Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day Parade, Camden, Maine May 29,2023

End of the Parade

View from the place we stopped for coffee

The pictures I took from the coffee place were taken from the building on the right with white window frames

Zack's Shack 
where I got a lobster roll without the roll!


Saturday, May 27, 2023

Maine is so beautiful

 I've been here for almost a week and I cannot believe that this is the first time I have blogged anything.

I flew into Portland, Maine I stopped into a coffee shop for lunch and then I went to the shop for the Magazine Taproot.

On the way here- driving from the airport to Austin's house I passed this place with a big lobster on the roof.

I got here on May 21st and Austing left here on the 23rd.   He's at SOAK, in Oregon 

SOAK is a regional Burning Man  event.

Austin and I did some running around and eating out and shopping before he left.

The day Austin left involved driving all the way to Portland (Maine) and back.   The next day I just stayed in my pajamas because I was worn out.

I booked an outing on a harbor boat tour that I took on Thursday.    It was so beautiful and I took some great pictures.

After the boat ride I went to a yarn shop called the Cashmere Goat and bought some yarn,

Austin has the great neighbors, Sylvia and Jim.  Yesterday Sylvia and I went to lunch with Sylvia.  We had such a great time!  I really do like her a lot.

So far I have been sitting watching Netflix all day.  Can't decide if I am going to go out and do stuff or not .   I wish I could remember how the garbage collecting works here.  When Nick and I were here last year we made a couple of trips to the dump and recycling places.   Well, whatever happens happens.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

It's always hard to lose a friend

 Sad news: Johanna Meyer Horton a long time LLL Leader and friend and mentor to so many of us has died. She passed away on May 13, 2023 All of us who were lucky enough to know her can attest to her wisdom and grace. She will be sorely missed


Sunday, May 14, 2023

Power Surge


I wrote this a few years ago:

When I went to my first La Leche League meeting with my four-month-old, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was given the blue copy of the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding when I was pregnant.   I devoured the book.  I felt at home with everything I read.  The friend who gave the book to me told me that if I didn’t have any bottles in the house, I would not be tempted to use them.

My daughter was born in Bangkok, where we were posted to the US Embassy.  I really didn’t have anyone to talk to about breastfeeding.  There were no La leche League Groups there at that time.

As soon as I went into that first meeting I knew I was “home”.    Seeing babies with teeth and shoes who were still nursing was new to me, but I learned about all the various ways we mother our babies.

I started to work on becoming a LLL Leader as soon as I was able to.  In fact, I received my Leader card in the mail at my in-law’s house as we were about to leave for another overseas posting.

I never knew back then that I would “still” be in La Leche League.   But here I am.  Over forty years later I am still an active Leader.

We lived in Poland under communism, and I was not permitted to form a group or hold any kind of meetings.  In fact, while we were there it was even illegal to have a printing press.   So I did my work by correspondence with La Leche League International.  I got my husband’s Polish secretary to help translate basic breastfeeding information into Polish.  I then mailed  the Polish language information to LLLI in, Illinois.  My understand is that most of the requests for the Polish language breastfeeding information were ordered by Polish Americans and they mailed it back to Poland.

I have many more overseas La Leche League tales to tell.  But now I want to write about the wonderful group that grew out of being a La Leche League Leader.

In 1996 we were just starting to write, send and receive email.  My family and I were again overseas.  This time in Western Australia.   I was active with a LLL Group there, but was missing my friends back home.  Plus, as much as I love working with mothers and babies, I was entering a new stage of parenting.  Teens.  Kids leaving home.  Aging parents.  And hot flashes!

There was an online email listserv for La Leche League Leaders.  It was so good to connect.  But several of us were in the same boat.  We didn’t need support with potty training or night nursing.

Norma Ritter started a group just for “us”.  We decided on the name “Power Surge”, or PS.  We capped membership at a little over 40 members.

In the last 20+ years we have remained a cohesive group.   We have been though some members becoming widows, losing parents, losing children and grandchildren.  A few of the members of this group have died as well.   

The first time a large number of actually met in person was at the La leche League International Conference in Washington, DC in 1997.  I have pictures and memories of that time that I will cherish.

One member of the group had an idea.  She suggested a we all a bead that we felt represented each our own unique personality.  Then we each contributed enough beads for each member to make their own necklace from the beads.   When any one of us needs support, prayers and good thoughts we spread out PS Angel wings and wear our beads.

Somewhere I have a list of which bead came from which “PSsister” and why it was chosen.  Some were handmade, some purchased.  Some were even made of rolled up pages from New Beginnings!



Monday, May 8, 2023

Just another day in America

 I started to write a post about my birthday and whatever else was on my mind.  

But, there was another mass shooting.  In a mall in Texas.  Eight people dead.  Then, there was a car that plowed in to a crowd at a bus stop and killed seven people.  The first -the shooting, was deliberate.   The car carnage, not sure.  The driver was probably drunk.

It's just so hard to feel safe and sane.   It makes me so sad.  It makes me afraid to go to crowded places, or just about anywhere in public.

I cannot imagine losing a family member- especially a child like that.  You never ever recover.

I suppose I could stop watching the news.  I could try to block it all out.   Pretend that everything is wonderful.   But it really is not.

I have always disliked it when people talk about "the good old days".   Well, they weren't always as good as we would like to imagine, but I have never had this feeling.  Anxiety.  Fear.  Anger.  

I guess in October 2002 when the Beltway Snipers were randomly shooting people there was a lot of fear.  Local to the DC area, but real.  But those guys were caught.   They did terrorize the Washington DC area for a few weeks and killed 10 people.  We didn't stop living, but we ducked running from a building to our car.  We were afraid to pump gas for fear of being a target.

And now, it's anyone anywhere any time.

I have to believe that it will get better.

This, after being cooped up while trying to stay safe during the pandemic I think a lot of people are on edge.

Meanwhile, the flowers in the garden have given a beautiful show.  Now it is the roses turn to bloom.   They have grown so much in the five years we have been in this house.    I am glad we told the yard guys not to cut them down to the ground like they would have.

We saw a skunk in the neighbor's yard across the street.  Then, later, when we went to take Buddy for a walk, the skunk was close to our house.  So we ran into the garage and closed the door really fast.  Then, poor Buddy was very confused so we thought we ought to take him out for a drive.  Do you suppose he wonders why we are crazy!?

Darcy and Jody made their plans to try for a baby, public. At least to the family on the Zoom call the other day!   That's happy news!

Courtney and I are going on a cruise soon- in nine weeks in fact.  I am really looking forward to that!   Courtney has never been on a cruise, and I have never been on an Alaska cruise.

Courtney has asked if one of us would like to come out to house sit while she and Zach go to Burning Man.  I feel guilty about saying no.  A big part of me would like to go.  But a bigger part of me wants to be home.  I will all work out.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

And now I am 69!!!

 Courtney told me, when I mentioned that I am turning 69, that I am running out of 60s.  Indeed I am.  Oh my what does it all mean?

I've been thinking about writing about the decades in my life.   I think I shall do that, but right now I am going to feed the dog and work  on our dinner.  We have a Zoom date with the kids in an hour and a half and I want to be ready!

 We had fun being silly.  Chance was working so he couldn't join us.  Darcy and Jody had been Zooming with us but had a food delivery and were going to eat their dinner!


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Interesting Question

 I was on a Zoom call last evening with a group of La Leche League alumina.  All of us have been LLL Leaders, but most on this call are retired from out LLL work.  The group is called "Friends of la Leche League.

We try to have the get togethers once a month.  The topic this month was "what are you doing for yourself?  How are you taking care of yourself?    

I was at a loss.  I did say that I write and I knit and that's for me.   But how do I keep myself "full"?  

It made me think of a meeting we had with a therapist over 30 years ago- in fact, I was pregnant with now 32 year old, Chance.    

Nick said he had a couple of friends and if one dies he'll have room for another one.   After the meeting he asked me if that was too weird a response!

I said I am a La Leche League Leader and I get my satisfaction from that.  The therapist persisted and asked when I do for ME.  I am not sure that many people outside of LLL can really understand how it works.   You start out as one of the moms- making friends with like minded moms.  Then it evolves.  The kids grow up, but the LLL relationships remain strong.  We have all been in similar situations.   Following our instincts.  Learning from our children what is important; caring, loving listening.    When you are having a bad day you can lean on other LLL moms.

SO, now, what do I do for myself now?  I knit.  I watch TV.  I write here in my blog.   I read.  I connect with the people who are the most important to me.  My husband, my sister, my friends.

And I ponder.   I write to my kids and for the most part I do not get any answers.  (there are exceptions).  When I write to someone- friend or family- and I don't hear back, I feel so sad.  I have gone to the effort to reach out and there's no response.  I feel like an afterthought.  I guess that's the way the world works.

I used to be such a prolific writer before the internet.  I wrote letters all the time to everyone we  konw.   I kept in touch- in way that felt tangible.

I want tp put a picture to this blog post but am not sure what picture to use.  I'll think of something.