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25 October 2010

I've so much to do!

So much to do today, i hardly know where to start!

I'm 3/4s done with the front of the sweater.  It is knitting up quickly.  Part of me just wants to sit and knit and get that part done.  Sigh.

The sweater doesn't look like the pic, but i'm pleased with it so far.  I'm not finding cables difficult.  

Gena tells me i knit loosely because i knit Continental rather than English.  That's okay, i respond, because i adjust for it by using smaller needles.  "But then you are constantly having to adapt a pattern!" she said.  Yes, well, i don't mind.  Besides, i remember when i was a child and a neighbor was trying to teach me to knit.  Probably English.  I found that i was having a hard time for multiple reasons, but i know one was that i was knitting too tightly that every stitch was a challenge.  I soon gave THAT up!

I've said every year since we've lived here that i can "feel fall in the air" in August.  Don't know quite how to describe it, but there it is.  Today i'm feeling winter in the air for the first time.  I don't know quite how to describe this either.  It is not really any colder than the previous few days.  No snow is forecast.  Yet, somehow the wind that is blowing is bringing a winter chill that wasn't there before.  

We had the chimney sweep come a few weeks back.  Nothing in the chimney for him to do, although he told us that the fire had been burning too cool; the soot should have been black when it was pale grey.  He spent a lot of time with us troubleshooting why the stove has never been efficient.  He made some suggestions.  He cleaned out an air duct that was clogged (and i didn't even know there was that duct).   He didn't charge us a penny.  Said that he wants our business next year and all the referrals we can manage.  He said that this stove might just be a dud.

The darn thing has worked perfectly ever since he came.  I am pretty sure that it is working well because of the air duct cleaning, and i've been checking it daily since then.  The stove now works as it always should have.  Before, it was only putting out enough heat for a small amount of space near the stove.  Now it heats our whole living room and some of the upstairs well.  And it has been so much easier to start a fire, as well.  Before it was constant work, and took careful watching that the fire didn't die.

The chimney sweep made a couple of other suggestions.  One was to insulate and cover (with sheet metal) the area over the stove (because it is being used as an inset in the fireplace).  We've not done that yet, but plan to.  The other was to lay a few pipes on the the floor of the stove to increase air flow.  We have done that.  And we feel it helps, but i am sure the majority of the improvement is due to the air duct.  

Woo hoo!  Heat for the winter!  I'm excited.

I've been sleeping better.  Not more.  I wish i was sleeping 8 or more hours a night, but i usually average 4.5 to 6.  Still, i know i'm sleeping better because i know i've been dreaming.  Not that i remember the dreams, i usually don't.  But when i've been aware that i have been dreaming, i seem to manage better during the day.  I think they've been long, complicated dreams.

A couple of days ago i was dreaming long, complicated (conspiracy theory type, i think) when i got bonked on the head.  Opened my eyes and Duane's hand was coming down for the second time.  This is highly unusual, we don't usually bump each other too much while sleeping.  I asked him later if he dreamed he was stabbing me (for that was what it looked like, but part of that might have been the tail of my dream).  He was highly indignant!

We took N's 3 kids (and a cousin of theirs) to Oktoberfest yesterday.  As far as i'm concerned, it was wasted on the kids.  We missed all the fun inside, like the log cutting contest and all the dancing.  The kids mostly did carnival stuff outside (Sierra spent lots of time at the petting zoo).  Yeah, we spent money, but set some limits, too.  Sierra, the 8 year old daughter, has done ballet and some other forms of dance.  She didn't have much regard for the German dancing i enjoy watching.  We ate some nasty french fries (yes, i was bad and had a Pepsi).  

We were there about 2-1/2 hours.   Both Duane and i were pretty tired when we took the kids home.  But Duane was amazed to see me (he was with Sierra at the petting zoo, while i had the other 3 at the carnival attractions) carrying the youngest, Joshua, on my shoulders when we were separated from the other 2 for a bit.  I didn't carry Joshua much, but Duane was very much aware that 2 months ago i said i don't think i can do these events without a wheelchair.  :)   :)   :)  

When we came home, we both rested.  I think i only slept about 15 minutes (sleeping longer during the day creates a lot of problems for me), but i did stay resting for probably about 3 hours.  Still, when i got up i was fine.  Before, it would have taken me days to recover from such exertion.  I'm getting better!  I'm getting better!  :)   :)    :)  I also helped Duane stack some wood he had cut Saturday PM.  And i picked up twigs and bark for fire starter.  I did limit my work to about 45 minutes, and i rested afterwards, but my recovery time is so much less than it was.  I'm getting better.

I tried not to complain too much here, but i've seen my functioning decrease and decrease over the past year, especially since January.  I wasn't sure how much longer i was going to be able to continue our schedule at all.  I was scared, really scared.  

So this is more exciting than i can begin to express.

I am not fully WELL, by any means, but i am so much better.  I still have to limit my activity and monitor my energy.  Doing too much does mean relapse.  My new "normal" is probably still only about 30% of what a healthy person has.  But i'm able to do so much more than i did, with a far shorter recovery time.  Thank you, thank you God.  

Our cat Jazz wasn't well for a while.  The week i was home he was sneezing quite a bit (unusual for him, more common for Mac).  He was listless and didn't have much energy.  He didn't fuss as much (it seems he is always "talking" to us), and didn't struggle at all when we picked him up (usually he doesn't care for that at all).  I was starting to get worried when he wasn't much better after about 10 days.  Saturday i told Duane that if he wasn't better by today i would take him to the vet.  He either heard "vet" or his virus ran its course, because by Saturday afternoon he was much better.  Yesterday he was fussing at us like normal.  We kind of missed "sick Jazz," for we don't care much for "talky" cats.  However, i'm much relieved that he seems to be better.  Last night he was as playful as normal. 

I'm sure i had tons more to say, but i need to get up and start on my long "to do" list.

Is it beginning to be winter (or what you have as winter) where you are at now?


23 October 2010

Nibs & nobs

I've had a window open for more than a week now, preparing to write another post at I Looked for Love.  Don't know why i've struggled so to write this one.   Have two other windows open for a couple of days now, planning to write an info article for Hawkes' Health on what i've learned about Manuka honey.  Not written much here, either.  So what have i been doing?  Not a lot.  I've mostly been looking at knitting patterns.  My favorite place to look is Knitting Pattern Central.  They have tons & tons of links to so many different patterns.  The problem is they only have the link, so i have to open each link to see if it is anything i'm interested in making.  That takes a lot of time.

I have a beautiful, fluffy, cream-colored yarn i fell in love with & purchased a number of skeins.  It is nylon & acrylic.  I can't often do fluffy yarn as they generally are alpaca, cashmere, or the like, & i'm allergic to them.  I'm allergic to wool, also, although i tried once to knit with it.  Because it was soft & wouldn't be on "sensitive skin" (my hands seem rather immune to most of my allergies), i thought i could still knit with it (for a gift for someone else).  But my eyes itched all the time & i gave up & gave the yarn away.  

Anyhow, i have been looking for a pattern to use to knit a pullover sweater.  I've honestly never knit from a pattern.  Well, the first time i ever made a feather & fan baby blanket, that was from a pattern.  But it was just a square of the repeat of one row of a lace pattern, over & over.  I've never followed a pattern to create something that would tell me when to decrease, increase or anything else.  Now, i have made sweaters (about 4 or 5 in my memory).  But i created my own design from a lace pattern.  I think it is time to learn how to really read a pattern & use it.  (Pics of the last sweater i made are here, at the bottom of the post.  It turned out a bit too big.  My own pattern/design with an established lace pattern.)

This is the pattern i decided on.  It is called Bunny Hop.  (Link to pattern.)  It is called Bunny Hop because that is the name of the yarn they used.  The problem is, they don't tell you what the yarn actually IS.  I don't know the number of yards in the skein, nor the weight of the yarn.  I never could get my gauge to turn out as they recommend, even using much smaller needles.  And much smaller needles will mess up the fluffiness of my yarn.  And make it more difficult to knit this particular pattern.  

According to the yarn chart i found, 20 stitches for 4 inches is "medium weight yarn" (i.e., like worsted).  I only needed 15 stitches to make 4 inches, making my yarn "bulky" although, the actual weight & the fact that it has only 2 strands puts it into the "light" or even "fine" category for me.  So i've adjusted the pattern to accommodate fewer stitches.  Which means that really, i'm only using the pattern as a "suggestion."  Well, & i'm planning to add sleeves to this pattern too, either short sleeves or 3/4 length, we'll see.  So, who knows how this will actually turn out.  One of these days i'll have to choose a pattern, buy the exact yarn planned for the pattern, & follow the pattern exactly.  One day.

I've never, ever done cables before.  I've also spent the last couple of days practicing with some cotton yarn (& the cable practice will become cleaning cloths).  They aren't hard.  I was told they are not.  I've been doing lace patterns for years, but this is my first cable item.

I'm already about 4 inches into the front of the sweater.  What i found interesting is that i'm going to have to use 2 different counters, because the cable pattern repeats every 8 rows, but the lace panel in the center repeats every 12 rows.  Using 2 counters is new for me!  It is going to be a light sweater, not knitted dense at all.  Meaning it will need a camisole or something under it. 

This is another pattern (Tatania) i really like (the look of it, not the yarn used in baby-puke brown/green).  I would like to try this one, tho i know i'm already planning to adjust it by adding a cable each side of the center pattern.  I don't know if i will ever be able to do just what is printed in a pattern.  

I'm so happy to have more energy, but still have to really monitor & limit myself.  I did much, much, much too much on Monday (making Christmas gifts & sitting in an awkward position while doing so) & thus was totally exhausted when we had to come down the hill on Tuesday.  But i'm recovering faster, too.  Did 2 massages yesterday up here, which is the first i'd done since last January or February.  

Dear friend Cindy said something wise to me this week.  When speaking of energy & the frustration with still having to limit what i do, she said, "But if you just have the energy to do what you currently push yourself to do but without having to be so exhausted, that will be a great gain."  Well, i think that is a paraphrase, but the gist of what i took away.  I have to spend so much time recovering from what i do down the hill, if i don't have to have so much recovery time, that will be a great gain.  I do know myself well enough, however, that if i'm not down for that "recovery time" that i'll be pushing myself to do more.  

I also was blessed this week to be able to visit with dear friends Jessica & Jerry.  We met at Mother's Market for lunch. 

This is what happened at home this week while we were gone.  It is not my pic, of course.  It came from the Facebook Big Bear fan page.  This was all melted by when we got home.  Yesterday was sunny with blue skies, & so was this morning.  It is overcast again this afternoon.  It has been a particularly rainy October.  Most of the fall colors are past their best now, although many of the trees still have leaves.  


16 October 2010

Odd bits

I seem to have more energy this week, which is strange.  I'm choosing to attribute it all to Manuka honey.  

These pics are all from the rain/hail storm we had 1 October.  It looked like it had snowed 1/2 an inch, but it melted off quickly.  We've had a small amount of rain in the past couple of days, and more in predicted for So Cal, but i don't know if any will make it up here.  


This tree is in the Kmart parking log.  The pic doesn't do it justice.  Beautiful, especially when the sun is shining on it.

On Wednesday i took N's daughter Sierra to the Millcreek Manor Tea House for lunch.  She is eight, but a tiny, petite young lady.  She got all dressed up and her mama put her hair up in a bun.  The ladies at the tea place were quite enchanted with her and her very polite manners.  I think she had a good time.  She loves to pose and didn't balk at all when i wanted to get a pic of her.  


It is actually quite a grey day here, so i'm surprised this came out so well.  I've been meaning to take pics of this bush that seems to want to believe it is an oak.  The leaves make it look like an oak, anyway.  It is about the only color in our yard besides yellow.  About a week ago it was still green with a little red at the tips of the leaves.  I meant to take "progression" pics, but didn't get around to it. 


This is the maple tree in our yard, with the apple tree on the left (behind the burgundy ornamental plum), starting to turn, too.  The aspen has already lost all of its leaves, but the cottonwood is only beginning to turn.  Last year i took tons of pics of the fall colors, but haven't done much this year. 


This is the blanket i've made for my niece Ellen.  I've a basket of things ready to send.  This, the bibs, a couple of outfits (but 6-9 months because they outgrow the small things so quickly, and i'm sure her friends gave her lots of clothes at the baby shower), a stuffed Tigger and a small knitted hat.  The top pic is more accurate for the color.  I changed the pattern so the repeat is every six rows instead of four.  I think i like it better this way.  (The other one, multicolor for someone else, was done the same way.)

She had the baby today.  She is at least 3 weeks early.  I think it is a bit of a cruel twist of fate as today is the 5 year anniversary of our losing our first baby.  Hard to think if we had had them all, we would have 3 little ones between 16 months and 4-1/2 year running around.  Anyway, i soon need to get the package in the mail.

I really am doing much better physically.  I've done quite a lot this week and had the energy to do it.  I took N's youngest, Joshua, to see a movie yesterday PM.  I think he had a good time, too.  He is only 3, but he was very well-behaved, although i couldn't get him to eat his dinner when we stopped.  So i took him home.  He was worn out, but i wasn't really.  Lovely to have the energy for an afternoon and not need to go to bed when i got home.  :)

Duane's off the hill tonight, will get home about 2 AM.  He's mentoring a training exercise down the mountain.  I'm praying they get home safe, but there isn't ice on the road this time of year, so they should be okay.

Hope you're having a great weekend.  Any special plans?  Do you have fall color where you are at?


12 October 2010


Thanks for all the support.  I'm actually healing much faster than i usually do, so fast that i'm rather astounded.  I am attributing it to the fact that i down 1/2 a teaspoon of Manuka honey every time the cough comes on.   Manuka honey is serious medicine.  It is used for a number of different medical treatments.  Locally grown raw honey is good, too, but Manuka honey is the best when it comes to fighting off bugs.

Just for the record, the other things i used are:  Holy basil; colloidal silver; coltsfoot; oregano oil; olive leaf oil; vitamin D3; grapefruit seed extract; fresh lemon juice (in tea); fresh grated ginger (in tea); licorice, peppermint, and nettle tea; astragalus.  Oh, i also drank tart cherry juice, which is good for inflammation.  This is off the top of my head, i may have tried a few other things.  

I'm thankful to be healing so quickly from the assault.  On top of the damage done to my lung by the sunflower seed, i let it be assaulted by medical care as well as they searched for the seed.  (In this case i'm not running down the medical care, simply saying that the necessary procedure was invasive and would have done damage, too.) 

I met two other Big Bear bloggers in the past couple of weeks.  We went to Jeanne's home for a garage sale.  Isn't her house gorgeous?  I got a lap quilt for Duane's grandma at Jeanne's garage sale and all Duane's family just loved it.  Yesterday i was blessed to meet Jeanine and her husband at the last Garden Club meeting of the year.  I'm not much of a gardener, but i was so impressed with the group and how helpful and friendly everyone was.  I look forward to being part of that group when it resumes next year.  Of course, David is a long term blogger from here in Big Bear.  I knew him before i knew he blogged!  He is probably our "longest" friend here in Big Bear.  I am so thankful that he is our (both Duane's and mine) friend.

I don't think Duane reads my blog much.  He may visit on occasion, but he is not a regular reader.  Why should he read the very things he hears me say (and re-say, as i tend to repeat myself)?  So i showed him the last post on the funny knits.   He laughed at the oversize, out of gauge (third) pic.  But he really laughed at the last one.  This is the change he recommended for it:

Hope y'all are having a great week!  Duane is now gone off the mountain.  He'll be back Thursday.  I'm home, still recovering, but feeling much, much better.  And very thankful, too.


10 October 2010

Just for laughs

I'm still coughing.  Sleeping with my head elevated because i can't manage lying flat.  I think it will be a while before i heal, but that isn't surprising because my lungs are my weak spot and have been for years.  I was making myself take some truly awful herbals (in a tincture) but they didn't seem to do much.  So i've begun simply taking 1/2 teaspoon of Manuka honey as i begin to cough.  It seems to have done wonders.  Plus it tastes so much better than the herbals.   :)

I was looking at some different knit patterns, and happened across this website:  You Knit What??  I have to say, the posts there use much more, um, colorful language at times than i ever do, but the whole thing is pretty funny.  It is defunct now, and what is visible is only archives.  Still.  Here are some examples of what they review.

Ok, i've got to admit that i thought most of these pretty funny.  However, this last one simply made me laugh out loud:

What is this???  What was the creator thinking?

Hope y'all are having a great weekend for 10.10.10  :)   I'm doing fine.  I'm healing.  And i'm staying home this week!


07 October 2010

The sad story

This has been a week!  I wish i had stayed home.  

This is more "stupid story" than sad.

I went to a women's salad dinner Tuesday night at the church where Duane & i were married.  I'll probably write about that at my "religious" blog, for i've much to say.  Anyway, "salad" usually by definition usually includes lettuce, which i'm now not eating.  (Folks ask me "all types of lettuce?" to which i don't have an answer because the test simply said "lettuce," so i don't know if they checked iceberg, or Romaine, or what, so i'm avoiding all.)  So i went to my favorite health food store & went thru their salad bar & got spinach, shaved carrots & beets, olives, & some flaked salmon.  I then also purchased some sunflower seeds & dumped them over the salad.

During the course of the meeting i must have done something stupid like speaking with some food in my mouth (there's a reason mamas told us not to do this) & aspirated a sunflower seed.  I spent much of the rest of the evening in coughing bouts (leaving the room to do so) & was in a lot of discomfort.  I was still in pain yesterday morning, so i went to the ER.  I didn't have to wait long to be seen, but had to wait a long time before a pulmonologist came & used a scope to check (trying to find the seed i believed to still be there).  They didn't find anything, said i must have coughed it up, but my lungs are now highly inflamed from all the coughing.  I'll be staying home next week, but it will largely be recovery.  Any talking or much physical exertion & i'm coughing up a storm again.  

I hate it when i do stupid things.  Am i the only one (who does things they wish they'd not)?


01 October 2010

What is that?

What is spanderi?  Spandex that covers the derriere?

I don't know if it is the dysl.exia or simply that my mind works in funny ways.  I've not been getting the giggles over word verification words too much recently (as opposed to not long ago when i was writing whole stories with those funny words) but this one has me grinning.  

It is beginnig to rain again.  Goodbye blue sky.


More of the same

It was hot in OC this week, tho not as hot as Monday.  It was also more humid than normal as moisture was moving in.  I was very thankful to be coming home yesterday.

On our way home yesterday, we passed several trees that are turning.  We aren't into "full color" yet (and our "full color" is never anything like the East coast).  But there are a lot of beautiful yellows and we passed several stunning pictures.  When we are coming home, stopping for anything is a challenge.  We want to be at Sugarbear!

So i haven't any new pics to share.  Plus, blogger or Google or something just informed me i haven't any space to upload any more pictures without buying the space.  We will see if this is true.  These pics are ones i took last fall.  They were on my blog last year, but, that was a year ago!  Anyhoo, reproduced pics.  :)

It rained last night.  I think the squirrels are appreciative of the nuts i put out this AM.  They've not been coming around too much recently.  I think they are stealing the pinion pine nuts and aren't as interested in my offerings.

We went together to see the doc on Tuesday.  A lot was said, but (as brief as i can be) i've got a lot of inflammation in my body (no surprise to me, i've been in a lot of pain especially tactile allodynia), & i show positive for h. pylori bacteria.  (This is the bacterial implicated in many if not most stomach ulcers.)  

Doc said that this bacteria is implicated in many other conditions including heart failure.  I've not found many articles saying that, but there are a few with the heart disease issue.  Antibiotics are an option for this.  However, he said that antibiotics clear maybe 60% of this, while he's found herbs to clear 80%.  Antibiotics are never my choice of course.  The down side is that herbals take longer, like 4 months.  Of course, some people end up on antibiotic therapy that can last months, too.

He also recommended an herbal that i take for inflammation.  It is taken twice a day on an empty stomach with a 16 oz water push, because we want it to move quickly from the stomach to small intestine.  He's also recommending an herbal to help with carb cravings.  Oh, and Vitamin D, but i already take that.  I just need to up my dose (and be sure i do it daily, which is a big issue for me).  

So, we are going to follow the instructions for a 3 month trial period.  The fact is i've been in more pain the past few days.  I'm thankful that it worked out that i've only started one new supplement, because it seems to be causing some issues.  It made me realize that starting 4 things all at once would not be a good idea.  Also, Cindy (dear friend who also sees this doc) suggested starting small and working up to his recommendations.  Too much too soon can create problems as well.

Duane is kind of freaking that i'm not taking the h. pylori herbs yet.  He sees heart-failure impending for me!  I've told him that a week won't make a difference.  H. pylori is contagious, we were informed.  Duane needs to be tested, too, to be sure he hasn't got it.  If he does, he will probably go with antibiotics to treat.  Also, he needs to be treated, for if he has it i'll just get it again.  I guess the urgency is there in me, too, for the other night i dreamed that after being tested the docs told Duane he had to come in immediately when they got the test results.  The idea was that his infection was dire and urgent.  So if i'm dreaming that for him, i guess i'm concerned.  We need to get an appointment for him soon.  I think it is 3 years since he last had a general check up.

I saw John yesterday and wasted most of my time moaning about the food issues.  But it did occur to me, while speaking to him, that change that comes about gradually can be overlooked.  (I see this all the time with my clients.  "Are you feeling better since i saw you last week?"  "Oh no, i'm about the same."  "So you still hurt in your shoulder/leg/back/etc.?"  Surprised look on their faces.  "Ah, no, i haven't had that this week.  Humm, i guess i am better.")  So John and i discussed charting pain and energy levels for the next few months.  Then i can compare, and if i really need a visual, to do a graph.  When i mentioned this to Duane, he suggested tracking sleep, too.  Which is a good idea.  

I don't think i'll do this every day.  That would get overwhelming and bring me a huge amount of data.  I think if i chart on Tuesday (the day we go down the hill, but also record how active i was over the weekend), Thursday (the day we come home, but also record how busy i was at work and on Thur. which is the day i tend to run a lot of errands), and Saturday (after a day of rest on Friday), that this will give me the info i need to keep track.  

I'm still bummed and whinging/whining about food, but i'll adjust and adapt.  It just takes a change of mindset.  I've already informed Duane that for a week or so at least he is "on his own" for food as i just can't cope.  I don't like that, frankly, because he isn't good at eating at proper times or choosing the healthiest food.  Until i have down what i'm going to do, however, it is just too overwhelming to try to do meals for both of us.  

Y'all have a lovely day.  We have the most beautiful weather following the storm last night.  The sun is shining with blue, blue, blue skies, a few puffy clouds, 69 F, humidity at 33% (which is high for us), low last night was only 49 (about as high as i've seen it since mid-summer).  It is a glorious day.  :)


On the baby issue

Thank you so much for the supportive comments, both here and privately.

This is another "rant" - and if you'd prefer to skip it i understand.  I've written another post for today.

Please know that i know i am not alone in this struggle.  Wanting children is part of (most) of us.  Since Biblical times women agonize over the inability to have children.  The stories in the Bible are of women who desired children, were denied for a time, and then were granted children.  It doesn't always work out that way.  We aren't told stories of women who prayed for children but were never granted their desire to be mothers. 

There are many, many blogs of women or families who are going thru the heartache of miscarriage and/or infertility, or on the adoption path.  There are a few blogs as well of people learning to live a "childless not by choice" life.  I certainly am not alone.

Pamela Tsigdinos has written a book entitled Silent Sorority about the issue of childlessness.  I've not yet read it, tho i've followed her blog for some time now.  She has also written a number of articles about this issue as well.  What has surprised and shocked me is the amount of vile and angry comments she receives at some of these articles.  She is simply stating how she feels unacknowledged as a childless woman in a world of child-centric culture.  Nothing more.  But people attack her for not choosing to adopt and any number of other things.  Some of the people who do adopt attack her for considering adoption "second-class families" when she has said nothing of the kind.  I don't know her reasons for not adopting.  I don't need to know.  

I wish i had a dollar for every person who has said to me, "You can always adopt," or "Why don't you just adopt?"  People who say such things are completely unaware of the very complex issues surrounding adoption.  There is not any "just" about it.  It is not as though there is some place that people can go pick out a child like picking up a puppy from the pound.  

Currently, adoption procedures are very complex.  And very political.  Social workers look into every detail of your life.  It is very stressful, very expensive, and often very heartbreaking.  I've followed the trail of some folks on this quest.   

Denifay has posted about their heartbreak.  They believed they would be having a baby this past summer.  Turns out that they were the victims of a nefarious person who fooled several people for money by promising them her child.  Denifay is also having to deal with the politics of agencies.  A number of agencies bill themselves as "Christian" and have very strict standards.  Tho Denifay and her husband are both Christians, they are attending different churches, and this by default kicks them out of the running with several agencies.  

I do know of people who have had adoptions go smoothly.  They made it thru and have their family.  But i also know many, many heartbreak stories where it doesn't work that way.  I know of a family who actually had the baby for a month when the mama changed her mind.  

Very close to us here, i know another story.  A young woman was in relationship with a young man.  The relationship was not going well, and she purposefully chose to get pregnant in order to "save" the relationship.  It did not work, and that was clear to her very soon.  She chose to put the baby up for adoption.  She chose a family.  They prepared a nursery.  They came (from Hawaii to Big Bear) to be near when the baby was born.  Her mama, the grandma, talked the young woman out of adoption and into keeping the baby.  She was not prepared emotionally or financially to be a mama.  That child is now 5 and has bounced around between grandparents, aunts, and the mama.  He is not a stable child.  He has no discipline in his life and much of the time is out of control.  Choosing to keep the baby was a very poor choice both for the mama and the child, but such things are done every day.

We are not opposed to adoption.  We most certainly do not consider families created by adoption as "second class."  But we also know quite clearly that we would not survive the heartache of navigating the adoption procedures.  We also cannot support, financially, the application and home study of $6,000 when there is no assurance we would ever have a child.  In fact, even if we went thru this process, i would say that the chances of having a child placed with us is very low indeed.

There are other ways to adopt.  There are many, many children in "the system" who are older and very much want to be part of a family.  And my heart desires for them, too, and breaks to know they don't have a family.  But taking older children has inherent challenges as well.  Ones that we don't feel prepared to take on that kind of challenge to inexperienced "parents."  Particularly with my energy level, it is an impossibility.

The reality is, and we have looked at this seriously from every angle, we are not going to be parents.  Not here on earth, anyway.  We can be aunt and uncle, mentors, friends.  But if i can't manage more than an hour or two with an 8 year old, there is no way i'll be able to take on 24/7 with a child for whom i'm mama.  

We KNOW this.  But it doesn't change the heartache and disappointment.  It does not change the desire in my heart.  It only means that i have to accept where we are at and where our lives are going.  

Because i am struggling with the death of a dearly held desire, i am struggling.  I KNOW with all my being that i haven't the energy to provide what is needed for my husband, who is an adult, much less helpless children.  I have the love and desire, but that is not enough.  I KNOW these things; it doesn't make it any easier to accept.  

At this point in time it is hard for me to imagine that it ever won't hurt, that i will in fact be somewhat indifferent to it, that i will, in fact, "come to terms."  At this point, it is painful to hear of the pregnancy of an acquaintance, friend, or relative.  The birth of a child is a happy time, but it is hard for me to fully share in that happiness.  

Therefore, for someone to say very casually to me, "I know a mama who is going to put her baby up for adoption," or "I could carry a baby for you," is a knife to the heart because i know that i cannot have the very thing i so deeply desire.  It is worse than a carrot on a stick, it is more like bait in a trap that will break my back if i reach for it.  

I saw John this week.  I told him of the off-hand offer to carry a child for us.  He told me that if the issue was merely financial that we would discuss it at great length.  However, he said what i already know and struggle to accept, "If you were given the desire of your heart, how would you be able to care for it (him or her)?"

This is not an issue of me finding a way to make this happen.  In fact, i think it would be very selfish and unloving.  It is an issue of making myself accept what i wish not to face.  But that doesn't mean that casual comments or remarks don't hurt.  ("Why don't you adopt?" or "I know someone who wants to place their child.")