Sunday, August 30, 2015

Basketball Anyone?

This afternoon Pap and I went to our old highschool to see Missy Bugg play basketball. My, it was a bit sobering remembering how long it has been since we were there in school.
 It was supposed to start at 2:00, when we got there. It had, in fact, started at 1:50 and we just missed her making a  basket.
It was so fun to watch her play.  You can see on her face how seriously she took the game, but then turn and clap and cheer when someone on the other team made a good play.  Love it!
I hadn't seen Giddy-Up and his people in too long, so invited him to join us. It was his first basketball game and he was very intrigued and a great cheerleader!
  This picture looks like the little girl who just got it in is saying, "Tah Dah!"
 Waiting for some action.
 You going to take this on?
 She was go shocked when she got the ball, then turned and tore down the court.
About to go up. Good job Bugg.

After a hug and a squeeze Giddy-Up, Pap and I headed back home.

 While I wanted to show his cutie face, I intended to get what he was doing- hot gluing.  He is one of those kids that has a strong self preservation mode.  Bean was just like that. I could let him climb ladders, use scissors, or whatever because he took directions very well and was never a leap and then look kind of kid.  Giddy-Up glued beads on cardboard for the longest time with a glue gun, tweezers and beads, without incident.  Thank the Lord.

Mr. Smiley loves lotion and a pencil.  I dont know why. He takes off the lid, dips the pencil in the lotions and rubs it all over me. He will do this a long time, then wants the teeny lid to screw on before he is off.  He is talking like crazy and continues to light up our world.

Glenda's son-in-law Anthony has had to have yet another surgery and is having one tough ol' time.  Mom has not felt well for over a week, though the source of her distress remains a mystery.  Wednesday's bath was the first time I felt nervous, as she was so shaky.  I suspect it is grief and anxiousness over a move to someplace new.  Thank you always for prayers on their behalf.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Early Autumn

Oh my, we've had some fabulous weather over the last few days.  It is creeping back up, but I've loved a dash of Autumn thrown in our August.  Lovely!
I've been with the kidlets, but haven't been as snappy with pictures as usual.
My big boys finally got their day a couple of Sundays ago.  They finished up their summer wood projects with Uncle Jimi.
 War Games were the order of the day.  The Thursday before Bean and I went shopping for material to make vests.

I don't remember what was funny, but watching him crack up, cracked me up.

 Bean had been planning this day for months and in an odd turn of events, it only required (well, after the vests) me keeping them fed and watered.
They are growing up so very fast.
Enjoying all the garden goodies from the Farmer's Market. Fixed greens, fried corn, pork chops and cornbread for Mom this evening.  She loved it.  She's not feeling great.  So many things still up in the air. Bless her heart. Bless everyone's heart

Friday, August 21, 2015

Down in the Boondocks

Well, I would like to report that this week has proven to a unending joyride, but alas, that report, while perhaps more enjoyed, would be false.
My rare eggs I paid a lot for did not hatch, much to the disappointment of my classroom  and me.  First time in eleven years, and no idea what happened.
A much loved parent had a seizure during lunch at school yesterday.  Oh lands, so many layers of heartbreak.  The last time I saw Kaye like I knew her was in the emergency room minutes before a horrible seizure.  The longing for him to sit up and be okay.  The teacher friend who lost her 15 year old brother two years ago to a seizure, witnessing the whole thing.  Taking Mom to visit an assisted living facility and hoping against hope that might stir some excitement in her- ain't happening folks. Glenda's son-in-law in a fight for his life.  And the sleep that seems to to keep it's distance no matter how hard I try to find it.  A relationship, where over and over your feelings are sliced and diced and served up on a platter.  Ugh.
But, though not a hundred percent, our parent is improving, which is worth more to me than a hundred hatched rare eggs.  Glenda's Anthony was able to have his surgery and did better than anticipated and best of all, a good report on his liver biopsy. Thank you Lord!
Okay, so enough about that.  Just trying to keep it real here folks.

Remember  that day off I had?  Seems like a long time ago now.

 Well, we went to a Hemp Fest.  Apparently, it was grown in Kentucky once upon a time for things other than smoking.
So, we had hemp flour in a savory crepe,
 beer made from hemp (the last one I might add),
 dipping hemp oil,
and I made paper from hemp.
For my money, I'll stick with the paper.  We didn't much love hempish food stuffs.
 This guy is demonstrating how to bust up the hemp to use for textiles. That drum the hemp is rolling through is handmade wooden cogs.  It was interesting.
Then you can spin the fiber.

 The group performing was Apalatin.  Handy Man determined they must consider themselves a cross between Appalachian and Latin music.  That turned out to be true in word, but not so much in deed.  They were  mostly Latin. Good musicians, but not my favorite genre.  This little guy in front was most entertaining and took that guitar playing quite seriously.

Somehow talk of Appalachia and music will always bring up something about my Mom. I remembered to Handy Man and Gardner E. how much my Mom loved the song, One Toke Over the Line, though she had no idea what it meant.  Gardener E. hadn't heard it, but it gave us lots to talk about over the next week.  The point of this fest seemed to be the desire to bring back this crop to Kentucky as tobacco makes it way out.  Or, perhaps if Kentucky goes the way of Colorado, they hope to already be One Toke Over the Line.
Loved needing a light sweater this morning. Love a sister who buys me new tops.  Love that nothing at Mom's needs sorted this weekend.  Love that a lot of stressful school stuff of the first three weeks is over.
Happy Weekend!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Let's Make a Deal (Umm, an Eeyore Post-Gloomy)

"Hallo, Pooh. Thank you for asking, but I shall be able to use it again in a day or two."
"Use what?" said Pooh.
"What we were talking about."
"I wasn't talking about anything," said Pooh, looking puzzled.
"My mistake again. I thought you were saying how sorry you were about my tail, being all numb, and could you do anything to help?"
"No," said Pooh. "That wasn't me," he said. He thought for a little and then suggested helpfully: "Perhaps it was somebody else."

"Well, thank him for me when you see him."

I just love Eeyore.  His little quips always make me smile and resonate with me somehow.

Sometimes I don't think I've really dealt with my sister's death.  But then I ask myself, "What does dealing with death look like?" I don't know.
We were all thrown head long into the unknown territory of Mom's care and finances and it has taken up all the space in the room that is my mind.
I think the fact that I am not sleeping indicates the whole "not dealing," thing.
She's not here for me to say I am so sorry for how things went.  I know that I didn't have anything to do with it. But still.
I read a lot of books about the brain.  I think somewhere, some how, some one has had to come up with  a way for me to help a struggling child. I have found a lot of great answers, but not so many that I don't keep searching.
Research says the part of the brain that stores negative images is like Velcro and, as you might guess, the part laying up those feel good moments is like Teflon.  No kidding.  It does say some work can at least bring a balance.
Well, that's a challenge when there is hardly a good memory to be mined from those last days with her.
She's on my mind tonight, so perhaps I'm here- dealing.
The last morning I was with her she woke tearing off the oxygen monitor and the oxygen.  I thought it was because the medicine running low was causing some erratic behavior.  Now, I think it was Glenda trying one more thing to get someone's attention.  Over and over someone would come in and she would say, "I can't breathe."  The medical person would say, "Your oxygen stats are good, 98."  She was parting ways with that monitor, and the oxygen in hopes they would see what kind of shape she was in.
She told me on Friday, "I'll be dead by Monday."  She missed it by 7 hours.  She said, "I've seen people die with oxygen stats in the 90's." And now girl, so have I.  When after so very much misery, we discovered the culprit, she said, "They've killed me for no good reason."
I don't think to be affectionate, well, except to wee folk.   I'm a word person.  I wonder how much I hugged her? I can tell you, not enough.
Just before things started the roll downwards, I was there for a long time on  a Saturday.  Ol' Mother Hubbard was there too and told her how beautiful she looked that day and it made her smile big.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry no one would listen.  I've never seen anyone go downhill so fast in my life.
I thought we'd grow old together.

On Thursday, her daughter's husband will be  undergoing a difficult surgery for someone already compromised healthwise.  I know her girl will so be missing her mama's prayers and support.  Maybe you  will be praying for Laurie and Anthony this week in her stead.

Now this boy's joy at so very many things certainly lifts my spirits.

Speaking of quips, Giddy-Up spied marshmallows in the pantry and asked to have some.  His mom said, "Let me put some in a cup."  He said, "Let me just eat the bag wholefull."

Then, whilst we were madly knocking cells out of the wee bee's hive I made a comment about my kids.
Giddy-Up declared, "Gramerly, you don't have any kids!"
I replied with a bit of a tone, "Umm, how do you think you got here?"
Giddy-Up- "I drove a car!"  
Crack up!

Our little Wild Man, into EVERY LAST THING.  This picture was made to create a diversion, after gently prying my camera from his wee hands.

Ahh, life.  Sift the joy, sift the joy, sift the joy.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Just a Day Off

Sunday felt like a day off all day long.  I woke up way early, so headed back to bed mid morning to work on my Bible Study, then have a big nap.  On wake-up two, I took the bunny boys out for some Vitamin D, cleaned the cages then went to work on Strider.  My dog has been sadly neglected by me this summer and needed a serious overhaul.  I bet I worked on him for an hour.  Another hour and he should be restored to his handsome self.  That dude has some fur now.  The chicken yard looked like it was full of wee guinea pigs in addition to chickens.
Last weekend,  I was at the computer and Handy Man was reading close by when right out the window a chicken started caterwauling.  After losing Fancy to a dog a few days before I flew out the back door and Handy Man flew out the front armed with a baseball bat.  Cinderella, the tiny chicken, was marching around pitching a fit.  I saw that a black chicken was in the herb bed (also sadly neglected this summer), but no other chickens. I figured there was something awful afoot, but neither Handy nor I could see a thing.  Cinderella would not give it up.
The black chicken finally came down out of the bed and others started coming out to see what all the fuss was about.  Missy Mouthy was not comforted by her sisters, but continued to strut about the herb bed, making all the noise one so tiny can make. I even brought out some bread crumbs to get her wee mind off her troubles. Didn't work. Hmm, that works for me.

 I kept looking and looking and finally the problem presented itself. Do you see what I see?
 Missy Mam has decided to nest in the herb bed and was plenty pissy that the black hen was checking out her space.
 As soon as the flight path was cleared, off she ran.
 She swooped up to the herb bed and
 settled herself down.
I'm not happy with her nesting outside of Strider's reach, but what can you do. She didn't ask my opinion.
So, back to the dethatching, I sprinkled Strider's fur balls all around the herb bed to worn off critters that might think Cinderella, and her wee eggs are a tasty treat.
I like farm chores. I turned over poo in the palace and cleaned the water dishes, adding a shot of apple cider vinegar to the bowls.
Then I got cleaned up and went to Kohl's with my  30% off coupon.  Poor Handy Man had to work, but afterwards we went to a festival at Locust Grove. More on that later.  It was good to be off.

Friday, August 7, 2015

On Bonding

I have a funny story I want to tell on myself.  Maybe, one day, Mr. Smiley will appreciate it.  With me, it seems no story is simple and thinking about one thing brings a boatload of other memories to mind. So down the rabbit trail I will go.  This train does have a caboose, but it will take a minute.
I took so seriously the scripture that says, "If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask."  My form of asking was grabbing a book on the subject of interest.  Children have ever been a number one interest and I really wanted to be a, well good comes to mind, but more than good, a responsible mom.
 About the time I was starting my family, I begin to hear and read a lot about the importance of bonding.  No more whisking babies away from mama's, papas belonged in the birthing room,  and I began to hear rumbles about not letting your newborn, "cry it out."  La Leche League had taken the world by storm about the time of the Cpt.'s arrival.  Though three sisters had proceeded me in birthing babies, none had nursed.  The books said this was best for bonding, so I did it and am happy about that. I was even one of the first people to buy a beautiful white gown and my friend Baron, a wonderful photographer I worked for, took my picture nursing one twin, while the other was close by. The babies wore their great grandparents Christening gowns.  He did a wonderful job and I would show it here except I don't think the gramerlings or a random student are interested in seeing that part of my anatomy. I have to tell you though, it always rolled around in the back of head about what might happen when that bonding doesn't quite go like you plan.
I know the result of no bonding at all- Reactive Attachment Disorder and that is very scary and sad, but what about other, "this can't be helped or avoided situations?"
Well, my own experiences have answered these questions. Thank God, I had no medical emergencies with my own three, Handy Man was right there, I nursed and simply couldn't handle leaving little people to cry.
But then came my first grandchild.
Bean arrived early whilst the Cpt. was far away, just beginning his military journey in bootcamp.  He learned he was a daddy when he ripped open an envelope during mail call and pictures of an unknown, naked baby fell out- his very own baby as it turned out.  Poor Ceece and Bean barely cleared the door of the nursery, before it was discovered that he brought a horrible bacterial infection home with him from the hospital, that landed us in the NICU for several weeks. Funny I should think of this now as I believe that August 2, is the very day, eleven years ago that  I got that call from Ceece to come get them from our local hospital and take her to the Children's hospital across the river, but maybe it was longer than that.
Likely you know the drill, you go and wait and wait.  Well, I dropped her off, parked and came back to  admissions, but she wasn't there.  I finally found someone to tell me that he had been taken straight to  Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit.  Even now, a lump forms in my throat and my eyes tear.  My first  perfect grandboy. How in the world did we get here? Several times throughout his days there I wondered if the Cpt.'s first time to see his son would be at his funeral.  They would let us update the Cpt.  through Red Cross, if there was a change, but otherwise he had to wait on letters, which I sent most every day.  Let me tell you, I certainly bonded with that boy, leaning over a tiny plastic box, singing softly, praying, reading him his first books.  Between Ceece, her family and me, we never left him.  And, thank God, they figured out what was wrong and he began to recover and was able to come back home.
The Cpt. got a short leave after this and Ceece and Leesh took our boy to meet his Daddy for the first time.

So there you are.
 He didn't get to see the baby again until his return the end of October.  Well, let me tell you that practically from the day of his return, Bean attached himself to his Daddy like Velcro and has remained his biggest fan to this day.
The second grandchild go- round gave us another ticket across the river, but this time immediately after Missy Bugg was born  early.  The Cpt. was present for this experience and he was the one that wouldn't leave her side. He hardly let us near her for the first week. Though he was the one hanging over the tiny plastic box this time, I didn't have a bit of trouble bonding with this little firecracker.

Which brings us to another medical emergency, ten years after Bean- Mr. Smiley.  He aspirated meconium and was in scary shape.  It breaks my heart that all of this was unknown to us.  We didn't know about him at all.
His arrival in our lives was different than what we expected.  We were still grieving over the loss of January.  We knew about her early on and spent many months thinking about her, praying for her and the birth mom, loving her, buying her clothes, preparing for a trip to Florida, watching the Good Lord provide funds through dear friends and family and kind strangers and dreaming of who she would be, before that failed adoption in winter broke our hearts.

This time it was, "We have a boy, come and get him."  And Rae and Michael went.

This week I've been working on his First Year picture book.  I'm a little behind from my Summer of Sorting at Mom's.  This picture book allows some commentary. I mentioned about meeting him soon after we knew he was ours (he was two weeks old) and about our joy on his Adoption Day.  So, I'm getting ready to push the "Buy" button when I have a moment of panic- fast heart beat, rise in blood pressure, etc.  I don't know how your mind works, but I am always surprised how many thoughts can go through my mind in a short time.  I am thinking, "Oh no, I can't buy this yet."  " I haven't talked to Rae-Rae about this."  "What if she isn't going to tell him about his adoption, or wait till he's older, or blah, blah, blah."  Finally, my rational brain began working.  Have you seen my beautiful porcelain complexioned red head?

Have you seen her beautiful boy and his handsome Papa?
 I'm not thinking we're going to get around him knowing that he didn't come to us in the usual way.
The caboose- I guess you might say we've managed this bonding business, even without knowing of the pregnancy or the first two weeks.  I just don't even know how he could feel anymore like mine. I don't even get what loving him more would be. If Rae and Michael were any more ate up with him, we wouldn't be able to stand any of them. I always tell him he gets his appetite from the men in our family and his knotty hair from his adoring Gramerly.  All of them, so very precious, no matter how they come.
I told Rae my silly story. She laughed and replied, "Ha, it's okay."   "We've already told him."
Good to know!
I'm off early this morning to take one birthday girl some special treats Missy Bugg and I prepared.
Happy Birthday Ceece!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

August 4th

Hey Sister of Mine,
I started this blog because of you.  For so long, you were so sick and I just needed someplace to say it once and if folks who loved you wanted to know about you, they could find it here.
It's been awhile since I've talked about you in this space.  But today, on your birthday, I want you to know you are ever on my mind and written on my heart.
It's been a hard summer.  Glenda is with you now and trying to figure out how best to care for Mom in her absence has been fraught with one stumbling block after another for the siblings still here.  I'm afraid the loss of two girls and maybe her home and what she holds dear might be too much, and when I try to go to sleep, I wonder if I'll wake up to find she's gone from here too.  Only God knows.
It's been hard and sweet and hard to go through all these years with her.

I've found you in so many places, pictures, cards and letters you sent Mom, postcards that chronicle your honeymoon trip to California, so many gifts you gave her.  I've relived your life through the memorabilia Mom has kept.
I remember your 60th Birthday Tea.  It was beautiful, so many came, you were so happy, all your people down to the babies in their fancy hats and those cutest  teapot cookies. It was the last birthday party before the big bad events that changed everything.
I miss you.
Your grandkids are getting so big and doing so very good.  That girl of yours works hard every day to make that happen.  I claim them as my own grands, but  I know and they know you were THE grandma.

I have new gramerlings that didn't get to meet you.  You would love them so, just as you did the first five.
Of course, I'm trusting you know joy on this birthday that I'm just left here to imagine.
I love you!