Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Rainbows make me smile!

I had all these grand plans for when Nick was away and I could run the house the way *I* want to.  Well, I haven't done anything much.  Nothing in the way of making changes to the house or whatever.  In fact, I have been just doing normal stuff.   Reading email.  Writing email.   Playing Candy Crush- a real time waster.   Sort of blue and blah I guess.

I like the days that are cool and I am okay with bright or overcast.  I do not like extreme heat and like it even less what the humidity is high.  Today it got up to 90° and was very oppressively humid.   I ran out to get the books that we sell to the UPS place (they all went UPS this week), dropped into Micheal's and got some string to put my wind chime back together and came home.  That was enough being outside.  I guess taking the dog out counts as outside too.  Right?  I really poured down rain this afternoon.

This evening, my sister is babysitting her granddaughters.   She called me and asked if I wanted to meet them for dinner at Olive Garden.  Great idea!  On the way there I head on the radio that there was rain being dumped on Dulles airport.  Within a minute, it was raining on me.  By the time I got to the restaurant, the rain had stopped, the temperature had dropped about 20° and the sun was shining.  And, there was this beautiful, double rainbow.   Oh.  Makes you just want to stare and ohh and ahh over it.  It has been ages since I have seen a rainbow.  What a great mood lifter.

A strange thing happened last evening.  Austin and I were watching Jeopardy when I heard the garage door open.  Austin went to look, and sure enough, one of the doors was open.  Not the side I park on.   We closed it and disconnected it and locked it.  We decided to lock the all the doors in the house from now on too.  

So today, when I was going out, I hit the garage door switch on the wall, on my side, and it opened just find.  But I could not get it to close on my side with the remote.  I turned off the car and tried the key pad and it didn't work either.  I was holding the my remote in my hand, and I clicked it.  I could hear Nick's garage door motor making noise.  We had a short brown out yesterday and I am thinking that the two garage doors must have shorted out or something.  I will call someone to fix it tomorrow.

I saw a rainbow today and now I am happy!

Friday, May 22, 2015

trying to figure out how to be a digital photographer

I actually do know how to be a digital photographer .  And I have always been able to figure out how to get pictures from the camera into the computer, and then into print if I wish.

I will learn how to load pictures from my "smart" phone into a format where I can look and edit the pictures in ways that are turned into art work.

I feel like it might be like going into a house with all gas lighting and gas lamps.  Your host asks you to turn on the light (or whatever was the appropriate term).  We, you are from the 21st century,So you go and look for a switch or at least a string to pull.  You push and turn every nail and screw, certain that the next one will somehow make light.  In a lantern. Our hosts and his guests look on amused and sad that such seemingly smart person should have such a difficult experience of switching on a gas lantern.

Hey, over here.  Look at me.  Now tell me what century it is.  An awful lot of changes in a relatively short time can get quiet confusing and may even cause embarrassment and anger.   But, alas, no dueling in my story.  Not for now.

Today I went to the garden to  make sure everything everything was watered and groomed (watered).  I did some weeding and some watering.

I am just going to put a bunch of pictures here.  Pictures I took today.  Okay, I am falling asleep at the desk.  I will get back on with this tomorrow after I get some rest

By the way, if you click on the pictures you will make them bigger.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hello blog, my old friend

I look and see that it has been more than a week since I last wrote here and I feel like I am in confession.  Forgive me...  And I am not even Catholic!

I've been busy not doing a whole lot of anything.   Nick is overseas and I am here with Austin.  We each keep ourselves amused and say "hi" in passing.  We have had dinner together a few times (Austin and I) and that's been really nice!

We had a couple of really hot days this week, and then yesterday and today were nice and cool.  Rainy today.   The next few days are supposed to be nice.  Not too hot, not too cold.

Chance was home last weekend.  He was not feel well, and when he went back to Richmond, he went and got a prescription for antibiotics.  Then Austin got sick, but he is recovering well.  Except for the residual cough and sniffles.

Today I went to see the surgeon who removed my thyroid (more on that later).  When they took my vitals, my temperature was over 99°.  Not terribly high, but high for me.  When I get my temperature  taken at the doctor's office, it is usually about 97°.   When I go home I looked in the mirror and saw that my face is all red.  Flushed.  I do have a fever of about 99.9°.   Oh well, I'll survive.

Anyway, the doctor said all in all I am looking pretty good.  My scar is healing nicely.  I don't even mind having a scar.  Do you lose some vanity as you get older?   Or is it just the acceptance of imperfections in ways I couldn't when I was younger?  Whatever it is, I am okay with it all.

My sister drove me to the doctor- in D.C.  We made it without getting lost once.  Even so it took over a hour to get there.   We enjoy each other's company, so it was alright.  

On the way home we stopped an had dinner.  That was about 3 hours ago.  Now I am hungry again!

We also stopped (before dinner) at Arlington National Cemetery.  It is Memorial Day weekend, and there were soldiers placing flags on all of the graves.   It was impressive and solemn.  I went to our father's "niche"- that's what the places where the cremated remains are placed.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

And the seasons, they go 'round and 'round ....

That is a line from one of my favorite songs, by Joni Mitchell.  It is "the circle game" .  

I started to write what the song is about, but I decided that's not exactly the point.  I am not trying to write about a song, but about a sentiment.  An observation.   Life.

I often find it difficult to believe that this house held five growing children.  That seven of us sat down to dinner every night.  And that we often had the kids' friends over too.  So even 10 was not an unusual number of people sitting around the kitchen table.  Or, the dining room if we were too big a crowd.

Austin had a group of friends over tonight to watch the Capitals game (we lost).   Nick and I stayed upstairs, out of the way.  It was such a memory mind bend.  All of these young men are in their 20s  Mid to late 20s.  And I think of them as "boys" and "kids".  I have known them since they were young teens.

Did we really used to have so much energy and fun and commotion going on here?   These are guys that I think Austin and Chance knew mainly from high school robotics.   Darcy's robotics friends are all in their 30s now.  I think.

I remember Morgan having friends who he played street hockey with.  And he had sleep-overs. And as a teen, Morgan (and maybe his brothers) turned a section of the basement into the "comfort zone" complete with a found sofa and some of our old drapes.   They had "sound parties" and made their own kind of music.  Morgan still makes his own sort of interesting music.   And now he plays unicycle polo.

When Courtney's friends came over, they made a different kind of noise.  A lot of squealing and laughing.  I know that I brought my kids up to be feminists.  But, they did develop boy/ girl behaviors.  Not bad, just interesting.   Also interesting is how many of the friends the kids made as young teens have remained their good friends.  Over the years and over the miles.

And they, Courtney and Morgan, live thousands of miles away.  They have all moved away, if not physically, as adults.  They are not kids.  They don't fight with each other, or climb into my lap. Any more.

I think that is the whole circle game thing.  Seasons of life.  Time passes.  We age and change and learn and grow.  But through it all, we are still who we are.

I am 61.  Holey moley, how did that happen? 

The other day I was looking at a mother and her young daughter.  The little girl was about three years old.  And I had a sudden rush of a memory.  I cannot place it, but I can feel it.  The memory is of Courtney, at about three, sitting in my lap.  Some of her hair pulled back into a pony tail.  And I could smell the sweet smell of her hair.  And feel the soft tickle of her hair falling into my face.

It probably sounds strange, but I still know my children's scents.  I can still remember the musky sweet newborn smell of Morgan's head, shortly after he was born.   He and I hummed together.  I held his soft, downy head against my cheek and hummed.  And he made humming cooing sounds back.

Parenting in the early days, months, years, is very sensual.  Holding.  Bathing.  Diapering.  Co-sleeping.  Almost constant contact at first.  It is just so right.  Exhausting at times.  Sometimes too much so.  But, ultimately, right.

Sometimes I get sad.  Melancholy.   I miss the kids.  They are all adults now.  Their "need" for me now is not the same.  It is not so immediate and intense.  We go days and weeks without talking.  I could not have imagined the distance of time and place when they were small.  We had a very symbiotic relationship.  They needed me, and I needed them.  Breastfeeding saw to that.

I think that our closeness when they were small has a lot to do with how independent they all are.  So strong and such neat people they all are.  How did I get so lucky?

Thank you Nick.  We did good. 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

all things seem to be connected

I wrote a post the other day about what does "enough" mean.  Then, a few minutes ago I came across this on Facebook:

Monday, May 4, 2015

It's my birthday and I am 61!

Bleeding Heart Plant in the side yard
This picture is called "Young Nick and Nancy"


This is me behind a redbud tree.  It's my 61st birthday present from my husband   

 He was probably about 22.  Younger than any of our kids are now. 
This is Nick before we knew we would fall in love and get married and raise five kids!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

When is enough too much?

I feel like I am sort of slow some days.  I mean mentally.  I always do this.  I over do.  How?  Am I stupid?   Or just hoping that life is somehow different and better.

I used to tell people that I was like a gerbil.  They are little, mouse-like rodents.  The one big difference is, they have tons of energy and they can run and run and run.  Then, plop.  They drop down into a deep sleep.  The first time I observed this, I thought the poor little thing had died of a heart attack!

I seem to always attract interesting medical challenges (for lack of a better word).  Appendicitis at age 13.   All of the other things I won't go into right now (maybe later).

But, after the problem is taken care of, I tend to feel so much better that I end up doing too much and falling over, like a gerbil.

Last year I found out I had a brain tumor.  I didn't feel very good.  Especially knowing that there was something in my head that shouldn't be there. Leading up to the surgery I faded a lot.  Not like I was going to die, but like I was really tired and needed to rest.

Once I had recovered enough, I got back on that wheel and started running.   I was doing more LLL stuff. Taking lactation clients.   Running around (no not literally)

And I have had this goiter for at least 20 years.  It was diagnosed in 1995.   I have taken different medications, worked out at the gym.  Tried to eat better. But the goiter was taking over.  It was stealing some of my vitality and my ability to be the hyper mom I used to be.  I know, I am almost 61, But I should have more energy .  Almost as soon as the got removed, I could feel the energy seeping info my brain and allowing me to feel more human.  
This is what was removed from my neck!

But, what I want and what I can do, at least now, is, do more.  The last few days I did some extra things.  Made two lactation calls this week.  I organized  a Breastfeeding Cafe' about 5 years ago,  I will sit and listen to moms share their challenges and joys.  I am there  to help them find answer questions.

I was going to do a lactation call today.  I really did.  But I work up at around  3:00 AM (middle of the night) with a sore back and painful ankle.  And a sore throat.  So I didn't go.  I am still in my pajamas at 1:15 PM.  I keep falling asleep at the keyboard.

I guess that this week I have done too much!