Tuesday, August 30, 2011

3 Weeks In

I made a commitment to working hard to have one bean, one egg and one seafood meal each week. I didn't necessarily think it had to be in a row, it just worked out that way this week. So far, we're doing good. Sunday was a mushroom and swiss frittata, Monday baked fish, and tonight we enjoyed bean and cheese quesadillas. If I keep at this too long Handy Man will get crotchety and feverish, so tomorrow night, meat is back on the menu.
Kaye is probably headed home after restoring some blood lost yesterday. For now the decision is to send her back for the oxygen treatment for two more weeks and make further decisions. after that. I don't exactly get that when there is no circulation below the knee. Hello, where is the oxygen going to go? What I do know is I'm relieved. I am not in denial. I knew when the first surgery had to happen that short of a Red Sea miracle we were headed down a long and painful road to the end. They can't cure her, they can't even keep her where she is, and I am fully aware of the reality of this situation. But for today, I am grateful that we have two week reprieve. Thank you Jesus.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

Just a quick update on Kaye. The roto-rooter didn't go well. Excessive bleeding and very painful for her. The vascular surgeon says he got nothing-no circulation past the knee. The podiatrist says the infection is clearing up and just the toe will have to go. So which is it? Your guess is as good as mine, but it looks like she's in no shape now for any kind of surgery. So back to "wait and see." There are spots on the other foot as well. You know, I just don't know what to even say.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Pictureless Post

No pictures to match my words this week. You will have to use your imagination.
I hadn't seen Bugg and Bean for a couple of weeks before this past Thursday. My class work is a bit overwhelming this year, so I'd hardly had time to miss them. By Thursday though I was happy to be picking them up.
Bean seems happy in his school situation, which thrills me.
I sensed a bit of disappointment in Bugg. She has always gone to daycare where she is now going to Pre-K. I wonder if it just wasn't the difference she was expecting from regular daycare. She's a bright little cookie and whereas Bean was a year younger than most of his classmates, she's the older one with a September birthday.
It is hard work deciding which Gramerly house things to do when we just have a very few hours, not like the full days of summer.
So we played a memory game, baked an applesauce cake, picked flowers and built our own tacos.
We taste tested all parts of the cake mixing and discovered flour is blah, sugar is dee-wish-us, applesauce yummy, and vanilla paste, though divine in sniffing, lacks something on the tongue.
Bean helped me cut flowers in the garden.
When I was a little girl, I loved picking flowers, but never seemed to be where picking flowers was an acceptable practice. I didn't want to discourage him from cutting all the ones he found perfect, so I ended up with way more cut flowers than needed for Ms. Glitzy shower. So, he took flowers for his teacher and I made additional bouquets for Kaye and Mom.
Then he wanted to cut the corn stalks and build an indian house. Be still my heart! I think there is a side of me I try to keep hidden that keeps peeping at him, wondering when his great imagination will begin to taper, when video games or other such pointless engagement will replace his love for the outdoors, pretend and great books. That peeping Gramerly sighs and smiles and wonders how those corn stalks can make a house.
My Missy Bugg, she still loves games and puzzles and I love how a little memory card game teaches her about Bible characters while she laughs the dearest laugh each time she makes a match.
Time with them is always a healing balm after Kaye visits.
God gifts us so many ways. I was not gifted with being in the presence of suffering. Hats off to kind, caring docs and nurses and to that man of hers who has gone where no one wishes to go.
She will lose at least her big toe. Monday they will roto-root that leg again and then do further tests to determine how far down oxygen has gone, before making a decision about how much to take.
They believed the antibiotics had checked the infection, but then she spiked a temp again Friday. She got a picc line since there wasn't much place left to poke her. She is black and blue.
Now the steroids have her sugar over the moon. Of course antibiotics mean yeast infections, upset stomach etc. So we visited a while yesterday morning, then I returned last evening with supper and a coconut cream tart. Now and again, she looks at me and makes some remark like yesterday, "You are so sweet." For a minute, I feel six again and she's the big 1 7 year old sister. A moment-then I realize that now she's my baby and I'm the big sister and the pain I feel is physical. Not because I don't want to do what I do. I want to, but more I wish, for her sake, there was no need.
So thankful for the joy of gramerlings.
I'm trying out some new to me digital scrapbooking technology. When I review it, I'll have one to give away, so stay tuned if you are interested.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dear Me

Saturday, whilst trying to make sweet with baby Gideon, some gigantic beastie flew out of the yard, right past the window to the kitchen roof. We ran out to see. It was this huge hawk. The chickie girls were strangely absent, though caterwauling to beat the band. Thankfully no chickie girl was shrieking from said beastie talons necessitating me breaking my neck trying to climb a roof or tree to save a terrified girl. When we saw him spread his mighty wings and fly off into the wide blue yonder, we went back to sweet talking the baby. Later, quite a bit later, when Rae-rae was leaving Handy Man laughingly called me to the porch where he found seven hens huddled under a chair- still. They must have really been scared. I've experienced hawks flying over, but never had one come into the yard. My fearless guard dog had escaped and was being fattened at the neighbors.
I think upbeat posts are lots more fun, but I have to admit I'm feeling anything but upbeat. I just haven't adjusted to "back to work" yet. I have almost three times the students I had last year and I leave everyday feeling like there was just not enough of me to go around. Really scary since let's be honest here, there is a lot of me. I've never been a "read the text, answer the questions at the end" kind of teacher. If they miss something, then I think we need to figure out why, not just give a bad grade and move-on. I've always been able to manage, but I don't feel like I'm doing a very hot job this year. I typically go in at seven, come home at six, still with work undone.
Today I left early. Kaye is in the hospital again. When I walked in she started telling me about her afternoon, tearfully. In this long journey (two and half years now), there have been less than a handful of times where she's been left to deal with tests on her own. Pete had a dentist appointment and basically they came and got her and she was out of her room in tests all afternoon. They had to do a Doppler test and MRI on her foot. The first test was fine she said, but the second test didn't go well and she felt someone was mean to her because somehow she wasn't doing what they wanted. I just don't even know how to express the despair and broken heartedness I feel for her. She's there because likely there is gangrene in her foot, along with her usual host of other things. I simply cannot grasp that a person with enough intelligence to use an MRI can't see they are dealing with a brain injured person, who cannot communicate clearly and doesn't always understand directions. Why the hell do they have charts if people can't read them and respond appropriately. I was furious.
I asked the nurse to please find out where she was and what happened. The records showed that the first test went fine, just like Kaye told me, and the next test couldn't be completed because the patient wouldn't cooperate. Perhaps the giver of that test wouldn't be very cooperative when their painful toe that is rotting off was being messed with. I was very polite, as it wasn't those nurses fault, but expressed my dismay and requested that it be investigated further. I reminded them that when she is anxious, it is to be treated before continuing with testing. Kaye felt vindicated that I had gone to bat for her.
I can't help but think of all the poor people who don't have a Pete or sisters who love them and try to take care of them.
So, prayers for my Kaye are appreciated, as always.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ahhh, We Did It

My little Gideon does not like to be out of his Mommy's arms. This is troubling because first, I long to hold and smooch his little sweetness. Next, sometimes even when you are an "in love with the boy" new mommy, you still need a minute. Though breast fed, he takes a bottle fine, he just wants his mommy. He'll talk to Handy Man and I, smile, giggle, and coo, as long as the momma doesn't turn loose.
Today, Rae Rae hoped to have a wee date somewhere close by whilst the Pappy and I kept the boy. Michael brought him in and right away it went smoother with Daddy handing him off instead of Mom. I showed him a slide show of himself set to "You've Got a Friend in Me," which he found quite entertaining. Hoping for the best, I took him out to the stroller. I strolled him for an hour. He slept about thirty minutes of that time, then was quite content to watch the leaves blowing through the trees. Then we went in for a bottle.
So, at last, Mommy and Papa had a little date and I enjoyed the boy. He was done by then, and happily returned to his Mommy.
But his big day wasn't finished. Rae-rae is a voracious reader of nutritional books and adheres to the notion that cereals are not best foods for babies. According to her resources, you begin with the soft yolk of free range egg. So with some help, Gideon picked and sampled his very first non-mommy food. He loved it.
I think I'm going to have to get some more chickens.
It was such a delightful day!

Whoa, where is this place?
What do you do with this thing?
Ahh, that's what you do with it! Lip smacking good. No spitting it back at you from this wee one.
How in the world do we keep coming up with these big blue eyes. All of grandchildren's fathers have brown eyes.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Busy, Busy,Busy

My class returned last Wednesday. All 24 of them. They are a good group and have started the year well. I usually get to class about 7 am and go non-stop until 5:30 or 6. Somehow, perhaps in schlepping stuff around, I hurt my back. I manage to sleep two straight hours on a good night and there have only been two of those. So thankful for coffee.
Sunday was BJ's Happy First Birthday.
He's being picky about which whipped cream berry to choose next. So cute.
It was my delight and privilege to bless a dear friend with a Bridal Tea for her darling girl. My side kicks -Miss Glitzy and Miss Resource and I pulled out the stops and put on our best show. I was chief cook, but they were awesome bottle washers. I so enjoyed the time we spent planning and preparing and watching the guest enjoy themselves. It was enchanting.
Guests enjoyed tropical chicken salad in phyllo cups, tomato basil tarts, vegies and dip, berries with sour cream and brown sugar, fresh benedictine, strawberry fluffs, warm brie with apples and pears,

coconut cream puffs, lemon meringue tarts, cream cheese mints, truffles and cookies.
I can manage all the food, but cookie decorating is not my thing. Lucky for me to have found someone who creates such beauties as these. They taste wonderful too.
Ah, such joy and sweetness.

Friday, August 5, 2011

So Long Summer

The last Playdate is always a bit bittersweet- this one, the worst yet. I was so sad about summer being done that I could hardly enjoy the day.
There are a lot of crazy things coming down in our state, education wise right now, and it hurts my feelings to have to send these kiddos into that environment. It hurts my feelings that keeping my job means I have to participate in the craziness. I fancy how much better I could teach these wee folk my own self. Unfortunately, I need a paycheck. So boo, hoo, hoo!
The last Playdate was for science experimenting. We made snow, grew fish eggs, and here we were making and observing lava lamps created with oil, water, colored water and Alka Seltzer. Miss Linee, being three and quite a precocious littlest bit, seems to be the Playdate Student of the Week.
I told them to keep their eye on their bottle to see what happened to the oil after it was shaken.
Yes, go ahead and laugh, Miss Linee's eye is indeed right on the bottle.
Well, I guess we've made progress over the summer. Usually BJ screams when I look his direction.
For a couple of years, Bean has taken over the roll of swinging Miss Linee. Now she has picked up the torch and is swinging Buttercup.
Buttercup wasn't here when we made hula hoops, so she was a bit fascinated by them. Miss Bugg and Linee were showing her the ropes. The day we made them, Bugg could hardly do it. Now she is rocking that hoop.
This is Davy Warrior- just because. I suppose most children paint on paper. I have paper, but their joy is painting themselves and they take this art expression very seriously.

Here comes the bride and there go my magic lillies- every last one of them.
BJ would keep on stretching until he could get a big drink.
Baby Boy can turn on the sweet like nothing you ever saw. Now, it doesn't interest him to do that much, but he can. He was passing out kisses here.
Bean didn't celebrate his birthday with our side of the family, so I got Cars cupcakes for snacks and we sang, "Happy Birthday."
The boy likes his icing.
I so love how Bean thinks and plans for Playdates. He had been telling me about a science experiment he was working on. He discovered the difference in the way pen caps held water based on whether or not the cap had a hole. He brought lots of caps to share. Later he told me that he didn't think anyone was too impressed with his experiment. I think it looks like he has a captive audience here. I told him I was impressed, because I was.
Time to pack up this shop and open my classroom. I'm glad to have a picture journal of the summer. I loved having Auntie SuZQ and her grandkids join us this year. So closes Playdate 2011, though Missy Bugg requested a Playdate for her September birthday. We'll see. Hope you have some fun left in your summer!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Well, suffice it say I've many more beachy/vacation piks I haven't posted than those I did post, but life goes on and I will too I guess. I did love one excursion particularly (perhaps after Dolphin Day). We loved the Florida Agricultural Museum. If you click on colored title it will take you there and you can see pictures of Bean and Bugg enjoying the museum and their delightful guide, Miss Debbie.
Tomorrow I head back to work officially. As is usual for me, I've spent many days there this summer, including today, unofficially. I met my new instructional assistant and was relieved to like her a lot and feel very good about the situation.
Yesterday was the last Playdate of 2011.
Bean and Bugg often come early. A dear friend had a fun project she wanted to try with them. A puppet she'd seen created by a puppet maker on the MUPPET team .
She came early and they got right to work. What a hoot. You can see the kids got a big kick out of their creations. They were so excited to show them off to their Mom when she came.

Toothy bananas are just too funny.
I can imagine we'll have lots of fun with them for a very long time.
I so love when dear friends share their talents with my little ones. I love for them to experience someone else's creativity and style.
Thanks Gardner E for a fun and long lasting toy for lots of imaginative play!