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30 March 2011

New pics

 And some thoughts.

The pics scattered thru out are from Duane's camera in his phone.  (He's gotten some good shots with his phone; i didn't think these turned out top quality.) He took them last weekend on his SAR camp out.  It is good he went.  There were only 5 people for the training, 3 newbies/trainees, the other trainer, and Duane.  It would have been hard for them to do the training had Duane not gone.  This first pic is the "igloo" snow shelter he made and slept in.

This is my week home and the first week of spring break for our "rent-a-kids."  I can't take Kip just anytime because he usually has to take care of the two smaller ones.  Saturday the little ones were with their grandma, so i took him to see Diary of a Wimpy Kid.  It was pretty good.  I also took him on Monday for a while.  

He had a school project to build a catapult and he and Duane had fun with that one.  Kip found a youtube video where someone made one with a binder clip.  His project is limited in size and has to propel a small marshmallow X number of feet (20, i think).  Extra points if it goes 50.  I happened to have a couple of large binder clips (and a spoon from the dollar store i don't care about) and he and Duane spent a lot of time designing, building, and flying marshmallows.  (Yes, i had them.  Must have had a recipe that called for them and i then did not make; marshmallows are not something i find tempting.)

The plan was for me to have Kip Monday, rest Tuesday, have Sierra Wednesday, rest Thursday (except to have Olivia come for a couple of hours), have Joshua either Friday or Saturday.  Mama knew this and approved it.  But when i called last night to confirm, Sierra had the opportunity to snowboard today, so, couldn't i just take Joshua today instead?  

Well, no, i can't.  The purpose of Friday or Saturday is to have him here when Duane is here too.  If i took him (4 year old) by myself, the most i could manage is an hour or two.

But i told her i could probably take Sierra tomorrow (Thursday) instead.  It does kind of screw up my schedule, i'll have to have Olivia come a different day.  I'm not very good at making changes like this when i have something already planned.  I wish i was more flexible, but, i'm not.  However, i don't want to prevent Sierra from having fun on more than one day (i guess the person offering to take her can't do it another day) nor do i want to create any friction with Mama.

So, i've another day at home alone.  I really did mostly rest yesterday.  Today i need to do some laundry and would like to make truffles.  Maybe some bread, tho i need to buy yeast if i do.  (When i have Sierra, i want to have a "tea party" with sandwiches i can eat.  I've not made bread for some time now.)

I've been in quite a lot of pain, tho it is intermittent, for the past few days.  This is a weird, unique, severe pain that i've never heard of anyone else having.  The story behind this is quite long.  The only thing that has made it bearable (and not make me kill myself long ago) is that it is intermittent and usually for only about 10 days of the month.  I've kept it in check the past few years mostly thru eating gluten free (yes, that makes a huge difference).  However, while i sometimes "cheat" on eating GF, i've not had any for some time now, nothing to justify the amount of pain i am in.

I've been watching the old show The Waltons.  I always loved that show.  I know it is considered campy, and at times it is.  In my mind it is never as campy as anything/everything Michael Landon did or was involved with.  (I was not a fan of ML, & having loved The Little House books before i ever saw his show, was quite appalled at what he did to that story.)  While there are some story lines in The Waltons that i don't care for as much, one thing that was shining in that program really was the love the family members had for one another.  I think, somehow, i believed that if my own family had been big like The Waltons, that somehow there would have been that love too.  I now know that to be fallacious thinking.

I did not have the most horrible childhood ever.  My parents meant well, i know they did. The abuse was not severe.  Somehow, however, our parents were not able to make my sisters or myself feel that we were loved.  Instead we felt we were worthless bits of trash.  This may be overstating somewhat, but is fairly accurate.  

Oh, but i didn't mean to go there!  My point in bringing up the show is something different.  

I lived in East Tennessee until i was 8, and have vivid memories of the beautiful mountains there, especially in the spring and fall.  Also my family visited extended family there (well, central TN & KY) every couple of years for the rest of my time living with my parents.  So i know that part of the country is so very lush and green .

I've also lived in California for a long time now.  I am quite familiar with the mountains, the trees, and the grasses (which are dry and dead about 10 months of the year).  And don't get me wrong, i think the mountains of California very beautiful, too, just in a different way from the Appalachia mountains.

It is amazing to me that they could show the scenery of the mountains at points in The Waltons, particularly in the opening, and think that it could pass for Virginia!  The pics around the house might possibly pass, but the mountain scenery which opens each episode could not in any way be mistaken for Virginia.

It was filmed about 100 miles from Big Bear Lake.  If you ever watch the show, there are some shots that look like they were done here, particularly one that overlooks a valley. 

Are there shows or music that you like in spite of them being considered camp?  Do you have memories of certain shows from your childhood? 


25 March 2011

It is snowing out again

The weather report (Ben's Weather) informs us that March has had 20 inches so far, and it is still coming down.

I'm snuggled in bed still (at 10 AM, but i have told you i spend much of my time there) with two "cat warmers."  But i have to get up before long and make a trip into town.  I need some ingredients for cooking (Olivia is coming this afternoon to cook), the kitties are out of treats, the car needs gas, and a few other things.

Here at home i need to do some laundry, and i'd like to do some clean up in the kitchen so Olivia won't have too much to do.

On the menu today:  Manicotti!  (Gluten free)  Also some to freeze as well as lasagna and perhaps some meat sauce for Duane to use with spaghetti.  I think that if we group "like" food things together like this we can make more food in a short period of time.  

Duane is cringing because it is cold out (well, not REALLY cold, just about 32F) and the SAR group is planning an all day and overnight camping trip this weekend.  They leave at 8 AM tomorrow & come back sometime mid-day Sunday.  Duane doesn't need any more training but he was told the team needs him.   He'll have fun. 

Next week i am staying home for one of the scheduled "recover weeks," but it is also Spring Break for the kids so i'll try to have them over.  Lynnette just posted a recipe for GF scones.  I think it might be fun to try them with Sierra.  She likes tea parties with my good china.  (Disclaimer, i personally believe these days that breads, grains, and the like and especially sugar are very bad for our health.  But, well, once in a while you just gotta have some.)

Oh, and i'm going to try yet another new doctor.  I have tried several now, and have been very frustrated.  I'm rather cynical about the whole thing now, and trying a new doc seems an exercise in futility.  Two of the docs have put me on such restrictive diets that there is little i can eat.  I am feeling that the failure is all on my part as i'm not good at sticking to a regime.  A small part of me feels that it isn't 100% me (probably 95% is me), tho, because the recommendations i'm getting are not taking into consideration who i am and what i can do. 

If nothing else, i need to stick with this new doc even if i don't improve, because i need the documentation for my continued disability.  I'm hopeful because she is coming with such high recommendation from Kim (the PT i work with), but i'm afraid to be too hopeful.  The appointment is on 14 April.

So that is the news in this part of the world.  Duane is going to take That Jeep in because it won't stay locked in 4WD, which is a problem.  So i need to go pick him up and do the town errands.

What do you have planned for the weekend?



23 March 2011


We are in Orange County now.  Going home tomorrow.  It is raining here now, so there will be more snow at home.  We got about 12 inches Sunday/Monday, and it has been really cold!  The low Monday night was 14F.  I hope this doesn't kill any of our fruit trees.  

Our neighbor came over and helped Duane "prune" this apple tree.  Except "butcher" is a more accurate word.  There are very few branches left.  I understand the rationale for it - the tree had been badly neglected for many, many years.  Many of the branches were tangled or growing in a way that won't encourage fruit.  Still, i imagine that it will be another year yet before we can hope for apples.  

They also did work on our one established peach tree.  However, the pruning was much more conservative.  (These trees are not blooming yet.  The pics are from other years.)

I hope that our trees survive.  We were having an unusually warm spring and the trees showed signs that they wouldn't be waiting the 4 to 6 weeks they needed to wait before leafing out.  Our current cold weather could kill them.  

We were amazed at our drive down on Tuesday how much snow was in the trees.  It was a wet, heavy snow, really bending the branches.  It was also at a very low elevation.  The road was quite icy about half the way and i was driving very slowly.

We've been very busy.  Duane's parents were up a couple of weekends ago.  They had just gotten the new iPad II and wanted him to teach them how to use it before they took it with them on a trip to Italy/Sicily.  The weekend before and the weekend after (this past weekend) we had our "rented kids" at least one day.  

I've decided to assign them names here.  "K" is Kip the oldest, who is a 12 year old boy.  "S" is Sierra, an 8 year old girl.  And "J" is Joshua, a 4 year old boy.  

Saturday was Joshua's birthday.  We had both boys on Saturday, and Joshua alone on Sunday.  (His parents had to work the weekend and had already taken all the children to Disneyland to celebrate his birthday.)  We enjoyed it very much.  It was especially sweet to have him in church with us Sunday and have him snuggle up in my arms as we said the liturgy.  

I am very glad, however, that i sensibly spent much of Monday in bed resting in preparation to be at work in Orange County.  I did not do that the past 2 weeks after busy weekends and paid for it dearly.

Next week is the first week of the kids' spring break (they get 2 weeks off).  The week after i already had folks scheduled, so i'm taking next week.  Part of that is so i can catch up on resting, but part is also so that i can spend some time with the kids.  

I'm keeping up to date on the projects for Christmas (did i tell you that already?).  I'm also doing a lot of knitting.  My one New Year's resolution this year was to keep up with sending out birthday cards to family and friends, as well as keeping in contact with friends and family more regularly.  I am doing 100% of that for the closer family members, not quite as good with the more distant ones.  I can live with that, however.  It is 100% improvement over what i've managed other years.  

I can hear the rain coming down rather heavily, as well as being plowed thru by the cars outside.  Both the umbrella and my sweater are in the car.  I'm hesitant to go out.  

So, that is what we have been up to!

How are things in your part of the world?  If you're in the Northern Hemisphere, has spring arrived?  Do you garden?  If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, what do you do to prepare for fall?

I hope you know how much i appreciate that you come here and read my words.  Thank you so much.  :) 



I've been quiet here for a while now.  It is not because i have nothing to say!  I always have things to say.  :)

The problem is that i'm really struggling to accept my life as it is, and i tend to be negative about it.  I'm also struggling with a lot of anger.  It seems i get angry so easily these days.  I hate these feelings!

I do tend to be a negative person - tho i prefer to consider myself an optimistic realist - but i fight the negativity.  I could not by a long shot call myself optimistic.  I do think that folks who are optimists are born that way.   The rest of us can strive to be positive and have a sunny outlook, but it does not come easily or naturally.  I work at having a positive view point, but it is a struggle.  I don't know why.

I prefer not to speak negatively.  Therefore, i have been silent.  

The problem i am struggling with is that it is hard to balance the negatives with the positives.  There is so much good in my life.  Anyone who reads here knows i have a husband who loves me very much and whom i love.  We have a good marriage and a good life.  We like our lifestyle and have a reasonably good relationship with most of our family.  We are not rich or affluent, but we have enough to meet our needs and that is more that most of the world can say.  We are happy.

Yet, it is never going to stop hurting that we are not going to have children.  People, well-meaning people who say, "God must have known you couldn't handle children" or any number of other well-meaning but painful statements, just can't understand.  I know, too well, my limitations.  I know that i don't have a clue how we would or could care for a child given my daily limitations, but that doesn't mean the desire for a family goes away!  Somehow the wonderful gifts we have don't change the pain of what we so deeply desire but will never have. 

We have had a busy 3 weeks.  It has been good, but as i didn't rest as much as i should have, i also have been struggling to function.  I am finding that i spend so much time in bed resting not because i am lazy, or i don't push myself enough, or because i want to, but because if i do not rest i cannot function in the life Duane and i have created.  If i continue doing so, i am going to reach a point where i can no longer live the life that we so love and cherish.  I have to accept this, but at times i really resist the chains i feel these limitations to be.  I guess i have wanted to believe that if i just pushed myself enough, or whatever, that i really could do what i wanted/needed to, but i am finding that not to be true.

It is also so hard because it is hard for other people to see, accept, understand.  I LOOK so normal!  Everyone feels tired at times.  Most folks just can't comprehend that each and every day for me is like getting over a really bad flu - the fever is gone, but the weakness, the fatigue persists.  Rest helps a little bit usually, but it never goes away.

It is never going to stop hurting me to see someone's pregnant belly or hear what a miracle it is to feel the baby kicking or to see their first smile, etc., etc.  I have to accept this.  It is never going to stop being hard that i live with the fatigue of a 90 year old woman.  I have to accept this and live with it.

I AM blessed each and every day that i am not bed-ridden all the time.  I can still drive, shop, do crafts, visit people, work 4-5 hours a week, and live a good life.  I don't forget these blessings or take them for granted.  

But i am really struggling with the reality of my life and trying to accept it. 


Post script at 7.20 pm:  Ok, here is a balancing perspective on life:  Gitz.  I am frequently envious of Sara's faith and optimism.   I am NOT and never will be envious of her limitations.  Yet, while my limitations are not as severe, i certainly understand her frustrations and feelings as finding that her limitations are growing and beginning to consume her life.  It is hard for me to compare our situations without feeling badly, because she is much more severely limited than am i.  But the realization that your body will no longer do as you ask it or try to push it to do is similar.  

Post script two:  I often have pages open for days and days because if i close them i forget, but if i bookmark them they often go down a black hole as i forget to look at those, too.  This is from Wikipedia about the book The World According to Garp.  For some reason i was thinking about that old movie the other day.  This sentance, "The story is decidedly rich with (in the words of the fictional Garp's teacher) "lunacy and sorrow", and the sometimes ridiculous chains of events the characters experience still resonate with painful truth." caught my attention and resonated with me.  It does seem so often that the world is full of "lunacy and sorrow."

10 March 2011

Paying for it

Last night i was finishing up at work and i checked in at Facebook and saw Lynnette (from Dancing Barefoot) had a "chum chat."  She's had these before, but never been able to do it.  So i logged on for a little while.  These were the instructions:  
Chum Chat from 9:30 pm-10:30 pm (Central Time) Go to this link: http://www.------ Use this password: iamadork Pick a color that you like for your name (I’m Aqua!) either use your real name (my preference) or something that will let others know who you are.  
Well, this tired girl didn't read all the instructions.  I saw "Pick a color that you like for your name (I'm Aqua!)" and didn't read further.  I was "Teal" among Lynnette, Linda, Lyn, and all the others.  Yes, folks, i really AM a dork!  (The colors helped distinguish all the different folks from one another.)

Duane says, "At least you have a good sense of humor."

I have heard what turns out to be a Spanish proverb:  God said, "Take what you want and pay for it."  (I think i've mostly heard this in Stephen King novels.)

It is not a Christian concept, yet it has an element of truth, none the less.  I'm not talking religion but simply consequences.  When we make certain choices there will be consequences, "paying for it" you see.

I have been "paying for it" this week.

Sunday we had all three kids for most of the day.   We really enjoyed it.  I can see that with J, the youngest (he'll be four in a week or so) that we are going to be doing some work educating him on what we consider "appropriate behavior," but we really enjoyed the day.  I didn't even feel very tired at the end.  But both Duane and i were in bed much sooner than is normal for us. 

Surprising to me, i didn't sleep all that well that night.  I thought i would, being tired out, but it didn't work that way.

Monday i did my regular knitting thing, and then had a new girl Olivia (she is a girl, only 20) in to help me in the house.  She did a wonderful job in the kitchen - it has been a long time since it looked that good.  Kimmy does a good job, too, but it has been a while since she had time.  Anyway, i pushed myself harder than i should have.  I'm finding that even tho i tend to think i don't push myself hard enough, there really is a reason i rest as much as i do.  It is so that when we leave the mountain to work, i will be able to do the work.

I worked, of course, on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Both days were really difficult to get thru.  I did rest (NOT sleep, daytime sleeping is really bad for me) for about half an hour, and that helped.  Of course, the fact that we had been at church at 6 AM for imposition of ashes didn't help.  

I've both Olivia and Kimmy coming tomorrow to help me whip the house into shape.  And my in laws are coming for the weekend (tho this isn't a 100% certainty so far).  So i'm trying to rest some today to be ready for all of this. 

I've not been keeping up with blog reading very well.  I'll catch up eventually.

I'm doing well with my 12 days of Christmas project.  The items have changed a bit, but i have all the stuff for January, February, March, AND April done!  (Largely because i found keychain LED flashlights for $2 each and went ahead and got them.)  

I don't think the soap sculptures are going to work.  I got started doing a bear.  It turned out, "Okay.  Good.  What is it?" in Duane's words.   It kind of looks like a bear, but it could be a dog or a pig or any other 4 legged animal.  Unless he takes over this (he is a very good artist), i'm not going ahead with that project.  I am doing crocheted snowflakes, and they are turning out well.  

If i keep going at this pace, i may have all the projects done by the end of summer instead of the end of November.  That would not be a bad thing.  On the other hand, many of the upcoming projects are more labor-intensive (mostly sewing). 

Can you tell i'm ready for spring?

What has been keeping you busy?  Are you working on any projects lately.