Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday Musings

Did ya miss me?  I was gone!  You didn't miss me?  Phew.  Snuffle.  I could make this a real dissertation since I'm usually very full of words (according to my mostly nice older brother).  I'll refrain as best I can.

We were up in Door County again with 62 of our closest friends.  Actually, they weren't all the closest, because some of you that read this blather are probably as close, but didn't happen to be there on our trip.  Oh boy, too many words.  Yes, it was a lot of people and it was delightful as ever.  I didn't take near as many pictures this year for some reason.

* Only in Dairyland...  the sign on the road heading north:  "raspberries, green beans, and Packer tickets"

* A sign in the campground at someone's site:  "campers have s'more fun"

* There were MYP there.  I mean many young people.  They are all like nieces and nephews to me.  In fact, I'd take many of them home to stay here with us for now and forever if they didn't have parents.  But since they do, I won't.  However, one sweet young thing told me with an adoring smile, 'you are just like a mom to me.  My mom can be my young mom and you can be my old mom.'  Thank you my sweets.

* My handsome soon-to-be 16-year old nephew spent some of his vacation time with us and enjoying the greenery of the Door.  He left yesterday.  I miss him already.  He's a lot like my brother.  But much nicer.

* The Chairman did next to no camping before we met and married.  I marvel how he rarely complains about the effort to actually pull it off especially during torrents of rain and taking down camp.  At one point as we sat side-by-side inside the camper with at least eight MYP inside with us during a rain shower he said, 'this is really nice and private'.  WHAT?  The campsite.  It's nice and private.  Oh.  I was wondering if you thought having ten people in a camper was 'nice and private'.

* I'm going to visit the Dr. tomorrow.  Please refrain from sending encouraging notes and cards.  It's just a physical.  However, I'm hoping that she can shed some light why I still have only partial mobility on my rotten shoulder.

* Speaking of Dr's... my mom had a call that her affected nodes are clean so the follow-up treatment is minimal.  We are thankful as can be.

* Anyone wanting to stop by this week and help husk and blanch sweet corn for the freezer?  I'd be cheerful when we would work together.  I think.  Unless you started to slack off.  Just ask our MYP...  

Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

All about love...

Love.  I don't know much about it other than I chose who I loved and I love my choice.
Last night, we were at a 50th anniversary dinner for this couple and it got me thinking about love.  
This couple is super-special to those in this area.  They are about as different as night/day, oil/vinegar, sweet/salty, you get the picture.  She was raised in a very secure, loving home with privileges and all that goes with that.  He was raised in a situation that was hard, uncertain, and didn't have much more than the basics of life.  He loved what he saw in her.  Found out how to get her college class schedule and as he put it last night, 'stalked' her a bit and asked her out to a play.  The rest is history.  All 50-something years and two children later with many highs and lows that life had to offer.  Their son shared that all through his life as the home and neighborhood and life brings changes, he has always felt his parents never did change even though he did.  It was touching.

So I was thinking about life and love as I looked over the people gathered.  Many were from that age-group.  Sitting next to them was their spouse and best friend and love for life.  It was beautiful really.  In this day and age we hear so much about broken marriages.  Ugly divorces.  Our MYP have witnessed it in the parents of school friends.  Their understanding of such sadness at their age brings questions about love and marriage.  And that's alright.  

Last week as my parents were separated by the doors of an operating room, I could tell my father was extremely anxious and concerned about his own spouse and best friend and love for life.  I hope they don't mind me posting this, but as soon as she got back from surgery, this is what I saw:

Dad at her side.  Mom reaching out.  A small gesture that had lots of meaning.  I'm thankful for this example in my parents and in the Chairman's parents.    

When I stayed overnight at my parents last week, I noticed a plaque on the bedroom wall:

"When you marry her, love her.
After you marry her, study her.
When she is blue, cheer her.
When she is talkative, by all means listen to her.
If she dresses well, compliment her.
When she is cross, humor her.
If she does you a favor, kiss her.
When she is jealous, cure her.
If dinner is cold, eat it, not her.
When she looks pretty, tell her so.
Let her feel how well you understand her.
But never let her know she isn't boss."

And that is all I know "All about love"...

p.s.  For those of you wondering, my mom is doing wonderful!  Thank you for your thoughts towards them.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Monday Musings

Monday, how did you get here so fast?  I'll tell you at the end of this post.

Am sure most of you know by now.  My mom had her surgery three days ago.  If you know her, she is a remarkable person.  And it was fitting that this surgery turned out remarkably.  She handled it like a breeze even though it ended up being a teensy-weensy bit more complicated than they originally thought.  We hope for good news from the lab results.

Waiting for someone in surgery is a test in patience.  Waiting is just.  plain.  exhausting.  I would have rather been home and cleaned the house and washed the entire wardrobes of our family and still not have been as tired as I was sitting there waiting.  The people watching was phenomenal.  I'm so very thankful some of the people I saw were not my relatives.  

I saw a little boy and his father in the gift shop.  The approximately six-year old had a feeding tube and had something recently dreadful happen as he had lost both his legs just past the knee.  The wounds were fresh.  The father was told by the clerk to 'have a nice day'.  His response:  'I'll try'.  Pitiful.  

I feel sick in hospitals.  No, not really sick.  But like almost 'what is wrong with me?' since everyone else has something wrong. 

Nurses work very hard and have very long days.  And are of every size, shape and color.  

Surgeons are talented people and worth admiring for sure.  

The cafeteria offerings were actually quite tasty!  Freshly-grown romaine from a local farmer.  Lovely spinach.  I could profile who was heading to the 'grill' and who was heading to the 'salad bar'.  I'm clever like that.

I was only gone two days and experienced the 'sandwich generation' feeling for the very first time.  I was trying to decide if I was ham or a turkey.  (don't answer that)

My parents have been married for 53 years and when one suffers, the other does too.  I could tell one didn't feel complete until the other was nearby again.  A nice example to follow.

Is anyone else riveted by the soon-to-be-born baby in Great Britain?  I am.  Hard to believe for most of you I'm sure, but I remember William being born and thinking Diana was pretty.

The camper is in our driveway again.  We hope to use it very, very soon.

But first, I must do 3,467 things before we can use it.  That includes camping prep along with a lot of laundry, cooking, entertaining some guests, attending a party, and hugging my family members.

And to answer the question above - how did Monday get here so fast?  Well I'll tell ya!  It's actually Sunday night as I type this.  My day tomorrow is so full I didn't want to miss the Monday Muse!

Have a great week!  I know I will!

Friday, July 19, 2013


Today I'm going out of my comfort zone.  I am leaving my family for a couple days.  I don't do this much at all.  In fact, the last time I left was about 18 months ago and that was only for a brief time.

I am going out of my comfort zone because I'm going to a hospital this morning.  I kinda like hospital settings, except when it involves my own loved ones needing help.  That makes it out of my own comfort zone.  I like to go to places like that and offer encouragement to people.  But I am not comfortable being on the receiving end of kind words.

I am going out of my comfort zone because I don't have any control over the outcome.  I like to be assured, certain, and in control.  Today I cannot.  I am at the mercy of medicine and surgeon schedules and what the reality is that is within my mother's body.

But I am comfortable in a lot of ways.  I'm strengthened in the fact that the Chairman and the MYP will carry on without me and have encouraged me to go be where I need to be.  I know they will care for themselves, our dear pets, and the home.  I'm comforted by the fact that my slightly older and wiser sister and some others will be standing by as well.  I'm comforted in the fact that the doctor performing the surgery and the hospital is highly rated.  I'm comforted in the fact that many have sent e-mails, calls, and texts showing care in words and deeds.  Above all else, I'm comforted that my dear parents are showing grace and acceptance in all of this.

And above, all, all else, I'm comforted in the fact that there is a Comforter...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Musings

Those that live nearby or know us are aware of a quirky quality we have.  We hardly ever run the a/c here at the chalet.  Sometimes people will ask, 'surely you've turned on the air by now?'.  'Oh no!' I answer with a cheerful smile.  We will when it gets hot.  My melting breaking point is when it hits 86 in the house.  I've become a bit weaker with my advancing age.  I think it is 84 now and I can tell you that as of this morning, I turned on the a/c.  I'll be opening up as soon as the temperature and dew points drop below 85 again...

Window boxes.  Somehow they make a home look more cheerful and inviting.  I hope so because we have them and I love them.  I just snapped this photo this morning as I came in from getting the newspaper this morning.
Speaking of pictures.  This was taken this weekend.  We were on a family walk and took a shortcut through a corn field.  
 This one was all smiles until I told her that big, black, hairy spiders like to hide in corn stalks (heh heh).
Did you know about reverse sneezing in cats?  I didn't until last night when trying to search out what was ailing Simba.  He seems no worse for the wear except when he does an alarming cough-sneeze sound.

Last week was a frenetic pace of many, many young people coming and going.  The weekend was a sublime couple days of just a couple daughters, a Chairman that didn't need to work, relaxing meals on the porch, and a nap both days.  I think they are called mental health days.  Hopefully, I'm not a nut case the rest of the week.

Yesterday, a childless man was talking about being around a family that had lots of children.  After they had been there and were driving home, he and his wife we having a long discussion about life.  It seemed so low-key and tranquil and reflective.  Later the Chairman and I were talking about what he had mentioned.  We don't have long discussions about life.  We are too busy living it to discuss it right now.  

Speaking of life.  There was a funeral here yesterday.  That's right, right in our own home.  We flushed laid Beanie Bart Junior to rest.  It seemed like a little service was needed.  So I hummed #1 as I pushed down the lever to flush him away.  I would have actually sung the words but that seemed like overkill (pun intended).  

Mused out!  Stay cool!  We will for the next couple days anyway...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thoughts this Thursday

They all just left.  All six of them.  Six of who?  MYP.  And I stress, Many.  young. people.  Three are from this home.  Two are sons of my mostly nice older brother who also in turn are - mostly nice.  Another is a guy that finds his way here often.  And we like it that way.  Where did they go?  To Seven-Eleven of course!  Free Slurpies on 7-11!  Seriously.  A pile of people walking into the local 7-11 for free drinks.  They would make my Grandpa Anderson proud.

I'm going through a lot of food these days.  I just can't figure out why... Here they are.  All six of them taken last night before they got crazy and stayed up too late.
Here are a couple cute young ladies that celebrated birthdays this week:

So now after four birthdays in three weeks, it will be nice to get back to whatever 'normal' is.

So this week we went to a hospital.  Before we went there we had lunch.  I shot this picture across the table.  My parents.  My sweet, accepting and gracious parents.
My slightly older, and wise sister was along as well.  We heard from this talented surgeon that the situation is very workable.  Yes, it isn't a nice word.  The "C" word.  But they can remove it and hopefully just follow-up with pills and nothing worse if it doesn't manifest itself in other places it shouldn't during surgery.  We will stand by them because they have stood by us.  That's the nice thing about the parent/child relationship.  It evolves and changes as you go through life.  Sometimes we need support.  Sometimes they need support.  It's beautiful really.

Some have called or texted or emailed about wanting or planning to help.  I feel like my emotions are in check.  Until I hear about the kindness of others and it immediately moves me to bleary-eyes.  I'm so very thankful for kindness offered to them.

The hospital.  The hospital is a place to go when you need help.  I think sometimes a hospital is a place to go when you are needing to be more thankful.  I have a talent of people-watching.  I saw some there that looked sad and scared and worried and happy.  I saw a few very sick little ones being pushed in strollers or wheelchairs.  I saw a very old lady being pushed by her slightly-old daughter.  I saw a younger lady accompanied by a husband with a tense look in the eyes.  After I left and drove my hour home alone I was thinking how health is something we take for granted.  That night our MYP were frolicking in a swimming pool.  There wasn't worry or sadness or unease about the future.  There was health and unbridled joy that I could watch.  I don't consider our MYP could have something serious.  Maybe I should.  Because then I would be thankful for what I do have.

So the Slurpie shuttle will be back soon.  I need to get a few things done instead of blogging.  Like making more food!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Musings

Not a lot to muse.  I kind of ruined it for myself by hopping on here last week and saying too much.  Me and my big mouth!

I was telling someone a fact recently and they said, 'I know I saw that on the blog'.  It made me pause.  This lady I admire for so many reasons.  I felt nearly embarrassed that she reads "The Chairman and company".  It seems so frivolous and unnecessary really.  

We have been busy.  Very very busy with people and company and guests and invites and oh my!  On top of that there are two birthdays in the next two days.  When you are soon 14 and 11 you have glorious dreams of limousines and rockets bursting over you head with a chorus of your closest 127 friends singing happy birthday in perfect unison.  I hope they aren't disappointed.  Because there will be no fancy black cars or fireworks.  

We await news on a surgery date for my mom.  Hopefully in the next days we will know and then I can actually look at the calendar with real thoughts not just speculation.  I'm not good with unknowns.  

I wandered around last night and took a few cell phone shots.  I think that'll wind up my musing on this Monday.  See?  I told you there wasn't much.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday, the fifth

So how many of you have we lost due to the shut-down of Google Reader?  Hello?  Oh you probably aren't there so you can't hear me.  I've searched around and found Feedly to be a fairly decent option.  However, I'm still slightly riled up that the powers-that-be at Google thought it was a good idea to shut down the Reader.

An hour ago, I called in a prescription for an asthma medicine.  A few minutes ago the automated call came saying the prescription was ready.  The price?  $308 for one month's worth.  Splendid.  Unfortunately, this child needs to breathe, so there's not too many other options.

Speaking of the MYP.  We got a sealed envelope on our bed the other night.  It was from one of ours.  It stated that we hadn't been out on a "date" in awhile and we should take the enclosed (hard-earned) $30 and go out to the restaurant of our choice.  There was a p.s.  "No return policy".  Were we touched?  Absolutely.   Will we spend the enclosed money?  Hardly.  It will somehow return to the giver in a pleasant way.

I have taken a brief hiatus with the "Ab challenge".  Don't tell the boss-lady about this!  But I have my reasons.  I didn't want all my friends to be completely envious of my bounce-a-quarter-off my six pack.  Or maybe I'm just feeling lazy.  You decide.

We are in full birthday swing here.  The Chairman just had his earlier this week.

As you can see, one of the MYP was MIA at picture time.
Two more of the MYP have them next week.  There are lots of whispers and secrets and hidden bags.  There also are plans of grandiose parties with birthday treats and favors and bright-sparkly things.  I'm not sure how grandiose it'll be.

So yesterday was the 4th of July.  I like to arrogantly think I'm not sentimental.  However, certain dates bring  back floods of memories.  The time around the 4th is especially true.

  • As a child, we had front-yard seats to the town's fireworks that were shot off four blocks away.  It usually involved friends over for supper beforehand.
  • Nineteen years ago after the fireworks, the Chairman asked if I would... and I said yes.  The symbolism of firecrackers and colorful things is not lost.  
  • Thirteen years ago, because the Chairman needed to be in Chicagoland early the following day, I spent the 4th of July alone in the home for the first time with two babies - an almost 1-year old and a 2-week old.  I keenly remember sneaking into the bedroom and seeing two cribs and two sleeping babies and feeling a rush of thankfulness.
  • Eleven years ago after spending the afternoon with my in-laws, we headed for home at dark and stopped to look at the local fireworks.  I was five days from giving birth to our first full-term baby.  I remember wondering how it was all going to go.  And I also remember seeing the Chairman holding two little toddlers - one in each arm as they looked up at the sky.
  • Seven years ago.  We lost the Chairman's sister during the night.  It was very sad, and also very comforting that the physical pain was now gone. 
  • Five years ago, one of the MYP took a 18 mph nose-dive on her bike at a campground and scraped a few layers of skin off her nose/cheek.  Thankfully, the body restores itself and it is only a memory instead of a bad scar.
  • Yesterday, we enjoyed spending a leisurely day with my parents.  It was a visit that we both needed.  Comfort in togetherness.  Wondering about what is next, yet thankful for today.  We also enjoyed the company of these two for some days this week. 

 We even kept them out late enough to see some fireworks.

Well this about takes care of Monday Musings, doesn't it?  Well lots have left due to the loss of Google Reader, so maybe it doesn't matter anyway.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wednesday Words

There are lumps of dirt.  Lumps of clay.  Lumps of dough.  Lumps of sugar.  Those lumps are useful, helpful, edifying, and even sweet.  This lump isn't.  This lump is the enemy and it was found two days ago in my mom's body.

Thankfully, she is vigilant in checking.  Thankfully it initially seems to be contained.  Thankfully she lives near my sister and me.  Thankfully she is in good hands with the nearby cancer center and a niece that is a medical advocate.  However, unfortunately, this is the third time she has had to face this battle.  And this time they cannot just remove the enemy, they have to remove all of where the enemy is hiding.

I noticed when my mom wrote the e-mail to our family about this lump that not once did she mention the enemy by name.  She didn't need to.  We know who 'it' is.  And she, and we supporting her, will do all that is possible to get the enemy out as soon as possible.

Some of you don't know my mom.  But I do.  She is one of those people that you could be around for days and months and years and never tire of her.  She has such a gentle, sweet Spirit of kindness.  She has always helped, nurture, and encourage with a touch of humor.  Always.  This whole thing makes me sad.  Maybe not because life is unfair and the enemy is icky.  It just makes me sad that she and my dad have to go through this again.  The third time.

They have an enormous support system in friends, family, and something even deeper , richer, and hidden.  That will help so much.  If you know and want to encourage this fine couple as they face this hurdle once again, please do.  They love others more than themselves.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Musings

A couple of the creatures here aren't stirring yet, so will quickly pen a muse.  I felt a little squeamish when I was going to sleep last night.  I couldn't think of musing material.  However, I do have some photos that sum up a week in the life of the Chairman's family.

It is strawberry season here.  We picked lots and lots.  Made 12 batches of jam with the help of some nice MYP that appreciate jam on fresh bread on a cold winter's day.  About half-way through they were almost doing it all on their own with me meddling a bit.

Summer birthday parties are fun.  Especially if a pool is involved.  It was actually a girl party, but I had a couple boys here and the next morning 'the mom' asked if they wanted to come over.  Of course!  Boys like to stir up girls' parties.

Then there was an invite to friends for dinner.  Not just any dinner.  Authentic Indian deliciousness made by dear friends.  They were kind enough to allow a few extra MYP we had at our house to come along.

 They also invited this baby and her nice parents.  This spunky little 10-month old had no lack of handlers that night.  :-)  She's not all sugar and spice and everything nice.  She can yell for attention like a mad woman.  She can growl like a dog.  She can whistle!  And she can charm anyone with her ready smile.
As we watched Lisi slink around the corner the other morning trying to nab some leftover cat foot with nothing but a huge pile of guilt on her face, the Chairman said something I found simple, yet profound.  Cats never look guilty like dogs do.  Interesting thought...

So now I better go face the mound of dirty laundry and dust piling on the piano.  We have special people coming tomorrow.  We have berry picking tomorrow.  And psst!  We have the Chairman's birthday tomorrow!  So I best quit musing and start moving!