June 28, 2011

teacher- learn your lesson

Write a memoir post about a memorable school trip.

Two by two the 'like' children walked towards the school bus and I thought to myself with a bit of sick humor 'kinda like the Ark', but oh how this is such a different story. And as I took my seat with my grandson and his buddy I couldn't help but reflect on how I had  came to be on that bus.

"Oh you'll love this teacher, she looks like the old women in the shoe," my daughter said describing my grandsons teacher.

All sorts of images popped in my mind, my daughter was recruiting me for a school trip to the pumpkin farm with a my middle grandson . She and my son in law were working so I gladly stepped up to the task; I just love hay rides; certainly not as much as love being with the grandchildren however.

"I'll be there, can't wait," I told Heather. 

I showed up at Emmanuel's classroom at the appointed time and the classroom was abuzz with excitement. All the children milling around full of energy ready to get on the road. I introduced myself to the teacher and  found out all the other chaperons were moms and dads I was the only grandma in the bunch, but hey that was fine by me!

The teacher proceeded to break the kids into groups; two children with each adult, their own child and one other child.  She paired the white kids with white kids, Hispanic children with Hispanic children, and children of color with children of color. The only exception was ours the group that gave her no choice; you see my grandson is bi-racial my daughters husband is African American and we're white and she assigned me an African American child.

I was troubled by the racial pairing. It wasn't my child it wasn't my place to ask but why didn't she mix the races? If I were a parent I would have asked. I was troubled, if he were mine.

When we arrived at the farm we went about our day enjoying the festivities and it was clear that the children had their own ideas about who they were going to pair up with. Kids are amazing even at the youngest ages, they know who their friends are and who they want to play with. Friendship has no color it surly is blind. It was good to see that there was a patchwork of girls and boys of different ethnic origins rearranging the teachers pairings with the chaperons changing places with one another so that they could be with their friends. 

Teacher learn your lesson, these children can teach you a thing or two about race and friendship.... were you paying attention?

June 27, 2011

could you imagine a mommy limit?

My daughter Heather and I were chatting on the phone today, firming up arrangements for the family get together's planned for this Thursday and into the holiday weekend; confirming when her brothers off, when my brother and family arrives and when my husbands ex gets into town with her little niece Jess. You see the day is fast approaching, the five year anniversary of Gretchen and Eric's death. July 3rd is the day.

Anyway during our phone conversation Heather told me her little cousin is going to stay with her and her hubby for five weeks. The child is a cute little fifth grader and is being raised by a disinterested mother, my husbands exes sister. The little girl text-ed her today to tell her how happy she was to come' live' with her. The use of the word live instead of visit or vacation sent up a bit of a caution signal to my daughter. Lets face it, there's a difference between visiting and living so my daughter naturally followed up.Wanting to make sure the child knew that there was an end date to the arrangement, that she would be returning home in time for school to start.

My daughter and her husband are wonderful and loving parents to my three grandsons, they have a lovely home which is "that home". All the kids in their community are always welcome and tend to gather there to play because it is so welcoming and comfortable.

She made sure the child understood that it was a visit and they talked about some of the fun things we had planned for this weekend and beyond. Then as mothers do she said to the child." after all Jess you'll miss your Mommy and be ready to go home after five weeks won't you?" To my daughters dismay the child replied quickly "no not really I've lived with her long enough."

And with the shadow of my loss looming ever so much closer I can't help but reflect on what type of mother I was to my children when they were little and who I am to them now that they have grown. And  in all the days since Gretchen and Eric have passed and in the days to come not only will keep those memories close but I will continue to honor my children who are still with me in the hope that they will honor me.

Maybe I've just lived a sheltered life. I cannot in my wildest dreams ever imagine those words passing a child's lips; any child's lips. Little girls that age are supposed to have such a special connection with their mommies, they not only want to be with them, they want to be them.  How is it that a small child could have reached her mommy limit; is there such a thing as a mommy limit for a child?

Could you ever imagine your child saying such a thing?

June 24, 2011

checkin the facts

Do you check facts- look into things even though people might tell you something and sound completely certain? The girl at my doctors office made inquiries with my insurance company the other day to confirm coverage for a procedure.

She, while I was undergoing treatment checked to see if I could have three different types of grafts and all weren't covered she was clearly certain. To say the least the doctor and I were unhappy, this news easily could add weeks if not months to my treatments and healing process.

I wasn't pleased since this my first experience being denied coverage in 30 years with the same company. I even wrote a post about it no-way-not-chance-denied. I will say maybe that post might have been a bit premature. I should have checked my facts, something I usually do; I was remiss.

After stewing about it for a few days, forming my arguments pouring over all my coverage and finding no such exclusion I decided to call and inquire about two things.

1. did she receive the right information from the right place.

2. if she did receive the right information and grafts weren't allowed, was there a process to challenge my coverage and if so how?

Well guess what? I called both sections of my company; checked both the hospital and doctor coverage  thoroughly and guess what? After lengthy phone calls they have no record of an inquiry the other day    ( they keep records of all calls and inquiries) they get logged into the system by insurance ID number. *curious*

There is a process in place it takes 14-30 days to get everything pre-authorized;  since it's not an ordinary/common procedure, I've opted to do this. A few quick faxes with a bunch of info and hopefully we'll be in business. My doctor's gonna be happy Monday when I tell him!

So now instead of having to worry about all this insurance nonsense maybe now I can start worrying about whether a skin graft is as painful process; does anyone know?

June 23, 2011

trying new things on studio 30 plus

The other day Sue over at the The Desperate Housemommy  had a link on her blog for a piece she wrote over at Studio 30 Plus for their magazine Being a fan of her blog I popped over and read it; it was about her son who plays baseball; boy is that child adorable!

So I thought to myself; self while I'm signing up to join their community of bloggers why not write a little something too, it couldn't hurt. So I submitted a short piece to the magazine and guess what?  It was accepted!  I hope you'll use this link to visit and give it a read, its a bit different in style than what I usually write; just trying new things!

The title of the piece is called The Children of My Heart., just click here on the title and read away.

June 21, 2011

breathing in freedom

This week we asked you to write a prompt inspired by this sentence:

The first time I ________-ed after _________-ing.

It was in a different part of town, the east end on the bay side. I had always lived in the west end on the beach side. But it was perfect for me, met all my needs; the downstairs apartment of a private house. A small bedroom, living space, kitchen and bathroom. 

I was both afraid and excited as my parents toured what I had hoped would be my new apartment and give me their blessing. After all I was working making more than enough income to afford my own place, even at nineteen years old. And I think the fact that I worked for my fathers business didn't hurt, he'd see me every day, their house was a few minutes away.

Once I was all moved in I sat on the small couch in the living room in my own apartment for the first time. Breathing in freedom not realizing fully yet all the responsibility that freedom entailed; that would come later. I unpacked my things and set up my place the way I wanted it. It was small and a bit dark but it was mine. Then I set out to the grocery store to do my first grocery shopping. I picked and chose all the things that I wanted and checked out and headed home. 

As I walked down the driveway to the side entrance of the house a smiling face popped out the door of the neighbors house. She yelled to me, " Hi I'm Pat put those groceries away and come over for a beer so you can meet the family." "It looks like we're gonna be neighbors we may as well get to know one another." 

Boy what a relief to be greeted by such a friendly person. 

We became friends and her family were wonderful people. Her husband Artie, her two young children Jimmy and Lisa were adorable kids. Her tenants were undercover police officers that also became my friends; very cool guys. 

It was an amazing place for me to spread my wings and begin to grow up; surrounded by strangers who became like a second family; part protectors to this half girl half woman the first time she moved into her own apartment.

no way, not a chance, denied

I have the same health insurance for the past thirty years.I go to the doctor, I pay the co- pay he treats me-the end. In the event that I go out of network I pay the 20% after I reach the deductible, no problemo. Never once has the insurance company placed itself in between the doctor and my care as a patient; that is until now.

And the things that burns my ass is that I believe their decision isn't in their best interest either; meaning in the long run their decision is going to cost them more money. Then there's the little matter of my doctor who went to medical school and has twenty year of experience being overruled by some bureaucrat who knows nothing about me. I'm infuriated that this could happen.  

My leg wound  has required considerable medical attention. Since mid April I have needed weekly doctor visits,  wound treatments and medications. Beginning in June I have needed home nursing visits three times weekly added to my Monday doctors appointment and NPWT -Negative Pressure Wound Therapy 24/7. All these thing necessary to close the wound which is pretty much a crater in my leg that was caused by an infection after my fall.

Yesterday my doctor decided three more of NPWT and then he thinks I'll be in perfect shape for a skin graft. Grafting will move my healing along considerably; this to me means less nursing, less medication, less doctors visits to the Wound Clinic (which is part of the hospital) and less bills for me to pay. So he contacted the insurance company to find out which biologic graft my insurance allows.  Guess what their response was? No. Apparently I am going to have to throw my leg on an open fire and burn the thing to qualify for a graft.

My condition does not qualify for a graft so the solution is for the insurance to keep on paying hospital bills and home health care bills and NPWT rental fee's and medications and doctor fee's for as long as it take for my leg to heal using the therapies they've been using; no rush right?

Why make heal it quicker put a $1,200 graft on it? It makes much more sense to pay a home nurse $400.00 a week for up to nine weeks that's much more sensible. And while that's going on I'll just keep those weekly visits to the hospital's Wound Center and generate some more hospital bills while I'm at it.Oh and lest we not forget the doctor's bills that the insurance company will have to pay.
They're being dumb! 
It makes no sense to me at all.

June 19, 2011

he brings us joy

It was not all that common for a father to have custody of a child back thirty plus years ago let alone three small children. When I met my husband he was that guy. My husband is a good and decent man, it wasn't long after we met that I knew he was "the one" he had all the qualities of a good husband and father. He'd been married previously, was older and had children so there were obstacles, things that needed to be thought out for a single girl who had never been married.


Then on the day I was to meet his children, he pulled up in his car with the kids; they were three, four and six with big eyes staring at me; wisps of bangs hanging down on all their little foreheads. I remember as clear as day they were all sitting in the back seat of his small car peeking out at me so cute and curious and I can say with all honesty I was a goner!

Gretchen Billy and Heather

I can't help but reflect that back then I was in the unique position of seeing this amazing man, a single father be both mother and father to his children. And  I was getting a real preview of what I was getting if I chose to marry him. As a women I think we all wonder how the men we date will be when they become fathers to our children. He was wonderful to those little ones back then those little ones who became the children of my heart after we married. We added two more children to our family; our sons who were born after our marriage. And he continued to be that wonderful father we married.

Matthew and Eric

Always approachable, involved, loving and kind to all of our children; this I know. And there is no doubt there would be little joy in my life without him.

Bill and Me

Happy Fathers Day Honey

June 17, 2011

and the competition is on!

It's tomato mania in my family! My cousin Gregg sent me a picture via text of his young son, the child wanted a little blog love from his cousin Jen starring......him and his container tomato plant! Cute huh?

It all started when my husband asked me to take a picture of him in the garden a while back which I posted here on this very blog which started it all (click here). Bill in the garden

Then my cousins Jeanmarie and Hans saw the picture of his tomato's and sent pictures of their tomato's (click here) Hans in his garden It was clear to me that competition was in the air; that my cousins were suffering from a little garden envy. Little did I know that another much smaller cousin would throw some dirt into the mix....

Meet John Smith  (I will not reveal to you if this is an alias or it that is indeed his real name.I have sworn the tomato oath of secrecy !! Cross my tomato's and hope to die eating so many tomato's my belly bursts....

John unlike cousin Bill and Uncle Hans is a container gardener; and a handsome Catholic school boy in his uniform don't you think? If you look carefully you can see his tomato container behind him on the wall and low and behold it is taller than his head! It looks huge to me. I'm amazed someone so young could grow such a great plant. I bet Bill and Hans couldn't do that when they were little!

John Smith and his super duper tomato plant!

Help me out here ( even all you lurkers who read this blog please leave a comment ) John's gonna read this post! Do you think John had a fabulous tomato plant? I think cousin Bill and Uncle Hans better watch their backs; don't you? John appears to be the best gardener in the family hands down.

June 16, 2011

memories of my dad

My fathers been gone now for twenty two years. Every year when his birthday and fathers day come along.... I remember. This year since I have this blog I thought I'd share some of my father with you.

His name was Henry...  
Or some people called him Hank

1. My father loved the beach, my earliest memories were of my father in his beach chair with his radio and his newspaper.  He'd sit sun glasses in place on his nose while reading the news catching some rays. 

2. My father loved to cook and he was a good cook; one thing was he used every single pot and pan in the kitchen usually. God love him he had a great time in the kitchen but he'd make quite a mess. I would be remiss if I didn't mention he was a big believer in the traditional Sunday dinner.  We had two dogs when we were growing up a German Shepard named Major and a Belgian Shepard named Smokey, my Dad would even cook for them! 

3. He was a devoted son, my Grandmother was crazy about him and I know for a fact that he was about her. She was a strong Irish woman who taught all of her children the importance of family and my father learned that lesson at her knee well, and......

Dad and Mom hosted many a holiday's at our house ( Nana's too! ) filled to the brim with happy Aunts, Uncles and cousins and their families eating and enjoying each other's company. Everyone screaming, nobody listening, lots of love!

See there isn't a closed mouth in the bunch!!

4. Dad loved a good Scotch and a good football game. He especially loved the New York Giants. My Uncle Howard my Dad's best buddy and brother- in -law was a Jets fan. They had a friendly rivalry going between the two of them over those teams. I expect if that type of activity were allowed in heaven; they're still at it; over a cocktail of course.

5. He was a devoted husband to my mother. My parents were married for just less then 40 years when Dad passed away. I just couldn't imagine them ever being not together; this is what I heard about how it started. One night in a bar while with friends-story one- Dad fell in love with Mom at first sight- story two- Dad saw Mom's bra strap break and he fell in love with her. He told his friend Buddy Acosta that night, "I'm gonna marry her some day". And he did...

6. Bolstering the whole bra strap story about him and Mom; my father was a beloved Uncle with many nieces many of whom are also his Goddaughters.  He used to pay for my girl cousins their first bras. And no he's wasn't a perv! He would also get his Goddaughter birthstone rings for their First Holy Communion. My cousin Barbara just passed her's down to my niece who made her first Holy communion last year, it was a lovely gesture from Goddaughter to Granddaughter.

7.  Being the only girl with two brothers it was easy to con  trick my father. I would take baby pictures of me and my brothers and shuffle them up and then ask him to pick who was the cutest baby. Of course he would always pick me! I'm not quite sure if he could tell the difference between me or my brothers; that's why I always won every time!! I'm even cute when I'm screaming my lungs out! This picture is the day my godparents my Aunt Frances and Uncle Joey took me to be baptized.(fyi) Back in ancient times (I'm showing my age) parents didn't attend, it was the godparents responsibility to take the child to the church.

my parents and me at my Christening

8. Once when one of my babies was crying over at my parents house, my Dad was was sitting in his chair in the living room. He had his eyes closed, his head was laying back on a pillow and I had to wonder if the crying was bothering; if he was suffering a headache. So I asked him,"Dad is the babies crying bothering you? His reply, " that is the most wonderful sound in the world, my grandson crying,."

9. He was a devoted grandfather to not only my brothers children but to mine, spoiling them shamelessly, giving them soda and taking them for walks to the ice cream parlor. They would follow him like little ducks down the street only to return with ice cream cones bigger than they could handle; dripping with their favorite flavor, smiles all around.

10. And of course he was always by my side at my most important moments, to guide me, to tell me when I was wrong, to lead me in the right direction and most of all to love me until the day he died.

my dad and me on the day of my confirmation

June 14, 2011

I longed for a hug

Choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection (either by you or someone else) stands out, and show us.  Bring us to that time.  Help us feel what you felt.

I picked up the phone on the third ring, it was my Mom. She's getting on in age; in a fragile voice shaking with emotion she said to me “the doctors office just called they told me I have colon cancer."  “I’ll be right over." I replied. I hung up the phone but not before the tears came.

My husband rushed into the kitchen I slipped into his arms the place I know so well, my safe place. The place I went to time and time again after the kids died; the familiar hands that held me as I cried, as we cried and talked about our loss. From the shelter of his arms I mumbled, “how can they tell her that over the phone, it just seems so cold doesn't it?"  The familiar feeling of dread crept into my senses again it was my constant companion after the death of our son and daughter. I took a deep breath and said, "Honey we better get over there she shouldn't be alone." 

We didn't even dress we just filled our coffee cups and crossed the short stretch of wet grass to Mom's house, we arrived within minutes. We held hands gaining strength in that connection; two always stronger than one we walked up to the door. The door flew open and before I can even kiss or hug her she exclaimed. "I have cancer the least you could do is bring me a freekin cup of coffee," then she turned and walked into the kitchen. My heart just sank and my stomach twisted into a knot. I had imagined walking in and embracing my Mother comforting her but that didn't happen of course; so I made her the coffee she desired. 

When all was discussed and Mom had calmed some she walked us to the door.  I put my arms around her, her spine went rigid, and her arms remained stiff at her side. I told her that she would be OK that we loved her that we'd take care of her no matter what. I was surprised by the powerful feelings of rejection I was experiencing. I would have done anything for her to hug me back; I longed for that connection to her especially now that she was sick. As I released her I could feel the tears stinging at the back of my eyes; the thought of losing my mother so soon after my children was too much to bear. Then quietly my husband and I slipped out the door.  

Determined to do whatever I could for Mom, I got back to my house and put a call in to the doctor’s office and made inquiries about what they told her on the phone that very morning. As it turns out they wanted her see a specialist to have a screening test for colon cancer; she didn't have colon cancer! I exhaled a deep sigh of relief; I must have been holding my breath; then I walked into my husbands arms.

June 11, 2011

can you smell me now?

my new high tech shower
Being a patient of home heath care nursing is kinda like being in jail. No vacations, no swimming, no beach, you get the idea! Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that the wound care nurses are highly skilled and will ultimately get my leg healed quicker than if I just went to the doctor every Monday.They are the nicest ladies too! They came on Thursday for paperwork and Friday to set up my wound vac (Negative Pressure Wound Therapy). They will come to my house regularly on Monday and Wednesday's and Fridays until my doctor discontinues the treatment.

After doing all the medical necessities they attach this foam thingie that placed over my wound (it's literally a vacuum seal over the wound). There's a tube that carries beads of moisture from my leg  to the actual pump/vacuum that I have to wear over my shoulder or around my waist in a carry case. The purpose is to keep the wound dry so it grows healthy tissue and heals faster. I have to wear it 24/7.

Little did I know when my doctor ordered this therapy which he added to the traditional weekly therapy that I cannot take a shower except on Monday's. Can you smell me now? Every Monday after my doctor's appointment when he removes the vac to check my leg I can come home and shower, then the nurses  come and put it back on :(

Last night I was at my friend Becky's house with some other girl friends. We had a wonderful dinner pool side in the gazebo. Lovely cool salads, good wine, spirited conversation with good friends. Anyway we got to talking about my leg, being that they're my friends they are concerned about my health. And being that they're my friends their were of course a few giggles about the whole topic of how fragrant I might be by the end of the week since I can't shower until Monday. Sponge baths are not the type of bathing that really does it for me; but I guess I'll have to make the sacrifice to get this thing healed. So the wine was flowing and we got to talking about the different names that one might call a 'sponge bath'. A few possibilities that were mentioned were  a 'bird bath' and a 'whores bath'.

Do you have a funny name for 'sponge bath' that you want to share? Believe me I could use a laugh.....

June 10, 2011

going home

This week's prompt asked you to spread a little joy. 
You were to write a piece where you or your character overcame a challenge and, even if it's just for a moment, has a happy ending. We also asked you to surprise us - don't go with the obvious.

I have used the characters depicted in this piece in a previous story, so if you're interested you might like to read the escape to get to know them better.

Daisy eased the car into drive turned on the radio letting the oldies music wash over her. She really didn't want to have to think about what she was going to have to do but how could she not? Daisy ran the scenario over and over in her mind of a good marriage gone badly; the last straw in a failing marriage the month before. Now it was time to start the moving on process; but first she needed to complete the moving out process.

mere twenty minutes later the house that she had lived in with her husband and children came into view, she pulled into the driveway and the garage door opened up as she edged towards it. As she entered the house she carefully and lovingly ran her hand over her possessions making a mental note of which items she was going to take back to her mother’s house with her.

Time past rather quickly as she gathered up a full carload of all the things that she wanted for her and the boys. Her husband Charlie and Daisy agreed on what she would take; that was the only thing they could agree on lately however. 

She got back in the car rolled down the window but didn't turn on the music this time, she needed to think. Warm air rushed against her face and the air whooshed in her ears but it could not drown out the guilt she was feeling  about how short her temper had been with the children lately. Her emotions were raw; she felt so out of control. She felt like a failure as a mother as a wife,  and now she had to go crawling home to her mother  because she couldn't even keep a roof over their heads; God she was pitiful!

She got back to her Moms within a few hours’ time. Lily, her mother met her at the door concerned for her daughter.
"How are you honey?" her mother asked.
"I'm fine Momma, I just want to get this over with," as tears filled her eyes.
"Sweetie however long you need to be here, this house is open for you and the boys, you know that don't you?" said Lily.
“I know that Momma," Daisy replied.
But in Daisy's mind this just wasn't home, her home. Resentment bubbled up for the fact that she had to leave the house that she and the kids were comfortable in. 

Suddenly there was a commotion and the boys came running towards her like gang busters. They jumped on Daisy hugging and kissing her as she fell to the floor, "Mommy your back, we love you, we missed you." And at that moment Daisy knew as long as she had her children; no matter where then she was home.

June 9, 2011

i heart a little friendly competition

We pride ourselves on how well we do in our gardens with our vegetables. One day years ago when we first moved south I was sitting on the back porch in a t-shirt and my undies reading a book when I saw this stranger walking up and down the rows of my garden. He was an elderly gentleman who later introduced himself as Mr Edmunds. He proceeded to  inspect our garden and frankly he was in awe as an elderly southerner that city folks like my husband and I could grow anything with such skill. A bit of a stereotype but he was so cute that we let it slide.

We became friends with him and his entire family, particularly with his grandson and his wife and their sons.  My son and his great-grandson's became and still  are the greatest of friends. Two are actually roommates and my son was in the others wedding party just a months ago. Twenty five years of friendships based on a single encounter in my underwear in the garden with Granddad.

His grandson tells the story that Granddad went home and made a series of phone calls to other men 'southern men' in the area and this is what he told them. " Fella's plow under your gardens the new neighbors down the road will put you all to shame; and their Yankee's dang it."

Which brings me to my cousins in Charlotte, the ones who love tomato's. It seems that they have decided to get a teensie bit shall we say competitive with us regarding whose tomato's are taller and better. My husband sent them a picture of himself standing in our garden,  just click here-  bill in the garden.

Then low and behold we received this picture in return, it's of Hans in his tomato garden. Those tomato's look mighty tall to me! I don't know though....Hans is a bit shorter than Bill then it dawned on me maybe he's standing on his toes, or on a stool,  oh I know, I know he's on my cousin Jeanmaries shoulders!! *giggle giggle*  Thoughts anyone?

Hans growing his city tomato's

June 7, 2011

girls and indians

We want to know what, from your childhood, do you still know by heart? Is it a story? A jump-roping song? The number of rungs on the ladder to your tree house? How much money you had to save to buy something you really wanted?

Mary and I giggled as we crouched down and peeked to see the goings on in the yard across the street. We had a bird's eye view from the second floor porch of my parent's house at the beach. As we popped our heads over the edge of the porch we could see over the fence where Francis, Michael and Patrick were playing cowboys and Indians with their nanny, she was the lone cowboy. 

I had this feeling in the pit of my stomach that I was about to witness something naughty; and I was right. The nanny complied as the boys tied her to the flag pole in the middle of the yard. We really wanted to yell out to her," Margaret, don't let them do it," but we didn't want to give away our hiding place on the porch overlooking the yard. 

Then one of the boys ran into the house and returned to the yard with a pair of scissors. To our horror we watched as they cut off her long pony tail; snip! Then they attached her hair to another much smaller pole waving it wildly whooping and hollering as they danced Indian style around her

"Do you believe what we just saw?" "I can't believe they just did that," we exclaimed to one another. We hid behind the concrete wall of that porch and covered our faces as the feeling of disbelief washed over us.

What was going to happen if the grown-ups found out we didn't stop them, we were older after all; maybe we should have told. Then self-preservation set in; we shared a knowing look then we bolted down the stairs as fast as our tanned legs could carry us away from the scene of the crime.

Running was easier then telling at least in the minds of two twelve year old girls.

Mary and I have been friends for 45 years, her brother Steve my brother Gerard and Francis (the oldest Indian) are still great friends as well. When we all are together we tell this story; it is part of our repertoire of our childhood antics stories. 

And Margaret? She went back to Ireland and was replaced by Mary a more seasoned Nanny who was better equipped to deal with the Indians boys!

June 6, 2011

my doctor- my word!

I went to the wound doctor for my second treatment today. I really like this guy; he's pretty funny and he uses 'food words' as examples to get his messages across.

It got me to thinking maybe his father was a butcher or maybe he owned a  food market.  This is why- because he says the funniest things; the little instrument that he uses to clean my wound with is like a mini  'melon baller.' The ointment that I have to put on my wound every day is supposed to 'marinate' my wound. And when I asked him today what parts of the wound looked the healthiest he replied " I want this wound to look like a juicy red piece of meat."  I know I know it's gross right?

I made wonder what his mother did for a living when he ordered NPWT for me today, that stands for (negative pressure wound therapy) better known as 'wound vacuuming'; I don't know maybe she was a housekeeper, ya think?

June 5, 2011

it won't be long - a photo

I took this picture yesterday since my husbands club buddies thought he might be exaggerating just a tad about the height of our tomato plants. These are just two of many that we planted this year. It won't be long before we'll be knee deep in more tomatoes then we know what to do with!

Bill in the garden
Happy gardening!

June 4, 2011

need to catch a few zzzzzzz's?

Wouldn't it be great if we could continue to sleep like we did when we were kids?

I read somewhere that as many as 48% of adults suffer from insomnia  here in the U.S.  Therefore it didn't surprise me one bit the other day when I was reading another blog and the author was asking for ideas on how she could kick her insomnia.

I have more than a bit of experience with this topic since I don't think I slept for six months after the accident.Oh I caught an hour here and there but I didn't get any true sleep. Finally my doctor got on my case and forced me reasoned with me to use these techniques to finally get some zzzzzzzz's. I know the name "sleep hygiene" sounds funny rather like dental hygiene.  This works on the same principle, the principle of good habits but in this case you substitute sleep habits. I thought I'd share with my blog readers what I learned from my therapist on how to get a good nights sleep. Actually its a series of steps that you can take in order to sleep well.

 This is what I did.

1) I purchased new linens for the bed, cool and cotton, simple and comfortable
2) I removed all clutter from the room, so there is no distraction if you have a TV then it needs to go as well.
3) I turned my clock around so I wasn't checking the time 100 time a night.
4) I purchased new drapes so the room was nice and dark.
5) Remember the room is for sleeping and sex only all other things should be done elsewhere. (no paperwork, computers, books, electronics, pets or kiddo's sleeping in the bed)
6) No naps during the day.
7) No caffeine after dinner.
8) No exercising after dinner.
9) Go to bed and get up at the same time every day if possible.
10) Turn off all electronics and wind down 20 mins before bed.
11) Snack lightly before bed if you must eat; going to bed hungry will keep you up just as easily as being too full.

Some or all of these tips can be helpful in improving your sleep if you have been having trouble, they worked for me- but there's always room for improvement. I have to be honest, these techniques are preferable to taking pharmaceuticals which can be dangerous and addictive.

Do you have trouble sleeping ? Do you have any tricks to get to sleep or to stay sleeping a night? I'd love if you'd share.

June 3, 2011

waiting for the other shoe

This week's prompt focused on character development. We asked you to tell us what your character - or you -wants. It's a way to get to know your character or yourself better.

Red Writing Hood

I have a confession to make; I wasn't the greatest student when I was in school. The thing I disliked most about school was reading. When completing school I went right to work and did not attend college. 

I married early at the age of 22 and started a family right away. It wasn't until I had my children that I learned the how purely divine it could be to immerse myself in good novel. How could I have not realized earlier how truly wonderful reading was? Each book I read was like a mini vacation a learning experience and with that realization I was hooked. I then began ingesting books sometimes as many as two or more a week. 

Until the accident that is. Did you ever get the feeling like you're waiting for the other shoe to drop? That feeling was so intense after my son and daughter died in the accident that I couldn't function for quite a long time.

The worst of that has abated but my concentration is still affected. It's been almost five years now and I'm fully functional except for one thing that has still not returned; my concentration. I cannot concentrate long enough to read a novel from cover to cover. I'd loved to sink my teeth into a good book, and I miss that so much. Oh how I wish I could.

snips and snails and puppy dog tails....NOT! UPDATE 6/3

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails

That's what little boys are made of !"

This story I'm afraid is not a Mother Goose nursery rhyme; far from it. It is really sickening in fact; the story was released in a locality not too far from my community.

A group of children  found this  kitten and were playing with it when a 12 year old boy walked up, picked it up, grabbed it and threw it against the wall. Then he proceeded if that wasn't cruel enough to beat the poor animal with a stick. He then pulled out a pocket knife with the intention of cutting the kitten but one of the brave little boys knocked the knife from his hand. At that point the children picked up the poor thing thinking it was dead and left the kitten in the grass.
Animal Control took the kitten because by some miracle he was still alive for medical treatment; he is currently recovering and will soon be available for adoption.

doesn't this just break your heart?
This kitten is suffering from a broken leg, bruises to his lungs and his abdomen. 
My husband told me, he's a retired police officer that many of the most violent criminals start out by torturing helpless animals; it makes one think doesn't it? The boy has been arrested and charged with a cruelty to animals charge; ya think!

This just sickens me, and it make me wonder how is it that a child a little boy could be capable of such evil such horrible violence? How is a child like this becomes who he is or is he born this way- bad? Because I look at that little kitten and I just can't fathom any of it, can you?

 UPDATE June 3- It just came on the 10 pm news this poor kitten died, how sad is that?

June 2, 2011

did you ever notice?

Did you ever notice the air conditioner works wonderful until it hits the upper 90's and then like clockwork it breaks?  Do they send little men over to sabotage the thing that's what I'd like to know? It has been hot hot hot here in the south since last week. Tuesday when I was in the city it was 103. It takes your breath away when its that hot let me tell you.

 Most of you know my Mom lives next door to me. She and my Aunt Winifred (her sister) God rest her soul moved here in 2004 and we were able to add one house to our property per county regulations. It's a nice little three bedroom great for when my brothers, their families and other family members come; between both houses we have tons of room for lots of company to spread out. And of course it goes without saying I love having my mother next door.

Anyway when  I was over at her house the other day I noticed the temperature in the house was pretty steamy so I checked the air flow with my digital thermometer and it was hot to say the least. Needless to say it was Sunday on a holiday weekend during a heat spell- the first of the year so what were we to do? We put in a call the repair company for service. They put in our central air and heat/ custom duct work and got on "the list" and waited; we are in fact still waiting. We like this company they did wonderful work on our house and they also service my church so that's our connection.

The smart solution seemed to be was to move Mom over to our house into the downstairs bedroom. Now she's the Mom I know and love, sitting in the living room watching the flat screen , doing her puzzles, with her sweater on! My AC is in fine working order. But I don't think Mom minds a bit since I believe she likes having being waited on and having people to hang out with all day.

When they do come and I believe maybe tomorrow she'll be happy to get home to her own bed and her own stuff. Let's hope it's a simple repair- fingers crossed it doesn't need to be replaced....expensive!

How's the weather where you live? Hot hot hot or not not not?

June 1, 2011

my leg trauma drama

If I could  have anticipated that my week at the beach and the fall that I took when we vacationed there read here in my post-  WE DUCKED DOWN TO THE BEACH  would have turned into such a long and drawn out nightmare then I might have stayed home. I've explored the internet and some natural and home remedies but to no avail  the legs wound is still unhealed as I wrote in my post- MY LEGS A PAIN IN THE ASS.  I have gotten the best care possible from my regular doctor; but it's clear it was time to explore new options.

So my doctor sent me off to the Wound Care Center yesterday and met my new doctor. He will be the guy who will tend to my wound for what will be roughly the next 16 weeks. Yup you read it right 16 weeks, my summer is ruined no beach no swimming...sucks right? I have to go see him every week on Monday afternoons for a debridement (he scrapes) the wound with a tool to clean off the tissue so it will heal from the inside out. Apparently the trauma from the fall was so deep that the wound formed down as deep that the muscle is exposed in places, yuck. If it doesn't heal from the course of treatment he's set forth, I'll have to have a skin graft done. Crap! 

Every day I have to put special cream on it, bandage it in a sterile bandage then wrap my leg from below the knee to my ankle in an ace bandage. For the entire day every day for the whole course of the treatment I have to wear that darn ace bandage except while sleeping of course. Four time daily I have to raise my leg for 1/2 hour above my head and lay flat on my back and rest the leg. I'm never gonna get anything done! Then he told me, actually it was more like a warning. If I saw any sign of infection, redness or if the cellulitis returned I was to go straight to the hospital period. That I have taken enough oral antibiotics that I was going on an IV in the hospital no negotiation no questions asked!

With all seriousness I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have medical insurance! I am so grateful that I am covered by a good policy (medical, hospital, drug coverage). I can't imagine what people do without it.I can only imagine that this treatment will be a costly one. Even the twenty percent that I'll end up paying will probably be a good amount. I really liked the doctor I should say and I'm so grateful for this man, the doctor who has taken on my case. He was in fact quite knowledgeable and I'm confident  in his abilities.

Let's pray all goes well.