More stray thoughts…


I have a couple of posts percolating in the back of my mind but haven’t had the opportunity or the mindset to work them out, so for now I thought I’d just share the other odds and ends floating around there. 🙂

  • I feel like people must be getting sick of me talking about the ablation surgery and atrial fibrillation by now. I’m getting sick of it myself. “Shouldn’t that be all over with?” Well, that’s what I would have thought. Recently I had four different afib episodes in the space of a week, from 2-6 hours each. I’m not sure why – I was at rest when most of them started, even dozing when one began. I contacted my doctor, and he wants to put me on a different medication, but first I have to go off one of the ones I am on for five days so it is out of my system before I start the new one. They told me I might feel a little “rough” during the days without the medicine I am going off of. But I am about halfway through that five-day period, and so far there have been a few little ripples, but no major episodes, for which I am very thankful to God. I’m three months past the surgery, so I hope we’ve turned a corner and I won’t have any more major episodes, especially as the rest of this medicine gets out of my system before starting the new one. If I don’t have any more major afib episodes between now and then, I’m even toying with the idea of asking if I can avoid taking the new one. But we’ll see.
  • When I first heard they wanted me to go off one of the medications for five days, I was alarmed, thinking that surely without the medicine I’d have even more episodes. I have this tendency to run through all the possible “what if” scenarios I can come up with.


But one thing this experience has helped me with is that I decided I just could not live every day fearing I might have afib (and that it might not go away on its own and then I might have to go to the hospital and then we’d have to make arrangements for Jim’s mom, or it might cause a blood clot, etc., etc., etc.). I prayed about it, asked other people to pray about it, and just decided to go on about my business, and we’d deal with whatever happened when and if it happened. I’ve had to go through this all again in my mind a few times, but overall it’s much more restful to live this way! Who knows, maybe learning this is one reason God allowed all this to happen.

  • I had a clear birdfeeder that attached with suction cups to the kitchen window so i could watch the birds a little more closely. But not long ago we had a little mouse in there! I wish I had caught a good photo of it. I took the bird feeder down — I don’t want any more uninvited guests there! I think this is the first mouse I have seen or even seen any evidence of since we moved here seven years ago.
  • We’ve been hearing some kind of creature scurrying around the attic, larger than the little mouse in the birdfeeder, so my husband put a trap up there, the kind that will catch it but not kill it so he can release it in some woodsy area away from the house. It kept getting the peanut butter out but evading the trap. Reasoning that maybe the trap was too small to close on it, my husband got a larger one. But after several resets with both peanut butter and peanuts, we kept getting the same results: missing food, but no trapped animal. So finally Jim hot-glued some peanuts to the metal plate where the food goes, thinking that when the animal tried to pull it off, that would trigger the trap door. This is what he found the next time he checked it:


He said the paint on the trap was getting a little sticky from the heat in the attic, so he sprayed it with WD-40. But it may be time to go to a mouse-trap type trap sized for a larger animal – as well as writing some manufacturers about their failed traps!

  • Do you have a process for reading blogs? I have all the blogs I read on Feedly, and I usually start looking through them while I am eating breakfast. I guess because I am eating and not in a mode to comment on them, I tend to go through first and eliminate some I’m not interested in reading. For instance, I follow some recipe blogs, but if I can tell by the title I’m not interested in a particular recipe, I delete it.  I follow some craft and card-making blogs, but this time of year when there is a lot of Halloween stuff, I delete those, too. Maybe it also makes me feel like I am putting a dent into my blog-reading if I eliminate a few right off the bat. 🙂 Next there are a few blogs I read but don’t comment on, usually bigger blogs with a significant following who get several comments a day already. I figure they don’t really need my two cents, so I don’t comment unless a post has particularly meant a lot to me or unless I feel I can add something to the discussion. Then there are some bloggers who are friends now and I comment on almost all of their posts, so I go on to those next, and if a particular post needs an especially thoughtful comment, I usually save that for last, sometimes coming back to it later in the day. Often some time in the middle of that I have to go run errands or accomplish something, so sometimes I finish blog reading in the afternoon. I usually avoid it in the evening so as not to be off on the computer while my husband is home.
  • How do you feel about “tweetables,” those sections of a blog post specifically designed for someone to tweet a line from your post? Some will even be labeled “Click here to tweet.” When I first saw that, I thought, “Wow, the audacity!” It seemed a little too self-promotional to me. But then I saw someone ask a blogger for those – I guess she wanted to promote the post but clicking on something like that was easier than copying and pasting. So now I am caught between wondering if it comes across as a push to promote or as a service to readers. It’s difficult because bloggers want readers – otherwise we’d just be writing journals. And I always appreciate when someone shares my post on social media in some way. But it’s hard to know how far is too far to go. I guess it’s not that much different than the little buttons I have at the bottom to share a post somewhere.
  • This will sound awful, but I get frustrated when missionaries put you on their mailing lists without asking. I DO believe in supporting missionaries and reading their prayer letters (carefully!) and praying for them, and I have signed up for several prayer letter lists. But when you rediscover someone you used to know 30+ years ago on an online forum or social media and then all of a sudden you start getting their prayer letters – it shouldn’t bother me, but it does. It’s always better to ask than to assume to let the person ask the missionary so he or she doesn’t feel put on the spot. Maybe because I do want to treat them carefully and pray for each one, it’s easy to feel overloaded. But then, it’s doesn’t take all that much time to read through a prayer letter, pray for the requests immediately, and then delete it, and it’s a ministry to them. And, obviously, if I have time to blog and watch TV and do other things, I am not so pressed for time that I can’t spend a few minutes reading about and praying for someone. So why am I complaining? I don’t know. I guess my inner curmudgeon is coming out.
  • Like everyone else in the country, I was horrified and deeply saddened by the LA shooting a few days ago. I haven’t felt inclined to write a separate post about it – probably anything I could say has already been said somewhere. But I am saddened as well by the hateful rhetoric following the shooting, especially the backlash against people offering “thoughts and prayers” instead of doing something. Well…as this post says, thinking of and praying for someone is “doing something.” That doesn’t mean some kind of action doesn’t need to be taken as well. But what that action should be is a big and complicated question. I do believe in citizens having guns if they want them – but do they need machine guns and the like? Are there not laws currently in place for whatever this man was doing? Lots of people have had guns for centuries without doing something like this – is there something else to consider? Mental illness, perhaps? And what should be done about that opens another whole set of complicated questions. I haven’t heard whether anyone has ascertained a motive for the shooter. Was it just hate? Or a warped sense of fun? What do you do about that? I’m probably making a mistake opening up this can of worms at the end of a post like this when I need to stop in a minute and get some other things done, but I’m just trying to convey that there are a number of issues involved that are not simple, and a differing opinion is not in itself a stupid one. It doesn’t do a lot of good to rail against the hatred out there and then treat people hatefully within our own sphere of influence. I don’t want to throw this out as a cliche, but, truly, the gospel is the only thing that is going to change people’s hearts in the long term. May God give us wisdom and grace in how and when to share it and live it out, and soften people’s hearts to be receptive to it.

8 thoughts on “More stray thoughts…

  1. Amen!! Thoughtful “Stray Thoughts”. Pray God’s wisdom on your medical situation…..Chuckled at the trap and the ‘cagey’ critter you are chasing. :0) On praying for missionaries/receiving prayer letters ~ I believe God lays certain missionaries on our hearts to keep current with & pray over their requests. A very wise older lady shared with me many, many years ago that when the missionary letters arrived she would read them & pray over their requests at that time. I am sure there were certain ones she kept more current on but that has helped me down through the years. Our mission committee breaks the missionaries we support up assigning each member of the committee to a certain number to pray for and stay in touch with. That has worked well down through the years. Praying your health continues to improve & you are soon A-Okay. Wonderful to KNOW Who is in charge isn’t it ~ lean back and rest in His all sufficient arms of grace.

  2. I’m sorry you’re still having afib issues. 😦 Praying they all will disappear soon, and might as well ask God to make it happen without any meds, while I’m at it. 🙂 I can go through quite a laundry list of “what if’s”, too, so I relate to you so much.

    I also use Feedly and usually read it when I sit down to lunch. My goal is always to get everything read and scanned, but I rarely succeed. I usually start with my “Friends” list, unless I know I won’t have time to make any comments, in which case I go to the Unsorted stack, usually deleting and skimming as much as I actually read. Sometimes I also will first pick the blog with the most posts, so once I get that one out of the way, the total number of posts to read will be reduced. Tricks of the trade, we have. 🙂

  3. What an interesting discussion, Barbara! All the posts I subscribe to come to Bloglovin and whenever I have time, I just begin to work my way down the list, starting with most recent. Some I read and don’t comment on, but if I have a relationship with a writer, I always leave a comment.

    I’m grateful to have met you in recent months and it’s been fun to begin to get to know you and have you share your wisdom at my place. God is good to continue to bless us with not just old friends, but new ones who bring life, energy, and joyful moments in our lives.

    And you are one of those people!

  4. Tweetables? This is some kind of built-in feature for blogs? I’ve seen the “click to Tweet” button for entire posts/pages, but never a specific highlightable section. That’s actually pretty interesting… although now that Twitter updated their TOS to claim ownership of anything you Tweet, I’m not sure I would want lines from my posts out there like that?

    • Wow, I didn’t know that about Twitter claiming ownership of tweets. Yikes! I don’t use it much but I’ll definitely think more carefully about what I put there. Yes, the tweetables are for clicking a particular statement from a post that the writer has highlighted in that way, sometimes in a box, sometimes with larger type between paragraphs, often a theme statement for the post.

  5. I hope they get your health straight very soon! I continue to pray for you (that’s all I can do, right?!) 🙂 I don’t tweet or fb or any other social media so this all sounds like greek to me. I appreciate your comments on my blog. I’m not a very consistent blogger but I thank you for stopping by. Totally agree with your last comment.

  6. Pingback: Friday’s Fave Five | Stray Thoughts

  7. Pingback: Even more stray thoughts… | Stray Thoughts

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