Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All over the place...

Here's what I learned from my last post.  There is a site on the internet called www.factcheck.org and it has a lot of different takes on who's saying what and who is speaking the truth.  I looked up the Annenberg Public Policy Center to see who it claims to support and it doesn't say.  From what I read on the site, no one is purely truthful and but really, both parties  seem to be trying to get to a similar place.  I thought it was very interesting.

Like I said, I still don't know what to think about all this talk.  I just don't.

I am worried though.  What will happen if Romney is president or if Obama stays in office?  Will anything change with either?  Will the recession end or get worse?  Will I pay more or less for health insurance? for college?  to feed the family?  for gas in the car?  Will we lose more soldiers to a war that doesn't seem right?  Will the rights of folks be taken away?  Will whoever wants to get married be able to and will both sides stop hating each other? 

One of the comments I got today spoke to the fact that this political discourse is needed.  I guess it is but it makes me anxious.  I know, who cares if I am anxious, right?  You could argue that I'm always a little anxious anyway!

Anyway, on a lighter note...it has been a good day.  I saw an older lady that is failing.  She is old and wrinkle...beautiful in her own way.  I walked into her room and she was lying in a hospital bed, on her side, sleeping soundly.  The wrinkles that have made their home between her brow were soft and she was breathing evenly.  She had been given her pain medication two hours before and was the picture of comfort and peace.  For the hospice nurse, that is nirvana...a patient that has found the "sweet spot" in pain control.  That "sweet spot" is my wish for every person with pain...

On Saturday, I am leaving for Tampa to get on a cruise ship bound for the Bahamas.  The cruise is bittersweet because, truth be told, my brother-in-law, Uncle Pete, should be on this with my sister.  If everything went according to plan, he would have been done with his chemo, stronger and celebrating life.  If you follow this blog, you know that back in February, Pete passed away and left us heartbroken. 

So I get to go.  I have been spending all my time in my head thinking about him and how he would be so happy that the sisters were spending time together.  It will be good to be with my sisters and remember him, but I am sure there will be times when the tears will flow.  It will be a special time but also a tender time.  No doubt the pink wine will be mixed with all the tears.

So as the title suggests, I am all over the place.  My kids are at college, my last son is learning to drive, I am lucky to care for all kind of folks, and really, I don't know who to vote for in the election in November.  I am sick of the way information is put out, and I am tired of being thought of as stupid by both parties.  I want my rights, to have a flu shot or not....and I want everyone else to have those same rights...to love who you love, to marry who you marry and if it doesn't work out, to split the sheet.  I want to be able to provide awesome care to folks in their homes whether insurance pays for it or not, and "at the end of the day" be proud of what I've done.

Today, I am...
We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I am going to write this post and then we'll see if I publish it.  I have been thinking about the presidential race for a while in the context of my life and don't understand what it is that makes folks hate each other because they think differently.  I can bet you that most of you who read this disagree with me on a whole lot of things...but does it make you hate me?

I am not rich, nor am I poor.  I have plenty to eat, more cars than drivers and have two kids in college.  I pay a boat load of taxes and I also pay a bunch for my kids to go to college.  They don't get any student loan help or Pell grants because we make too much money. My daughter didn't even get a scholarship for her performance in high school because we make too much money.

I know it sounds like I am complaining and maybe I am, but I don't expect anyone else to help my kids going to college...I will just work and we will pay what we owe.  It just is what it is.

I know rich folks and  poor folks.  I take care of them when they are ill.  I have been in homes that have no running water and no bathroom to speak of.  They are  poor and they live in the mountains of Colorado.  I have also taken care of some filthy rich folks...that money is no object and they have, what looks like, all the money in the world.  But you know what?  It didn't help them stay alive when the cancer won...maybe made it easier or maybe not.  I didn't take care of the poor one any differently than I did the rich one.  They were people who needed care and that was that.

What's the point, you ask?  Well, I have been reading about Obama and Romney...trying to figure out who I think will lead the country better.   I am trying to have an open mind and find facts about both of them but it's so difficult to find facts that are not clouded by opinion.  

I don't want anyone's  opinion on what they think I ought to think.  I'm sure they really don't want my opinion of what I think they ought to think either or they would have sent me an email and asked.  

So far, I am not happy with either of the candidates.  

I have to get a flu shot...have no choice this year and it is an edict from the government.  I haven't gotten one in 25 years as an RN but this year the choice has been taken away.  I know it's not a big deal but it still bothers me.  

I am all for equal rights for everyone but want to be able to go to church and call myself a christian without a people writing about how I am stupid.  But again, you and I can write about whatever we want and it is okay...sometimes hurtful, but we do live in a free country.  We all can say and write whatever we want.

I guess what bothers me the most is how things are changing.  I spent an afternoon with a friend who talked about how "stupid those republicans are" and another friend who talked about "how stupid the liberals are" and how it has changed their friendships.  Is this election worth a friendship?  Not for me...that's for sure.

I had dinner tonight with a new widow.   She lost her husband 2 months ago and I had the honor of helping her care for him at the end.  She and her husband did not agree politically at all.  He watched Fox news all the time.  She didn't.  It sounded like they were on different sides of the fence through the whole marriage.  She was sick of Fox news and his opinions on things, or so she thought.

When we were talking about him and his life, she mentioned that she would give anything to have Fox news on and him sitting in front of the TV spouting opinions...

It is going to be what it is.  I can tell you good things about both candidates that I think will be good.  I can also tell you things that I think will be bad.  I guess we all come from a different place with our opinions and will cast our vote.

May the best man win, the best man to lead to country out of wars, poverty and into a kinder world.  That's what I want.  As far as taxes and health care, thankfully, I have decent choices for care and I pay my taxes in the fashion that the IRS forms tell me to.

I just don't want to lose friendships...because those relationships mean more to me than who ever is our president.  Sorry...but it does and I will keep caring for my family, my patients, advocating for the folks that need it regardless of who is sitting in the White House.

That's all I can do...

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Waking up...

This morning, I woke up to the cat in the cat box scratching the cat litter around to cover up his "cat poop."  I rolled over and said to Jim, "There's the "cat sh*t alarm, and right on time" since I wanted to get up at 6 am.  Then I said, "why does he have to do that for so long?"  My brilliant husband replied, "that's like you and me flushing the toilet until everything is down."  Makes sense to me.  What doesn't make sense is the fact that I am discussing cat excrement in my bed first thing in the morning...

Looks like it's gonna be a great day!

We'll tawk later, I'm sure.
I love you all,

Monday, August 20, 2012

I ended up with an ipod...

Last night as the Queen was regaling us with her summer stories, she asked me if I thought it made sense for her to get an iPod with more storage for music.  Instead of wondering if it made sense, I asked her what she wanted for her old one...music and all.  I heard her say,"You can have it mom" and "I have an Amazon gift card to get the other one."  When all was said and done, I had an iPod with 1000 songs for about 20 bucks.

Music soothes me...almost like when I am by the water.  I can take a part of my brain and move it over to concentrate on the music and stop the continuous thinking or in my case today, over thinking.

This morning, bright and early, we drove to Boulder.  I drove in the big truck full of stuff with the Queen and the two brothers drove in the Jeep.  We got to the dorm and started unloading the items for survival at college.  As we began, people started showing up that I knew from visiting that dorm and Boulder so much...the Queen's buddies that also know my Mac.  They hugged us all and reassured me that they were all going to watch out for each other and now, since the Queen brought her brother, he was part of the gang.  Although I know there will be difficult moments...I am thankful for a ready made group for my Mac.

We said our goodbyes and Howie and I headed to Denny's.  That was the place we went two years ago when we dropped the Queen off.  I wanted things to be the same and if I couldn't have that...I guess the "Garden slam" will do.  (I did give Howie my potatoes, though)

All of a sudden, he and I were free.  "What do you have to do today, Mom?" I heard him say.  "Nothing, I'm not working and we can do whatever we want."  It felt good, in a way, to have this kid interested in spending time with me.  "Let's get some speakers for the iPod and get some music in the kitchen," I said...and we headed to Target.

We found some cool speakers, bought some speaker wire, stopped at Safeway for soda, pop tarts and wine and headed home.  In an hour, I had Coldplay in my kitchen singing beautifully that "nobody said  it was easy, nobody said it would be this hard."  I opened my bottle of pink wine, put the baked ziti in the oven and sat with my youngest son doing homework and finishing up some charting from last week.  

It's gonna be okay...as a matter of fact, I think it's gonna be great.  This last one flew quietly under the radar.  Not anymore...  I mean, I would be lying if I didn't want to call and see how things are going but I bet they are still at band camp, and they are young adults, and it's time for me to get a life.  So I won't call, I will wonder.  

I did start to get a life though.  When I fed the dogs tonight, I put a dog bone in the bottom of their bowl and covered it with dog food...so they would have a surprise.  I mean, isn't that a start?

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Almost showtime...

The boxes are packed, the belongings that are staying are put in the closet and the clothes to take with him to college are in the dryer.  The last meal of baked ziti with meatballs is ready to go in the crock pot tomorrow morning and it is all that is left.  My boy is moving out in less than 48 hours...and I am pretty sure he's ready.

I spent quite a bit of time lying on his bed asking him things..."don't you need a suit?" or "what shoes are you taking?" or "what do you think your life will look like in a few weeks?"  He humored me and answered my questions like he cared.  Then I asked the obvious question, "Are you just so excited?"   He looked at me and then answered, "I am so excited...a little nervous too...but mostly excited."  I told him I was so excited too, even though I was going to miss seeing him all the time.  "I'm an hour away Mom, you will probably see me before the week is out."  He is right.  I already have a trip planned for next Sunday to take him and his sister to Target and get all the things they forgot to get before they left.

I feel exhausted.  I don't think it's from laying on the bed talking but how my heart is working to pump harder not to split in half.  That's okay, it just is.  

I made a cake for dessert tomorrow, and plan to do half of it with a welcome home Christie theme, and half with a good luck at college theme for Mac.  In the middle, I am putting a picture of Ralphie, the buffalo from CU.  I will feed them and listen to them and try to remember that I will do fine without them.  I have survived the last two years with my Queen living elsewhere and I will do okay without Mac at home.  

I am going to bed.  A little early but I am going to need the rest.  My heart isn't as strong as it has been lately.  It's working harder to manage all the little holes created in it when parts of it go with those you love.  

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Purple Funk...

I woke up this morning and and didn't want to get out of bed.  I wanted to keep sleeping.  I slowly went through my daily inventory in my head...what day is it, am I going to the gym, and do I need to wake anyone up for school.  I did this while my eyes were still closed.  Then I remembered, today is Thursday...

Three more days until I move my second child to college.  As I type this, the lump in my throat is growing and I am trying not to cry.  I feel just like I did two years ago, when the first one went but I also feel different.  

My first one came home occasionally, called every day to say hello and grabbed the world by the tail.  She joined clubs, met people and learned so much.  I am proud of her.  But I miss her intensely...so much that I try not to think about her.  When my phone rings and it's her name on the screen, the first thing I do is take a deep breath before I answer.  The feelings are so deep and intense because I miss her so much.

Now I gotta do this again.  We leave Monday morning bright and early to dump off stuff in his dorm and then kiss him goodbye.  I leave him with his sister but I still leave him.  He will start his life as a grown up, making decisions without the cushion of coming home, and will have to live with them. 

My youngest and I will go home and get him ready for the 10th grade...but I am sure it's going to be a difficult day.  I'm sending my second child to college and my last boy's best buddy is moving out. I can see we are gonna be a mess.

I guess it's about moving on and being happy for the kids...that they are moving on and doing what we had hoped and dreamed when them grew up.  I guess it's about feeling excited for them because they are excited.  At least that is what I am going to continue to say to myself day after day.

When the Queen left, I couldn't get out of bed for a month or two...Not literally, I mean, I got up but I was in a purple funk for that time.  Obviously I didn't handle it well...

People say to me, "you work with dying people, I can't believe you are so sad over your kids leaving for college."  

I have an answer to that...

It's about losses.  It's about time passing.  It's about wishing I could have just a little more time looking at his face and holding his hand. It's about finding a new normal without seeing him wander up the stairs silently every morning with a wet head.  It's about the last minute things he did that made me want to strangle him, listening to him repeat things he thought were funny over and over again until we all told him to shut up.  It's about him knowing when my heart is breaking and him telling me, "it's okay Mom."  It's all the things I love and hate about him leaving for the world...

I talked to one friend who sent her last one to college last year about the feelings,  "It sucks" is what she said.  "It's not that you don't want them to leave and go to college and have a wonderful life...It's not that at all.  It's just an adjustment thing for you and" she said," If you're like me, it's just hard to adjust."

While I want him to go and have a great time...I don't want to have to adjust.

But isn't that what life is about...adjustment?  When I take care of a younger husband and he is gone, there is a widow with high school kids learning to adjust.  Or a little old lady that had her husband in her face for 50 years telling her what to do and then...gone.  It is about adjustment or that word I am terrible at...change.  

So I guess I will let the tears flow when they come,  try to keep the food and drink out of my mouth unless I am hungry or thirsty and hold on to this third one tightly.  We'll head up to Boulder every chance we get to say hello...see them march, have dinner and begin to adjust to one at home.  

I mean, I guess I will...what else am I gonna do?

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Monday, August 13, 2012


I have been living in a bit of a dream world when it comes to raising kids.  My oldest, the Queen, did not give me a bit of trouble...she followed the rules, told me where she was and what was going on and generally was pleasant.  It would be a perfect story if not for the senior year of high school where she hated me and I hated (kinda) her.  But otherwise, it was perfect.

My son, Mac, I was sure was going to be the one who needed regular monitoring, a weekly smack down and consequenses doled out for every little infraction.  But, honestly, the only infractions that we dealt with were infractions with his mouth and I told him to keep it shut daily.  About 3 days a week, he listened and the rest I pretended I didn't hear.  Generally, he was following in my footsteps with the mouth issue so I couldn't really get on him.

Now comes the third child.  The quiet one who seems to have it all together.  I have noticed that he knows how to put the blame on his brother for things and how he is never in trouble but I thought it was just my fantastic parenting style.  Yeah...right.

Last Thursday, while the group he was with, was following directions, 14 of the "sneaky" ones left the theater and went to watch a movie they would rather see.  Forget that chaperones were trying to keep track of them or that we just had a shooting in a theater a month ago...forget that the rules were for them to stay with their group...just forget all that.  They, my son, wanted to see a different movie and what is it going to hurt if they sneak out, go into the other movie and then sneak into the one they were supposed to be in later.  What is that going to hurt...and the movie they were supposed to watch is boring and stupid too.

What they didn't count on was a delay in the movie and the lights coming on in the theater...the chaperones and teacher counting and realizing they were missing quite a few.  What they didn't count on was when the movie was over and they began to sneak back in, they didn't get far because the teacher was sitting out on the bench waiting for all the little sneaks.  I guess they didn't count on that.  As we say in our house..."BUSTED!"

Friday morning came and my sneak was tired and of course, being the great mother I am, woke him gently, like I would a big grizzly bear, and offered to make his lunch and get his drinks ready for band camp.  It was the end of a long hard week and he was tired.  As we left for band camp, he wanted to drive and I let him.  It was a perfect, "I am such a great mom" morning for me.  Then the confession hit.  "Mom, I don't know if you heard and I bet  you haven't but some of the kids and I went to see Batman instead of staying in the movie we were supposed to see...and we got caught."  I sat in the seat and thought about what he just said.  My Queen was not a sneak...and even my Mac...the one who I would expect this kind of thing, didn't do that last year when a group did.  But, this guy, my easy, quiet child snuck out and essentially didn't follow the rules?  I was at a loss for words and didn't say much.  He drove down the road in silence and then said..."Mom, I'm not a bad person" to which I responded, " I guess I thought you had more integrity."  I heard my mother in my head laying on the guilt trip and me thinking she was just a freaking "be-atch" as we say in our house.  I was trying to lay the guilt trip on him and he wasn't falling for it.

Then I asked him how I was going to ever trust him again.  "How do I know when you say you are going to church, you're not going to some party and smoking crack and doing meth?  I mean, you said you were going to one movie and you went to another?"  By this time, we had pulled up to the school and I knew I had to deliver the fatal blow.  "I'm not sure I can ever trust you again...and wait until I tell your father."  He got out of the car, grabbed his tuba and went into the school.

I immediately called Jim to let him know what a lying sneak we were raising.  To say he was stunned is an understatement.  You see, he and I live in a parenting dream world because we think that how we raised the first two made them the people they are so far.  I really think we got lucky but I love to think it's us.  "Wow" Jim said, "I never thought it would be him...I would have expected it out of Mac."    I had to laugh at how alike we are as we get older.  Except for the fact that he is from Mars and I am from Venus...we think a lot alike.  Jim went on, "Good thing that I'm gonna have him in the back country for 5 days so I can ride him like a dog about making good choices the whole time."  You see, the boys had decided that before Mac left for college and my youngest started school, they were going camping and hiking to bag a bunch of 14er's to add to the list.  It might be a long week if you are my youngest...

I guess this one will be the one that gives us a run for our money during his teenage years.  In one week, I am passing off Mac to the Queen at college.  She can mother him and I can move on to focusing on the "sneak."    The last thing I told him before I gave him total absolution is this..."thank God your father and I have nothing better to do than to keep an eye on you.  You may be the luckiest 15 year old in the world to have two adults focusing on your every move."  He loved that...he really did.

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Sunday, August 12, 2012

4 cookies and a glass of milk...

I ate 4 cookies last night.  I made them last week and did not eat one...until I was alone, exhausted and feeling like I needed some lovin'.  Fairly predictable in my battle with weight but...

I have spent the last three days immersed in food and teenagers.  On Thursday night, my Mac and I bought food for the youth group at church to prepare to sell at a garage sale.  The menu consisted of regular and veggie breakfast burritos, hamburgers, hot dogs, brats along with chips and soda.  All the things that make Americans the lean, mean fighting machines that we are.  On  Friday night, 15 teenagers and I cooked the eggs and sausage for assembly line burritos.  When that was over, I went home, slept and showed up bright and early Saturday morning to supervise.  Around 10:30, the grill started and we sold lovey burgers, dogs and brats all day.  It was a good day and it had just begun...

When it was over, there was enough time to clean the grime off and get to the next eating extravaganza...the end of band camp Pot luck. 

Let me tell you something...I love a good pot luck.  Some people don't because they worry about where the food came from.  Not me.  I could care less if the cat walks on the counter after he left the cat box, or the cooks never washed their hands after they left the bathroom...it doesn't matter.  I love the way the table fills with red, bubbling pasta dishes and funky salads, the way the dessert table has chocolate delights and the how after you've made one pass, someone who is late brings in another pasta dish to feast on.  It did not dissappoint last night.  There were spagetti and meatballs, lasagna, baked ziti, ravioli...everything you could think of pasta-wise.  We put the tables together and there was probably 30 feet of deliciousness on those tables.  It was a sight to see and I should have taken a picture.

I didn't eat a bit of any of it.  Not a bite.

I ate a piece of baked chicken and drank a water...that's it, nothing else.

After the band showed the crowd what they have been doing for the last week, the committee cleaned up and we all went home.  My youngest went upstairs, showered and I heard him call down to say goodnight...

It was silent in the house and while I was sitting at the kitchen table, I heard a whisper from the tupperware sitting on the stove.  I walked over to see if I was hearing things and it was that  tupperware full of cookies I made last weekend and never tried.  Now by this point, I think I must have been delirious because all of the thoughts that I had watching people put food on their plates at the potluck, all the folks eating brats smothered with ketchup and sweet relish and all the sadness and excitement over my son going to college came flooding back.  The voices in my head began to sing about how good those cookies were going to taste and how they know I will feel so much better once I get those cookies in my mouth and wash them down with an ice cold glass of milk. 

I placed 4 carefully selected cookies on a paper towel, poured a big glass of milk and sat down at my computer.  For a second, as I was chewing, I did feel better... like what I imagine one of my patients feeling when the liquid morphine soaks in their cheek.  Except, it didn't last long and with each bite, I realized that eating these cookies weren't the answer...actually, food is not the answer.  I am not so sure I know what the answer is but 4 cookies with milk didn't solve the turmoil in my skull.  What it did do though,  is taste pretty dang good, wonderfully stick to my teeth and make me think about how good some foods are and maybe, just maybe I could eat them occasionally. 

Problem solved, right?  I had my epiphany with food...finally after 48 years.  I think not.  This morning, guess what?  The tupperware was calling to me again about how since I blew it last night...how about a few cookies dipped in my coffee.  Nope, I am rested, strong and will pass that one up.  Yes, and I think...as a matter of fact, I know, I will bag them up and take them down to Salida today for the boys to have when they go backpacking.

Those cookies are leaving my house, hopefully to never be heard from again...

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My father's daughter...

Nine years ago, in 2003, it was a day much like yesterday. The sun was shining and it was hot.  The kids and I were at church, sorting at the Grove sale.  Around 4 in the afternoon, we pulled into the driveway and I started unloading kids from the car.  Christie was 11, Mac was 9 and Howie was 6.  I headed to the back of the car to get the treasures that we bought second hand at the sale when Jim approached me.  He stopped me where I was and put his hands on my shoulders..."your father is gone."  I looked at him closely and made him repeat the sentence..."Your father passed away, Terry.  Your brother found him at home and your sister called to tell you.  Honey, I'm so sorry."  I stood at the back of the car and waited for awhile...

My father had been ill for a year.  He had a heart attack in 2001 and really never recovered.  By the time he died, he could barely walk out to the car, go to the mailbox or do any of the things he wanted to do.  We knew his heart wasn't working and that he was dying.  But, for me, it was still a shock.

We all flew to Florida and had the service at good old Brewer's funeral home.  It was becoming a place for destination vacations...After the funeral,  I sent my husband and kids home.  I stayed to get things taken care of with my siblings.  After a week, I headed to the airport and came home.  When I got in the car with my husband and kids, I sat silently and cried all the way home.  I was an orphan...both of my parents were no longer alive.  A very lonely feeling...

Fast forward to nine years later, August 8, 2012.  I spent the day thinking about my father.  I thought about his work ethic, how he loved to eat and drink,  how he could fix anything that was broken and how he loved us kids.  

My father was a NYC cop and worked at Fort Apache, or as my father referred to it, "The four one " before retiring and moving to Florida.  He was never really happy that he had to retire and he didn't really want to move from good old New York.  I was in 6th grade at the time and loved Florida.  I played all the sports that I could get involved in and my father would pick me up after school with a cold soda to ride home with him.  It meant a lot to me.

He and my mother were not the lovey-dovey type but they fought the good fight and stayed together through thick and thin.  I was sure that they never loved each other in that  romantic way.  I remember thinking I never want a marriage like theirs.

Then my mother got sick.  My father stuck with her and took her to her radiation and chemo appointments, took care of her after and put up with her when she was very difficult...and as I look back, he never complained.  While all of us kids were living our lives, he was taking care of her without our help...because that's what you do when you love someone all these years...huh?

When she died, he was lonely and missed her terribly.  He would say "the other side of the argument is gone" and I really think he missed even that part.  He never looked for another lady, he just spent time with my sister and brother who lived in Florida at the time.

Yesterday, as I drove to go to the gym, I realized what the date was and began to think about what I took from him.  I love to eat and drink, maybe even more than my father.  I love to read the paper.  My father would read the daily paper every single day.  My father was able to fix anything, and I mean anything.  He was the ultimate handyman and did a professional job with all of it.  I will try to fix anything.  He was dedicated to his family.  He had his favorite (Barbara) but always took time to know us and talk to us.  

I think he was an amazing father and I think of him and get that little twinge of missing him every day.  The man was a gem.  

I named my youngest son after him shortly after my mother died.  I wanted him to understand how much he meant to me and how taking care of my mother and honoring her wishes meant to me.  Too bad I never said that out loud.  

Nine years without my father...seems like yesterday that he was in Colorado visiting me and pushing the kids on the swings in the yard.  Seems like yesterday when we were getting our house ready for sale and he was painting the walls with me.  That was the last time he was feeling good and I am so glad that I had that time with him.

One of the last funny things he said to me when he was here sticks with me to this day.  I was walking down the stairs, doing chores at a mile a minute while he was at the kitchen table reading the paper..."I don't understand why you are overweight, you are on your feet all day doing something."  I giggled to myself and agreed with him, "Yeah, Dad, I ought to be thin" and went about my business.  

I miss that old guy a lot.  I wonder what he would think of my kids in college and how my house is coming along with the projects and how I have so many animals to care for.  I wonder if he would be proud of me and my family...I wish he was here to talk about these things.  But he's not and I'm sure he is fine.  It's just me that misses him more than I can handle.

Happy 9th anniversary in heaven, Dad.
I love you and I miss you and hope to see you again.

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sweet Sunday

It's 9pm on Sunday and I don't want it to be over.  It has been one of the most wonderful days I can remember in a long time.  Nothing too flashy or exciting...but sweet for sure.

Got up this morning and headed for church.  The sermon was about food...manna from heaven, to be exact.  I am so desperately trying to avoid putting any food in my mouth that I had to tune out the whole sermon.  I just kept thinking about bread and how I am not eating it and how I love bread and wanted some with a big slab of butter on it.  Not exactly the message that I was supposed to get.

After church, I headed to the grocery store...food again...and thought about how to make the week successful.  I decided that if I made meatballs and sauce, that would do it.  Food again...

I had a car full of food and ran into Jim heading for the neighbors house on his tractor to scoop the poop out of her corrals.  I, of course, wanted help with the groceries to no avail.  I schlepped all the food I bought and started cooking.

As I made the meatballs, I noticed that I had all three men in my house watching.  "What are you making, Mom?"   When I answered, I could see the anticipation of the "Sunday dinner" plans.  
I told my Mac that I was making an awesome dinner because I wanted him to remember his home fondly when he goes to college.  I said it like I was kidding but really, I think I was totally serious.

As the meatballs and sauce were cooking, I whipped up chocolate chip cookie dough.  My youngest came upstairs to ask what I was doing and decided I needed some company.  He started to make the cookies and we discussed at length the fact that everyone loves soft chocolate chip cookies.  I enjoyed every second of that talk.

Meanwhile, my husband was out in the garage trying to figure out what is wrong with my car.  For the last week, I have been driving with the heat on and the windows open to keep the thing from overheating.  The temperature has been in the 90's in Denver so I have been sweating like a pig all day.  Needless to say, I have been calling him at work to tell him how I am sweating to death and how he needs to figure out what is wrong with my car...because it is all his fault.

When the food was made and ready to go, I cleaned up the kitchen and poured my glass of wine.  Jim joined me and we sat out on the deck talking.  We talked about dinner, our kids, being old and how lucky we are.  After some time, we came in and ate the great dinner I made.  

I know it sounds boring and I gotta tell you...it is.  

Boring and good.  Sunday, 15 days before my second child leaves for college, a free day when my youngest son isn't on the field marching with his tuba from 8-6,  a day when my husband dons his overalls and lays beneath the car talking to himself, and a day when I can just be mom.  Those days are few and far between in my house lately, and when I get a chance to cherish them...I'm gonna.

While we sat on the deck, Jim and I talked about 20 years ago when I was in labor at St. Joes and he was wearing his "30 and still frisky" shirt and we were embarking on a life with children.  We laughed about how we never imagined all the things we have done and will do with our family...how lucky we are to have these three.

Sunday, a day of rest, although in our house, there seems to be no such thing.  But, I loved today...the shopping, the cooking, the talking with my boys, the sorting laundry, washing dishes, sitting with Jim on the deck...the ordinary things that happen and if I have my head programmed to automatic pilot, could have missed all of it.
Thankfully, I didn't.

The last thing of the night, a thing I love to do is next...
I am going to get into my pj's and read the Sunday paper.  When I'm done, I'll roll over, kiss my husband good night and shut off the light.  If that isn't ordinarily sweet...nothing is.

Hope your day was sweet,
We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Soon and very soon...

In 19 days, my son, my second child is leaving for college.  He will be about an hour and some away from his mother.  If you have read any of my blogs about this child or know him...you understand what I may be feeling...

He is an interesting soul.  He loves life and doesn't know how to keep his mouth shut.  He is dependable, kind and I am starting to miss seeing him every day already.

But, my youngest, Howie, is going to miss him even more.  They are best buddies...hiking, camping, airsofting, traveling buddies and they fight like cats and dogs.  They also gang up on me and keep me honest when they need to.  

Last week, we were beginning the transition to fall and I took them shopping.  Of course, at 10am, they were hungry and needed to go to McDonald's for 6 egg Mcmuffins a piece.  As we were sitting there at the counter and they were eating, I asked Mac if he was gonna call me when he left for college.  He promptly replied, "No". Then I asked if I could call him.  He also replied, "No".  I looked away and realized that tears were running down my face.  It totally caught me by surprise.  He noticed and said, "Mom, I am gonna be an hour away and you can call me or text me any time you want...I was just kidding."  I think I know he was kidding but I had just realized that two of my favorite people in the world will now be living away from me.

When the Queen was home in May before she left for her summer job,  I enjoyed her so much.  We went to the gym together, cooked together and talked about everything.  I didn't want her to go to her summer job...I wanted her to stay home.  That was different from last summer.  I was ready for her to go and was afraid that if she lived at home for the summer, we would argue and have power struggles.  I guess I let go just enough that she could be an adult in my home and I could enjoy her.  But, on the 28th of May, she left to go to work.  I miss her terribly and wish that she was only an hour away, instead of three.  She will be back in Boulder in 19 days as well.

In less than three weeks, it will be me, my husband and my youngest son.  Don't get me wrong, my youngest is a deep, quiet thinker.  He is perfectly fine alone, doing what he wants.  He doesn't seem to need a bunch of friends, one or two plus his brother is fine, thank you.  He talks quietly, thinks before he speaks and you can't  push him into anything he doesn't want to do.  Sometimes, when I blurt out an opinion, he just shakes his head and says, "Mom, no" and most of the time he is right.  I should have kept that thought to myself.

What will I do when I only have one at home?  A week or two ago, I sat my husband down and told him we "are not done."  What I meant by that is...we still have Howie at home and we need to gather our old bones and get our energy level up to be his number one cheerleaders like we have been with the other two.  We have to  sit at dinner every night and do what we have done for 15 years...ask the questions.  Since the queen was in kindergarten, most every night, when we weren't running around, we sat at the dinner table, said our prayer and ate together.  The first question, usually asked by Jim was, "what did you do in school today?" to each kid.  Then I would ask, "who did you have lunch with today?" and it went from there.  I am sure the answers will be much shorter and forced but we need to connect with the last kid even more.  He is so quiet, he could be in the basement with his sports and video games and if I wanted, I would never have to make dinner again.  

I talked to a mother whose only child was going to college and she called it "re-purposing"...that is, finding another meaning besides being a mother in your life.  I guess I don't want to.  I am a mother...and some times I am a "motha" too.  I didn't plan to be so attached to these three or love them as much as I do but guess what, it happened.  And, they are leaving.  They are spreading their wings and moving out of the nest.  It's hard but also pretty gratifying.  

Over Christmas, when the Queen was home, one night, all three were out doing different things.  I was out of sorts and in a terrible mood.  One by one, they came home.  When the Queen made it home, she came up to my room, and announced that the last chick was home and the nest was full again.  She was right, all my chicks were home and safe in the nest.  I slept beautifully that night.

I asked my older boy what he was doing tomorrow.  He said, "I have no plans until later tomorrow night," and then asked, "why, you wanna do something?"  I thought (but did not say) "yeah, I want to hang out with you, hear about all your hopes and dreams, listen to what you are worried about in this next step of your life and want to make sure you realize how precious you are to your father and I" but I didn't because I know he would just say, "Oh, Mom, you'll be fine when I leave."   So I said, "I gotta work but how about you getting ready to go to college, start packing up."  

Because I know him so well, it will take him the whole 19 days to pack up and get ready to go.  I also know I will be up in Boulder in the next few days bringing him stuff he forgot.  What I am going to appreciate the most, though, is when I show up with stuff he forgot after a week and see a confident, college boy in the place of my son  who is excited to see his parents and brother but ready for us to leave so he can get on with his life.

At least I hope so...

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,