Sunday, September 30, 2018

Changes and transitions

We are moving forward and working on renovating the kitchen and master bathroom in our house in Reston.  The theory (hope) is that updating those rooms will help sell the house.      I think it's a fine house already, but it was a new house when we bought it in 1983, so I still think of it as our new house.

Big difference!     I am sure it will be beautiful.  There will be all stainless steel appliances, which of course will be out of date one of these days.     It makes me a little sad to see my house being torn apart like this.  On the other hand, it makes it seem less and less like my house and home.     

I suppose that if we stayed in  that house we would have made some renovations.  But I am pretty sure they would not be like what's being done now.

We did consult with the contractor and of course signed off on the designs.   It;s a weird process, selling your home.  Selling the place that we have owned all of these years.  

Since I never had a place that felt like a real "home" to go to, it was really important to me that the kids have a home base.  That wherever in the world we were living, they knew where home was.   

Now that they have all moved out and are on their own, we are moving on.  I wonder how each of them feel about having the house they have always known leave the family.   I hope another family will live and love there.

The other day, I wrote on Facebook that I am feeling very mortal.  Some folks were concerned.   I just meant, I am feeling fallible and fragile.   I am recovering from my third bladder infection in a very short time.   I am on antibiotics, and when they are done I have to go back for more tests and perhaps visit a urologist.   

I am getting over a nasty cold.  My knees still hurt.  And I get hives pretty much every day.   I take Benedryl , which helps.  Otherwise I would be tearing my skin off.  I am scratched up anyway, from the itching.  I don't know why I get hives.  I think it could be a residual effect from the IV antibiotics I was on after my post brain surgery skull infection.

My sister's dog Mickey died last week.   he had been a lively, energetic dog,  I have heard the description "a small dog in a big body"  That's Mickey.   Of course Carol, my sister is devastated.  She says that the house feels empty without him there.  He was impossible to ignore for sure.

All of the Sherwood kids are together on the west coast right now.  Courtney, Morgan and Darcy live out there.  Austin and Chance flew out together on Saturday and return next week.    Austin is looming at various options that will allow him to move and live in Oregon.   I hope he finds something he likes. 

Meanwhile, we are cat sitting Austin's cat. 

I have five amazing, complicated, independent grown children.   I wish I had been more.  Done more.  Given more.   But whatever it is that we did, they are all amazing.

It drives me crazy when moms are told not to allow their babies to get too attached or they will never become independent.  All of my kids were attached to me for the first couple of years of their lives.   Well, at least I don't regret being an attachment parent.

Not much planned for the week aside from my usual LLL stuff.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Changing but recognizable

Courtney, my first born, just got a hair cut and color after years of having red and blue and purple hair.  She posted a picture of her new hair cut on Facebook, and I was startled to see what a resemblance she has to the Norwegian part of the family. 

I think she looks a lot like my father's mother, my Grandma Thompsen.  She also looks a lot like my cousin Colleen and Colleen's daughter, Kate, both of whom look a lot like my (our) grandmother.

Courtney's new hair cut and color.  September 2018

My cousin Colleen and her daughter Kate at Courtney's house in Portland July 2018

Courtney on her front porch July 22, 2018

My grandparents, two uncles and my dad as a baby ca 1918
It's hard to see any real detail, but Courtney looks a lot like my grandmother in this picture.  It's those high Norwegian cheek bones.

And then there's Courtney, my baby 1978

Business Courtney 2011 (I love her hair in this picture!)

And Star Trek Courtney 2013

Monday, September 17, 2018

It's the damn knees again

Went to the orthopedist today and learned what I already knew.  I need new knees.  I need to lose about 50 lb. I know I can do it, but it is so slow and hard to do.      So, this is my current obsession.  Pain and weight loss.  I got a knee brace today which helps with walking.   I know that part of why this is such a big deal is that I didn't have to get this big.  What in the world happened?   I guess denial about my weight and now it's coming back to hurt me big time.

At least I have low blood pressure and a healthy heart!

Before going to the orthopedist, we went to our house in Reston.  we met there with our realtor and talked about all the other houses on the market in our area and how our house compares with those houses and all the things we can/ should do do make our house more up to date and hence more salable.

I guess that's the way these things work.  My mother in law said , when getting her house ready to go on the market, everything gets fixed up so you can leave it to someone else.

we bought a new stainless steel fridge for the house.  It looks huge to me, but it really doesn't stick out any more than the old one. 
Before new fridge

With new fridge

It rained really hard today.   I suspect it was some of the effect of Hurricane Florence.   On the news this evening, I saw that three tornadoes touched down in Richmond.  I texted Austin and Chance, who both live in Richmond and learned that they had been hanging out at Austin's place and were safe.  They were without power for a while, but last I heard it was back on.

I am having a hard time writing because I have such a hard time getting comfortable.  It's because of my knees.        

Last week I called my Aunt Joanne.  My Uncle Norman died a few months ago- Joanne's husband.  I keep telling myself that I need to call Aunt Joanne, and I finally did!   Well, surprise surprise, today she called me back.   She is so sweet, and I know that she misses Uncle Norman.   
Aunt Joanne has had both knees and both hips replaced. Talking to get was encouraging!

Okay, I am making big yawns which is my body telling me to go to bed!


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Thinking about stuff

Feeling very self centered lately.   With good cause I guess.  Not being sure what's going to happen when I stand up makes me do a lot of contemplating.

After her stroke, my mom lost a lot of her ability to do the physical things she had always taken for granted.  She told me once that when she is sitting in her recliner, in her head she is a 14 year old.  Then she tries to move and she cannot.

I heard her say that, but I don't know if I really "heard" her.  She was saying that she had lost control of so many aspects of her life.

I have not had a stroke, so I know that's not why I am feeling so limited now.  But, at the moment I am disabled.  My gait is stiff and unsure.  When I stand up I am afraid I will lose my balance because of the pain I have in my knees.

I haven't really been feeling "oh woe is me".   Just frustrated and maybe a little humiliated/ embarrassed. 

Like my mom, I feel like everything is fine.  Then it's not.

There are boxes still in the garage that we have moved over.  Nick has dealt with much of the stuff.   So what's left is almost all mine.

I have boxes of yarn and fabric and patterns and sewing notions.   I have books and scrapbooks/   If I were able, I would have moved them at least into the house and out of the garage.   This is the kind of things that my kids could have helped us with when we were moving in.  I know we could have probably hired someone.  But this is the kind of stuff that friends and neighbors and mainly, family helps with.

I know that when you give to your children we shouldn't try to make them feel guilty.  We don't remind them of all the times we have moved them.  Come to their assistance.  Nick has driven all over the place for the kids- to Columbus, Ohio, to Annapolis and to Richmond.  It;s what we do.

I am going to weight watchers in the hopes of getting enough weight off so my knees feel better and ultimately so I can have knee replacement surgery.

I hate pain.  My knees don't hurt, or hurt too badly when I am sitting down.  But even that can be a challenge because the backs of my legs start to hurt.

Tomorrow I am hoping to get to church.  A new church for us.  There's a Unitarian church not too far away.

Monday I go see my orthopedist and see what can be done to help me get through this and start feeling better.

Meanwhile, I need to renew my temporary handicap window tag

In other news, we bought a new refrigerator for our house in Reston.  The biggest complaint folks have about that house is that it is outdated.  We neutralized and depersonalized the house as much as possible.  Problem is, not it is so impersonal I think it probably feels too cold to prospective buyers.

So here's my kitchen before new fridge and after new fridge:

Saturday, September 8, 2018

September 2018

Schools started here in Virginia a few weeks ago.  By now I guess that they have started all over the US.

It was so sweet to see "my babies" in their first day of school photos.  No, not my babies that I gave birth to.  All of the babies I have met through La Leche League and other breastfeeding support.  I feel attached to them all!   So many of the moms who have come to LLL meetings, and even more who have come to the weekly breastfeeding cafe' that I have held almost every week, for eight years or so.    And so many of them were first babies- it's easier to negotiate a coffee shop with one little baby than with a toddler and a baby.   So, I not only get to follow these former babies, I get to see pictures of the younger siblings. 

It takes me back to the first La Leche League Group that I started and led all alone in 1981, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Only two moms, with their kids, came to that first meeting.  Then more and more moms came.   We had an international group.  Moms with the American Consulate, a Canadian mom.  A couple of missionary women who were married to hill tribes men.  A Swiss midwife and her new baby.  A mom who had premature twins.   I went back to Chiang Mai in 1997 and saw so many of those moms and their kids.   The missionary families stay in place for a long time while doing their missionary work.

Most of the moms from then are grandmothers now.  Thanks to Facebook, I have reconnected with many of "my" moms from back then and also from more recently.  Even when folks move away it is easy to stay in touch.   

We are sort of settling into our new house.  We still don't have much furniture because it is still being used to "stage" our house in Reston in the hopes of selling it. 

So now I have a longer drive to get to the Tuesday Starbucks LLL group, but I keep on going!

I thought I had a lot to write about, but I guess I am too tired.

Maybe next time.  Good night.