Monday, May 31, 2010
On Memorial Day, we remember the people who lost their lives while in the service. There are memorials for the people who were killed during the Viet Nam War. Polished stone reflects the visitors who come to pay respects at this remarkable, moving creation. Many names are there, yet there are many more victims of that war who will never have their names carved in that breath-taking structure.
People who were caring, lovable, compassionate when they began their service in the military, returned as shattered, fractured souls. Counseling, medication and time hasn't been enough to heal many of them. Painful wounds leak acid into their inner beings and these toxins sometimes spill on those around them.
With this understanding, I mourn the loss of my brother. His name isn't carved into the glossy stone and yet I lost my true brother to the naplam-dropping plane in which he rode. His gentleness and loving spirit was replaced by an evilness that is no longer welcome in my world.
So on this Memorial Day I mourn those fratured souls who live with one foot in this world, while still pulled back their living hell, by all they experienced many years ago.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
When I found out that my daughter was pregnant in 2008, I hoped and prayed for a healthy, beautiful granddaughter. You know what is funny, though, I never dreamed of how wonderful of a gift my little Grandlove would be. He is so precious, full of wonder and bubbling with love for anyone wise enough to look in his direction.
So, this is my meager way of saying, "Thanks for saying no to a granddaughter and giving us instead the most marvelous little boy possible."
Throughout my life I have surrounded myself with good friends. These friends have softened life's blows, celebrated along with me, and encouraged me when I've doubted myself. It is only logical that my daughter also benefited from my valuable friendships and would desire to have this aspect in her life.
Yesterday, when were at the Grandlove's birthday celebration, I witnessed the fact that my daughter has surrounded herself by friends who care for her and her family. These friends come from all walks of life, thus bringing a variety of personalities, abilities and life's experiences. It made me happy to see that friendship is valued and cherished by the next generation.
Friendships are priceless in their contribution to our lives.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Last year at this time, a miracle happened to my heart. A soft, sweet mewl was the signal that my heart was now enlarged to the point I could love in a way that I never realized was possible.
Being the mother of a remarkable girl was all that I knew, so seeing that teeny-tiny, beautiful little guy caught me somewhat off guard. As soon as saw his face, I felt a new part of my heart begin growing.
With his birth came the birth of my new role in the world, Nana. My daughter had said months earlier that we needed a Nana in our lives, again and I proudly took up where my mom had left off.
Our tears of joy were mixed with laughter as we admired our little sweetness who was being measured, cleaned, wrapped and then gently placed in his new momma's arms.
What a miracle that someone so absolutely so tiny, could have such a major impact of everyone around him. Everyone who loves him receives blessings every time he smiles. Who can't love someone who creates happiness where ever he goes?
Happy Birthday, Sweet Potato. Your Nana and Papa adore you.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
You know that sickening feeling when there are mischievous beings (toddlers, teenagers, pets) in the house and it's quiet and no signs of life nearby, yeah, that feeling. I had it. I turned to Hubby and asked, "Where's Bentley?"
Rushing towards the bedroom, he was mumbling, "I was afraid of this."
Wisely, deciding not to follow my husband, I just waited. I was soon made aware of what had been entertaining our robust little guy. It seems that my husband had left the bedroom door open and Bentley had jumped on the bed, where he found the c-pap mask.
Bentley came bounding out of the bedroom unaware that his entertainment for the last few minutes was an expensive piece of crucial medical equipment in our household. Great restraint kept harsh words from addressing the permanent damage to the squishy blue parts of the mask.
Until the doctor's office opens tomorrow, my artistic talents and a handy roll of medical tape pieced together an older worn out mask. The victim of Bentley's entertainment didn't have enough left to piece together, so luckily we had an older mask that had previously died a natural death.
As I type, the energetic boy, with the panting tongue, is still bouncing around, unaware that he is lucky to have such a forgiving master. No harsh words (yes, we did talk to Bentley about his misbehavior) and for sure no hitting. We (read "Hubby" here) will have to be more diligent with doors and keeping chewable items out of the exploring jaws of our little boy.
Potatoes okay to explore; C-pap masks not so much.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Yesterday, I decided to treat my hubby and me to one of our favorite dinners, homemade Chicken Pot Pie. Simply delicious and so easy to put together. I am not a chef, but here's an easy breezy, yummy dinner that is well received by all. Enjoy and experiment on your own.
**pre-made deep dish pie crusts, but you can make your own. (you need a top and bottom crust)
While you're getting all the other ingredients together/prepared,
**bake the bottom crust as per instruction on the package, until it's light brown.
**Boil/pressure cook chicken,debone, and cut into bite-size pieces.
(When I cook the chicken I add cut up celery and onion. This celery and onion I then add to the other ingredients for the potpie. I save the broth and freeze it if not using in the next couple of days.
I used chicken breasts, since it's quicker to debone, and I like the white meat. One large breast or equivalent amount of your chicken.)
**One can cream of mushroom soup.
**One can cream of chicken soup/or one can cream of celery soup.
**One WELL-DRAINED can of mixed vegetables.
**Season with pepper (you probably won't need salt with all the canned salt.
**3/4 CUP Of shredded cheese (cheddar, Asiago, or whatever you choose.)
Combine all wet ingredients, chicken and pepper in a large bowl, mix well. Transfer to baked bottom crust, spread evenly and then spread cheese over top of all. The top crust is then secured and the edges crimped. Carefully place pie on cookie sheet, as there probably will be some that escapes.
Bake at 425 degrees until top crust is done. All your ingredients (as well as the bottom crust are finished, so you are really just baking the top crust.)
As soon as it comes out, you can eat, but of course watch out, because it is VERY HOT. Leftovers are okay, but that first time you eat it, it's the best. Crispy, hot, perfect consistency and your mouth will be in love with you.
Enjoy, but watch out. Chicken Pot Pie can be addictive.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
There is a strangeness going on within my mind at this point and some of the blame lies with my illness and the medicine to treat it. However, I believe that part of ricocheting thoughts have been caused by immersing myself in three completely different types of books at the same time. For example, when I finally turned off the bedside light last night, my mind continued to think in the Southern twang of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Scenes from that book danced across my closed eyelids and revived my memories and those stories my mom had shared of her life during the Great Depression. Reading about that time and the views held by people reminded me of some snippets of stories told by my sweet mom.
When she was a young girl (in the "roaring twenties") her large family lived in a huge house that had once been grand, but at this point was in need of more repair than was possible with her Pa's meager pay as a steam shovel operator. Her mother was from the old country (Germany) and kept her large family fed and clothed with whatever money Pa shared. Gardens were cultivated for vegetables, fruit trees were harvested, and chickens were raised for eggs and meat. Nothing was wasted, but everything was shared with whomever was more in need. Hard to imagine anyone more in need than a family with eleven children, but they somehow found their way to the doorstep of the large farm house.
Every spring for many years, traveling gypsies would come to ask permission to set up their wagons and camp in the apple orchard. In the evenings my mom and her sisters would go down there and sometimes sit up in the apple tree to sing songs in German. I can see these little white-headed girls sitting on the branch, with their saggy stockings, hand-me-down clean little dresses, and sparkling eyes sweetly singing with their pure voices. Below would be the rag-tag group of dark, swarthy families and their own children who accepted this welcome by a family who didn't know they were poor. If this would even be suggested in these times, oh, my would there be protests of "DANGER" "THEY CAN'T BE TRUSTED" or "THEY DON'T LOOK LIKE US, SO MAKE THEM GO AWAY." Luckily for my mom and her sisters, their outlook was one of adventure, acceptance and friendship.
There are other stories of my mom her relationships with people who looked different than her and at some other time, in another blog, I will share them. These stories speak volumes about the time in which my mother learned to be the person she was.
When my attention shifts to another book that I am exploring, then I am taken to a Southern college and the experiences of a naive girl who has made a few life changing mistakes. Tom Wolfe is the writer and he has a very colorful way of looking at the world. His language is not for the delicate, as he using the language of today's average college "jock". He does devout an entire section to the explanation of all the ways that the f-bomb can be and will be used. I know that I have diagrammed many a sentence in my day, and this section made for some interesting thought. More thought than the people who use this word actually give it, though.
This Tom Wolfe book reminds me of how truly unprepared I was to be in college and all the experiences which took over my being. I began college as a sweet, innocent, hopeful seventeen year old and finished as a wiser, tarnished, sadder, young adult. Would I change anything that happened to me at college? Probably not, for those experiences made me who I am today. On the other hand, if I had been treated kinder, gentler and nicer by the ones who tarnished me, one can only wonder who I would now. We will never know, since that part of my past is over and I have forgiven those who were so unkind to me. Forgiven, but not forgotten.
Since I am ready to return the murder mystery series to the library, I will drop them off outside and not be tempted to pick up another string of novels. Trimming down my diverse reading selections at this point is necessary, as I have found myself thinking in Bayou French (Ya-Ya) and trying to diagram the uses of the F-bomb. While I try to keep from coughing up a lung and push the fluids the distractions of too much input is slowing my recovery. Well, maybe not entirely, but my mind is really on overload at this point, so sleep is not coming as quickly as it should.
I must get back to the YA-YA's story, so until next time.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Being the reader that I am, I sometimes read faster than my favorite authors can write, which leads me on a quest to find another author who can provide my daily requirement of reading pleasure.
Some years back, I enjoyed a movie so when I spotted the book at a book sale, I decided that I might want to read the original story. Rather than starting with the first book in the series, however, I began my journey with the last one. After all, I already knew how it all ended, so I wanted to see the beginning. Sound confusing? Well, you'd have to read the Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood to understand. In the third book, the reader is taken on a journey back to the time before there was even a Ya-Ya; even before there was a wonderful friendship of these four women. Now, I am in the middle of the first book and my understanding of the characters is much deeper and richer thanks to my unorthodox reading method.
So far, I have had my personal memories tingled, my laughter jiggled, and my curiosity teased. Most nights my drooping eyelids betray my need to read more of the adventures captured by this wonderful author. Honestly, I don't know if men would understood the friendship aspects described in this book; they probably would go to a place that would soil the intention of the author. You would enjoy these books, if you have experienced friendships that have seen your "dark" sides and still hold you close to their hearts. True friends don't just love you when your makeup is perfect, your words sing, and your smile is flawless; they love you with warts and all. That's what is so magical about true friends; they support you, they celebrate you and yet they keep you true to yourself. Rebecca Wells is the conductor of the stories that have charmed my heart and soothed my fevered brow.
Not too long ago I came across a cute looking book that had two basset dogs on the front and the catchy title was Roll Over and Play Dead. What the heck, I plopped down my fifty cents and took the book home. It was a fun read and made me want to explore the writings of this author even more. I have just finished her last book, "Mummy Dearest" and highly recommend her writings if you like murder mysteries with humor, not too much gore and characters who are developed throughout the years. Joan Hess is the author and you can easily find her books at your local library.
As I take my medication and continue on my path of healing, I have my two new friends (see above authors) to accompany me on my journey to better health. They are new to me, but I wanted to share their words with you all and hope that you might find some pleasure in their work.
Monday, May 17, 2010
This week has been packed full of changes, medical procedures and care-taking. Before I left for the Kids', I prepared the week's menu, shopped for the ingredients, and precooked meat for the later in the week meals. Chicken spaghetti and baked potato soup were simmering as we packed the car. A portion was divided out to be left home for hubby's meals. Coolers kept the evening's meal ready for the tired girl when she would get home from work.
When I arrived at my daughter's, all the "goodies" were unloaded and appreciated by the kids. Chicken spaghetti was served and we enjoyed an yummy "Last Meal" before surgery the next morning.
Snuggling with my grandlove and hugs from my daughter compensated me for the effort of providing the care, food and baby care. Since the surgery was scheduled for early Monday morning, kisses and hugs were received before sunshine brightened my room. By the time my grandlove and I were well into our morning routine, the Kids returned. Amazingly, only three hours after the surgery, everyone was home, a bit groggy, and hurting, but home nevertheless.
The pain pump delivered enough Novocain to keep the surgery site numb and gentle moving helped to minimize the amount of pain. Oral medication was needed on top of the pain pump by the second day, but that was to be expected, from the research we had done.
Wednesday, the nonproductive cough my daughter had been experiencing took a change for the worse. A trip to the doctor, lung x-rays, breathing treatments, and medication were used to fight the bronchitis that had developed. By the afternoon, we were exhausted, but at least we felt that the complete mending process would continue.
Nuzzling with my little grandlove is what I miss the most, when I leave. His sweetness and soft, inquiring touches are so beautiful. When he looks at me (nose to nose) I see the whole world in his eyes. He is beautiful and such a tender little guy. What was sad, is when my daughter couldn't hold him (because of the recent surgery) so we made sure that we cuddled her neck. Not picking up her baby, is the most difficult post surgery order to follow.
When I returned home, my sinus infection traveled to my lungs and by today I made it into the doctor's office. My own version of brochitis will be treated with prescriptions, rest and fluids.
Now that I am home, I will be able to have more time to blog and spend time on the computer. In fact, I didn't even take the computer with me to the Grandlove's, because finger foods, juice cups and banging on pans is more fun than typing. There are some things that are not as much fun as typing, but those dirty diapers just won't change themselves.
Thank you for all the positive energy, prayers and good wishes sent our way. We appreciate it and know that it all makes a difference.
Saturday, May 8, 2010
With this weekend's holiday comes the reminder of my first Mothers' Day. Although it was many years ago, I do remember that weekend as one spent with a sick infant who puzzled the doctors with her symptoms. Our pediatrician was out of town and the doctor who treated her couldn't determine what was causing her to be so sick. Finally on Sunday night, after returning to the hospital, we were given a diagnosis that required surgery as a solution.
Our little girl would undergo major surgery, time in the ICU and extra days to heal at the hospital. Prayers occupied the sleepless night before surgery as we comforted our little bitty baby. She couldn't be laid flat, so we kept her in our arms, which comforted us with her presence.
In the early hours of the morning we walked down the long, sterile hallway to hand over our baby to the waiting nurse. She promised me that she would take good care of her in the operating room and we would see her soon. Hand wringing, praying, coffee sipping, conversing in hushed tones, and surveying the swooshing of the restricted operating doors were punctuated by the ticking of the waiting room clock.
After an eternity, the doctor emerged, removed his face shield and let us know the extent of the the surgery and the expected recovery time. His matter of fact way of dealing with us was off-putting, as he was talking about a case and we were scared for our baby. Surgeons sometimes forget that there are people involved and not just cutting, repairing and healing.
In a short while I was allowed to see our baby in ICU, which was filled with many adults who were recovering from their own serious surgeries. Not having any other babies there made me even more anxious, but the nurses assured me that all would be fine. Every chance I got I was in there to rock and soothe our sweet little girl.
Her daddy was able to see her, once I had the blanket to cover as much of the life-sustaining apparatus as possible. He loved our little girl so very much and yet he had to fight the feeling of helplessness in order to go in. No one wants to see their child in such a condition and I think that mothers are somehow better equipped to overlook the beeps, wires, tubes, bags of fluids, ports, needles and other life-sustaining equipment and see the sweetness of their baby who needs the strength from their mother's eyes and touch.
Our little girl fooled everyone and her recovery was completed in record time. She was home in the time frame predicted for her release from ICU. Instead of approximately a week in the hospital, she was home in four days. Crawling around, pulling herself up and trying to walk kept her busy and brought back normalcy to our home.
Fast forward twenty-eight years and once again my little girl is getting ready to have surgery. This time, I am the Nana, the keeper of the Granlove and the cook of the "comfort food" for the recovery process. She will have her surgery (if all goes as planned) Monday and be home that evening. It's amazing how surgery is done now as compared to the one so many years ago. In preparation, menus have been planned, schedules have been coordinated and research has been done. We are all anxious for it to be Tuesday, for the beginning of healing, but unfortunately we do know that first is the surgery and all that it entails.
My first Mother's Day revolved around my little baby's surgery. Our daughter's first Mother's Day is revolving around her upcoming surgery, once again. Seems like this holiday needs a different way of being celebrated, doesn't it?
So my blog, readers, if you have extra good thoughts, positive energy, prayers for flawless surgery and speedy recovery, we sure would appreciate them.
No matter how much I will prepare for this, she is still my sweet, little girl who must have surgery and I must trust that she will come through this in good order.