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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Supper Time

We eat supper as a family.  Well, sometimes Hope eats after we eat.  I don't know what the deal is.  Do you think we chew our food too loud for her?  Or maybe, she likes her food cold.  Or perhaps, she has been secretly snacking all day and isn't hungry.

When I was growing up, we always ate our supper as a family.  Well, unless my dad was working.  So maybe I should say.  We tried to make it a habit to have supper as a family.

When my girls were little, supper time was when they told us about their day.  Major teasing happened at these tables as well.  We would find out about kindergarten crushes or who was obnoxious at the bus stop.   I have two favorite stories.  Want to hear them?  Thought so.

We were eating supper in Ames, Iowa at a table meant for 4.  We were 5 so we squished in.  Bissy was in kindergarten and was eager to tell us what she learned that day.

Bissy, " Did you know that Chicago had a fire?"
Tom looked at her in amazement of knowing about current events.
Me, " Wow, I had no idea." 
Bissy, excitedly went on, " There was a fire in a barn." Tom worked at the Iowa State Veterinary School, and he knew that this kind of fire could be devastating.
Bissy, continued, " There was a lady and a cow in the barn."   All we could think was, thank goodness it wasn't a whole herd.
Bissy, exclaimed, " The cow knocked over her lantern."
And then Bissy stood up and sang, " It's going to be a Hot time in the Old Town tonight!"
Mrs. O Leary, you made our day!

Eating at that table in Ames, Iowa was never quiet.  We would have proclamations from everyone.
Melida, "I will never eat eggs!"
Merideth, "I want a perm!"
Bissy, "I want to play soccer!"
Me, " I just want a nap!"
And for Tom, he made a proclamation that has stayed with us. In the 90's, NOT was used at the end of a sentence.  Example:  "I'm going to the store, NOT!" or " You look really nice, NOT!"  Our girls were in Junior High and NOT became extremely annoying. With his fist slamming on table, shaking the tator tot casserole, he proclaimed," In this house, NOT will not be used at the end of a sentence and furthermore, you cannot say Hate!"

Well, I guess he told us, didn't he, NOT!!

I think being the only male among 4 females had to be difficult.  We all just laughed!  After awhile he would come to the table to just eat!

I hope your family sits together for meals.  You learn the darnest things!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

To be a Mermaid, My New Years Resolution

This year everyone seems to be choosing a "word" instead of having a "resolutions". When the tsunami of words started to appear on my face book page, I felt inclined to find a word for 2018.  This year started out sucky and it was getting suckier by the time the middle of January hit.  The snowstorms kept everyone in the house for 10 days...YES 10 days.  If you didn't have the flu as well, you weren't in Vogue!  It was during this time that I picked my word.  It was "Powerwatch"!  This is a new word for the 21st century and it all came about because of DVR, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, ETC.  You "Powerwatch" seasons of shows, or series of movies or about anything that takes up hours of mind numbing time.  My word is "Powerwatch."  It's not a very serious word, so I like it!

In the olden days, we made resolutions.  It seemed like everyone was going to loss weight or gain weight, get organized or not.  Many, many things that usually pertained to self improvement.
As close to being a Mermaid as it gets!

The year I made my most memorable resolution was in 1959.  It was the year that I would  become a mermaid.  Granted, I was 5 years old.  I knew that my folks made resolutions.  I figured I was old enough to give it a try. This was way before Disney had the animated Ariel.  My idea came from the original Hans Christian Anderson Fable. The idea of being a Mermaid became an obsession.

How does one go about becoming a Mermaid?  Glad you asked.  You need a whole lot of penny's and as many wishing well to throw them into.  You see, if you make a wish enough times it will come true.  I had it all figured out because that winter we were going to take a road trip from Iowa to California to see Disney Land.  There would be at least a million wishing wells across the US.

When we entered California, I knew that I had to prepare my parents for the transformation.  They needed to know exactly what to expect.  A mermaid needed to live in the ocean and I would be growing fins. Their job was to get me there and let me swim away.  I remember telling them that one morning I would wake up and my feet would be missing and not to be alarmed.  I didn't think about never seeing them again, I was on mission and that was to BE A MERMAID.  I was prepared to be the best Mermaid ever.  I wish that I knew how to write at age 5.  I would have written a letter to my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Guftason, the reason why I didn't return for the 2nd semester.  I had to count on my brother to tell EVERYONE that I became a Mermaid while we were on vacation. He would have done a great job! Deep down inside, I bet he wanted to be an only child!

I threw my last penny in the wishing well somewhere in Los Angeles, CA.  I remember it was a rainy evening.  I knew my feet would be gone by morning.  Luckily we had planned a trip to the beach the next day.  Such perfect timing!  That morning I awoke to a slight tingle in my ankles and toes.  EXCITED.  This was going to be my last day on the walking earth. I figured my fins growth would accelerate once we got to the beach.  It was a very cold day. We got out of the car and my dream of the wind carrying me to the surf vanished.  The sky was gray, it was misty, damp,cold and it looked pretty darn scary in that ocean.  The beach seemed HUGE and the water seemed so far away.  I more than hesitated  to walk out there. I froze. Secretly, I was ecstatic that I still had feet. Stop fins...don't grow!

What was a "would be Mermaid" to do?? 

 I returned to Iowa a little girl with feet that tingled slightly and told the story about how I didn't become a Mermaid when we went to the Ocean.  I was so close to fulfilling my 1959 Resolution. The next year, I  made the Resolution to create a "Genie" in an Alka Seltzer bottle.  Ya, that didn't work to well either.

I tell my grand daughter this story at least 6 times a year.  When she went to Florida, I asked her if she was going to wish to be a Mermaid.  Her answer was Classic Harper.  With her hand on my shoulder she sighed, " Mumma, that's your idea, not mine!"

The year is still young,  I will "powerwatch" all the old Disney Princess Movies, there has to be a character I can try to become in 2018.  "Cinda rella" perhaps??? I like shoes. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

SELF CARE is a pause button.

SELF CARE is not selfish!  Self Care is important. SELF CARE may throw all those other people in your life into a tissy!  Yes, a tissy!

As a mother, wife and woman, I take SELF CARE seriously. And I take SELF CARE whenever I can get it!

SELF CARE is when you conscientiously take time for your own needs. SELF CARE is a pause.

SELF CARE is an absolute MUST. Especially if you’re a parent or a caretaker. Taking a moment out of your day to relax, let go, and do something that is just for you is absolutely necessary for maintaining your mental health.

What do I do?  Why thank you for asking.  I power watch Netflix.  Right now, I am watching season 2 of Stranger Things.  I have been power watching Netflix for  3 years.  My first was Downtown Abby.   In the 80's when my kids were little, I watched soap operas daily.  ALL OF THEM.  I haven't watched any since the 80's but when I get a glimpse, I see that Sonny is still on General Hospital.  Does he never age?
I could watch Wizard of OZ a million times, pause, rewind, and never fast forward!

I must admit that this sort of SELF CARE( power watching tv) does leave me somewhat lethargic.  I can sit for hours and  the house could colaspe around me. One time, the ADT monitor needed a new battery and screamed out BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. I didn't get up to change it, I just kept watching TV, pretending it was part of the show. The dishes can sit in the sink, dirty.  The toilet can sit unflushed.  The pile of clean laundry can sit next to me unfolded. I can sit, stare, watch or not watch, rewind or pause the shows.  I am taking time for myself by watching mindless dribble. And I am OK with that! Did I forget to mention that there is usually a glass of wine involved?????

I am jolted back to reality when Hope starts whining about needing dessert or some other non-essential thing.  I try to ignore her. She can get very loud and demanding, I remedy it by cranking up the TV volumn to 97.  If she finally pushes the BIG Button that gets me off the couch, I am immediately thrust into my RAGING MANIAC MODE. Lethargic is gone, reality is back.

" WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW???'' I soon find out that she has made a blown out mess in the kitchen with a concoction of ice cream, cereal, syrup, pecans, whip cream and popcorn, pickles and various spices. 

Where is the pause button in the kitchen? Thank goodness for the pause button on the TV.  My show is totally suspended until I return, unlike the mess in the kitchen.   The SELF CARE pause button is off and life is back to LIFE.

Most times, my power watching has to resume a day or two later.  By then, I have to rewind to the beginning of the show.  I love it when I get to sit back down on that couch with the remote in one hand pausing scenes, rewinding scenes,and watching whatever I want.  That is just one way I exercise my SELF CARE.

SELF CARE is my pause button.

Have you paused today?

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Hope is on a Billboard

Hope loves to dance and dress up, sing and be goofy.  The photographer caught her in her prime at our Special Prom Night in February 2017.  She lasted a whole 45 minutes at the dance, but this billboard is a reminder for the entire month of October that she did enjoy the prom, even for 45 minutes.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

For the past 16 years we as a family have participated in a "walk" for awareness.  Our local group is called SMILE and we went to the very first Buddy Walk when Hope was 3.  Held at the 4-H Fair grounds on a very cold October Saturday, I arrived somewhat usual.  When I drove up to the area where other families were gathered, I was overcome....NO...OVERWHELMED!  I could not believe how many people were there.  They were there to support my little 3 year old.  WOW.  I cried!
Hope loves clowns!

Now in our 16th year, we have grown.  Grown incredibly! We no longer have 150 people celebrating our kids, we have thousands!  Our walk is now called the SMILE MILE.  It's just a mile....come on...let's walk it!

I say Let's walk it, but I can count on one hand how many times we have actually walked it.  When she was little in the stroller....yes.   As a grown kid....not so much.  Do you know how long a mile is??? Ya, a long way from the Hot Dogs, the clowns, the stickers, the train rides, the ponies, the silent auction, and the bathroom.   I can't remember when I walked the Mile with HOPE!  Walking verses hanging out in the "building" scoping out all the silent auction items is Hopes idea of the SMILE MILE!  One year, we bid on so many items and WON them, that it looked like a Christmas Sleigh Ride to Grannies in our trunk going home!
Dressed in Christmas theme

The SMILE MILE has a talent show after the walk, usually at 11. This year her dance troupe will perform first thing.   Hope tend to last 45 minutes at all of her events.  She may come late to the party, so that participating in the talent show will be pleasant!  Pleasant for me that is.  I'm hoping to avoid the Silent Auction all together,  if she sees that, she will have a hard time leaving that area to dance.  She will think someone else will take the stuff she wants.....and believe me....she will want stuff.   So wish me luck on working this all out!! 
Hope at the Talent Show, singing and dancing

October is a great time for Down Syndrome Awareness.  It is my favorite month of the year.  And Hope is my favorite teenager who just happens to have Down syndrome.
Cinda and Hope prom night

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Women at the Fire Hydrant

Every morning I fall out of bed, reach for my glasses, stumble down the steps, and head for the mailbox.  The trip to the mailbox sometimes involves putting shoes on or tossing an old coat over my jammies.  Every morning, I go outside and "get" the newspaper.

It is nice to feel the newspaper and scan through the articles , rereading a paragraph by touching the words.  I always get my chuckles from Family Circus, Dennis the Menace and Real Life Adventures because they remind me of my family.  Especially Real Life Adventures, today was...Wife," Where's your Wedding Ring?  Are you fooling around?"  Husband, " Um, I've gained weight and my my finger is too fat to put it on.  But I like your Theory.  It sounds way more...exotic."

This week, the USA section had a huge picture with the caption, "Residents of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, line up Saturday to siphon drinking water from a fire hydrant hose."  The photo had 3 women holding milk jugs waiting a turn to fill them with water.  This struck me in a place in my heart that began to hurt.  The article told of the hurricane, the lack of water, power and news.  I couldn't take my eyes off the photo of those women, by the hydrant.  They morphed in my mind into the Biblical women by the WELL. Women dressed in clothing that covered they bodies, carrying heavy clay jugs, and filling them at  the well for their daily needs.  The image hung with me all day, all week, and today as I blog.

I googled Women at the Well.

I wanted a story about a bunch of women by the well.  I came up with more hits about the Woman at the Well.  She was the Samaritan women that Jesus spoke to.  He was a Jew, and well known that Jews did not speak to Samaritans.  And to be alone at a well with a woman, a Samaritan woman at that. Jesus spoke to her anyway.

As they talked, she noticed he had no vessel for water.  He told her that if she knew who He was, she would ask Him for the Living Water.  She liked the idea of Living Water.  She thought it was an endless water supply and she would no longer have the drudgery of  hauling a jug to the well each day.  She asked Jesus for the Living Water.  We, as Christians, now know that the Living Water is Divine Grace.
If you know the story, she is found out to be adulterous and had other problems that were frowned upon in that time period.   Jesus knew all about her and told her what he knew.  The women eventually went to town and told all the towns folks about Jesus at the Well and they all came to see him.  He stayed in that town for 2 days preaching to the people.  He taught lessons on doing the will of God.  After they heard him speak, they said to the woman," We now believe, not for thy saying for we ourselves have heard him, and know that this is indeed the Saviour of the world."

The women in Puerto Rico have milk jugs in their arms.  How far did they walk to fill them?  With whom were they sharing the water? What were their thoughts about the devastation they just witnesses on their tiny island?  Do they believe in God?  Do they believe in Jesus?

Jesus is at that fire hydrant in Puerto Rico,  his arms are wide open and loving them.  He is there with the Living Water.  He is there with them in Divine Grace.  And, WE, need to be Christ to the women at the fire hydrant.

“Christ has no body now but yours.

 No hands, no feet on earth but yours. 

Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. 

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. 

Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. 

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.

 Christ has no body now on earth but yours.” 

Terese of Avila 

Have you been Christ to someone today?

Thursday, September 14, 2017

It sucks to get old!

 This is a journal on my adventure with a medical problem. I will not alter it, and I will date the entries.  I have never done this, so I hope and pray that the problem is really just old age and I can get over it!

It all began with my 3 month recheck for type 2 diabetes.  I have controlled it very well with one little pill and a constant reminder to "NOT EAT THAT SUGARY BLAH BLAH BLAH"  It is a real struggle but I am keeping my A1C at 5.8.   And that is good!  Normal A1C is 5.  If you are lucky enough to have 5, my hat goes out to you!

Back to the first paragraph...It all began with my 3 month recheck....  Anna, my nurse practitioner, listened to my heart, felt my pulse, chit chatted with me about life and while she was feeling my neck, she said, "  Your Thyroid is enlarged!"  REALLY!!!????  After going through some of the reasoning, she suggested having my T levels checked and wanted me to have an ultra sound done on my thyroid.

Back on December 31, I was scheduled for and MRI on my neck due to pain in my left arm.  I told my friend Dee about it and she reassured me that it was piece of cake and I could have headphones to listen to any music I wanted.  I was ready, I had my genre chosen and when I finally entered the MRI room and received all the instructions, I said, "Wait, My friend said that I could listen to music."  And the techs reply was, " Not when we are scanning the upper body."  They put me in the tube, gave me the panic button to push and I PUSHED THE HELL OUT OF IT!  Not doing this!  As I left, I told the tech that I would be back ONLY if I had cancer. That was a dumb thing to say.

I have been fretting about my reaction since.  And I felt that I was miraculously cured of any neck, arm or  minor pain, until Anna said that I had an enlarged Thyroid.  We discussed how I reacted to the MRI.  Today, I hope to heck I will not have one after I have the Ultrasound.

My T3 and T4 test came back normal.  As well as my cholesterol, A1C and other tests.   The fret is getting real.  And thank goodness, or NOT, for Google.   I'm not finding much and I am putting in other ailments to see if they pertain to an enlarged thyroid.  One of the symptoms that I had 3 months ago, at the last check up, was dehydration.  Believe it or not, I never sweat and I was tasting very salty when I licked my lips.  It got to the point that I even licked my arm just to see.  And it was salty too.  If I were flexible I would have even licked my toes! At that check up, I was told to drink more water.  Did you know that coffee, tea or wine doesn't count as water???? Three months later, I'm still dehydrated!

I talked to my friend Lori and she told me to quit googling!  So, I won't!

Had my ultrasound at 9 AM. Life with  a retiree volunteer husband and a teen with Down syndrome created some time schedule juggling.  Hope went to Wesselman's Woods with Tom where he volunteers at the front desk and I asked my mom to accompany me at my appointment.   Hope had summer school to attend but we decided that she was better off with Tom just in case the school would call for someone to get her.  I ALWAYS get called for SOMETHING when I am at the doctor.  It is almost a given.  Seriously, when I was at the doctor  at the 6/6/17 appointment, the school called to let me know that I HAD to come get her, she had diarrhea and wouldn't get off the toilet.  I was 15 miles away and in the waiting area for blood work.  By the time I got there, she was sitting at a table with a tablet watching those stupid Play Dough Videos.  I guess she got off the toilet! And as far as diarrhea, that is just the way she poops!

My ultra sound lasted about 13 minutes and I should have the results on MY CHART by tomorrow morning.  The tech told me before we started that most people have something in their thyroid.  I told her that I sure hope that the ultrasound of my thyroid didn't show a baby girl.  I'm totally over having kids!!!   Now to wait!

I got a call from my Doctors office at 5:15. WOW....that was fast results.  I have two nodules on my thyroid and I am being referred to an endocrinologist.  So, I have determined that I am having twins! Keeping it real.

Well, I just read MY CHART at 9 pm and it said there were 4 nodules.  I guess I will have more babies than I thought!
I have an appointment with my endocrinologist in September.  We will play the wait game!
Wow, who would have thought that I would meet with a Orthopedic surgeon before I even had my thyroid looked at.  This will be interesting.  I have a carpal tunnel release surgery scheduled for October 9th.  In the meantime....I wonder what my thyroid is up too!!!
I finally saw the endocrinologist!  Anti Climatic discovery!  I don't have relatives that have had Thyroid Cancer so that leaves me in good shape as far as these blasted nodules.  I saw them, they look like little empty sacs of nothing!  We will continue to watch them and I have an ultrasound and an appointment scheduled for next year.  Whew!   

It really does SUCK to  get old.  All these body parts that need to sync up so our WHOLE person runs like fine oiled machine!

Like the kids song goes;
My knee bones connected to my ankle bone. ETC
We can new knee is working just's time to get the other one replaced.

So far, knock on wood, I'm not singing about by knees and hips....but wait...I am having Carpal Tunnel Release Surgery in October. 
My wrist bones connected to my elbow bone.....  It Sucks to get old!  Not really...I'm Happy to be alive!!!!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Hate is a dirty word!

When I was growing up, HATE, was a dirty word.  "You never say HATE." said my parents. And I didn't.  I listened to my mom and dad.  Well, to the best of my knowledge, my brother and I were perfect kids.  After all our last name was Nelson.  And Ozzie and Harriet were the perfect parents with the perfect kids.  All Nelson's were good and hate was a dirty word.  You could taste a bar of soap by just muttering the word.

What happened to that "dirty word"?  It is so common place in my household, I feel like it is used as a revolving door.  Hope hates me.  Then she hates Dad, Gramma, and Feezlee the cat.  In about 15 minutes she loves us just as much.

I will either ignore her or fly of the wall.  I believe it is called passive aggressive.  The struggle is real.

Raising a child, like Hope, is a real challenge.  And our challenges are getting bigger as she ages.  Some friends say, " Oh she is just acting like a teenager."  Maybe so.  She does have the attitude, and the flip of the hair, and the shrug of the shoulder thing down.  But then comes the HATE.

There is a little rhyme that my mom taught me.

There was a little girl,
Who had a little Curl.
When she was Good,
She was very very good.
When she was bad,
She was Horrible.

A poem written many years ago by a very wise person. Hope is defiant, self centered, hateful, mean and nasty when she isn't sweet, charming and delightful.

I was called to pick her up from school this week.  My hair stylist was just getting ready to add my color to the developer.  I had to leave and it took me 30 minutes to get to her school. As a mom who was really needing gray roots covered up, I was not in a very pleasant frame of mind.  The scenario's that went through my head on that 30 minute drive would probably shock you!  Seriously, I came up with many ways to discipline her.   Some of the ways involved me going to jail where I would consider it a vacation.  By the time I arrived, she was done with whatever pissed her off in the first place. She broke her glasses and wasn't nice to anyone.  Her mantra is..." I want attention and I want it now!" 

Today Hope hated Mr. Smith.

 Hope told him," I hate you and I hate Bosse High School. I'm done with you and I want out of here!"  He replied perfectly, " Well Hope, I don't hate you, but I don't care how you are acting right now, when you come to school you need to work and learn." ( why can't I be that nice??) He and I talked for 15 minutes and really didn't solve any problems.  Before we left, he said that she could come back the next day.  And then he ended it with, tomorrow will be another day. 

Of course, Hope was remorseful all the way home and didn't even ask for her Ipad, a coke or a trip to the Dollar Tree.  She knew she was wrong. And she told me that she loved me.  So much for all my the  imaginary scenario's that sent me to jail!

Hate!  It is just a word to her.  It causes a rise.  So, let's all just take a breath and repeat," I don't hate you, I love you no matter what."  And breathe!!!