Friday, May 22, 2009

The weekend that lies ahead

We will be busy, busy this weekend. I'll be out 'til Tuesday, but with good reason. Look!

-Trip to the nursery with my mother-in-law so that we can spend our Mother's Day gift certificates on BEAUTIFUL flowers.
-Check in with my aunt to see if she really does want me to take her and my 91 year old grandmother to visit the cemetery.
- Weed flower beds.
- Plant newly purchased flowers.
- Hit the grocery.
- Prepare dinner.
- Watch friend's son so that her husband can attend another son's preschool graduation since she is playing violin at a wedding. She feels horrible she isn't able to attend, but they moved the night of the graduation AFTER she booked the wedding.

- Lowe's Build and Grow Workshop.
- Go to my sister's to celebrate my nieces 8th birthday.
- Go home, get a bath and change for a wedding.
- Go to wedding with K-, then race to my in-law's house 20 minutes away to drop K- off so that I can attend the reception stag since Hubs has to work.

- Church (hopefully a good sermon)
- Have a nice lunch together.
- Plant garden. Hubs is solarizing it for me right now. Though it says to do it for 4-6 weeks, we've done it for a week or two in the past and have had wonderful results. Hubs had purchased a sprinkle can of wildflower seeds for me one year and we did an "experimental bed." It was experimental all right. It was filled with ragweed and neither K- or I could breathe when we were in the back yard. Once Hubs discovered it, he sent us in, had us shut the doors, donned a dust mask and pulled it all. We then solarized the bed for 2 weeks. It didn't kill the perennials we had, but it did kill all of the ragweed. Hooray!

- Hit the thrift store for the sale. It is 50 cent Monday (the tag color of the day is 50 cents), there is the 1/2 price tag of the day AND! 20% off the whole sale on top of that! Cheap stuff for even CHEAPER! Sign me up!!!
- Prepare lunch.
- Take said lunch out on the boat with us. Hubs has had a 14' aluminum row boat since he has been 16 years old. He purchased it himself and towed it with a Bobcat (that overheated because of it, of course.) I haven't been out on the boat in a few years. In the evenings after work, I used to prepare dinner for us and we would go on "dinner cruises." We haven't done that in quite some time. I do kind of miss it.

So, I'll see you on Tuesday. Oh, I'll pop in, I just won't be taking the time to post. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The sign that just didn't want to be completed.

I should start backwards. On Friday, I finally finished the sign. I had the eyes to do. They can be tricky. One false move and you have a crocodile that looks crazed or has that lazy eye look. But, I was successful. I got it completed and 20 minutes later my sister called to inform me that it would be baby day. Baby day means two additional children at my home. Makes me glad that I spent 6 + hours painting on the sign on Thursday. With 3 children (bless you with more than one child) my attention could not possibly be on the sign.

So what was I working with? Here's my paint work from last year: It took 5 - 6 layers of Kilz to cover last years paint job. As you can see, it is a big sign. Last year I needed to re-do the whole thing. At least I had the presence of mind to do a uniform lettering that would only need the date changed. (I adopted the sign painting last year and wanted to start with a clean slate.) I was also working with rather inferior, cheap craft paint that I obtained from the Wal, so I did the best that I could with what I had. (Budget is tight and wasn't going to go to re-buy.) Hubs and I got the sign hauled out Friday evening. Boy that sucker is heavy! We needed to haul it up from the Fellowship Hall, which is the basement under the sanctuary. Should I also add that it is a T-shaped stairway? Ah, such fun. Hubs lifts weights, though so all I had to do was push and guide. He did the actual haul for me. (Thanks, honey.)

Last year was my final year of directing. I've retired. As I know that I've been approached to take directing again, I'd rather just stick with the painting and gophering.

Now you've seen the sign that you've heard so much about. It isn't a work of art, but it will certainly take us where we need to go.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Book on Miscarriage or Stillbirth

The birth of my nephew, Leland, this week has brought me to thoughts of our first daughter. Some of you who have stopped in are aware of the loss of our daughter, Bailey. If you aren't and you are properly outfitted with a box of Kleenex, feel free to read about it here. Please feel free to read the follow-up here and here. The long and short of our loss boils down to my having two blood clotting disorders. The blood clotting disorders that I have are MTHFR and PAI-Type 1, both of which are homozygous. (Meaning, genes from both sides to make the ill effects extra ugly.) These genetic disorders were completely unknown to us in the beginning, but in the end Bailey died as a result of lack of oxygen because of a large blood clot that had formed behind the placenta. This was at 22 1/2 weeks. Because of the blood clotting disorders and the severity of the pre-eclampsia/eclampsia that I did have, the OB/GYN was kind in suggesting that we not take the route to family via birth from me again. (Not how she said it, but how I'm wording it.)

So, this brings me around to my actual reason to post. The hospital had a library and insisted that we borrow books on loss from their collection. My husband went down, got the books that they suggested and off home we went. I was off work for a full month and had quite a bit of time to read. We were absolutely horrified that one of the books that they suggested and sent home for me to read was comparing miscarriage, stillbirth and abo*rtion as all the same loss. I certainly can understand miscarriage and stillbirth falling into the same category, but listing abor*tion in there threw me for a loop. If it was a specifically medically necessary abor*tion then I could certainly understand their need for the same category, but that wasn't mentioned. It was a comparison of miscarriage, stillbirth and by choice abor*tion only. It only made me mad. The loss of our daughter was not our choice.

Friends bought me the book Losing You Too Soon, by Bernadette Keaggy. Bernadette really wrote truly from her heart and she didn't hide the way she felt. She dumped it all out there. As Christians, we believe in God's will for our lives. God's will, however, doesn't always mean that we're going to admit that it was something that we signed up for. Certainly birthing a deceased child is never high on someones list. Plainly, it sucks. There was Bernadette left to do it multiple times.

I admit that for several years, I re-read this book a couple of times a year. Generally around the anniversary of Bailey's death (January 27) or around the time that she was due (May 30), I would crack the book out. It is a book that I've suggested to many people. That's why I posted about this subject this week. I highly recommend this book to folks who have suffered loss of an infant due to miscarriage or stillbirth. Sometimes as friends, we want to do something and we don't know what to do or where to go for a friend. Sometimes reading a book like this will give you perspective and a bit of understanding in what your friend or family is going through. (Not that we would ever wish loss on anyone ever.)

Worth noting, my husband went to see Phil Keaggy play somewhere around Youngstown. (He was from around there.) He met him after the concert and told him to please thank his wife for writing her book. Phil had a lovely conversation with him about the loss of Bailey, signed the CD and made sure to include my name on it. Not a stiff and stodgy musician or bigger than his britches, he was down to earth and truly took my husband's compliment to heart.

Also worth noting, my husband and I were so taken by Phil's truly kind heart, what he and Bernadette went through and her writing the book that K-'s middle name is actually from a Phil Keaggy song.

So Phil, if you are out there, you and Bernadette rock! Thanks for reaching out and helping people. Thank you for touching our hearts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tales from the Trenches: Parade candy collection etiquette

My nieces came to stay with us as Leland made his grand entrance into the world. My aunt called on Saturday morning to say that the baseball parade was going to be going on just up the street at 11 AM. I got the girls dressed and up there before my actual stated time. (I was kind of proud of myself.) My legally blind and disabled aunt had parked her and her mobility scooter in a sweet spot in the drive to their senior citizens building. I parked at the back of the building and came around with a variety of umbrellas in hand, all the while having the girls in tow. My aunt had threatened the girls to not even think of stepping out into the street to collect candy. She had seen a child almost hit by the fire truck a few years previous and we discussed that my sending them back to their mother broken or stitched would not be acceptable. The parade started and the girls, armed with their collection bags, were ready! I was running in and out in the street zone to collect what had been tossed to the girls, in front of the girls. Then it happened, one of the senior housing residents started swooping in and collecting the candy that was tossed in front of the kids, for the kids, before I could get to it. Hmmm. I thought it was tacky. I'm thankful that none of the girls had said anything. As a child, I know that I would have been tempted to. To properly credit the lady, every so often, she would flip a wet tootsie roll into one of the children's bags but really, it was raining and she didn't want to use an umbrella. Why? Her collection abilities would be hindered. The next day, my aunt called to say that "Millie" was so sore that she could hardly walk.

So parade candy collection etiquette tip of the day? The zone directly in front of your entire party is your collection area, 'kay? That rule is especially true if we are talking about children ages 5-8 vs. someone probably 80+. I mean, there were ladies in wheel chairs holding cups and I ran along in front of them, scooped up candy and deposited in their cups. They weren't able to do it and they really wanted some.

Makes me wonder if she is the same kindly looking old lady who runs me over (while carrying the items in arm) with her full cart of food at the local food discounter so that she can be the next in line. Just a thought.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The little man of the weekend

Snuggled up in mommy's arms. Look at my long baby feet! I have the greatest fat baby pigs. I have long babyson fingernails. I can be a little cranky, but generally I'm really quiet. But look at my hair! You can almost run your fingers through it. It's thicker than what most men have in their 50's!I love my mama and she loves me. The outside world isn't so bad after all!

You like my name? I do, too! Grant you, I'm not used to hearing it, but it has a nice ring to me! My first name, Leland, means "grassy knoll." My middle name, Vaughn, is my great grandfather's first name. Great grandpa isn't with us anymore, but I get to carry his neat name.

Pardon me, but I'm getting a little hungry. Mommy!