Saturday, October 31, 2009

Of helicopters

and six year olds.

Yesterday we had a doozy of a windstorm. I was outside with the critters and the leaves were blowing like crazy as I attempted to rake them. Almost as quickly as I could get them into a small pile either the horse or a dog would scatter them. I decided it was fun for them and exercise for me. Win-win! At one point all activity stopped as the dogs noses went almost straight up in the air. At the same time a gust of wind went through. I looked up in time to see what almost appeared to be a gigantic hoard of insects flying through the air. The sky was filled with these dragonfly sized bugs, wings spinning. Suddenly I realized what I was seeing. The wind had released the seeds of the big leafed maples that surround my field. Helicopters!!

A couple of weeks, or so, ago my oldest grand daughter was over. I spend most of my daylight outside, and much of that is in the pasture. She was with me. The sun was out and the ground was drying a bit. I reached down and took a seed pod and instantly transformed to six years old. I threw it into the air and delighted as it spun its way back to earth. Soon we were both sending the "helicopters" spinning. Something as simple as a seed pod quickly strengthened our bond to one another. This is the kind of little thing that I get to share with my grand kids. Life is so busy for them and their parents. With cars now costing what I paid for my first house it is no wonder that some of the little things fall between the cracks. Mom and Dad are tired from just trying to stay afloat. It is my job to share the little things. The simple little things from MY youth. It has become my mission to explore beyond electronics with the girls.

I think a piece of my legacy will be wrapped in brown fuzz, spinning slowly back to the dirt.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Welcome to the World

Welcome to our family's newest little tomato, Violet Hope. Violet, I love your name! Your grandmother is the sister I always wished I had, so yes, our family. I can't wait to meet you :) Amelia, you are so lucky to have a sister, and Violet is luck to have you.

G2, your blog about blogging has finally explained to me why I haven't been blogging very much. You blog to get things out of your brain; lately mine feels foggy, as though there just isn't much in it. There's not much in the brain, so I've been cleaning the house, really it's a major mucking out. Preparation for a new shelving system, and good therapy just in general. I goggle at what is in the big box (it's a really big box) that contains everything that I swept into it in preparation for the last surgery. I can shred all the bills in good faith, knowing they've long been paid. Old magazines, bunches of books, many of Ramona's drawings and 'birthday lists', a stack of business cards and flyers, the partial remains of several 'projects begun and never finished', and the list goes on. My project of carrying out at least five times the amount I've carried in each day is in full swing.

I've spent quite a lot of time working on genealogy, as well. I've finally done something there that I have always sworn I would never, ever do (not since a distant relative had the whole family tree inducted into his religion's ranks, without asking)(I tried to imagine some of the divorced couples that I know of in that are in that family tree, sealed together for all eternity, now THAT is actually funny.)(In fact, it would make a good story): I signed up with for a two week trial period. Ancestry is run by that same religion...I swore they would never get me on their site...but I have succumbed at last. That is one cool website, I gotta say, and yes, I will probably pay money to stay on it.

And now I'm taking care a houseful of developmentally delayed young ladies for a couple of days, so the brain must be full ON. I shall further return to the land of thinking, and take a whole bunch of photos this weekend. I've nearly missed fall We've had a windstorm going on today, so it's likely that all the fall leaf photos will be of the piles on the ground, but at least I won't have totally missed it.

Congratulations again, Amelia and Violet, at your new sisterhood. Lucky girls!

Hey, hey, S2. It is great to see you! (You haven't been giving out my address have you?) It is fun having two little flowers in the family. I suspect I will be planting plenty of lillies and violets in the spring. Let us know when you are back and we will arrange for little Violet to meet her Auntie.

Twarn't me, McGee. The few times I send you a contest it's directly to you and about NC. I think somehow someone accessed the blogspot data even could be an offshoot of blogspot, if the email that went to the 2Grandmas email address is any indication. How could ANYONE have gotten that email address, which we only created and use for the purpose of this blog? Makes you go hmmmmm. I have next weekend to myself :)


Hairy dream'n

I haven't a clue why I suddenly awakened in panic mode, but this morning my brain is filled with little dog grooming details and near panic about the next show, which is in two weeks. Silly little things, like when, where, and how. It is perhaps easier when there is a home base involved at the show. This time I will be commuting. This time, also, there will be less hair attached to the dog, and more on my clothing. Perhaps it is that I was eating and breathing the hair in my sleep as Kate blissfully slept on my head; unaware of the workings going on in my brain, just under her left armpit. While winning is great, it also puts a bit more stress on me. I liked it. I want more. Arghh!! Kate? She seems to just have a blast out there being a diva. (Make note: Mardi Gras beads into show bag.) We will be going early enough to get the jitters from the car ride walked out. Then add an hour for me to get the grooming jitters worked out, and walked out. THEN I can gimp my way to ringside. I think it is time to watch "Best in Show" again and get myself back together. Anyway, today will be the grinding of the toenails. I missed a week, so they are talons. (I think my girl communicates with the eagles overhead.)

On the topic of communication: I blog to get the things in my brain out. I do it for myself, mostly. It is an online diary of sorts. WHY do people think that I need to enter contests or write articles and books? Attention, all who read this: NO THANKS! I do not (nor have I ever) want to write for money. Deadlines make my brain shut down. Is it just me? Are there recruiters out on the world wide web that spend the day reading blogs? How the heck do they get my personal email address when it is not used in my profile? While I am flattered, again, no thanks.

OK, that said, I need to begin my day. It is a warmer 54 this morning. Almost balmy. The dogs are gearing up for the first run of the day. I am killing time to let the neighbor sleep a bit longer. It can get noisy out in the field as the diva dog begins her first workout of the day. No, I don't mean me, with my creaks and groans, I mean Kate as she frantically tries to figure out which ball to chase. Her eager "jelps" as she attacks the tether ball, followed by the anxious barks at the flat basketball. Henry's "yipes" as I step on him. He hides underfoot as Kate gets more and more excited. She is the quiet one in the house. The Jekyll/Hyde thing still freaks him out. It is pretty black and white with the fur kids.

Right now I am wearing that black and white. Wearing it. Breathing it. Eating it. Will there be any left on the dog in two weeks? EEEEK!!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's cold

Bone chilling cold. At 9am my new indoor/outdoor thermometer told me it was 38 degrees outside and 60 degrees inside. The little heaters are plugged in inside the trailer and the camper. There is 18" of snow predicted to fall on the Pass in the next few days.

But it is beautiful! While I was away the trees all quickly went through their color changing phase. They just look dead now. The brownish yellow leaves are quickly falling and I will soon be able to see Puget Sound from my living room. Until I moved into the woods Fall was a bit depressing. Living here I have found I enjoy getting a front row seat to watch the "cycle of life." I have plenty of Evergreen trees, and perhaps that is why it is more enjoyable than depressing. I'm not sure, but I don't find a need to sit and examine the feelings. I just like to live them.

Last week I found an obituary for my childhood best friend's mother. We grew up together and spent summers on their sailboat. We were room mates in college. My son adopted her Mom as a Grandma when my mother unexpectedly died. Mrs. Orr passed away in May. It makes me sad that I didn't get to her funeral. I don't like funerals, but am finding myself wanting to go and support the family members just as they have done for me. The last time I saw Mrs. Orr was at my Dad's service. I contacted her daughter immediately to let her know how sorry I was that I didn't know in time. We will get together next week, I hope. It is sad that grief is what reunites old friends. Perhaps, however, that is part of the cycle of life as well. I am sure that her Mom is smiling...I just wish that we could get together one last time for tuna sandwiches down on the beach. No one could make a tuna sandwich like Mrs. Orr. Even as an adult there are certain people that retain their "titles." It is a respect thing. The Orrs are in that category. I could no more refer to them by first names, than I could refer to my own parents by their first names. Mr. Orr was one of those men that scared me as a kid. He was pure business, I thought. Then he lost his elder daughter. She died a slow debilitating death from diabetes complications. He took her to appointments. I barely remember it, but I do remember watching how gentle and caring he was. Then I lost my leg. He came. I cried. I cry now. So deserving of respect, this man. I am sad that he is suddenly alone. I remember when he quit smoking. Lifesavers became his true life saver. I also remember how much he adored his first grandchild by his second friend. He would work down in his shop and create toys for her. That tough image forever shattered. The cycle of life.

As I watch the seasons come and go, and life slowly continuing to evolve for me I look forward, more than back. I know not what it holds for me. I do know what is important to me, and those things become clearer with age. It is important to re-touch bases with those important in our lives. It is important that I live each day to its fullest and that I truly experience life. I have healed from my past. I have my future to live with a greater knowledge of what can be. Those, like the Orrs, who have helped guide me and direct me are with me forever. I like that.

My new grand daughter comes following the grief of the loss I feel. It's funny how that happens, eh? I suspect I was not supposed to know back in May, but only wish I could have been there for the family.

Godspeed, Mrs. Orr. Thanks for all you have given me.
02/21/21 to 05/07/09


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Any one who has "done" Weight Watchers knows about points. My favored leader is always reminding everyone that zero plus zero does NOT always equal zero. So, here is my predicament. I have been spending the extra bucks for a certain bread whose points equal zero. Lately I have had way too many slices like the one above. Do you suppose in this case less than zero plus less than zero might equal zero?


Monday, October 26, 2009

Helping hands

I love this picture! Kira had support from so many, and that is why she was able to realize her goal of an unmedicated birth. Truly a hands on birth. This picture was taken moments later. The midwife is making sure the cord has stopped pulsing as is her student. Big sister holds Mom's hand as Dad waits to hand over the scissors to big sis for the cord cutting. Grandma? She is holding the camera...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

10/25 00:33

Welcome to my world little Violet Hope. It's a crazy world, but Mom and dad gave you a great start. Big sis was there as the biggest cheerleader. Now life will get interesting!

After days of stop and start labor, little Violet made her appearance early this morning. The heavens opened and dropped a perfect little girl, yep I said girl, into my life yet again. So much stress and drama. Yet she did it all on her own time.

The doggie motel is working fine, albeit small. Well, fine for the most part. I have a lot to learn. First on the list is how to use the porta-potti. One would think it would be pretty straight forward. One would think that would be the one thing where on does not need to read directions prior to use. I did, after all, raise and "train" three children. And I am oh so wrong. Two nights ago. One in the morning. Nature calls. Not wanting to awaken all the dogs in this neighborhood I decided to just pull the little potty from its cupboard. (Make note: Put toilet paper in camper.) After the fact I notice, in the darkness of one tiny light, that there are not only switches, levers, bells, whistles, AND directions on the lid. Cool! I pick up the mini sani-kan so I can get a better view of what is written under the lid. Did you know some of these fancy things quite easily come apart in a spot that one would least expect? I guess I can say that the Doggie Motel has now been baptized.

As have I; payback is a bitch in a doggy motel. (Oh come on; Bitch? Dog? Get it?) My, or rather OUR, bed is above the cab of the truck. Plenty of sleep room if'n one doesn't sit up too quickly and forget there is no head clearance. There is a vent/skylight thing right above the bed. At 40 degrees I didn't need no stinkin' open window thing, I needed my little space heater...wrong! I'm awakened by cold water dripping on my body. Did I say cold? It was just short of freezing as it hit my forehead. Us three hot bodies didn't think that we needed to hold our breath all night; or somehow dehumidify it anyway. Warm breathing, cold outside. Condensation. Yep, the doggie motel got me back.

So, dear readers, it has been an adventure. Soon I will be able to go back home. Life will return to some sort of normalcy. I can have my daily routines again. I can reconnect with my house, land, and property. I must get back to the hospital as I have the car. BWA-HA-HA...

Pictures will follow.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Why is it

that in one's own garden, when all is going well, weather is fine, no freeze in sight, we can leave the tomato on the vine and pick it when it is ripe and ready to be picked? Does not the tomato "know" when it is at its best? Why is it that two flowers on that plant can come on at the same time, be pollinated, grow little green tomatoes, yet those fruits ripen at different rates?

YET, we decide when our human fruit should be harvested. How is that? If the frost is coming, and we know those little green tomatoes will not survive, that is a different story. By all means we must yank that parent plant from the ground, hang it from its toes in the rafters, and let those little offspring fall. Why would we do that if all was progressing well? If the seed packet says that we can harvest in 103 days, do we pull the fruit at 103 days, parent plant be darned? New little buds and fruit as well? Yes, indeedy, we are the species of greatest intelligence, aren't we?

So, with induction date set for my new grand baby, even though all is well for the little toe dragging, hand shaking, munchkin, I have a mixture of feelings. My first thought is "what right do we have...?" I know that I, personally, wanted nothing more than to get my kids "out" those last couple of weeks of my pregnancy. I feel for my daughter. I know she is miserable with the whole start and stop thing. However, this kid has been solid as a rock. Is there not more risk to forcing it out when all is stable? We don't induce animals to deliver out of convenience. We, as a species, are such friggin' control freaks!

All has been done that can be done. I am really hoping this little bud can be coaxed to ripen and fall from the vine, fully ready, before next Tuesday. The dominoes are being set up as I type. I don't know if I am more scared or ticked off. I will head over soon and spend the day wandering with the Momma. Hopefully we can laugh and play and try to forget about any kind of control, except over bladders, of course. Send positive vibes this way.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall is felling

and I am too bloody tired to care! Yep, it's true. Also true is that when tired everything hurts a bit more. And the brain notices all that needs to be done so I feel like I just keep getting more and more behind on the list of to-dos.

I just came in from the field and the first game of fetch for the day. Dogs are now muddy and blissfully sleeping. The house stinks and the first on the list is a carpet cleaning. As I vacuum and prepare to do the dirty deed, I dream of better days. Days of laminate flooring. Days of four touchable, holdable grand kids. Days of blissful drinking of hot cocoa, movie on the TV, dogs at feet (OK, foot). Perhaps even a dusting of the white stuff adorning the trees and ground. Heaven.

My body hurts. At the Boise shows I think I twisted "wrong" when putting Kate on the table. I got a kink behind my right shoulder blade. It is still there. My short side is still sore from the surgery. The leg just doesn't feel good for long. I wear shorts so that I can adjust as I go. The worst is the spot where the smallest incision occurred. The optional retrieval. "Sure, doc, so long as you are going in there anyway, go ahead and grab that one too." I feel like I have a boulder lurking in my calf muscle. It makes everything just a little more tentative...and I don't do tentative!

All is well with the daughter who will be pregnant forever. We are back to our normal routines, which includes sleeping. I think that the medical community no longer "does" overdue, so this kid will have no choice after next week. It WILL be known. Is that a good thing? Perhaps from a maternal mental standpoint. Perhaps from the two vessel cord standpoint. Just perhaps. You are reading from a person who had her three kids out of the hospital setting because I firmly believe less is more, and hospitals are for sick people. However, I also want what is best for both the baby and the mommy. I cannot be that judge. I admit to a tiny bit of fear when it comes to decisions based solely on time. If the baby is distressed it is another story. Monitors nicely show that this kid is doing great at this point. I will sit quietly in the corner on this.

Picture this. Red leaves, yellow leaves, evergreens. The beauty of the woods. That is what I see when I look out my windows. It is stunning, and forces me to adjust my attitude. THAT is a good thing.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Are we there yet?

To spare you all the gory details; my daughter is getting close. Little subtle changes are occurring, but the poor thing has about reached her wit's end. She finally reached that point where she is chilling as she knows that she will just be pregnant forever. Yep, the calm before the storm, I'm thinking. I will once again be heading back over on a later ferry. You see, I now have laundry to do. Towels. Lot and lot of towels. Dog towels and human towels are all needing a trip through the washer and dryer. It has been torrential rainfall on and off today. And Wind. LOTS of wind. I decided a nice warm bath would be nice. My water pressure being next to non existent, I started the water in my soaking tub. At some point there was a break in the rain so I took the dogs out to throw the ball and tire them a bit. While out there I decided to rake a few of the leaves that have begun to fall. Kate took a turn on the tether ball and then both basketballs. When I came in the water was pouring down the sides of the tub. And it was cold. So much for a relaxing bath. What the heck; there were no dry towels anyway, right? All I could do was chuckle. Yep, I am tired. I will set the heater to come on at sixty or so so that the carpet will dry. I really don't feel like getting out the carpet cleaner, but will do that when I am finally home for the long haul.

I miss my fur pillows, and they miss me. After twelve hours or so away they are delighted to see me, but after a trip outside and some food they are more than willing to snuggle up with me while I nap. I am afraid they are not very good advertising for the Lesser Corgi Society...I will never be without at least one dwarf dog. They both serve different purposes in my life and I cannot imagine my life without them. For the most part they just make me laugh.

However, two days ago I was not laughing with Henry. I caught him in my closet consuming a chocolate bar. It was a super strength chocolate bar, and not very tasty or it would have been gone long ago. Many dogs die each year from chocolate consumption. I grabbed him and went to the cupboard. I then remembered on my cleaning binge a few weeks ago I threw away the ipecac. So it was the hydrogen peroxide that would have to do. Henry, being the rescue he is, has a few very odd "quirks." Restraint is a bad trigger. His eyes go blank and he goes crazy. He obviously was not happy to have me trying to syringe foul tasting stuff down his throat. Long story short, Henry is fine. I have battle scars on my arms and hands. I leaned a lesson. Throw away the chocolate if I am not going to eat it right away. Get some ipecac. Purchase some falconry gloves. The kind that go at least to my elbows. Henry has forgiven me. There will be hell to pay when it comes time to do his nails next week. I think I will be paying the grooming place this time around.

So I will now finish up the laundry, make a few calls, feed the critters, and head back to the other side of the water. Perhaps, just perhaps, I will not get any sleep tonight. That would be a good thing.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

What the heck

day IS it?

I am so very glad that I can "mouse-over" the little clock on the right corner of the computer screen and find the day and date. It seems like such a simple thing, but it truly is one of those things that I use a lot. Now that I have auto deposit I find that I am not eagerly awaiting that certain date called pay day. As a result all that matters is the account status which can also be verified via the monitor in front of my face. I think it could be easy to forget that people are living, breathing, two legged entities. On the rare occasions that I hit the bank drive through window (no, not literally) it is a bit like a weird reunion. The dogs delight in the stale hard Milk Bones and recognize the bank as we turn in.

So it is now Thursday. I was up all night with my daughter. We paced. She moaned. We laughed. She peed. I remember it well. I came home on the first ferry back, which was 5:45am. I alerted the workers that I may need a "window tap" as we pull into port. Sitting in the truck with the waves rocking the boat is sometimes a nice way to be lulled to sleep. Unfortunately the commute traffic is not amused by anyone holding up the line. At night when the last boat is full of locals coming home (full being subjective...often less than twenty cars) it is much more laid back. The ferry deck worker wanders through the lines of cars noting the drivers who are napping. Often we police each other and will tap on the windows of our neighbors as we pull into port. If we have to wait a few extra seconds for a driver to awaken, and more important, orient him/her self, it is no big deal. A tad different first thing in the morning. I pulled out the Sudoku book in hopes of keeping my mind from drifting into sleep, and it worked. Once home the evil Katelan is let out of her plastic tomb and both get a quick trip out before I settle into bed. Kate took her place on/at my head as Henry snuggled next to my leg. I remember nothing more until 11am. I can function quite well on four hours. I did it all last week at the shows.

It's Thursday. For the next hour I will sit and quietly pay bills here at the computer. The dogs are quietly chewing on deer antler treats. They seem to be quite the hit. So much so that neither has decided, yet, that the other has the better piece. All is good for now.

Soon I will meet the new grand child. In her/his own time. While my daughter goes through the misery and discomfort that we all had at the end of our pregnancies, it all just makes me smile. Pacing amongst the cartons the stockers have set in the aisles at WallyWorld is just a part of the game. I know that she will deliver this child and wish two weeks later that she could put it back as the inconvenience becomes a reality. I smile. She thinks she is tired now. Again I smile. I remember my mother doing the same thing with me. I was tired and grumpy with her. I didn't have her for the last pregnancy and I missed her. While I wanted to wipe that grin off her face it also gave me comfort knowing that she was there to catch me as I went off the edge. That is my job right now for my daughter. All I can say is

It is so much easier having four legged kids!!!!

Is it Friday yet?


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday? morning

As I try to gather myself and delve back into some form of normalcy I will reflect a bit on the whole experience of the past week.

First: I have awesome neighbors, and Windy is fat, sassy, and spoiled. She was delighted to see her corgi buds, and they her. Kate rather liked being able to roll in poo and chase the ball. I rather liked not having to worry about mud on her tummy.

Second: Dog people are awesome as well. For the first time I took Henry along with me. He adores his dog sister, and she him. He tends to be a bit, well, LOUD. He also loves everyone, and cannot seem to contain his emotions. I hope some day he will find the floor is a good place to keep all four of his feet. I have always boarded him out when I went to shows. He has fun at doggy camp, but it does put a crimp on the budget. I had no reason to worry. He has accepted Kate's "Grandma and Grandpa" as his own, and that was a great feeling for me. We got a few funny looks as I was out walking the dogs around the fairgrounds. Mr. Longlegs is quite obviously NOT show quality. He is Kate's biggest fan, and she his; perhaps he is the reason she did so well. Hmmmmm.

Third: Why are there always downs that come along with the ups? One of the girls back home (at the breeder's) suddenly died while we were gone. She was the hope of bringing genetic health back to a line that was 35 years in the making. Now she is gone, and we don't know what happened. Godspeed, little Ranger.

Fourth: Cardigan people are amazing. The kudos I received with Kate's wins were as important as the points. Really. I love supporting them all when they need the numbers; I guess it was my turn. I have learned from each person I have had contact with. They all are a huge part of these wins. Dogs do indeed come and go; friends are forever. I wish Paul could have been there, but am delighted that all is well with Jolene's litter. Thanks to Denise for passing the word.

And last, but not least: Look forward, and upward. Life is way too short to focus on all the owies...both physical and emotional. Laughter heals. (However, it also makes for sore muscles.) I like to see how the dogs live their lives. They live in the "now." They love deeply and completely. They forgive the same way. Why do we humans have to hang on to the uglies and sore spots of the past? Were I to "go" tomorrow, I want to exit happy. No regrets.

Now I shall head out to vacuum, blast with the leaf blower, and vacuum again, my little truck. I will then wash and polish the outside; in the rain if needs be. It did well with nineteen hours of driving. Thanks to my son for allowing me to nab one of his work trucks when he was liquidating.

Life is sweet.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Home, safe and sound, albeit hairy

Guess who won big at the doggy show? Go ahead and pick. Would it be doggy number one? Number two? Or doggy number three?
We are home, and we are happy. A load of laundry is in the dryer. A bath has been drawn. The dogs have been out to play with their horse buddy. My truck is empty, at least of all things packed. The dogs are both blowing their coats big time. I have been eating dog hair, breathing dog hair, and wearing dog hair. Tomorrow's first big thing will be cleaning out the truck. Hopefully my grandchild will stay in its Mommy long enough for me to do a good job of getting ALL the hair out. I don't think it would do good for me to wear all that hair to the hospital.
Kate (doggy number one) was one a roll this showing. She was excited to be there and delighted to strut her stuff. As a result she won two "Majors" which I will explain when I am not so tired. Let me just say that it was huge. She is well on her way to her American Championship. In a week or so I should get the official pictures of our wins. I will post them then, but reserve the right to blur the handler.
More to come after a good night's sleep.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Just like new

Not me; how I wish! My truck. It is like driving a different truck. I love my little truck. It is a plain white basic Chevy small truck. But I love it. I dote on my truck. I want it to last another twenty years. Any odd little noise, little trouble lights coming on, and I am on it immediately. Oil changes are done on time. It is washed and waxed on a regular basis.

It is the foundation for my doggie motel. Because of the camper I ordered air bags to beef up the suspension, as recommended by my son-in-law. Today they were installed. I hate having car work done on Sundays. It is his family day. This man works way more than any one I know. But today was the day he wanted to do the job. He makes me feel a bit guilty. He won't let me pay him for his time. I love him for that. Yet I also know how precious that time is. To watch him work with his daughter is priceless to me. You see, no man was good enough for my daughter...or so I thought. With cultural differences and a head strong daughter, things were tough at first. There was some confusion as to who "family" was for a bit. I could see today that there is no longer any confusion. Some things just feel "right" from the beginning. Some things ARE right, but take time to be seen for what they are. Each minute I get to spend with my daughter and her entire family, my love for her husband grows stronger. He is a good man, and he is a GREAT father. Seven years ago I couldn't have imagined him out bike riding with a little toy animal carefully tucked on his handlebars. His little daughter at his side as he works on cars; she happily retrieving tools for him. The machismo factor has gone; replaced by pure love. Seven years ago he turned a bit green at the idea of being beside his wife for the birth of his first child. To even speak of why it was necessary was almost more than he could comprehend. Now, as he awaits the arrival of his next child, I see the excitement and love in his eyes. Perhaps a tad bit of fear, but no embarrassment. It is nice. I wanted to tell him, today, how much I appreciate him. I couldn't figure out a way to do it that wouldn't make him squirm. I want him to know that I have changed my mind about him. Sadly it was true; I wasn't pleased when they married, but was willing to step back and let them make their life together. He did not need to prove anything to me. His wife is who was important. I did not want to get in the way. I feel the need to apologize to him. Because I couldn't say it to his face, and because I know my daughter reads this blog and will hopefully show this post to him I am saying it here. Thanks, Jorge. I love you and am very proud of you as a person, a son-in-law, a father, and my daughter's husband. You have really become an amazingly strong person, which you have to be to deal with my daughter at times. I appreciate the time you spend making sure that I have a safe vehicle to drive. You are family to me. I just need you to know it. Please read it again. You, Jorge, are a part of MY family. Thanks so much for all that you do. I am proud of you.

So much new. My truck drives different. I can't describe how; maybe tighter or something. New visions of my daughter and her family. A new grandchild that will soon be welcomed into the fold.

What an amazing day.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Like pants after turkey day

I want to just unbuckle the fly and say "ahhhhhhhhh."

Unfortunately that "fly" does not exist as we are talking leg, not pants. Disappointed? Absolutely. However I was studying the shape of the "residual limb" last night and realized how puffy it was. Even this morning I was pretty sure that getting the liner on would be a bust. I did, however put the OLD liner on when I went to bed, so knew I would be able to tolerate it after the initial burn.

Once again, dear readers, you are going to get to read and learn a bit of the joys of being a gimp.

Following amputation surgery I was put in a cast to contain the swelling. On the base of the cast was a fitting where a pipe and foot could be attached. Once I was able to get up I was taken to PT and began to put weight on the new-to-me foot. (As the healing progressed and the swelling went down I was put in a series of seven different legs the first year. Thank goodness for research! I remember that I dubbed each "Leonard." Bill Cosby had done a movie around that time that was titled "Leonard Part Eight;" likely something Mr. Cosby wants to forget as much as I do my rehab; sorry, I digress.) The first three or four steps, in the early days, caused an incredible burning, searing, pain with each step. Soon my brain was able to take it all in and I realized that after the first three or four steps it was something I could deal with. I remember laying in bed knowing that I had to get up and going, but dreading those first few steps. Whether it was desensitization or decreased edema, I know not; over time it stopped being an issue. Almost immediately I spent eight, ten, twelve hours in the prosthesis. As I meander in the deep, dark, crevices of my memory let me say that this whole thing is about the "burn"...It's baaack. sigh.

So, this morning, as soon as I awoke, I put the new liner on. I looked at that thing and saw how teeny, tiny it was at the base and thought there would be no way I could do it, but I was wrong. It is on and has been for two hours. I was so excited. Then I went out to the laundry room where my koi painted leg was sitting on the dryer. I cannot even get the stump into the leg far enough for the bolt to catch. So I sit here at the computer. I sit with stump shoved into fishy limb. A couple of times a minute I stomp my left side in hopes of driving "me" into "it" deep enough for the bolt to catch and the leg to stay on. Let's see, in two hours I am still far from it. Every five to ten minutes I stand up and try putting all my weight on it in hopes of driving it down farther. (I have a feeling I may be here a long time.) With each centimeter (optimism) it goes deeper, the burn lets itself be known. The memories flood back. Funny how pain brands itself in the memory. We forget until it is back, then we think "oh yeah...I remember that!" Like labor, ladies. If you had more than one child you remember when that first "real" contraction hits; "oh yeah (or perhaps it is "oh crap") I remember this!"

So my goal for the day seems a simple one. Get the pants buckled. I just didn't think. I have four days before I leave. The truck will not magically load itself. The dog will not bathe herself. Once this leg is securely attached it will not be coming off until bedtime. Period. Walking will just happen. It will not happen, however, until I manage to force the square peg through the round hole.

Would this be what the doctor was thinking when he said "take it slowly?" Hmmmmmm. It seems he fed me a bit too much turkey and pumpkin pie!

G2 (who just heard a faint "click." Darn that sweet success hurts!)

Friday, October 2, 2009


I got stitches out and the go ahead to slooowly get back on two feet. Great doc and nurse; neither told me their fears until today, when all checked out OK. None of us can figure out what the heck was happening, but whatever it was is now behind me. However, I am still bleeding into the stump a bit, and it is still a bit puffy. I tried putting on the liner and was pretty bummed to find how sore I am. (I'm regretting dumping the pain meds, but will try in the morning when the leg is at its least swollen.) I know that once in the prosthesis it will be much better as the fluids won't be collecting in there.

So, all is well and when I get back from Idaho I hope to be back up to speed. Oh, and yes, I will still be crutching it as part of my daily workouts. I have mistakenly omitted upper body strengthening in my routine.

Thanks to all for the good thoughts and prayers. It is amazing how a simple procedure can carry dire consequences. Luckily the small bump did not throw me completely off the road. Once again a huge testament to naivete. I knew my disease was not kicking in, and that was enough to keep me from freaking out. Thanks, Doc. You done good!


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Dollars and sense

I love this place!!!!!

I'm considering refinancing the house. I am just at that early "perhaps" stage, but have multiple high expense things that will be coming up, and it is perhaps time. The surgery, while minor, will have an impact on my budget for many months to come. The house is in need of some things; first on the list is getting rid of this carpet and going to a more pet friendly laminate. Topping the list will be prosthetics work. A leg that I can wear every day for any thing is a lot different than what I will need for athletics. My hope will be that some of the issues I have with my every day leg can be solved as I delve into the athletics. I am slowly gathering mentors and will be a chronic thorn in their sides in the coming months. (Beware, MJ!) At any rate, I was talking to a friend today as we were out cruising on the Olympic Peninsula...usually I do this on the motorcycle, and talking is not part of the experience. What I realized is how lucky I am to be a home owner. So many do not have that card to play. My house has been an amazing blessing from the very start. It was a healing place when I first moved here, going on eight years ago. Now it is my sanctuary. My place of peace (when I am not battling doggy detachment syndrome). I would love to live the rest of my life here. I have the best of everything. I have acreage that includes woods. I have Puget Sound at the bottom of my driveway. I have the swimming pool out back, and the horse beyond that. I live a short mile from the ferry landing that takes me to my kids and grandkids. More times than not I see dolphins as I cross the Sound; on a grand day it is pods of orcas. The other way I have the glorious Olympic Peninsula with its varied parks and rain forest. Top that off with a couple of the world's best neighbors (which does over ride the creepy one) and I am a happy camper here. While the economy tanked and housing values went south, mine still is appraised $100K over what I paid for it. The fixed income can be tough, but having this house is like living in a savings account. I will never allow myself to become "over financed." What I mean is that my true goal has been to have the house paid off before I leave it to the kids. I am realizing that that is a bit silly, but I always want the house to appraise at higher than I owe; by a good margin. In order to achieve that I must keep updating. This is plenty of house for myself and the dogs. At some point, and that may be now, the land will become much more valuable than the small house. I am hoping that this little area remains as it is, but the reality is that at some point builders will begin developing around me. I am in the "Urban Growth Area." Prime development land. The county actually dictates how many homes HAVE to be built per acre. Not how many CAN be. Weird, but some kind of government game to keep development contained. So while I am in a great area in many ways, the future is a bit frightening. Behind me is a tree farm that is owned by one of the town's founding family's member. She vows to never sell, and may have something set up to keep that firm after she passes. She is in her sixties now. Beyond the 300 acres of tree farm is the slough. I have come to love wetlands as much as builders hate them. There are three pieces of land right next to me that could be sold at any point. The economy is once again working for me in that there are plenty of houses sitting empty and I doubt the builders are wanting to buy up more parcels right away. How long that lasts is any one's guess. For now I sit and dream. I also live my dreams to the best of my abilities.

Tomorrow is another follow up with the surgeon. Until the tape is pealed off the incisions I have nothing but hope that I can get back into the leg as early as tomorrow afternoon. The disease is still safely at bay. I have no reason to think that we will have a repeat of last week's appointment.

So, with that I will close and get the evening chores done. Life has its hiccoughs; but the meal is still excellent.

Out until tomorrow.