Monday, November 12, 2018

I did a thing!

Nothing all that exciting really.  There are four bedrooms in the upstairs of our new house.  Three of the rooms don't have any lamps.  Well, didn't.  I took lamps upstairs and figured out which outlet goes with the wall switch.  And now when you enter a bedroom you can flip the light switch and there's light!

Not a big deal I know.  But my knees are not happy today, so I have been feeling a bit crippled and disabled.  It's nice to be able to do things, no matter how small.

Let there be light!

Sunday, November 11, 2018


What do I know about assumptions and what I know.  Specifically I was thinking about my now grown children.    I think of Kahlil Gibran and his poem about children.  He says that our children are not our children "and though they come through but not from you"

All of our children came through me.  Through my body.  But they were free spirits from the time they realized they were alive.  Does a fetus know it's alive?  That's a discussion for another day.

The point is, for me, that our children don't belong to us.  They are who they are. We are their guardians and their protectors.  But not their owners.

My first born has not lived under the same roof as me for almost 20 years.  I think of her as an infant, totally dependent on me.  A toddler who was both adorable and drove me crazy at the same time.

This is true of all five of them.   Yes, I am their mother.  Nick is their father.  We are all linked.   But, beyond the first time they got onto the school bus, who are they now?

They have had their own personal world that I couldn't be a part of, starting when?  Maybe the first time they got on the school bus.   Maybe nursery school?   Maybe when they weaned?  Maybe when they left our family bed and started to sleep on their own?

My children all have friends, homes, likes and dislikes.  And I don't know all of this.  I don't know what their memories of their childhoods is. And I suspect that they all have different memories from one another.

But the bond is there.  I love them unconditionally even though I don't know what their day to day is.  It doesn't include me.  And it shouldn't.

My kids grew up with grandparents.  Some they knew better than others.  My older kids knew my mother as an active, fun person who took them bike riding and to the movies, and even to the beach.

My younger kids didn't grow up with that grandmother.  They grew up with a grandma who was disabled by a stroke.  They knew a woman who was on oxygen all the time.  A grandmother mostly confined to her electric recliner, or a wheel chair.

My mother was 52 when Courtney was born.  She was 64 when Chance was born.  And in that amount of time my mother was a different person.   My kids all loved her.  But what did they really know?

I didn't even know my mother.  Not completely.   I heard her stories of living on the farm and some of her antics.  When visiting her younger brother a few years ago, I learned that in high school, my mom had the nick name of "torchy" because she was so hot!    There's so much I don't know.

My father was an elusive, troubled person.  He would never, ever talk about his childhood or his father.   I don't know why.  I have my suspicions that my dad was treated cruelly by his own dad.

My kids knew their Sherwood grandparents better than they knew my parents.  They were both 60 when Courtney, my first, was born.   They were very gentle with the kids.  By that I mean, they would read to them and talk to them and learn what the kids had to say.

We keep learning new things about them too.   A few years ago we learned that my mother in law had interviewed Amelia Earhart when still in high school!

I think that at least some of this is stirred up by Veteran's Day. So so many  men, mostly.  And those who are still living look so absolutely different than they did.  How can an old man be a 18 year old soldier?   How can my first baby be 40?

Bed time for this tired mom.

Monday, November 5, 2018


Driving on a country road near my home today I was taken in by the beauty of the colors on the trees.      My photos cannot do justice to the brilliant colors.'

I think that the colors of nature, especially fall colors are as close to religious as I can be.  Breathtaking

Friday, October 19, 2018

Two steps forward....

I have written ad nauseum  about my painful knees.   I'm not sure what took me so long, but I am really trying to take matters in my own hands (I'm full of cliches today).

I have known for years that I need to lose weight.  I keep putting off.  I guess it's some sort of denial.  Then, when my knees started to get really bad, I knew I really had to do something.  But I still didn't

When I was at my orthopedist about a month ago he told me that he has gone as far as he can in my treatment.  The only real option is knee surgery.  yes, I knew that.   have made promises to myself.   "I'll start dieting on Monday"  Haven't we all done that?

I'm not sure if I have been afraid to actually lose the weight, or if it's the fear of failing.  After all, I didn't get to be more than 100 pounds overweight by feeling like a great success!

So, I joined Weight Watchers about 6 weeks ago.     It's slow going for sure, but I have actually seen some changed in my behavior.   Last night I went to dinner with a friend.  My order came with a side of fries.  I love fries.  But  last night I wasn't really even tempted.  "Normally" I would have eaten the whole order of fries.  Last night I shared them with my friend and her daughter. I only ate a few.  I didn't feel deprived!  I have lost about 15 pounds .  I have a lot more to go, but I a glad I am finally doing this.

I also thought about doing physical therapy.  I figured, my knees hurt so much, what have I got to lose. (that's not a rhetorical question)    I looked online and found a promising physical therapy place. I went for an evaluation and started right away.   I wasn't sure if I needed a doctor's order.  Apparently not.  After the first session, my muscles were sore.  After the second session, I noticed that my knees started to crack.   I decided that the cracking was a good sign.  I think that the increase in motion in my knees is why they are cracking.

Today was my third session of physical therapy.   I am feeling so much better!   My range of motion has improved.  I can walk better and have way less pain than before. 

No, I am not 100% pain free and I know that there will be some moments that are better than others.

So, at least for this minute, I am feeling pretty good!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Wow, just wow

HJ512: Commending Nancy Ruth Sherwood.

Commending Nancy Ruth Sherwood.

Agreed to by the House of Delegates, March 7, 2018
Agreed to by the Senate, March 9, 2018

WHEREAS, for more than 35 years, Nancy Ruth Sherwood of Fairfax County has helped new and expecting mothers in the Commonwealth and around the world learn about breastfeeding as a La Leche League Leader; and
WHEREAS, La Leche League International was founded in 1956 by a group of mothers hoping to provide breastfeeding help and support to interested women; a mother of five children, Nancy Sherwood became a La Leche League Leader in 1979 and a lactation consultant in 1993; and
WHEREAS, Nancy Sherwood has led hundreds of free, monthly La Leche League meetings, answered thousands of phone calls, and hosted a weekly breastfeeding cafe for the Reston and Herndon communities; and
WHEREAS, Nancy Sherwood has used social media, especially Facebook, to reach thousands of families with her informative, compassionate, and humorous posts, and she has inspired and sponsored other women to become La Leche League Leaders; and
WHEREAS, thousands of women have benefited from Nancy Sherwood’s expertise and support, and she has fostered a sense of community by building strong relationships with mothers, their children, and their partners; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly hereby commend Nancy Ruth Sherwood for her work with new and expecting mothers as a La Leche League Leader; and, be it
RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to Nancy Ruth Sherwood as an expression of the General Assembly’s admiration for her commitment to serving mothers and babies in the Commonwealth and throughout the world.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Life with myself

Today I had my second physical therapy session.  It's a lot of work and takes a long time. Now I am sore.  After the first session I was really really sore!  But, also after that first session the swelling in my left food has improved a lot.   Wearing nasty support hose helped too.

It's been a weird week.  Nick and I went to Reston last Thursday to supervise the packing of our household effects (Foreign Service talking) 

Friday, Nick went to Reston to be there while the movers put all of our furniture and "stuff" onto the truck.   After the truck was full, after their lunch break, the truck full of our things came here to Aldie.

I couldn't believe how long it took for them to unload everything.  They were here until dark! 

It is so different when you are doing all of the arranging and paying than it is when the State Department is paying.   Of course, whenever we were going overseas our things were sorted into air freight, sea freight and storage.  It usually works pretty well.  You get to your new home and shortly your air freight arrives. the basics.  Enough dishes and pots and pans to get by.  Sheets and towels and a small amount of clothes.  Then after a couple of months you learn that your sea freight has arrived.  And you look around and wonder "what did we ship?".  We have been doing just fine with what we have, and now there's another couple of thousands of pounds of household effects.  And then you reverse the project in a couple of years and either go to another posting, or back home. 

We have lived in the new house since July and have been doing alright.   Okay, living in a six bedroom house with one bed.  But for the  two of us that's enough.  And sitting on the love seat with Buddy and Nick sitting in an office/ desk chair while we watch TV.

It.s as if we have been living on our air freight. but now that we have all of our things, it feels good.   There's still unpacking to do, but there's no hurry.  And this time there are no kids running around and trying to help.

We're still sleeping in the downstairs master bedroom.   That's where we have been sleeping since July.  And with my crummy knees, it works.  But I am sure we will be moving upstairs soon.


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