Morgan seems to be doing OK. She has had a much rougher time then any of us imagined. A long and complicated day ended with her two sisters tucked into bed sleeping soundly and a phone call from Megan saying Morgan had been quite sick to her stomach. The day begins very quickly with little girls needs to get to school and preschool (including packing bags, lunches, getting baths) and then I'm heading up to the hospital to watch Morgan so Megan can have a break. Keep this sweet little trooper in your prayers. She is having a pretty rough time.
Waaahhh. It's on Thursday morning super early and they will keep her overnight in the hospital since she is under three years old. They will be removing her very huge tonsils and adenoids. Steve will wait with Megan at the hospital while I get Julia to school. Talking to the ENT surgeon today sort of scared me. He really stressed the importance of not letting her become deyhdrated during the two weeks following the surgery. I worry about Megan being able to get enough fluids in her since her throat will be hurting. OK, won't borrow trouble. I'll keep you posted.
...that I need a farm! Just a small one. A teeny, tiny cute hobby farm with about 30 acres, a century old little clapboard farmhouse, wood fences, some chickens, more gardening space, fruit trees, a little pond. Accckkk!
Don't get me wrong, I love my house and yard but it isn't a farm. No barn. No chickens. No 7 acre gardens. Sad.
I'm just saying. But I want this now.
Sorry for the whining but I thought perhaps one of you has a small hobby farm that you inherited and that you don't really want.
I can buy it. Really. Or trade you for fabric or something.
OR provide you with unlimited flowers and vegetables until one of us dies.
Just think about it.
And let me know if you have a spare hobby farm laying around somewhere.
So…last night I didn’t sleep. I tossed, I turned, I watched Martha, I ate bad things. I was nervous. I was panicked. I was being just a teeny, tiny bit neurotic.
After all I had to get a mammogram this morning. It didn’t help when I saw the breaking news story last night about the woman who almost expired from having her breast mangled in a mammogram machine somewhere. I can recall so clearly watching the pain and grief on her husbands face as the medical specialists explained how they had to use the “jaws of life” to pry the womans bruised breasts from the machine and how the suffering must have been terrible. They showed charts and graphs about the possibility of the breast falling off entirely. OK, technically I didn’t really see this on the news but I COULD HAVE which is why I didn’t get any sleep last night. Sigh.
My husband used the old “guilt” trick to get me to go to my appointment. Don’t you think that is wrong for people you love to use guilt against you? Really! I mean, if you truly like me you would agree with this statement and call my husband and yell at him. Oh, you don’t agree? Well, that’s OK. I knew you never really liked me anyway. Sigh.
I got to the appointment and after a brief wait the technician called me to the changing room. At first glance she looked sweet with her blonde hair, smiling face, bright pink, cute scrub top, and perky ponytail. When she handed me the gown I caught a tiny glimpse of something evil in her face. As she closed the door I thought I even heard a small diabolical chuckle. Sigh.
The machine loomed huge and menacing. There were all kinds of medical stickers all over it in teeny, tiny letters that I could not read. I suspect they were written in greek and meants “Dangers to all breasts. Possible dismemberment highly likely. Prepare to suffer.” You know…stuff like that. Sigh.
The sweet looking deceptive technician chick told me, don’t worry, I am very gentle. Sure. I suspect that’s what all sadistic breast-manglers say right before they claim their victims. She told me to unclench my fists and relax my arms. Sure. I know she was just trying to get me to calm down so the mangling could proceed with greater pain. Sigh.
The paddles looked really scary. I mean, can’t they make them pink and flowery and velvety or something instead of all clear and sterile looking. Seriously, how can you relax and unclench your fists when some shiny, flat paddle thing labled with skulls and crossbones and greek writing is squishing your breast more and more and some evil technician is laughing diabolically. Sigh.
So after about 8 scans the little technician says something like “OK, we’re all done, you did great.” At first I didn’t understand what she was saying because I had held my breath in terror for the entire time and was about ready to pass out. Sigh.
She was awfully sweet, though. And it’s amazing how wonderful those machines are and how many lives they save. I’m always surprised when women make a big deal out of their yearly check-ups. I mean, honestly, how cowardly can some people be? It’s really not a big deal. You should quit procrastinating and go. Now. Be brave like me.
I suspect there is definitely a difference...I KNOW for sure there is a difference between city kids and country kids.
My parents neighbor had her great-granddaughters visiting from Michigan. One is 10 and one is 6. I took the two older Reds over to play with them while I took little Miss Morgan to the doctor.
I will digress for a moment here and tell you that Morgan seems to be fine and is not suffering from a UTI but is dehydrated and in need of changing some of her bathing habits. But that's another post and now I'm loosing my train of thought. hmmm.... Oh yea, city mouse, country blah, blah...
Morgan and I got back to my parents right about when the Country Mice were coming over to play. Within about five minutes all four girls were running, jumping, climbing trees and playing with great determination and fervor. It was wonderful.
Sometimes I forget how country kids play and it makes me sad.
I want the Reds to be country kids. To jump and play and climb trees and know the snow and rain on their little freckled faces. I want them to be innocent and able to play outside with space to run and room to explore.
I came home with Morgan so she could get a nap since she is just not feeling great.
My Dad brought the girls home several hours later, flushed, happy, exhausted and glowing with a good time had.
Riley exclaimed "Grandma! Those were the best kids!" and sweet little Julia who still struggles at school with the snobby little girls was just beaming and happy and confident.
I'll take the country for the kids. Anybody know where I can move our entire family to?
...in fact... I might be so bold to say that I really, really dislike Mr. Insomnia. He visits me when I really need to sleep, when I need to get up really early. He's very persistent saying "what about this? what about that? do you hear how loud your husbands C-pap is?"
I try yelling at him which only makes the dog bark and Steve thrash about so his C-pap becomes even louder.
I try reasoning with him but no matter what I say he obnoxiously points out the negatives.
So then I try to trick him and go to the kitchen to get a drink of water or come into my office to use the computer and he pretends he has gone.
I just know he is laying in wait, drooling on my pillow, messing up the sheets and when I go back to bed he'll jump out and scream very meanly "SURPRISE"
...so I think I'll just stay here a little longer until he gets bored and goes home.
Anyway, just thought I'd tell you that insomnia is not my friend at all.
Good morning! I am un-pretzeled now and feel quite a bit more human....it's amazing what two cups of full-on caffeine does for you (shhhh, don't tell my naturopath or Steve)
We successfully implemented getting one little girl ready for school and one little 2 1/2 year old out the door accompanied by much resistance (she needed more time with Grandpa she says)
AND...I must say that all the years I have dealt with the grief and sorrow over my failure at being unable to style my daughters hair into some semblance of cuteness (other then just brushing) was NEVER MY FAULT AT ALL! I am the master (well kinda sorta) of styling curly hair. Julia wanted her hair done a specific way AND I DID IT AND IT WORKED AND IT EVEN LOOKED REALLY CUTE. Morgans hair was pretty marginal but I don't care BECAUSE IT'S NOT MY FAULT. STRAIGHT HAIR CANNOT BE STYLED. (well, at least by me - yea, I am pretty much a rockstar of low pony-tails on curly haired little girls)
Because I am married to the most wonderful guy in the universe I even had time to cut Julias lunch sandwiches into heart shapes AND find a valentine napkin to put in her lunch.
We met up with Megan partway to school to hand-off reluctant Morgan and excited Julia (it's Valentine party day) and poor Riley was looking really awful after her ear tube procedure. Poor little fella. She was all pale and shaky and said her head hurt. I told Megan to get her a little bit of coke to see if that would help. I'll give you an update on this poor little sweetie later when I have one.
For now I am climbing back into bed for a little bit and then it is working on the back porch.
We were going to meet Sara and her beau for coffee but I want to keep my time totally uncommitted in case Megan needs help with Miss Riley.
I am going to finish the big paper mache sun recontruction project today no matter what. I'm tired of seeing all the paints, palette paper, towels and junk all over the back porch.
Yikes. Riley has her ear tube procedure super early (probably happening as I write this) so Julia and Morgan spent the night. It was a pretty jammed crammed night because I didn't get them home from gymnastics until almost 6:30 and then we had to have dinner, finish homework, talk, talk, talk, read, read, read and get to bed before 8.
I went to bed about 8:30. I was tuckered out.
About 11 Julia came into our room and wanted to crawl in bed which would have worked except for she had a little 2 1/2 year old shadow with her. So I took both of them back to the guest bed and climbed into the middle.
I've written about Julia, the Amazing Magnetic Girl before, but somehow her sister has morphed into the Amazing Magnetic Girl number Two! We've been up since six and I suspect that walking upright is slightly impossible for a few hours. My arm is bent one way that my shoulder doesn't want to go, I'm not sure what shape my spine would be on an x-ray, I'm certain my hip joint does not really want to connect in this fashion.
I have bacon baking and pancakes mixed up resting and maybe that will improve the pretzel joints!
OK, here's Miss Morgan with a small crisis of some kind.
Bye for now, Sincerely, The Amazing non-magnetic Pretzel woman of Arizona
So.... yesterday I had Morgan and Riley here and for some reason my stomach was sort of sick so I was running to the bathroom a lot. Morgan usually tries to run with me but I kept locking her out which was ticking her off.
We were reading books and I told her I would be right back.
A short time later I hear a little tap at the door... tap, tap, tap...
Me: Yes Morgan: me it is Morgan Gwamma Me: Hi Morgan, go play, I'll be right out. Morgan: Gwamma wead (read) ? Me: Yes Morgan, I'll be right out and read to you. Morgan: tap, tap, tap Me: Yes Morgan. Morgan: Gwamma? Me you wead book? Me: Yes, Morgan I'll be right out. Morgan: Be wight back Gwamma. patter, patter, patter A short time later a book comes sliding under the bathroom door. Morgan: Gwamma, you wead me now? Me: Ummm... Morgan...I'm in the bathroom. I'll read to you in a minute. Morgan: Gwamma? See book? Read book? See book on de floor? Me: OK, MOrgan, I give up, I'll come out now.
She's sweet. and persistent. and did I mention sweet?
It has been another super busy day with Grandbabies. Steve, God bless him, volunteered to keep the two younger ones so I could still have my homework date with Julia! Man, am I the luckiest wife ever?
I have started a new supplement protocol to assist my thyroid supplement in actually going into my thyroid (months into the treatment the levels have barely increased). I think something must be working because I am exhausted which makes me think the meds are getting to the right place for a change.
Megan met up with Julia and I at Paradise Bakery and then Steve showed up shortly afterwards with Morgan and Riley. We had kind of a silly time making up ridiculous Valentine poems along with lots of laughter and hugs.
Then I headed off to my Gluten-free cooking class, wishing I could just come home and crash AND, ta da! It is on Thursday, not tonight so here I am and I'm going to take my bath, cozy up by the fire under a zippystrippy and watch Idol!
... I've been behind all day and I feel like I'm still behind now. We took Morgan and Riley to meet Megan at gymnastics with Julia. Now Steve is cooking some hamburgers, I already made a salad, I have a load of ZSQ's washing that Angie snipped for me, Steve made a beautiful fire and I'm planning to be a veg for the rest of the night.
Tomorrow is a full day babysitting from early to late and then I'm excited cuz I am going to a gluten free cooking class at 7.
So... just this quick blog and now I'm outta here!
... so often dreams leave me puzzled, uplifted, confused, sad or just introspective.
One of my most recurring dreams is of Alice by the church ruins talking to me about parables. It is is a frustrating dream. I puzzle over her statement "The answer is in the parable" often because I feel she is trying to tell me something to pass on to her children or grand-children but I have yet to make sense of it.
Last night, though, I dreamt of my sister, Liz. This is the first full dream I have had of her since she died last March. It was almost a video clip dream...one of those slightly jerky, slow motion ones like an old movie reel.
I dreamt that Liz was spinning and twirling to the Stevie Nicks song "Touched by Angel". She was wearing this flow-y, bell-y white dress and just moving to the music. I was just watching her, she didn't know I was there.
I was surprised because the song I associate with her death is "500 Miles" which I was singing to her right before she died. I have gone over and over those last few minutes looking for a clue, looking for a moment when she might have know, looking for something. But all that plays over and over again is just that release, that moment of sublime ease.
At first when I awoke I thought my computer was on since that song is on my blog playlist. I keep hearing the lyrics "and that once more life will be a celebration and that you will be touched by angel."
Do you know this song? It was such a surreal dream.
Those lyrics just are floating around in my hand. I wonder if that's what all our loved ones want for us, really. Just to be able to celebrate life again after all the sadness and loss.
I sit here now with that song and the song "It's a Brand New Day" playing in the background. Listen to "It's a Brand New Day" .... "for the first time in a long time I know I'll be OK, Most kind of stories, save the best part for last, make your past your past. This cycle never ends, you have to fall in order to mend."
I watch gray and brilliant white clouds float across the deep blue sky and I wonder if this was Liz's message.
Maybe if we all close our eyes tightly and twirl to the music our hearts can all begin to heal.
It's raining! It rained all night! I love rain! My garden loves rain! All the little plants and seeds in the garden love rain! Uh oh, I suspect all the weed seeds lying dormant in the garden love rain but I DON'T CARE! I'm still happy!
I got a bunch more things planted in there yesterday which is exciting. I need more garden space. If you ever want to buy me a gift you can buy me an acre garden plot. OK, I guess that's too greedy. I'll settle for a half an acre!
I'm going to wade out there in a little bit and take a few pictures of the beautiful green growth going on everywhere.
We're going to head up to wayyy far North Scottdale today to the house of some new business friends (who are turning into regular friends, too) Steve Foster is active in Selway now and is, in fact, in China putting together a telecom deal. He is a funny guy, dry and clever with an underlying gentleness that puts you at immediate ease. He is obviously very bright and driven and Steve and I both enjoy being around him very much. His wife, Toni, is super-neat, too. The only really bad thing about her is that she is gorgeous....sigh....but other than that she is really fun to be around. One of my mid-life challenges is to only hang out with people that look more exhausted and older and fatter then me (a challenge that is failing horribly so far but I persist in this attempt) She is dismantling their home here to move most things back to Oregon and is going to China to live with Steve. They are very adventurous and do all kinds of neat things like this.
OK, the rain has stopped, I'm stealing Steves camera and heading out into the great, wet backyard!
Oh, and did I mention IT RAINED!
(I guess you have to live in AZ to really appreciate the enormity of this statement)
...and I'm ready to go to bed at 8. Pathetic really. I'm just worn out today.
It's been a busy one. Let's see. We went to Rileys soccer game at 9 and then waited until it was over and took Riley (who scored a goal) to Julia's basketball game. Steve was sweet and stopped at Bed, Bath and Beyond on the way to the school and I got a few things I've been needing.
Went to the basketball game which was cute. Julia got two baskets. Then Steve and I took Morgan and Megan took the older two to give her a little time with them. Morgan takes a lot of time and attention to keep happy.
We stopped at the nursery on the way home and got some geraniums, cucumbers, lettuce seeds, romaine and buttercrunch lettuce plants. Then went to Trader Joes where Morgan happily (and very cutely I might add) pushed her little cart all around.
Came home and Steve wasn't feeling well so he took a nap while MOrgan and I put away groceries and went outside to swing and plant everything before it rains tonight.
Then Chris and Lindsey came (yay). I haven't seen them in forever! They look great and happy. We had a super lunch outside on the patio with a yummy chefs salad and fresh fruit and then wonderful Chris installed my new car stereo (mind hasn't worked in a long, long time) and Lindsey and I went and got a pedicure.
Then we rushed home, got Morgan and everyone ready and went to MCC to watch Julia perform at half-time during the MCC boys basketball game. They were great. It was actually a lot of fun watching and yelling. Basketball is always so interesting to watch.
Then we were going to come home but Lindsey's friend wasn't available to hang out with so we went to Mimi's. We thought about calling Megan and the girls but they were about 20 minutes into their trip home. So instead we drank some mediocre margaritas, ate a mediocre dinner, enjoyed some wonderful company and sent the kids on their way back to Tucson!
For now, I'm tired and heading off to dreamland. Woo hoo. G'night. Sleep tight.
It's going to be a crazy day but HI! This morning is cleaning up, trying to finish a ZSQ (about 15 minutes of sewing left I think) laundry, doctors, picking up little girls AND grocery shopping (with said little girls) I'm hoping to get my car washed when I get the girls home but that might be just a wish!
Sharon is not feeling much better (our Aunt that is visiting and staying with my parents with Uncle John). Poor thing. It must be rotten to have bronchitis on vacation.
Steve's foot is still hurting so he can't walk with me.
I think Curves lies. It is not to supposed to make you sore. Two times in and I AM SORE! Arrrrggh. But I like it - or I would if I wasn't sore!
OK, gotta keep to my schedule and I'm already 7 minutes into my plan of getting a bunch of stuff done in a little bit o' time.
Have a happy day. If you're bored come help me with mine!
"Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny." ~ Anonymous
Today started with Steve waking me up to send me for bloodwork. I had a great blood guy today and then I decided to take a little walk around the ruins by the old hospital. I have to be honest I am never super impressed with Hohokum ruins (ssshhh...don't tell the historians). I realize these are around 800 years old but I always have this memory of the Mayan ruins in Mexico and Steve comparing our teepee/mud ruins here in the US with these massive, intricate stone structures.
Then I got to meet up with Roxie for a long, long breakfast at Mimi's. As always we talk, laugh, cry, talk, discuss, intellectualize and wayyy too much time goes by wayyyy too fast.
But the cool thing at breakfast was our waiter. He had this wonderful, vibrant baritone voice and we started chatting about American Idol and he told us all about his experiences trying out for the show 4 years ago in Las Vegas. Apparently there are five rounds of auditions in front of some pretty tough British music judges. He said it was surreal from the aspect of so many people are so focused on making it onto the show that they are beyond devastated when they are rejected. It seems that the comic relief contestants on the show are almost "aural cleansers" (you know, like palate cleansers for the gourmet". I suspect that after you listen to about 10 greast singers you can't hear them anymore.
I've been home for awhile now and hoed about 1/4 of the garden. What great therapy. Now Steve wants to go run around in the Jeepster so I think cleaning the house and laundry can wait yet again.
I pulled up to the school and there was her happy little freckled face waiting to head off for our weekly homework date. One of my most precious moments of every week.
I drive quietly and listen to her pour out little nuggets of her day, her worries, her concerns, her happiness, her sadness. Sometimes she just wants to sit quietly looking out the window and other times she just chatters on our entire drive to Paradise Bakery.
Today was a chattery day. How old do I have to be before I can have a cellphone? Why are girls mean? I like basketball. What happens when a dog dies? Do you like chapter books? Why am I good at Math? The puzzling questions that a first grader struggles with every day.
For the past several months when we get to Paradise Bakery the sun is at this perfect spot and when Julia steps onto the sidewalk her face and hair are just illuminated. I store each memory of her face away in a special place in my heart hoping always to remember the plethora of freckles and the specific blue of her eyes.
Don't you have these moments stored away? I can remember so clearly what Jessie's silky hair looked like in the sun or the luminous quality of Angie's eyes as a child. I can hear Greg's voice in my head expressing his joy or dismay. I save little memories of the Reds against the day they are grown.
Today Julia picked her cookie and her salad, a process of great deliberation but rarely variety. We have our little routine of paying and getting drinks and bread samples and heading outside to sit in the sun. This routine usually involves picking about three different tables before we find the perfect one.
We had settled in when a young woman came walking around the corner with a friendly looking dog. She stopped fairly close to our table. Julia asked what the dogs name was. Barnabus was a good looking dog with a halter. Julia asked if she could pet him and the woman beamed with pride. I commented on the halter and the woman proceeded to tell us that Barnabus was her service dog. I was confused. She looked whole. She proceeded to tell Julia and I that she was recovering from agorophobia and then pulled up a chair.
She told us how Barnabus gave her the courage to try getting out of the house. How she had gone from taking one step from her front door and now could go almost a mile. We chatted for about 15 minutes as she waited for her parents. It's amazing how people can survive their lives. It's sad that some people have so much to survive. Her tale was a sad one and when her parents arrived she introduced us to them and then thanked us for talking to her.
Julia and I proceeded with spelling; bunny, silly, one, hungry...
Eventually Megan arrived with Julia's little sisters and they all ate at the next time while Julia finished up homework.
I helped Megan get them to the car and kissed them all goodbye.
Driving home the night fell quickly with only a remnant of peach sky illuminating the western horizon.
I wonder...what makes some people able to find the courage they need to change and to forge a new life for themselves leaving the destruction and ugliness behind?
I wish I knew this magic answer so these beautiful little girls could always find a path in the world and a way through their troubles and sadness.
So...I hauled little blonde, pig-tailed Morgan and beautiful strawberry-blonde Riley to the ENT to meet their Momma for a little tonsil/ear check out.
The trip there was fraught with their little anxieties involving shots and other terrors of the medical profession. We arrived early and headed in with Morgan clinging tightly to one hand. Riley walked beside me carrying a little potted bright pink tulip as a thank you for the scheduler who had worked with our son to get the girls in quickly.
It took us a few moments to get settled with books and potty visits and my daughter-in-law arrived shortly after and they took us all back almost immediately.
Morgan climbed onto my lap and Riley climbed onto Megans. The doctor came right in and it was wonderful see such a pleasant, calm, patient manner.
He asked about each girls problems and decided to examine Morgan first. Megan and I switched girls and Morgan sat their expectantly with her little blue eyes bright with worry and curiousity. Her chubby little hands were clasped lightly in her lap. The doctor asked her if he could look in her ears and she replied "yes, please" and turned her head so he could see. He seemed a bit surprised with her cooperation. Next he asked her if he could look in her throat and the polite little child said "yes, please" and opened up wide. Again, he seemed surprised and said that most children are not usually so cooperative.
He acknowledged her tonsils were quite enlarged and discussed possibilities of removing them and the pros and cons of waiting until she turned three.
Then we all moved to the adjoining room and Riley was just as cooperative. She climbed up, made herself comfortable on the table and held perfectly still as he checked her ears and removed wax from them. The doctor again complimented Riley on how well she behaved. He agreed that her ear drain needed to be re-inserted and the nurse then took her off for a hearing test. (which she passed with flying colors)
Megan and I sat outside on a bench afterward and the two little ones ran up and down, joyous in their escape. The late afternoon sun illuminated their shiny little pony-tails as they raced up and down, laughing, teasing each other and just being wonderfully happy little girls.
I headed home, again counting my blessings to have these amazing little souls in my life.
I went to my primary care physician this morning and it was so cool. This is a man I saw probably on average 6 times a month for over a year trying to get all the health issues straightened out.
Since I've started the naturopathic route I've only been there a few times and have seen the Nurse Practioner and not the actual doc.
He walked into the exam room and did a double take. "Good God girl! What happened to you? You look great!"
It was wonderful! During the time I saw him I was often pale, shaking with pain, walking hunched over, etc. So I told him about the naturopathic route I've been taking on the process of finding wellness and he said several times "I just can't get over this."
I told him my hair was growing back, my fingernails were growing, he asked about the side pain and I told him it was gone! Finally gone after 35 years! He asked whether I was still going to the pain specialist and I said no. He went down all the list of meds I had been on and I kept saying no, no, no....not taking those anymore.
His reaction just reinforced for me again how far I have come on this journey of being a whole person again!
He is getting a referral for me to a food allergy specialist cuz I told him I'm hoping to narrow down my food allergies cuz gluten/dairy/sugar-free is pretty hard to follow.
The girls spent the night last night and Little Miss Morgan snores so darned loudly (pending her ENT exam tomorrow) that it almost shakes the windows. Riley can sleep through it but Julia cannot.
So at midnight she ended up bed with Steve and I. From midnight on whatever I did, she followed. When I went to the bathroom I opened the door to find her outside waiting, when I went down the hall for a glass of water I had a little shadow.
Now some cuddling is good but the whole lycra-Grandbaby thing is a bit much for a woman in menopause.
But we survived the night. We had a good morning. Read, worked on homework, walked the dog, went to the playground, had a picnic, went to the gas station and got candy and then it was nap-time.
Steve and I were both tired and he said "you lay down with the older girls and I'll lay down with Morgan" and I told him "NO! I'll risk the snoring. I need to have a little bit of room"
and I peeked in there now and both girls are huddled against him like he's the only heat source available in a blizzard.
Morgan is rattling the guest room windows
...and I am at my computer without my amazing magnetic girl.