Sunday, November 29, 2015


We got a text on Thursday saying "I am sick I sent you an email", or something like that.  I responded by explaining that we were on out way home from Thanksgiving dinner with Grandma and wouldn't be home for a while.

When we got home, I read the email.  I am paraphrasing here, it said something to the order of "I am really sick, my head is killing me,my urine is dark orange, I am scared"   

Then we got scared.  We changed out of our nice Thanksgiving clothes into something more practical.   I packed up my laptop computer and my c-pap and a few changes of underwear.  I wanted to be prepared for anything.

Austin was really sick. We got him to the hospital Thursday and he was admitted.  Nick went back to Reston, two and a half hours away.  I stayed here.

I have been sleeping in a recliner near Austin's bed for the last three nights, and for at least one more. 

There have been tests and more tests.  Vials of blood have been drawn.   With Austin's yellow skin, we thought it was hepatitis.  The rash that came and went baffled everyone.  Blood work suggested CMV  cytomegalovirus, a virus  similar to mono.  This explains the jaundice:  Liver complications. CMV can cause abnormal functioning of your liver and an unexplained fever.

Apparently, mono, now called Epstein Barr I was sick with "mono" when I was 16, and I was really sick as a dog.  I was hospitalized for about a week.  So I can sympathize with Austin.

My son is an adult.  All four of my sons are adults.  But all of them have been remarkably healthy.   They don't know the lingo and how to navigate the medical system.   I have had (too much) experience, and try to ask the right questions and keep track of what is being done and said.

He will get better.  He will be alright.  But I am sure glad I was able to be here and mother my adult son when he needed it.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Another tree picture

This is a view of the backyard red maple, take from inside.   I just love how the trees not only beautify the outdoors, but how they can bring the beauty inside, by viewing them through a window.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Just Trees

My mind is all over the place.  Tragic terrorism in Paris.  Shorter days everywhere in the Northern Hemispheres.  Money.  Bills.  Dental work.  And, what's for dinner.

And so, my answer to all of that is not an answer at all.   I am just going to post some pictures of trees.

In a recent blog post I shared some pictures of a very tall tree in our back yard that was going through it's autumn molt.  It is done now and here is the picture to show it.

Next I am going to share two trees that amaze and baffle me every year.  Both of these trees came from my in-law's yard as seedlings.  As far as I know, they came from the same tree.  One of them is in our front yard, the other in our back yard.   I cannot believe how differently colored their leaves are

This picture was taken November 3, 2015 in the front yard

This picture was taken November 18, 2015 in the back yard

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Did my get up and go just get up and leave?

Last week I was in Charleston, South Carolina with a group of 64 women, all about my age or older.  We were on the go almost constantly.  I was busy, energized and had no trouble falling asleep at night.  I met many of the women for the first time, but we all had La Leche League in common.

Now that I  am home,  I don't feel like doing much of anything.  Why is that?  Am I worn out by all the activity, or do I just feel that I am in a rut when I am home?

Over the years, I have learned a lot about myself.  I took a Myers/ Briggs class once and I learned that, while I am a very strong extrovert, I have five children, all of whom are to some extent, introverts.  As is my husband.  Learning that was revealing to me because I learned that everyone has their own comfort level and their own "normal".  I learned that being introverted by nature does not mean you are depressed.  It does not mean you are shy and you just need to come out of your shell, or grow out of it.

I also learned what I probably instinctively knew;  I get energized by being around people.  I love talking and sharing my stories and laughing with friends both old and new.

I have also learned (most of the time anyway, I hope) that I don't always have to talk.  To share.  Not to compare my experience with another person's experience.  I try not to sound like I am trying to "one up" the other person.

I have learned more about empathy.  I think I have always had empathy.  But I have not always allowed myself to slow down enough to hear the other person and what they have to say.   Some years ago a friend pointed out to me that I tend to interrupt and talk over people.  I really try to hold myself back now.  Except, of course, I do talk over my husband- he sometimes just takes too long (in my opinion) to get a thought out.   He is patient with me (most of the time).

Right now I am experiencing what we in LLL often refer to as "post parting depression".   The feelings of sadness when you go home after an energizing event.  Returning to "normal" after being so energized and charged up by being with energetic, like minded people.

I guess my get up and go didn't go anywhere.  It's just resting for now. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

My cousin Pat (Patricia)

As a kid, I always knew Pat as "Patsy".  She was one of my Uncle Ralph's three daughters.  I am sorry to say I am not even sure if she was the eldest or the second eldest daughter.

The five Thompsen/ Thompson brothers had, all together. 14 children.  There were 14 of us cousins until the death of my brother, Dale Alan Thompsen, in 2001.  Then there were 13.

Now, Patsy has died and there are 12 of us.   We are all getting to be the oldest generation but for two aunts (who married two Thompsen brothers).

Here is a picture of most of the Thompsen cousins, minus Dale and our cousin Molli Thompsen Gibbs-Harris, who lives in New Zealand and was not able to make it to the reunion.

The picture was taken in August 2006 in McMinneville, Oregon.

Pat is in a white shirt with the sun shining down on her.   Another link to our childhood and family is lost.

L-to R Front row Susan, John, Holly, Elden, second row, Jim, Nancy, Pat, back row, Elinor, Cassie, Carol, Colleen and Carl

Monday, November 9, 2015

Home again? Not yet

I have spent a wonderful 5 days with women in the La Leche League Alumni, in Charleston , South Carolina.

I have been a member of the alumni association for quite a while now, but have never been on one of their trips before.  I can honestly say that it has been worth it.  I am re-charged and re-energized. I met many women I had not met before.  Resumed old friendships.  Shared stories about our children and our lives.  Ate great food and saw this city.

There is so much more I could say, but I am tired,  I was scheduled to fly home this evening, but my flight was cancelled due to bad weather.  I am spending the night at a hotel near the airport and am booked on a morning flight that should have me home by noon.

This is a group of members of the email list we have shared for almost 20 years.  We call ourselves "Power Surge", PS for short.  We have shared many confidences and feel like we are sisters.  I am glad that some of us were able to get together this week!

This is most of the Alumni Group that was together.  Picture taken at Fort Sumter

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Autumn Leaves

 I have been taking pictures of the same tree behind our house several days apart. 

The changes in the color are subtle, but noticeable.   

The leaves turn a lighter color and thin out