Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What a day already!

I got Emily off to our church's girls' camp this morning. She woke up at 4 o'clock, then 5 o'clock, then 5:30 when she finally got up. She had to be at the church at 6:15 a.m. Oi! I wish the leaders would have chose a time when I'm normally awake to leave! She will be gone until Friday. I hope that she has a fun time! I always worry the first year my kids go to camp. I never know if they'll listen and obey their leaders, if they'll be homesick, if they'll get hurt. So many things to worry about as a mom!

Matt has his very first dance performance tonight. He is so excited! I have to go pick up his costume today. I'll post some pics. =)

And then there's my mom. She pushed her nurses' button yesterday morning and told the nurse that little children were playing in her room and were laughing and hiding behind the furniture. So the nurse when in to check and there were no little children in her room. A little while later she called the nurses station about 5 times in a 15 minute period to remind them to bring her medication... that they had already brought her just 5 minutes before her first call.

My sister called me this morning and told me that my mom had called her house this morning at 3 a.m. She told her that the people in her room kept telling her she was in the hospital, but she knew she wasn't since nothing looked familiar and she couldn't remember getting there. So my sis asked me to stop by today and visit for awhile to reassure her and that she would do the same. How I hope this is something that they can figure out why she is doing this and can fix it.

So I'm off to get started with my day that I wish was over all ready. I feel like I've already put in a full day's work.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Short Trip to the Park

It was just Michael and me at the park today. We stopped a got some treats and then headed to the park.

Michael had a good time, but he cut it short. I think he likes going to the park best when he has his brothers and sisters with him! I enjoyed being there with him. It was quiet and there was no pressure, just the way I like it!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

All Dogs (and Cats) Go to Heaven. I hope.

I have lost a lot of cats and our sweet Madame dog this past year. They have been such good friends that I wanted to do a special post, just for them, as a tribute.

Lily and Mittens (as a kitten)

Lily's baby, Thumblina

Tiger (and another of Lily as a kitten)

Mittens (again) & Gingersnap

and another named Chowder. I don't have a picture of Chowder, but he looked identical to Tiger. Tiger and Chowder were a bit wild and didn't really like to cuddle with us, but they were the best mousers ever.

Mittens was our snuggly little boy. He let us cradle him like a baby and rub his belly. Such a sweetie!

Lily was a beauty. I've never seen her colors or markings in any other cat. A tabby face with a cream body and the bluest eyes you've ever seen. She was loving and kind and wonderful. She was the mommy of my kittens that I told you about in June.

Her kitty, Thumblina, or Lina for short, died too. She was a sweet little kitty, but she was tiny and weak. She was a favorite of both of my girls because she was so cute and sweet.

Gingersnap was a pretty, sweet cat. She wasn't at all snuggly like her brother, Mittens, but she wasn't wild like Tiger and Chowder either. I always felt that if she was tamer she'd be the best cat around.

I'm not sure what happened to these precious animals. We do live by a busy road, and they were very curious, but we also live next to neighbors who trap and kill cats. I can't blame them too much, because we do have a neighbor with a number of cats, with many being feral and prolific. The neighbors do what they think is best, I guess. I just mourn mine that I've loved and lost.

And we lost a part of our family this year too. Not a human, but as close to it as you can get. Our beloved Madam.

Madame was our dog that we brought to Utah from Kentucky. She originally came with our Kentucky farm. Her owners couldn't take her with them when they moved, so we agreed to keep her. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. She was sweet and wonderful and good.

She had come to them a young mother with pups. They kept her and had her spayed. They figure she was about 3 years old at the time. They had her for 3 years until they moved. So by the time we got Madame, she was about 6 years old. We had her in Kentucky for 5 years, and then here for 6 more. We figure she was about 16 or 17 when she finally died the first part of this month.

She was originally an outdoor dog that was converted to an inside dog. She never had an "accident" until she got so old. She is buried in our flower garden and a rose bush is planted atop her grave.

I sincerely hope that this next year won't bring the losses of last. While pets aren't ranked as high as people in our household, they still hold a permanent place in our hearts.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A closer look

One Early Girl amid cherry tomatoes.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme... Okay, it's really (clockwise) Sage, Basil, Lavender, & Oregano, with another tiny Basil plant tucked away where it can't be seen.

Zucchini. They are the garden's over-achievers!

Marketmore Cucumbers

Um... are these cherry tomatoes or romas??

Whichever the last one wasn't, these are.

Can you say LOADED?!

These are definately Romas.

And this is what it is all about! Look at that beauty!

Early Girls always live up to their name!

Ahhhhhhh. Life is returning back to normal.

The Hula Ho

Introducing: The Hula Ho!

This was the little helper in my garden yesterday! (Jared used the mower in between the rows. I almost like *anything* green in between the rows to keep away mud!) Jared couldn't figure out how to use it, so I kept showing him in each garden square....until they were all done.

He tried to force it, like you would a regular garden hoe, but it refuses to be forced. I kept telling him to think "old lady in the garden" (not as much strength to really bash the weeds around like he is used to doing- just more gentle, ya know what I mean?)as he was trying to learn, but he just couldn't relate...I related all to well! I think I'll go buy a standard garden hoe for him so that I can get out of some work! ;-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

putting things in order

Steve, Matt, Emily, and I went to see Harry Potter last night. I am a big Harry Potter fan, and I loved the movie! I always have to caution myself that the film might not be the same as the book, and that helps me embrace the movie version more than if I expected them to stick to the book. The cinematography was excellent! Quidditch has never looked so real! And the actors and actresses have really grown into their parts.

My mom got moved to the Continuing Care Unit of the hospital. I went to visit her last night for the first time in several days. She was able to sit up and lay back down without being in pain. I am so thankful that she is healing. It is still hard to think that eventually she will die, but for now it isn't so much of a worry.

My garden is coming right along! It is full of weeds, but Jared has kept everything alive for me while I've been busy with everything else. I need to buy a hoe and ask Jared to clear out the weeds for me. I've become a huge wimp and get overheated so easily, but he will be happy to work in the dirt, though. My Early Girl tomato plant has a couple of little tomatoes on it. They are mostly green, but are slowly turning colors. My green pepper plants have little peppers on them. My wonderful zucchini plants (that I plant to feel like a wonderful gardener) are doing very well! I have harvested 2 zucchinis from it so far. And my cucumber plant has a cucumber on it! I'm so glad that everything is doing well, even though I have neglected it so badly. Thanks, Jared!!

Today is a house cleaning day. My poor house has been neglected too. I have done the bare necessities to keep food in our bellies and clothes on our back, but that's the sum total. The kids have helped out, but there are some things they don't know to do. So my poor house needs an overhaul! I'm starting with laundry, cleaning the bathroom to be shiny clean, and watering all of my dry, brittle lawn.

Last night at the hospital a funny thing happened. My mom told me that she needed a pretty card for Josh and Karen's wedding. I reminded her that she had missed Michael's birthday, too. She said, "Oh! With all that's been going on, I just can't remember everything!" Amen, Mom! That is just how I feel.

On Sunday, Charla (my sister from WY) was still in town, so we all got together at Debbie's (my other sister) house. Since Sunday was Michael's birthday, I took Michael's birthday cake to celebrate there, but I forgot to take my camera with me. I will need to make another cake and let him blow out the candles so that I can get a pic for his scrapbook and so that I can show you.

I still need to tell you all about Josh's wedding. I watched the video this morning and felt so much better about how it fell into place. There were "backstage" technical difficulties, but it appears that they all worked out in the end. What a job a wedding is!

Well, back to the house keeping! Thanks for the short distraction!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Update

My mom has been moved to the Continuing Care Unit of the hospital! She is getting better but isn't strong enough to go home yet, so she is going to get therapy and continue to heal first. Thank you so much for your prayers and wishes!

Josh's wedding went well. I'll tell you more about it tomorrow, but I'll leave you with a few snapshots:

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Mom

Thank you for your prayers. I don't think I've ever cried that hard in my life. Not for anyone or anything.

My sister told me that my mom has ischemic bowel. It in itself is not life threatening, but when added into the mix of a myriad of other health issues, its malevolence increases.

Ischemic bowel, to the best of my understanding, means that part of the colon has become necrotic, or dying. Typically, they would remove the diseased part of the colon with surgery.

But my mother is not a good surgical candidate. She has lupus, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and has been on dialysis since her kidney failed back in the wintertime this year. So she lays in her bed and tries to heal, because that is her only option.

My sister called me this morning and said that she talked with one of the GI docs that she works with (She is a nurse at the hospital my mom is at). He said that with the location of her necrosis she should heal up just fine and beat this thing. How I hope that he is right!

For Mother's Day I wanted to write her a "Thank You" tribute for all of the wonderful things she has done and person she is. With everything going on in my life though, I didn't get it done. So I did it this morning. It is the only thing I regret not doing. I don't want to be like one of the nine lepers who didn't at least say thank you.

My mom is one of a kind. She was doting to the point of irritation. She was concerned to the point of being over-bearing. But you know, that is her. She loves with her whole heart, with every fiber of her being.

So last night when I thought of her dying I broke down and cried harder than I ever have. My eyes are so swollen today that I am wishing for a pair of dark glasses to cover them. I have a day and a list full of wedding plans to be carried out.

I just really wish that she could be there for my son's wedding. This is a first for me that I really want to share with her. I want her in the pictures. I want her to reassure me that everything looked wonderful and went well.

I want her to see my grandbaby. I want to be able to ask her questions about how to be a grandma. I don't want to just learn by her example: I want her to give advise over specific situations.

So please pray for her. If it is God's will, she'll be around for awhile more. How I hope that his will is the same as mine!

Prayer request

This is Melody's husband writing.

Melody's mother is in the hospital with ischemic colitis.

It is not operable because of her kidney disease, heart disease, and diabetes. They have put her on IV fluids, antibiotics and painkillers and she can't take anything by mouth because they are hoping that her body can heal itself.

Melody is taking this very hard. On top of the stress of the wedding in 2 days, her mother's chances are not good.

Melody asked me to post this to ask for your prayers for her mother. I would also ask that you keep Melody with all her stress in your prayers also.

Thank you!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

collage pics

I'm thinking of using this pic for Josh and Karen's gift table at the reception:

I hope that we can still get a more formal looking pic put together before the wedding, but the odds aren't looking that great. I still think they look cute, even if she is wearing a black shirt with pastel skulls on it and he is wearing baggy pants and a ball cap! ;-)

He has finished getting all of his dental work done. Hurray! I haven't been able to drag him to the dentist in 2-3 years, so all of it has gotten done in the last 2 weeks. His teeth thank me.

Monday, July 13, 2009

a much needed vacation

We took a much needed vacation this weekend.

It started out that we were going to my dad's family's reunion, but after spending over $1000 on our van, our budget was blown!

It started out simply enough: I took the van to have the oil changed and to get the tires balanced and rotated. The oil change was easy, but one tire was chewed up and another wasn't much better. So I bought two tires and the guy recommended an alignment to see what was up with the weird wearing of that one tire. So off to a tire specialist for a simple $50 alignment.

At the tire shop they found that the ball joint had gone bad on both sides and the tie rod was shot. We were concerned, since it was over $600 and we hadn't budgetted that for repairs, but we ordered those parts and waited. The next day, as they were trying to replace the ball joint on one side, they found that the threads on the ... um, did they call it an arm? or a receiver... anyway, the threads on that do-hickey were non-existent. We had two choices: weld it, or actually replace the thing for another $550. We would've had to sign a paper holding them harmless if we opted for the weld, and we *do* value safety...so we ordered the part and waited.

By now the time we were supposed to have left was hours ago. The money we were using for gas and supplies was spent. So I called my dad and broke the bad news: we weren't coming.

The kids were sad. They set up a collection for the trip to continue. They came up with $150, which was great! But, with a full-sized van that gets about 10 miles to the gallon, and another car to help hold 10 of us (Amber invited a friend) *and* all of our camping gear, the price of gas alone would be too much.

So, we sat down and looked at our options. The kids really wanted to go camping. They also wanted to go swimming. So, we took them to a nearby reservoir to satisfy their swimming desires. While some loved it, most hated it. There were "pokeys" and slimy stuff on the bottom.

They decided that they wanted to go swimming in a pool. While looking on-line we found that the rate on Monday night was less than half than on Friday, so we decided to wait and go swimming on Monday (tonight) and have a movie night with treats instead.

On Saturday, there was a Scottish Festival in a nearby town, so everyone but Michael and I went to that. They all had a great time. Jared bought a cool looking sword and Emily bought some pretty girl stuff. I stayed home and found our camping gear and packed the van. When the rest got home they got their bags packed and we hit the road.

We set up camp high in the hills...over 7000 ft above sea level. It was gorgeous up there with all of the greenery! And then it rained. In fact, it rained every day we were there, ranging in various degress of sprinkles, but no down-pours, thank heavens!

We stayed up there from Saturday evening until Monday (today) afternoon. We
*really* roughed it: packing in our water, making our own out-house using a utility/shower tent with a garbage-bag-lined 5 gallon bucket w/ a toilet seat secured on the hole-cut-out lid, several tents so the kids could feel independant of mom & dad, a "camp kitchen" where we can put our Coleman burners and the water containers. It was wonderful!

While we were there, Steve took me to see a beautiful creek with small waterfalls that he'd discovered earlier in the day while taking a walk alone. The views were gorgeous.

The dogs followed along, and I captured them on "film" being very much themselves.

Unfortunately, my memory card filled up quickly from the swimming pics and the landscape shots, *and* my batteries died. So I have pics of my dogs, but not my kids, which is just *so* wrong!

We came back this afternoon and unpacked and tidied up a bit before we went swimming at the pool. Josh, Karen, and Amber stayed behind and watched movies while the rest of us went to the pool.

And now, Emily and Matt are tucked in bed, Michael is lying down by Steve, and the older kids are still awake hanging out.

Tomorrow the wedding plans & preparation will resume. Only 4 more days!

See you when I get another minute!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A New Twist

So today the doctor's office called to give me the results of the CBC. Normal white blood cell count can be from 4-10...mine was 4?!

Amber and Steve have the same symptoms I do, and they were both exposed, though for a shorter time, to the toxins in the basement. So what does that mean?

I guess it could be stress related, except the fact that Amber has many of the same symptoms I do and I don't think she would be suffering from the stress that I'm feeling from the wedding, my kids' health issues,, and feeling overwhelmed with the emotional aspects of my mom's stuff being ruined. Steve, too, has been sick with many of the same symptoms as the two of us have. If it was just him and me I might be convinced it is stress, but add Amber into the equation and it no longer makes sense.

The PA told me that she didn't think that mold would elevate the white blood cell count unless it was creating a bacterial infection such as with pneumonia, so maybe I'm back to square one and should be concerned about the toxic environment that the three of us were in. I need answers.

P.S. I have been reading articles to try to find some answers and found this one at ehow.com. Maybe lingering effects are common?

P.S.S. Another informative site.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Back from the Doc's

I went to the doctor today. Well, I saw a physician's assistant anyway. She told me that the effect of black mold only lasts as long as a person is in the situation and goes away when you are out of it. That the spores may stay in the lungs and cause pneumonia, but she doubts that my problems have to do with the mold. She thinks it has more to do with stress.

While I agree with the stress thing, I'm not sure what to think about the mold issue. I want to know what happens to the spores that enter your body through your lungs. Where do they go? They don't just disappear. Do they get cycled through the body and filtered out by kidneys and liver? Do they create havoc? Or do they really just not cause a problem, like I'm being told?

She did a CBC (complete blood count). The results will show if my white blood cell production is elevated, and in the results there will be a breakdown of white blood cells from bacteria and viruses. But she doubted that the body would produce white blood cells to fight off fungus, which is what mold is.

On the other hand, perhaps it *is* a virus. I feel crappy. My head hurts, my muscles are weak, my brain is foggy, and I feel dizzy. A virus would go away in 10-14 days, so perhaps I'll feel better by the Thursday before the wedding, since last Thursday was the day when my symptoms became full blown.

There is no real down time in my near future. I have to get the kids' dental work done, finish preparing for the wedding, and get ready for and attend a family reunion for 4 days.

The dental work thing is crazy! So many cavities this time to take care of! And I have to get Josh's dental work all done before he is no longer covered...so before the wedding. Josh and Jared have both had to have root canals this go round. Josh has a cavity in about every tooth. He hasn't gone to the dentist for at least 2 years because he hates going and resisted. He is regretting his choices right about now...and so am I!

Betty, tell me what you know about black mold. Why was John's friend in the hospital for a month? Is my physician's assistant wrong, and the mold really can cause other problems besides pneumonia? Is there a way to detox from it?

I'm going to go lie down for awhile..before I make dinner and get the kids ready for bed. The life of a mother has no time for sick days!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sick and Tired...And a 1988 Graduation Pic

Busy, busy, busy. That's my life. It's all about the wedding or the flooding in my aunt's basement apartment where my mom once lived and where many of her belongings were stored.

The wedding is coming together well, but there are only 13 days left to prepare...even less when you consider the four days that I'll be at my family reunion. Most things are ordered and rented. This week I have to focus on getting all of the details taken care of.

The flood (in-my-aunt's-basement-where-my-mom-once-lived-and-where-many-of-her-belongings-were-stored) was with *sewer* water, though I didn't know that when I was cleaning up and getting things ready for the plumber to come and clean out the drains. Since there weren't any floating logs, I figured it was just grey water, but not mixed w/ toilet water. I found out when the plumber came that I was wrong! And I didn't think there was mold in there either, and I found out I was wrong when the clean up crew came and boxed up my mom's stuff and ripped out the sheet rock.

I worked in the apartment off and on for 7 hours in the sewer water and mold. And then for another 4 after all of the sheet rock was pulled out and just the studs were left...with mold on them.

I called the doc and got an antibiotic after feeling like garbage the day after working in the house w/ the water. Now, 15 days later, I am still dizzy and fuzzy headed. I am dizzy when I just sit. I'm going to make an appt w/ the doc tomorrow and discuss the toxice effects of black mold. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired, especially when there isn't *time* to be sick and tired!

Anyhow, when I was going through my mom's stuff I found my graduation picture. So I leave you with a pic of me in 1988 at 18:

The make up and hair just can't be beat, can it?!

Take care and have a wonderful day!