Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A snapshot of our Memorial Day

through the lens of my beloved camera.
Warning: Photo heavy
We did go visit Ryan & Amber in the evening,
otherwise we stayed at home.
I like my home. I really do.
The sun was shining and the weather warm.
If I'm going to keep count, it would be Day #1 in Capris and flip flops.

The peas moved to the porch in the past week.
 The temperature out there can get a wee bit warm!
 We kept stopping throughout the day to add a few more pieces to a puzzle
we picked up on Saturday.
I love that mindless activity.
 Our feathered friends roam the yard ...
 and so far only one of them has figured out how to get over the crate I've propped outside the door to keep them out of the green house which is cooled the old
fashioned manual way.
 Pots of lobelia reaching for sunlight.
 Radishes are doing the same reach. I really hope that something is growing in the dirt as well and not just on the top side of the dirt!
I've already planted another row of radish seeds and am waiting for them to sprout.
One row is nearly a one sitting eating for my dear hubby.
 Rather than going crazy in the tomato department this year, I only have four
plants going in there. Maybe I'll get some more.
At this point, I really don't feel the need.
 Strawberries are starting to bloom next to rhubarb that is going crazy.
 Unlike other places further south, our lilacs are finally starting to see some buds.
The leaves have just recently opened.
 I grew up calling this tree a "Bee Tree" because it buzzes constantly.
Last year I laid down mulch around the tree and it must have been full of aphids
because they took over my tree.
This year I'm hoping the tree does a whole lot better after I removed all the nasty stuff.
 I don't know what this tree is either.
Very soon it will be covered with white blooms.
I love it!
So goes the start of summer at our house.
The last day of May today and I can hardly believe it.
Where on earth does time go?

We showed our house again tonite and are doing a second visit showing tomorrow.
Jari and the kids are doing a bang up job of keeping it ready to show,
making my stress level incredibly low and giving me more time to talk to flowers
out in the greenhouse.
Ain't life just grand?!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Can I just call it MayDay?

Tuesday I had the day off and so scheduled a visit with the orthopod. Remember those shin splints that I self diagnosed? That one was a bit off. I figured I had a hip thing going on.

After a photo shoot with the xray machine I found that the hip is fine. Some mild to moderate arthiritis going on in there, but that is tolerable and certainly not causing a problem. Guess I won't be joining Dad in the hip replacement department. The problem seems to be my spine. Particularly L5 to S1 if you happen to know spines. It seems that I have an issue going on there, namely spondylolisthesis, that is pinching nerves and in all likelihood not going to get better. The "pictures" gave me a serious moment of "oh my goodness".
Grade 3 is what my spine looks like ... and presently my left leg agrees completely.
So. I'm a nurse. I work in the surgery department, but am not a fan of surgery for myself.
I went online and started looking for things to help living and keep myself off the surgery table.
This is what I managed to find:

  • exercise (so far this isn't looking good)
  • rest (Ha! I work 40 hours a week running on my feet.)
  • surgery
While I'm relieved that I now know what is causing the problem, and it is quite real, I would much rather have hip surgery. Next week I go for the MRI. First time experience for me and I'm hoping for a good nap. And then we have to figure out the exercise thing. Being as that is what caused the problem in the first place ... I am a wee bit hesitant to embark on that journey without assistance from a trained professional.

I have no previous xrays to determine when I have injured my back. The doctor asked me if I had been a gymnast. Me???!! Not. Told him that I am the most unathletic person I know. I'm serious. I'm figuring that the spine slippage is due to the gym at SCC. Never, ever weight lift without proper training. I did. It is about the time I nearly needed a cane to walk for a while and never had it checked out. Who knows if it has gotten worse since then. I prefer any photo shoots to be done with a Canon Rebel rather than xray equipment. Then again. I've been thinking. Maybe this is what caused that inch loss of height!

So, onward with the decisions of life. A few hours of making lemonade out of lemons and we made some decisions. By evenings end we had signed the papers needed to list our house. It went on the market Wednesday morning.
We have had two showings over the weekend.

Duke is thoroughly enjoying getting out for rides again.
I'm going to be a pro at quick bathroom swabbing.
Beds are actually made in every room.
Laundry is constantly caught up and not stacked.
Floors are spotless.
Windows are almost spotless.
I find a new project to tackle each day in the cleaning department.
Goodies for donation are properly sorted and itemized for tax donation purposes.
I'm avoiding panic attacks quite well.

It helps to have a good chuckle here and there.
Have a safe Memorial Day!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Our life is so full and rich.

First you take a group of friends and spend the afternoon singing, visiting and
enjoying the sunshine with little people scattered everywhere in between.
Then you add two graduates, Brock and Tait, to the mix.
Incidentally, they are rather glad to be at this stage of life.
Then you add some good food.
We neglected to get a picture of the entire table.
It was rather laden, thanks to everyone who helped in that department!
You add some good humor and gifts ...
and you have two moms very happy with the day!
Thanks to everyone and special thanks to Kevin & Kelly for offering up their home
for the celebration!
 After a busy day of celebrating and an evening at services,
Tia had a need.
Thank you gifts for her teachers.
I didn't have a clue what she really meant until we got the project under way.
Fill the dining room table with crafty things and mix in a little creativity. 
Five female teacher got these little boxes that I had stashed downstairs in a bag.
The guy teachers got bags that we decorated with a few stitches of sewing and whatever was appropriate for that class.
Scrabble letters spelling out MATH and GYM ... that kind of thing.
Once in a while I'm thankful for things left over and unused.
We added flowers to the tops of the boxes and tags to the fronts.
A handwritten note inside the top of the lid ...
and filled with chocolates.
They turned out really cute.
I loved her idea and thoughtfulness.
I just couldn't function anymore by the time we were done!
 Today is Tuesday, the last day of school.
The last day of middle school for Tia. 
The last footstep that heads off to this stage of life ...
and tomorrow she is off to high school.
Does it make me feel old?
No, not really.
A wee bit thankful.

Monday, May 23, 2011

One small request.

For Now.

Can I please have one more day of weekend?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Congratulations Brock!!

Last evening we joined an auditorium of folks celebrating the achievements of family and loved ones. The school Brock graduated from, Valley Pathways, is not what you would call a "traditional school" yet it works very well for those who need a different kind of learning environment.
Last evening, 73 students celebrated the achievement of high school graduation,
our middle child included.
Each advisor had their advisees on stage and individually spoke about each of them.
They know their students very well.
The advisors know the struggles that many of these young people face in their lives
and have made it their life's work to help them succeed.
And this one has.
Life isn't always fair.
We are all handed a different bag of tricks and the tools to deal with the tricks.
We all have a different path to follow.
Sometimes we take the wrong fork on the road and need help in redirecting our lives.
Sometimes the speed bumps can be of mountainous proportions,
yet with perserverance our goals are achievable ...
one step at a time.
Today, as he takes this step, I am so very proud of him.
My middle child.
My youngest son.
He will find his way.
It will involve quite a journey.
He doesn't like to do things the easy way.
He wants to be a mechanic and he will be ... one way or another.
 Tomorrow afternoon we're gathering around the food tables
with friends and family for fun, laughter and celebration.

Today, I want to thank you.

You have befriended someone when he needed a friend.
You have listened when he needed an ear.
You have reached out and lifted up.
You have seen the heart that lives within.
You have simply loved.
There are many of you to whom I owe my eternal thanks and gratitude.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Another season of "firsts" begins.

Jari's brother, Juha, is here for a long weekend. Super fun. I love watching these brothers get together. They're the only two boys in their family and it is super special when they are able to play and laugh together.
This time I was able to join them as well.
The three of us and Fred headed out at some unrealistic hour like 4 a.m. on Saturday.
The sky was blue behind wisps of clouds on the way down.
Four hours and breakfast later we were in Ninilchik ready to board a halibut fishing charter.
The guys have done plenty of ocean fishing together.
I never have.
Remember, I'm the one who has only caught only ONE salmon in my life.
I wasn't sure that halibut was going to be any different.
It certainly was. Small halibut, but they were nonstop for a while.
So much fun!
The guys kept telling me that I was going to have to reel in my own fish.
I was a bit nervous. It has been a long time since I carried little ones or the car seats that carry them. Now I just run nonstop on my feet. I was a bit apprehensive about the arms. It went splendidly.
I really should have worried about the bladder instead!
No bathroom on the boat for 6 hours in choppy waves for a bit of the ride.
I managed not to pee my pants.
Just barely.
Fileting time. It is fun to watch somone who has done this for years.
I called it art.
The fish ... I'm calling dinner.
By the way, I'm hooked on it. It is a bit pricey for too many adventures,
but I'll definately go again.
After our fish was all in the cooler, we headed down the road a piece to Whiskey Gulch to see if we could find some butter clams. The beach looked for rocky than sandy, so we headed on to Homer instead.
There were eagles hanging out on the beach being very protective of their catch.
After a visit to Homer we headed homeward, stopping in Clam Gulch to try some clamming. I didn't leave the car. The guys took Juha out to try his hand at finding some clams, which they did. I would love to go clamming again ... even if I didn't keep them. It is just fun ... especially if the sun is shining.
I was frozen to the bone. It really wasn't that cold on the water and we were bundled up in plenty of layers, so don't know what my problem really was.  Homer was windy and cold. I was tired. I think I finally thawed out sometime in the middle of the night when I was tucked in my own bed.
 It was a super fun day ... adventure filled with new experiences and family time.
Sunday the fish got packaged and hit the freezer ... and a few hit the grill for a fun afternoon barbeque with more family!

I'm off work on Monday. This was suppose to be my four day weekend and I volunteered to work on Friday to get some extra hours in .. I'll appreciate tomorrow.
My list is rather long.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My flower beds?!

This was Duke's favorite place to lay for quite a while.
Nothing would grow in this part of the flower bed because
he was always resting in it.
So Jari put up the handy little wood fence.
It worked very well to keep the dog out.

The chickens have now taken over that spot!
They are fun to watch.
I have to try and get a video of them.
They have taken to joining Duke and Oreo when Jari pulls up in the yard.
They all toodle over to stand at his door and wait for him to exit the truck.
I haven't seen it yet, only heard about it.
Goofy things.

They were the first things I heard this morning after my alarm clock went off.
They have a chicken variety doggy door enabling them to come and go at will, hopefully hopping back up to do their egg laying duties.
I'm seriously thinking about getting a goat.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pillow Talk

I did manage to get some household chores done on Saturday and in the middle of it all I slipped away to the basement. My corner of the laundry room is nothing special in the form of decorating fashion, but it is my corner. And I love it. It is there that the imagination can try to sprout some wings and take flight. The projects are stacked up there at the moment, but this one was put together on Saturday using materials that I plundered from the piles.

An M that I enlarged from some font, transferred to red felt and then zigzag stitched onto some lightweight denim.
The pillow cover ended up being a few inches too large. Maybe that is good. The seams won't burst!
Double stitching around the front edges.
Pockets that have seen better days.
And then the back. Roughly cut and sewn together with denim ties that allow slipping the pillow form into the cover. I am a serious fan of used denim and making them into something fun that will be used often around here.
I love it. I probably wouldn't have gotten around to it yet and would have just kept the idea tucked in the back of my mind, but the previous pillow cover's zipper gave up. It was all the excuse I needed.
The wooden couch is coated with polyurethane.
Tia's slip cover is on.
It may end up moving back outside someday, but for now ...
when the sun starts streaming in through our second story dining room windows and heating our non air conditioned house to rather warm temps ....
I'll have a perfectly cool place for a quiet afternoon nap.

Monday, May 9, 2011

In celebration of Motherhood

Saturday evening I started writing a long ode to motherhood that just wasn't working. Then I lit upon idea to hit the internet and find a list of emotions, thinking that perhaps it would help. What I found was this:

"...feelings are like weather. It comes and goes, it's sunny or rainy or storming or there's a tornado ... but it passes. People get caught up in their emotions, in managing them, try to muscle them into something else. But really, who can harness the wind?"   - Toby Neal

When those storms have passed, we're left with the wonder that comes with the calm. Do we remember how many nights we rocked sick babies? Do we remember all the frustrations of "little people" life when our children have moved to another stage of life? No, we don't. Those feelings are like the wind. They move on and are replaced with another feeling of the current time. Understanding that our current heart break is but a shift in that wind, makes it easier to bear. Along the way we're left with the memories we've made with our precious children. Of those I have so very many many. If I dig back in the recesses of my noggin, I'm sure I can come up with some doozies that I can laugh at now. Throughout our lives, we will all experience the same emotions. The cause of those emotions may be different, yet in the end the feelings will be the same. And we'll move on through them.

Long ago I read something that went like this, "To be a mother is to forever have your heart walking around outside your body." Until I was a mother, I didn't understand that. Today I do. On this my 23rd anniversary of Mother's Day ... I understand.

I understand and appreciate the joy. I know the music of laughter and the balm of forgiveness. I know that my time with my children is limited and I thank God for lending them to me. I know that I am a far from perfect mother. I have regrets over things I could have done differently yet, if I should wake tomorrow, there is still time ... to try yet again.

Today I am thankful. I heard their voices and my heart rejoiced.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Some days I might start feeling a little old.

Then again, somedays I like that feeling.
Sunday evening we went over to the DMV office in Palmer and practiced parallel parking. Anna was scheduled to take her driving exam and as always, that was one more thing to get done with mom.
Somehow I manage to wind up with the fun stuff.
After managing the parallel parking, Tia wanted to take a turn behind the wheel.
Around the parking lot.
Then it got even better.
Around. The. Light. Poles.
 This just might be her sign for a while!
Driving exam was done today and Miss Anna is now legal to drive without me in the car slamming my right foot down as if on a brake pedal.
I think I have someone I can send to the store again. Yippee!!
In reality, it will probably sound more like this, "Moooommmmm, can I pleeeaaase go to Anchorage? They have a greaaaatttt sale going on at (insert any store that sells bling)!"
*The chairs aren't done.
*The couch has it's cushion on and is working well.
*I replanted seeds because in my haste for summer, most of the things I put out in the greenhouse didn't exactly survive the chill very well.
*The laundry is caught up.
*If I think about the packing I'm suppose to be starting, I start to have a panic attack.
*I seriously love the app Overdrive Media Console on my phone. From it I download oodles of free audio books from the library.
*It is starting to look like I might not be working this evening. I suppose I could go attack the mail basket.
*I've self diagnosed myself with shin splints. They are not fun. One would think that I had been climbing mountains or something. Instead, even sleeping is proving challenging sometimes. It is not nice.