Thursday, October 31, 2013

On loss and recovery

My family was blessed to have my Grandma B' live with us for a few months last summer while we helped cared for her. It was a great blessing for my children to visit with her, to share in caring for her, to feel of her strong faith and testimony in God, to hear of her wonderful life experiences, to see the many people who also cared for her (and helped with her care) come in and out of our home. To notice how gracious she was when company came, even when she was tired.

I enjoyed the nightly ritual of rubbing her back, neck, shoulders, and feet and hands and arms as we'd discuss the day and always she'd be so appreciative. My Grandma wasn't an angel, but she was as close to one as I'll ever meet--the milky white skin and hair didn't hurt that impression. Every once in awhile we'd talk about foibles and how frustrating they are, but we'd always bring the conversation around to the positive. I don't remember my Grandma saying some of the things other people do, but I remember her talking about if we all put our troubles in a bag and hung them on a line and had a chance to run for them, we'd all run for our own bag. It's all in what you know. I only wish I'd been in less physical pain so I'd had more quality time with her.

Looking back, I realize now what a gift I had in those three months, my whole life, really. Grandma was so good at loving everyone and making each person feel like her favorite. What a legacy she has left. The Friday before she passed, she was still trying to tell me that she hadn't done anything remarkable in life, nothing worth remembering, but of course besides all of the big things (of which there are many), there are oh so many, innumerable--cliche as it may be--as the sands of the sea, small things. Grandma you are the glue that brings this family together. I love you, Grandma.

I suppose after all these years apart, it's someone else's turn to be your favorite.

Friday, April 19, 2013


So, the test is finally done (the analysis we've tried to do for months now-result in a couple weeks and then hopefully some recommendations for treating these damned stones).

Ty has been sick all week, sicker than he's been in a very long while. Nothing has really appeased him, and I find myself longing for those days when he used to weigh a mere 25 pounds and I could still curl him into ball tucked against my shoulder and rub his back to comfort him.

We both finally slept more than two hours in a row last night for the first time since Monday, and it was heavenly. Meanwhile, he's passed even more stones. I think I've given up my right to ever complain about my neck and ear pain again (yes, the ear pain is still here).

Spielberg entered several pieces in his high school art show and placed third in Mixed Media with an Honorable Mention in Photography (this piece nearly went to private auction).

Michelle has been busy with volleyball - her team took second at her tournament. She's excited for driver's ed,a summer job and starting up refereeing soccer soon.

Nicole started up her first season of track and without any training in long jump has managed to really well. She's also running 100 m, 200 m, and some relays. She took third out of 24 girls in the 100 meters at one of her meets.

Ellie is growing like a weed and her hair is long and beautiful, too. She reads like a champ, practices piano every day, and has just started up with soccer again.

How're things with you?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On Catching Up

I keep thinking what a great idea it would have been to use a different ink color for each child in my journals so they could easily skim through and find the bits relating to them, but then maybe a treasure hunt every now and again is a good idea, too.

Ty has passed four stones in the past two weeks, so we're headed back to radiology for a scan to see just how many are left and just how big they are. Poor guy, he's been moaning since Friday.

Mr. O's mom is recovering from a particularly difficult winter. This is but the tip of an iceberg. The kids are old enough that I feel I can no longer update here and respect their privacy. Maybe what I need to do is lock things down or go back to handwritten journaling because I don't want to miss out on recording these memories.

Le big, fat sigh. I will say, though, that Ellie is becoming a wonderful reader.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I had neck surgery, and it worked splendidly (so far). Part of my disc had fragmented and was trying to occupy the same space as the nerve, putting pressure on the nerve - this explains so much. The pain in my shoulder blades has been gone since surgery. Sadly, Mr. O came down with the flu the day before I went under the knife and was so, so sick for a week. The flu went through everyone in the family. Thankfully Kalli took me to the hospital and kept me company, everyone should be so lucky.

I can't lift Ty yet, and the neighbors have been so good to help us with lifting him.

Back on the green smoothie wagon, and I can't seem to get enough. My favorite is apple, strawberry, and spinach.

We've been in the hospital with Blaine's mom. She had a fall and broke her arm. It's going to be quite the recovery.

So, yes, 2013 continues to read like a travelogue from the hospital files. I don't know if things will change, but in the mean time,I have some projects to keep me busy.

Monday, January 21, 2013


Yes, the tree is still up and somehow the lights (different sections each day) keep going out. Maybe today is the day it comes down. The laundry is mostly caught up, groceries are next as well as some deep cleaning. I might even cover my greys.

On Friday I met with the nurse,and she gave me my pre-surgical instructions and special scrubbies. For two minutes, the night before surgery, I clean a radiating bullseye pattern out from the incision site, eventually covering the right side of my upper half. I repeat the procedure again the next morning. Funny thing, I'm allergic to the cleanser. I suppose I prefer a rash to a potential infection.

I spent the weekend sewing with a little knitting thrown in for good measure. Just a few more days and my neck will be fused. By summer I should be back to the me I used to be before all this pain.

Here's to hope.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


When you don't know where to start, just jump in.

In December Mr. O's mother suffered a painful injury and came to stay with us for a few weeks. Michelle had her own medical fun of the recurring variety, unfortunately. And somewhere in there Christmas happened and my sisters and their families came for visits. And during the annual ski outing my brother broke his leg while snowboarding-in three places!

It's been non-stop around here. I've been to the hospital more times than I care to count in the past three months, that is just the way it is right now. Our Christmas tree is still up, and I'm considering hanging up some construction paper hearts and just calling it a Valentine's tree. That could be a thing, right?

I've been trying to fit in more sewing projects because in about a week I won't be able to move my neck to look downward. I'm so out of practice writing in this little space here, that for now, this is it.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I've been busy. Usually, I make a quilt and then I know who it's for. This time, was no different. I made this quilt, and before I dropped it off at the quilter's I knew it was one I wanted to keep (I never do that). It is full of scraps from favorite past projects-both mine and those of friends'. It is one of the most cheerful, bright quilts I've made, and I love it. It's going to see me through some dark days in January.

 I think I love the back of it just as much.
 I'm not sure who this quilt is for just yet. Maybe a little boy I haven't been told about yet, hmm?
 And this is just a Christmas scrappy quilt top.
 And as a bonus, a random sunset my Ellie called me out to enjoy. What have you been up to lately?