31 August 2009

hip

"Ow, my hip!"
"You're not hip, you're old!"

It's how I feel.

In trying to make a *very* long story short, I am seeing my primary care provider about my right hip this afternoon.

Why? Let me tell you. As short a story as I can, I promise. Oh, and here, my dad would crack a joke about the fact that I *am* short; just so you know.

My right leg is 5/8" shorter than my left. Always has been, always will be; due to my premature birth and stroke at 2 weeks of age. Not that big a deal, really.

I have had 2 heel-cord lengthening surgeries in my life; one at age 3 and one at age 7. Yep, I do remember bits and pieces of prior to surgery at age 7, and definitely remember the day my cast was removed, but that's for another time.

To compensate of sorts for the length difference, I have always stood on my toe on the right side. Not a big deal, really. When I was 14, my parents took me to Shriner's Hospital for Children in Minneapolis for a consult. The long and short of that story is that since I do spend so much time on my toes, doctors were concerned that my hip socket spends time separated and would prematurely 'dry out' and cause me pain. And chances were fairly good that I was at that point looking at a total hip replacement by age 30.

Here's the part where I admit my age and tell you that I am less than a month from my 35th birthday.

Off and on over the last three years or so, I have noticed when I have overworked that side. Walked too far, too much bending down, that sort of thing. I take it easy for a day or so and things return to normal. You know, as normal as they get. LOL

In the last year, I have had quite a bit of trouble with the sciatic on that side and since we spent nearly 19 hours in the car traveling back and forth for my Grandma's funeral, I've pretty much had some level of discomfort or pain.

Now, it's not "labor without drugs" kind of pain. I've done that, so I know. But it is, "make a wrong move and REALLY wish you hadn't" kind of pain. And I have a pretty high tolerance for pain. What I don't have is a high tolerance for listening to my husband demand that I see the doctor. So after talking with my Mom yesterday, I made an appointment for this afternoon.

My fear is that he will try to send me to physical therapy. I honestly think that we are past that point. Mom said to express to him all that I know and after that, if he's smart, he'll order an x-ray. At which point an orthopedist will look at it and tell me how much more time I have left before surgery. And it'd be nice to get some pain meds too. I'm sick to death of the pain preventing me from falling asleep at night. And any position for too long is a REALLY bad idea. Including sitting here to write this post, so I'm out.

I'd appreciate your prayers and will keep you posted as best I can.

29 August 2009

Six Word Saturday!

It's that time again! Six Word Saturday!

Wanna join in the fun? Just click the button below!



My six words: Five AM wake up starting Tuesday!

28 August 2009

Last Hurrah!

Seems like summer just started. Seriously. And here we are, looking at the last weekend before school starts Tuesday. And guess what? Rain and temps in the SIXTIES in the forecast. Yep, you read that right, the 60's. Global warming my.....oh, never mind.

I have 4 windowsills full of roma tomatoes, thanks to my sister-in-law Elaine. And they are all ripe now, so something needs to be done with them. We aren't big salsa fans, so I was thinking spaghetti sauce; but I can't find a recipe that starts with fresh tomatoes. And it's no good asking my MIL; Jon hates her sauce recipe. Guess that I can come up with one of my own; the worse that will happen is that I'll know better next time, right?

We installed a new garage door opening system last weekend. Well, Jon installed- I "supervised". LOL And asked questions and drove him crazy. It's what I do. Anyway, it took about 5 hours on Saturday between taking the archaic system down and putting the new one up. And guess what? Not a stitch of power. Not to the button on the wall, not to the sensors or the motor. That was frustrating. Well, Jon went as far as to contact the company and they said that since he hadn't had the system professionally installed (yeah, we're paying for that, not), the only thing he could do is to take it all down, box it up and try and exchange it at the store of purchase.

Sure, he'll do that. But that was Monday and he was very, very busy all week at work, so I think that he and M get around to taking it down on Wednesday. (I was "busy" watching the 'Beatles Anthology- Part 1' on VH1) Well, my husband is generally a man who doesn't think of the obvious things (that's what I'm for, I've been told), but this time he did. He took the motor down and plugged it directly into the wall and waalaa! It fires right up.

Turns out it's the extention from the unit to the wall. So they made a run to get a new extention cord and all is well. He did say he was glad that he thought of that before taking all of the wiring down! :)

Netflix has been fun. We just sent back "Kung Fu Panda" and "Seven Pounds". The boys really liked the animated movie; Jon got home about half way through and then started it again so that he could see it from the beginning. "Seven Pounds" was just okay. I liked "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" better. We should get "Valkrie" and "Open Season 2" before Monday.

I still need to contact the elementary school to see when Meet and Greet is. I assume they have one; but then again.....

Have a great weekend, everybody!

25 August 2009

molasses taffy

In memory of my Grandma and in honor of what would have been her 90th birthday, I took the opportunity to teach the boys how to make her molasses taffy. Some of my best memories of time with Grandma were while making taffy with her and my cousin Renee'.


First, bring the molasses, sugar, vinegar and butter to a boil; stirring constantly.


Next, cook it slowly to "hard ball" stage then add baking soda.


Then place it into buttered pans and let cool til it can be handled.


When cooled just a bit, you pull....


And pull....


And pull.....


Once it's light colored and firm, draw into sticks (or snakes, as we always called them) and cut with scissors.




Delicious! Caleb's already declared "molasses taffy is my FAVORITE!"

Happy birthday to my Grandma. I hope she'd have been pleased with how we remembered her today.

24 August 2009

grant me patience

I know a couple of moms who aren't ready to send the kids back to school. They just *love* having the kids around so much that they can't stand the thought of putting the little darlings on the bus.

In case the title to this post wasn't clear, I'm not one of those mothers.

I can't wait for the bright shiny bus to pull up to the mailbox next Tuesday. I can't wait to celebrate the silence by pouring myself a cup of coffee and turning on the news, rather than having to endure hours of cartoon voices coming from the next room.

Don't misunderstand me here, we've had a great summer. We saw countless family members, made new friends...in some respects, summer wasn't long enough. But the last few days have been really difficult. The boys are sick of each other, frankly. I am looking forward to the additional interaction with friends for them. I am sick to death of them fighting with one another and arguing over who gets to hold the kitten. Not that she wants to be held, mind you. I look forward to the time they spend peacefully playing after dinner because they haven't seen each other all day. Not the whining that occurs when I declare that the television needs to be off for the sake of the electric bill and "no, your gameboy is not an outside toy."

My only regret is that we do not live in the states that allow school to start before Labor Day. We are starting "early" due to Labor Day being so late, but it frankly isn't early enough for me.

Tuesday can't come fast enough. Please, tell me I'm not the only one who NEEDS school to start!!

Now, if I can just find a job.

22 August 2009

SWS again!

Well friends, another week is behind us, which makes it time for Six Word Saturday, hosted by the blogger at Call me Cate!
Wanna join in the fun or see entries of others? Click the button below!

My six words:
Boys are home, all is insane! :)

21 August 2009

Jump around!

Thanks to our gracious neighbor, Chuck, the boys have had the chance to use his trampoline on occasion; as long as Jon or I am right nearby.

And I've had this camera for FIVE years and never figured out til the other day how to use the movie feature. Now, to warn you; all you'll hear pretty much is the creak of the trampoline springs, but the boys had a great time!

video

19 August 2009

the boys are back in town

Sorry for neglecting the blog the last couple days; it's been busy around here.

Saturday, Matthew marched in his third ever parade. Seems that each parade is more flashy and involved than the next. After Matthew finally went by with the middle school band, Jon and I started dubbing it "the parade that never ends". Fortunately, for us, we had gotten a good spot on Main Street in the shade...it was pretty hot outside. You know, since it's supposed to be SUMMER!

Sunday we elected to skip church and slept in. I got up at 7 and made cinnamon rolls and coffee and then when we were all ready, we headed to my IL's part of the country for Jon's niece Heather's bridal shower. It was a great time. And believe it or not, both my sister-in-laws wore the same color top as I did. Guess it was just that kind of day! We left Matthew behind at Grandma's.

My wonderful sister-in-law, Elaine, and her family live on a hobby farm and have a very extensive veggie garden. And guess who got to benefit from that garden? US! Yay! So, then I spent most of Monday blanching and freezing a whole host of veggies and every windowsill on my front porch is filled with ripening tomatoes. Totally awesome!

Yesterday, I cleaned house and washed clothes. My MIL seemed surprised that I didn't spend time eating bonbons and shopping while the boys were gone, guess she'll never learn. LOL Then we met at my BIL's house and had dinner together and of course, we brought the boys home last night. Caleb is sunburned and Matthew seems pretty tired, but all in all, I think a great time was had!

No pictures for this post, but I do have a bit of an entertaining story for you.....

So, as I'm sure you know, I have been allowing Matthew to wear his hair long. He hasn't had anything other than a bang trim since last September. It drives me crazy, but my wise Mother told me that if this is the only way he chooses to rebel, I need to thank my lucky stars and go with it.

Anyway.....

So, there are a group of men that decide to go golfing on Sunday; Jon, his dad, his 23-year old nephew Eric, both our boys and Jon's 10-year old nephew Luke. Let's just say that the guy at the golf course called both Matthew and Luke "girls" and they totally took it as a compliment! LOL

So, I'm out for now. We are undertaking the hell known as "school supply shopping" today, so if I don't make it back in 48 hours, please send someone looking for me......LOL

16 August 2009

15 August 2009

SWS!

Well friends, another week is behind us, which makes it time for Six Word Saturday, hosted by the blogger at Call me Cate!
Wanna join in the fun or see entries of others? Click the button below!

Here's my entry:
Summer going fast for anyone else?!?!

14 August 2009

honorable mention

Guess I forgot to tell you that Dad has had a change in treatment plan for the prostate cancer.

You know, with all the other crap that has been swirling around in my brain lately. Ugh.

He met with his doctor and instead of doing radiation therapy will now have surgery. On September 3rd.

The thing about radiation is that it would kill the cancer, but it would also kill surrounding tissue, which in effect may make his Crohn's symptoms worse.

I'm happy to tell you that Dad really has felt pretty well physically for the last week or so; no real symptoms to speak of, so that's good.

He will be out of work for most of September and will come home from the hospital with a catheter; the catheter stays in place for up to two weeks. Sorry if that was total TMI.......

As luck would have it, he used the last of his PTO (paid time off) for the YEAR when he was in the hospital the end of July. So he doesn't have ANY pto for surgery or recovery.

But God is good, and in control. You see, Dad's co-workers found out about his surgery and have donated to him little bits of THEIR pto, so that he can still be paid during most of his time off in September.

Isn't that COOL!?!

On a completely unrelated side note, it's time for "kids at Grandma's"! Woohoo! Caleb left yesterday; my sister-in-law came to pick him up- and I will take Matthew when I go to attend Jon's niece's bridal shower on Sunday. Matthew is marching in his third parade of the year tomorrow, but we will be kid free from Sunday night til Tuesday night! Woohoo!

13 August 2009

You asked, I answered, Pt 3

Missy said...
Do you ever long for a daughter? Are you ever going to have more children?

Great question! I was wondering if someone was going to ask that one.....(actually, that was TWO questions...I do realize that! LOL)

Do I ever long for a daughter? The short answer for me is "not anymore". When I was carrying Matthew, I really, really wanted him to be a girl. Like, with everything that I was. I was terrified at the prospect of having a SON. Terrified. And my MIL, bless her heart, was convinced that I was carrying a boy.

You can only imagine her joy in that she was right on that one.

I was like, super disappointed for almost two minutes, when he was born. Then I got a chance to hold him and look at his face and all of that went away. Honest.

He was delightful as a little boy and I've survived the pre-teen years pretty well so far.

So, when I found out I was pregnant in August of 2001, I *knew* that I really wanted another boy. I had experience in how they worked, so to speak, and it was okay. Little did I know that just maintaining that pregnancy was going to be one of the biggest challenges to my very life, my sanity and my marriage to that date.

At 20 weeks gestation with Caleb, my blood pressure began a dangerous climb that by 22 weeks, landed me in the hospital and sent me to my couch for the remainder of the pregnancy. And honestly, it is only by God's grace that I was able to finish my pregnancy and give birth without suffering stroke. And Caleb was relatively healthy for being evacuated at 35 weeks and 6 days; after being in the hospital for an extra couple of days, all was well.

All that background is to say, that for health reasons for me, I was strongly advised to not get pregnant again after Caleb's birth. And quite honestly, after surviving countless hours of bedrest and twice weekly appointments and non-stress tests, I was only too happy to comply.

But it didn't hit me that it meant we would never have a daughter until his first birthday. And then I felt guilty, for not being able to give Jon a daughter. He took it like a champ, saying that he'd rather have me and two boys than more children and no me.

Sometimes I still get sad. My sister has two little girls whom I love and adore, but they're hers, not mine. (And honestly, sometimes I thank GOD that they are hers and not mine!!) I always dig at her anytime I can when they act up (they are 6 and almost 5) that she is going to have hell to pay when they are teenagers! LOL Not nice, I know!

But honestly, I'm quite content with my two boys and our furry girl. It's all good.

Oh, and in case you still wonder, no, we don't plan to have any more children. We opted for permanent, surgical birth control just over two years ago and we are DONE!

movies

There happen to be more than a few movies playing in the theatre right now that I want to see. Julie & Julia, for sure. And also Public Enemies with Johnny Depp. (LOVE him.....hummmina, hummmina...) And a couple of weeks ago, when I took Caleb to see Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, there were previews for movies coming up that looked interesting as well.

I created a Netflix queue the other day. We had netflix when we lived in Appleton and between us working opposite shifts at the time and everything else, I eventually cancelled it. It just seemed that we didn't have time for movies.

But you know what we don't have now? Money to see the movie in the theatre. Boy, howdy. So, since we haven't seen but one movie in about the last year, I figured that there were enough that we missed that this would keep us happy for awhile.

So what I wanna know from you is, what movies have you seen in the last year that I should add to my Netflix queue? I have 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' and 'Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian' coming first.

I'm open to any and all suggestions, for myself, Jon and the boys too!

11 August 2009

Thankful Tuesday!

I am thankful!

~for my husband. Every aspect of him, even the ones that make me CRAZY, make him who he is and that's perfect for me.

~for our boys. Many times in the last several days, I have gotten unsolicited hugs and kisses, even from my nearly 13 year-old. Wouldn't trade it!

~ for my parents. When I call, even if she may be busy, Mom's always willing to talk. And Dad calls to see how things are going, and that's nice too.

~ for texting. This is how my sister and I are communicating lately. I'm not as quick in sending messages as she is- partially because I am sure that I can't get my brain to think that abbreviations are acceptable! But she's okay with that.

~ for our church family. They have been amazing, let's just say that. The power of prayer is an incredible thing!

~ it seems silly to be thankful for central air; but summer has finally arrived and we'd be miserable without it, that's for sure.

~and for friends. Whether they are willing to drop everything and take on one of my kids or just get together for dinner and good conversation, they are so much more than I deserve!

What are YOU thankful for today?

10 August 2009

keep walking

Grief is a strange thing.

I feel like I have spent most of the last eleven days in a fog. Like it's a bad dream and one of these times that the phone rings, it'll be Mom and she'll say that there's been a mistake.

But when the phone does ring, it is Mom, but she's just checking to see how I'm coping.

With the death of my Grandmother.

What is this, some kind of joke?

This new normal- you know, the one where both of my grandparents are dead- isn't one that I have welcomed with open arms, I'll tell you.

And I even got upset with someone for something that hadn't really occurred to me before.

Here's what I have experienced. When there were people who heard about the death of my Grandmother, they would ask me how old she was.

When I tell them that she was within thirty days of celebrating her 90th birthday, their reaction, without words, is- "well, I'm sure she lived a good long life."

That makes it okay that she died? Not with me, it doesn't.

Just because she was nearly 90 does not make it any easier to accept her death. I wasn't ready last week and I wouldn't have been ready if she had lived another ten years.

I just wasn't ready.

So, now I cope. Not because I want to. Because I have to. What I really want to do is to climb in bed and cover my head and not come out till the ache in my heart goes away.

But the boys have needs to be met. And dinner, such as it is, is needing to be cooked. And Jon still wants to go on our Saturday morning breakfast date.

Staying in bed wouldn't change a thing. That's what someone who shall remain nameless told me. And when I told Mom, she said that while that is true, if staying in bed would make me feel better, I could. But just for that day.

Because Grandma wouldn't want me to be so overcome that I couldn't cope at all.

But right now, that's where I am. Or that's what it feels like.

Jon has been so understanding. And he really can only empathize, since he lived oceans and countries away from any of his grandparents. But he's been great.

I'm sad for him too; never knowing what it's like to have or love or lose a grandma. He didn't even realize what he missed out on until last week, really. So, he's doing his own grieving, really; of what I'm missing and what he's missed.

Every minute I find myself not crying feels like moving forward. And then in the next minute or even the one after that, I'm overwhelmed by sadness and tears and it feels as though I can never get off the merry-go-round from hell.

But for now, I guess any movement is progress.

08 August 2009

Six Word Saturday!

Well friends, another week is behind us, which makes it time for Six Word Saturday, hosted by the blogger at Call me Cate!
Wanna join in the fun or see entries of others? Click the button below!



Here's my entry:
Remembering Grandma with smiles and tears.

07 August 2009

Dance

Today, August 7th, after thirteen years, our Grandparents are reunited on their anniversary.

And do you know what they're doing?

They're dancing.

I had forgotten how much they loved to dance until one of my Aunts mentioned it this week. In the last couple weeks of her life, Grandma mentioned that she would like to do several things that she had not had the chance to do in years; most frequently she mentioned dancing.

She had been bedridden due to stroke for seven years and I don't honestly think that she had been dancing since Grandpa passed away, but she remembered what it was like and that she loved it.

Mom told a story this weekend that Grandma had told her. She said that Grandma and Grandpa used to go to Lansing and dance whenever Bob Crosby and his band played Big Band music there. And they would dance the night away.

Every chance they got, they'd dance. And they were good at it too.

So today, on what is their 68th wedding anniversary, we miss them both tremendously, but we take comfort in knowing that they are celebrating together today.

Dancing.

06 August 2009

We have hope.

I thought I'd share with you the song that Mom chose to use at the wonderful time we shared with my Aunt Beth and Uncle Mark at the funeral home on Monday morning.

Grandma would have been pleased.

05 August 2009

Honor

The definition of the word honor is 'high regard or respect'. I am extremely sad to tell you that my Grandma's wishes for her funeral were not totally honored.

Ugh.

My Mom has three older brothers and one younger sister, biologically speaking. If you asked her, several years ago, she was down to two brothers and her sister. The third brother, who is closest to her in age- made some terrible choices and when he asked mom what she thought and she told him, he told her to not write to him anymore. She complied.

But when your Mother dies, everyone shows up, I guess.

Mom's oldest brother is interesting, to say the least. He wants what he wants and his entire family bows to his wishes, no questions asked. It's weird, honestly. My Aunt L is a lovely woman, but really has no opinions of her own because she's always having to basically do what Uncle J wants her to do. Blech.

What does this have to do with Grandma's funeral, you ask? I'm getting there.

Quite a long time ago, maybe even before Grandpa got sick, he and Grandma sat down and planned each funeral. They were attending a Lutheran church at the time and both wanted a funeral there complete with all the trimmings. And that's fine. There are several pastors in the family, but Grandpa wanted their own pastor to conduct the funerals, giving the sons and the sons-in-law a chance to be mourners when the time came, not pastors.

Seems like a good arrangement to me.

When Grandpa died, Grandma was 78 and TOTALLY in charge of seeing that his wishes for his funeral were honored. And I overheard Mom and Aunt Beth talking this weekend and I know that was true. And knowing what I knew of Grandma then, it doesn't surprise me for a second.

But the second my Grandmother died last week, the two sons who always want what they want at no cost started making arrangements for what THEY wanted. No flowers, no obit in any paper.....Mom and my Aunt Beth chose to take care of both of those things on their own.

Surprise, surprise.

And while I don't know details, I do know that it involved many phone calls, some screaming, and quite a bit of hurt feelings.

So much so that there ended up to be two services, and I use that term loosely, with the interment service in between. My 2 selfish uncles got what they wanted and while my Mom and the other brother attended out of respect for their Mother, I could tell that my mother didn't really want to be there. I felt so bad for her.

And that "service" was such that Mom said that Uncle J and Uncle B could have just taken care of sharing those memories with each other over lunch before the service that Grandma wanted. My Aunt Beth chose not to attend that "service" and in hindsight, I don't blame her. It was awful and NOT at all what Grandma wanted.

And did I mention that Uncle J stood in front of the top of the open casket the entire time so that no one could even see Grandma if they wanted to?

My cousin Michelle, who was sitting behind us, sobbed the entire time. It was awful. I just sat and watched my Mother out of the corner of my eye. She had that look on her face that she gets when she is not pleased with something- it wasn't good. And believe me, I know; I've seen that look a lot over the years.

My good uncle, Uncle Larry, was in charge of saying something at the interment service. And he did a wonderful job. Mom hugged him afterward and I heard her say something about "redeemed". She told me afterward that she told him that he had redeemed the entire awful experience for her. I love him, did I mention that?

The funeral director offers all of us a pink carnation from the casket spray, (Grandma hated pink, by the way) we do some hugging of family and say our goodbyes and we are on our way. Mom and Dad drop us off at the hotel on the way to Quincy, IL where Grandmother's funeral was set for 3pm. And it's already nearly 3pm by the time we get back to our car at the hotel. Dad had called Uncle Mark to tell them that circumstances being what they were, they were running late and could they possibly delay the start of Grandma's funeral.

They made it to the funeral in time for the last hymn, Dad mentioned yesterday when he called.

There was made mention that if Grandfather were still alive, he would bust my uncles heads together and that would be that. Now he'll just wait for each of them at the Pearly Gates and beat their butts. I told Jon that I hope that Uncle Jim sees how selfish he was and makes amends with my Aunt. Uncle B never will, but I've come to expect that.

I just hate to see selfishness tear my Mom's family apart.

04 August 2009

Low

I feel as though I lost both of my grandparents over the course of the weekend.

When I was growing up, we saw my Mom's parent's occasionally, but not often. Until, of course, I was in high school and they moved to the town that was three hours away. Then we spent quite a bit of time there.

But when Grandpa was diagnosed with colon cancer in September of 1995, we were in Wisconsin and they were in Illinois. I was preparing to marry Jon, so I had my own things going on.

Then when he died 14 months later, I had a 2 month old baby at home. Making our way to Hannibal, MO for the funeral just wasn't possible.

So, I don't have any idea where I thought Grandpa had been all this time, but apparently, he wasn't dead.

Because on Sunday afternoon when I am standing at the spot where my 89 year old grandmother would be buried the next day, for several minutes, it does not occur to me that Grandpa is there too. I saw his marker, with his name and it still took me by surprise.

And then it hit me like a Mack truck.

Both my grandparents are dead. Holy crap, how did that happen?

So the next morning, with my parents, my sister, 2 aunts and uncles and some of my cousins, I stood at the casket of what used to be my grandma and just felt all kinds of emotions.

I can't really see through the tears right now, so bear with me.

The woman in the casket was not my grandmother. She may have been at one point, and if you could look at her nose, her chin and strangely enough, her ears; then she was my grandmother. But she wasn't. This woman was tiny and frail and that was not our grandmother. She was strong and hugged us tight every visit and made molasses taffy.

She wouldn't tell us that she loved us, but I knew she did.

Honestly? I'm finding myself mourning my grandpa and my grandma, for what she was and what she could have been to me.

This is hard.

01 August 2009

It's that time again! SWS!

Well friends, another week is behind us, which makes it time for Six Word Saturday, hosted by the blogger at Call me Cate!
Wanna join in the fun or see entries of others? Click the button below!

My entry this week is:
Week from He** needs no repeating.