Thursday, July 30, 2009
I hit another pole. Only this time I backed into it. Not as bad as the last time when I took out the whole front end of the passenger side, but bad enough to have the rear bumper waving at me all the way to the pool and back. And mildly embarrassing that the nice man at the repair shop asked Jon "Are we working on the same white Lexus?" Jon: "New car, same wife." Thankfully, nobody was injured, unless pride counts. It was a very quiet ride to the pool that day - even with four girls in the car.
Lesson: the newspaper mail tube of the VP of Circulation for the local newspaper is ALWAYS going to have his post planted in the ground in solid lead. DO NOT hit it.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
So, sometime a while ago - no one knows exactly when - Brenda started sneaking away to a memory care facility every other Wednesday. Her mission, to spend some time with the residents and to knit and crochet with them. The goal, to simply make squares. And they did.
OK - some looked like the upper part of the state of Minnesota . . .
. . . or hour glasses. But week by week, the squares grew (or shrank if they became unwieldy and Brenda had to rip them into submission). And our girl sat patiently with these ladies and listened, and learned; taught and was taught; laughed and probably cried (Brenda never cries so I'm just guessing here).
And for the past two weeks at the regular meeting of the TMKG, she's just been sitting over in her designated spot with an enormous crochet hook and big fat yarn (SO not Brenda - let me just say!) and playing with these weird squares of different colors and shapes and sizes. Finally, some asked: "What the hell are you doing over there?" And non-braggy, wonderful person, good doing Brenda shared the story with us. OK - I do cry and I did! She's crocheting all the squares together for a lap blanket to be used in the TV room at the memory care facility. See me - I'd keep it. After all - who would know?
Brenda - you already know that I love you like a sister . . . (OK - you know how I feel about my sisters, so I love you more than like a sister) . . . but this thing you do, it's just so . . . so . . . Brenda!
Thanks for being such a great inspiration.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
After a brief overview you arrive at your workstation and quickly decide who will do which tasks. There are scoopers, and weighers and sealers and packers, and plastic bag holders (I suck at that job!) Our team decided to rotate jobs every once in a while to keep things fresh! Only grown-ups can work the sealer. I was awesome at that job!
Once your bag is on the funnel, in goes: one scoop of vegetarian chicken flavoring and one scoop of dehydrated vegetables. We were able to recognize broccoli and something red in the vegetables.
From there, the package gets weighed (380 - 400 grams). When 36 packets are completed, they go into a box . . . in a very.specific.order. Kathryn did that job for the longest period of time as she was the only one who could be counted on to remember the "very.specific.order".
I love this event for so many reasons but primarily because it gives the children a chance to "do" something; to get their hands dirty (so to speak). They know that each package they prepare, seal and pack will be going somewhere so far away, to someone who desperately needs it. Even the really young kids can grasp this concept. Sometime when the boxes are packed on the pallet, there is an opportunity to write messages or draw pictures on the outside of the boxes. The little ones always write the best messages. We didn't get a chance to do that this time because the boxes were being readied for shipment at that moment. We we did get to bless the boxes before their long journey. I heard one little one say what must be her family's dinnertime blessing, of "Grace" over the boxes. And me without my Kleenex.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Fresh strawberries, raspberries, orange juice and mint blended with ice (no yogurt here!). If it was dessert, I might be inclined to throw in some ice cream.
Truth be told, she might have preferred the yogurt and didn't like the mint, but she persevered and drank it all. Later, after she left for an afternoon at the racetrack with her Nanee and Poppa (an annual occurrence; alas, she lost $6.00) I came upon a great idea on how to use up the left over smoothie.
I added more raspberries, more strawberries, some fresh frozen blueberries, more OJ, ginger ale, more mint. I had a vague notion of adding the Ruby Red Vodka to the concoction; but cooler heads prevailed. I just didn't want to ruin all the goodness - of the vodka.
Friday, July 24, 2009
For more than 14 years I have lived in a blue house. I've always wanted to live in a blue house. I love my blue house. Love, love, love my blue house. It looks perfect in every weather condition. On sunny days, it looks happy; on cloudy days, it seems to brighten things up; the blue just shines against a snowy backdrop in winter; in the fall, this color blue looks gorgeous with all the fall colors. I have always given directions to our house based on the color "Follow that all the way to the end; it's the blue house at the bottom of the hill."
I guess it's time for a change. The old girl needs paint and
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
I'm quite pleased with it - even in its un-blocked, un-pulled, un-tugged, un-tucked state. It's simple too - hold the pieces wrong sides together, single crochet through both pieces, chain two, single crochet repeat!
Along with the quality time with Babs, came quality time with someone else. Maybe because it was just freezing cold here all weekend, or maybe it was because she was bored, but wherever Babs and I went, Kathryn went. And wherever I sat, Kathryn sat; not just next to me, but that place that's just short of being back in your womb. Lots of questions, comments, general chatter. Normally this is my time and I was biting my tongue wondering where Jon was and why she wasn't interested in what HE was doing! By yesterday afternoon the closeness got to me. "Would you like to learn?"
I sent her on what I assumed would be a wild goose chase. "Go down to the studio, in one of the plastic drawers and find an "H" crochet hook." Back in 10 seconds! We started with a simple chain. Over and over again. Rip it out and do it again until you get it.
Once the chain was perfected, it was on to single crochet, turning chains, then double crochet and then . . .
I've taught grown-up students who can't get this far in two weeks. It's not like she moved any farther away from me while we worked on this, in fact, she had to move closer at some points. But at least it was on my terms!
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
(the KnitPicks double ended crochet hooks - stick with your regular crochet hooks - just saying')
(a Tunisian crochet hook brought to knitting on Tuesday so as to be reassured that it was not a mistake at the factory!)
And my current hooking obsession! Babette has been pulled out of hibernation and is moving along at a rapid pace. Eight of ten sections are complete. As I look back now, I've become a better crocheter in the two years she's been asleep and I see the things I
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Today I am not wanting to rest so much because the medicine makes me fell like I am better than I am, but I am not. Mom just caught me waking up from a dog nap and I forgot about my elbow and fell down when I tried to go get some water. Mom is thinking it will be a funny (not ha-ha) couple of days trying to keep me rested and quieted.
Holli - the dog.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
I finally made that call to the OB/GYN practice today to schedule the appointment I’ve been putting off for several months. In so doing I’m beginning to accept the fact that Nature has a plan for me over which I have no control. It’s just – I’m not ready. Seriously – not ready!. So I’ll rattle off my concerns – fatigue, can’t remember stuff, emotional blubber house (more than usual), the obvious missed periods, someone else’s boobs have wound up on my chest, extreme crankiness (more than usual), can’t remember stuff. Nice lady doctor will be compassionate and we’ll discuss all of these with care and concern. We’ll come up with a plan. She’ll give me that same stupid booklet again, the one with the gray-haired couple who look as if they should be checking in to Happy Acres Retirement Home, happily walking arm in-arm, that describes all of these things. I’ve purposely never read the booklet before because -THAT LADY IS OLD AND I’M NOT OLD! I have a twelve-year old daughter. I’m a school mom. I’m not old yet. I just cannot get over tying this whole process to “being old”.
When Kathryn begins this whole journey, in weeks, months or years from now, it saddens me just a bit to know that her whole experience of it will be without me along for the ride. How stupid does that sound? It’s just I always imagined us giggling in the bathroom or running back and forth asking: “Hey – do you have a ….?” All the while driving Jon crazy with our “period talk”!
I’ve talked with Jon. I’ve explained what I think is going on and how I feel and why I’m acting the way I am. He is, of course, so terrifically wonderful. He says the right things and does the right things and hugs me and use words like “It must feel strange to blah blah blah.” And every time he does, I secretly yell inside “He deserves somebody much younger and newer and not old and on the downward slide!” Yes, I know this is silly thinking; see above list of symptoms.
The girlfriends are what girlfriends are supposed to be. You can tell them everything; they tell you everything back. Even the things you don’t want to hear. Nothing is off limits. We talk about how everyone’s experience is different from the next but that we all share the common experience. Like childbirth. Books are recommended. Some are specifically NOT recommended. Tears are shared as readily as laughter. With them, I suddenly don’t feel old. I don’t feel like pitching The Red Tent with them, but I feel a bond that I know will sustain me.
Still, NOT READY! When I turned 50 I told myself, and anyone who would listen to me, that it was the best time of my life. I felt the best I ever had – physically, emotionally, mentally. I was at peace with myself and the world around me. That was only 18 months ago. Now this? I feel like crap? I don’t know the person living in this body? Or, more likely, I don’t know the body this person currently inhabits? Yes, I am fully aware that I am wallowing, wallowing in self-pity. But damn – it took me 50 YEARS to get to the top of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and only 5 months to tumble back down to the bottom of the triangle! Couldn't the hierarchy have been an inverted triangle? Just a little more space at the top would have been really nice.
So Diary, I made the call. I accept what’s going on. I know that all of this will pass. I’m assuming that I’ll be back to my somewhat same-but-different self at some point. I will
Monday, July 06, 2009
Although we were allowed to use a package mix, mini-brownie bites were what K wanted. With a raspberry plopped right in to the middle. I had to do some serious maths to recalculate the amount of cooking time required for the mini-ness and the raspberri-ness and it took several attempts before we got the proper done-ness.
Because of the proximity to the holiday, the decorating theme was easy. Although we wanted to make flags, the mini-ness sort of took away the space required.
The nieces / cousins didn't really care so much that there were no flags on the brownie bites.
And all of a sudden my hopes that 48 brownie bites might get me through the family dinner AND the two meetings I have at my house on Monday and Tuesday evening this week - were . . .
. . . gone!!
Not even one little brownie bite left for this guy who was waiting at the end of my parent's driveway as we pulled out. Guess he knows where to go for leftovers!
*Keep your fingers and toes crossed for baby brother Dennis and his beautiful wife Helen; they are expecting a baby early next year; grandchild number 10 in our family! xoxox