Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday Musings

Well hello there!  We are just back from our special days away.  Once again impressions were made.  Friendships strengthened.  Joy restored.  New people met.  And a clearer vision what really matters.

There's just something about a home convention.  You get to go a few times beforehand when it is full of bugs and spiders and dirt everywhere and in a couple weeks it is all ready and the anticipation is high.  Then we all gather.  It seems year by year I know more and more to the point I could almost name 80% of those there.  There's something really nice about that.

I stood on the grounds with more than several and and had a five or ten minute visit.  As we chatted I desperately wished they could come home with us and stay several days so we could continue the visit.  There's never enough time.  

I was once again a member of the "Loo Crew".  I think it is now the 10th or 11th year I have gotten to walk around with a plunger in hand looking for trouble.  I had a secret giggle when someone tentatively came in while we were cleaning and said, 'can we use these?'  I loudly said, 'oh yes we're open for business!'.  Then I realized how punny I was.

People stop me on the grounds to thank me for doing the job.  I appreciate it.  But the job isn't really all that hard.  Dirty?  Yes sometimes.  Rewarding?  Definitely!  And really, how many go up to the ladies in the salad department and tell them how lovely they did for each meal?  Who contacts the guys that get up at dark o'clock and thank them for peeling potatoes and carrots.  Who tells the guy driving the old blue pickup to the dump that they appreciate him taking stuff to the burn pile?  Yes, I think I'm thanked way more than I should be.  There's so so much hidden effort and sacrifice to make those days so rich and possible.

The food?  Oh my!  We go to be spiritually fed.  And we richly were.  We also were naturally fed as well.  For some reason every meal was just delicious.  Maybe it is because I'm usually the sole cook around here and it is so nice to sit down to a meal already prepared.  Maybe it is because I'm hungry for not snacking between meals.  Maybe it is because Wisconsin really knows how to cook a good pot of spaghetti.  Maybe it is because I'm surrounded by a throng of people that emulate joy.  Or maybe it is just good food.

Due to circumstances due to a high school sport, I had to return for one day.  I have never wanted to not be home as bad as I did that day.  Thankfully, I could listen in to what I was missing and I could hardly drive fast enough to get back up there again.

We brought home an extra teenager to deliver to his home.  I liked what he said.  "I used to be an introvert and didn't want to talk to people.  But then I realized I won't get to know other people if I just stand there and don't say anything.  So now I'm trying to just go up to other people and visit even though I'm not that comfortable doing it.  It makes me feel better doing it though."  I think at 17 he knows more than a lot of people.

So we are back to normal living again.  I always feel bad for the Chairman as he really has to put it in high gear the week before we leave and immediately upon returning home.  Last night he slept about six hours.  I asked if he was tired this morning and he cheerfully says, 'no, I'm fine!  I hope you have a good day'.

I have had a good day.  But there is lots done and more to do.  Hope you have a good week!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Talk on Tuesday

Well hello there!  How about a little chat this Tuesday?

I took our car in this morning and just as I was driving into the driveway of the dealership it dinged and said 'maintenance due soon'.  I'm timely like that.

I was wondering what a video would look like as I stood talking to "Xia" (yes, that's his name) and was trying with my tongue, lips, and throat to mimic the sound that comes every once in awhile from the front left tire.  His eyes glazed over and of course they couldn't find it the source of the occassional rattle.

The temperatures have fallen around here and of course my feet are like two blocks of ice under my ankles.  Low blood pressure isn't good for warm feet.  Thank goodness my feet are warm 12 weeks of the year anyway.

Today I went into Costco very hungry.  I was just going to pick up two things and rush back out.  One hour later and $210 of a cart laden with groceries I got out of there.  I may or may not have purchased a 4-pound tub of animal crackers.

I just saw a post on Facebook of all these pictures of moms jumping up in the air or making over-delighted faces over the first day of school while their children all stood nearby looking grumpy.  I'm sure some of them were staged.  But some were not.  I wonder how those kids feel of their mom being so glad for them to be gone.  My hunch is that they never struggled to get their kids in the first place.

Today was the first day that all three didn't leave for their first day of school.  Daughter #1 leaves tomorrow for her first day of classes at the nearby college.  Son #1 and daughter #2 started today.   I think these annual pictures are a very nice to have and also a stinging reminder that time marches on.
How's your insurance plan?  I hope it is better than ours.  Since the Chairman has no insurance offerings through his place of work and I can offer up nothing except a bandage for a skinned knee since I'm a stay-at-home mom, we have to search for insurance plans that don't break the piggy bank.  Well the last letter was the last straw and so we are switching companies again.  It always makes me squeamish and I hope this one works for us for awhile.  Someone should do something about medical costs.  Meeshka.

Got to spend a meal with this great crew a few days back.

Have I mentioned Lisi is showing her almost 10-year old age?  😒

We took her to the city and she loved hanging at the coffee shop with lots of admiring onlookers.

The last first day with two of them.  
This is enough.  I've got some coconut curry simmering on the stove.  Need to make sure all the trimmings are ready when the troops gather round the table.  Happy week to you!

Friday, September 1, 2017

I was hangry...

Well it's over thank goodness!  I did what most middle-aged people do and signed myself up for a colonoscopy.  To put it mildly, I didn't really want to do it.  I don't like even skipping a meal and the thought of basically skipping nearly two complete days left me queasy.  I chose to do it because of family history and wanting to just know what's going on down below.  

So how was it?  I'll try to give a condensed version.  The prep was a mind game with myself.  As soon as I knew I couldn't eat any more solid food I was starving.  I was preoccupied with food.  I watched with complete envy as family members absentmindedly noshed on this or that.  Everything - and I do mean everything looked mouth-watering delicious.  I continued to drink my broth, eat my jello, and down 64 ounces of Gatorade mixed with powder that had a sole job to blow out your colon.  And let me tell you it did it's job.

Finally FINALLY! my sweet mom and I left for the appointment.  I felt almost giddy that it was finally happening.  They checked me in and I got dressed in the lovely back-open hospital gown and the iv was started.  Dr. Staff came in to chat about the procedure.  (It wasn't lost on me that Dr. Staff was soon going to be holding a rod.)  He asked if I had any questions or concerns.  I said no.  But inwardly I was thinking, "let's get this show on the road as I want to go home and eat everything in the fridge and pantry!".

The cute little blonde nurse got me and pushed my hospital bed into the room where the procedure was taking place.  I noted it was freezing cold in there.  She asked me my name and my birthday.  I wondered if she was planning to send a gift?  I was watching the bag of water drip through the iv into my arm and I worried I'd need to go to the bathroom.  But that worry was taken care of as soon as she pushed in two little syringes of sleepy juice.  I tried very hard to try and remember what it felt like going 'under' but I didn't have time.

The next thing I know is this nurse is trying to get me to sit up and get in a wheelchair to go home.  Now mind you the procedure was over an hour and a half before.  The Dr. came to give a recap of how it went.  I had gotten dressed.  They had administered more glucose water since my blood pressure was so low.  After I was settled into the car I basically have little or no recollection of anything for the next 10 hours.  That sleepy juice blew out my short-term memory and all I wanted to do is sleep.

So I did not empty the fridge or pantry.  I slept off the anesthesia.  I was loopy.  And I didn't care one iota where I was.  Then I woke up and looked around the dark bedroom.  The Chairman snored away next to me.  I was home!  I felt fine!  Hooray for life!

Except for rampant gas pains (sorry if too much info) and a terrific appetite, I had no after-effects from the roto-rooter experience.

The lab report came back.  I had one polyp that was removed.  It is the kind that likes to turn into cancer some day.  They want to see me back to go through this wonderful experience in five years to make sure no other growths appear.  So I'm glad I went.  Maybe I'll just gorge myself the next five years to ensure I don't feel hungry the during the two-day fast.

Happy Labor Day weekend to you!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saturday smiles

Greetings from the Chairman's wife!  It's been awhile I know.  I do think of you!  Life has been rich and busy.

We said goodbye to a favorite nephew that lived with us for a couple months.  We felt like a family of four young people and then after he left it often felt like someone was missing.  Well he was and we still do miss him!  Here he is with his dad and my mom.

We took a little venture to IKEA for a couple new furniture pieces.  We got home that night and I took pictures and listed some old stuff it was replacing and had three offers within a half-hour!

A few weeks back we had four special days away.  I love how I feel when those days are done.  You just feel like you could about handle anything and you just feel so refreshingly clean even though the showers are not at all like you have at home.

We all took a DNA test in our family and it is spooky-accurate.  It told us about relatives we already knew.  It told me that I have a daughter that just took the test.  It confirmed our nationalities  - although it said I was way more Norwegian than I thought I was.  I still don't like lefse though.  I hope you'll forgive me.

We are gearing up for the next school year.  This year only two are in the local high school and one ventures off for new prospects at a local college.  Thank goodness she chose to live at home or I'd be hanging onto her ankle as she walked down the driveway to go away.  Or not.  Or honestly almost yes.  The Chairman would stop me because he doesn't like scenes.

Two days ago the doorbell rang and I looked out front and saw a box that said "fresh seafood".  Well it was fresh alright.  The eyeballs were looking at me when I took the lid off the cooler inside.  I quickly put the lid back on and then walked away and had a big shiver.  It was crawling with huge lobsters.  I panicked and called the Chairman.  He laughed and said he thought he knew where they came from.  So then I knew it wasn't just a prank being pulled on me.

I cook beef and pork and chicken and fish and venison and vegan for goodness sake.  But I do NOT like cooking things that are moving or that have claws that pinch or that have eyeballs looking up at me.  Every animal has feelings and I keep my distance to the living thing by buying packaged meat.  Thank goodness for a willing, cheerful and save-the-day son that took over.  He Googled a few things and followed insturctions and soon there was lobster on the table.  It was a lovely gift but I sure hope they never do that again.

And so begins my colonoscopy prep.  I'm three days out and just realized I'm not to be eating any fiber.  What if I get constipated?  HAHAHAHA!  😂   I've been reading a lot on-line trying to figure out ways to cheat.  You see I'm slightly frightened by the fact I'm not to eat any solids for two whole days.  I keep reminding myself I could go 40 days without food but it isn't very reassuring.

So I purchased lots of drink options.  Broth.  Jello.  I want to think I'm royalty since I'll be on the throne so much.  Heh.  Ok.  Bad joke.

Well this is enough chatter today!  We are gearing up for a sing here at the Chairman and co. tomorrow!  I'm not exactly how it will go or how many are coming.  But I do know once it is over we will wonder why we didn't do it sooner.  Our friends will make it very special.

Until next time!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Musings

Happy Monday from the Chairman and co!  Maybe you're not reading this on Monday though so good day to you too!

We just returned from our annual camping trip to Door County.  If you don't know where Door County is just pick up your left hand and look at your thumb.  Now picture close to the end of your thumb and that is where it is located in Wisconsin.  This year approximately 60 of our friends were in various campsites in the state park.  No fights broke out this year.  Ha!  Actually, it is a wonderful time of fun, exercise, smoke in your eyes from changing winds and profitable visits.  The most valuable thing I packed was itch relief cream due to mosquitos that would make Minnesota jealous.

This year was very different than other years.  We were missing one of the MYP due to work.  The other two were missing due to too many friends and sleeping at different campsites.  They did touch home base when their bellies were empty at suppertime.  Otherwise, we'd wave as they biked by.

The Chairman and I had a lot of time together like empty-nesters.  It was very nice to be honest. And the camper didn't reek of sweaty clothes this time.

There were lots and lots and lots of teens.  I must take after my father as I really really like talking to young people.  Well any people to be honest!  I had several good visits swaying in a hammock talking to them.  And I know some other parents that had some great visits with ours too.  It take a village.

Then there's "Gracie".  Poor poor "Gracie" a little girl we don't know.   She was in the campsite behind us for one day/night and she has a mother that let her scream and cry and writhe on the ground all the while her mother was negotiating with her.  "Gracie do you want this?  that?  the other thing?".  All "Gracie" probably wanted was some strong boundaries, a bit of food, and a bed.  Thankfully "Gracie" and her parents moved along soon.

Then there's the economics professor from South Carolina that the Chairman and I caught up to while biking.  He started saying things about my beauty which I thoroughly thought was lovely sketchy.  Then he spoke of his classes and his students and about the political atmosphere in this country all the while we biked away a mile or two.  We came to our turn knowing he was to go on straight.  He says, 'I feel like I'm not done talking with you yet!' and proceeds to turn into our campground with us.  Uh-oh.  So I quickly mention how we had plans as soon as we got back to our campsite with the 60 other friends we were camping with and he seemed utterly disappointed and said, 'well I guess I will have to double-back and leave'.  We cheerfully waved him off and raced to our site looking over our shoulder.

Then there's the bathrooms.  The showers are quite pleasant and warm.  Then you take your stuff to a room with sinks and mirrors to finish up.  Standing next to a shirtless, middle-aged man shaving and combing his hair is kind of like being in the men's bunks at convention - not that I've been there or anything.  But it's just so weird.  So I try to not make eye contact and comb my hair and brush my teeth quickly.

Then you return home and think all is well and you hear your now barely adult daughter had purchased a ticket, rode the train to Chicago and shopped for a whole day without your knowledge.  "I knew you'd be too worried if I did it so I thought I'd tell you once I was home again."  I kinda-sorta freaked out and said, "what if something went wrong and no one knew where you were?".  Oh!  I told several people - just not you.  I guess it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission sometimes.  Secretly, we're kinda proud of the fact that she negotiated her way to the windy city without an ounce of help, had a great time, and came back with a pair of designer shoes that she paid only one penny for!  She's even more frugal than I am.

So here's some pictures etc. from my phone.  Happy week ahead!  I'm off to replace the door lock on our camper.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Musings

Can you believe it?  Monday Musings for real!  I hope you know how much I love you because today I'm busy as a bee.

We leave for camping soon.  Very soon.  Excuse me as I probably repeat this every year.  Camping is a.  lot.  of.  work.  It is kinda funny as some years back I had to plead and talk and nearly convince the Chairman that camping was such a sublime experience.  Now I'm the one dragging me feet and he's all enthused.  It may or may not have something to do with the fact that I de-winterize the camper.  Fill the tanks with gas.  Clean it top to bottom.  Grocery shop.  Prepare a lot of the meals in advance.  And try to be certain that nothing is left behind we need.  Not that I'm keeping track or anything.  Honestly, the Chairman usually pulls an all-nighter or even two to make certain he can be away from his desk.  So I think it's pretty fair as I get to go to bed at night.

If you ever use a pressure washer, I highly recommend a Briggs and Stratton that I was able to borrow from a friend.  I also highly recommend wearing some sort of footwear as the stream of water can sheer off skin on your toes.  Not that I would know or anything...

I dislike Japanese beetles with a passion.  We are at war with them right now and the beetles are ahead 1-0.  

Teenage girls are drastically different than teenage boys.  We hosted some boys for son #1's birthday last month and they all showed up kinda as they were.  We hosted some girls for the daughter's birthdays last week and they texted like crazy for days before on who was wearing what and came all 'glammed up' for their dinner.  Love them both for different reasons!  Maybe I'll throw in the pictures for reference!  Personally, I think both ways are adorable.

Here's my sweeties taken on the day of (and also the day before) their birthdays.   Eighteen and fifteen!

Don't hate me but I don't really struggle a lot with my weight.  However I was making a somewhat diligent effort to lose a couple pounds lately and they refuse to come off.  So I've scheduled a colonoscopy.  I figure that ought to do the trick.  Stay tuned.  I'm sure I'll have a blog post after that experience.  

Through various conversations with some family members and friends I've been more aware that people are fighting many battles we are hardly aware of.  I'm thankful for those that share a bit of their experiences so that we can think of them or better still entreat on their behalf.  Sometimes it is almost overwhelming the needs out there but I'm again so thankful that every need will be supplied.  If you start thinking of someone more than normal, just let them know.  It might make all the difference to them.  And if not, at least you can feel better for trying.

I've currently cooked up lots of taco meat, made homemade spaghetti sauce and now I'm off to make zucchini bread.  My happy place is in the kitchen so I'm hoping to get back there so my mood improves.  

Happy week ahead!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Her story

I have blogged in the past about the incredible and life-altering experiences we had with both of our adoptions.  Words fail for the gift we received in our first two young people.  We are forever indebted and forever thankful for them for so many reasons.

As most everyone knows, with adoptions comes uncertainty, worry, and incredible joy.  When I gave birth to our last child fifteen years ago yesterday -  really the emotions were almost the same.

When I thought I might be expecting I purchased the cheapest tests I could find.  I quietly took it one morning and all the while "big" sister that was just past two was wandering around the bathroom asking two-year old questions.  The second line appeared.  I went to talk to the Chairman.  His first reaction was "oh no!" because for us that meant most likely another miscarriage, or a D&C, or worse yet - a pre-term birth.  We had five experiences already so what would make this one different?

I was considered the high risk of high risk mothers,  My OB/gyn referred me to two excellent perinatologists that I saw bi-weekly until they felt it would only need to be weekly,  I would get knots in my stomach before every appointment and received pictures of our growing baby after each time I went.  That was a comfort and I would stare at them between the appointments.  I nearly always pushed in the double stroller of the older sister and brother and fed them snacks as we waited for the doctor.  Yes - uncertainty and worry.

My heart would sink just a little when people would say, 'you adopted your children so now you will have one for sure'.  There were no guarantees and I didn't even wash baby clothes or buy diapers until the due date was just days away.

My due date came and then three days later I knew sleep wouldn't be coming.  I stayed awake all night.  By the dawn's early light I went outside and walked and walked and walked.  My mind was in a different zone.  Finally I told the Chairman what was happening because I knew he would go into full-blown action once I whispered "it's time".

We had only three hours in the hospital before our black-haired baby was born.  The Chairman and I looked at each other when she cried and then so did we.  We cried for her safe arrival.  We cried for the big sister that was already in heaven.  And we cried for all the ones that didn't make it.  Yes after uncertainty and worry, there was joy.

We named our baby Mira because to us she was a mira(cle) to us.  We named her Mira because it echoed the name of her older sister Amara that was with us just three days.  And we named her Mira because it means 'wonderful' in one language and 'peace' in another.

The biggest gift this little baby by blood gave to us was infallible proof that the way you feel about your children doesn't matter if they come to you through the gift of adoption or through the gift of life.  As we stared at these three souls we were given, the love and devotion we felt - and still feel towards them - was exactly the same.

Somehow it has always seemed 'easier' to write about our adoptions because they are more unique. Everyone has a birth story.  But for us, this story has been unique like our adoptions.  As the Chairman and I look back to those years we are now so incredibly thankful for the uncertainty.  The worry.  And yes, even the losses.  Because it has brought us to this point where we know the souls we have been entrusted with are exactly the ones that should be here with us.  And for that and for them - we are thankful,

sheer joy

she made it safely!

my arms and heart were overflowing
And now our 'baby' holding our friends precious 2-day old