Tuesday, April 28, 2009

i'm back

hey! i'm back!

yes, i know it's been a bit of a downer here lately. that's the circle of life. (please no singing disney songs on this blog.) let me just say that while none of the conflicts from my last post have changed really, my spirits have changed. and by spirits, i mean, my attitude, not my bottle of rum. because, i have no bottle of rum. yo ho!

we are now planning a wedding around here. and we are excited about it. and we will go ahead with our plans, because one 15-minute conversation cleared up a lot of things for me and i will not be worrying about anything more pressing than whether i want a floral print dress or a solid color dress. we are about to begin a new adventure.

and about stu--yes, he is on the list. but he is also working full time, buying a home, raising a child, expecting another child, playing d&d, learning to cook, planting a garden, repairing a fence, mowing his lawns, and building a deck. and when he is ready for a liver transplant, i will be there with him and shi and the girls, and jack and together we will all watch him pink up and plump up.

and about my work, my gilian-repair work with carolyn, so what else is new? who among us doesn't have some repair work to do? true, not everybody has a carolyn to keep reminding them of their work, but i do, and i'm so glad for that constant nudging, poking, and tapping i pay her to do to keep me growing.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

a few random thoughts

Three ideas have been conflicting with each other through my mind of late. They are with me day and night, whether awake or attempting sleep. So much so that I've even wondered if I shouldn't simply begin taking the nighttime meds again, in an effort to numb my mind and calm these thoughts and get some much needed sleep. But, I realize how unhelpful that mind numbing can be and have, so far, successfully avoided the tiny little pills, once some of my best friends. Surely that is an indication that I'm getting better, right?

So, about those three thoughts. The first is related to the upcoming marriage of Jr and Brandie. Let me first say that anything I say in my blog has already been said to them, in front of almost everyone who knows them or me, so I'm not trying to send them a message through my blog. I'm excited for them to marry. They are such good friends. They seem to enjoy being together. They don't agree about everything, but they seem to be able to work through to an agreement. I can only hope for the best for them and can hardly wait to see them exchange their vows to commit to each other. I am so looking forward to sharing that once in a lifetime, never to be repeated, get em while they're hot perfect evening with them, their friends, and their families.

So there's that thought. And there are the thoughts I've been having about Stu. He's on THE LIST. The liver transplant list. My 27-year-old son is awaiting the call that tragically, someone with O-type blood, who is within 30 lbs of his size (after he puts on the 30 lbs the docs have asked him to try to gain), has given the gift of life that he needs in order to stop the deterioration of his young body, to enable him to watch his garden and his children grow, to hope that he will see many more birthdays. It is such a painful contradiction. Since I have no control over this situation, I seek ways to find some level of control. I think about it constantly. I watch the website that shows how many people need livers in our region, what diseases they have, how sick they are, how young or old they are. And where he fits in to all of those statistics. I can see where he is on the various reports I put together from the data on the website. And while it passes some of the time when I cannot sleep, it does not really give me any control over anything. Reorganizing the data into various reports does not reorganize anything else in the world. It does not give me control. But it does pass the time. And it does help me see that right now, he has been on the list for the least time--less than 30 days--is no more than 13 transplants from his transplant, is one of four patients with the same liver disease he has, is the sickest of the four, and of those four, one is a teenager, one is in his twenties, and one is in his thirties. I say he, but the others could be female. I haven't compiled that report yet, but I will soon, maybe in a few hours if I wake and cannot find sleep again tonight.

And then there's the recent work at therapy. I don't know if I've said this before, but therapy with my first therapist was like visiting with a good friend for an hour every week or so. She was someone I could talk to about anything. The best thing she did was keep me alive until she could get me into the hospital. There were a couple of therapists in the hospital and one immediately after my discharge that I don't really count as my therapists. Then there was Carolyn. I've been seeing her for about a year and a half. She has been amazingly patient with me as she's had to keep working on the same concepts with me over and over. During that 18 months, there have been brief--brief--moments when the light hasn't filtered in, it has struck like lightning. I have had several of these blindingly bright flashes of understanding--sometimes the work I need to do, sometimes a glimpse into myself, sometimes a clue to my relationships with others. Sometimes these flashes are brief, like a shock from static electricity. Other times they are like a wound that hurts and hurts and then becomes infected and must be reopened in order to allow healing to begin. But almost always, they include a component of realization that I have so much work to do to become whole. And that realization keeps me awake at night.

So that's where I've been lately.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


1. Nowhere near enough time with the girlies.
2. A new truck for Jack.
3. Trade in of Bob, Jack's Grand Prix that my friend Colleen won on The Price is Right that we bought from her a couple of years ago.
4. Jr and Brandie are planning a fall wedding.
5. Stu is ON THE LIST.
6. Shi is in the 3rd trimester of a healthy pregnancy with baby girl number 4.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

just a few more photos from last weekend...

After the Easter egg hunt last weekend, Audrey demonstrated her newly discovered somersaulting ability.

JoJo and Oscar came into the room with all of us and put on one of their shows, which Stu captured, a click at a time. Towards the end of the clicking, Jessie asked whether or not somebody should be putting a stop to the game instead of taking pictures...

And these are photos of some of the few moments when Janey shed some tears and allowed me to be the one to comfort her. Such a good feeling for me to be the one person (other than her sweet mom) that this precious lass looks to for a safe place during loud, family parties.

If only it could be so easy to soothe everyone's feelings.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

the gardens' easter egg hunt

We had an Easter egg hunt in the gardens last weekend with the girlies. A bunch of photos (taken by Stu) tell the story far better than I could ever do with words...

One of the girlies understood right off what her part of the egg hunt was about...

The others caught on pretty quickly though...

Then we went in the house to check out the goodies in the Easter baskets and eggs...

Jack helped Audrey with her candy wrappers...

And seriously, check out the girl power in the gardens--

Friday, April 17, 2009

duck (s) in the gardens

Last weekend was seriously eventful. Jack spotted a duck in the back yard.

Then he snapped a photo of the duck doing the chicken dance for him.

He didn't realize she was dancing for someone else...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

not the dog

The new masthead is a clear indication that it is spring time 2009. All of the perennials have received their spring haircuts and the new green stuff is comin' up.

Last weekend, the darlings came over. Check out the little piggytails...

and the cheesin' it up cousins...

some of the girl-chaos fun

and then there are the quiet moments...

and in case you've forgotten, it's spring in the new bed in the gardens.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

yes, it's more about the dog

The chows used to prance. It was obvious from the way they moved that they knew that with their blue tongues and their lionish manes and fluffy tails curled over their backs that they were unusual, unique dogs.

The collies were plodders. Their big bodies on those dainty little feet with the extra long noses and long, table-clearing wagging tails were always friendly, if more than a bit clumsy.

Then there's JoJo. She is a leaper. And a sprinter. And a stumbler. And a wiggle-all-overer. And such a sweetheart.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

let the sailing begin

Today was the first day of yard sailing 2009. Sugar and I met up with Colleen and her husband, Gary--the only guy who could possibly be invited to yard sail with us because nothing we do surprises him. Too Much. We all love Gary and he thinks we are all adorable and delightful.

These are the things I will remember about this morning:

1. When Colleen and Gary drove up and parked next to my car. Mostly I will remember Colleen.
2. The hilarious joke that Colleen told us. I'm pretty much convinced she made it up all by herself.
3. The short and stout teapot I discovered, lovingly picked up, and paid for at the first and only yard sail we went to today because --hello--it was snowing!?! That sweet teapot will make a perfectly lovely addition to what has become my apparent collection of things with spouts.
4. The surprise, wonder, and awe I felt as we drove away from the yard sail when I found a handful of peanuts (still in their shells) inside of the teapot. You have simply got to love yard sails. (But you don't have to eat the surprises you find.)
5. The excited anticipation I am still feeling as I wait (patiently) for Gary to call to tell me he's made mango smoothies for all of us with the new blender (with the spout on the side and the plunger in the lid) he bought. (You may be wondering why I didn't buy the blender since it had a spout, but in case I've never disclosed this little detail about me, I love only nonelectric spouted items.)
6. The first time in the five or so years since I've known Sugar and Colleen (in the yard sailing way that I know them) that I've been the first one to buy something at a yard sail. Actually, Gary bought his blender first, but I gave him the dollar and then used another dollar to buy my teapot.

So there you go. A new yard sailing season has begun with great promise. And many laughs. And fast food with lots of diet coke. I love these people.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

three nights in a row out of the gardens

Monday night--delightful birthday party for Breanne and Janey with the family.
Tuesday night--percussion ensemble concert with the drummer and his finger-tapping buddies.
Wednesday night--grace, strength, colors, lights, music--I love the ballet

But. I have missed my pup so much that I'm going to have to stay up extra late tonight to hold her and pet her and let her chew on my fingers.