Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Design wall ideas

Hmmm. I was just over at Mrs. Mel's blog, and noticed this past post on how to build a portable design wall. Hmmmm. Wonder if I could do something like this. It is nice, but I'd like something smaller and even more portable, too, so I could work in my room if I get sick again (I know, bite my tongue.), or that I could travel with, or that I can use now before I get the basement decluttered enough to sew there (real reason).

So I just googled portable design wall. Here is one idea I like once I have the design board- you sew lines 2 inches apart to make a grid. Here is another one that uses foam core board. I get that I can find it at the hardware store, but what does this look like? There was a suggestion here to cut the foamcore board to 36" sq. and then covering it with flannel to avoid having to pin (I hate pinning!). At the same site it was suggested to use one of those trifold boards (like our kids use for science fair displays) and cover it with the back of a vinyl tablecloth.

Hmmmmm. I am really liking some of these ideas. I may have to run to McLendon's tomorrow to look at this foam core board stuff. In the meantime, it is quiet and Papa is dealing with the kids- I hear the tv, but I am not even going to complain about that. I am off to do some more sketching and see if anything wonderful jumps out of my brain into the sketch book.

Edited later to add that Papa just told me there is a piece of foam core in the basement!!!! Woohoo!

Baby steps, or, Is it Time to Quilt Yet?

While I was sick this month (hard to believe I was down for the count for a whole 4 weeks!), I spent some time perusing my fabrics. Baby steps.

When it got easier to read, but the Count of Monte Cristo was still making my head hurt, I started going back over my quilting books, and reading lots of quilting blogs. Baby steps.

Last week, I drew while at the zoo, and then today I started making some drawings in my quilting sketch book. Baby steps.

So, now that I am not sick anymore (and yes, I am knocking on my wooden chair), I think it may be time to get started. I still don't have a real place to sew (I am so envious of all the quilting bloggers with their own studios!), and no design wall, but I am going to just start playing with my fabrics, and my sketchbook, and see what happens. Even if it is nothing more than that, that's okay. Baby steps.

I am feeling really stuck creatively, and need to break out. It is both inspiring and challenging to be seeing what others are doing on their blogs (also need to add more links to my sidebar so y'all can see what I am talking about!). It has been almost a year since I have done any quilting of any kind. I have bought lots of fabric, but that probably doesn't count,lol. Time to BE the quilter, and not just think about it anymore. Lots of ideas in my head, now to see what evolves.

Didn't think I'd have to work so hard to be integrity in my art. I do find it a challenge to be a good homeschooling mom, study for myself, keep the house up, AND do art on a daily basis. Guess I should start thinking about implementing routine and ritual again.

Whew! I feel better just from posting this.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Cooking Meme

This one is for Amy and Donna. Comment here when you do it so that I can go read yours.

1. How many meals does most of your family eat at home each week? How many are in your family? There are four of us, and we eat out about once a week at most, usually less, due to the allergies we have. That means about 20 meals a week- 3 meals a day. That's a lot of dishes to wash with no dishwasher, just ask my kids, lol.

2. How many cookbooks do you own? About 50. I have about 35 upstairs, and another 15 in the basement library that I rarely use but can't part with.

3. How often do you refer to a cookbook each week? Maybe once a week, sometimes two. I don't use them much anymore, I must admit. Lots of my standard recipes, the Indian ones included, are in my head.

4. Do you collect recipes from other sources? If so, what are some of your favorite sources? I collect recipes from the WTM boards, and people of other cultures in my neighborhood.

5. How do you store those recipes? My dh has a spiral notebook from before we were married, and he got me a write in your own recipe book I use. There are also some on my computer, and a myriad of recipes scribbled on paper and tucked into the front of various cookbooks. I know, I know.

6. When you cook, do you follow the recipe pretty closely, or do you use recipes primarily to give you ideas? For me, recipes are really just a springboard (a Graham Kerr term). Even if it is the first time I have used it, I usually make changes, either due to allergy restrictions, or my own imagination.

7. Is there a particular ethnic style or flavor that predominates in your cooking? If so, what is it? I cook a lot of Indian food, probably 3 to 4 times a week. I also cook Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Morrocan/Lebanese. I rarely cook "American" and am not sure what that really even means anymore.

8. What's your favorite kitchen task related to meal planning and preparation? (eating the finished product does not count) I love to cook as part of entertainment. My friend D and I cook every couple of months, and I love that- especially sharing the chores to make a huge feast. I really love cooking with Papa- it is a bit of an aphrodesiac for me, he he.

9. What's your least favorite part? Well, Amy said it well- I get bored with the day-in, day-out of it. For me, cooking 3X day gets old very fast, especially not having a choice about it.

10. Do you plan menus before you shop? Nope. I plan meals around what meats are in the discount section in the meat dept. and what veggies are ripe and ready at the fruit stand. Make sure I always have rice, noodles, and potatoes, and I am set!

11. What are your three favorite kitchen tools or appliances? I love my bench knife, my handle-free rolling pin, and my pastry cloth. These were anniversary gifts from the Papa Dude one year, and I love them all. Since the pastry cloth and rolling pin go together, I will also add my lemon zester.

12. If you could buy one new thing for your kitchen, money was no object, and space not an issue, what would you most like to have? A double oven.

13. Since money and space probably are objects, what are you most likely to buy next? Well, we need to remodel the entire kitchen, but I think the floor will come first.

14. Do you have a separate freezer for storage? We have a refrigerator/freezer in the basement. Right now it is full of frozen peaches and plums, which I really need to either make jams or pies and cobblers out of, before the protective ice layer becomes too thick.

15. Grocery shop alone or with others? I try to sneak out while Boy is at morning classes, and Girl is home doing her piano. I HATE taking the kids, but I do like to sneak out with Papa sometimes in the evening.

16. How many meatless main dish meals do you fix in a week? Almost none. I am good at extending a small amount of meat, but we almost always have some.

17. If you have a decorating theme in your kitchen, what is it? Favorite kitchen colors? Oh gosh, there is the uglies gold linoleum on the floor, green peeling counters, and yucky cheap wood cabinets with really sad-looking pulls on them. What I do have is a wonderful built-in china cabinet that is very full! If I could pick new colors, they would probably be bright and cheerful, or would match the tones in my Fiestaware.

18. What's the first thing you ever learned to cook, and how old were you? English muffin pizzas, and hamburgers. 12 to 13.

19. How did you learn to cook? Actually, Papa and his first wife (we were friends) taught me the basics, then I just jumped off from there.

20. Tag two other people to play. Want to play? Let me know where I can read your answers. You can answer any or all of the questions in the comments if you don't have a blog.

Bird of the month

If you know me at all, you know by now, that I love birds. I can sit and watch and listen to them for hours. On several birthdays, my gift from my family has been to go birdwatching. I am known for having hundreds of fave birds- they are so beautiful in feather and voice, how could I pick just one?! So from now on, I think I will focus on one beautiful bird a month, sharing it's particular beauty with you. I know it isn't quite March yet, but I cannot wait to share this bird with you!

The last two times I have been to the zoo, I have spent a huge amount of time in front of this bird drawing and watching him, just enthrawled. The Blue-spangled cotinga, Cotinga cayana, resides in the tropical rain forests of Suriname, one of 17 Cotinga species found there. The male is quite brilliantly blue, with dark black feathers underneath, that he fluffs out when it rains. Guess that's where the spangle part of his name comes from. He also has this brilliant patch of fuschia on his neck. The female is a dull brown color, but beautiful in her own right, and is no less fun to watch. They have this funny habit of occasionally stretching their necks out long and far. It sort of makes the males look like a bright blue lizard.

Ahhh, the joy of birds. Too bad I'd have to go to the Amazon to see this fellow and his sweet brown wife! Thank goodness for the zoo!

Have a great day,

Friday, February 24, 2006

Rising to the Challenge, and Saturday Plans

Hey! Ask me how my head feels today, just go ahead and ask me!!

Yes thank you, I feel great! Really good. Still the ringing in the head, but no horrible pain. I can live with that!

I felt good enough to run errands with the kids this afternoon. We actually did several fun things in between errands, as it was nearly 50 degrees out and sunny. We stopped by the sliding park- there is a parking strip, you walk across a field of grass, and on a hill, there is a great big long slide. The kids who had been there just before us had left it muddy, and you barely scooted down it, so I sent a kid back to the car for my car blankie. It is fleece, and allowed us to slide much faster! Lots of fun. Five slides each, and then back into the car we went.

The next fun thing we did was to go to Gene Coulon Beach Park. First we stopped at Kidd Valley and had fries while listening to 50's music, and then we walked out onto the dock. We didn't walk far or long (I didn't want to push it physically), but it felt good to be out in the good fresh air.

Next stop: Library. Now comes the challenge part. Boy is cut off from the internet after abusing the priviledge here at home. I told them it was a short visit, pick a book and we're out of here. Next thing I know, he is on the internet in the kids' section of the library. I asked him to get off, reminding him of his restriction. He denied knowing about it, and gave me a mouthy answer. I told both kids to get to the car, NOW.

Girl followed me, but Boy was a bit slower. When he came out, I asked him where the book he was going to check out was, and he told me he had a fine, and that SOMEONE was in an all-fired hurry, so he couldn't DEAL with it. He was downright nasty in his tone, just snarling at me. It was completely unacceptable, and not the first time he has spoken to me in this way lately. Papa and I had talked about how I needed to be when he chose this path, so I guess I was prepared. I told him he needed to speak to me in a respectful way, and he replied that he would rather WALK home than ride with me. And the mouthiness continued. So, long story short, I made him get out of the car, and he just stood in the parking lot, glaring at me. I then made him start walking. It is 2.5 miles home from the library.

I watched him from my rear-view mirror long enough to see that he used the cross-walks and made it through the busy intersection, then called Papa on my cell phone for support. At his suggestion, I followed Boy, honked at him, and handed him my cell phone. He had been running so had gone some distance. I then drove home, the Girl fuming in the back seat the whole way. When we got home, I called Boy on the cell phone, and told him to make sure he came home with it, or I'd send him back out there. I also told him I loved him, and would see him soon, to which he replied, "Yeah, right."

I then called Dy, to wait out his walk home. I know he is almost 14, and some of you may think I was silly to worry, but the Boy, bright as he is, is still working on crossing streets safely and looking both ways, so this was a really big deal. When he came home, he was still angry, and it took a long time to get him to even see that he had chosen to walk, and that it was the consequence of speaking to me in such a nasty, rude way. He obviously did just fine, and decided to walk leisurely at some point, because his hands were filthy, and he had rocks and sticks in his pockets, lol.

Phew! Teenagers are tricky creatures, aren't they? I have to pat myself on the back a bit, I didn't yell, I stayed in control, I was cool- an iceburg. A tower of calm. Pretty good for a chick who just got over a 3 week long headache, don'tcha think? ;-)

On a lighter note, I do get a break from the little bums tomorrow. My old friend from high school, the same one who went to the zoo with us the other day, is coming over in the morning, and we are heading to the zoo again, only sans children this time. We will head straight for the tropical rain forest house, my fave spot in the whole zoo, don'tcha know. I have been experimenting with watercolor pencils, and have a sketch I want to keep working on. He will bring his camera as usual, and we will spend a couple of glorious hours just being. I am looking forward to it.

It is wonderful to be able to have a male friend. He and I knew each other in high school, and then dated for a year or so while he was in college. We came to the mutual agreement that we worked better together as friends that in a serious relationship. The cool thing, is that unlike any other relationship I have had, when we said, "Let's just be friends.", we actually did it. Twenty-five years later, and we still talk on the phone about twice a month, and see each other about once every other month, usually cooking together. I hav known him longer than the Papa Dude, so he has never complained. He trusts me, and over the years has grown to love my friend as much as I do, so it works out well. I love it!

I told my friend he would be doing the cooking tomorrow, and that I may need to rest at some point in the day, so we will do pizza. Easy, and everyone can make thier own. This is very basic compared to the things we usually cook. We do Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Chines, Cajun, Indian. We have done some non-dairy, non-wheat Italian and Mexican, too. The more exotic, the better. It sometimes takes us 4 hours to shop for our ingredients (course that means stopping for lunch, ya' know), and another 4 to cook the meal. We always buy the kids hot dogs, just in case, but do encourage them to try the foods. Papa usually works in the yard while we are busy in the kitchen. I think they are doing some birthday shopping tomorrow, because someone you know will be turning 41 next week! 41. I swear I don't feel that old.

So, that was my day, and that is my plan for tomorrow. I hope those of you fighting crusty eyes and hacking coughs feel better very soon, hugs to you.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Later that same day......

We find our heroine tucked in bed, feeling much better, but a bit silly about having been so scared to have the MRI. I think the whole process has come a long way in the 20 years since I had my first one. They offered me a valium, to help with the claustrophobia (well twist my arm!), covered me with a blankie, and covered my eyes as well, and gave me earplugs. Once all that was in place, and I was inside the tube, it just felt like I was being cradled, not IN something. At one point, I really tuned out and kinda fell asleep, and sorta forgot where I was, which now seems pretty amazing to me.

Afterwards, Papa drove us home, tucked me in bed, and brought me some leftover chicken casserole. I then tucked the earplugs back in, and slept for 3 hours. I am feeling much better now!

Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers. It really means a lot to me. I do have to say that I went to Quiet Life just now and was reading about Candace, and I feel very humbled. I do not mean to make light of my own pain and the struggle to find out what is causing it, but what this little girl is going through just breaks my heart, and makes me truly thankful for all that I have. I promise to think before I complain from now on, and to remeber how good I have it.

Thanks for all the phone calls- I think they really help the very most- hearing your voices makes you less invisible, and really conveys the caring, if that makes any sense at all.

Well, the house is quiet, the Boy's horn lesson is over, and Papa just took them to Dread Meyer to fetch some mushrooms to go with the steak for supper, and to get me some potato chips! I have been eating so very well since I got sick (have lost 6 pounds so far), and avoiding all sugars, I just need something kinda "fun" to eat, know what I mean? So I think I shall check out again, and take another little nap while it is quiet.

Talk to you soon,
LB, who can't wait till she is talking about homeschooling and art quilts on a regular basis, instead of pain meds and MRI's, lol.

MRI morning

Good morning, everyone! I took a long hot bath, have taken off my wedding ring :-( , Papa has fed the kids, they are finishing up their chores, and packing up their math and grammar to bring this morning. I have the directions to the hospital, and I am ready to go!

Feeling much calmer today than I was yesterday. Probably due to the myriad of calls and emails last night. Thanks ladies. I cannot believe how much your thoughts, and prayers help.

I will check in later today. I hope you all have a very happy healthy day today, and thanks for being there.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tuesday update

Well, I am glad I got a couple of things done this weekend, because the pain set in hot and heavy today. I did drive up to visit with my mom, however, and am glad I did. I got a good long Mama Hug, and we sat and chatted on the couch while the kids played with their cousins. I do love my mama. I hope my kids feel the same about me when they are older, and done with the teenage angst.

I finally got an appointment for an MRI, turns out they have a cancelation tomorrow morning at 10 am. Don't even get me started on trying to communicate with my Dr. about that- the receptionist who I dealt with last week is no longer working for my Dr. (Dy and I think she was fired for non-communication and lying to poor pitiful patients like me, lol.), so it was a trying experience to say the least. But I digress.

Specific prayer requests for tomorrow and the rest of this week:
That I will not freak out and have a claustrophobia attack while I am in the tubey thing.
That they see SOMETHING that will be of help to us in this diagnosis.
That I can just relax, give up some control, and be a patient patient this week.

Thanks to everyone who is thinking of me, it does help. It's been a very tough day for me, but I am tucked in bed now, my dh just brought me some chicken noodle casserole (they all hate it but it is a fave comfort food of mine), and he is in charge of the kids, so I will check out now.

Thanks for being there,

Monday, February 20, 2006

Monday Musings

Hello! I am here. My head is feeling much better today. Still constant tinninitis (SP?), but the pain is much less now,although sometimes it still feels like my head will explode. Thanks for all the prayers and well wishes! It is tough to be sick, but y'all made it better with your caring, you really did. I still don't know anything, have an appt. with a rhumatologist the second week of March, and will be setting up an appt for an MRI this week. I'd feel better if all the pain were gone, but I am getting used to functioning through it.

The Papa Dude is home today. It was a nice weekend- he did almost all the parenting while I rested, folded laundry (it's all done!!), and decluttered. Today, while the kids were studying, he and I chopped and hauled a bunch of firewood, and got it all stacked in the basement by the stove. It was fun to actually be physical for the first time in several weeks! Then he and I went to the friendly fruitstand- yes, we needed produce, but our major errand there was to ask the owners, P & M, if they would consider being mentors for the Boy, letting him hang out there a couple of hours a week, and help out a bit, sweep floors, prep produce, etc. He really is in a tough place emotionally right now, and one thing we think would help him is to be around other safe adults who have rules, rituals, and routines, and are of good character, so he can see it is not just his ol' parents who keep insisting that character is important. We gave them our number, I hope they call back and say yes. I think a mentor would be very good for the boy.

There are no middle school classes for the Boy this week, no food bank (the family with whom we share the route has taken it over for a while, till I am feeling better) , just the dentist appts. we had this morning. Looks like the Boy needs to go see an orthodontist asap, sigh. At least our dental insurance is better than our medical insurance is.

So what shall we do this week? School work, and lots of it! The last few weeks, the Boy was focusing on ACT prep, the Girl on Bartok and Beethoven, and me on hiding in bed with the pillow over my head, so we have some work to do. Last week, we took formally off, though I had them do memory work and music practice. This week we add in latin, math, grammar, writing (I am just going to use the Hake writing lessons for now, as the Boy really needs to be able to write an essay.), and some history reading. We also have a ton of grading to do this week. I need to do some studying myself, to figure out the whole writing curricula dilema I seem to be in, sigh. Also have my own latin, and rhetoric study to get back into. As long as my brain can handle it, I wll try to do some studying each day.

I am planning to go to my mom's twice this week, as I have missed the last two weeks due to the hurting brain thang, so am hoping that the thought of playing with their cousins tomorrow afternoon will make them scurry to get their work done tomorrow morning. A mama can dream, now, can't she?

I didn't get a whole heck of a lot of decluttering done this weekend, but what I did get done was mostly in our bedroom. I brought up another bookcase from the basement (after clearing it of almost all of my picture books. This was very emotionally tough for me to do!), and put it near my side of the bed. There are also now two sitting areas complete with table and chairs as well as the desk in our room, so that if I need to rest while the kids are schooling, they can do some of it in our room, in separate areas. They are not quite ready to be completely on their own for schoolwork, so this will allow me to be with them while I rest, and I hope will result in more reading aloud during the day.

Well, that is all for now. I have to go pay desperately late bills today. Once I accomplish that feat, I will probably lie down for a bit, between correcting math tests, and listening to poem recitations.

Thanks again for the well wishes, y'all are the best imaginary friends a girl could ask for!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A poem for the Snow Lovers

For you IslandSparrow, Miz Booshay/, and friend Dy. I had the Boy type this up for me- good practice for him.

Ahem, clearing throat.

The more it snows
(Tiddly pom),
the more it goes
( Tiddly pom),
the more it goes
( Tiddly pom),
on snowing.

And nobody knows
(tiddly pom),
how cold my toes
(tiddly pom),
how cold my toes
(tiddly pom),
are growing.

A.A. Milne and Pooh



Here's the update I posted on the boards early this afternoon.

Well, the good news is that I scared the poop out of the dr by showing up in his waiting room without an appointment, lol. He apologized up and down for not calling me back, or looking at the test results. He talked to the receptionist like he had no idea I had called. She told me I needed to light a fire under his butt. Hmmm, me thinks they need to work on communication a bit, as I called and asked for him to call me 5 times!!

Anyway, the bad news is that the tests for Lupus came back negative, but I have definitive lupus symptoms. So, he renewed my scripts for the pain killer, and I have an appt with a rhuematologist on the 9th of Mar, and he also wants me to have an MRI done early next week. I still have to call to set that one up. So, my head still hurts, my joints still hurt, and he is worried about it. And he has woken up to my needs (at least for today). So now, I need to go to bed and try to rest while I trust the kids to do the tiny bit of schoolwork they have for this week (we are taking the week off except for memory work, latin chants, and instrument practice). My son has tryouts for a play this afternoon, and then I have to drive up to my mom's tonight for my nephew's birthday party. Gotta go store up some energy. Please keep praying, however it works for you. I felt so alone last week, and telling y'all about this has helped a great deal, even if I don't have a formal diagnosis. LB

I got serveral errands run today- did the blood drae, had the kids order the flea meds at the vet's, while I ran to the store, then got my scripts filled.

It is now 7:30 pm. Boy's play audition lasted till 4:15, and my sis and my nephews were only going to be at my mom's for another half hour at the most, so we ended up not going over there for the party. (insert sad pouty face here) So instead, I surpervised Boy's horn practice, gave the Girl tips on pineapple upside down cake baking (Dy- this is a great recipe!), roasted carrots and boiled potatoes. Dh is teaching the kids how to use the grill, so they grilled the beef steak. Boy told us about the auditions over dinner.

They are doing the dishes. Papa is walking around sighing. He is stressed at work right now. I am off to lay down now. Hopefully the kids will do the kitchen dishes lickety-split, so we can read tonight. We are loving this McCaffrey book. I think I have talked the Papa Dude into reading Daniel Boone out loud too.

Check in soon,

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

I am not very good at waiting. And there isn't any chocolate in the house. I did make a smashing meal, if I do say so myself. A lamb roast, coated with salt and pepper, fresh mint and rosemary, roasted on a bed of onions and oranges; then covered with a sauce made from the deglazed onions and oranges, with homemade broth, orange juice, and kalamata olives. We roasted some of those cute whole baby carrots with some shallots, and made baby new red potatoes. Maaavalus.

But that was a distraction from the wait. I called the office at closing, and the receptionist told me the Dr. is swamped, with 3 days worth of tests to look through and scripts to write. And if they didn't call, that meant the results were fine. I told her I realized they were busy, but that I have lived with darn near constant headache pain for the last 2 weeks, and things were definately not fine, and I would appreciate a call from the Dr. tomorrow, regardless of what the tests say. If they are positive, I have a starting point. If not, we have more work to do. I did ask for a renewal of the pain meds they gave me- the hydrocodone helps at night.

There was a call from the library yesterday, but I missed it. They didn't call today, so I don't know what's up with them. Another wait.

I need to wait with grace.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Internet friends, take two.

Yesterday, when I should have been resting instead of blogging, I did a fuzzy-headed goof. Over at QuietLife, Donna posted this:

"If there is someone on your blogroll who makes your world a better place just because that person exists and who you would not have met (in real life or not) without the internet, then post this same sentence on your blog."

Donna's response to this question was,
"I am encouraged and enlightened and entertained on a daily basis by the dear people I have met due to the internet. People in real life and cyber-life...both so real and true and remarkable.My world is a better place because of all y'all. "

In a stupor of Head pain, I copied her response, instead of the true quote, because her answer said it for me too.

Donna, I think I took the wrong paragraph because you said it so very well.
yes, I know, again, I am supposed to be napping.

The post that started out titled ~The Waiting Game~ and ended up titled ~Saturday’s Life Today~

The post that started out titled ~The Waiting Game~ and ended up titled ~Saturday’s Life Today~

Well, it is 8:36 am on a sunny, bright Saturday morning. I am sitting in Whitey the minivan, in my mom’s driveway. I don’t want to wake her just yet, so will get a blog entry ready while I wait. Wait number one, and thankfully a minor one at that.

I have just dropped the Boy off at the high school where he has just begun the ACT test. If he scores extremely well, he is eligible to participate in college level classes at the UW this summer. He is particularly interested in Biology or Botany. He has been studying hard for the last month to ready himself for today, and has confided in me that he is still not sure he is ready. Regardless of how well he does, he is getting a taste of what the future holds- it is only a couple of years from now he will be taking the ACT for real. I don’t think I have the words to describe the look on his face when I left him there. I think (okay, I hope) this will give him a taste of his educational future, and make him want to take a little more personal responsibility for his education. Wait number two.

I know many of you have been thinking good thoughts and saying prayers for me this week. Thank you so very much for that. It was very hard to be sick in bed for a solid week, unable to read or watch tv, but knowing y’all were thinking of me made it a bit more bearable. Good news on that front is that I cannot believe how much more alive I feel this morning compared to the last week and a half. The headache has abated, although I still have a persistent case of tinninitis. I am getting used to the constant ringing in my head, and can tolerate it much easier than the sharp shooting head pain I have been living with. The hives are not itchy any more, and are almost healed. The muscle aches are much less, too. Those who know me well will understand when I say how hard it was for me to call the Dr., accept the fact that narcotic pain medication was the only way to deal with the pain (and I have an extremely high pain tolerance!), and that it was okay for me to be on three different meds in order to function at all. I haven’t had a hydrocodone tablet in 24 hours now, and that feels great!

I have been to the Dr. twice in the last week and a half, and spoken to him on the phone several times as well. He has some thoughts on what may be causing all these symptoms. He had me go to the lab on Wednesday, to do some bloodwork. He told me the results would be in on Thursday, but alas, it seems I shall have to wait till Monday for the results. It has been very hard on me to have some ideas of what this might be, but no tangible answers as of yet. With lots of love and understanding from the Papa Dude, and good friends to talk on the phone with, I am bearing it though. Keep praying and thinking good thoughts, if you would, I will let you know what we are dealing with as soon as I have some real ideas and not just guesses. Wait number three.

We have an audition tape for the Girl’s application to Interlochen now. We need to get all her paperwork filled out this weekend, and my goal is to mail it all off on Monday. This is later than I wanted it to be getting done, but that’s okay. Wait number four.

You know, when I first started this blog, I was unsure about posting details of our lives, pictures of our faces (we are closer to having the digital camera figured out- pics coming soon!), and intimate elements of our personal lives on the internet for all to see. And here I am, less than three months later, (fairly) comfortable with spilling all sorts of personal beans. Funny thing, life.

One of the things I was hoping for, was that this would be a journal of sorts about my art creations, reading endeavors, and other personal growth projects. And now I wonder if it is going to end up being a different sort of journal- one wherein I learn to cope with a chronic illness and all its ramifications.

It is now 9:40 a.m., and I am sitting on my Mom’s couch, typing this and visiting with my six year old nephew on his occasion jaunts out to the kitchen. I helped him toast his own bread, and butter it. He was pretending to eat his toast like a chicken- he broke it up into bits, put it on his plate, then reached down and pecked it up, laughing hysterically, and loving that I was laughing, too. This was enough for poor Grandma that she headed for the shower, shaking her head.

Oh yes, my own Boy is not so old that I don’t remember laughing at such kitchen table adventures. It seems like yesterday that they were little mites. They do grow up so very fast, don’t they? Here we were, driving in the car this morning. I look over at him, so somber and pensive. I reached over and touched the tip of his nose, something I have always done- he has such a sweet little nose, ya’ know. He giggled and smiled at me, and I swear it was like looking at him as a four-year old all over again. Sigh.

That’s all for now, my Mom needs me to pluck her chin hairs. Laugh if you will, but it happens to us all, and even faster when you are legally blind.

Fast forwqrd to 1:28 p.m.. (G.Q.?: Do I put a mark of after a mark of punctuation?. If not, why?)
Very tired, barely made it through lunch out with Redal at ~a very busy, I might add~ our old neighrborhood fave reasuraunt haunt. So tired I need to nap more before I can proofread effectively. Hurts to think. Boy’s home well fed, and I am proud of him. He is down playing Lego’s in the basement while listening to the sat aft npr shows. I told him to had fun, he had earned it, and that I loved him. He said he loves me too. I believed him. Happy mama sigh.
Back soon, need to tank up on some energy! Thanks for being there. ( promise to edit for punctuation, this evening, so bare with me until then.)

P.S. GQ? Means Grammar Question And ask me about “Picture this:”, Dy.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Guest Blog by The Girl

Here is the report the Girl wrote about her trip a week ago. I think she did a great job! Writing a very thorough outline helped her keep the timeline of her trip. Let us know what you think!

My Midwinter Vacation

I would like to tell you about my mid-winter vacation to Huntington Beach to visit the G. family. Nat G. is my best friend. Her family moved in July of 2005 so they could be with their grandpa and his partner and it was very hard not being as close as we used to be. It took me a long time to get over the fact that she lived in Southern California. The trip down that I made was to celebrate her birthday in December and mine in January.

I woke up at 4:00 am on Friday morning and ate breakfast. We went to the airport and I started to feel nauseous. As we were getting checked in, I “lost my breakfast”. Later, after we cleaned up and were heading for the gate, I relaxed. I was supposed to be the first person on the plane, but I ended up being the last one!

On the plane, I sat in a window seat next to a flight attendant who was headed to Disneyland. I asked her my questions about flying and airplanes and she answered them. In front of me to my right was a little boy about three years old who played peek-a-boo games with me. We flew over the Pacific Ocean and I saw weird ships. They had tall masts and looked old and oriental.

When I got off the plane, A., who is Nat’s dad, met me by the door. We went food shopping and went out on the pier. We got loco-mocos at a restaurant called No-ka-oi which is Hawaiian for “no compare”. Loco-mocos are two scoops of rice with a beef patty on top with an over-easy egg on top of that smothered in a white gravy with bacon bits mixed in, and is garnished with really thin orange slices and parsley. My mouth is watering as I write this! We got souvenirs at Beach Cottage. I got a shell with a picture of a dolphin and a ship on it. I also sent home a post card with a picture of the pier on it.

We picked up the girls an hour early from school and went to the aquarium. We got fish and chips and saw jellyfish about 1/6 of an inch and 1/3 of an inch long. There were lobsters that were 2 ½ feet long! We petted sharks, rays, and horseshoe crabs. Did you know that sharks and rays were in the same family? Different species of sharks and rays felt rough like sandpaper or soft and squishy like Jell-o. We saw otters and seals. One seal liked to “read” the paper that we had about the aquarium, and “play” with the doll a little girl was waving around outside the tank. The oldest seal was really fat! There was also an otter lying on ice cubes about 4 ½ ” wide.

We went home and had homemade chicken soup and sausage for dinner. After dinner, Nat and I watched “Bruce Almighty”.

On Saturday, we had pancakes (which they sometimes call “pandlecakes”) and Strawberries (which they sometimes call “strawblebeberiebubs”). Then we went surfing!

We rented a wetsuit from the Frog Shop for me to use. I tried to surf, but I got thrown off, and the weight of the surf board pulled my back. So Nat and I stopped surfing. Then we got out the boogie boards. But there were a lot of small waves, so we put our boards away on the beach. Then we went back into the water. Nat and I were just leisurely talking. When suddenly I happened to look over her shoulder and see a HUGE WAVE! I pointed, but all I could say was, ”Look!” Nat looked and shouted, ”Run!!”. We tried to, but it was too fast. It was fun when it washed us ashore. But after that, heh, well, we just played on the beach! When we went to be rinsed off, Nat and I pretended we were in the desert because of the hot sand. The road we walked on to get to the car hurt our feet, so it was a relief to sit on the cushioned seats. For dinner we had chicken soup again and watched “Holes”.

On Sunday, we woke up and had the same breakfast as on Saturday.
Then we went to church. It was fun and the preacher had a good sermon on expectations, how if you go the wrong way in life, and revenge. “There are two types of expectations,” he said,” Outrageous and likely.” About revenge he said,” We must learn to love our enemies. To treat them with kindness and respect.” Also he told us about people who were on the track for a good life, and then went one degree in the wrong direction and veered completely off. These sunk into my head like a rock in water and were very meaningful to me. At the last hymn we looked for the book it was in but we couldn’t find it, so we hummed the last hymn (or as we liked to say we “hymned the last hum”).

After church, Nat, A., and I went horseback riding. Nat rode a one-eyed pony named Corky, A. rode a white horse with gray spots named Howdy, and I rode the oldest, a brown horse whose name was Jay Jay. We trotted uphill once and Jay Jay trotted in fits-and-starts because Howdy, who was a biter, kept biting Jay Jay on the butt.

We got loco-mocos again (I miss those!) and went to Dana Point Tide pools. We saw lots of hermit crabs and sea anemones. One hermit crab was ¼ of an inch in diameter! After that we had chicken noodle soup (I had a lot of yummy soup!) for dinner.

On Monday we had pancakes for breakfast then dropped off the girls at school. A. and I looked for a kit to build a birdhouse at Michael’s, Joanne fabrics and crafts, K-mart, and Home Depot, but we couldn’t find one. So we picked up the girls an hour early from school and went to Disney land.

We went on Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Small World, Matter Horn, Space Mountain, Star Tours, Pirates of the Caribbean, Tom Sawyers Island, Astro Blasters, Indiana Jones, and Jungle Cruise.

Sometimes I was exhausted when I went to bed, doing so many things, and other times I felt like I could go another day with the energy I had left, then went right into a deep sleep.

During the return trip, I cried during takeoff because I didn’t want to leave my friends. I slept the rest of the way home. Mom and Dad met me at Sea-Tac, took me home and tucked me in. I fell right to sleep.

That is the whole story of my trip. It was such fun to see the G. family, and I am already missing them. I am hoping Nat can come visit us soon, and that we can visit each other many times in the future. It was fun see Huntington Beach, go to new places, and do new things. What an adventure I had! And isn’t her family great?


Questions of the Day

Here's a couple of questions to keep you busy. I am not up to thinking anything great today. From Question of the day, where else!

Q # 1: When you are having a bad day, what do you do as a little 'pick me up'?

Q # 2: What aspect of your daily routine do you look forward to the most?


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Oh, Miz Booshay, calling Miz Booshay.

Hey Donna,
I discovered something fun while on bedrest, and wanted to share it with you.

The links in your sidebar weren't showing up tonight- I wanted to email this to you. I found a great knitting blog I think you would like. She also makes beautiful art quilts (which is what I was after), but her blog is so fun, I read ALL the archives. What else was I supposed to do while laying in bed? I kinda skimmed the knitting talk, which makes my head hurt on a good day, let alone the way it feels tonight, but I think you will like it. Her name is Emily and the name of her blog is What's That gonna be? She also has a art quilt site with some beautiful work posted.

That's all I can muster, going to sleep now, still sick, will try to blog tomorrow.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Quick update

Papa is fetching me a script for Vicoden, I have a box of chocolates, a mug of warm milk, and an open door policy with the Dr. in case the hives come back. He has some concerns, but we have a gameplan. Off to bed with me.
Thanks for the kind thoughts.

The migraine continues

Hi all,
I am still dealing with this migraine, and had another case of hive-like things in the middle of the night. Not feeling well at all, and have a Dr's appt. this afternoon. Wish I knew what this was all about- I have never had migraines before, and now I have 2 humdingers in that many months. Give me codine!

Also have to get through a bowling party for the Girl's birthday tomorrow. The sound of bowling pins crashing against each other. Hmm, that should be fun.

I will check in soon, Thanks for the kind thoughts and all the phone calls- that helps a great deal.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Diary of a migraine

Wednesday was a bit of a blur. I woke up at 3:00 a.m. to notice that the power was out. I went to the front window to see if anyone else's power was out, too, and noticed someone had left the lights on inside the car last night. It was wierd being outside in my bare feet in the blustery cold. Eery. Took myself back to bed.

By 4:30 it was all I could do to move my head. I had been fighting ice picks (sharp shooting pains behind my eyes and on top of my head that come and go without warning) all weekend, and the migraine just hit hard. Woke the Papa Dude, and he brought me a handful of pills- Motrin, Tylenol, aspirin, and psudafed.

The last headache I had was when I was sick after Thanksgiving, a low-level headache that lasted over a week. This feels like a different monster- much more intense and painful.

The power came on at 6:45, which is when we usually wake the kids. If some guy that works for the power company was out in that early blustery morning fixing power lines so my kids would have light this morning, I thank him graciously!! Papa got the kids going, called in to work to say he was the only functioning parent today, and made me go to bed. I made a couple of phone calls, and arranged for the family with whom we share the food bank duties to do the deliveries today. Then I went upstairs and tried to sleep. For the first half of the day, I kept coming downstairs to use the bathroom (I swear, he literally poured the water down my gullet all day long!), and give instructions as to who needed to do what schoolwork, when to take who where, etc. Finally I realized that in order to rest, I needed to give up control of the house to Papa. Once I did that, I really did rest and was able to sleep most of the day. Surprising how hard that is! To let go and let someone else just take care of you.

One thing I noticed was how different the kids are with Papa than they are with me. Not one argument, not one raised voice all day, from any of them. The Boy finished his chores, and then his schoolwork, in exactly the time alotted. No fussing, no nothing. Hmmmm. Very different from the behavior I usually get from him.

I came back to the world of the living at 5:00 pm to shower and get ready for the interview. Papa made sure I ate a good supper of stir-fried pork and veggies, and then I was off, despite the foggy brain.

I arrived at the library right on time, and the two librarians running the interview put me right to work, sorting 2 shelves of books on a cart by the Dewey system, and alphabetically. The latter was easy, the former, well, we shall see. Then it was on to those tough questions that no one ever asks you unless you are in an unterview. "Tell us about a time you had to do something you really didn't want to do, and how you handled it." Ummm, coming to an interview for a job I really want with a head pounding so hard I can't hear myself think? Oh, no, not the answer you were looking for, is it. Okay, next question. "If you have a list of many things to accomplish, how do you get it all done, and decide which tasks shouild be done if you cannot finish them all?"Oh, you mean like every day of my life when I am trying to juggle the education of my children, the monster laundry piles, the unpaid bills, the grocery shopping, the elderly mother and the husband? Hmm. They actually giggled when I answered that question, in just about those words. I made it through all the questions, and they dismissed me. I won't know anything until late next week. This will be a hard wait.

I came home, crawled back into bed, took yet another handful of pretty pain-relievers, and rested as much as I could. Now it's Thursday. I am going to stay in bed this morning, except for taking the Boy to his classes. Then it's off to the Eastside. I have to call my Mom, I am not sure if my nephew is still home sick with the croup, or not. We may have another short visit if so. Either way, the Girl has a lunch date with a friend of ours. She is a dear lady, the mom of one of my high school friends who is one of my kids best role models. She is caring, kind, and loves to get silly with the kids. She buys them books, and only books for holiday gifts, sends them postcards whenever she travels, and is one of the best people I could ever have my kids around. So the Girl gets to go out to lunch, and then book shopping with her, to celebrate her birthday. I can't wait for my birthday, and my birthday lunch with this special lady!!

Then tonight, the Girl's recording session is re-scheduled. Cross your fingers that it goes well.

Well, I think that is enough for this morning. I sit in front of this thing for more than five minutes, and my head really starts pounding. But I wanted to let you know how the interview went.

Oh, and Papa: I know you don't read my blog often, but if you do today, know that I thank you sincerely for taking time off from work yesterday to take such good care of me and the kids. You folded laundry, cooked 3 meals, swept the kitchen, supervised a horn lesson as well as schoolwork, and did it all with grace and caring. That allowed me to get some much needed rest. Thanks, love. Now let's see if I can get through this new day with half as much grace. Thanks for the example.