dog) would say hello if she could only get her nose out of the trash long enough. I'm afraid that I owe mom quite a treat - she had to come over this weekend and check on them for me while we were out of town and rumor has it they had misbehaved quite a bit. It appears that both were so upset that I had left them home and decided the living room was a proper place for a bathroom and the trash was a perfect play toy for the evening. I can only imagine how happy she was when she entered the house.

Sending many prayers your way.
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Ariel, I didn't get your email but got your address from your profile, so an invite should arrive soon. I don't think I'm gettin lot's of emails I should. Perhaps I was too zealous in trying to filter out the mountains of porn invitations.

Willy, Sam's Club assures me that they don't store these email address on their computers once the initial email is sent. For what that's worth.
I wondered why people were being so hesitant to give out their email addresses. Now I know!
Posted by DMarie (# 2267) on :
Thanks, St. Seb! I saw the photos at last. What a wonderful thing to do! I didn't know about the quilt when it was being put together but my thoughts are there, too, even if a square isn't. Thanks for sharing these with everyone, it makes us (at least me) feel a part of it. It was great to see her look so happy. I'm so glad Miss Molly has something concrete to remind her of all the love that is being sent her way. And I loved the cat photos, too!
Posted by Willyburger (# 658) on :
St. Seb,

Thanks for the access. I've mined all of your pictures of Miss Molly and her Quilt off of the site.

Willy, Sam's Club assures me that they don't store these email address on their computers once the initial email is sent. For what that's worth.

Actually, thier disclaimer says that they won't use your email address to send you anything. I noted (says the cynical and suspicious IT worker) that they make no denial of selling email addresses to anyone else. [Paranoid]

Anyway, for those of you who are hesitant to give your email address out, I've set up a simple slideshow. It can be accessed at: Molly Quilt Pictures

I can leave these up for as long as anyone wants them. Enjoy. [Smile]
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
To all my dear ones, my prayers and love tonight.

Dear Joyful Noise, thank you for the chats over the past couple of days. I am so glad our times at the keyboard have coincided.

Golf demigod Brent, I enjoyed meeting you so much on msn. I hope we will have occasion to talk again.

Sprite of Oxford, maybe we could trade bureaucratic hassles? You could unleash your pure English on my adversaries, and I could use the light saber Jedi Judy gave me to "aggressively negotiate" with your utility boards. I could see the sky, trees, moon, and fields so plainly from your description! Thank you for taking me on your train journey with you.

The trees are bare, now, here as well, except the weeping willows. My brother informs me they have trouble getting their leaves off and the sap in their roots before winter, and sometimes split as a result of too much sap in their trunks and limbs. I shall be watching the ones in the park and let you know how they do. I am glad the English trees exhibit the national good sense!

Dear Moo, did you know I turned out to be Martin Luther on the theologian quiz? No wonder I so appreciated the visits from your brother-in-law's pastor. Good Pastor Lindemood might like to hear this; I am sure he would laugh! I hope, by the way, that no further problems have occurred to keep you away from your beloved church.

Your dear and cynical Viking highness, thank you for your account of a loving family week. There is absolutely nothing like a family for driving us mad and then curing our insanities.

DMarie, I do know how much love is in the quilt from those who did not necessarily physically handle a square. I think of it as a battery charged with the love of all my shipmates.

That love is shown in the whole, and in the part you played, dear Aardvark. Your part is not small!

Motherboard, thank you for the lovely Thanksgiving card. It is getting me in the mood!

Sparrow, I am simply soaking in the good old Ankh Morpork lung slurry (for you cannot call something you can slice, air, now can you?)! I can't remember now if I thanked you for the tape you so kindly sent. If I did not, please forgive me and accept my gratitude.

Smudgie, my china, thanks for the lovely card and photograph of the harnsom lads! What is that behind them at, I presume, Exeter Cathedral?

Thanks,too, to FL for the lovely postcard of the hotel at which he stayed. (did you nick me a bathrobe?)

Beets, my dear, of course I was applauding! And if a whistle with fingers between the lips was heard--that was me, too! I am sorry the grandmas were under the weather, but how fabulous the great-grandmas were in fine fettle. I am glad you mother could play for the service; that will be a very special thing for Baby B to remember.

Thanks to all the dear people at the TDA dinner party for phoning to talk to me. Actually, they were phoning to make me envious of their fabulous wardrobes and social lives. Welsh Dragon "only just" in a lacy see-through blouse! Atlanta in a boa! And FL kept his hands to himself??!!? I enjoyed you all so much, my dears. I hope there will be many more occasions for you all to meet.

The quilt tour now moves to the Western Hemisphere: We have a square from Island Exile in Hawaii. Aloha, Exile! We have Sharkshooter coexisting with way too many feline-themed squares. And behaving himself, too, no cats have turned up missing. We have a square from Rossweisse, complete with winged helmet! And two from the Jedi Temple, one from the senior Jedi, wishing that the force may be with me, and one from the Daughter Unit, complete with portraits of Belle and Jasmine, famous felines to those of us who frequent the cat friendly threads! Thank all of you, ailurophiles, and ailurophobe alike, for your very special contributions.

And now the Pathe rooster crows and the newsreel commences:

Sunday morning Dave and Sue Ann came by bearing scones! The Utah version, deep fried bread squares, split and with honey and cinnamon inserted. Greasy and delicious!

After breakfast, we decamped for the Cathedral. While Sue Ann and I waited for Dave to bring the car, we were accosted by the ducks and geese, who let us know in no uncertain terms what no-goodniks and wasters we were for not having bread for them. I think Sue Ann was a bit unnerved, but she held her ground, and the ducks, etc., did not come too close, just scolded us and left.

We arrived at St Mark's, extracted me and my equipment from the car and my brother then thought he would have to take the car elsewhere to park it, as our lot, the one closest to the church door, was full. However, in accord with a deal I struck many years ago, a handicapped slot opened up just then, conveniently situated just two spaces down from the door!

So, that problem sorted my brother grasped the chair handles and made a run at the ramp to the door. As I say, an excellent thing he is so fit. We met friends in the parish hall right away, and it was so good to feel their welcome and introduce them to my dear relatives.

The pew fitted out for wheelchairs is the first pew! We have been determined further to the rear types all our lives so this was an interesting experience, especially for my poor brother and sister-in-law, who are not Episcopalians, and had planned to "rise and fall with the tide" as it were, rather than be worship leaders!

It worked out well, though. As I told Sue Ann later, "if you did anything they did not expect, they just put it down to you being from a different diocese". [Wink]

I could not sing at all, although I managed to rasp a little sort of chant on the Psalm. However, this way I got to enjoy the music in a very different way, as audience and not performer. The choir and organist were splendid.

The year had come around to one of my favorite Collects, the one that tells us all Scripture is for our instruction: to read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest, so that we may hold fast to the blessed hope of Salvation in Jesus Christ.

They did indeed bring me the Sacrament in my pew. I had my head bowed, and I think must have been dozing a little, though of course I would prefer to have you believe I was deep in prayer! In any case, Father Ramos had to gently tap my arm to recall me to my religious duties. I received the Bread of Heaven and the Cup of Salvation with such gladness, my dears!

Looking around the church, I remembered so many times in my life. Almost every foot of the place has a memory attached. I remembered people, too. My heart and my eyes were full.

Many people came to see me after the service, each expressing love and sorrow. I was enfolded in love. Love came from an unexpected source, too. Our new Dean is a man for whom I had never much cared, although acknowledging, albeit grudgingly, his services to the parish and the diocese. I have a singed wig now! He came down after the Communion and hugged and kissed me, asking if he might pray for a blessing for me. He then prayed with sweetness for "our sister, Molly." As we left the parish hall after I had shown my relatives some of the more interesting features of the cathedral (details on request), he caught up with us again. I introduced my relatives to him as Dean Lawson. He insisted I must call him Rick as I had always done. He hugged and kissed me again, and told me the bill for the hospitality today was that I must come again. I promised to try to do so. I am reproved and ashamed of my attitude for all these years. Thank goodness he is a generous man.

We went to McDonald's drive-thru for lunch. By the way SoCal shipmates, what are the "blue arches" mentioned in Kenwritez thread? I had a quarter-pounder without cheese and a small order of fries which I ate with great relish! Sue Ann said, "Just don't tell your Mom what we have been feeding you!" Of course, they would have fed me healthy things if I had indicated any desire for them; what I wanted though was good old American artery-clogging food!

After lunch, we took some photos, and they prepared to leave. I was sad to see them go, but they have work to do. They got home about 10:30 Sunday night, having again had a pleasant drive. I really am blessed to have such kind relations.

Marian had come by the time they left and she visited me until about 4 PM, when I was so tired I had to ask her to leave. I have pretty much dozed, with brief rousings to forage for food or answer nature's call until this evening! But I feel well now, and am glad to be able to greet you all again.

My love to all my shipmates.
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
I for one would love to hear the memories that you hold within your church! Perhaps a guided tour of all the details and persons. You are such a gifted storyteller, it'll be like having lived there.
I have managed to stay alive through my son and all his friends. When I awoke on Saturday morning I had been blessed with 9 wonderful boys! The bunnies did not eat too much, though I think that perhaps they may have premature balding (maybe that's where men get that little round spot in the back of their heads [Big Grin] !!) I made eldest son clean all the dishes (though he begged to let the bunnies do it) and the sleeping quarters of The Fellowship of the Nine (my living room).
Joy, joy and more joy,
Lady A
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
G'day dear Molly.... I am enjoying do our chats this week or so. I am so pleased your church visit went well. To meet such love- both from God and from people, and to be able to return it...

The wheelchair story reminded me of a wedding I did once, back in the early 90s. The groom was on crutches, with a broken leg. The bride sat- 9 months pregnant, and not at all well. The flowergirl was just out of hospital, after accidentally drinking bleach, and the poor old clergywoman was sitting too. You see, at that stage of her life, she was dieing of uncontrolled asthma, and had only done the wedding as a favour to friends. But it seemed rather odd at the time. Now, obviously she didn't die... else she wouldn't be posting now... And my asthma is extremely well-controlled these days.

Molly, it was that experience of illness which propelled me into hospital chaplaincy, thanks be to God.

Tomorrow I am going on an expedition to the snowy hills around Wenatchee, WA, by public transport no less. I hope it all works out. But there is a dear little German-type artsy village, at the snowfields, that is a tourist attraction apparently.
And this time in 2 weeks, I will be well and truly home in Oz- with family, friends, AND my own bed!
Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
Originally posted by Willyburger:

Anyway, for those of you who are hesitant to give your email address out, I've set up a simple slideshow. It can be accessed at: Molly Quilt Pictures

I can leave these up for as long as anyone wants them. Enjoy. [Smile]

Thank you Willyburger - what a lovely thing to do.
Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
The jacaranda trees remain as beautiful as ever in Sydney. The vibrancy of their colour and their early blossoms are, sadly, a sign of the drought that grips NSW.

I was down at Darling Harbour on Sunday - a redevelopment of the old docks area right by the Harbour Bridge with convention centres restuarants, the Sydney Aquarium, the Maritime Museum and so on. As always, it was full of people of all shapes and sizes - children playing in the waters rills and spirals, families out for a walk or having a picnic on the grass. This vibrancy and movement makes the Chinese walled garden there rather special, as a haven of quietness right by the city.

The garden was a Bicentennial gift of the People's Republic of China to the people of NSW. So it has been quietly growing and maturing since 1988.

Now in 2002, the new leaves of the willows weep into the lake, where fat carp loll in the shallows. The garden is a series of rooms, bounded by Chinese pavilions and bridges, each with different carvings symbolising the seasons and the natural world.

Somehow, in this small plot they have managed to plant a bamboo forest to wander in towards a poet's gallery. There are azaleas and rough pines growing in a mountain garden among wild rocks and cascades. There are peach trees (symbols of immortality), wisteria, loquats and lychees growing near a dragon screen. There are great rocks, naturally formed, that suggest dragons, horses, a seated child to the mind's eye. Elsewhere there is a house with a bonsai collection, for the Chinese appreciate this art too.

Finally, there is a tea pagoda, where you can sit on the top balcony and enjoy the whole garden, while sipping Iron Buddha tea and nibbling on a Chinese bun.

Gardeners everywhere owe a great deal to Chinese gardeners who domesticated and developed all sort of plants - for peonies, China and tea roses, camellias, wisterias, peaches. And of course gardeners owe a lot to God who made these things and gave us the ability and the senses to enjoy them.
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
By the way, Wandering, surely that was Spudz you meant and not the splendid Fearless, who messed up your house?

Thanks, Willy, for setting up the link! In case any one has trouble making out which one I am, in pictures with ribbon hats, I am the one without the mustache! The mustached one is our own Saint Sebastian. The two lovely ladies are my mother and sister.

I must also reveal that Chukovsky was the primary temptress in a boa! I understand she had other garments on as well, or at least that is her story and she is sticking to it!
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hello Miss Molly,

It was lovely to hear your voice at the weekend. It was a shame that it was so difficult to have a conversation through the noise! But I think everyone wanted to communicate their good wishes and the party atmosphere! Maybe I should point out also that the lacy blouse was the last of several clothing layers...

I am glad that you were able to get to church and to be so moved by the service. I guess you do get to see different sides to people at times of stress and change; I'm glad that your Dean has been demonstrating so many finer points of his good nature.

I have been thinking quite a lot recently about how going to church works - all that business of knowing what to do when and what to expect and how you relate to people. it sounds as though your brother and sister-in -law were managing the various challenges extremely well!

Your post, inevitably, reminded me of taking my mum to church after she got ill. It was very strange for her too, I think, to need other people's help so much when she had been used to being very active in her parish, being a lay minister and visiting the sick, and running the initation of adults into the church, and teaching the confirmation classes. And then to be in a wheelchair, in her case in a strange parish, and in a very different role...having the grace to enjoy what was happening in a very different and heartfelt way...I remember her being moved to tears by the singing...The parish we went to was near Chequers, the Prime Minister's country mansion and the first time we went there the PM and family were also present...and I was thinking in God's eyes, how do these different lives measure up...I was thinking that in my eyes, my mother was more important than the Prime Minister (we didn't have a disabled parking space...)

I can remember the first MacDonalds opening in Kensington London in the late 70s. I thought it was the height of sophistication and elan to go there with my school pal...much later on I went out (very briefly) with a verse dramatist, and by this time was very unimpressed that he chose yellow arches as a pre theatre eating venue...though that wasn't what finished the relationship off...he showed me his poetry and it didn't scan...I still get the occasional craving for a big Mac tho (we have one round the corner from the hospital in Abingdon, very handy for lunch when you're in a hurry and want something tasty and comfortingly bad for you...I haven't met anyone else tho who sees the gherkin as the highlight of the snack...)

Any how, must finish as I want to get into work, do lots and lots of report writing and then go home and collapse into bed as have now got awful cold after too many (mainly work related) late nights at the draughty police stations...


Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Saint Sebastian's email ended up in my junk mail folder for some weird reason but Willy's link works perfectly. It was lovely to see the pictures - thank you! If you flick through them quite quickly, it's like watching a short film. And from a technical point of view I'd really like to know how the slideshow was put together...?
Posted by LouiseF (# 361) on :
The photo's are lovely!!! What a fantastic quilt, I can now imagine Miss Molly sitting at her computer typing away.... and have a face for when we pray [Yipee]

Much love [Love]

Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Dear Miss Molly

I'd dearly love to hear more details of St Mark's, as I didn't quite manage to get there myself a few months ago!

I don't think I've told you, but I was in Salt Lake City in June for a conference. It was actually a conference on new religious movements, split between the University of Utah and Brigham Young University, so naturally there was a lot of LDS involvement. On Sunday morning they arranged a tour of Temple Square and the Museum of Mormon History (can't remember its proper title) and I worked out that if I stayed for the half-hour service in the Tabernacle and admired the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in all their glory I could slip away while everyone else went off to the museum, and make it to St Mark's in time for the main eucharist.

Only it turned out to be President Hinkley's 92nd birthday, and he appeared at the end of the half hour, to be greeted by various speeches and the entire choir singing "Happy Birthday", and I couldn't slip out without looking very rude. So I wasn't in time to get to the cathedral, and have regretted it ever since - especially since now I know it's your church!
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:
By the way, Wandering, surely that was Spudz you meant and not the splendid Fearless, who messed up your house?

Of course it was not the splendid Fearless! (and she graciously bows to you for your confidence in her) [Not worthy!]

Fearless was at home quietly gazing out the window at the yellow leaves still covering my yard; not so much as wrinkling the covers on the bed! [Big Grin]

Of course, it was Spudz. Fearless says Spudz is a barbarian. [Wink]
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
My dearest Dame Molly,
Sorry for not posting in ages but as you know I have had things to deal with but be assured you are always in our thoughts and prayers. I have finally managed to get my flippers on a copy of the song we were talking about, and hope you will not mind me posting the lyrics here.

You and Me Against The World
You and Me against the world,
Sometimes it feels like you and me against the world,
When all the others turn their backs and walk away,
You can count on me to stay.
Remember when the circus came to town and you were frightened by the clown?,
wasn't it nice to be around someone that you knew,
someone who was big and strong and looking out for you.
You and me against the world,
Sometimes it feels like you and me against the world,
and for all the times we've cried
I always thought that God was on our side,
and when one of us is gone
and one of us is left to carry on,
then remembering will have to do,
our memories alone will get us through,
think about the days of me and you;
you and me against the world. (Helen Reddy)

With all our love,
Dolphy, Jack, Jessie and Brandy. xxx
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
Just some more [Love] HUGS [Love] for you, Miss Molly! [Smile]
Posted by Wandering with Hope (# 3431) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:
By the way, Wandering, surely that was Spudz you meant and not the splendid Fearless, who messed up your house?

Oh my goodness - no wonder Fearless runs from me everytime I come over - I am always confusing her with her cousin Spudz. [Embarrassed]

Yes you are correct...splendid Fearless would never mess up my house I can see her perplexed expression now - I shall have to make sure she is not allowed to see this part of the thread.
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :

Thanks so much for posting those pictures. The Sam's Club site said that my Netscape 6.3.2 browser couldn't handle it, and they wanted me to download an IE browser. [Mad] [Mad] [Mad]

Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hello again,

I meant to say that I really enjoyed looking at the photos. You have such a lovely smile! and you look so sweet wrapped up in that quilt! (and St. Seb such a cutie! even if unavailable!) Great idea to have the pics on line.

Am having insomniac snuffly night. Hope you are comfortable back in Utah. Loved your little altar btw.

Meant also to tell you about the shape note singing session I went to last week. Oxford is apparently a hot bed of the art, well for an English town, anyway. It was great fun, even if a bit complicated. And they use these big old books - apparently the Sacred Harp is the human voice...this is my first contact - apart from your posts - with the Southern Harmony.

They apparently have a regular session singing in the Easter Good News at a local church - followed by a slap up 7 course breakfast. I will have to ask them what all the courses could possibly be...

I have always found singing rather difficult because I am an unconfident alto, and altos tend to get awkward bits that don't have an obvious tune. But I do enjoy it in a gormless, enthusiastic sort of way. The person leading the session said that a positive feature of this sort of singing is that “you can explore the spaces between the notes…” which is a nice way of putting it don’t you think. And enthusiasm seems to count for more than finesse…I think that it would be fun to join a session with lots of strong altos so that I could follow more what they do. If I can, I will go to the Christmas carol session…

Another good thing about this evening was that the person running it used to work in the same department as me…and at the time it was riven by lots of conflicting political factions…and she would have been on the opposite side of all that…so it is as though some of that was gently being healed…through, well, harmony…which is rather a pleasant sort of idea, don’t you think…

Lots of love for now, I will go & get a bit more sleep I think…

WD xxxx
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
Thanks for the great pictures - I was beginning to wonder if I would ever see them! I particularly liked the dangerous mischievious one of Molly with the knife poised. Now I believe all the warnings on the Miss Molly revelations thread!! [Two face]
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
I thought the golden bows on M.M. and S.S. especially fetching.

Know what you mean, W.D., about the healing in the music. Just came back from retreat w/ 15 sisters-in-the-Lord, and happened to be in the same vanload (for 10 total hours driving) with one who is my polar opposite politically. And almost as vociferous about it. [Devil] [Snigger] [Killing me]

The Lord unites. That's all I can say. Even while I think her political opinions unfounded I would be at her bedside if she were sick today, and I would expect her at mine.

Bless you M.M. for the chance to see into others' lives you give us here.
Posted by Willyburger (# 658) on :
Originally posted by Chorister:
Thanks for the great pictures - I was beginning to wonder if I would ever see them! I particularly liked the dangerous mischievious one of Molly with the knife poised. Now I believe all the warnings on the Miss Molly revelations thread!! [Two face]

Yes, this little slideshow app also has the ability to have captions, as you might have seen on the knife shot. Perhaps we need a Caption Comptetition? [Big Grin]
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
The golden tresses of St. Sebastian would warrant quite a few 'interesting' captions, I'm sure! [Killing me]
Posted by Eanswyth (# 3363) on :
Originally posted by Janine:
I thought the golden bows on M.M. and S.S. especially fetching.

I think you are confused. There were no golden bows; those were halos. [Angel] [Angel]
Posted by Christine (# 330) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
You would enjoy the scene outside my office window. I look out on a courtyard with several large gum trees, home to various forms of wild life and some tables and benches.It's morning tea time and a group are sitting being squawked at by mamma magpie and youngster. Some are willing to donate biscuit crumbs - the magpies are making an awful racket.
Personally I wouldn't, however, for I saw what the magpies were up to yesterday. Similar hullabaloo, and I looked out to see a possum being chased round the courtyard by three magpies and a mynah bird. They got the poor possum almost cornered twice, before it managed to escape down a drain. I've seen big white cockatoos chase possums before, but never magpies. Mind you magpies do chase humans - which is why donating cake crumbs may be a wise insurance policy. Or it may just encourage them.
In the evening I took a group of Brownies up our local hill, accompanied by a creature who must be a distant relation of Sven's. Her name in Ghlyn, she comes from western NSW, and has been sent visiting by the Guides out there to raise awareness of them - and the drought. She is round, covered in hot pink fur with black spots and has pink tulle hair and a Guide hat which is rapidly being covered with badges and swaps. I'm sure she enjoyed her trip, though we couldn't see as far as usual since Canberra is covered in smoke haze from a fire about 150 km away. What we could see looked so dry - like it usually is in March, not November.
But the girls loved photographing her and each other and drew pictures to put in her travel book.
Love to you
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Thank you, Eanswyth, for recognizing my halo, bedraggled as it was that time of day. I suppose I can see how it would be mistaken for ribbon. As to the knife, well, I didn't want to mention the various vignettes on the Revelations thread where it has come into play for fear someone would report Herself to the authorities.

Will, thanks for setting those up on the web!
Posted by DaveC (# 155) on :
Originally posted by Welsh Dragon:
Maybe I should point out also that the lacy blouse was the last of several clothing layers...

You mean you had already removed several layers! What sort of party was this? [Eek!]
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear friends, please pardon me for my absence from this thread. I shall post again as soon as possible. I have read your messages and am so grateful to you all. May I be indebted still further and make this request? I see we are almost at the 500 post mark, the point where pages start to go into limbo. Would some kind shipmate with a faster printer than mine be willing to print out the thread as it stands so far? I am so sorry I did not start printing and saving long ago, but I really do lack energy. I believe my mother would be comforted to see all your kind messages, so I dare ask for someone to start saving this thread.

I hope to post again later today. I have been doing little posts, so you would all know I was still alive and your shipmate, but have lacked strength to do more.
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Dearest Molly,
The thread is printing out as I type.. I will also save it to disc for you.
Much love,
Dolphy. xxx
Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
Originally posted by Dolphy:
Dearest Molly,
The thread is printing out as I type.. I will also save it to disc for you.
Much love,
Dolphy. xxx

lol, Dolphy!

Great minds think alike!

Best use yours as I've not done the disc thingy.

Yeek, it's starting again. I must have pressed the button one too many times! [Wink]
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
The task is finished! I have saved the thread to disc and will add posts as they are posted. Once the thread is closed i will post the printed version and the discs off to you.

(Great minds indeed Miffy!!!)

Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Posting in the middle of the night here, Molly, as for some reason I can't sleep. I hope you are feeling a bit less exhausted.

This afternoon as I set off for work on the back shift, the Silverlink train was packed. The sky was that beautiful yellowy colour with silver clouds and higher up patches of very pale blue sky. The train was the opposite - muddy and messy. These trains are always a bit grubby, and today exemplified why.

There were a couple of groups of youths, well wrapped up in hats, thick jackets and wearing boots; they sat on one seat and put their feet up on the opposite one and went off to sleep. I don't know if they were homeless, or just catching up on being up all night and then having to go to work. Noone even commented on them!

Then we passed a couple of stops where we acquired bunches of teenage school kids all creatively attired in school uniforms, jumping up and down on platforms and yelling cheerfully and swearingly at each other, using mobile phones to their girl/boyfriends and generally taking over the whole station.

Two girls sat opposite me and began discussing a young man they knew, commenting on his yellow teeth, his hairstyle, the way he pawed at them, his arrogance at expecting them to fall for him and go out with him. One was wearing a bonnet with grey fluffy fur round the front of the hood and grey fluffy pom-poms at the end of the ties. the other one had severely flattened hair stuck to her head, & enormous hooped ear-rings.

I thought the conversation (loud enough for all to hear) was funny and interesting, but there was an oldish woman with very thin, very red lips, who was glaring and looking down her nose.

Eventually we arrived at my stop and most of the scholars leapt out of the train, thundered up the stairs, crashed down the end flight and rushed out into the traffic, still yelling cheerfully to each other.

O to be a teenager again! All that energy! [Yipee]
Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:
May I be indebted still further and make this request? I see we are almost at the 500 post mark, the point where pages start to go into limbo.

Not to worry. That was only a problem on the older version of the software. The word assosiation game in Dead Horses is now on its 55 page!

Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hello again Molly,

I do hope all is well with you and you are comfortable. It has been so wet wet wet here, the sky is grey and forboding and the rain is sheeting down at times with lots of noise and portent.

I don't really mind bad weather, I can always escape into a book. I have read the latest Pratchett though I found it harder to get into than usual. More about the Patrician though, which I liked. There is a sort of theology to those books isn't there that I enjoy. Things are confusing and complex and muddled and coincidental - you can sort of rely on the coincidences - but there is something that makes things turn out alright, something that goes quite deep.

I remember someone was going to send you a copy of Night Watch - have you been able to have a look at it?

I am afraid I have been trying to negotiate the world of football in the Quiz - which I know very little about - and I hope that I haven't been leading judy up the garden path (talk about the blind leading the blind...) - but we are valiently doing our best you know. There has been an effort to reinstate you ...but Quizmaster has been hardhearted *pointed sigh*

She excellently had me traversing the River Ganges on the last question. Which reminds me that I went to India when I was 19 - in a spirit of adventure (and because it sounded romantic, I was that sort of a teenager). But I won't tell you about that now because I am a) in the library and b) my bleep has just gone off.

But just you take care, and keep comfy and have fun with St. Seb and that oxygen line...

Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
Theology in Pratchett? Now there's a thread waiting to happen.

I'm always surprised that we don't have a shipmate called Mightily Oats. He would fit right in on the Ship!
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
Dear Molly,

Another CD (yes, more hamsters! more Japanese songs! . . . more Japanese songs -- about hamsters! You think I'm making this up, don't you?) is on its way -- but please have St. Sebastian open it, because it is one of those papery mailers (not bubble wrap) and I worry that whatever they use for padding will set off your allergies.

Many many many hugs!

Yaa, yaa, yaa, yaa, yaa . . . oo, lalala!
Yaa, yaa, yaa, yaa, oo, LA, la . . .

Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Doubt my attempt at a description of the pretty day out there will go as well as everyone else's; I think I have a skewed vision. Or a skewed mentality. [Paranoid] I sit here at the computer, though and appreciate the day. I have enough in me to appreciate beauty, if not to describe it.

We are crispy cold and dry (for us), about 60 degrees Farenheit and no rain for a bit. The sun sparkles. The young longsuffering oak 20 feet away out my back window is swaying its glossy leaves at me. (If we're not careful, the dog bites huge chunks of bark off it. Part of a big threat display when you "sic" her on the squirrels...)

Oak needs to be trimmed away from the roof again. (I'll send young Mike up there. 17-year-old boys long for any excuse to get up on the roof. Perhaps Joe, at 10, is old enough this year...)

Since we've had a wet summer-into-fall, with what passes for cold around here only just now coming to us, the earthworms have been having a field day. (Was that almost a pun?)

The St. Augustine grass is lush, and the ground pillow-soft 'cause the worms have been aerating so well. It's like trying to walk on a flotant or a bit of quaking marsh (not too different from quicksand). One must walk absolutely flat-footed so as to keep from sinking. If I tried to sprint across the yard (hard to imagine why 200-lb. me would) I'd be half-shin deep.

No blooms since spring, of course, but the La. swamp iris is still energetically ringing the feet of the oak. The poison oak along the hurricane fence is finally dying back a bit (Yay!), but then so is a wild vine that looks like grape. I shall miss it. Small Chinese tallow and elderberry saplings grow along it, trying to turn themselves into a forest.

Along what I rather naively call the patio (cement slab, no embellishment), under my bedroom window, there's an alligator tail.

(Not a real one! That's the local name for a pretty succulent with leaves like a 'gator's tail, or a dragon's. Slender with a jagged edge. Deep green stripes on a duller green ground, rather like a baby 'gator.)

It wants to take over the world. Along the edges of each leaf, it grows & easily drops dozens of 'babies', which root any friendly place they fall. I really need to take advantage of that to start some of them in pots for gifts.

Out front, the morning glories refuse to give up. Still some blooming, deep cobalt blue and raspberry-magenta and old-fashioned sky-blue. These are probably from vines started from seeds dropped by the first ones blooming last spring.

There's one fresh new vine, with glossy energetic-looking leaves thrice the size of the others'. Not a blossom on it yet, just the self-satisfied great leaves clambering up my Jessamyn's bedroom shutter. I hope to see it bloom before frost kills it; judging by the leaves, the flowers oughta be amazing.

The lawn is mostly centipede grass out front, rather than St. Augustine. Softer, finer, fluffier, like deep green fur. Too bad neither it nor the St. Aug. seems able to whip the weeds' butts!

Out the back window: mocking birds, cardinals, blue jays, starlings, sparrows, finches. Oddly, the flock of sparrows has adopted some little parrot-types.

(Conures? Lovebirds? Something a bit bigger than a sparrow, and olive green (female?) or brilliant green (male?) with a peachy-colored face.)

The sparrows up in Iowa used to adopt the escaped parakeets (budgies). They must've died in the snows, though. Here, the green ones have a chance if they choose somewhere sheltered to winter.

I could blather on... The hummingbirds' antics among the morning glories and zinnias all summer are priceless... the goldenrod and something resembling digitalis, brilliant orange-gold and deep indigo blue, look well together out there...

But I'll get along to some work big Mike asked me to do for the church. Might as well keep Himself thinking it's worth me not working a "real" job.
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Hello Molly. My week looks like this.

Monday. Raining again. Trains screwed up. Arrived at work. Head of section in mood. Highlight of day: discovering teabags were 5p cheaper than anticipated. Went home early, thereby avoiding smelly man on later train, whose fragrance scents the entire carriage. Never trust a man who wears a woolly hat.

Tuesday. See Monday, except for highlight. (Highlight: in mood of reckless abandon, added small coloured stripe to one intranet web page. Am still awaiting official reprimand and loss of privileges but head of section promises full support.)

Wednesday. See Tuesday, but also left umbrella on Virgin train. Annoyed about this as Virgin trains hardly ever run, have no chance of speaking to member of staff about it. Highlight of day: jam doughnut.

Thursday. Umbrella now somewhere in Bournemouth, probably having good time at seaside resort on coast. Managed to catch Virgin train and speak to member of staff who promised to ring me whether it was located or not. Looked up list of lost property on Virgin website – amazing list of categories such as furniture, clocks, and armour. Looked up complete list of current items of lost property to see if there were any lost suits of armour, discovered instead that 177 umbrellas (none of which are mine) have been handed in at Crewe station, also 1 pair of trousers and a clarinet.

Attended shipmeet at local pub. Great mulled wine with half a pickled orange in it, wobbly table, also wobbly stool with holes in. Rachel and Dragon both in great form. On to Chinese restaurant for really good meal. Persuaded Rachel not to pocket spoons before leaving. Then back to station.

Friday. Still no news of umbrella. Raining again. Trains completely screwed up both north and southbound. Highlight of day, hot bacon and tomato roll at station while waiting. Like trains, bacon rolls are only once a week or so at random intervals. Must see if there is direct link between appearance of roll and appearance of train.

And so it goes.
Posted by chukovsky (# 116) on :
She's right!. Well bless my cotton socks.

I'm very disappointed though that there is no Garden Statuary or Scientific Instruments to claim.
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
And no "religious" - so no nuns have got lost on Virgin trains.

Quite a few young prsons' rail cards though.

Someone lost a camcorder!

And that poor person who lost two address books. [Frown]

D'you think thieves dump stuff on Virgin trains?
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
I am the kitchen manager at a local high school and had to laugh the other day when it was posted that our regular official clothing also included hairnets. Well, we wear them all the time, and someone asked if one of the fellows had to wear one since he is bald (yes, from the chemo he's on), and they said yes! So, baldness is no excuse not to wear a hairnet in food production. Just in case you were wondering about a new vocation and happen to become bald....
Spent last night at the Crystal Apple awards working. A wonderful evening where they give awards of excellence for all the outstanding teachers in our district. The room was beautiful. I particularly loved these magnificent candelabras. 5 votive candle holders (one tall, the other four nicely spaced) dotted around the room, and most of the light came from them, and it was just perfect. Elegant settings, wine, the tables were dressed as scrumptiously as the guests of honor. Lots of special touches, it was beautiful. I thought, oh, now this is the way the great feast should be!
We have been blanketed by fogs for the last few days. Missed the meteorite showers, but had the most blended sunrise the other morning from off our kitchen dock. A pale pink, fading from the smudges of lavender giving way, all through stained glass trees limbs. Felt like being in an ancient cathedral. The birds singing a morning litany. It was a wonderful way to start the day. Hope your day tomorrow starts off so beautiful.
Peace and good night,
Lady A
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear friends, dear shipmates. I post today so you will all know I am still alive and still your shipmate. I am sorry I have not posted lately. What happened is my perfectionism collided head on with technology and a change in my condition.

Several days ago, I had things pretty well in hand I thought. I had almost completed a message with suitable responses to your amazing and much appreciated posts, with a continuation of the guided tour of the wonderful quilt, and with some news of me in a suitably cheerful tone. Then, I got booted off the net and lost the post!

I was too tired to do it all over again, but had every intention of posting the next day. This intention has continued, with the plan of including responses, quilt tour, news and witticisms. Alas, I have been very weary, and my condition has changed.

So I have had to make a choice: no posts until I am able to write in my usual style, or general thank-yous for your much appreciated messages, maybe no quilt squares today, and just some news of how I am and perhaps my thoughts on the subject of my journey at the moment.

I decided on the latter after talking to Saint Sebastian and receiving a concerned PM! I am still here, my dear ones; I am just not starting any magazine serials. So herewith a post to my shipmates in the new style necessary at the moment, though I hope to be able to better respond later.

The short version of events is that the disease is moving right along. For quite awhile, I was about the same. For instance, in August and September, I could manage quite well in the shower without my oxygen (it is a nuisance), and could do my own housework, even dispensing with the oxygen if it was getting in the way. I was on only 2 liters of oxygen a minute at that time. I did have coughing fits a couple of times a day, but could recover from them.

In October, I had a little more difficulty, but still felt I was holding my own. I wore my oxygen into the bathroom more, on my friend Marian's suggestion, as she informed me I was too blue for her taste on my emergence from a time without it. I made a Freudian slip here! I told her I would "wear my cancer into the bathroom". Of course, I wear my cancer everywhere, but I was still fighting to keep it from modifying my activities too much.

Saint Sebastian was quite correct in his post the other day. I was breathless, and could not recover, after I had cleaned my bathroom, even though I wore oxygen. I really was a little frightened. I realized at that point that he and Marian were right, and I must accept help to do my housework and laundry.

I needed more oxygen too; I had to push it up to four liters to be really comfortable. I had been struggling along on two, because I wanted to be able to continue on my concentrator, not have to have huge green tanks. Tanks run out, but as long as there is electricity the cow works. It cannot provide more than 5 liters however. I finally acknowledged to Marian that yes, indeed, I was using accessory muscles all the time to breathe. I now no longer have the strength to do this. I must preserve my energy for my friendships and to last through Christmas for my mother's sake. Marian was very blunt, and she was correct, I can do things my way and die before the holidays, or I can give some things up and hope to last a while longer.

Wednesday night I had a severe coughing fit, and coughed up blood. Previously, when my attack had been that severe, and brought up blood, I had also brought up a tumor. If there is a tumor in one of my bronchii, I no longer have the strength to dislodge it. And I no longer can recover well from such fits. They are now frightening to me.

My present life is much modified from even two weeks ago. Then, I moved around and did not worry too much about my breathlessness after even a little activity, and I accepted coughing fits as part of the routine. Now, I move very slowly, just one or two steps at a time. I stop and hang onto chairs and countertops and doorframes, so as to take a little of the weight I am bearing. I rise slowly from chairs, and stand still before moving away from one. I pause several times during a shower and just hold on to the grab bars and concentrate on breathing. I have a loud techique of clearing my throat that seems to remove a lot of the phlegm that used to cause my coughs. I breathe as deeply as I can, several times a day, listening for any crackles in my chest. If I hear them, I do cough, but I intersperse it with throat clearing in order to be able to breathe while I am doing it. I still get a bit short of breath no matter what I do, but I do not get breathless.

It is hard to lose my strength. I was always a strong woman, well able to lift and turn heavy patients. I had big muscular forearms, and strong hands. I have lost my forearm muscle and, due to the chemotherapy, I sometimes lose my grip on objects.

The thing is, I must accept all this. I know and accept that I am going to die; what is hard to accept is that I may not die before I am completely helpless. I somehow imagined that I would get weaker, but not so weak as for instance, not to be able to go to the toilet or shower on my own.

The other day, I was weeping a little bit, probably feeling more than a tad bit sorry for myself. I stood by the wall where your beautiful gift hangs, and I leaned into it, putting the palms of my hands on its lovely, soft surface. Your love and strength came to me, and I could go on.

God bless you.
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Love and prayers.
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :

How lovely to hear from you again. I can understand that you have a desire for perfectionism and to be amusing because you naturally have such a lovely writing style and it must be terribly hard to feel too tired to entertain us…

but we are not looking to be entertained you know…

and we would not want you to exhaust yourself for that…

(it is so irritating when you lose a post that you have put effort into. It really annoys me even with time and energy to spare. Poor Molly)

and don’t worry about wit or about posting at all if you don’t feel well. Save your energy and write if you are able to, if it is easy enough to be a pleasure and not a chore…

and it is so hard to live with the uncertainty of having cancer – not that I’ve had to do that as a patient myself, but as a carer. It’s so hard to deal with the progression, you think well, such and such an activity isn’t possible any more, but I can cope, we can cope, we’ll find a way around. Then the next thing happens, and you readjust again, another set of expectations lowered. So hard when you have been proud and independent and capable. So hard to lose physical strength.

I watched the person I loved most in the world let go of so many things that had been good and beautiful and valuable in her life and take hold of God instead. Not that she hadn’t been close to God before, but it was a different sort of way of knowing God. Being so vulnerable. I don’t know that I could do it like that myself. (I did all the business of being very angry with God instead.) She said “I accept this; I accept it but I am fighting it”. It was a sort of balance. Not one, I thought, that I could have done. And at the end there was so little left, in a way, except love, and the love had taken over. The opposite of “dying mean”, that you talked about before, a sort of healing of past hurts and a growing, and what was happening physically wasn’t really the issue in a way.

Oh, I am so glad the quilt is a comfort to you. Its value is I suppose as a tangible reminder that you are loved…

Any how, I am very happy to go on writing on the thread (tho I promise to stop if requested to!) please don’t feel you have to respond personally, please don’t do anything to tire yourself if you don’t feel well

And take care Molly

Lots of love

Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
If all we ever get is an occasional smiley from you, or a note from St. S. to report on you, that will suffice. Let us entertain you.
Posted by Wandering with Hope (# 3431) on :
(((Molly))) we love you and you are in our prayers - do not concern yourself with long updates at this time just sit back while we talk to you. [Not worthy!]
Posted by DaveC (# 155) on :
Molly, it's always wonderful to hear from you, but
not if it takes all your energy. It is enough to know that you are reading, and drawing strength from our messages and our love.
Posted by Willyburger (# 658) on :
((Molly)) I'm sorry I missed you last night. I saw your IM this morning. I'll keep an eye out for you.
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
[Love] HUGS [Love] love [Love] prayers [Love]


From David and his mood-reflective hamsters
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
Keep holding onto that quilt. Keep looking here to see that we all love you and pray for you. Hold on to Jesus and never let go of where He is leading you. Let love guide your feet, your hands, your heart. Let mercy sing songs of thanksgiving quietly in the peace of the night. Much Love,
Lady A
Posted by Ancient Mariner (# 105) on :
Prayerfully with you every difficult step, MM...
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
Dear Miss Molly
Lots of love and all of God's blessing and peace be with you. [Love]
Posted by JoyfulNoise & Parrot, O'Kief (# 2049) on :
My love to you Molly, thanks for all your posts - but only post when you can [Smile]
JoyfulNoise xxx
Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
Originally posted by JoyfulNoise & Parrot, O'Kief:
My love to you Molly, thanks for all your posts - but only post when you can [Smile]
JoyfulNoise xxx

Echoing Joyful Noise and the others, Molly. [Love]
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Thank you for your honesty, Molly. It's helpful to know exactly what's happening. As has been said none of us expects you to entertain us. We know you appreciate what little we are able to do or give you, being able to give or do is reward enough. Marian sounds like a good friend to have.

Yes, things change. That is the hardest part of being depressed: adjusting to situations that you have little or no control over. Looking back and remembering how things were different, and not wanting to think about the future. I'm not going to give you any platitudes. I'm only going to say that we will, as promised, be with you as much as we can for as long as we can. You will feel down at times, but remember that at any given time, someone somewhere in Europe, or the Americas, or Australia, will be thinking of you. Your quilt is a visual and tangible realization of that. And I am glad that you draw strength from it.
Posted by Lyra (# 267) on :
Hi Molly. I don't post often, but I follow your thread, and pray for you. Please don't feel you have to post wonderful literature to keep me reading. Stick a smiley on instead! (Such choice now!). And I will continue to pray for you whether you can post or not.

I'm glad you are able to remember that so many people are with you in prayer. I'm sorry things are declining. I will pray that you may have the Christmas you hope for with your family.

God Bless, Molly

Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Since Molly's visit's may be a bit sporadic, it sounds like, I'll start posting about MY visits to her, if you like, though I'm not the word-smith she is. I went over today, ostensibly to vacume and dust before her parents arive Wednesday. I'd picked up a prescription and called to see if she was in the mood for any food treats. I was going to get her taquitos and a fish sandwich at the Crown Burger, one of our favourite fast food joints, but they were closed; some nonsense about the Sabboth, I gather. So Micky D's it was. I got her two (optimistically) fish sandwiches and large fries. When I arrived, I turned a bit too erratically, spilling one of the fry orders into the floorboard of the car. I swept those into the parking lot, much to the rapture of the gulls. Molly and I sat and gossipped about British royalty for an hour or so. We postponed the cleaning until Tuesday, since I'm off that day and that way things will be more sparkling when her mother gets there. Marion, her nurse-friend, arrived to do laundry so I left. I must say, though, I'm a bit unnerved as Molly seems to be developing an obsession with those ancient cultures which entombed servants along with their masters. I mean really, she talks about them incessently and sans an appropriate level of disapproval, imo.

Anyway, she was in good spirits today. I went over last night, bearing Micky D's (hey, it's close, okay?)and we watched Gosford Park (how the English aristocracy avoided being murdered in their beds is really beyond us). We chatted intermittently and had a nice visit.

So, that's my Molly missive, such as it is. I'm sure I'll have something more entertaining to write after T-day as I'm celebrating with Herself and family. [Smile]
Posted by Brent (# 3498) on :
Thank you for the update St Sebastian. You are truly a saint in the way you care for Miss Molly.

Foe Miss Molly, our prayers are with you always and always in our thoughts. Praise be to God for keeping you in his tender care.

Posted by zephirine of the roses (# 3323) on :
*~adds a small dab of attar of roses and eau de violettes to molly's o2 mask~*
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Originally posted by St. Sebastian:
So, that's my Molly missive, such as it is. I'm sure I'll have something more entertaining to write after T-day as I'm celebrating with Herself and family. [Smile]

That's great. [Smile]

Thanks from me too, for your lovely and entertaining update. It's good that you are there. I repeat - it is good that you are there. You are truly a saint for your steadfastness in caregiving. (Do stay on your guard, though, lest you do become ensnared into entombed servitude!)

Give Molly hugs please, from me. [Love] and a few for you, as well....
Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
Happy thoughts, my dears. St Sebastian - your blood's worth bottling, as they say here.

I've always rather liked the thought of Thanksgiving - a family time to gather round, share a meal and give thanks, including for each other. We don't really have any equivalent in England or in Australia.

I am in the middle of building works here. Every morning, muscly men come to dig up yet more of my front terrace in order to cure the leaks caused by the defective work done by the clown who built my townhouse some 10 years ago.

So far, they have:

* jackhammered up the tiles (7am start one Saturday morning)
* ground off the so-called waterproof membrane (dust, everywhere)
* changed the slope of the concrete raft by grinding bits of it down( [Eek!] more dust)
* cut holes for new stormwater drains with a drill bit the size of a bucket (dust, truely phenomenal noise)
* removed the bottom three courses of bricks from the front wall of my house (dust, more jackhammers, front wall now jacked up on piers). In the course of this they discovered that no damp course had ever been installed by the bodgers who built my townhouse.

This morning, I found a strapping pair of New Zealanders half way under my garden wall doing something obscure to the new damp course and flashing they have recently installed. It will mean more dust no doubt...

I must be one of the few people in Sydney who is not praying for rain. Generally December,January and February can be wet and humid here - with impressive thunderstorms and rain like a myriad hosepipes. "Il tombe en cordes" as the French say - falling in ropes or pouring with rain.

I think the building works will be complete before any break in the drought. It won't be raining this year, sadly. Centennial Park is dry and brown, even around the lakes. Drought happens here every 6 or 7 years caused by a change in the El Nino current in the South Pacific. Today it is 35 degrees celcius(high 90s) in the City and the bushfire season began a month ago....
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Molly dearest,

The bunnies asked me to tell you they are fighting for you as hard as they can. George and Alice also send you their love and lots of purrs.

Alice had a traumatic start to the day today. She'd asked to be let out while I was getting baby B's breakfast ready, so, being a nice sort of person, I let her. About 15 minutes later there was a horrible yowling noise, which I knew could not possibly be from Alice, since she's the world's quietest cat. (It's taken her 3 years to learn to be audible from just the other side of a window!) Deciding that I'd better see what on earth was happening out there, I went out of the back door and looked up to see who or what was making the racket. Poor little Alice was sitting on Baby B's bedroom window sill, looking a little nervous, while the horrible, scary black cat from up the road was yowling at her. [Frown] He was making so much noise that the lady next door had opened her window to look out and see what on earth was happening!

Fortunately, he knows to be scared of me (dare I admit I've turned the hosepipe on him before now in an attempt to defend my pussy cats' territory? [Eek!] ) so he ran away, allowing little Alice to look around cautiously, then make her way over the kitchen flat roof, and down the fence and in the back door to safety!

George - as ever the master of perfect timing - had obviously been woken by all the commotion, so a few moments after Alice and I came in, he wandered into the kitchen to see that everything was all right! [Roll Eyes] So much for him defending her honour! [Disappointed]

Through all this, my dear bunnies had been fortunately unperturbed. They don't seem to be too bothered by the cats, who use their hutch as a convenient springboard to get up to one of the fences, or by next door's dog, who has to come through our garden for his walks, as that's the only access to the back of his house. [Smile]

Anyway, I shall stop this now, and write you a proper letter.

Much, much love,

Beets & co
Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
Molly, I'm so glad to read the quilt is helping you in the way we all hoped when we contributed to its completion.

BTW, if you feel too tired to make really long posts, remember the Everlasting Sentences are designed to be short! [Wink] [Smile] [Smile] [Smile] [Big Grin]
Posted by DMarie (# 2267) on :
Dear Miss Molly, my thoughts and prayers are with you, too. I'm grateful to read any of your posts, but echo everyone else that you should only post when you feel up to it. Thankfully we have St. Sebastien who can pass on messages for you.

St. Sebastien, thanks again for doing what we all would love to be able to do.
Posted by The one & only Nanny Ogg (# 1176) on :
Hello Molly

Well I guess it's time to post something on this thread seeing as I've been reading it the last few weeks.

Woke up this morning with the "oh hell it's Monday" feeling - especially as I was off work with asthma most of last week.

I hate dark grey mornings - dark gret cold morning even more. I just cannot be motivated to move from the warmth of my duvet.

It's the way the alarm clock never seems to wake me for long enough to get my fat arse out of bed. It's too conveniently near for me to switch it off and roll over - with the inevitable scream as I realise that an hour has passed and I've overslept (yet again).

It doesn't help when you hear on local radio that the mainline rail service to Paddington is disrupted due to a derailment just down the road. Although I don't head into Paddington it does mean that in this part of West London the roads will be even more congested with anxious and irate commuters trying to get to a nearby tude station. Ho hum. [Frown]

Given a lift by the landlady on the school run - the all singing some repetitive chorus from a new BBC programme - can't remember the name but they like it. Walk from where she parks the car to the Broadway getting strange looks from the school kids ("Mum that lady's got pink hair! Mum her hair is PINK!!!!!!) Mums of course look embarressed because kids are staeing the obvious. [Embarrassed]

Huffed and puffed my way to the office and the little back room that is my "home" for 7 or 8 hours a day depending on whether I get a lunch break.

The desk looks as if a bomb has hit it - well the in-tray does anyway. Luckily I have folders marked "To do" and "Time sheets" and "Filing" but they all need sifting through. Needs a strong cup of coffee. Switch on computer to find lots of emails and internal messages - nearly all temps querying their tax. For some reason I'm seen as an expert on the Inland Revenue - ha ha if only they knew [Big Grin] [Wink]

Still the days passes by fairly uneventfully. Time waiting for the various programmes to start up or close down is spent looking across the patch of green over the road. The tress have lost nearly all their leaves now and the grass has turned to mud in some places with the amount of rain that has fallen in the past week.

Most of the sounds though are of busy West London life - buses parked up with engines running whilst the drivers have their coffee and cigarette; sirens wailing as emergency services try and make their way around the green; people shouting at each other - we lose count of the number of verbal fights that go on outside, let alone physical.

Spend most of the afternoon with an overheating calculator trying to decipher how many hours people have worked - strange how people can't add up [Confused]

Oh well - those who haven't got their timesheets to me will just have to go unpaid this week. I haven't the energy to chase.

Leave the office and head for the bus - which strangely comes as I get there - this is a miracle beyond all description.

Take care Molly and thanks for the little chats we've been having - you've been so encouraging. [Love] [Angel]
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Hello all, especially Miss Molly!

I hate punching a time clock. I'm always trying to stay a stay-at-home mom, when actually it's somewhat less work for me to abandon the home front & go to a job. I simply hate-hate-hate conforming to others' schedules.

Today I cut down the tired morning glory in our mailbox flower bed across the road (it's a freestanding one, not against a sunny brick wall as my flower bed is... so was mostly silver-grey sticks with a few gay brave leaves and half-sized flowers...)

Found the Hummingbird plant (originally frozen) in the pink pot I had used to start the morning glories has come back. So pretty.

So now I've a fresh clean empty flower bed around our mailboxes, my sister's & mine, and a pretty pink flower pot with some healthy spring-green hummingbird stems (imagine them growing all that time, sheltered under the morning glories...)

#1 son is home from school now (2:30 p.m.),time to dispense snacks and advice and motherly fussings. He's a Junior in high school, Honors this and Honors that. Rather irreverent at times, very smart, cute to boot. Good kid, if I do say so myself.

I'll leave in a bit to drive him to his new job - he's working a Christmas tree lot! Big tips for cute helpful polite young men! While I'm out I'll try to mail off (finally) the tapes I assembled (for you and for the dark-and-fair lady).

Also an early Christmas gift or two (no expense, don't fuss!), one of which is to be opened whenever you want a more Christmasy atmosphere, and the other when you need a Bunny Booster.

Peace to you. Give St. Sebby a love-tap from me. Tell him the cane syrup is on the way.
Posted by Rossweisse (# 2349) on :
Words pretty much fail me -- so ((((((Molly)))))).

Purrs from the feline persons, and prayers from the offspring units and from me. God bless you now and forevermore.

St. Seb, God bless you too.

Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Oh my dear Molly.. God is holding you so very close to his heart of love....

and in our way, we are too.
Posted by sharkshooter (# 1589) on :
Dear Miss Molly:

It has been a very long time since I have posted on your threads. For that, I offer my humblest apologies – no excuses would suffice.

Thank you for the insight you have provided in the past months, I have read much and prayed much, and posted rarely. I am ashamed at the way I have felt about the things in my life that I am unhappy about when I compare my attitude to yours. I have been so petty. Lord, forgive me.

My daughter (the 7 year-old) started taking piano lessons this fall – she is doing well, and loves it. My wife plays, but rarely since the kids were born because our days are so full of busyness. My son (6 in January) is a handful. So full of love, but with that also come the other emotions that are sometimes overwhelming.

My wife and I are both teaching Sunday School this year (I have an adult class and my wife teaches grade 3 and 4’s). This is a new experience for both of us, and helps to take up some of the free time ( [Wink] ).

I miss our “chats” in the old café [Frown] , the new café just isn‘t the same – and there seem to be less people there lately (or maybe it is just the times that I show up – I don’t access it from work anymore).

You are an inspiration to us all! [Not worthy!]

God bless you.

p.s. They put my square near the cats [Eek!] ! Surely that is a sign of the end times!
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
I actually had a quick MSN chat with the Molly last night! I don't usually get to use the computer in the early evening, & so miss her when she's on; what fun!

Hey, Miss M., forgot to tell you, the tape cases are not punctured to prevent over-taping. You should punch out the tabs when they arrive, (unless you want to use them for something else... maybe St. Seb will want to secretly tape your verbal scourgings!)

Did I tell you, my boy who's working his first "real" job at the Christmas tree lot, is earmarking most of his earnings for helping his girl pay for some college courses her scholarships won't cover? Molly (sniffle, tremulous smile, unobtrusively wiped tear), ain't he sweet?
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear brothers and sisters, dear shipmates. I am so moved by your generosity and affection. Each time I think I have plumbed an amazing depth of sweetness and regard, the plumb line finds a further depth of love in all of you.

Thank you so much for continuing to tell me about your lives! It may look to others as though I am housebound, but in reality I travel to Australia, to Chinese Gardens and sidewalks under jacarandas, to Louisiana to see beautiful plants I had never heard of and to walk on lovely soft ground, through unfamiliar ground covers, on trains in the United Kingdom, to lost and founds for Virgin Railways, to ancient libraries and cathedrals, into people's alleyways and backyards and backgardens! All of this is such refreshment of spirit.

It may look to others as though I am alone here, but in reality I am surrounded by friends: feline, lapine, reptilian, homo sapiens adults and children. I hear about your days and deeds with most loving interest. I read your posts, receive your gifts, look at your cards taped to my wall, and I admit it, talk sometimes to your photos. I am able to chat with some of you on messenger, which is wonderful, but I chat with you all in my heart. Please know I am united to you in prayer, as well. Praying is one thing that I can do, short of breath and otherwise useless as I may be.

You might be interested in the following tape fragment:

Helpless Invalid: My mother will be staying with me after Christmas. She is worried about picking me up off the floor if I fall.

Male Voice: She can call me and I will come over and yank on your arms.

Helpless Invalid: Please be careful! You know they are only pegged on!

Male Voice: I figure when the pain overrides your laziness you will get up!

By the way, I don't know why St Sebastian objects to accompanying me into the next world. I had seen a program which included footage of Frogmore and noted the lovely double effigy of HM your late Queen Victoria, and her Consort. I had planned a similar marble tribute for myself and St Sebastian, but if he chooses to remain alive, I suppose I must respect his wish. [Disappointed]
Posted by jedijudy (# 1059) on :
Molly, dear Jedi Sister. Just a case you forget, that the Jedi Convent has multiple prayers daily for your comfort and peace.

This year we will have two turkeys for Thanksgiving! One will be smoked and one roasted with pecan dressing. There will be so much food here in my small shack that there won't be room for the guests to sit! One of the things we do is to go around the tables telling God what we are thankful for. My first thought is my gratitiude to have you as my dear friend. When you're at that Heavenly banquet, I hope you'll be reminded of the love we all have for you. (And St. Seb doesn't want to go with you? Don't quite understand that.)

<jj bows deeply to her honored sister and to St. Sebastian who has been "gooder'n ary angel">
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
How odd: my memory of that conversation is more like this:

Tyrannical Harridan: You know sometimes I prefer to lay on the floor. It helps my back and I can check to make sure you've cleaned the bottoms of the shelves. You may get a call from the old crone whining that she can't get me off the floor. I expect you to get your ass over here double-quick. She's so incompetant she's liable to pull my arms off.

Gentle, Caring Male Voice: Well, Miss Molly, you know she's old and not well. Perhaps it hurts her to try and manage by herself?

Tyrannical Harridan: Hurt! I'll show her the meaning of hurt! It's laziness, pure and simple, the stupid old biddy. By the way, did you know that in ancient mesopotamia when a Diva. . .I mean, Queen died they would break the legs of a servant and entomb him alive with her? Isn't that sweet?
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Hello Molly,

Saturday was a mixture of bright sunshine and heavy downpours, and the little open air market was sparkling after the last rain. I quite like buying a hot dog from one of the stalls and eating it as I wander around. Otherwise I never buy anything – it’s one of those places that does gigantic amounts of cut price fruit and veg for extremely low prices, which not being a family of 6 I would find difficult to manage – but it’s fun to look, and sample the olives, and smile at the pictures which tend to be of puppies with bows round their necks in baskets, and elderly Spitfires, and that sort of thing, before getting on.

It was also nice to look around the newly opened little museum, much smarter than I had expected, with flat screens displaying changing photos or film clips, and models for the children to try out. Considering that my town doesn’t actually have a lot of history I was amazed at how well things were presented in a way that caught the interest and captured the imagination of people of all ages, and I spent at least half an hour there.

From the tall glass windows you look out onto the canal, which has barges and houseboats on it. The towpath is paved in darkish red brick that matches the walls and tiny bridges, and is very smart and modern and together with the equally modern street lamps looks just like the Birmingham canals. As I stood there a houseboat actually sailed under the museum and through the lock on the other side. I was intrigued to see it had a fully decorated Christmas tree in the front – can’t help wondering if it had been left over from the year before.

They also have a lovely café downstairs which opens onto the canal so you can sit out in the summer with a drink and watch the boats, so I had lunch inside, which was nice.

After that I dropped into a pet shop near my flat, which had some lovely little birds, full of life and energy, and two red parrots with lilac tails, all vying noisily for attention. But what I liked best was an endearing little black rat with lovely fur and an alert, streetwise expression. I’d never really thought of rats as pets before but he seemed to have a lot more personality and intelligence than your average mouse, and I came away rather wishing I could have taken him home.

Well, I had better go as I shall be late for my tr**n, which has decided to be early these days, but take care and will be in touch again soon.
Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
Dear Molly, I thought you might like another view of commuting to London - or rather, the nicer half of a journey to work.

I work in Westminster, travelling in to the new and very spiffy Westminster underground station. The new stations on the Jubilee line have won universal acclaim for their modern design, but Westminster is a bit of an acquired taste. I think you'd have to call the style "industrial" - it's like being inside an enormous hollow grey box with escalators and walkways intertwining, rising and falling and hanging in space all over the place. It's completely different from the claustrophobic enclosed tunnels everywhere else on the system. Sometimes I feel like an extra from the old SF film "Metropolis!" At one point, you can be going up an escalator, look over the handrail and see trains going past almost underneath your feet. It's amazing, but I do feel sometimes like a cog in a giant machine.

If I time my journey right, I come out of the station almost underneath Big Ben just as the clock is bonging out the chimes for 8 am. I've worked here for many years now, but it still gives me a bit of a buzz to walk through Parliament Square, past the statue of Winston Churchill (The Greatest Briton! Yeah!) and think "this is mine".

Next my walk takes me round the side of Westminster Abbey, looking clean and shining on a bright morning like today. A couple of weeks ago the green area to the side of the Abbey was a mass of red with the little Remembrance poppy crosses for Remembrance Day.

Then I walk through Deans Yard, a large tree lined quadrangle at the side of the Abbey. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees now, but they are still lying around in gold-brown heaps to be swept up. Deans Yard also contains Westminster School - a public (fee paying) school, and at that time in the morning the boys are on their way to early classes. The younger ones are all very cute and Harry Potterish, the older ones look very smart and grown up in their school uniforms and ties and neat short haircuts. They are all very well spoken and earnest, because these are the children of the "elite" - there are probably one or two future Cabinet Ministers in every class.

Sometimes I can hear a choir practising somewhere, through an open window - isn't there something magical about "overhearing" music?

Next I wend my way through a network of little narrow streets lined with narrow, tall old London town houses - this is some of the most expensive property in London, because of its proximity to Parliament. This area looks exactly the same as it must have a couple of hundred years ago. Many politicians live here and sometimes you recognise a familiar face coming out of one of the houses. These streets are among the few in London still lit by gaslight - when I am retracing my steps in the evening in the dark, I can easily imagine a Hansom cab coming round the corner with Sherlock Holmes inside!

Not far to go now - my next stop is the coffee shop on the ground floor of my building, where I grab my daily latte to energise me for a long day behind the computer, with short breaks to lurk on the Ship and see if there is any more news of you, dear Molly.

Love, Sparrow
Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:
Male Voice: I figure when the pain overrides your laziness you will get up!

You two are an absolute scream! Your antics have had me convulsed with laughter many times. I have got to wonder what Molly's Momma is going to think about all of this.

And now to my day...

Tis a proper November day at last! Tis very cold outside, there is driving rain and the sky is so dull and overcast. As I was walking past my tiny front garden I saw that almost all of my bulbs were pushing through. I am now worried that a nasty frost will come along and hurt them. It would be very sad if there were no daffodils, snow drops and tulips to look forward to in Spring. My iris are also coming through. I hope that I don't lose them.

The cubs are back at school after a day off due to sickness. I hope that they are okay. Tis the time when people come down with all sort of sniffs and snuffles. Make sure that you dunk St Seb in disinfectant when he comes visiting, we don't want you getting some sniffles for Thanksgiving.

It was my small cub's birthday recently. Her aunt sent her a couple of books.When she saw what they were she gasped "I am so excited". It was really sweet to watch the cubs sitting on the sofa, snuggled under a blanket. The big cub reading to the small one.

Posted by Wandering with Hope (# 3431) on :
Miss Molly -

I am currently trying to teach my daughter (who just received her learner's permit) how to drive. My entire head will be gray by the time she gets her license. We went to the store yesterday (with my son clinging on in the back seat) and as soon as we turn onto the main road there is a duck in the middle of the road. Of course the daughter-unit would NEVER hit a duck so she goes around it (by going in the other lane) luckily no other cars were around. At this point my son is trying to figure out how to get out of a moving car. All was fine after that until we get to the parking lot. It appears that daughter-unit likes to try out a minimum of 6 parking spaces before she finds one she likes. FINALLY we park the car. My son bounds out of the car, comes over to me and without moving his mouth and under his breath says "mom - your driving home right", my reply of course is "hush she'll hear you". His reply is "mom - please drive home - for MY sake". The funniest part was the stunned expression on his face. He looked like he was about to have a nervous breakdown. I wonder if it's possible for a 11 year old to turn gray?

Many hugs,
Wandering w/ Hope
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:
I had planned a similar marble tribute for myself and St Sebastian, but if he chooses to remain alive, I suppose I must respect his wish. [Disappointed]

Oh, fear not, Miss M; a doorless, windowless room could easily be attached, with a very small slot for food to be passed through from time to time. We can make the arrangements quite easily. [Two face]

PS: St. Seb can answer this if it is easier for all concerned -- did the CD arrive yet?
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Sparrow, I enjoyed your walk lovely! You do know that Winston Churchill 's mother was an American? [Wink]

Miss Molly, my boss and I are getting along much better at work, praise be to God. I still plan on looking for a new job come 2003, but for now, it is nice to have her in better spirits.

I rented the Spirit Stallion movie popular here for little niece got very excited and kept commenting the whole time..."You must not cut their [horses'] hair! They DON'T LIKE THAT!" "He just wants to be free, they should let him be free!" And afterwards..."you aren't taking that movie home?" [me] "Well, yes, I must since I rented it" [niece]"You can buy that for me for Christmas, I would like that."

My little 5 year old nephew's latest thing is to force you to look at whatever he is talking about...he wanted me to see the picture he drew...while I was eating dinner, so he stood next to me and forcefully turned my face to where picture was. I admired it and then continued to eat dinner. Then he decided I really needed to try his snacks...I told him "NO" but he kept at me. Finally, he started sticking them one by one in my mom. I was talking about suddenly being forcefed. I just chewed on them...and then realised what was happening...and lost it laughing. It is funny to be dominated by a little fearless 5 year old.

I am glad you have St. Sebastian and Marion to help you. May God bless your time here, we are certainly blessed by you. My prayers are with you. I hope you enjoy Thanksgiving tomorrow.
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
snacks were stuck in my MOUTH not my MOM! Dang it, I am loopy. Arggh. [Smile]
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:
I had planned a similar marble tribute for myself and St Sebastian, but if he chooses to remain alive, I suppose I must respect his wish. [Disappointed]

Oh, fear not, Miss M; a doorless, windowless room could easily be attached, with a very small slot for food to be passed through from time to time. We can make the arrangements quite easily. [Two face]

What a good idea, dear and chaste master! I believe the Orthodox tradition has a long history of people choosing to be immured for holiness' sake; I am sure that St Sebastian will consider it prayerfully.

I did indeed, receive the hamtaro album yesterday evening; thank you very much indeed.

Welsh Dragon, you inquired how I was enjoying the new Terry Pratchett that Sparrow so generously sent. I loved it, as the Patrician and Sam Vimes are, to my way of thinking, the two pillars of Ankh-Morpork. I see the Assassins' Guild agrees with me. Indeed, there is a theology, of a very British, decent men making their way through somehow variety.

Saint Sebastian, despite his concerns regarding his existence after my demise, is attending our Thanksgiving Day dinner tomorrow. This will give me a good chance to try out the zombie drops that PaulC brought me back from Haiti. (A small dose only, just to see if they will work when used in earnest the day of my funeral. Always thoughtful of others, I am attempting to grant his wish of remaining alive, but in a fashion that will render his immurement not too disagreeable to him.)
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Happy Thanksgiving to you Miss Molly! Sounds like it will be fun and if I didn't have to drive so far, I'd join in. (Perhaps St. Seb wouldn't notice if someone else just tucked into the kitchen and got him his drink....! I too, was hoping that you've kept that wonderful gold ribbon for him, we'll need something to tie his jaw up with so it just doesn't hang there and flap open during the entombment.)
Praise Him, they who laugh with joy.
Praise Him, they who dance with stars.
Praise Him, they who see more than this earth.
Praise Him all who are loved by Him!
Prayers for you, prayers for all who love you dearly.
Lady A
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Family off to usual Wednesday Bible study. Guaranteed to be at least 1.5 hours longer than usual due to shopping for Thanksgiving side dish materials tonight (God Bless Wal-Mart).

Me home not feeling up to snuff (but definitely up to posting...)

Snuck the Christmas music into the CD player. Simmering water/nutmeg/cloves, just fer fun. Bulldog Ginger snoring counterpoint to "Evening in December" by First Call. Mr. Kitty out protecting the house from alien Toms.

Thinking of dear MM and her loving nearby ones and her parents, and all the lovely people who post a little world here for her.

Happy Holidays, folks.
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Hello, my dear.... there are many airports around the SF airport, as I now well know... facing a homeward journey on the morrow...
I have had a fabulous time away, but am glad to be going home, and to enjoy the familiar things again.
Molly, it is such fun to collect a heartful of memories! I have enjoyed myself, and daily thank God...
I start back chaplaining on Monday, but sometime next week will begin looking for a soft bilby toy, or Australian marsupial similar, to send to you as promised.
I hope you sleep well tonight, secure in the knowledge that God's loving arms cradle you close to her heart!
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Woman, you DO realize I read this thread? I'll be bringing my own beverages tomorrow, thank you very much. ChastMastr, could I have word with you outside? [Paranoid]
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hello Molly,

It's so good to hear your print again! Winter is drawing in apace wetly here and the season of Christmas carols is hard upon us. (This is partly because this is a University town with short 8 week terms; term is coming to an end in 10 days or so and the students will have to fit their Christmas festivities in pretty sharpish if they want to celebrate with their friends...) And of course we don’t have Thanksgiving (is this a dumb English question, or does this mean you get twice as many mandatory massive turkey dinners?…)

The patients in the psychiatric hospital where I work had a "bizarre"(that’s how one of the nurses managed to spell it) on the 14th November, a bit early perhaps, but chosen by democratic patient vote. At the other hospital where I work, lopsided wreaths and curiously shaped knitted infants are festooning the corridors courtesy of the fund-raising attempts of the occupational therapy department. I have been chivvying the nurses on the ward into organising a Ward Christmas Do at which someone will no doubt Do Something They Regret that will go into the annals of hospital folklore...

I am sure actually that all this activity is probably pretty similar to hospitals both sides of the Atlantic. After all, it's important to remember the real meaning of and parties...

...that is to say people having an excuse to get together and be generous and celebrate and be joyful...together with the religious festival that got amalgamated with the ancient winter festivities (I do like Christmas, I really do...)

Am so glad you liked the new Pratchett (good idea Sparrow…) My idea of heaven I think would be to discover a library of books by new authors I had never read…who were all diverting, witty, poignant and profound in their own inimitable ways…and had all written 30 or so previous books to delve into…that were at least as good…mmmm….

Anyhow, will insomniacly try to get more sleep…

You take care xxx

And love also to the anchorite-to-be St. Seb.

Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
Hello Molly,

Work continues at Chateau Duo Seraphim. The dust has abated somewhat - but now they are painting a waterproof membrane on the concrete so the place smells like a petrochemical works.

I am concerned that my de facto cat Figaro (a lilac Burmese girl despite the name) will get a nasty shock from sticky paws if she pays me a visit tonight.

I am off to reform education for readers (apprentice barristers) at the Bar now - future victims will, no doubt, call me cursed.
Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
Originally posted by welsh dragon:
My idea of heaven I think would be to discover a library of books by new authors I had never read…who were all diverting, witty, poignant and profound in their own inimitable ways…and had all written 30 or so previous books to delve into…that were at least as good…mmmm….

WD, living in Oxford I wonder if you're a Peter Wimsey fan? Do you know of the sequels written by Jill Paton Walsh? Of course sequels written by other authors rarely come up to the standard of the origials, but the other JPW one (Thrones, Dominations) wasn't half bad. Anyway I saw today she has written another one

[sparrow dives under her desk to retrieve her copy of the Times]

called "A Presumption of Death". Based on notes which DLS left for a story set in 1940. Might be worth a try!
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
I have a thankful heart today, Miss Molly. It's my last proper day of work before I go on a week's holiday. Tomorrow I'm at a conference in York, which enables me to spend some time afterwards eating Fat Rascals in Betty's tea shop with the delightful Sophs. It will be the first time we've met in the flesh. We'll raise a cup of tea to you!

Then I'm off to Preston (Lancashire) with Peter to spend some time with his parents, and then we spend a few days with my parents in South Wales. The week will be a flurry of rushing around stuffing presents into people's arms, as it will be the only chance we have to see them before Christmas. Not exactly relaxing, but great fun.
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Good morning, Molly dearest, and a very happy Thanksgiving to you and yours - and to all our US shipmates [Smile]

The sun is shining here - there's a bright blue sky with a few pretty, white clouds up there too. Unfortunately the scenic outdoors has to hidden away behind the blinds this morning; otherwise, until the sun moves round a bit I can't see my screen!

B is full of cold at the moment, and I'm fighting one off - I will not give in to it when I'm just getting back into all my singing! Especially as we may have another recording coming up soon...! Mr B is working hard on his thesis now - I think looking for a parish and getting so close to it being finalised has really given him the incentive to press on with it now, so that the bulk of it is done by the time he's ordained.

The pussy cats decided last night to show that they and not we, are in charge. As I got home from the supermarket at about 9.45, I left the front door open for a couple of minutes while I was bringing the bags in from the car. Predicatable as ever, George decided it was time to go out, even though he knows he's not supposed to go out of the front door. Darn, I thought - that's him out for the night.

About 10 minutes later, as I was just finishing putting things away, he appeared at the kitchen window, not entirely sure if he wanted to come in, but apparently feeling that he really ought to be there... As I opened the door to let him in, out ran Alice - and as I held the door open to call her back, out went George again! Fortunately he's a bit of a piglet, so the promise of some treats got him in quickly - but Alice decided no, there was something she just needed to check on down the garden, so off she ran... [Roll Eyes]

Then, a little later, as I was feeding the bunnies, back she came - hooray! A careful bit of cat-holding (George) and treat-rattling (at Alice), and eventually we were all back in the house, ready to settle down for the night. [Smile]

The cats send purrs & cuddles, bunnies send you whiffles & nose-rubbings, and lots of love, hugs & prayers from all of us.

Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
My dearest Dame Molly,
Sorry for not having posted here recently - I hope I have made up on that with our little chats on MSN. I am continuing to save this thread to disc as promised - please tell your Mum that it is a pleasure to do so [Wink] .
Things in the Dolphy household are good and we all send our love. Brandy and Jessie are becoming real love birds; they now have to lie on our bed before we go to sleep and have a kiss and a cuddle. This means that Brandy will lick Jessie's ear and then they lie side by side touching paws. Jack and I are thinking of moving into the spare room and leaving them too it!!!
Keep an eye out for the post Molly [Wink]
God bless you and yours and a Happy Thanksgiving too.
As ever and always,
Dolphy, Jack, Brandy and Jessie, and love from my parents too. xxx [Love]
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
St. S: Why, certainly you may have a word with me outside -- here you go:


But you can take it inside as well if you like; it is big but I don't expect many crumbs.

"Dame Molly"? Is that anything like Dame Edna? [Confused]

Happy Thanksgiving, possums!
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
Dame Molly like Dame Edna???!!!!! God for-bloody-bid!



and yes-there REALLY is a place called Moonee Ponds!
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear brothers and sisters, dear shipmates! Good morning to you in the UK and the continent, and a gentle stroke of the cheek to wake up the eastern US shipmates, a few more sweet dreams to the westerly US shipmates, and a wish for a nice last cuppa before bed to the Oz shipmates.

Dear Dragon of the Welsh, certainly many Americans have a huge turkey dinner both at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but we plan to eat ham at the December festivity. Since the side dishes will remain the same, it will still be a huge meal! As well as the meat, we have both white and sweet potatoes. green beans, celery stalks stuffed with cream cheese with crushed nuts blended in, black and green olives, special homebaked rolls, a special cranberry relish, pumpkin pie, and as often as possible, a special strawberry and nut dessert, blended into gelatin and topped with a sauce of cream cheese and marshmallows. With turkey, we have a bread dressing made with sage, onion, and celery. As this is my favorite part of the meal, I shall be lobbying hard for dressing at Christmas, although it won't see the inside of a turkey!

Dear and chaste master, I received also a lovely magazine from you, about Lewis and Clark. I had a splendid time vacationing in history while I read it.

My Jedi Sister, Judy, thank you for sending on the quilt blocks from the Campbellite, from a certain friendly alligator, and from someone unidentified (or at least I have not located a signature yet) who wishes me to be dressed in Christ. All these squares are lovely and much appreciated.

Dear Marchioness, I played the CD of you and the rest of the choir for my parents last night. It was much enjoyed by all!

Beets, my lovely, I am glad to hear things move on well towards ordination and the new parish. I was amused but not at all surprised by the cat show of power. The other night a lady in Oz, who like myself has occasional lapses in memory due to illness, and I were saying we would be fine as long as we remembered: our respective names, that we were friends, and that cats ruled the world! Of course, I have an ace in the hole as far as name recollection goes, as PaulC has promised to remind me of my name as often as necessary!

No, my name is not Barry Humphries! I checked with my mother, and also checked for any Humphries-ish masculine bits about my person. Negative on all counts.

I am glad that things are moving towards a snug house conclusion at the Casa Duo Seraphim. I have been much interested in your travails, and hoping the mess would be cleared up and all the moisture sealing etc., done soon.

Golf demi-god Brent, and dear shooter of sharks, in your honor I watched golf on Sunday morning. It was the match at Tiburon, which I believe was designed by a golfer you are interested in, my Canadian shipmate!

My parents and I thank all of you for your warm wishes. We had a lovely Thanksgiving Day. Marian had a migraine and so was unable to be our guest, but St Sebastian appeared. He brought lovely orange and yellow flowers. I do not know what they are called, and they are not sunflowers, but they remind me of Van Gogh's Sunflowers for some reason. I admire Van Gogh because his love and faith, even during distress and increasing mental difficulties, radiate from his paintings.

I did not put any zombie drops in St Sebastian's food, being forbidden this course of action by my father, who as a church elder, tends to be a stickler on these matters. This is probably just as well, since he must accompany my father on a furniture-buying expedition this morning.

I hope you will think this a good use of a portion of your touchingly generous gift, dear shipmates; I have decided to buy one of those chairs in which the seat rises and lifts you most of the way to your feet. It is undetermined yet whether it or my black chair will then go into my bedroom. I am finding it increasingly difficult to sleep in a bed, so the plan is to rearrange the bed so the table with my fighter mask is between it and a chair, so I can use it in either sleeping mode.

Smiles, hugs, kisses, whuffles, strokes and side scratchings as appropriate to all whom I am privileged to call shipmate!
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
I don't know why I didn't think to bossily recommend one of those stand-up chairs before... It was an odd lapse on my part as I usually revel in telling people what they ought to do.

Remembering times when my breathing was restricted... such as, final portions of pregnancies. (All the babies insisted upon tap dancing alternately on my bladder and my lungs.) (Middle son weighed 10# 4 oz. & was almost 2 ft tall at birth. And I'm not quite 5'5".)

Anyway, the best sleep I got in those weeks (some of the best sleep I've had any time) was in a recliner. I could tilt my head up, take my weight off my spine, put my feet up. It was great!

I don't own one now, but I still choose the recliner any time I'm "camping out" at someone else's house. They think I'm being all noble and everything, leaving the beds for others, but I (& now you) know what's really going on. [Two face]

Molly, I am so relieved your friends & loved ones are able to get to you. I run into a lot of "alone" people in limited circumstances in my church work, and (please it God) hope I help them a little, but nothing replaces a relative or close friend being nearby to champion you & fuss you & take you to task when you need it.


Our Thanksgiving meal was designed by my Michael & cooked bravely and single-handedly by moi. The only thing I didn't get to do, so I may do it for Christmas, is a dish of baked sweet potatoes with so much brown sugar, walnuts, pecans, etc., it might as well be candy. Mike prefered the potatoes (yams, really, as big as an NFL football) simply baked in foil, served with a little cinnamon & butter.

We also had seafood-stuffed mushrooms, jalapeno cheese bread, a green salad (lettuce, spinach, grape tomatoes and cucumbers), and field peas over rice and corn. These are his favorites, although only the mushrooms rank as "holiday".

And the TurDucHen. That's a deboned turkey, stuffed with a deboned duck, stuffed with a deboned hen, stuffed with stuffing. Sausage, in our case. Mike wondered why it wasn't called a 'TurDucHenAge'.

All the preoccupation with food! Really, it's the mental/emotional connections, the family traditions, etc., I think. That and the fact that it's a special day because Mom is actually cooking!

Happy Holidays to you all, especially to the Divine Miss Molly.


(P.S. Welsh Dragon, have you seen any sign of a bulky envelope from Louisiana?)
Posted by jedijudy (# 1059) on :
Hi Molly! We had a terrific day yesterday! Wall-to-wall people, platters and bowls of food and much merriment.

We had 31 pounds of turkey all together, and there's hardly any left! There were almost as many potatoes, I boiled and smashed 15 pounds, and my friend brought a huge bowl of sour cream smashed taters. Plus my other friend brought a sweet potato/ cranberry dish. Yummy! We had squash and corn and green bean casserole, friut salad, and three kinds of cranberry relish, including "Mama Stamburgs Famous Cranberry Relish" which has horseradish in it. (Yum!)

As we sat at table, and told tales, the gracious hostess (me) was roasted and ripped to shreds! I'm just surprised they didn't tell "the Gravy Story"...again.

"The Gravy Story"

When I was about 15 years old, my parents were called out of town unexpectedly, so they left a note for me (as the eldest) which I received after school. It had instructions for preparing the meal, and other household duties to attend to until their return late that night. I was to roast a chicken, cook mashed potatoes and peas, and make apple waldorf salad, all of which I had done on many previous occasions. The new thing was to make gravy. Mom knew I had never done that, so she left ingredients and amounts. I followed her instructions precisely, and stirred, and stirred and stirred the gravy. I stirred that stuff for at least a half hour, and it didn't turn into gravy. I figured something was wrong, but didn't quite know what, so I served it "as is". My siblings protested that the gravy didn't look right, but ate everything else.

Mom had just assumed that I knew you have to cook the gravy . [Roll Eyes]
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Such a relaxing day for us this year. Only my Mom, and my two boys were around. We did turkey and stuffing, carrots and corn, mashed potatoes, cranberry fruit bread, gravy, fruit salad. Not a lot of work, but well worth the time to cook and eat! We managed to get done rather earlier than we had thought we would, and so drove out to Mt. Angel Abbey about 35 minutes from here.

We were in time to look around a bit before Vespers. It is set on a beautiful hill top. As we turned off the road out of Mt. Angel, we came up a long narrow winding roadway. Along the right side are small huts, back, two short sides and a roof, where they have the 12 stations of the cross. They looked beautiful, all in carved relief with vivid colors. Nestled along a winding pathway, and lit for the deepening evening. The monastery is beautiful with sandy-rosish colored bricks for all the buildings. The library is magnificent and I shall have to go there some day to walk among the books and monks, and look out at the incredible view. We could just see Mt. Hood 50 miles off in the distance, the new snow calling the night in by putting on its alpenglow cloak. I read a plaque under a giant sequia up there that had been planted in 1939 (I laughingly called my Mom over to show her that she was older than the tree....!). We could see the bells for the calling of the monks, ropes disappearing down into another building. There is a Guardian Angel up between the church and the retreat building. She is gentle, wings outstretched, holding a small child by the hand. We walk into the quiet but open retreat house. There is a light on upstairs. We see a gift shop (the truffle boxes were calling my name), and the office of the guestmaster. Outside is a small pond with a waterfall. There are fish in there! and I wonder if they freeze up during the winter.

We decide to go into the church and get ready. We have no idea what to do and wait for someone else to come in. A lovely couple come in and get us the Vesper book and show us on the board that we are to be at the 56th reading. The church is fairly modern, the rosish brick all around. A huge pipe organ is in the back, but tonight there are only us 4, the nice couple and just 3 other people in the main church. The bells call us to worship. The monks file in. I have never had an experience like this before and it is beautiful. We chant Psalm 46. I feel wonderful as one of the other chants is the Magnificat. It is amazing to me that this is being sung all around the world tonight. That probably there is not a moment of the day where this has not been heard and witnessed by the stars, or caught the ear of God.

We step outside into the dark night, the stars are gently singing since no angels have appeared. The lights from the surrounding valleys shine off into the far distance. We head for home nearly getting lost in the labyrinth of back roads through the farm country, but the pumpkin pie has been patiently waiting for us.

Sunday night is Advent and we will be taking an Advent walk here at a local golf course.
Love to you in the walking, I'll be thinking of you as all the lights shine in the darkness...
Lady A
Posted by Bronwyn (# 52) on :
Just want to say have and will continue to be busy but am trying to see what is going on, still this moving busness is hard. I have MSN now :-) I begged the computer owner for it.

[Big Grin]
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hello Molly,

All this talk of food is making me very hungry you know.

It's fascinating really, because it's pretty similar to traditional English festive winter cookery and yet subtly different; the sweet potato for example, not a vegetable we are used to using much. I am also wondering whether I have been unfair to celery. Maybe I will experiment this Christmas. I am so glad that you have all been having such a lovely time with your families.
Maybe we should have more excuses for festive winter dinner parties.

Wow, Lady A that's really beautiful btw. Have you read the novel Miss Garnet's Angel by Sally Vickers? It's rather good. I read it some time ago, and then I was talking to this very wise priest (Anglican) about some stuff in my life, and he said, go read this book. It's all about this woman who takes a chance on life, goes to Venice (meets some rather wonderful Americans on the way). And all through her journey, in all sorts of ways a journey, through this baroque and wonderful city, with its ancient carvings and magnificent art and quiet candlelit corners, with people as always with their own reasons for behaving the ways that they do, all the way through there are angels. It is a book overshadowed by feathery wings that are just out of sight...

Do you know I had not the faintest idea I was going to start writing about that when i sat down?

Anyhow, I am going to get something to eat because I am absolutely starving.

God Bless

WD xxxx
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear Brothers and Sisters, dear Shipmates...

Thank you Lady A, for the gentle and evocative account of your trip to the monastery. Welsh Dragon's suggestion of a book sounds wonderful; I would also like to recommend a book called Cloister Walk. I am glad you had a peaceful, happy time with your sons and your mother.

Dear Sister Jedi, that sounds like one wonderful spread and group of dining companions. I have never had relish with horseradish in it; what an amazing idea. Our cranberry relish is ground up berries, combined with some cherry flavored jello an orange and its peel, and pecans.

Ma jolie Janine, that sounds like a real, rollicking Cajun time you had. I was imagining some two-step music! I hope the diners were sufficiently grateful for all that work, especially deboning the various fowl. I bow down and so does my mother. We usually eat our sweet potatoes baked with some butter, but my mother occasionally bakes them and then heats them through with a mixture of orange juice and brown sugar. Thank you, by the way, for your concern and butting in on me! I am truly blessed, not only to have local friends, and family able to come and see me, but all my nosey and devoted shipmates!

Amiable dragon, I hope you found something decent to eat. Here there would have been left-over Thanksgiving food at the police stations and hospital wards, as normally people forced to work on the holiday will club together and bring a potluck of holiday dishes. The downside of that for you would be that Thanksgiving is a busy time for psychiatrists, probably second only to Christmas for emotional and mental distress, run-ins with the law and substance abuse. I wonder if Americans have a harder time because we have two "family happiness" holidays so close together? I know that for many years, the only way I could deal with these two holidays was to work Thanksgiving and deal with Christmas as a purely religious holiday. This was not because of a lack of love in my family of birth, but owing to my own failure to reproduce a family.

Dear Sister K., I have been thinking of you and Sean very often. I am glad to hear that, although busy you are getting things sorted. At some point, could you PM me your address, so I have it to send you the item we discussed?

Beloved Dolphy, we played your compilation CD last night, and much enjoyed it. My mother has been extremely entertained by your account of the lovebirds.

Mme Pipkin, I hope your maths exam went well. I prayed for you on the day, as only another person feeble at math can! I am glad you are enjoying your work at the midwifery unit. What is a cottage unit or cottage hospital, as I have sometimes run into the phrase?

I smell the delicious aroma of a breakfast burrito in preparation by my dear mother. I must away to eat this gustatory treat, as later this week it will be back to frozen entrees and Mickey D's!

I will try to post later today. In the meantime, God bless you all.
Posted by Rossweisse (# 2349) on :
Dear Molly,

We had a lovely Thanksgiving, with the four of us (plus two cats; the un-shy one made out very well); my sister-in-law, her husband and their daughter, in from New Hampshire for the occasion (their son is a freshman at the University of Hawaii); and two young Japanese women. I got over a killer sinus infection just in time to gain an appetite and regain the ability to taste my food -- Deo gratias!

Last night was a truly wonderful orchestra concert; today is crisp, clear and cold, and my husband and the Junior Child (the one who was a cat for Hallowe'en) are out raking leaves.

I am glad to see you better and posting!

A ho-jo-to-ho-o for you,

Posted by The one & only Nanny Ogg (# 1176) on :
Hello Molly,
Things in the Nanny Ogg room have been a bit of a mess recently having been told to rest up by doctors - but there is improvement I'm glad to say.

It means that I've spent a couple of days gazing out at the dull grey sky through the balcony windows seeing the occassional magpie on the roof.

The family have gone to their second home in Swanage on the Dorset coast. It is lovely in that part of the country - with such a varied coastline from the sandbanks on Studland Bay to chalk cliffs of Ballard Down and Old Harry rock to the beach at Swanage and round again to more cliffs at Tilly Win caves.

Because of all the geology the area holds bad memories of an A'level geography field trip - hours spent trudging the coastal walk marking out the various rock formations and pretending to be interested when all you really were interested in were the boys...

Still I did return for a rather insane holiday at a later date - camping with friends who were at university at the time. Memories od country dancing in Swanage town sentre whilst humming the theme tune to "The Archers" and kidnapping teddy bears...

I had a lovely visit from Welsh Dragon today - who came bearing food and cooked a wonderful lunch. It was lovely to have company and I felt so pampered and undeserving of her generosity. She is an angel [Angel]

I spent time not in the company of the wonderful dragon making my own Christmas cards. I've still a lot of sticking to do but they seem to be coming along fine. I have to get them finished by tomorrow afternoon when the family return otherwise there will be 4 children wanting to "help" which, whilst appreciated, may not be a very good idea.

Take care Molly
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :

Speaking of rollicking & dancing & Cajun music, you should be getting some in your mailbox about now. I haven't tracked down the traditional stuff yet, but I did send the slightly more modern type influenced by Zydeco. The kind you might hear at a "fais-do-do" (as to a baby, "make sleep").

St. Sebastian has been "speaking" to me if he notices me on line. Yet another "leak", dear, so do be good. [Big Grin]
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Molly's parents are the sweetest people! I enjoyed listening to them as we went chair-hunting. They've been married 50+ years and still call each other "honey". Their conversation reminds me of puppies at play, their sentences bounding into each other, rolling over each other, butting each other out of the way. They both tend to try to tell the same story simultaneously, but without the irritation one often hears in long-term couples doing the same. Molly has been holding out on us, it seems. The P's were telling me that in highschool I think it was she had articles or stories published in the Denver newspaper more than once. She was also rescued from a deadly mosquito attack following a shale landslide (of which she was a component)by a ruggedly handsome lineman for the phone company. My favourite story was that when her mother was sitting in the hallway of her first grade school waiting for a parent-teacher conference. The teacher checked the hall a couple of times, ignorning Mrs. Dillon each time. Finally, Mrs. Dillon went into the classroom and said, "excuse me, but wasn't my appointment at X O'clock?", which was a good 15 minutes past. The teacher burst into laughter. 6 year old Molly had told the teacher her father was an Indian and her mother a "raven-haired Spanish beauty". Having taken her at her word, the teacher overlooked the lovely but markedly Caucasion beauty in the hallway who proved to be the actual Mrs. Dillon. [Killing me]

I feel so awful for the two of them. They are all practical cheerfulness, but you can see the panic and grief in their eyes. [Frown]
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
Dear Brothers and Sisters, dear shipmates on two or four legs, with skin, fur, or scales. I am thinking affectionately of you all, late on a chilly Saturday night in Salt Lake City.

Preparations are being made for attendance at the early morning Eucharist at St Mark's, the service based on the Prayer Book of 1549, the form of devotion closest to my heart.

I have had my toenails cut (now I will not be able to employ them as deadly weapons on anyone who gets the rubrics wrong or is a tedious lector) and my hair trimmed. My parents have spiffed themselves up in Sunday go-to-meeting style as well. St Sebastian will be joining us.

I shall be able to see dear elderly friends in the parish: the Caffals, the Meiers, and the Lewons. Some of you may remember my attending the funeral of the Lewons' grandson last spring. His little coffin lay in the area just in front of the chancel steps. We all had to walk around it to go to Communion. At the time, I thought it a forceful and curious reminder that the way to our everlasting life is through death. Now every step and every breath reminds me.

But we will go, and draw strength from each other and from a centuries-old form of worship. Then we will return to my apartment, have brunch, and listen to the tapes from cher Janine and her friends, which arrived today.

May God send you all a happy and peaceful Sunday, and for you Nanny Ogg, continued recovery from your illness.
Posted by golden key (# 1468) on :
Hello, Miss Molly!

(waving from west of you)

Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
Originally posted by Lady A:
We chant Psalm 46. I feel wonderful as one of the other chants is the Magnificat. It is amazing to me that this is being sung all around the world tonight. That probably there is not a moment of the day where this has not been heard and witnessed by the stars, or caught the ear of God.

Thank you Lady A for sharing these beautiful images with us. I was especially moved by the image of the Magnificat being sung somewhere around the world every minute of the day. It reminded me of the lovely words from "The
Day Thou Gavest Lord is Ended:"

We thank thee that thy Church unsleeping
while earth rolls onward into light,
through all the world her watch is keeping,
and rests not now by day or night.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
It is perhaps a good idea that Miss Molly, her folks and St. Sebastian weren't going to listen to the "Blast From the Bayou", performed by Wayne Toups and Zydecajun, before going to worship. The stuff is positively infectious; they'd never get the proper contemplative attitude back on.

Somehow, I doubt that "centuries-old form of worship" includes two-step jigging in white shrimpers' boots up the main aisle.
Posted by golden key (# 1468) on :
Originally posted by Janine:
Somehow, I doubt that "centuries-old form of worship" includes two-step jigging in white shrimpers' boots up the main aisle.

Sounds like a good service, to me! [Smile]
Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
We lit the first candle on our Advent Wreath at St Francis on Sunday. It is a beautiful metre wide circle made of pink everlastings and lavender in front of the altar. The wreath was blessed and then sprinkled with holy water. As the first candle was lit, we sang "Rorate caeli de super, et nubes pluant justum" roughly translated as "Drop down dew from heaven and rain grace on the just". We will continue to light another candle each Advent Sunday (with a pink candle for Gaudete Sunday).

Thank you for your kind words about the horror of builders. It rained, as only Sydney can, on Saturday - the membrane held up. Unfortunately, they have been digging down below in the lower floor of my house, so water got in through the window they had taken out....

My nephew was born at 7.30 am on Friday morning. Like all neonates, he was red and looked like a little old man - very alert though, with blue eyes. They have given him Joseph Paul as his Christian names, his father being Paul Joseph. His two year old sister Bianca was a bit shocked and not that impressed at the sight of her mother, Hannah, with a baby. But then she cheered up and climbed up on the hospital chair to stare out of the window at the rain, the hail and the lightning, happily saying "Don't fall, don't fall."

On the other end of life, I have had to choose the readings and prayers, as well as the music for my old friend Allan's funeral on Wednesday, 4th December. I was given free choice - except for the recessional. His former partner Martin chose one of Allan's favourite songs "Fields of Gold", sung by its composer Eva Cassidy, to be played as we all leave the church, after Mass. We will sing the plainchant Allan loved in our choral robes (red soutane, white cotta).
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
My dear hearts. my thoughts and prayers are with you on this late Sunday night/very early Monday morning.

In my defense, St Sebastian, it must be said that my father indeed has Indian blood and is proud of it, and my mother's maiden name was Rivas. She just happens to belong to a mostly fairskinned family, even having a cousin Pilar who was blonde and blue-eyed!

May Allan's soul rest in peace, dear Seraphim. I know he will enjoy what you have chosen for him. All good wishes and prayers for every blessing to the new little man, and to his family. Thinking of your builders, I am reminded that the Ark was constructed in haste by an amateur, while the Titanic was put together over years by trained professionals!

(((((Golden_Key))))), my prayers continue for you. My friend Joyce is afflicted with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. She has been disabled for ten years, her case being one of the first granted SSI. She actually had to go to court, so their is legal precedent for a favorable decision in your case.

Ma cher Janine, we did indeed enjoy some of the music you sent, but have not reached the song involving white shrimpers' boots yet. I am in eager anticipation!

I was not able to attend church after all. I had passed a not-so-good Friday, and my parents were very concerned for my Saturday. At one point my parents wanted to take me to the emergency room because I looked so "awful" to them. I declined, as there was nothing that could be done for me but more oxygen. I am afraid, too, that they might decide to intubate me again, if I am unable to speak for myself, even though I have given power of attorney to my friend Marian.

I have become weaker over the past few days, and increasingly intolerant of activity. I now have to sit down on a chair placed next to the tub when I am through showering. I catch my breath, and then can finish drying off. This, despite having paused at least five times while showering to do nothing but breathe. I pause in my postings now, too, as even this small activity makes me tired.

I was in a great certain amount of pain last night, and worried because I could not take any more Acetaminophen for several hours. I knew also that I could not get any prescription on Sunday, as Dr Reilly's office is only open weekdays. I tried to lie down and sleep in my bed, feeling this would relieve me, but I could not breathe well enough lying down, even at the angle to which the head of the bed has been raised. I finally managed to fall asleep sitting up in my chair.

I have asked my mother to remain with me, and she has lovingly consented. My father will return to Colorado today. After my initial cowardly request, I got hold of myself and said, of course I was better now, and would be all right until Christmas, as it really is an imposition to ask her to come now. Among other things, she has a dentist appointment she will now miss. So I asked her to go, but she says she will be too worried about me if she goes now.

I am grateful she can stay; there is nothing like your mother when you are ill. I will do my best not to throw up or wet the bed, and I will eat and drink as much as I can of what she prepares. And she will hold my hand and hum to me when things are worse, and that will be the most comforting thing. I know some shipmates have not been fortunate in their family relationships; I report this pleasure at the approaching end of my life not to brag but to express profound thanks. I hope in each one's life there may be such love, although it may not be from a birth mother.

I will continue to read and post as I can. I am saving my strength to be in touch with my dear shipmates.
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hello Molly,

I am so sorry you are feeling weaker. And I am very glad you have your mother there with you. It is great that you are so very close. As you say there is nothing so comforting as a mother's love when you aren't well. God Bless you both, and your dad.

Oh and I wrote this last evening thinking of you and Lady A and my book - though it doesn't feel finished or together, but the mood seems appropriate...

Golden lights are distant in the winter sky
Advent candles flicker in the church
Angel wings are brushing on the window panes
The night is quiet and it’s filled with love
Far away the morning air is lightening
Softly lifts the day...

Posted by JoyfulNoise & Parrot, O'Kief (# 2049) on :
My dear Miss Molly,
Holding you in my heart, sorry you are feeling so weak at the moment.

JoyfulNoise and I went to see The Alchemist in a play to celebrate 15o years of Little St Mary's Church in Cambridge.

To make sure I could see everything that happenned JN placed me on the pew back right at the front of the church. From there I could see Seasick conducting the chorus, and the 6 Saints who were so lifelike sat or stood in their stained glass windows on the stage.

St Francis was a friend to all animals, he had a wee mouse scurrying at his feet, and St Monica was cuddling a most gorgeous Hippo (reputedly property of her 32 year old son, St Augustine). St Andrew did slightly concern me though, he proudly held a fish to teh fore throughout teh play, has no one told him they should be kept in water!

The play was most excelent, and I am pleased to say that JoyfulNoise didn't go to sleep once. (yeah!) which meant no noisy snoring to attract everyones attention.

Love to you from all in the JN&O'K household,
God Bless,
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
My dearest wonderful Molly,

Just to send you all our love and cuddles. Our love to your family too - give your Mum a hug from me.

Holding you tight my dear friend,

With all our love,
Dolphy, Jack, and Brandy and Jessie (I think a wedding is on the cards for these two love animals!!!)
Posted by Smudgie (# 2716) on :
My dearest Molly,

At last you force me to succumb and post on this thread which I never ever read. How could you??? I am sitting here, enjoying the decadence of drinking coffee and not getting bathed and dressed until mid-morning – you’ve taught me well, my friend. And how peaceful the house is now that the Smudgelets have departed for school. I am definitely getting too used to this life of leisure – it’ll come as a real shock to the system to have to start working again.

I am so glad to hear your mother is now going to stay with you. Please do give her my love – there should be a little bit left over out of all the love the boys and I are sending your way. You are indeed blessed with the love you have from your parents – just as I have been. We may moan about them from time to time - and times like these maybe pull us back from taking them for granted – but I for one really do appreciate how fortunate I have been. I only hope I can provide that same unconditional love and support for my two throughout their lives.

I am feeling slightly remiss as we have not quite got into Advent properly yet… the calendar we generally use is still tucked away somewhere at the bottom of the box I retrieved from the attic on Saturday. The candles are set up and ready to light. We settle down round the little coffee table in the lounge and Tiddles – in his esteemed position as man of the house – gets to light a match. The boys take it in turns to light the advent candle (and a couple of extra candles) and turn the lights off – although this year we shall be lighting three, as the boys made their own candles at church this weekend. Then we turn to the advent calendar. We use the same one every year. It’s a model of a stable, with a book. As the days of advent pass, we read one more page in the book which tells, slowly but surely, the story of the occupants of the stable. And with each page we read comes a cardboard figure or object to slip into the stable scene… the ox, the stable boy’s lunch, some kittens, a spider at the window who spins the word “peace” into his web… building up, of course, to Mary and Joseph and the infant Jesus. Read by candlelight, snuggled together on the sofa – what nicer way to get in the mood for Advent? And then, once they’re in bed, I raid the chocolate calendar which my friend buys for me to have hidden away in my room!!!!!

The two of them were allowed to stay up late last night for the Circuit Advent Service in our local church. The church was packed. It was lovely to hear the hymns sung with such gusto! Smudgelet was a bit overwhelmed by it all, but couldn’t go to sleep on my lap because he was far too nosey! (I remember the first year we took Tiddles and he did sleep on my lap, but was woken every few minutes during the sermon as the theme of it was “WAKE UP!”) The theme this year was the Christmon tree, with symbols of Christ being placed on the tree by a series of readers. The symbols were all in white and gold – an angel, a daisy, a star, a shepherd’s crook, a cross etc. It was really effective. I was asked to read and place a butterfly on the tree, while our lovely boy, dressed in his best Sunday clothes like in the photo (except a white shirt instead of blue) stood and read beautifully and clearly about the crown. I was so proud of him. Thank goodness I read first – last year he did a reading too, and I had to do one straight afterwards, and had trouble fighting back the lump in my throat to get the words out.

Molly, you know you are in our thoughts and prayers every day. God bless you. ~o~
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
My friend Judy, with whom I sing Southern Gospel music, an educator, specifically also a music therapist, is coordinating a multimedia Christmas display.

She is filming children reading the Christmas story from the Bible, explaining it in their own words, or sitting sweetly (and tartly) about listening to the other kids telling The Story. This will be edited together and the video played on a wide screen behind the usual manger sceen at her little Baptist church.

That'll probably bring out a few throat-lumps.
Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
Dear Molly,

Thinking of you all the time. So sorry to hear that you have been feeling weaker. Please pass on my regards to your mother. It's good to know that you have someone there with you, and what better person to have.

I'm pausing to write this before an early lunch -prior to rushing off across town. The work that has been taking up most of my time these last few weeks is near completion; it should, hopefully, pass out of my area of responsibility midweek. A couple of hours this afternoon should do the trick.

Ms M too, is up to her ears in project work, with her art coursework due in this week. The almost completed work is being temporarily housed in the dining/music room, (we eat mostly in the kitchen chez Miffy), and we are reminded regularly to SHUT THE DOOR! whenever we enter. The prospect of Mephi getting in and using the work as a scratching post doesn't bear thinking about! I fear that the old excuse 'the cat/dog/mouse ate my homework,' does not wash at the public exam stage. School is only five minutes walk from home, but British weather being what it is (and the work being half the size of Ms M), she has accepted her father's kind offer of a lift in on Thursday, the day of reckoning!

Meanwhile, the textiles project continues. She will be producing a costume loosely based on that of Lady Fuschia in Ghormenghast. This requires huge amounts of material. We may be able to skimp a wee bit on the quality, mind you. But not too much, as Ms M may well be called upon to model her creation at the school fashion show next year.

Our church held its Advent Eucharist yesterday evening. (The little ones had their Christingle earlier in the afternoon). There is something rather special about a wintertime evening's service. The choir processed up with their candles, those of the congregation being lit during o Come, O Come Emmanuel and left burning for some ten minutes hereafter. Those of the choir were left massed up at the altar.Light at the back of the church was supplied by the lights on the huge Christmas tree, which was put up last week.

The Advent Antiphons were sung and chanted as we moved through the service. The whole was markedly different from our usual 'style'; it reminded me slightly of those cathedral services I attended as a teenager. I can't say I always appreciated it then, nor do I always now, but last night was a welcome pause in the frantic run-up to Christmas.

I'm becoming even more aware of this last than in previous years, and as always am pulled both ways, trying both not to be a Scrooge, but hating all the razzmatazz found in the shops and in the media. I gave up reading magazines from October to January last year. This year I shall do the same with TV adverts. (Hence the many visits to the bathroom - as a result of hopping out every 15 minites or so to make a cup of tea!).

I had one of those pleasant, unexpected surprises just now. Having wandered into the kitchen to make one of aforementioned 'cuppas,' decided to be rash and brew up some proper coffee. Very extravagant this - such luxuries are normally reserved for Saturday mornings only, when Mr M brings me a cuppa in bed with my fried egg on toast.

Anyway, I set up the machine, and opened the tin, only to find we'd run out of grounds. Then.. remembered a tiny sachet of Taylors of Harrogate Finest Italian (sounds like something from the MW board, doesn't it!)that we'd been given as a freeby by Tescos. [Big Grin]

What I call one of those 'aah!' moments. Equal only to those 'mint crisp' moments. (I can feel a new thread coming on here).

Signing off now, Molly. Hoping you have a peaceful day.

Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Molly, just sending many hugs and prayers. Fearless is sitting on your virtual lap, gazing at your beautiful face with concern and gently patting your cheeks with her paws.

I have to go to work, now - but will post more later of the Rosebride/Wandering w/Hope happenings. And as I type, Fearless is trying to eat from my cereal bowl. [Wink] She is the original opportunist!

Posted by Clíona (# 2035) on :
Molly, a stor
Hugs from Ireland.
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Hello Molly, I'll keep this brief so as not to tire you out, but just filling you in on last week.

Tuesday. Out of sorts.

Wednesday. Still out of sorts. Went round market, but couldn't find any.

Thursday. Now very out of sorts.

Friday. Fed up with being out of sorts. Must find supply somewhere.

Saturday. Out in evening to 15th century black and white timbered pub for glass of beautiful ruby-coloured mulled wine, hot, sweet and gingery. Encountered pub cat, was warned by companions that cat was of an evil disposition and not to mess with it. Looked at cat, which stared back with look of contempt and inflated itself to size of small labrador. Cat probably drinks too much and is aggressive with it. Moved away quickly.

On to restaurant where curtains were made of fairy lights. Swopped seats so that companions could feel queasy instead. Dinner arrived: 1 fish with fangs, 1 squeaky cheese, 1 excellent steak, on huge plates the size of cartwheels. Mistake on restaurant's part, because although portions were decent, there was so much white space between ingredients that diners instantly felt resentful at not getting more for money. Table behind us vociferously upset that vegetables had arrived cold, one person saying it had spoilt her meal. A second told the waitress it had ruined her evening, a third informed the manager that her weekend was a write off. As we left, the fourth was preparing a press release saying it was the nadir of her year.

Sunday. Not quite myself. Definitely nothing to do with previous night's mulled wine, burgundy and large glass of brandy. Steak must have been undercooked.

Monday. Back at work. Emboldened by previous success of small coloured stripe on intranet web page, added small coloured dot. Manager stunned by ineffable beauty of page, remarking on it to rest of section.

And so it goes.
Posted by jedijudy (# 1059) on :
((((Molly)))) my dear friend and sister Jedi. I was so happy to talk with you the other evening. You are a most amazing person, even though you were having difficulty breathing and talking, you were asking about the members of the Jedi Temple! God bless your sweet heart!

Oh, I have a request to give the keyboard to an important family's Belle!

Hiya Molly! Mama told us that you've been receiving the kitty and lizard treats we're sending! We're saving a special surprise for you...purple bird feathers! You can use them for Advent you know! Jasmine and I are sitting on either side of you, purring and keeping you warm. Snuffy is hanging on the side of her cage, enjoying your company. Snuffy didn't think you'd really like a kiss from her, so she asked me to give you one. **Belle rubs Molly's nose with her own**

All the girls in the Temple here send love and hugs and purrrrs to you and your Mom!

Posted by Viola (# 20) on :
Thinking of you, praying, and thoroughly enjoying this thread Miss Molly.

I am always surprised and impressed how your elegant writing style influences the other posters on this thread. Have you noticed how much better their grammar is, when they are talking to you? [Wink]

Anyway - much love, from an irregular poster but avid reader.

Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
*HUGS* Listen to the new CD yet?

More hamsters seem to be eager to head your way...
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Hello my dear.... I returned to work yesterday- after an absence of 3 months... Rather jet-lagged so only made a half day. My welcome was warm- I think they missed me, in my department.
The Chaplaincy Department had a service last week to celebrate those who went on to Jesus this last 6 months. Folk who came were encouraged to write the names of loved ones on stars, and tie them to a living and beautiful Christmas tree. The tree is now in our chapel, and anyone can write on stars the names of anyone they care for. Now the tree will be used as a prayer focus for Advent.
Your name is on a star.
Posted by Wandering with Hope (# 3431) on :
((((Molly))) -

So sorry to hear you are feeling weaker but may all our prayers give you mental strength. I am so happy that your mom has decided to stay - I know how much of a blessing this will be for you both. I am fortunate (like you) to have a loving relationship with my mom. I am always grateful that even through the tough times (and boy were there some) she always stood by my side.

I have been quite busy the last few days - Thanksgiving activities (two on Thursday) - Shopping on Friday (yes, we are the foolish ones - thanks mom! [Smile] ) - and then got a call that my grandmother had fallen and needed someone to stay with her the rest of the weekend - so the kids and I packed up and went to her house. This is one of those weekends when you need a vacation from your vacation - but everyone is home safe and grandmother is feeling much better - so I'm looking forward to staying in tonight.

Spudz, CJ, Son-Unit & even the grumpy teenager say hello

Many hugs and prayers

Wandering with Hope
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
As an antidote to the deeply spiritual experiences of others:

Sunday am: Matt (7) and Jack (6) escape from their mothers and hide under the covered altar in the Lady Chapel. Spend the first part of the service popping their heads out to those of us sitting in the aisle and making faces at us. Mothers can't go and grab them as they are too close to the nave altar where the service is taking place. [Help]

One is eventually enticed out by mother's gestures and risks coming so close he gets caught. The other sticks his tongue out, gutted at losing his naughty mate. they decide to go through to Children's Church, where they are supposed to be. [Yipee]

Sunday pm: a street sleeper snuggles himself down with all his plastic bags in the back pew during the pre-service rehearsal. He doesn't smell too bad. He enjoys the music and stays for the service.

Halfway through he gets out his booze bottle and doses himself up quite a bit. He snoozes.

Three quarters of the way through, after the sermon, he wakes up, and rustles around for his packet of fags. When he finds them, and his lighter, he spends some time trying to light up.

Eventually he lights his cigarette, and the scent/stink of the smoke spreads throughout the church building. Various members of the congregation sniff. The man in the pew in front of him expostulates without effect.

When the service finishes, it turns out that the vicar had been totally oblivious. The street sleeper joins us for coffee and biscuits. [Snigger]
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Ah, I forgot to write in a piece of the Advent walk, so since it is short, I will post it for all. I hope you got the e-mail? The stable we arrived at was all lit by lanterns. A wonderful nappy headed Joseph (I'm not sure of the politically correct term! Person of color?) stood next to an enchanting Mary. His attentive posture and look were wonderful. A true norwegianish blonde haired beauty as an angel behind. But there was a new member this year. Down, lying prostrate was a creature of the stable. The ears were white, but bent and curled under, so I couldn't quite tell the species. The coat too, was inconclusive as to the bearer, whitish, but flecked with faded spots. Two limbs, covered in whitish socks peeked out from the bent head. The complete reverence from this figure overshadowed for me, the wise men with their golden gifts. Even the angel was as nothing before the grace of this creature. And so I too wish to come to Christ, in a skin that only he knows who I truly am, feet formost that have brought me to the throne of Him I love. Head not dared to lift in His presence, until He in grace will come to me, and lift me whole and healed into His arms.....
Peace to you and yours,
Lady A
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
I just called Molly and Marion answered and said they were waiting for a callback from the doctor and that things weren't wonderful. I wish I'd asked more questions, but I wanted to clear the line. She said this weekend she thought her lungs were filling up, so perhaps that has caused a crisis.

Molly, I have Ibubrofen 800's if you want some. What do you mean you couldn't take any more for several hours? I take 2 or three at a time whenever I feel like it. Of course, we've long established that I view the instructions on medicine bottles as vague suggestions more than anything else. I'm stuck at work waiting for the slow-assed pharmacy to fill another prescription for Lortabs, so let me know if you want some (sure hope nobody from the FDA is reading this. [Embarrassed] )though I doubt they'll touch cancer-pain.

I hated that I missed saying goodbye to your folks (or your Dad, as it turns out). I was out of Lortab and my arm was making me irritible and sullen. Not the impression I wanted to leave with them for the holidays. Have Marion or your Mama call me if you or they need anything. I'm still taking you to the doctor Wednesday, right? Even if your Mama decides to take you, if either of you would feel better if I went with you I'm there!

Worried and fretting a bit,
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Adding my bedtime prayers for Molly, Mom and Marion.

St. Seb, I've been praying for you as well, and I have called on every Orthodox Saint I can think of on your behalf. What else can I do? I so wish I was there....

Love and hugs all around.

[Frown] Fretting a bit with you.
Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
Today is a beautiful summer's day in Sydney - a sunny 25 degrees (mid 70s to you) with a light north-easterly sea breeze to stir the Harbour and make the sea shimmer in the sun. I try to get off the bus a few stops early and walk in to chambers past the War Memorial and the Pool of Reflection and across Hyde Park in the cool,deep shade of the giant Port Jackson fig trees.

I am coming to the end of my year as a reader i.e. apprentice barrister (trial attorney from your perspective). Mostly I appear in court in my usual business suit (black) but every so often I climb into the full fancy dress to go to work at Court - horsehair wig, white jabot or bands (think Presbyterian minister), black skirt or pants, black bar jacket and gown (like academic robes but more complex). You can imagine what all this lot - traditional to the Inns of Court in London - feels like on a hot Sydney summer's day! I carry it about in a gladstone bag. My consolation is that the judge is tricked up in something equally bizarre.

I will have to find a permanent set of chambers to work from. We are all self-employed but band together in chambers to share office services, receptionists, clerks and so on. My current chambers is a magnificent blend of Oriental divan, bordello and gentleman's club - decked out with gilt Empire mirrors, New Guinea statues (grass skirts not quite concealing their attributes), a beautiful Victorian dining table and set of 10 chairs and what looks like an opium smoker's bench out in reception. Elsewhere in other chambers, I have walked into rooms with Egyptian sarcophagi, marble sculptures, model airplanes, stuffed lions, pinball machines, fairground automata, complete articulated chicken skeletons and stuffed fish. Giant challenging oil paintings are everywhere in every conceivable artistic style. The Bar doesn't go in for bland corporate decor.

I'm very tempted to stay where I am and buy or licence rooms on my current floor. I am happy here - happiness at work is important. Phillipa, the other reader, has Norah Jones on the stereo singing "Feelin' the Same Way". This morning it was 14th Century homophonic chant. Neither of us would have been allowed to get away with that in the large law firm factories we both came from.

May God hold you in His arms, secure in His love, Molly.
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
Molly, I missed you coming online just now.

Bronwyn says you are very very ill.

I love you. And will be praying for you, both now and after the end...

May God always hold you close to his heart. May he guide guard and protect you on the journey. And bring you safely home.

Love always,

Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
May God grant peace and comfort to Molly, and those around her.

Speaking as a Mam, I don't think that I could leave one of my girls when they were so ill. It was a big enough wrench when they had chickenpox to leave them with their Daddy whilst I went to a christening (I am the godmother). [Smile]

Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hi Molly,

I am writing this to the accompaniment of Janine's tapes that arrived in a big package from the States. (Could she tell the bass guy btw if she sees him that the word from England is that he is really cool?) It's aaamaaazin grace at the mo...oh and the tenor's really neat too...

Am trying to continue writing without clapping along..and thinking that this could prove distinctly hazardous in the car...

I hope that you have had a more comfortable night and that you are feeling less tired. And breathing more easily. All good strength to you Molly. And I hope that your mum and Marion are keeping well.

The team effort on the Knockout Quiz is going rather well btw. This is mainly because I am enjoying being Judy's team mate so much [Cool] . But also because of the inspired overseeing of the [Not worthy!] manager [Not worthy!] who put the team together...

I don't have a very picturesque journey ahead of me; round the ring road in Oxford, playing Russian Roundabout Roulette trying not to get hit by a bus, past the factory and the supermarket complex and so to work...automatic doors that don't open, peeling and scraped paint...but I will risk playing a different set of Country Gospel songs on this morning's journey so I guess that is something to look forward to [Smile]

You and yours all take care

Love and God Bless

Posted by chukovsky (# 116) on :
My doctor told me to take as many ibuprofen as I need, and that's only for headaches. You aren't exactly likely to get a stomach ulcer now, are you?

Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :

I love you molly
Posted by Bronwyn (# 52) on :
Miss Molly, just sent you an e mail but your box is full. I have asked [Angel] Sabastian to pass it on. [Not worthy!] [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love]
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Ah Molly
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
ooops, pressed wrong button there....
Molly, my thoughts are with you- and my prayers...
God is holding you so very close to His heart...
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
My dearest Molly, you are so much in our thoughts and prayers right now. Alice has been stoking me up with lots of fussing and nose rubs to pass on to you - I told her she could send them to you directly, but she's too shy apparently! George says he's not shy, but is worried you won't know who they're from - as if his loving isn't distinctive enough! [Wink] They were sooo sweet this morning, curled up together on our bed - the picture of domestic bliss! [Snore]

Mr B had a nice phone call last night from his incumbent-to-be - the bishop's said yes, so we're definitely just waiting for the official letter which we ought to get some time this week. But at last there's no doubt - we'll be Dolphy's new neighbours (well, nearly!) in 6 months. [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin] Thank you so much for your support and prayers through this time. [Angel]

W*rk is going marginally better this week, if only because I've managed to improve my attitude slightly - which is just as well, since I'm all on my own for 5 days as my team member is off on holiday for a week!

B has yet another ear infection, so she's back on antibiotics *sigh* and has now been referred to the ENT department up in Oxford. We should get the appointment letter in about 3 weeks, then probably a couple more months until the actual appointment, but at least it's a step in the right direction, to see if there's any cause for them all and make sure there's no long-term damage being done...

Anyway, I'll stop waffling now - much, much love from us all, the cats and the bunnies
Posted by Brent (# 3498) on :
Good Morning Miss Molly,

It was wonderful having the opportunity to chat with you last night on MSN, and I hope I didn't wear you out, knowing you needed to rest. As promised, here is the update of my activities as you requested.

My final week here in Southern California finds me busy with last minute chores to finalize before the move back home and reunite with my family and the Lovely Lady A. Balancing the checkbook before closing it out will, I am convinced, take all week, lol. Other menial tasks include 1) Change of address card 2) Stop the phone service 3) pay last of rent 4) wash the car...(it's a Miata, what can I say, gotta look good on the road!) etc., etc.

I've had a nail in the tire for the last month and I finally had that repaired last night, so I won't have to worry about that on the drive home which will be about 900 miles and that will start on Friday evening for a return home on Saturday, late afternoon.

I have 10 finals this week to finish up school, and I completed 2 yesterday. First one was a speech presentation in Oral Communication. This is a class that I received "life/work experience" for, however, I still needed to present a final speech to complete the course credit requirement. A well thought out presentation on Professional Presentation of yourself in the Workplace and character expectations of Management Companies in regards to search requirements in hiring. It took about 40 minutes and wa received well by the instructor, ahhhh, 1 down 9 to go! The second one yesterday was in Golf Industry Operations which was 12 essay questions on Risk Management issues within the golf industry and the target of courses through a litigious society. This one was tough and the questions, in the way they were presented, were difficult to understand, so, in the spirit of Captain Kirk in the Star Trek movie (remember, he didn't like to lose) I changed the playing field and rewrote the questions to my understanding, and then answered them. The instructor loved my tenacity and boldness and smiled at my creativity, and let it slide.....whew! Ahhh, 2 down, 8 to go!

Today's class finals are Golf Shop Operations III in which we have had to create a Business Plan for a ficticious failing Golf Course and present our plan to the class. Ihave had my plan done for about 3 weeks now and will be presenting it today. The second class is in Golf Course design, where we were given a topo map of a 600 acre piece of property close to San Diego and had to design a course on that property. I loved this class and feel I have designed a course I would never succeed at, lol.

On top of the heavy schedule of 10 finals in 5 days, I need to finish packing my stuff and getting it shipped home (can't get alot of "stuff" in a Miata, so my best option wa to send it all UPS, btw....Lady A, you should have the first 20 on the porch when you get home today, hahahahahah [Razz] . Maybe you can get the boys to [Help] you. I only have about 8 or 9 more to send, and those will go on Wednesday.

I went Christmas shopping last night for the family and with school this past year and student loans coming out of our ears for the next few years, this one will be a slim one but the best gift of all is the reuniting of our family, which we are all very excited about.

I helped my Landlady bring her trees home last night, and she was busy with the continuation of her decorating, which I might say is over the top! At last count she has 12 wreaths hanging "in" her house....don't you usually have 1 on the door "outside" the house?? A little over the top, I say. She cracks me up!

I shall add more in a couple of days Dear Molly, however, the shower is calling my name as I prepare for the days activities and more finals, oh JOY [Roll Eyes]

As we spoke of last night, there are no more secrets as Lady A has been informed of our plans for her visit, although, we may have to push the date up earlier, which is entirely up to you. I pray and thank the good Lord that he continues to hold you in his precious hands. Take care and rest up.

Your Golf Demigod bud,

Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
Uh, guys? There's a difference between acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Too much acetaminophen will throw you into acute liver failure, which is extremely unpleasant.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Sounds gruesome, but people whom I've known in similar circumstances, with similarly soaked lungs, have benefitted greatly from having it drawn off.

Molly, from your previous accounts of luxury stays at medical facilities, I know you've had that done at least once, though it might've been for diagnostic purposes rather than to relieve you of gallons of fluid.

I don't doubt it was terribly painful and icky, but try not to fuss if it needs to be done now.

I opened a new Canadian cd, a peaceful serene Christmas one, & started playing it this week, a soundtrack to the days after I get everyone gone to work & school.

Traditional, beloved old songs mostly, heavy on the devotional with only one or two of the 'fun and frivolous' type.

All instrumental...
bits remind me
of angelic choirs
worshipping on mountain peaks
as the sun sets in glory behind them
and the stars rush across the sky to join them
singing their crystal praises...

Beautiful carrolling bells, wistful pipes, all bathed in gentle harmonies.

It's the same as the wrapped CD I sent you. I hate-hate-hate to spoil one bit of your Christmas unwrapping fun, but, I think you ought to open it now.

You need all the Savior-scented calm you can get when breath is hard to come by.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
P.S. St Sebastian:

You, Marian and Mom are in a lot of prayers.
That is probably why you will feel strength beyond your own in the coming days.

Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :

Thinking and praying for you, dear.

Do you ever have any cool dreams? I have dreamed about some of our shipmates...including you and a dog. I can't remember though much more than that about the Molly dog dream.

Love ya.
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
Praying, praying, praying... *HUG*
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
Just called Molly -- she is weak and I told her to save her voice and lungs -- but I wanted to tell her again how much we (and I) love and care for her, in case she has not been able to see the thread -- her mother is with her, which I think is a great comfort to her.

Much love and many hugs, Molly -- and I mean it! Worried, but I believe you are in good Hands... wish I had that beating-heart smiley but this will have to do: [Love]
Posted by marmot (# 479) on :
Molly, St. Seb, if there is anything that you need, say the word and I'll be there.
Posted by The one & only Nanny Ogg (# 1176) on :
Hello Miss Molly
So sorry to hear that you are really under a cloud at present but you've got to do as you're told and take that medicine.

I've been recently thinking about Christmas past - especially when I lived in Winchester (ancient capital of England) and we had our school carol services in the rather large churchy type building in the centre of the city.

OK Winchester Cathedral if you must - but please don't try and sing that awful song [Roll Eyes] (By the way a few friends once almost convinced some American tourists that it was for sale - they got a bit suspicious when the asking price was too low!)

Anyway, Winchester County High School for Girls (now unfortunately downgraded to Westgate School and co-ed) had ideas rather above its station as a state school thanks to the Head Mistress and music teacher. So each year we took over the cathedral for an annual carol service. You did have a choice - you could go to school in the afternoon or turn up and sing in the evening. Either way the register was taken so if you did not turn up for either you'd kop it.

We were all dressed smartly (?) in our grey and red uniforms (for ome reason I still can't wear those colours together [Confused] ) And sat in class order in the nave whilst parents and others were ushered to the side aisles.

I never did make the choir but my best friend did. We always began with "Of the Father's heart begotten" as the choir progressed to the East wing with candles (unglamourously stuffed into potatoes!). I'm still moved by that song to this day. My friend used to maintain that she always tripped over the tomb of William Rufus - but nowadays she denies it [Embarrassed]

Being a pretentious school we never sang "O Come All Ye Faithful" but "Adeste Fideles" and the music teacher (who I won't name for in case of libel) would always manage to include an obscure arrangement of a traditional carol which my parents in particular would moan about "why do they have to change everything?" And of course there would be the carol written an composed by some smart alec schoolgirl who was the darling of the head (who I also won't name but who was despised with avengence). Ghastly.

I do love Winchester Cathedral (drat that song again [Frown] ) It was resuced from sinking once - they stuck a statue of the diver to comemorate it but a couple of years ago they discovered that it was of the wrong man! [Frown] Jane Austen is buried there and people leave flowers on the flagstone over her grave - especially on the anniversary of her birth and death. There are also the bones of various kings including King Canute whose remains are in one of many ornate boxes above the choir. I wonder whether he really did try and stop the waves

My particular favourite in the cathedral is St Swithun who was moved to the Catherdral he founded against his wishes - which is where the legend of raining 40 days comes from. Apparently he wanted to be and was buried in a small plain grave but the powers that be wouldn't have it so they dug him up. The day the did so it began to pour with rain - hence the legend that if it rains in St Swithun's Day it will rain for the following 40 days & nights. However my view is that it's just the medieval way of describing a typical English summer [Wink]

Sadly, I rarely go back there for Christmas now. To many memories of being compelled to be present when a teenager.

I do still have a favourite service I try and get down for which is the Easter Vigil on Easter Saturday. Everyone ends up with a lit candle as the Catherdral gradually fills with light as the procession moves from East to West. Then the announcement "Christ is Risen" is proclaimed and the organ is played full power. It brings a tear to the eye (and the heart skips a beat). I have seen many a tourist leap into the air when the organist strikes a chord - I think they do it deliberately [Big Grin]

Anyway enough reminiscing - I'm looking forward to our carol service at church and all the different groups involved with a nativity tableau; dance; a rap poem and of coarse the singers and musicians.

Now Molly - take care and do as you are told.
Love to your mother and family, and to St Seb.
Praying for you
Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Dear Miss Molly, the cats are both sitting on the landing looking rather anxious, even though they've been fed. I think they're feeling much the same as me - we all want to hear that you're feeling better!

Much love, and take care.
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Miss Molly started on morphine today; I took it over this morning. Things seem to be progressing at an alarmingly accelerated rate. She said she held out 'til Thanksgiving and her sister's birthday and that seems to have used up her resources. She said she's tired and ready to go Home. Both of us think she'll be celebrating Christmas with the Church Triumphant. I know she's mourned losing her ability to sing; I imagine her adding her True Voice to the heavenly chorus and I get chills.

I don't know how much longer she'll be able to post; I'm going to start printing the posts and I or her mother can read them to her. I'll offer to post for her when she's up for dictation. Hospice went by today and they are going to be taking over her medical care. She cancelled her appt with the doctor tomorrow; there's really no point. She won't be leaving her apartment again, though she's asked me to wheel her into the park when possible. Her spirit is still lively.

I believe we're in the home stretch, my dears. Know that Molly is ready, though, and today she told me this has been the happiest year of her life, and it's because of all of you that she can say that. Feel free to email me anything you would like me to give Molly but don't want to post here, though I'm sure she'll be on a few times yet. I've fixed the flaw in my email filter that caused me to miss some of your earlier emails.

I and she appreciate your prayers. They must be efficacious because I assure you I feel not the slightest strain or stress but feel very privileged to be able to help and to share this part of the journey with her.
Posted by Wandering with Hope (# 3431) on :
Praying for Miss Molly's peace of body & mind - Praying for St. Sebastian's continued strength.
Posted by da_musicman (# 1018) on :
I've never posted here before but prayrs are with you Molly and you always add a sparkle to any thread you grace.
Posted by Rossweisse (# 2349) on :
Prayers ascending for a healing for Molly, and for strength for Seb and Molly's parents.

Rossweisse // Purrs being passed along, too.
Posted by Bronwyn (# 52) on :
[Love] [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love]
Posted by Moth (# 2589) on :
Praying for you, Molly. I hope you're not in pain. Your friendship online has meant a lot to me. Thank you for all those chats about the civil war, and for the tamales recipe.
Posted by Bronwyn (# 52) on :
We love you Miss Molly, Sean and Bronwyn
Posted by DMarie (# 2267) on :
You're in my prayers always, Miss Molly, even when I don't post here. And I've added your mom and St. Seb. I'm praying harder than ever for strength and peace for all of you. Your kindness and graciousness and courage are an inspiration for everyone. I want you to not suffer and to be able to enjoy the pleasures you have.

Love and prayers
Posted by JoyfulNoise & Parrot, O'Kief (# 2049) on :
Prayers for you indeed Miss Molly, and giving thanks for all the joy and friendship you bring to the ship.

Gods Blessing be upon you and all around you.
With love and a whole bunch of Red Roses,
JoyfulNoise & O'Kief
Posted by Amorya (# 2652) on :
Dearest Molly.

I've not posted on this thread before. I'm not very good at finding words to say things like this. But I'm going to have an attempt anyway. I don't know if you remember me. We've met in the café a couple of times. Whether my name rings a bell or no, what I have to say still stands.

I joined the ship sometime last year on request of my friends known here as Sophs and Mookoo. Before I even joined I was told about Sophie Aubrey and how amazing she was. When I did venture into the café, you were one of the first people I met there, and you really made me feel welcome.

As I say, I'm not very good at this. What I want to tell you is, thanks for being there when I was a lowly little apprentice. Thanks for all you've done for my friends (from what I've heard about you from them, you really are a miracle worker.) You are in my prayers, and have been ever since I was made aware of this thread back when it was about 2 pages long.

May God's blessings be upon you.

Amorya North
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Wandering with Hope called me as I was leaving work to tell me of your post, St Seb and the latest news of Molly. I'm signing in to say this before I go home.

I love you Molly. I continue to pray and will do so for the rest of my life til Jesus calls me home. Then we'll rejoice face to face. And someday you'll see my precious splendid Fearless, for I know without a doubt that our pets will have a home with us in Heaven.

Please just rest and receive the ministry of those God, in His Divine Love, has placed by your side at this time.

St Seb, you are in my prayers. Tomorrow we have Vespers and Thursday we have a Divine Liturgy for St. Nicholas - candles for you, Molly and her mom.

"O Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who art in all places and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life; Come and dwell in us and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O gracious Lord.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal: have mercy on us."

I'll never forget the gifts you've given me, Molly and St Seb, both tangible and spiritual.
Be at peace.

Posted by Maddie (# 11) on :
Prayers [Love]
Posted by Tigglet (# 1368) on :
Hiya Molly,

Just wanted to post to send you love and hugs. Great to speak to you on the on the phone again. I'm sorry we woke you!!! I hope you could hear us ok as we were driving at the time so my mobile was in the car kit which can be a bit echoey at times!!! We were thinking of you at many points on our crazy Tour... and pray for you strength and peace!

Also St Seb and your family... we pray that God would stregthen and uphold them.

Soggy is here now... and we both send you "Big Hugs" (as my 4 year old Godson would call them!!).

Tiggs (& Soggy)
Posted by Tigglet (# 1368) on :
Sorry.... forgot the smilies.....

[Love] [Angel] [Not worthy!] [Love] [Smile] [Cool] [Yipee] [Love]

Tiggs (& Soggy)
Posted by Michelle (# 53) on :
Dear Miss_Molly,

Prayers ascend for courage, serenity and a deep sense of God's presence as you make the journey into the heart of God.

A poem by Joyce Rupp to be with you on your way...

Leaning on the Heart of God

I am leaning on the heart of God.
I am resting there in silence.
All the turmoil that exhausts me
is brought to bear on this great love.

No resistance or complaint is heard
as I lean upon God's welcome.
There is gladness for my coming.
There is comfort for my pain.

I lean, and lean, and lean
upon this heart that hurts with me.
Strength lifts the weight of my distress.
Courage wraps around my troubles.

No miracle of instant recovery.
No taking away of life's burdens.
Yet, there is solace for my soul,
and refuge for my exiled tears.

It is enough for me to know
the heart of God is with me,
full of mercy and compassion,
tending to the wounds I bear.

[from Out of the Ordinary copyright 2000 by Joyce Rupp. Used by permission of Ave Maria Press. (At the front of the book is this message: "Permission is hereby given for the duplication of texts contained in this book which are distributed without charge...") so I trust I am not breaking copyright]

Miss_Molly, may you be confident in God's enduring love for you, and may God's peace fill your spirit and ease all concern. May you be given inner strength to peacefully enter the realm of new life. The blessing of God be with you, and accept my gratitude for sharing the final leg of your earthly journey with us...
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
Dear Miss Molly and St Seb,

I am thinking of you a lot as this takes me back 4 years to my Mum's final ilness and death. Like Miss Molly, she deteriorated very quickly, and a week or so beofre she died she said"I was going to hang out to Christmas but bugger that, I've done everything I had to do". So she celebrated with the Church Triumphant after dying gallantly as Miss Molly has said she intends to do.

It was quite extraordinarily joyful, but sad-but no regrets.

Toujours gai, Miss Molly. Salve atque vale.

A special salutation to Saint Seb; not a terrible warning but a shining example to others.

Posted by golden key (# 1468) on :
Miss Molly, her family, and St. Seb--

May you dwell in the Heart
May you be free from suffering
May you be healed
May you be at peace
Posted by Brent (# 3498) on :
Dearest Molly,

My heartfelt prayers are with you as you make your journey home. God Bless you and thank you for all the joy you bring to all the shipmates who are all here surrounding you with love.

God's Peace,

Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

I wish I had some stories for you today, but my heart is too full. I can only give you a blessing:

May God's peace surround you. May you float home on a sea of love. Warm trade winds blow and an evening star shines to guide you. Safe harbour and a joyous landfall!

Let us entertain you, but don't ever think that you have to tarry for us.

A blessing and a prayer for your mother and for the heroic St Sebastian (whose blood remains worth bottling).
Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
Miss Molly, I can't recall which thread it was on, but I remember your lovely description of your departure on a train under a bright moon after the first snow. It fills me now. Please know that (apologies to tomb) We.Love.You.

Posted by Adrienne (# 2334) on :
Praying for you Molly, and for those who are with you.

All my love

Posted by Tigglet (# 1368) on :

I have also posted this link to St Seb and hope that he will print it out for you. Or you can obviously take a peep yourself here.

It is a little momento for you from our recent UK Tour.... we got everyone we met to take part!!!

The actual item is being posted airmail in the morning... but wanted you to see the love and caring comments!!!

God Bless you Molly. [Love]

Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

We prayed for you last night at my fellowship group. In fact we prayed for you twice (I think someone got a bit muddled) but I was really rather pleased about that [Smile] .

Hope you are more comfortable and that you have had a good night's rest, watched over by many angels and blessed by many prayers. I hope too that your parents and St. Seb and your friend Marian are well rested.

love and God Bless

Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Note to Saint Seb - I have already saved this thread to disc and am printing it out as we go on, so don't worry about that. i have promised Molly that I will send it to her Mum when the time comes.

Molly darling,
Forever holding you tight.
All our love from The Dolphy Mansion!
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Much, much love, Molly. Praying for strength and peace for you, your family, St Seb and your friends (meaning that St Seb is a special friend, not that he's not a friend at all! [Eek!] )

George & Alice send lots of loving, purrs, and headbutting (it's a sign of affection, honest!), and the bunnies send extra special whiffles.

Love and prayers,

Posted by Kitten (# 1179) on :
I'm no good at putting wihat I feel into words Miss Molly, but I am praying for you and yours.

Posted by Quincy (# 3247) on :
Not posted here before - praying for you in Scotland! [Love]

You know the truth, and it has set you free, Molly.

Posted by Electric Turnip (# 3565) on :

I've not posted on here before, but you have been in my thoughts and prayers since I arrived aboard ship a couple of weeks ago.

May Father God hold you ever so close. [Love]
Posted by ChrisT (# 62) on :
Miss Molly, it has been a joy and a privelege to have been aboard with you, your life is an example to us all. One day we will sail together on the wide open seas of Heaven. You are in my prayers.

Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
Dear Molly,

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your parents and family, St Seb and Marian just now.

I'm no good with words. Better refer you to the two very different settings of Psalm 23 from the CD that I sent you. They've been an anchor for me many times in the past, and I hope maybe for you and those surrounding you.

Ms M is at home with me today - catching up on her sleep after two nights awake with back pain. I will need to pass on your visualisation techniques to her, as I will to the physiotherapist with whom I start this afternoon.

Peace be with you Molly. I'll try and post again later today.

Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
Oh molly...
I love you and i am praying for you
You have helped me so so much, and i will miss you...
High King of Heaven,
When we quit this fight,
Show us all Your wonders
Your Kingdom of light.

Live in our hearts
And don t ever let go,
Inspire all our visions.
And all that we know.
words from Sue of Visions (i think)

Thankyou for your love and kindness...

May god hold you and keep you safe.

Posted by Gambit (# 766) on :
All I can do is pass on the blessing which ++Rowan used at his Confirmation of Election.

The Lord bless you and keep you
The Lord make his face to shine upon and be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Thoughts and prayers are with you, always,

[Love] [Love] [Love]
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
Reading all of these lovely prayers, thoughts and blessings reminds me of when Molly had just be diagnosed. The hospital got so many message, phone calls, and emails that they were trying to work out just who Molly is; some international film star?

Molly, you are a star. And if you feel that the time is right for you to return home then that is what you must do. Don't hang around here waiting for us, we will catch up with you later.

You know our tastes quite well, any chance of you spying out some heavenly mansions for us? I think that we would like to be dotted around the New Jerusalem..... Oh please, if the process hasn't started yet, make sure that we have a decent super heavenly highway. [Big Grin]

Molly,(or Seb), assure your family that we are and will continue to be praying for them.

Posted by Birdie (# 2173) on :
Molly, I know I haven't posted on this thread much, but please know that my thoughts and prayers are often with you, even more so now.

I am so glad that you liked the quilt and that it got to you safely, it is so like you to go through all the squares and acknowledge those who contributed. In fact, I am sure that like me, all the others felt that we were the priveledged ones, to be able to be a part of something like that for you. You have enriched so many peoples lives, more than you know now.

Right now you are with us, looking through that glass darkly. All our prayers are with you as you journey to the place where you will see face to face, and know fully, as you are fully known.

I think we all feel sometimes as though we are running out of words, but we know what a wise woman you are, and that you can hear our hearts behind our voices. Thank you for that, and bless you, Molly.


ps) you do know, don't you, that you have almost converted me to being a cat lover? Most of the cats on our street come to us to say hello now, and even partake of a saucer of milk!
Posted by Smudgie (# 2716) on :
Hey Molly,

After all our MSN conversations, you'll just love to know that the doorbell here just rang and, thinking it was my dad, I nipped to open the door dressed only in a towel!!!! A bit of a shock for the poor chap who'd come to upgrade the settop box for cable television [Embarrassed] - and I didn't even have my bedsocks on! [Wink]

Molly, I told you there would be no goodbyes, 'cos I am relying on you saving me a space near you for when I catch you up my friend. You have given me, and continue to give me, so much and I love you far more than it is possible to love someone you have known for such a short time and without even meeting them. Strange thing, that....especially considering you're foreign! [Wink]

My love and prayers to you, and especially to your Mum and Dad and the rest of your family, and to those two men you love so much for such different reasons.

Now, no sneaking in through the kitchen door, my friend.... there's a special place just waiting for you, I know!
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
My dear, not goodbye but au revoir. It will be like being born, but in reverse. You will be able to shed all the pain and discomfort and stand straight and tall, be young and strong, and with a glorious singing voice, and you will have nothing to worry about any more. May you go on to know more and more joy. I will be thinking of you often.
Posted by Bronwyn (# 52) on :
No Words Miss Molly just love [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love]
Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
more love.
and tears
and prayers
Posted by kingsfold (# 1726) on :
Love and prayers, Miss Molly.
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Molly, dearest- God is holding you in His arms of love. Can you hear His heartbeat? He hears yours- and His compassion is endless, and His grace enfolds you.
Posted by Spike (# 36) on :
Another first time poster on this thread. Praying hard.
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
Molly, I am praying that you have a pleasant journey.

Posted by Robert Miller (# 1459) on :
Molly, don't know how this will find you - just to say I'll be in the US next week in Baltimore with Melissa.

I hope and pray for you to have the strength to see you through this time and although you may be leaving us now we'll see you later for the biggest and best ship-meet ever.

[Love] [Waterworks]
Posted by flev (# 3187) on :
Molly, neither words nor smilies can adequately convey our [Love] for you.

Praying more than ever for you and your family.

All my love,

Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
It's 7 a.m. & I'm trying to find some interesting thing to post. I look out the back window (over the computer's shoulder, you might say...), having heard a blue jay... nothing of special interest... the sun has not gloried its way through the silver-grey overcast yet.

The brave, still-summer-green St. Augustine grass fools the eye... the 63 degrees Farenheit fools the skin... the glossy green oak outside waves gently in a balmy breeze.

Recent rains lifted the water levels in the bayou a bit, but the flock of little buff ibises out there will have none of it. They'd rather forage with their downward-curving bills among my faux-summer grass.

Why, it looks like a spring dawn, rather than a dull, dormant, "ending" out there.

You know, that's how it always is. Just when we think we've purchased ourselves a deck chair on the Titanic, the sun comes out and we find it was a Love Boat after all.
Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
Molly, may I pass on to you this anonymous poem which I discovered just the other day.

I am standing on the seashore
A ship in the bay hits anchor
Spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
And starts out upon the ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength
And I stand and watch until she hangs
Like a speck of white cloud
Just where the sea and sky mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says,
"There, she's gone!"
Gone where?
Gone from sight, that is all.

Just at theat moment there are other eyes
Watching her coming
And other souls taking up the glad shout,
"There, she's coming!"

And that is dying.
Posted by Wandering with Hope (# 3431) on :
Molly -

Still praying for you - Spudz appears to be a little down today - she appears to wish she could send you a message of her own - perhaps she will succeed.

Am going to see Bessie now (we are expecting our first winter weather of the year & she needs back up heat for her & Fearless in case the power goes out) but will post more later. Please know that we are all thinking of you - and you stay in our prayers.

Much love & many prayers -

Wandering w/ hope
Posted by Clíona (# 2035) on :
Dear Molly,

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand

Corny, coming from an Irish person. But it expresses very much how I feel.

Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Dear Miss Molly, the cats are still looking anxious about you, but I've told them not to worry, as you're on your way to somewhere much more amazing and wonderful that they (or I) can imagine.

I'm joining in all the prayers that are going on for you, and your mother, and St Seb, and Marian, and all your family and friends.

Much, much love from Margaret and cats.
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
My darling 'Dame Molly'
Although I have sent you an email via St. Seb, I wanted to keep on posting here too. I have just come back from having a rather wonderful lunch with my parents (forgive me, I have garlic breath!); they send you their love and prayers and hope that you will have a bottle of wine open for them when they eventually join you at the Banquet in Heaven (I quote their words). I want to thank you for the joy you have brought into my life and my thanks for trusting me with your secrets and you accepting mine. I also that you for the writing you did for me - it will be included in my PhD and I'll save you a seat at graduation three years from now - I expect you to wear your hat with gold ribbons as you promised!! [Wink] And thank you for all your support during the beginnings of my long court case, I expect you there for the final hearing!!! I will continue to post here but for now I leave you with the song 'You and Me against the world' playing in my study... God bless you Molly as you begin another journey. Brandy and Jessie are with you as always, as am I and Jack. With all our love and hugs, Dolphy. Our love too to your family and friends and to echo Smudgie's sentiments, the two very special men in your life. You will be forever my Guardian Angel...and I thank you for that. So, as the final curtain begins to fall, Act 2 begins. xxx
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
Love and hugs, Molly. Always.
Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
I was telling my little cub that Molly was going to die. She was wondering if she had a hole in the heart, but I explained that Molly is having problems breathing.

My little cub said that she knew the reason: the doctor didn't hold her upside down and smack her bottom when she was a baby. I asked if it might work if someone was to smack her bottom now. The cub wasn't too sure, but thought it might be worth a try.

Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Maybe St. Seb could give that one a try Babybear!!

Darling Molly,
I have just come off the 'phone after a long chat with Jack - we have decided that tonight would be a good night to watch The Muppet's Christmas Carol in your honour [Wink]

Dolphy xxx
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
no words, just prayers and love.
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
I just spoke on the phone with Molly's mother and VERY briefly with Molly herself -- she was a little better last night and today (!), because they brought a new oxygen tank and a hospital bed. She is still not expected to last until Christmas, however -- but I believe she has a few days left, at least. She was very very grateful for the prayers and for everyone's love, and asked me to tell everyone "to give them my hugs and kisses" and her love for you all.

And, well... I suppose that's all that needed to be said. I told her of our love for her, the inspiration she has been for us all, and she was very pleased.

Off to the post office to mail one last package to her as quickly as it can get there.
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
Molly my dear ... I've not posted here much but you've always been in my prayers and thoughts.

Thanks for all you've done - you have been an inspiration to so many of us.

'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace: according to thy word.
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation: which thou hast prepared before the face of all people.
To be a light to lighten the gentiles: and to be the glory of thy people Israel.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen'
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Originally posted by Dolphy:
...I'll save you a seat at graduation three years from now - I expect you to wear your hat with gold ribbons as you promised!! [Wink] ...

a-hem *clears throat* I'm of the understanding that Molly will be in the seat next to me, so that we can lead the applause, whistling, foot stamping, and cheering as you accept your bit of paper, much as a certain Dolphin and gracious Lady did for a young baby's welcome to the Christian faith recently! [Wink]
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Miss Molly, walk with the Lord when the time is right. We will all miss you but rejoice in the joy you will experience...and we will meet you when the time is right to the biggest shipmeet in the sky.

I know your dog will meet you...and loved ones.
I hope Gordon Russell meets you up there, a lovely man who just passed away in my church. I called him "banana man" since he brought bananas for fellowship many Sundays to my church. He was in his 80s but I bet he doesn't look a day over 30 now, God be praised.

Miss Molly, it is hard to let you go so I must consentrate on the wonderment you will have when you leave and join loved ones in heaven.

God be praise and bless you.
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
"Say goodnight not goodbye
you will never leave my heart behind
Like the path of a star
I'll be anywhere you are.
In the spark that lies beneath the coals
In the secret place inside your soul
Keep the light in your eyes
Say goodnight not goodbye..."

(Beth Nielsen Chapman)
Posted by Astro (# 84) on :
Miss Molly

I don't think that I have posted on this thread before but you have been in my prayers and still are. God Bless You.
Posted by Ann (# 94) on :
Molly, words are so hard at such a time. Please know that my prayers have been with you from the start, even if I cannot find the words.

Another Auld Oirish blessing - "May you be in heaven two hours before the divil knows you're dead." - not that you'll need to take advantage of the head start!

God bless you on your next "awfully big adventure".

Love and Prayers.
Posted by Papa Smurf (# 1654) on :
I hadn't looked at this thread till I was prompted to last night.

It's been a compelling read, and I'd just like to add a "me too" to the thoughts and prayers of everyone else...
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
Dear Molly (who will always be 'Iron Mary Kidd' to me!)
One of my favourite poems, a shipmate kind of poem, special to me because of connections with my seafaring father. You probably know it.

'Sunset and evening star, and one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar when I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell, and after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell when I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of time and place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.'

Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

All my love and prayers to you, Molly.
Posted by ThatsMrJuice2U (# 3076) on :
Another first time poster here,

Love and prayers for you Molly. God bless you!
Posted by Jack the Lass (# 3415) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
Another first (or maybe 2nd?) time poster here, but I wanted to let you know how inspiring your journey has been to me and that I'm sending yet more love and prayers your way...
Looking forward to meeting you to tell you this in person.
Jackie x

St Patrick's Breastplate

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Posted by Ham'n'Eggs (# 629) on :
Dearest Molly, my thoughts and prayers are with you.

The Egglets enjoyed the photos of the quilt, and send their love!
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
Prayers ascending again and again ... God holds you in his heart.
Posted by Rossweisse (# 2349) on :
More prayers ascending, and a round on the Anglican rosary for you, dear Molly.
Posted by Bronwyn (# 52) on :
[Not worthy!] for you. No words. [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love] [Love]
Posted by splosh (# 2743) on :
Miss Molly

as the card on the front of my computer says

Sending you love with a smile across the miles [Love]

Thinking of you. I also just want to say thank you for the support you gave me in the early summer, it has meant a lot to me.
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Good morning blessings from Australia, Dear Heart... for I am well and truly home again, jet-lagged, finding it hard to cope with the heat- but loving being home with family and friends.
And back to work. Yesterday was my first proper day back on the wards with meaningful interaction, marvelling that so many people are walking soooo close to God, as they walk dark vallies with courage and hope in the Resurrection to enternal life.

I thought of you often...

I saw the dearest babe in our chapel- I assume the parents were in giving thanks. And I remembered again that image we once spoke of- how glad parents are when the infant is born, and her mummy holds her tight in her arms. First hold, full of love. Then death... God -Mummy and Daddy- holds us close as we are born therin, with arms of welcome and love... for the first time we see each other face to face, and God welcomes us into new life with great joy. The angels stand around and murmur "Ah, isn't she cute!"

Have a marvellous birthing , my dear...
Posted by Shoehorn with Teeth (# 2420) on :
Still praying, sending love. [Love]
It's an honor to share this time with you, Molly. I know that God is with you.
Posted by The one & only Nanny Ogg (# 1176) on :
Thinking of you Molly and praying.

I found this by Joyce Grenfell which we had read when my father died and which had brought me great comfort.

If I should go before the rest of you
Break not a flower nor inscribe a stone
Nor when I'm gone speak in a Sunday voice
But be the usual selves that I have known.
Weep if you must,
Parting is hell.
But life goes on,
So sing as well.

I know I'll weep but I'll sing in your honour [Angel] [Not worthy!] [Love]
Posted by Pipkin (# 1401) on :
Ma Chère et Belle Molly

Did I ever tell you the funny story of staying in the Holiday Inn in SLC, when I was 15 with my parents? They had lived in Toronto for 10 yrs before I was born, and promised me the "big" tour, after my exams.

I didn't like SLC at all. I felt it was a very prickly place, it made the hairs on my arms stand on end. It has been so strange talking to you over all these months thinking back to that time. Well, we went out for ice creams. It was so hot, I went out without a bra (are you amused J?? [Wink] ) It WAS August after all! When we got back a maid had pinched it!! (It was a good one, Sports make!)

I know that is frivolous, but I thought I'd tell you know rather than later.

Thank you so much for the prayers re: Maths. When you see Dad, who went last year, (Bert) tell him about the Maths for me? He would be very proud.

I really want to tell you about the tiny ickle babies. I am getting a great deal of support from the midwives at the "Birthing Centre" as it is now known. A cottage hospital is usually an outlying, district (not big town/city hosp), where probably no ops are performed, but various cares/wards. This one is part of a Victorian building. We have the only Victorian bathroom in the area - beautiful tiny black and white tiles! They installed a shower since I was there.

Well, you have been a huge inspiration for me, and I want to thank you for that. The tiny babies today were lovely, although we had one today who would NOT put her tongue down to latch on to feed. The Mum was getting upset about it all. I love speaking to those mothers.

Em and Tobes have a very busy few days, but are so very happy in their school. He is a monkey and a rat in "Captain Christmas", and she plays a solo on her flute in the Abbey for the school Carol Service on Friday. Do you remember hearing her practise? I shall light a candle for you whilst there.

au revoir sweetheart,
Your friend who loves you with all the other brothers and sisters

I want to send my love to Jeff too, because he is truly blessed.
Posted by Laura (# 10) on :
Miss Molly,

You have given so much to everyone here, and your being among us makes me feel like we have touched eternity somehow. I only hope I have the peace to take things as you have, when my time comes.

Love and peace, and a swift passing to joy when the time comes,

Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
I've lost count of the times I've started to hit the "reply" button, and then never posted because I felt like I couldn't find the right words.

I still don't have the right words, but didn't want to miss adding my own expression of love and prayers going out to you and for you.

I look forward to continuing to share stories with you once we make it through this dark glass, and to rejoice in God's presence with you again one day.

For now, may the pain be little, and may you be able to let yourself go into God's loving embrace.

Much love

Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
Dear Molly,

Very late - and here are the two ladies of the house still at the computer. (Shame on us!). The great work of art is due in tomorrow. Poor Ms M will be burning the midnight oil, I'm afraid. As is Mr M (still at work, unfortunately). Mephi is snoozing by my side, as usual.

I'll be at my weekly lunchtime prayer 'space' tomorrow and with each candle lit, will be offering up a prayer for you and yours.

Posted by chukovsky (# 116) on :
Hi Molly,

Like Kirsti I don't really know what to say but I thought I should just say I'm thinking of you. I still have your prayer card by my bed and in case I didn't say earlier, it says "In my music I try to represent who I am. It's very difficult because I'm always changing" (a loose paraphrase).
Posted by Clyde (# 752) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

May you be filled with joy in the knowledge that you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith.

For you, the best is yet to come, through the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Dear Sister Molly,

Can't think of much to say tonight, but "God bless you" and "sweet dreams".

I'll still be thinking of you tomorrow, particularly when I make the journey on the grubby trains! Bit of envy there- it's the Gospel train you're travelling on. "Get on board, little children, there's room for many more."
Posted by splosh (# 2743) on :
Miss Molly

Sitting here in the lab, I felt I should write a poem for you. As my supervisor, and others will state english is by far my worse subject, but I still wanted to write this for you.

In a bleak world a smile brings sunshine in
In a cold world a hug brings warmth in
In a dull world a laugh brings brightness in
In a harsh world love breaks down all barriers.

You brought all of them into our lives on the ship.

Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
"Death be not proud, though some have called thee
"Mighty and dreadfull, for thou art not soe,
"For, those whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
"Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee:
"From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
"Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
"And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
"Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
"Thou art slave to Fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
"And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwel,
"And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
"And better than thy stroake; why swell'st thou then?
"One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
"And death shall be no more: Death thou shalt die."
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
My thoughts and prayers are with you in every moment that is quiet. My heart and mind turn to prayers for you and all those close. I want to thank you so much for wanting to meet with me. I truly am honored. In the midst of all this to also offer some tourist activities (!) in the area gave me a squeeze all around my tears. Your giving heart is still beating strong. St Seb, how kind of him offering me his car. (I had drawn up some wonderful plans for him when he took the car back over, just a few tinkerings here and there that we could've done together [Snigger] . I figured that if you couldn't help with the actual work, I would just shove you behind the tires to keep the car from rolling whilst I 'fixed' a few things....!)
We will meet again some time, and I will expect a great tour from you when we meet in heaven. Could you scope out and see if there is a place called the Lion's Mane? I would love to sit there with you and Toolie sometime. We will invite all the shipmates there and have a great dance surrounded by the light of the Great Lion himself.
My empty moments are filled with you till the end.
My prayers are filled with you and your family, close and of the heart,
My life has been richer for your laughter on the keyboards, your gallant insights, and the life that you have shared for all of us here. I have been blessed by you.
Love always,
Lady A
Posted by Rossweisse (# 2349) on :
Dear Molly, this weekend I will go back to Shaw's Garden for you. It is snowing here, and it will have a bleak beauty in its blanket of white.

Rossweisse // thinking of you
Posted by DaveC (# 155) on :
Molly, it's been a privilege to share in your life over the last few months - I hope our prayers are as great a source of strength for you as your words and example are to us. I'm sure that God is holding you close in his arms now, and is drawing you closer to him with each hour that passes.
Posted by Stephen (# 40) on :
Molly - you're very much in my thoughts and prayers at this time......
Posted by Eanswyth (# 3363) on :
God bless you, Molly, and your family and Sebastian. Wrap that quilt around you and feel the love.
Posted by da_musicman (# 1018) on :
Molly,Its only now that I'm realiseing how much I've missed out on not knowing you better.I've read your posts but never actually talked to you.
God bless and I look forward to seeing you one day.We'll have a ball then I'm sure.
Posted by da_musicman (# 1018) on :
And I'm going to swallow my machoness and say I was close to tears when I read St Seb's post on your condition. You touched so many lives you never even knew about Molly.God bless you.
Posted by The one & only Nanny Ogg (# 1176) on :

May God the Father wrap His arms around you as His child

May Jesus the Son welcome you into His house

And may the Holy Spirit fly with yours to heaven
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
Sing for me Molly, when you get there... And for Aviva.

It is true we take nothing out of the world. But we do take our memories, our loves. For those left behind: those who have gone never fully leave us, because we have shared life together.

[ 05. December 2002, 01:01: Message edited by: Nunc Dimittis ]
Posted by zephirine of the roses (# 3323) on :
think of-
stepping on shore, and finding it heaven!

of taking holdof a hand, and finding it God's hand.

of breathing new air, and finding it celestial air.

of feeling invigorated, and finding it immortality.

of passing from storm to tempest to an unbroken calm.

of waking up, and finding it HOME!

-author unknown
Posted by kenwritez (# 3238) on :
At the risk of too little too late, I will also add my condolences to you, Molly, at this time. I'm not in your situation so I can't say I know what you're going through, but I will offer what I have: The assurance that God is God.

I wish you much peace, joy, grace and patience, Molly. <insert tearfully smiling smiley>. I wish the same good things for your friends and family, as well; I know this is hard for them.

Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning
is now and ever shall be
world without end. Amen.

May the Lord cause His face to shine upon you, His will to guide your feet, His hands to hold your heart, His love to hold your soul.
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
Gracious God,
nothing in death or life,
nothing in the world as it is,
nothing in the world as it shall be,
nothing in all creation
can separate us from your love.
Jesus commended his spirit into your hands at his last hour. Into those same hands we now commend your servant, that dying to the world and cleansed from sin, death may be for her the gate to life and to eternal fellowship with you;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
Are you growing tired, yet, of hearing how wonderful you are? [Embarrassed]

If it were me, I'd [Paranoid] wonder about just how sane the complimenters were...

Then I'd crack up [Killing me] ...

But I don't know if I'd really believe them. [Razz]

But, well, it's your lot at this time to gather mounds of well-wishing and compliments and lovings. Try to accept them as your due. [Not worthy!] They are, you know.

God bless you tonight.
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
I was making my lunch, and this came into my head:

Jesu, the very thought of thee
With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see
And in thy presence rest.

I think it's for you, Molly...
Posted by Anselmina (# 3032) on :
A similar-ish hymn about the name of Jesus
'How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
in a believer's ear..'

Final two verses:

Weak is the effort of my heart,
and cold my warmest thought;
but when I see thee as thou art,
I'll praise thee as I ought.

Till then I would thy love proclaim
with every fleeting breath;
and may the music of thy name
refresh my soul in death.

Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Wandering with Hope came over today to bring me a kerosene heater to keep the splendid Fearless and me warm if the ice storm knocked out our power tonight.

Fearless actually sat on Wandering's lap, nuzzled up and purred. That is an absolute miracle! I'm very proud of her.

She was so feral when I rescued her, she only learned to trust me over time. Til today, she barely tolerated company. She'd take one look, give a little growl and run for cover. With Wandering, for some reason, she'd add a horrible hateful hiss... [Eek!]

I know you must have been counseling her in some of your intimate chats. [Wink] Even our pets have been transformed by knowing you.

Heaven is just a blink away, Molly. You'll be healed and at peace and you'll see Jesus...

"Hope, as an anchor so steadfast,
Rends the dark veil for the soul,
Whither the Master has entered,
Robbing the grave of its goal.
Come then, O come, glad fruition,
Come to my sad weary heart;
Come, O Thou blest hope of glory,
Never, O never depart." (Whispering Hope)
Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
Dear Molly,

Yesteday was a day of bushfires and bronze skies in Sydney. I can't get used to heat in Advent and at Christmas. At this time of the year I miss dark nights and Christmas lights with windows shining like stained glass in the dark.

Sometimes I like to assemble in my mind a picture of God's country and what might be there:

North Yorkshire
I remember walking on Ilkley Moor in early August on a bright summer's day, with the heather in bloom, its honey scent rising in the air.

I remember Harrogate, a Victorian spa town as neat and serene as Toytown.

I remember the Nidderdale way that runs through Ripley and up the valley tracing the course of the Nidd. It was created as a pack trail by the Cistercian monks to connect their farms and abbeys.

I remember Fountains Abbey in February and walking beside the Skell in biting cold - but everywhere were snowdrops, planted by the monks as a symbol of purity.

I remember Robin Hood's Bay, a beautiful sweep of white sand and dunes, and Ravenscar where I actually got a little nip of frostbite in one finger at some silly corporate bonding weekend.

I remember York and the beautiful York Minster there, with its Rose window.

I remember Ripon Cathedral and the day they let us into the very base of the Cathedral. Down there is the oratory of St Wilfred, a simple rough stone building little more than a hut. It dates back to the original conversion of Northern England by the Irish monks who came with St Columba and St Aidan. It is in places like these that we touch the wellsprings, the origins of our faith.

There is a lot more of God's country, you know. It includes Tasmania, Sri Lanka, Brittany, Victoria Falls and La Fournaise...

But all of this is a shadow of God's Home. I am reminded of the line in "The Last Battle" by CS Lewis, when the children finally realise that they will stay forever in the new Narnia after the end of the old one and not return to the Shadowlands. "The term is over, the holidays have begun."
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Fair Maiden Molly,

I look out into my yard here in California and see two rose bushes. One just bloomed white roses all over the place. The walnut tree is dropping walnuts and a little squirrel is eating them all, bringing them out into the front yard, sitting on the fence between us and the apartment complex next to us.

I keep picturing you like a bird when you fly up to heaven, flying up, soaring like an eagle. Your soul will rejoice and you will sing with all creation.
Posted by jedijudy (# 1059) on :
My dear Molly, I don't know what to say. The main thing that pops in my head is this: I love you dear sister! I look forward to seeing you in Heaven!

It's just that right now, I selfishly want a huge miracle of healing for you. You are one of a kind, a miracle in my life. I will miss you so very much, dear beloved friend. I hope now you can feel God's loving arms around you, and He's so glad you're going to be with Him. Please remember us, Molly. I really believe that all of us Shipmates are better people just because of you.

It dawns on my puny brain that the miracle of healing is going to happen for you in Heaven! I think Christmas with a closely following birthday spent in Heaven would be so wonderful! (Maybe not for those of us who love you, but the idea of you being completely free of suffering will help to slow the tears, a bit.)

Do you remember our "When the Ship was in Drydock" adventure? The whalebone corset? Olorin and Sophie? The illigitimate child? You have given me such a gift of laughter and fun! Thank you dear sister!

<Deep bows and Honors to my beloved Sister Molly, her parents, her family and to our own Saint-straight from God-St. Sebastian.>

Judy, Melissa, Jasmine, Belle and Snuffy
Posted by troy (# 2516) on :
Molly, I don't think we ever interacted directly.. but you have been in my prayers (admittedly on and off) ever since this whole affair began. You remain in my thoughts and prayers -- especially at this time...and I pray that no matter we the next days hold for you, that you and your family will intimately know the close companionship of Christ.

Thinking and praying for you and yours in this time,

PS. I struggled with whether or not to post this, out of fear that someone would view it as being in bad taste....and if anyone does, you have my most sincere apologies....but I think I speak for all of us when I say that once you've passed through the Gates, and you get to look back on the Earth and see each and every one of us...for real...just remember to try not to look back while any of us are in the shower...because while we love you, that's just a little too familiar...

ok, at the very least, try not to giggle. :-)

Much love
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
My love and prayers, Molly. It is very late at night and we are waiting at the station--it looks rather like the old CPR station in Winnipeg which I remember from my early childhood. It's huge and Victorian, and there's a big Christmas tree with lights. The Salvation Army Band is taking a break; drinking tea from styrofoam cups with their instruments propped around them on the floor. There are other people waiting, with their cases and shopping bags around their feet, and a faint smell of pine tree and tobacco smoke is in the air. Your friends are arriving to see you off; we are the big bunch quietly chattering under the chandelier.( How did those cats get in here?) If you step to the door, there is the beginning of a rose-grey glow in the east.
Posted by Siegfried (# 29) on :
Hi Molly...

I just got home from a local coffee shop where some friends and I meet each Wednesday night. The staff was decorating a tree, and there was Christmas music playing. I've just settled in with a mug of mulled cider, and am looking through some CDs for some nice reflective music. Have you ever heard anything by Loreena McKennett? She has a very lovely voice, and often sings with just a harp of some strings and wind as accompaniment. She has one particular song, "For those who are to mirth inclined", which was recorded in an old abbey. She sings it solo, accompanied only by the abbey bell. The accoustics and echoes are beautiful. I think I'll play that.

All my prayers,
Posted by ptarmigan (# 138) on :
Dear Molly,

let me add my voice and prayers to those of this wonderful community. The Ship is a better place for you havnig been with us, and especially for your sharing in this way. I'm sure other places are also the better for having been graced with your presence. For me at least, hospital and illness and mortality are somewhat less horrific thanks to your accounts.

As I write, just before leaving for work in the UK, I am listening to Hymnus Paradis by Herbert Howells:

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills:
from whence cometh ny help.
My help cometh even from the Lord:
Who hath mnade heaven and earth.
Sanctus Dominus Deus.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved:
And He that keepeth thee will not sleep.
Behold, He that keepeth Israel:
Shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord Himself is they keeper:
He is thy defence upon thy right hand;
So that the sun shall not burn thee by day:
Neither the moon by night.
Sanctus, Sanctus, Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Pleni sunt ceoli et terra gloria tua.
The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil
Yea, it is even He that shall keep thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in:
From this time forth and for evermore.

Holy is the true light, and passing wonderful.
Lending radiance to them that endured in the heat of the conflict:
From Christ they inherit a home of unfading splendour,
Wherein they rejoice with gladness for evermore.

With love,

Rob ("Ptarmigan")
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
My darling Molly, my true friend,
Thank you for finding the energy to talk to me on the phone last night, and for your everlasting sense of humour [Wink] I phoned Beethoven afterwards and told her that you sent your love, as indeed you do to all Shipmates.
God bless you my darling 'Dame' Molly.
Posted by Siegfried (# 29) on :
Thank you Molly, for bringing this community together, and for showing us all the courage and strength we should have when faced with our mortality.

Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Molly my dear,

Reading through the Vigil thread, I've been reminded of a funny moment that I think I forgot to tell you from B's baptism.

Mr B had provided pitta breads to be used for the Mass in place of the normal wafers, and although he'd been fairly sure that one would be enough, he'd provided a second just in case the revival started in our village that day! [Wink] Well, as you may know (if you received the order of service), the final hymn was 'Guide me O thou Great Redeemer' - one of my all-time favourites. All was fine until Mr B and I happened to look at the priests while we were singing: Martin (the celebrant) had apparently felt for some reason that one bread would not have been enough for the small number of people present, so had consecrated both. This meant that as we were singing 'Bread of heaven, feed me til I want no more' the clergy were busy consuming the 1 1/2 spare consecrated breads! [Big Grin]
Posted by Schroedinger's cat (# 64) on :
Molly - I have avoided this thread because I don't know what to say. Just thank you for being here among us these last few months. It has meant more than you know to me.

Thank you.
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Oops - hit reply by mistake! [Roll Eyes]

It made us smile anyway, and I just know I'm going to remember that every time I sing that hymn from now on! [Big Grin]

Anyway, w*rk calls, so I should feign some interest in what I should be doing.

Lots of love from George, Alice, Comfrey & Clover. And from Mr B, Baby B and me, of course!


Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
Hi Molly,
It's a bright cold day in Edinburgh and I should be at work. I'm late already!

Hugs, blessings and prayers be with you.

Much love,
Posted by Annie P (# 3453) on :
Dear Miss Molly,

I'm afraid that I am one of those who really didn't get chance to know you, but reading this thread it's plain to see the good effect you've had on this community. I haven't posted here before but all I wanted to say was you are in my prayers and I will continue to pray for you until the end. I'm reminded of psalm 73 (the end bit):

Who have I in Heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but the Lord is my strength and my portion for ever.

God bless you Molly, thanks for visiting "the Haven" . Sleep easy now.

Posted by Gill B (# 112) on :
You are in my prayers, Molly, as you face your final journey with a courage, dignity and humour which it has seldom been my privilege to encounter. God bless you always.
Posted by PaulC (# 2256) on :
(((((Molly))))) [Tear]
If only Thunderbird One could rescue you from this! But I know One who is so much greater has already saved you. [Smile]
Posted by RiverRat-5 (# 3605) on :
Molly, I am very new to SoF but I stopped in here at the urging of Nicole with whom I've been friends nearly since the the cyber-age started. By all these messages and the hearfelt wishes, I can only surmise that you must be one super lady with an influence far beyond this humble board. I wish we could have met in RL, and apprently, a lot of people here, share the same sentiment. Just wanted to add my thoughts and heartfelt prayers.

Vio Con Dios Dear Lady.
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Hello, Dear Heart....
Brisbane is hot and sultry tonight... yes, it is Christmas weather.

We have had a homecoming week in my family- me from the overseas trip, nephew from job up in the northern rainforests (tourism), and brother from Army service in Tasmania (pre-Antartic training- he goes next week for a year)... So we sat outside under the stars and told stories of far-off, magical places, and ate watermelon, and drank cold champagne. My 5 year old twin nieces ran around excitedly, proclaiming to all and sundry that Santa will come soon. My oldest nephew turned 26 today and formally announced his engagement over dinner. Quite a night! Families are important, aren't they!

We visited my father- still so ill, but now in a palliative care nursing home... Loved ones matter much, whether they be family or friends...

Thankyou for being part of my extended family- the family of God. I sat under the night skies, looked up to heaven, and thought of you. The famous constellation, the Southern Cross shone in the sky. I missed that when I was away; it anchors us psychologically, down here in Australia, up in the endless skies... God placed it there, and gave the stars their form. How incredible it is that the God of such artistry and power cares enough to make us also- exquisite, loved and loving folk, made in the image of the Divine.

He shines in you, my dear. Always has. Always will.
Posted by Birdie (# 2173) on :
Molly, I just have to tell you - it's a perfect day here! The sky is a fragile pale blue and the trees are criss-crossed black against it. The sun is shining and the bark of the birch trees is gleaming white. I am looking out of my office window and thinking of you. [Love]

Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
It was good to speak to you in real life may you know that God is with you.
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
lots of love from my lunchbreak ...but my bleep has just gone off...hope you are snoozing peacefully...xxxWD
Posted by Gambit (# 766) on :
I'm another one of these people who can't find the words.

But, as I go to the most beautiful Advent service in the world tomorrow, at my old university, and listen to the anthem 'Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence' to the music of Edward Bairstow, I will think of you Molly. The icon in chapel, bought in memory of a friend of ours (my uni friends) who died, will also, forever, be in memory of you as well.

All love,

Gambit and Holly
Posted by Rhisiart (# 69) on :
Posting on this thread seems like both the most important thing to do and the least important - the most so as to offer my prayers for you at this time of hope and fear, the least because, after all that others have said, what can I add that is even 10% as original and touching as what has already been said?

We offer you to the Lord of Hosts, the Lord who has suffered with us in our weakness, the Lord who defeated death and rose again. We have been blessed with faith in him and the 'sure and certain hope of the Resurrection'. May the Lord bless you and keep you in his heart, and comfort all those who will mourn when you move on.

May you rest in peace and rise in glory

Posted by JoyfulNoise & Parrot, O'Kief (# 2049) on :
Hey Molly,

Me again. Remember what seems like years ago, but infact was only in March, you and I made a pact to walk 15 minutes each day. Neither of us kept going very long - but every time I do get walking now, always think of you, adding my prayers to the many that are already being sent.

Today, after I finnished the morning shift at work, I headed off down the swimming pool - I was the only customer most of the time. 64 lengths is a mile, on Monday I managed 22 lengths, today I proudly managed 32, ½ a mile. Some what exhausticated now, and aches where I had forgotten my body existed. The Life Gaurd was pleased when I had finished, think he was slightly concerned [Smile] .

Yesterday my bus brokedown - flat battery, whilst I had 7 of the elderly folk aboard. Was teaming down with rain outside, so as we sat waiting to be rescued (my boss with his jump leads) talk turned to Noahs Ark. We each decided what animal we would be on the ark, the first elderly wanted to be an elephant, another a lion. They all wanted me to be a Hippopotamus. At that point we were rescued - so I never did find out why I would be a hippapotamus!

Once more, loads of Hugs and another bunch of Roses.

Love & God Bless
JoyfulNoise xxx
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Dear Miss Molly,
I was awoken this morning by bunnies. You see, they are in a field, and there sits a sledge. I see a team of your favorites patiently waiting in the traces. They know that the battle is nearly over, but there is one last service they can do. They are patiently waiting, not even nibbling the leather of the harness though it smells so good and bunnies know how wonderful it would taste to nibble through. There are more bunnies around, some have ears up to catch every muttered thought of prayer for you, others whiffle at your hands and feet. Others still fight on while some begin to tear at the wall between our worlds, it grows thinner and thinner as they chew knowing that this release will beat the disease as nothing else can. Bunnies come across the plain, bunnies snuggle to keep you warm, bunnies check your breath and eyes, and tickle you with their whiskers. The valley is covered with bunnies, and as the wall thins, we hear mighty chews from the angel warrior bunnies on the other side. Other angel bunnies triumphantly sing and we catch the briefest hint of the song they raise. The bunnies know what to do, they point towards the place where you will walk, in fields of gold, with bunnies capering about your feet in joy that their Linda has come home...
Posted by frin (# 9) on :

your love has enriched this board. And I thank you for that. You have been in my prayers, in my songs and in my thoughts all day today.

May the peace of the Lord be always with you.

Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
Dear Molly, what a send off you will have! With all the prayers and hymns swirling round you, you will be propelled up to Heaven like a rocket!
Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
I have been thinking.... one of the last things that Molly wanted to organise was the entombment of St Seb. I feel that it is our duty to help her achive her wish.

Someone mentioned that St Seb's blood should be bottled.

I feel that we should take St Seb to a kosher butcher and have his blood drained. This can then be bottled and sent all over the world; to shipmates, to the sick or oppressed. (Wonder how much we could charge for it?)

We would of course replace the blood with Ruby Port. I suspect that he would be a happy little soul with 10 pints of Ruby Port swilling around his insides. So happy in fact that he wouldn't mind being entombed.

I know that his blood has powerful stuff in it, but is it powerful enough to pay for all the black marble that Miss M has her heart set on? We may have to call on some shipmated to do the internal decoration of St Seb's tomb (I don't know if his blood will be able to pay for all of the costs.)

Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
Originally posted by babybear:
We may have to call on some shipmated to do the internal decoration of St Seb's tomb (I don't know if his blood will be able to pay for all of the costs.)

Fear not babybear, my parter used to run a decorating service before the DIY shop - we can get everything free of charge. [Wink]
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
Oh Molly, Molly! In your honour, and thanks to you, the Boards now have a smilie with eyebrows! [Tear]
Posted by Robert Miller (# 1459) on :
Oiche maith agus codladh samh mo cara - Dia Duit

Posted by Laura (# 10) on :

We are having the first serious snow of the season, here in DC. It's been snowing since midnight, we've got at least seven inches now, and it's covered everything with its glittering perfection. All except in the back garden where the boys have made a messy hash of it.

Thinking of you.
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
BabyBear, don't make me get out of this chair and come over there!

My dears, it is unlikely that Molly will be posting again. She can't read, but her mother is reading the thread to her, and all your emails. Molly told me last night to thank you all and tell you she "loves, loves loves!" you.

She had a decent night and ate a little toast this morning. The morphine is making her hallucinate, but she says they are fun hallucinations, not scary, and that she can tell what's real and what isn't. It occurred to me that ya'll might want to send cards to Mr. and Mrs. Dillon after Molly is gone. I'm not sure it's proper to post their address. I'm going to ask Mrs. Dillon today if she minds it being posted. If she does, then by all means email me and I'll add you to my address list as the SOF group and do a mass mailing with it.

I saw Molly last night. She was flushed, dozy,but her breathing was less labored than it has been. Her spirit and humour still shine through (she'll love that shower remark!). Her mother and Marion were very teary, but to me Molly seems very peaceful and even a little detached (which I know is partly Morphine, but I also believe she is letting go now).

I will continue to print out the thread daily to be read to her, and any private emails you send. Just put "Molly" in the header and I wont' read them (unless I have to read them to her; but I will not remember them).

The Ship sent a stunning flower arrangement, which was a pleasure to her and her mother. I'll get a picture and post it somewhere.

Thank you all for your continued prayers. The coming together of this community, with all our disagreements and tifs, in support of one of our own, and, indeed, one of our own that many of us haven't met, is truly a witness of Christ. You will never know the blessing it has been for Molly, and the joy you've all brought her.

[Not worthy!]
Posted by Smudgie (# 2716) on :
Helo Amty Moly
This is the nise and the hamson one .
I am getting on well and my fravret is Histery .
Ihave a mirkell for you - A COMMENDASHEN from
scool for working hard. Mum is plessed with ME.
I'm sorry that I will miss torking to you!

Love N (Tiddles)

helo i am the litl hamsoom boy,
i am sad i will mis you [Frown] .but it will be good wif jeesoos. [Killing me]

luv from n (Smudgelet)

Thank you Simon for letting my boys say goodbye to their friend Molly. Molly, they and I send you all our love. Of course they are sad, and it's a learning experience for them too, but they're struck on the sunflower idea that you shared with them and know that, while they won't be able to talk to you, you'll be watching out for them, and partying with Jesus!!!
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
So who wants to be the shipmate who precedes St Sebastian through all the threads he posts on and festoons his path with rose petals?

I wish I had a pretty day to describe, but, well, it's crap. Getting colder by the minute and raining, which would be good if I could be at home and sleeping, but alas I am working (or so they think -- I've actually been posting, praying and even ducked out to the local church hahahahahahaha). I've been listening to the new Christmas CD from Mannheim Steamroller, particularly the last track -- an arrangement of Auld Lang Syne that is Chip Davis at his finest. Rather fitting, I think... we'll drink a cup of kindness yet for times gone by...
Posted by The Coot (# 220) on :
:kisses her hand with a low gentlemanly bow so Miss Molly can't see the tears:

"Always the lady in spite of Hell, always toujours gai"
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
It is snowing. Been home sick with a cold the last two days, but the snow outside is beautiful.

*HUGS* Molly!
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Sneaking in on my work computer as my last client hasn't turned up. [Frown]

I was slightly worried in the shower this morning as i realised that although showers have curtains, they have no upper privacy shield. [Eek!]

No problem on the trains today - lots of little muslim children all so neatly and cleanly dressed up, going with Mums and dads to visit relations.

But it's really cold now, and I'll have a long wait at the windiest station north of London. I'll go and pick up some spicy chicken strips from Sam's Halal Chicken shop and munch them while I wait for the train to arrive. Maybe someone will have left a newspaper to read on the seat.

Time to log off before I get caught. [Ultra confused]
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
Quite pretty journey back tonight in reasonably uncrowded train carriage with beautiful sunset on one side and darkening night on the other. Country villages with old stone houses and chimneys with plumes of smoke, lovely old windows glowing gently with light in the gathering darkness. Journey spoilt only by smelly git who I usually try to avoid coming in just at the last moment and sitting 4 rows away. It was a cold December evening so he felt the heat enough to remove not only his overcoat but also his jacket and just sit there in shirtsleeves. And boy did we know he was there. O for an orange stuck with cloves that I could use as a pomander.
Posted by Eggs Benedict (# 1282) on :
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
Two very jolly young families stopped by Vestry Hour, which I took tonight, to arrange for the baptisms of their young, which will take place at one of our daughter churches, a little outpost in the country, on Easter Sunday. They were rosy from the cold, full of jokes and tales of their weddings and the naughtiness of young relatives. One of the infants was present--a thumping great child of two weeks clad in a tough-guy snowsuit and smiling in his sleep. Lots of stars out on a clear night when I locked up, and the change-ringers were just beginning their practice. God bless you, dear Molly, on this eve of the Feast of St. Nicholas. [Love]
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
Warm morning sunshine creeps through my window and wakes me up. Today my Department has a Christmas lunch at a restaurant down the road. We have decided to drink in moderation- determined to enjoys ourselves, but conscious that a bunch of merry chaplains would be in no fit state to work back in the afternoon.
I will make a private toast to a little bunch of people over in the USa, bravely facing the future together, confident in God's loving presence.
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Went by Molly's at lunch with some odds and ends Mrs. Dillon needed.

Chastmastr, as I walked in your Christmas Hamster was singing to her and she was smiling bemusedly. She named him David and said it was very thoughtful of you to provide his food.

Welsh Dragon, the roses are beautiful and she thanks you.

Mrs. Dillon okayed the posting of her address and their email address.
Email: (the omission of the second "l" is intentional).
Physical: Wayne & Helen Dillon
2740 Worcester Street
Aurora, Colorado 80011

The arrival of the new and wonderous lift chair has been postponed to Monday, possibly even Tuesday. I went to the store and tried to convice them to give me the floor model, but the cold-hearted bastards refused. Mrs. Dillon is fretful about it, so I pray it arrives Monday. Plus it will be so much better for Molly. She is sleeping better, there are catheter issues that should be resolved today (too much information?)and the Hospice nurse practitioner is going by this afternoon to check in on her. She was sort of in and out of a doze while I was there, but when she was in, her sweet spirit shined through. We had a couple of giggles before I left.

Oh, it occurred to me that if anyone wants to email Mrs. Dillon c/o of me, I can take them to her. She's not really comfortable on the computer and the email address above will be monitored by Mr. Dillon in Colorado.

Mrs. Dillon said she read most of the threads to Molly that I took over last night. They cried and read, cried and read. Now if I even mention the Ship Mrs. Dillon will cry. Bless you all.

[It's okay, St Seb, I've corrected the e-mail address]

[ 06. December 2002, 08:29: Message edited by: frin ]
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Argh, I should have proofed that. The email address is actually

Sorry! [Embarrassed]
Posted by Lyra (# 267) on :
Dear Molly,

Thoughts, love, and prayers.

And to Molly's family - the same.


Lyra (Liz)
Posted by Mrs Tubbs (# 440) on :
Right ... here's us:

We're currently in Philly - the city of brotherly love - staying with my family. My mum's sister married a GI at the end of WW2 and emigrated to the USA. She and mum lost contact in the 70's - the reasons for which are lost in the mists of time - and I tracked down my aunt a few months ago. We're currently staying with my newly found cousins (who are lovely!) and watching the snow fall ... Laura and Jerry have two cats that completely ignore us and a beagle, Daisy, who is very friendly and large of paw. We fly back to the UK tomorrow - God and the weather conditions willing.

And I found this prayer that I thought I'd share. Although it's probably more appropriate for others on the Ship who were closer to Molly than I, I found it really helpful:

"I miss you and am lonely without you. I am devastated that you were taken from me. I am angry that you had to suffer so. It was hard to see you in such pain. But that's not how I will remember you.

I will always remember you full of life, warmth and kindness. I will remember the laughter and the love. I will remember the precious time we shared. I will remember your vitality and your grace.

Your death has left a hole in my life. But as hard as it is to be without you, I take comfort in the knowledge that you are at last at peace and free from pain.

Rest in peace. God bless you and those who you love. Amen"

Posted by Hils (# 2251) on :
Dearest dearest molly, I wish i looked at the boards more! I have only just discovered this one and now have so much I would ahve loved to have told you.
Just so you know I had my ankle op and it all went fine, much better than it was before. Also I have a new job!!!!!!!!! [Yipee] I will be an Admin Assistant in the Path lab of our local hospital.
Anyway, enough of me. YOu and all your family are in my prayers at this time. I pray that you will all feel the love of the Lord holding you close as He calls you home.
We will all miss you so very much and the ship won't be the same without you.
Loads of love from me (and of course my devishly handsome hubby!!!!) not too mention a wag from Sophie the dog!!!!
Posted by Fudge (# 425) on :
Dearest Molly,

I'm just so glad I knew you for a wee while! I'm jealous, you'll get to the Divine Choir before me! I'm going to be in the church choir on the 22nd Dec, soprano, if you're up above watching by then, every note is dedicated to you, dear friend.

Remember - the Northern Lights; crisp autumn leaves; cue Eva Cassidy; laughter; light; no tears ever again; no pain; no sickness; God says "I'll be their God, and they will be my people," and you will be held in His arms and He will say "Welcome home, daughter,"

oh molly - I'm going to miss you!! [Waterworks]

p.s. Seb - keep battling on - we rely on your news!
love from my soul -

Fudge [Love]
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Everyone will probably think this is the hokiest song on Earth, but I've always loved it. It looks more hokey in print than it sounds when sung, especially as sung in the movie "Trip to Bountiful".

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.


Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?


Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.


O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.

Posted by zephirine of the roses (# 3323) on :
i love that song, bro.

it was one of the first i heard as an infant Christian. (not so very long ago. how the time has passed. it IS like a whole 'nother lifetime away)

this song will always draw me in to Jesus' warm embrace... so close that i can hear the beating of His great heart.
`sighhhhhhh [Tear]
Posted by Amos (# 44) on :
Oh, I love it too. Do they still play it on the farmers' program on early Sunday morning radio, I wonder--along with the polkas which are supposed to improve your cows' milk yields.
Posted by The one & only Nanny Ogg (# 1176) on :
I love the song "In Christ Alone" which has found its way into the faves at our church. The last verse is particularly poignant:

"No guilt in life, not fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final death
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand"

Praying for you Molly
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
I found this prayer RE St. Sebastian:

O Lord, grant us a spirit of strength. Taught by the glorious example of you martyr, Saint Sebastian, may we learn to obey You rather than men. Amen.

So many thanks to St. Sebastian, his strength of love, and friendship. For being there for Miss Molly, her family. His namesake would not be ashamed. For being there for us, we all thank you for courage in compassion, a spirit of strength.
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
And now the flip side [Snigger]
Dolphy and BB don't forget that relics from a saint are always in vogue. A finger joint here, a knee cap there and you should be able to raise more than enough money for the project. In case you need some decorating suggestions, try the Catacombs of St Sebastian
A little first century perhaps, but you could make something that would rival this tourist spot on the Appian Way. Since this is a primarily mormon town, may I suggest that we ask visitors to wear bunny slippers as they take the tour? [Killing me]
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
Oh Molly! I'm so glad the singing hamster made it! I was worried he wouldn't in the snow... I hope you like the bunnies on the Japanese cracker packets -- I saw them and thought of your rabbits, so I had to pick them up for you!

Many many hugs to you -- and St. Sebastian!!


Hamster voice: jingle bells jingle bells jingle all the way...
Posted by Rossweisse (# 2349) on :
Still praying and thinking of you, dear Molly. Thank you for your friendship and gentle spirit.
Posted by DMarie (# 2267) on :
Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us;
To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.
Luke 1

Continued prayers that you are surrounded by peace and feel the love from all of us. St. Seb (who really must be a saint!) has kept us posted so we know how courageous and gracious you continue to be.

Love and blessings to you
Posted by JoyfulNoise & Parrot, O'Kief (# 2049) on :
Today dear Molly has been good to me.
The weather, though slightly cold, was good, making my job an easy one. The elderly folk boarding my bus today were in good spirit, and some even joked about our breakdown yesterday, asking if I had brought supplies, just in case!

As I said earlier I went swimming at lunch time before going home for a rest.

After work this evening I sat 'Steaming' on my Nebzulizer at the computer screen before going to a Signing Christmas Party - which was most hilarious. The people present are all LEARNING signing, most for many more years than myself. 'Twas great to get together with them all - and remarkable to find out that at least 15% of them were involved in Signing in Liturgy. Made me feel really at home.

Some folk had brought their kids along, and one wee lass of 7 years asked if she could get up and sign a song. She said we had to sng it - and she would sign it - so we all sang Away In A Manger, and she, who has learnt signing through her Mum going to classes, signed it so beautifully. A real show stopper, and much merriment too.

Well Molly, I have a candle lit for you - follows me around the house - yes the kids have commented on its occassional trip up stairs(!). So now I will take it in the kitchen where it will burn brightly by the washing up bowl.

T'was lovely to speak briefly with you tonight, thank you for your very kind message (though IMHO undeserved). Pass on my best wishes to all in your household at the moment, and special thoughts and prayers for your dear father so far away.

May God continue to richly bless you dear Molly.
Good Night & God Bless,
JoyfulNoise & Parrot, O'Kief
Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :
Dearest Molly, (and her dear readers)

The weather, the weather!

Last night was the spookiest night I've ever spent. The power went off at midnight from the ice storm, and I spent the remainder of the time til dawn huddled with Fearless beneath the blankets on the sofa. Large tree limbs were falling everywhere, but in the dark they sounded heavy enough to be entire trees. [Eek!] I cringed at every one that fell, waiting for it to appear through my roof. Then a transformer blew in the subdivision behind me, and a live power line, I suppose was dangling because I could see the electricity arcing from time to time - like a fireworks display.

We didn't sleep a wink.

I'm online briefly now, to sign on for the prayer vigil tonight and to send messages from Wandering with Hope. Her power is still out (I have power and no phone and she has phone, but no power.. [Smile] ) I had to go to the country store up the road to call her at a "75 cents for 3 minutes" pay phone.

She says to send her love and that she is praying tonight. I'm also expecting to be praying by candlelight, as every 5 minutes or so, my power cuts out. Giant chunks of trees are still falling in the yard. [Frown]

Goodnight, much love and the usual paw pats and purrs. [Love]
Posted by jedijudy (# 1059) on :
Hi Molly! [Tear]

You have been constantly in my heart, my prayers and my thoughts today. The tears run down my face, but a great many tears are of joy! Dearest, you've brought such joy to so many people, and there is much joy on the Ship, for you will be in Paradise!

I'm glad the hallucinations are pleasant, nothing like a little entertainment in the day!

It's stinkin' hot here, again. [Ultra confused] After recently having to use a blanket at night, now I would almost need to put the air conditioner on. I just absolutely refuse to do that in December! So, all the fans are running full tilt, and we're wearing the summer PJ's.

Jasmine is laying under the Christmas tree, making a picture of contentment to pass on to you. Snuffy is watching the decorating activities with great interest, and Belle gives kitty kisses to anyone who stands still long enough. (I'm sure they're for you!)

Melissa and I send all our love, tender hugs and gentle thoughts.

jj...waving her lightsaber in a dazzling display of Victory for Sister Molly...
Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
More of God's country


Australia is a big place - three timezones big in fact. But Tasmania is a place you can easily tour around in two week - which is certainly not something that can be said of the other States.

For some reason there are echoes of European landscapes in Tasmania - England's fields, Norway's coastline, France and its orderly landscape. it's on a smaller scale to the rest of Australia and you can drive all day and hardly see another car. The climate is temperate with summer temperatures climbing to the mid 20's (mid 70's)with cool nights.

Tasmania was where they sent the worst and most recalcitrant of the convicts - the ones they weren't game to have on the mainland. Although they were forcibly transported to Australia and then on to Van Diemen's Land as it was then called, the "ticket of leave" men and women who were eventually released must have wondered at the beauty of the landscape, so different to their homes in England. It must have given them consolation.

The Tamar Valley south of Hobart reminds me of parts of Kent, with its hedgerows and hopfields. That temperate climate is the reason that a lot of chocolate sold in Australia is actually made in Tasmania. I bought the most splendid cherries from a roadside stall there - as red as roses, as big as golf balls and as sweet as a kiss.

But what most people think most of in Tasmania is the wilderness. The Franklin River area is perhaps the best - with its rushing river running beneath the enormous mountain ash gum trees and the giant man ferns, as high as a small tree with their crown of fronds. It's a little like Argyll in Scotland. (Heavens - another part of God's country I forgot to name!)

Tasmania's a beautiful place - a little hokey, a long way off the usual tourist beat.

Love and prayers yet again, to you Molly and to your parents and to Marion.

I have noted the modest proposals concerning the miraculous blood of St Sebastian (whose blood is worth bottling more than ever, as we all know)and the internal decor of his black marble monument. I thoroughly approve. [Big Grin]
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Enough of the schemes for my entombment. I have come up with a viable alternative. Ushabti figures. Little statuettes the Egyptians placed in their tombs to serve them in the afterlife. Since I'm no sculptor and even the cottage industry in ushabti-making is no more, I'm thinking Weebles. The don't fall down, always a commendable quality in a servant. Of course, they don't have arms, either. Well, perhaps action figures of one sort or another. She wouldn't need as many of them, what with their super-powers and all.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to interview tasters.
Posted by Cusanus (# 692) on :
Have just returned from the edge of the wilderness, as described by Duo Seraphim. Stood at Cockle Creek--as far south as you can go by vehicle in Australia, looking at the mountains rising behind Ida Bay. All it lacked was the Sophie riding at anchor and Stephen Maturin on the beach examining the flora and fauna.
Posted by golden key (# 1468) on :
Miss Molly--


Thought of you, and thought of this--especially the last verse.

If you go to

Lord of the Dance lyrics/tune

you can hear the music.

I danced in the morning when the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem I had my birth.


Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.

I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee,
But they would not dance and they would not follow me;
I danced for the fishermen, for James and John;
They came to me and the dance went on.


I danced on the sabbath when I cured the lame,
The holy people said it was a shame;
They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high;
And they left me there on a cross to die.


I danced on a Friday and the sky turned black;
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back;
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone,
But I am the dance and I still go on.


They cut me down and I leapt up high,
I am the life that’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.


(LORD OF THE DANCE © 1963 Stainer & Bell Ltd. (administered by Hope Publishing Company, Carol Stream, IL 60188).
Posted by zephirine of the roses (# 3323) on :
Originally posted by St. Sebastian:
Enough of the schemes for my entombment. I have come up with a viable alternative. Ushabti figures. Little statuettes the Egyptians placed in their tombs to serve them in the afterlife. ... Well, perhaps action figures of one sort or another. She wouldn't need as many of them, what with their super-powers and all.

would playmobil figures do? they have cats....
Posted by Willyburger (# 658) on :
St. Seb, perhaps the Bible Action Figures on the Gadgets For God page fit the bill? Or even Bibleman action figures. Come to think of it, they too belong on Gadgets for God. [Big Grin]
Posted by Rossweisse (# 2349) on :
Originally posted by zephirine of the roses:would playmobil figures do? they have cats....[/QB]
Playmobils rock.

The cats are good, but don't miss the penguins.

Rossweisse // with an entire Playmobil colony
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
By the way, ya'll, let's not forget Marian in our prayers. She is doing far more than I am with much less fanfare and she's losing a dear, longtime friend. She is aggressively overseeing and modifying Molly's medical care with steely determination. She's doing the really important stuff and it's much harder on her than me, so please remember her.

Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
Originally posted by St. Sebastian:
By the way, ya'll, let's not forget Marian in our prayers.

I would also like people to remember Timothy L in their prayers. He brought us news right at the very start that Molly had been taken to hospital with suspected pnemonia. Molly took a very, very bad turn in hospital during her first does of Chemo, Timothy was the one who repeated Molly's wishes of "No resusitaion" to the nursing staff.

Please remember Timothy. He is hurting really badly.

Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
Originally posted by babybear:
Originally posted by St. Sebastian:
By the way, ya'll, let's not forget Marian in our prayers.

I would also like people to remember Timothy L in their prayers. He brought us news right at the very start that Molly had been taken to hospital with suspected pnemonia. Molly took a very, very bad turn in hospital during her first does of Chemo, Timothy was the one who repeated Molly's wishes of "No resusitaion" to the nursing staff.

Please remember Timothy. He is hurting really badly.


Absolutely. My prayers and support for you both!

I propose the playmobil girl with cats for Marian's ushabti and the knight in armour for Timothy L, (as I'm not allowed to mention bottled blood any more)
Posted by Kitten (# 1179) on :
Dear Molly

I wonder whether you may find comfort in these words of Emily Bronte

No coward soul is mine,
No trembler in the world's storm-troubled sphere:
I see Heaven's glories shine,
And faith shines equal, arming me from fear.

O God within my breast,
Almighty, ever-present Deity!
Life--that in me has rest,
As I--undying Life--have Power in Thee!

Vain are the thousand creeds
That move men's hearts: unutterably vain;
Worthless as withered weeds,
Or idlest froth amid the boundless main,

To waken doubt in one
Holding so fast by thine infinity;
So surely anchored on
The steadfast rock of immortality.

With wide-embracing love
Thy spirit animates eternal years,
Pervades and broods above,
Changes, sustains, dissolves, creates, and rears.

Though earth and man were gone,
And suns and universes ceased to be,
And Thou wert left alone,
Every existence would exist in Thee.

There is not room for Death,
Nor atom that his might could render void:
Thou--Thou art Being and Breath,
And what Thou art may never be destroyed.

I found these words a comfort when I lost my favorit cousin some years ago. I know I have never met you or had a conversation with you but I feel I know you from your postings and I'm gonna miss you.

I'll stop now as I'm upsetting myself and as I work in a predominantly male environment, that would not be a good idea.

God bless you Molly

Tina (Kitten)
Posted by chukovsky (# 116) on :
Dear Molly,

I'm working at home today which means I'm sitting at my computer looking out at the London street, with some very nice Victorian houses in London brick (it's a kind of dark brown colour, different to most other bricks) opposite. Recently in the caf&eactue we played I spy and I used an orange skip (a kind of dumpster for building materials) that was opposite my window but it's not there any more. However I can see everyone coming and going, I can see when the postman is coming and when people take their children to and from school, so what with that and the Ship, not much work gets done. It's pretty cold today in London and all the children are bundled up, but there hasn't been any snow - some parts of Britain are supposed to get it today but we won't.

It is so comforting to us to read all the lovely words here, I hope it's comforting to you too. I wish I could give my sick friend the same kind of thing but I don't think she knows about heaven.

My mind is currently occupied with what I should be doing for work (I'm planning an experiment that involves messing with the minds of stroke patients for a change, instead of messing with the minds of young children, and I'm also dragging myself back about 5 years mentally to reanalyse some old data that, of course, I said I'm never going to touch again - eating my words there).

Also I'm trying desperately to plan the sleeping arrangments for the Dublin meet which isn't till February but I need to book it all now - at the moment it looks like Tigglet, Strathclydezero and Corfe will be fighting unarmed combat to see who gets to sleep on the sofa and who has to bed down in the window box!
Posted by Clíona (# 2035) on :
Dear Molly,

This morning is a beautiful winter morning in Ireland. No rain! Just clear blue skies and a dusting of hoarfrost icing over the fields. It took my breath away as I stepped outside to come to work. I'm so glad I've moved out of the city. As I drove to work, the dawn broke, turning the wispy clouds to pink candy-floss.

I went to see Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets last night, which probably accounts for the feeling that I haven't slept well. I mean, someone could have warned me that there were horrible monster spiders in it! Yes ok, I had read the book, but I must have skipped that bit. It was very scary, but very heartening, when Harry triumphed again over He Who Must Not Be Named. (Sorry, hope I didn't give away the ending!) What I thought was really really cool in the film was the howler that Ron got from his Mum telling him off, in front of the whole school too! A big red envelope with teeth turned up during his dinner and started berating him in his mother's voice. I felt so sorry for the poor kid! Probably cos I can identify with him - I always seemed to know when my Mum would have disapproved of something I was doing and always imagined hearing her tell me off. She didn't even need howlers!

Ah - mothers are wonderful things. Mrs Dillon, thankyou for Molly.

St Sebastian and Marian, thankyou and God bless you for all you are doing.

Molly, a stor. Your friendship has been very precious to me. Give my regards to Granuaile, the Pirate Queen, when you meet her. Beidh tu i mo chroi i gconai. [Read as: Beg thoo i m'o cree i go-nee]

Le gra,

Bless the Lord, my soul
And bless God's holy name
Bless the lord my soul,
Who leads me into life

Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
Miss Molly, I’ve never posted descriptions of my days here – they are filled with boring work and annoying corporate silliness. But right now I am watching something beautiful that I want to share with you.

It’s early morning here in California and I’ve been praying for you for nearly an hour. Now, outside of my window, the darkness has broken and the new day is dawning. The horizon is afire with color that promises warmth and light and all of the joys of a new day. The inky blackness of the sky is slowly giving way to indigo, then blue. It feels to me as if God himself is throwing back the night like a old blanket.

Will it be like this for you, I wonder? Your night has been long and has grown dark, indeed. But now I imagine God pulling the covers off of you and crying out, “Wake up, sleepyhead! It’s a brand new day!”

I think that every sunrise I see will remind me of this moment and of you, at least a little.

Posted by Jengie (# 273) on :
Dear Miss Molly

Listen to this thread for ages but am not the sort who likes to but in however Scots post reminded me of something.

I say my prayers in a morning looking out over the city. At this time of year it is often dark and gloomy in Sheffield. However at the start of the week I was getting up later than usual. The result was whereas the world was still dark when I got up the sun rose during the prayer time. What is especially lovely is as the light comes slowly one by one the street lights go out and I can actually trace this slowly occuring while I pray. I feel especially blessed when I actually get to see the point when one of them flickers and shuts down due to light of the coming day.

Posted by Willyburger (# 658) on :
Originally posted by St. Sebastian:
By the way, ya'll, let's not forget Marian in our prayers. She is doing far more than I am with much less fanfare and she's losing a dear, longtime friend. She is aggressively overseeing and modifying Molly's medical care with steely determination. She's doing the really important stuff and it's much harder on her than me, so please remember her.


Yes, St. Seb, please pass our blessings on to her as well.

Marian, please accept my special gratitude. Molly and I spent some time over the last few months chatting on MSN and telling old hospital stories. You were mentioned a few times -- all good. [Smile] She had made a passing reference to Scutari, which had not made an impression on me at the time. It has been so many years since training, I had forgotten that particular bit of our heritage. It was good for me to go reclaim that. I am glad you are there to hold the lamp for all of us.

Thank you, Marian, for standing in the gap. May the Lord bless and guide your hands as you minister to Molly. May He also bless and comfort your heart. We have been privileged to know Molly through The Ship. May we not forget all those who are facing a greater loss; you and St. Seb and Molly's family. We hold you all in our hearts. [Love]
Posted by Willyburger (# 658) on :
Originally posted by babybear:
I would also like people to remember Timothy L in their prayers. He brought us news right at the very start that Molly had been taken to hospital with suspected pnemonia. Molly took a very, very bad turn in hospital during her first does of Chemo, Timothy was the one who repeated Molly's wishes of "No resusitaion" to the nursing staff.

Please remember Timothy. He is hurting really badly.

Yes, Timothy, we hold you up as well. May the Lord give you comfort and peace at this time.
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :
Hi Molly,

Thank you so much for the chat last night. It was very good to have a conversation without all that noise in the background (thinking back to Tigg’s party…) I’m sure that if we had met at college we would have been hanging out drinking coffee together...And it is so good that we were able to find each other to talk to like this, even on opposite sides of the world.

There is something I wanted to tell you about, about my mum’s death.

Mum was in the hospice – a lovely, caring place though a bit frilly - and was originally expected out in a few days.

I was awakened at 5 am in the morning with a violent shock. I was suddenly certain that this was the last day – to be exact, that she would die in the next 24 hours.

It was overwhelming. At this time I considered myself to be agnostic, having failed to reconcile the events of the preceding year with the idea of a loving God. But it felt very much like a message (I have to say that this sort of thing is quite perturbing if you are a shrink). I thought, “If I still believed in angels I would think this was angelic”.

I staggered around the house for 3 hours– spent a lot of time in the bathroom, an unexpected but I suppose logical effect of the interesting experience- I thought “I can’t just materialize at 5am in the morning at the hospice saying I’ve had a premonition my mother’s imminently going to die, they will think I’m mad ”. So I made my way over at 9.

The doctor in charge of the hospice was pretty staggered to see me, as she wasn’t expecting any imminent deterioration. “So, you don’t think mum’s going to die today then?” I said as calmly as I could, “well… that’s good .” “’” she replied.

And inevitably, as this story must go, mum’s breathing and skin colour subtly changed in the early afternoon. I sat one of the nurses down and explained that I thought that death was not far away. I also had a hunch that if I put my arms around mum and called her name and kissed her she would wake up – and she did – so we received the sacraments together. She had been a little muddled in the morning but her eyes were now open and clear.

“You’ve been so wonderful," I said. “ Really ?” she replied, with a somewhat dubious and humorous intonation. “So supportive and loving,” I said. “Ah,” she said in very decided and Welsh tones. “Then I am entitled …?” I never found out what she was intending to be entitled to, but I had a few intelligent guesses and the answer to all of them was “Yes!”

At around this point she announced that she could see 2 people by the bed, although I couldn’t get her to define this vision/hallucination any more clearly. She didn’t seem at all afraid.

I had fully expected this to be the worst day of my life, and in a way I suppose it was, but I felt enormously, well, grateful, as well. Grateful for the chance to be there, grateful for the intuition that had made that possible. When my mum woke up for the last time, I thought, this is wonderful that I have this precious time to speak to her again and say goodbye and tell her how special she is. It felt like the most fantastic gift. You know, people in the Middle Ages used to pray to be spared a “sudden death…”

And what happened after was simply so beautiful. I had phoned her best friend and we lit candles. The room was full of scented stocks and old-fashioned roses from my garden – her favourites. We played tapes of gentle religious music and the light in the garden outside slowly faded and night fell. I held a rose close to her face so that she could smell the perfume and I talked about the good memories we had had. I slept by her side - in a reclining easy chair - as the night grew late and she died quietly at 2am. It was only peaceful.

Please excuse such a long post, but I wanted to share this with you. And I hadn’t wanted to speak about it before as Death is a slightly unnerving and rather off-putting visitor to most people’s social conversation. But I thought it was the right time now.

And now I really have to go and see a patient…

Lots of love to you and yours,

WD xxx
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
My darling Molly,
Today is a very cold day here. They say we may have some snow tomorrow, which would be wonderful. Jessie and Brandy both love the snow and Jessie has great fun chasing snowballs. Jack and I have decided if we get enough snow, we shall build a snowman in the middle of my back garden.
Last night we met up with some friends and went out for a wonderful Thai meal. The place we eat at has what they call an open mic night on a Thursday. This means that anyone can come along and sing, or play some music. The guy that runs it is a fantastic singer and guitarist... anyway, Jack bullied me into taking my violin along last night [Eek!] . I asked the singer if he knew a certain favourite song, he did and we played it together. At the start of the song I said over the microphone that I was dedicating this performance to a very dear friend, Miss Molly. The song we played was Fields of Gold. [Wink]

You are forever in our thoughts and our prayers,
Jessie and Brandy send you waggie tails and kisses, and Jack and I send you our love and hugs.
Bless you and yours dear Molly. [Love]
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
I spoke with Mrs. Dillon this morning and the Hospice care is paying off. Molly is feeling much better today. I'm going to get a prescription for Ritalin for her to offset the soporific effect of the Morphine (I don't know why I always capitalize that word!). She's hopeful that she might actually muster the energy for another post in the next few days, if the ritalin does it's job. The prognosis is unchanged, of course, but the quality of life is improving, at least today.

Some of you asked if it was still okay to call. Mrs. Dillon said the calls are welcome, though they may have to be short, and she promised to tell the caller if it wasn't a good time or Molly wasn't up to it, and I assured her nobody would be offended in the least.

We all know that Molly is a unique individual. It seems she's taken that a bit far, however. A sample of her tumours was sent to the Mayo Clinic and they are baffled. They cannot figure out what kind of cancer it is! That's our Molly; maintaining an air of mystery to the very last!
Posted by Smudgie (# 2716) on :
Molly, so you and I are both feeling a bit brighter today! [Wink] The effect of the Ritalin could be good - I have always been concerned about your hyperactivity!!!! Have another long distance hug from Smudgie Towers, my friend.

The boys are sat by the coffee table, eating soup (my poor carpet!) and watching Madeline. Have you seen it? It is a lovely video. They have only seen it about 534 times so far. Smudgelet is all cosy in his PJs and dressing gown, waiting for Grandad to come and read him a story. Tiddles is smartly attired in his cub uniform (oh, the soup, the soup) ready for his weekly late night. He's hoping to get his Athlete's badge tonight.

We've had sad news today with the passing of my uncle. The boys didn't really know him, but I was very fond of him. We're now awaiting a phone call so we can ship Dad up to the Midlands to see the family and go to the funeral. Typically, my sister in the Midlands has just paid for her train ticket to come down here to visit him next week! Hmmm... these things are sent to try us! I'm sure we'll find a way round it, I'm just not sure what.

I have booked Smudgelet's adoption celebration/baptism service today. If you get a glimpse down from Heaven, do watch my boy on that special day. I am looking forward to it immensely. With Tiddles it was really really special. They'll be in their Sunday best, like in the photo but probably with their snazzy waistcoats too. Well, with two such good-lookers in the family, they have to be seen at their most stunning, you know! And especially as my daughter-in-laws-to-be will almost certainly be there. [Smile]

Well, I must go and feed those two ravenous cats and get myself ready to brave the supermarket for the first time in weeks. My love and prayers to you and all whom you love at this time. (((Molly)))

Posted by Miffy (# 1438) on :
That's ok, St Seb. I quite understand. [Smile] I called yesterday night (about 10 am for you)and left message on answering service. Assuming that's easier for everyone anyway.
Posted by marmot (# 479) on :

It has been an honor to walk a few steps with you on your path. Thank you for allowing us to glimpse this process of yours, and for patiently allowing us to participate in the ways that we are able.

I believe that many of us have been changed by what you have shared. In that way, your presence on the Ship will remain, even though your distinctive voice is stilled.

Goodbye, my shipmate and kindred spirit. Save a seat for me on the other side.

with a prayer and a gentle squeeze of the hand,

Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Just got back from Molly's where I delivered the Ritalin. I didn't stay as the Hospice nurse was there to do Hospice nursey things. Hospice is the most wonderful organization and are making things SO much better for Molly and her mom. Someone asked if Molly had a favourite charity to which memorial donations can be made. She does. It's Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. They rescue animals and keep them forever or until they find homes. They never kill them (they also do free or cheap spaying and neutering). Donations can be sent to:

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
5001 Angel Canyon Drive
Kanab, Utah 84741
Posted by bee_of_good_cheer (# 3672) on :
a wee story for molly.

a cat's christmas story

This was first told on the radio by Paul Harvey many years ago:

When Jesus was born in the stable in Bethlehem, one of the animals there was a dusty little tabby cat.

It was cold in the stable, and the baby started to cry. The little tabby cat washed and washed and washed until his coat was clean and shiny, and then jumped into the manger and lay down next to little Jesus and began to purr. He was so warm, and his purr so soothing, that soon the baby had gone to sleep.

Mary wanted to thank the cat, so she drew her initial on his head with her fingertip. And from that day to this, every tabby cat has worn a letter "M" above its eyes - the mark of the grateful virgin.

Author Unknown
Posted by Stable Cat (# 3657) on :
now then, meow, i must protest, i heard that story slightly differently, and since i'm the stable cat, i think i know best!

what i know of this story is that it was catching a nasty rat that made the virgin mary pleased enough to pat my head, and leave an "m" there for all good tabbies after me!

Posted by bee_of_good_cheer (# 3672) on :
perhaps it was your littermate who supplied the purring. mary treasured you both. [Angel]
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
The Ship has suddenly got very weird with this influx of people wandering round in costume for the Nativity play. I can't make out who most of them are. All I know is, I'm not one, there aren't any downtrodden sprites in the Bible.

Seeing some of the names reminds me that last week our secretary and I were working away when someone entered our office with a 3 foot high teddy bear with a bow round its neck and asked us to guess its name. I was about to say "Voldemort" but she said I had to choose a name from the list she carried and if I guessed right I could win the bear. As it was too late to back out I looked down the list for the most unlikely name and found myself looking at such things as:

George W

As these had all been taken and I was left with a selection of seriously cute names, I discovered I had no money on me and expunged it from my mind as soon as she left the room. I can now reveal that its name was really Noel, but I still think Voldemort would have been better.
Posted by DMarie (# 2267) on :
Originally posted by St. Sebastian:
Hospice is the most wonderful organization and are making things SO much better for Molly and her mom. Someone asked if Molly had a favourite charity to which memorial donations can be made. She does. It's Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. They rescue animals and keep them forever or until they find homes. They never kill them (they also do free or cheap spaying and neutering). Donations can be sent to:

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
5001 Angel Canyon Drive
Kanab, Utah 84741

Thanks St. Seb, both for the good news that Hospice is helping Molly be more comfortable and also for the address for the charity.

My prayers continue for Molly, her mother, St. Seb, everyone here, and I've definitely added Marian and TimothyL (who was very kind to me on the Cats thread, IIRC).

Molly, you continue to inspire me.

Posted by jedijudy (# 1059) on :
Oh Molly! I just wanted to remind you about something.

Don't forget to tweak my toe. I will probably be surprised, but very pleased!

Just wanted to make sure you remember! [Wink]

Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
Dear Molly,

I'm glad the Hospice care is helping you and that you are feeling more comfortable. So maybe you are up to another trip to God's country?

Argyll (Scotland)

In 1996, I became very ill and had to stop work for a while. When I was feeling better, my parents took me on a trip to Argyll and the Western Isles. It gained instant promotion to God's country.

We stayed in Wolsley Lodges, which are slightly posh bed and breakfast places. They are private houses where the owners let out a room for the might and provide home cooked breakfast the next day. The first day we drove north from Harrogate up to Hadrian's Wall. Intellectually, it's possible to comprehend the idea of a frontier wall running right across the North of England - actually seeing it as it runs across the fields and follows the line of the hilltops is quite a different matter. The effort and care the Romans took in building it is evident,even today.

That night we stayed in a beautiful old manse in Lockerbie, where the owners let the Black Spangled chickens roam free among the herbaceous borders. Maybe there was something special in the borders, for my boiled breakfast egg next morning remains one of the best I've had. In fact the food was a joy throughout the trip - venison, wild salmon, raspberries and cheeses.

From there we toured on towards Glencoe - a wildly lovely but troubled place - to our base outside of Oban. What a joy it was to walk in the mountains and beside the lochs!

I have a holiday snap at home that I had enlarged and framed - one of those bizarre chances of light where a shot with an ordinary camera really works. It was taken on a fair summer's day of the castle of Eillan Domnann, perched above the loch. It is not a grim keep but rather like a far-away fairytale castle. Above it are lines of fair-weather cloud and high blue sky. In the distance further down the loch, the island of Skye can be seen, mysterious and beautiful, with the Paps of Skye on the horizon.

We stayed on Skye at yet another lodge, that had once belonged to the second son of the MacLeod, the old clan chief. I have a deep love of malt whisky, so the Talisker distillery was not to be missed. Sadly, most of the distilleries no longer malt (i.e. sprout) the barley on the premises, although we did see the malting floor. The stills themselves are fascinating - and of course with any factory tour, you just have to sample the products. I also happily sampled the products at Glenmorangie and Laphraoig, just to make sure that I understood how the whole process worked...

Scots Gaelic is still spoken in Argyll and the Western Isles. It sounds sibilant and somehow furry in its cadences.

We went on to Mull, with its convoluted wild inlets and its fine cheddar cheese. From there, I took the ferry to Iona, on the south-western tip of Mull. There was a slight sea-mist as pilgrims crowded onto the ferry. Iona has a wonderful religious community. It is also the island where many of the great and the good of Scotland are buried. The church there is quiet and spiritual - people come there on retreat for a month or a year or to stay.

The Celts believed that the south-western shores of a land were special. They were the places where the next world was very close. The souls of the dead would gather there to journey across the sea into the next life. They are not sad, but tranquil, reflective spots.

I only promote places I visit to God's country for a good reason. The good reason for Arygll and the Western Isles was that I found healing and peace there.

God bless,
Posted by Joan Rasch (# 49) on :
Originally posted by jedijudy:
Oh Molly! I just wanted to remind you about something.

Don't forget to tweak my toe. I will probably be surprised, but very pleased!

Just wanted to make sure you remember! [Wink]


This reminds me of a story from L M Montgomery's Diary. (author of Anne of Green Gables, etc.) Montgomery had made a pact with a dear friend of hers called Frede (for Frederica) that whoever died first would try if possible to communicate with their surviving friend. Frede died during the 1918 flu epidemic. Montgomery relates an incident of a few weeks later, in which she was with her cat Daffy - a great cat, but ordinarily not very affectionate. Montgomery says she whispered pleadingly, "Frede, if you are here make Daff come over to me and kiss me". And that is what the cat did.

Montgomery does go on to say that although the incident seems ridiculous when written out, that she did gain some comfort from the experience.

Well, who can say? A couple of nights ago, I was having trouble falling asleep and started mentally reciting the Jesus Prayer. At one point, for about half a second, I suddenly felt very strongly aware of the Ship prayer vigil.

Joan Rasch
Posted by splosh (# 2743) on :

As I sit here praying and talking to God, in the lab next door my experiment is running. This last week I have got my PhD. I have got some beautiful data. Three and a half years of struggle and at last I can see the fruits of my labour. One of the reasons I am still sitting here and doing this experiment, is because you and smudgie gave me strenght and encouragement when I needed it.

I have played netball this morning (like basketball, but we don't run with the ball!). It was good fun, but cold. I have hockey this afternoon, but we play on grass not ice!

God Bless you.
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
Tudor Bonnet ON

About an hour ago some of you may have noticed I closed this thread. This was a bad decision.

I would like to apologise for my faff up, and for any confusion that may have ensued.


Bonnet OFF
Posted by Lady A (# 3126) on :
Here in Oregon we have a great hotel/pub/movie/golf place called Edgefields (McMenamin's) If anyone is ever in Oregon, at least go by, well worth getting off the freeway to see, and if you stay it is right before the west end of the Columbia Gorge. It used to be the old poor farm, and in it's later years served as the old folks home. They say that if you stay there, you may be awakened by having your toes tweaked, even though no one is there - guests say it has happened! Their mascot is a bunny, the only resident of the acreage when McMenamin's took it over!

Went to Evening in December at my church last night. It is a musical outreach with great music and vignettes, all together with an underlying thread of the 'dead room' of UPS where so many packages end up as unwanted or undeliverable. Christ is our gift from God, and how do we treat this gift, excited that someone thought so much of us and eagerly accept and begin to unwrap, or refuse to accept the gift. The music was beautiful (though I especially liked the "Who's the fruitcake who gave me fruitcake"! piece), we have some beautiful singers. A bit of traditional, but mostly adaptations or new music. They even had a piece in there, started off with the beat done by broom pushes as he was sweeping. The car keys were brought in jingling, newspapers opened and closed, then, oh, the melody was sung by gargling!! It was hysterical! Counterpoint with whistling, someone had a stuffed dog and would make it squeak in time, and now of course, I have totally forgotten which Christmas song it was! Some happy, cute thing. We had a paper chain up with people's names on it that our church had been praying for (on Sunday's you would write the name of a person you were bringing to see and that the message would awaken in them a desire for Christ), draped all over the mounded pile of boxes all over the stage (it really did look more like a UPS station than a church! Almost up to our 2nd story ceiling!) and a team of people were downstairs praying during the first hour. It was wonderful. We cried at the old lady who was waiting for her daughter to call her on Christmas eve, laughed at the man trying to get his lights to work (he would look over, and they would all go on, and as soon as he turned back they would all go off!), a young pregnant girl thinking of Mary, an upwardly mobile couple and how they dealt with their own unplanned pregnancy and how their child falling ill changed their whole perspective, two men fighting over the scraggily Christmas tree on the lot (they even shredded branches, and broke off the top!). A beautiful time.
God bless us all, especially you and your amazing 'staff'!
Posted by The one & only Nanny Ogg (# 1176) on :
Hello Molly,
I'm still resting up on doctor's orders with Joyful Noise and Tigglet on my case as well. They are good are nagging me not to do things although I must admit I'm not always obedient.

The weather has got decidedly colder in the last couple of days. They've even forecast snow in some regions. Mind you that isn't unusual for this time of year - and everyone gets excited and starts thinking that we may get a white Christmas which so rarely happens (it's usually cold, grey and drizzly).

The family have today decorated downstairs for Christmas. The kitchen/dining room has lots of fairy lights at the windows, tinsel and various dangly things. The plain paper lampshade for the light over the table has been replaced with a star. Roz has made an Advent decoration on a terracotta tray. Central is a dark red Christmas candle which is scented and smells of cloves and other spices. There are four small green candles with gold glitter. The base has been covred with dried orange slices and pine cones. It looks beautiful. She has also been busy making mince pies which are currently piled up on a cooling rack within temptation...

The main room has white fairy lights at the bay window interspersed with small baubles. I'm not sure whether they are totally out of reach of four pairs of tiny hands but we shall see. The Christmas tree has been dressed with yet more lights - even though it is an electric one with fibre optic "leaves" that change colour. It's mainly for the children who think it's wonderful.

I think I will have to root around for my decorations tonight. Mainly angels and stars which I hang from the ceiling. I do have a small nativity scene which is Guatamalan (from the Toybox charity which works with street children there). It serves to remind me that Christmas is worldwide and that we in the West do not have a monopoly on Christmas images.

I might even get round to making a few more Christmas cards - but I need to experiment with an idea first to see whether it works.

I haven't bought any presents yet - we have a family policy of not spending a lot of money on each other, especially as we're old enough to buy what we really want. Then Mum goes and does what what most Mums do - spend the most.

I've painted and decorated a few things which could serve as gifts but they didn't quite reach my high expectations. Still, the bowls filled with sweets may go down well and I'll hide some small gifts in the painted flowerpots.

Thinking of which - I'd better give them a second coat of paint now they are dry.

Take care Molly
Posted by Smudgie (# 2716) on :
Hey Molly, my friend.
Think of our little Tiddles this evening. I have just dropped him off at the theatre for a last minute rehearsal, and then in an hour's time will be there as a proud mum watching him sing with the Junior County Choir. Grandad and Smudgelet are going too. You know our Tiddles - he will warble away at the top of his voice, the epitome of enthusiasm....well, when he is remembering to pay attention, of course.

We're off to see Father Christmas next week at the church Christmas fair - well, actually it is one of the stand-in Father Christmases seeing as he can't be everywhere at once. The real treat comes just before Christmas when the man himself comes to the Steam Railway and we go and visit. Last year it was rather a trying time for the poor man, however, once Smudgelet got his hands on him. I stood there, one of those poor embarrassed mums, wishing I had a t-shirt which said "He's not with me", as Smudgelet leapt on his stomach and started tugging violently on his beard.

All is well at Smudgie Towers and we send you oodles of love as well as our prayers as always.

Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
Hi Molly! I’d like to introduce my sweetie, Thumbprint to you. You don’t know her, but you can be sure that she knows all about you from long lurking. We are on our way out to pick this year’s Christmas tree. Our two little Fingerprints are so excited that they can hardly stand still. At their age (six and four), everything is so new and so shiny bright. Watching them always reminds me of what a magical time this is. Some years we have struggled to keep the focus of the season on the reality of Christ’s presence in this world. This year, thanks to you and your many friends, it has not been much of a struggle.

Well, the kids are ready and we all know that six year-old exuberance waits for no man, so off I go.

We wish you a peaceful evening, and a joyful Christmas where ever you may be.

Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
P.S. I'd like to offer our cat for entombment in place of St. Seb. I've often considered sending the beast to the Great Beyond, and I assume that St. Seb will not eat the pine needles from the tree and throw up on the floor. Everyone wins!
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
Originally posted by Scot:
...and I assume that St. Seb will not eat the pine needles from the tree and throw up on the floor. Everyone wins!

Pretty big assumption...
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Definately not. I learned that lesson a long time ago. [Razz]
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
Ignore this. It's just to remind me of the last post I printed for Molly.
Posted by zephirine of the roses (# 3323) on :
(we're nursing rowan through yet another sick lung session. i find this poem, introduced to me by elisabeth elliot, very heartening)

From an old English parsonage, down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, as it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the hours the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration--"DO THE NEXT THING."

Many a question, many of fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, guidance, are given.
Fear not tomorrows, Child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, "DO THE NEXT THING."

Do it immediately; do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His Hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe 'neath His wing,
Leave all resultings, "DO THE NEXT THING."

Looking to Jesus, ever serener,
(Working or suffering) be thy demeanor,
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing,
Then, as He beckons thee, "DO THE NEXT THING."

Posted by bessie rosebride (# 1738) on :

Wandering with Hope sends her love and prayers.

We are still slowly recovering the technical rudiments of modern living in North Carolina after the ice storm. She has no cable service, which seems of small concern, but she can't get online without it - and I assure you, she is devastated. I'm to call her and awaken her at the severe hour of 7am in the morning, so she can contact the cable guys. Nothing else would cause this dire need to arise with the chickens, trust me. [Razz]
Love from the Rosebride household - Fearless and Bessie. [Love] [Love]
Posted by duchess [green] (# 2764) on :
Today dear Molly, I went to my church's Christmas Lady's Tea. It is a special event we do once a year to share the gospel to ladies. I dragged my brother's wife there for the 2nd time (she went last year).

I was supposed to be hostess at my table (set up dishes and such) but alas, I was late since my sister-in-law always has to deal with kidlets making her late.

The place is decorated all festive, with those red poisetta flowers in green and red foil everywhere. The Baptist church kitchen hall is pretty big. We sang Silent Night and Joy to the World...a lady got up and sang a song about Jesus, accompied by only the piano.

There were little tea treats, everything from a little part of a crossaint with ham and cheese, to curry chicken balls, to minemeat pies, to little cheese cakes and cookies. Raspberry tea there. Little angels on the table.

My friend Colleen was the speaker who spoke about the miracle of Christ's birth and history. Also she said what He means to us, how He is our mediator to the Father, how He takes away all our sins in the world. My brother's wife looked a little bored but oh well. It was great to see me friend give that lesson. Great speaking. I was proud of her. Colleen is getting her Masters in Language (or something evilaent to that) and then January she is off to Albania for 2 years to teach English as a missionary. If my feet get better enough, I intend to maybe visit her there. her love of the Albanian people makes it sound very interesting. She said the people there look like me [in coloring] so I will blend in better than her. (With her redhead and blue eyes, and being close to 6 feet tall, she really stands out).

My pastor's wife had to leave then...her name is the same as my brother's wife and she also has 4 kids...I was glad that got a chance to chat. Then of course my sister in law started freaking out over the dishes since I as hostess am supposed to do dishes. She would not sit down, she followed me. I got told by a lady there that "she will pack up the dishes". I was very relieved since sister in law was getting stressed.

I took some goodies for the men who were behind the scenes setting up the sound but the one left was on a cell phone told me no and that the other one who really loves sweets and stuff left, so I packed up leftovers for him to bring to him tomorrow after church.

We came back here and I read more than one story to the kidlets, including "Auntie Claus" and "the Nutcracker". (Santa Claus may be satanic but Auntie Claus is ok with me...joke).

Anyway, hope you enjoyed my day I shared with you. Kids are cleaning up, mom is barking orders at them...littlest nephew is talking to me non stop all this time while I write this.

God bless you Molly.
Posted by Thumbprint (# 3056) on :
Originally posted by Scot:
Hi Molly! I’d like to introduce my sweetie, Thumbprint to you.

Dear Miss Molly:

Because my husband was so kind as to formally introduce us, I thought that I would let you know that this evening's excursion was a success! After much fussing, and the rejection of almost an entire lot of trees [Disappointed] we arrived home with just the perfect one. Our family odyssey was indeed exhausting, and so the tree will remain unadorned for awhile. No matter, the wonderful smell of Christmas should inspire me to pull down more boxes soon.

Bobby, our cat is probably already drinking the water under the tree that has the chemical preservatives. [Projectile] I am thrilled to trade him for St. Sebastian, who I'm aware can also clean houses!

Rest Well Tonight!

Posted by busyknitter (# 2501) on :
Dear Molly

I'm one of those who has never posted on this thread before (though we did chat in the past a few times). I'd thought about posting many times, but never actually done anything about it. When Nunc closed the Board temprorarily yesterday, I could have kicked myself for procrastinating so long that I'd left it too late to spend some time with you (the vigil thread is a bit different).

So well done for closing the Board Nunc and prodding me into action. And well done for opening it again.

Anyhow Molly, I'm snatching a few moments in the early morning in the blessed quiet half hour when my mother minds Baby 2-ply (11 months now and bouncing) and the rest of the household is asleep. The rest of the day just won't be my own.

December is a funny time of year in England. Not too cold (what bad weather we get never comes till after Christmas) but dark and soggy. And everthing has a tinsel veneer in the run up to Christmas. My older son is building up to a peak of excitement with his school play next week. He gets to be one of Herod's henchmen, whatever that means.

I have to go now, but now I've broken the ice, I hope to be in touch more often. I have been praying for you the whole while.


(ps have you heard any more about the O'Brian movie?)
Posted by Nunc Dimittis (# 848) on :
When Nunc closed the Board temprorarily yesterday, I could have kicked myself for procrastinating so long that I'd left it too late to spend some time with you (the vigil thread is a bit different).

So well done for closing the Board Nunc and prodding me into action. And well done for opening it again.

I am now Admin? Heavens I sincerely hope I do NOT have the power to close the boards... [Big Grin] I've stuffed up enough opening and closing threads. [Roll Eyes]

And there really was nothing well done about it. [Frown]
Posted by Sparrow (# 2458) on :
Originally posted by busyknitter:

December is a funny time of year in England. Not too cold (

Not too cold? Good God, woman, you must have ice in your veins. It's perishing! [Eek!]
Posted by busyknitter (# 2501) on :
I am now Admin? Heavens I sincerely hope I do NOT have the power to close the boards... I've stuffed up enough opening and closing threads.

Sorry, typo. I meant to say thread (it was before breakfast)

Not too cold? Good God, woman, you must have ice in your veins. It's perishing!
Again, I hadn't been outside when I posted this morning and our house is very well insulated. It is a bit nippy, isn't it.

Anyhow, Molly. The babe is having his afternoon nap, so that gives me a chance to tell you about the cats that share living space with us. They aren't ours, but semi-wild farm cats. We live on farmland, next to a small wood that is never entered by anyone except occassionally the children. So a family of cats have taken up residence, a black Tom and a ginger Queen. We don't see them very often, except when they streak by while out hunting. They have been known to bring the kittens to come and play on the lawn, when they think no-one is around. But by and large they are independent and shy.

We haven't decorated for Christmas yet. In fact I think we are going to leave it till the last minute, as 2-ply is at the "into everything" stage. But my older son is getting very excited in general. He was worrying this morning about how he was going to afford presents for everyone. I told him that he shouldn't worry about the grown ups as we can buy things for ourselves if we want, but if he liked. then he could buy one nice thing for his baby brother.

I'll sign off now.
God Bless

Posted by Margaret (# 283) on :
Talking of cold, I went up Glastonbury Tor yesterday... Miss Molly, I don't know if you know of Glastonbury. It's a market town in Somerset, in the west of England, and because of its connections with the legend of King Arthur and various other mildly improbable things it's become a New Age centre. It's also a solid English country town with the remains of the abbey which was closed at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s.

I went there with a group of religious studies students to have a look at New Age and Christian Glastonbury on Friday, and came back, exhausted, yesterday. We made them climb the Tor, which is a strange conical hill visible for miles around - most of the surrounding land is flat, but the Tor is an outcrop of harder rock that rises up on the edge of the town. On the very top is a tower, all that remains of a mediaeval church, and up there the last abbot of Glastonbury Abbey, who unlike most other abbots refused to go quietly when his monastery was dissolved, was hanged.

Down at the bottom is the Chalice Well, where according to legend Joseph of Arimathea hid the Holy Grail. The water of the spring which rises there is stained red with iron, which has made people connect it with the blood of Jesus. About ten minutes' walk away, in the centre of the town, are the ruins of the abbey, which was one of the richest monateries in England before the Reformation - you can see from what's left of the abbey church just how huge it was. Almost all the Lady Chapel is stil standing, miraculously, though its roof and floor have gone, and there's a crypt underneath, now open to the sky, where a modern altar has been built. The abbey's still used for worship - there are annual pilgrimages there by local Anglicans and Catholics in the summer, and services are still held in the crypt and in St Patrick's Chapel next to the main complex.

It's said that Joseph of Arimathea and a group of followers arrived at Glastonbury in 62 and built a wattle-and-daub church, the first church in England, on the site. I don't know about that, but archaeological evidence for a church there goes back to 600, so people have been praying there for a very long time. I sent up a prayer for you from the crypt when I managed to escape from the group for a few minutes, and had the nice feeling that my prayer was wafted up by a whole lot of unseen fellow-prayers.

Dear Miss Molly, much love to you, and your mother, and Marian, and St Sebastian, and all who are with you and are thinking about you.
Posted by Willyburger (# 658) on :

I never finished telling you about my wife's first delivery. I had told you that Mrs. Burger's labor went so fast that that there was no time for an epidural -- which was the reason she was doing her best to strangle my thumb right off of my hand. Shortly after Midnight we had our first child, a healthy boy, all red, wrinkled and cone-headed, covered in grease and yelling his head off. [Smile]

Now, my wife and I also worked at this hospital but, being Unit Rats, neither of us had ever floated to the L&D floor, so the nurses there really didn't know us. What I didn't know then was that L&D nurses derive no end of entertainment watching terrified first-time fathers handle their newly-issued children like the finest china. [Devil]

So when the nurse asked me if I wanted to help bathe the Little Burger, imagine her shock and surprise when I said "Sure!" and took him away, walked over to the sink with the soap and comb, turned on and adjusted the water, using my elbow to test the temp, of course, and not needing to be told how to use the foot pedals. I scrubbed him thoroughly, combed all the gunk out of his hair, did his cord care, put on all the various powders and potions, added the diaper, swaddled him up and handed him to Mama. Meanwhile Miss L&D was so bemused that she just stood there and watched. I think she was feeling a little like a third wheel. When she said, "I thought this was your first baby," and I said "He is," she looked totally confused and walked out of the room. [Snigger]

I thoroughly enjoyed turning the tables on her. She came back in laughing and accused me of pulling a fast one on her. She had just found out from the charge nurse where I worked. We all had a good laugh but she ended up having the last laugh as I ended up doing most of the work while we were there. I was starting to worry that they were going to give me a patient assignment. [Eek!]

Take care, Molly. May the Lord be with you and comfort you.
Posted by jedijudy (# 1059) on :
Hi sister Molly! I can't believe it's already the second Sunday of Advent. Everything in both worship centers is decorated in purple and gold (and white on the Chrismon tree). Very elegant and beautiful.

We had prayer for you again today, and I want you to know that your status as an organist is unchanged! The pastor, after I asked for prayers for you, gave an explanation of who you are so the folks that haven't heard would have a reference for you. You are my "organist friend"!!! [Killing me] Poor you! What a profession to have foisted upon you at this point!!! Well, now I take that back. You are an organ expert. It just so happens that the organ you have so perfected is your heart! I pray that we can all practice what you preach (now you're a preacher, what have we done to you??? [Eek!] ) and become as expert as you in such matters.

Love to you, as always dear heart!

Judy, Daughter-Unit, furred and scaly creatures from the Jedi Temple
Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
Miss Molly,
Margaret didn't say that the summit of Glastonbury Tor is the windiest and chilliest place in all England. You just have to lean into the wind and it props you upright.

Did the Advent 2 service at church tonight.

We set out a row of about 20 candles, down the centre of the church, on CDs so they reflected rainbows. (We had every candle in the place lit too - maybe about 150) The Advent wreath looked very pretty with four purple candles.

A little boy used the row to practise dribbling in between them with his mini-football - luckily before we lit them.

It was wonderful to see people sitting with candles lit, holding them and reflecting the light into their faces.

We were reflecting on going forward into the Light of Christ.

May you enjoy that Light tonight, today and always.
Posted by Duo Seraphim (# 3251) on :
Originally posted by Margaret:
Talking of cold, I went up Glastonbury Tor yesterday... Miss Molly, I don't know if you know of Glastonbury...

Down at the bottom is the Chalice Well, where according to legend Joseph of Arimathea hid the Holy Grail. The water of the spring which rises there is stained red with iron, which has made people connect it with the blood of Jesus...

The water of Chalice Well is cool and sweet, but it does taste ever so slightly of iron filings. Harrogate has a number of mineral springs - the most repellent one tastes of rotten eggs. Apparently people used to drink it by the pint in the pursuit of inner cleanliness. I could only manage a mouthful in the pursuit of curiosity. Mind you, maybe I should be seeking it out.

It's been a weekend of wretched excess for me, I'm afraid. I'm feeling a little liverish, as my grandmother would say. I went out to dinner on Saturday night, braised warm veal skanks done as a vitello tonnato i.e with a creamy tuna and anchovy sauce and served with cold oven roasted plum tomatoes. On Sunday,I went to yum cha with multipara and two other choristers of the Paddington Cacophonic Society, Ben and Rosa. We would have got there sooner, but multipara had been down to St Mary's Cathedral to listen to Dr Pell go through his paces on Advent 2. There was some confused story about buying haberdashery and notions, by way of explanation. "Ah, popped your buttons at the sight of George?" I said to multipara, when she finally hoved into view. She has vowed her revenge...

Yum cha (meaning "drink tea" in Cantonese) is a rather nice way to spend Sunday lunch. It is lots of little dishes in bamboo steamer baskets. Har gau or shrimp dumplings, pork buns, flower rolls, spare ribs and all sorts of other bits and pieces, including half a roast duck. We washed it down with Kuan Yin blend Chinese tea, which is the basis of Lapsang Souchong tea, before it gets smoked. Ben, who is Chinese from Kuala Lumpur, speaks Cantonese, which always helps with getting the good bits in Chinese restuarants in Sydney. We placed our taste buds and stomachs in his hands. It was all delicious.

After that, we repaired to multipara's back garden where we drank coffee and ate cherries (not at the same time). The it was on to the house of another member of the PCS, Brent, who was entertaining a former chorister of the PCS,Martina, who was visiting from Germany with her boyfriend Johannes. More food - lovely chicken and mushrooms in a cream sauce with noodles, cooked by Johannes. "Faaabulous food, fabulous people" chortled the fearless leader of the PCS, Bernard, as he rolled towards the Toadmobile. He had previously done the full Liberace playing Grieg on Brent's piano.

I feel like a python - glutted on good company and good food.
Posted by multipara (# 2918) on :
G'day Molly and St Seb,

After all that I have to add a PS to Duo Seraphim's bulletin. My God, what a gadabout-one would have thought yum cha was plenty. I don't know how many Cantonese eyebrows were raised at the sight of our Ben (a sweet young Malysian) out to lunch with 3 middle aged ladies ( well, sort of-ladies, that is)in various shades of purple.

And no, I didn't pop any buttons at ++George's homily-though there was a great moment of Schadenfreude when he lumbered up into the massive sandstone pulpit at the Basilica of Sancta Maria non Immaculata (St Mary's Cathedral)to sermonise us and then found that the sound system was on the blink-oh joy!!!!! -and he had to go back to the sanctuary to address the faithful.

The Paddington Cacophonics had a morning off (2nd Sunday of the month)which is why we weren't warbling away at 9-30 am Mass-a Sunday morning jaunt to the Cathedral is by way of an occasional diversion.

You may have wondered about DS's mention of the Toadmobile-this is the slightly battered but jaunty little car driven by our ever-loving Madame la Directrice-so called because he takes his corners in 4th gear( I can attest to this , having had a burn around the block in same). He is one hell of an organist (and pianist) and has been described in some circles as the poor man's Liberace , and better yet as Tasmania's answer to Winifred Atwell. My own late car was known as the Dogmobile-because for many months after I acquired it from my Mum it continued to stink abominably of her black Labrador who went everywhere (and I mean everywhere) with her.

And so back to work.....
Posted by Miss_Molly (# 2339) on :
My dear ones, I love you all. Sorry for short message--my eyes cross.
Posted by jlg (# 98) on :
Hello Miss Molly! I'm reading this thread from both ends, since I discovered it long after it started.

I just found the very early post where you mention a geneology which would have you a descendent of Thor.

Well, my husband's last name is Thorkildsen, which would be "Son of Thor Child" or something like that in Norwegian. Perhaps we are related? Granted it would be about 200 times removed and only by marriage, but hey, those are just details, right? [Big Grin]

You're an amazing lady.
Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
Lovely to see you again Molly! I had a vision of you in church yesterday!

Let me explain:

During the last hymn I thought, I don't like this hymn, I'm going to pray for Molly. So I did. I closed my eyes, and suddenly I could feel the worship of the people floating up heavenwards, like incense. It was so beautiful.

My eyes followed the incense rising to heaven. I saw the Church Trumphant sitting around the enthroned King. There was Molly sitting right beside our Lord. Somehow she must have felt my eyes upon her, cos she turned and looked down. When she saw me looking up she started waving frantically at me, and 'mugging' and point about who she was sitting next to!

The beauty of the moment was shattered, and I had to work really hard not to burst out laughing. I was trying so hard that my sholders were shaking, and my eyes were leaking. A friend sitting next to me was very concerned that I was so upset! On the way home I told my friends, and my husband about this vision, and we laughed all the way home.

Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
Back from holidays today, Molly, and the first thing I did was read this thread. Sophs and I raised a cup of tea and a glass of Coke to you when we met last week.

I'll be praying on the vigil thread for you, and you are always in my thoughts. I know that the tall gentleman in black who SPEAKS IN CAPITALS will do his duty well for a fellow cat-lover when the lifetimer runs out of sand.

God bless

Gill H
Posted by sophs (# 2296) on :
My Dear Molly,
i love you and am praying for you, thankyou for all the help you have given to me, it means a lot.
Much much much much love, hugs and prayers
sophs [Tear] [Love] [Tear]
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
My dearest Molly,

So, it's back to work after a lovely weekend of family-ness *sigh*. At long last I've started my Christmas shopping [Big Grin] - I got half my mum's present yesterday! I know some bits of the rest will be easy - a certain online bookseller will be getting a fair bit of custom, I think! [Wink] So much better than doing as I did yesterday morning and trekking round every bookshop in Oxford trying to find one particular thing, only to find that the place most likely to have it wasn't open...

In the afternoon we decided to do what we continue to think of as an inexpensive way of passing the afternoon, and went to our local garden centre. For some reason, the fact that it ends up costing us to get out, rather than in means that we think of it as free even though it never is! [Disappointed] B had a great time - she loves walking, holding on to people or things, and their whole Christmas section is her favourite place in the world at the moment, I think - so much to look at, to grab (if we're not quick enough!), sparkly things, shiny things, people, tinsel, mirrors, dancing snowmen... She of course had the vital task of selecting which ornaments we got for the tree this year - this string of bells, or that string of stars, this twizzy thing, or that. Great fun!

And after the Christmas section, we get to the Children's Books - another favourite. Managed to pick up a couple more presents there, one for her, and a couple for friends. She, of course, was busy trying to pull all the books off the shelf when she thought we weren't looking, or was trying to sneak off to the final area - the pets!

Here, they have bunnies, guinea pigs, parrots and all sorts of birds, and fish. Such heaven for a curious little girl. Inquisitive baby bunnies coming to sniff at her through the wire of their enclosures, and running away when she wiggles her fingers at them. Birds squawking at her, and squawking right back at them. Brightly coloured fish darting here and there in their tanks, then stopping still, hanging motionless in the water for a few moments before dashing off again. (Hmmm - just like all those Christmas shoppers!)

Next weekend we'll get the Christmas Tree. It's fun establishing our own traditions together. When I was growing up, our tree never went up before Christmas Eve, but in Mr B's house it went up in early December. Our compromise is for the weekend of Advent 3, and we seem to be developing a tradition of having guests down that weekend, so we choose the tree then decorate it all together. We haven't invited anyone down for next weekend yet, but were talking about it last night, so will probably ask my parents if they'd like to come down. We've managed to work out where we'll put the tree, but haven't yet figured out how on earth we're going to keep B away from it! Maybe the playpen will have to be put up and left up for the duration instead of being tidied away!

B's not walking much further on her own yet - still only a few steps at a time, before sitting down, although she set a new record of 7 steps on Saturday! We'll get her a pair of shoes for Christmas so that she can try walking outside - she does get a bit frustrated at the moment that she can go for miles indoors, holding our hands, but the moment we get outside she has to be carried as her little feet will get wet! That could be fun, going for welly walks together. I'm already looking forward to teaching her to jump in puddles! [Yipee]

Still not had the letter from the incumbent-to-be - but I'll let you know as soon as it's all confirmed!

The cats have been very friendly and purry recently - I believe they're now brave enough to send their fussing directly to you rather than through me, too! Such a wonderful feeling, to be curled up on the settee with a cat purring away gently. After the discussions earlier of how the tabby got the 'M' marking, I looked at George. He has a half 'M' - just the left-hand half of it. Personally I suspect that in his family's case, Mary was pleased and was trying to mark the original one, but he got a bit too playful and tried to chew her hand before she'd finished! [Disappointed] [Roll Eyes]

lots of love to you and yours, Miss Molly, from me & mine! Whiffles from the bunnies.

Beets [Love]
Posted by welsh dragon (# 3249) on :

It has been a cosy sort of weekend. I spent much of Saturday chatting to my best friend from college who has sort of been away for a bit. We went to a lovely old pub just outside Oxford, where I took Rowen when she came over. There is a stream outside, more like a river at the moment what with all the rain, and there are peacocks.
(The peacocks did not seem so unusual to Rowen so much, as she is so used to exotic flora and fauna in Australia, which is a rather nice state of mind to have now I come to think about it, to have your world peopled with fabulous beasties and fowl, but they are quite decadent by English standards.)
The pub is called the Trout, probably because of the stream/river/torrent and had a rather nice sign depicting said fish. It is in a place called Godstow, which as you probably surmise, being a linguist, means God's place. There was a convent on the site going back to medieval times (1133) and the pub was probably a hostelry for pilgrims.
It is linked in legend with fair Rosamund, the mistress of Henry II, who was also supposed to have hung out in what is now the grounds of Blenheim Palace nearby. That does conjure up an existence a bit like that of a heroine in a Victorian painting doesn't it, mooching about in picturesque settings in silks and satins looking pensive.
Anyhow the pub had a fabulous roaring log fire and we sat by it and talked and ate and talked and drank mulled wine and talked. Which was lovely. I told my friend about the Fields of Gold thread and everything and tears came into her eyes. She was a mature student who was looking after people who came for interview when we met - I was a very scared interviewee. She studied a combination of medieval Latin, Fench and Arabic and she is very fond of Terry Pratchett and singing and has a great sense of humour. I was thinking how sure I was that you would have got on...

I rather like the idea you know of heaven as a dinner party where you get to meet all the fascinating people that you never got around to knowing when you were alive. Oscar Wilde, imagine spending eternity with Oscar Wilde...and I am sure you and my best friend would have an awful lot to say to each other...

I have to go now as I appear to have an Unexpected Patient...

Be good [Wink]

lots and lots of love

WD xxx
Posted by Fudge (# 425) on :
BB - how bizarre - our sermon Sunday AM was about the prayers of the saints in Revelation and the Angel with the golden censer. (Ch 8) It is so amazing, because as you envisioned the passage we were reading, I was also thinking - hey prayer WORKS!!

Molly - you will be with the 24 elders, the four beasts, the myriad of ransomed souls, and you will get a grandstand view of how God works. You lucky jam!!

I couldn't sleep last night after performing in my end-of-term concert for Scottish Culture & Traditions (who i teach Gaelic for - the Language of the Redeemed [Big Grin] ) and i got my Mission praise book and sang through the hymns to myself. I got to "Guide me o thou Great Jehovah" and the verse that begins "When I tread the verge of Jordan/ Bid my anxious fears subside..." [Tear] I thought about you Moll, and all the other hymns after and choruses, you were in my mind. I knew you were still around, so I am very glad to see you managed a post!! I hope St Seb was able to read out my email to you.

All the best in the coming days - but of course, "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

Loved the stable cat story

FJ aka Fudge (the chocolate fairy! [Big Grin] )
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
Originally posted by Miss_Molly:
My dear ones, I love you all. Sorry for short message--my eyes cross.

XXX OOO [Love] [Love] [Love]
Posted by The Mid (# 1559) on :
I don't think I've posted here yet, not sure why, but I am here now. Better late than never I guess.
I miss the chats we had on ICQ. It was always good to see you online, even if we didn't speak, knowing you were there if I needed you was a comfort.
I have almost finished for the year now, we graduate on Thursday, a big parade in the morning and then a ball in the evening. It should be a lot of fun. I have ten weeks of leave starting this weekend, but I will not get bored, I will be working for quite a lot of it to help pay some of the car off.
Karaoke has been going well, I won one comp last week, and am hoping to win another one this week. I also have my first two gigs next week, on Tuesday and Friday nights. I'm a bit nervous, but also excited - it should be lots of fun.
After this weekend I do not know how often I will have internet access, so will not be around as frequently. But thankyou for the pleasure of knowing you, thankyou for gracing us with your presence on the ship, it has become a far richer place with you onboard. Whenever I am on the ship I will think of you and the way you kept my cabin immaculate, and how much you meant to me and everyone else onboard.
I will continue to pray for you, and whilst this time can be sad, it can also be a time of great joy, as you arrive home. Don't forget me when you get there, and look after me, don't let me get into too much trouble [Big Grin]
We have drill practice early tomorrow, so I'd better end this now. Thankyou for everything Molly, know that you mean a great deal to a lot of people, through you God has truly made Himself known.
This is not goodbye, but see you soon, I'll leave it in your hands to make sure my cabin is clean for when I arrive home with you one day.

The Mid
Posted by Beethoven (# 114) on :
Molly, I'm so happy I just have to share my joy with you - Mr B has been formally offered the job! [Big Grin] [Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee] [Big Grin]
Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
The station is nearly empty. The train waits at the platform, but there has been no word of when it will be leaving. Over near the chandelier a cluster of people (and some cats) have gathered. They are huddled around a lady with bright eyes and a warm smile. Her dress and hat suit her perfectly and look as if they were chosen for a special journey. The lady laughs and launches into another of her thousand-and-one stories.

The group around her started out small, but has been steadily growing. They are a cheerful, boisterous bunch, but if you watch carefully, you see tears in some eyes. Periodically, someone steps outside of the circle and cries, just a little. The guest of honor, the intrepid lady traveler, never fails to notice. She is quick with a hug and a happy tale of times past or stories of the beautiful land where she is going to journey. Soon, the tears are dry and the laughter begins anew.

But it is late and the woman in the hat is growing tired. She doesn’t talk so much anymore, but her friends take up the banter. They also take turns supporting the weary traveler. One by one, as the hours tick by, th