Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Let's talk weather

Originally uploaded by
Convo with son's pediatrician:

Him: How are you doing?
Me: Enjoying the smoke-free skies, and the cool weather.
Him: Redding - one of the few places in the nation where weather in the mid-90s is considered an unseasonable cooling trend.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thanks, my plate is full.

I was just telling a new friend that writing helps me process here goes. Kind of like a stream of literary vomit.

School starts in 2 1/2 weeks! The kids are sick of day camp. One friend has terminal cancer, and we're just praying she can be cured. She has two wonderful YOUNG children she adopted, and they would be two motherless am I, so I know the road that lies ahead. One friend has cancer and is having surgery tomorrow and they'll stage it. Her husband has heart disease and has had several TIAs (precursor to strokes). One friend's daughter took her own life. Sadly, she was an incredibly troubled young woman, and was facing a lifetime in prison. I pray she has found peace. I know that suicide is a sin, but I believe that some people are so ill that it's truly the only way they see - and I know that God understands. My computer is on it's last legs, but I'm getting a new one. I have a great boss, and he's going to buy it and let me make payments. Any recommendations? My daughter is going through great trials right now. She starts group therapy next week. Jake's birth family showing up has thrown HER for a loop. I wasn't expecting that, but I should have. She's so sweet and sensitive. My great neighbors are moving out, and I have no idea who'll move in. I see the pain specialist (shouldn't he be called the anti-pain specialist?) Friday. I'm going to be getting some nerve blocks in my back, and if they work, I'll have radiofrequency ablation done. My doc says it's either that or a fusion. I'm amazed the insomnia hasn't hit until tonight, but I've had a couple painkillers and they're not working.

I'm going camping with my kids and some friends this weekend, and packing for a camping trip is always overwhelming to me. And I always forget things.

Ack. I'll get through, by the grace of God. But tonight, I stress.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The prince is in his second skating for hockey class. The first was over spring break (EASTER VACATION!!!!) and he didn't feel he was ready for the summer season of inline hockey. So now he's in this class each evening to prepare him for the fall season. It's awesome! While the earlier class had some high schools students working with them, this time they have a real coach. The class is made up from tiny guys (I'm guessing age 4 or 5) up to about 12. All the way from little ones who'd never skated before being towed along by grownups by a hockey stick to some kids a bit better than Jake. Not much though, because, of course, my son is the most active, agile, and cool kid out there. Ahem.

He's doing really well. They've learned (in two short days) pivot turns, skating backwards, speed skating, and stuff that I don't even know what it's called.

This is so much fun! I'm loving it. I always dreaded being the "soccer mom" because I don't really like a lot of sports. I like baseball and hockey. That's pretty much it. My stepdad grew up in Canada, and played ice hockey, so I grew up watching it, and I actually understand all the rules. Thanks to two patient ex-boyfriends, I have a good understanding of baseball, and really enjoy a live game, though I'm not crazy about watching it on TV. Soccer and football are mysteries to me. I've tried. I've read all the little cheat books for women. It just doesn't stick. They just don't make sense to me. Although there was one summer in my early 20s my girlfriend and I visited a few soccer games, JUST. BECAUSE. THE. HOT. GUYS. LOOKED. HOT. Sorry, about that - I was shallow then, okay? Give me a break.

But hockey is so much fun. It's fast. The rules are clear. And it's a great sport - they play indoors, they can play year round, and THEY WEAR A LOT OF PROTECTION! These things make a mom's heart swell.

Last night we're driving home, and discussing the upcoming season. He's got most of his equipment already, but not all. He needs a mouthguard, and a....I think it's called a cup. So, he knows what a mouthgard is - he's seen the bigger kids with them. But cup? What's that? Well, it's sort of a protective thing boys wear under their clothes... What does it protect? As I'm trying to gauge the most age-appropriate response (since his little sister is also in the car), he figures it out all on his own. His eyes grew huge. "You meant it covers my weiner?" Yes, son. "Why?" To protect it, so it doesn't get hurt." I could tell that he hadn't yet considered this monstrous possibility.

"Uh, mom?" "Yes?" "Can we get one tonight so I have it before I go back?"

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chicken Fried Bacon

This sure makes my green smoothies look good. Maybe there was a time I'd have found this appetizing. How about you?

Monday, July 14, 2008

This is what it feels like

This is what it feels like to be loved, to be cared for, to be blessed.

The wonderfully insightful folks at the Stirring planned a "Single Mom Saturday." Someone apparently knows what it's like to go it alone. Worrying about the kids, the bills, the car (especially the car - that wonderfully-made mechanical contraption that takes us where we want to go - mostly).

Now my car was a mess. Stickers in the back windows. There was a time in our lives when Jake had many, many doctor appointments and to cheer him up, I let him apply the stickers to the inside of his window. Now both rear windows were covered. Someone ran into my car in the Anderson Safeway parking lot last year, and I haven't been able to afford the deductible (and after wrecking 2 cars in the last 4 years, I don't want my premiums to go up more, anyway!).

I'd removed the stickers recently, but you can tell I have kids - spilled messes on the seats and carpet. Lollipops and popcorn, juice and smoothies.

So, Saturday morning we met at the Stirring. There were two photographers waiting, and they took pictures of me & my offspring. Then, some wonderful young women watched our kidlets, fed them pizza and kept them entertained while we were escorted to Tierra Oaks for lunch!

Now, if you haven't been there - YOU NEED TO GO. YOU NEED TO EAT AT TIERRA OAKS. Right now. Don't wait. Sean Gafner is the chef, and he's truly an artist. We spent a VERY relaxing time enjoying our lunches (the coconut chicken special was superb!) and having our iced teas and lemonades refilled. A decadent dessert. Ah, it was wonderful.

Then we returned to the Stirring to find our cars had been completely detailed! My car is beautiful again! The kids have been ordered to have nothing but water inside (we'll see how long it lasts!). I was even advised that I needed a quart of oil.

It made me remember the wonderful days when my ex-husband would wash my car and change the oil for me. Very well cared for. Those times now are few and far between.

I am so incredibly thankful for my Stirring family. They are the best. Because they know that we are all dependent on one another, and it's easy to help another. And I know I'll try and pass on that wonderful feeling.

Oh, and on a side note. My ex-husband is NO LONGER dating the woman in my complex. I saw her at the pool Sunday, and she told me that she things that we have some "unresolved issues" and should get back together. Apparently, she's a counselor, and "knows these things." Too bad we don't.

Friday, July 11, 2008

When life throws you a twist

Life's always interesting. I've heard there was an ancient curse - "May your life always be interesting." Well, some may think there's a curse in there. I wouldn't say that. But, things in my life have definitely been happening that make me scratch my head and wonder.

Some people have come back into my life that I didn't know I'd ever see again. I cut off contact with them, because I believed that the relationship we had wasn't positive for my son. Now, I'm having to rethink the entire issue, basically alone (I had my ex-husband's input before - now he's just saying he's sure I can handle it). Of course, we have an awesome adoptive parent "liaison" who would offer great counsel - and she's on vacation until the end of the month. I think she's actually been evacuated from her home because of the fires, so I can't even grumble about that.

So, I'm spending even more time in prayer, because this isn't something I can do alone. I've realized that I am the kind of person who flips out first, thinks later. Not a bad attribute if one is in a burning house, but not necessarily helpful here.

My back has been causing me to feel older than my already advanced years, but there's hope on the horizon. I'm seeing a pain specialist soon, who will try a temporary nerve block. If it works, then he'll be able to do something called a radiofrequency ablation. I don't think that's a new dance. If it doesn't work, they're talking about some fusing thing. I'll think I'll leave fusing to all the crafters out there, and try to Eat for Life. Dr. Furhrman's plan is supposed to cure arthritis.

My darling, wonderful son decided he wanted his "skater boy" hair cut. He wanted it really short, and I thought that was a good idea, since the mercury has been topping 110. I got out my trusty clippers and started going at it. Now, if you've ever done this before, you may have a different technique than mine, but I basically just start mowing it down with not even the approximation of doing it evenly. Once it's all at a reasonably short level, THEN I start trying to add some style in.

About three minutes in, he decided a haircut wasn't for him! So he looked - unique. That's all I can say. Thankfully, his dad was able to talk him into a little trip to Supercuts today and he looks cute and cool.

So. My week in a nutshell. You're probably thinking - wow - I wish my life had so little drama, right? I mean people in this world have much worse things going on. I know that. I know that right at this moment a good friend of mine is fighting a seemingly losing battle with cancer. I know that several of my friends have been evacuated from their homes because of wildfires. Believe me, I am incredibly thankful for all that I have, and realize that these problems are very small. But they're mine....and I still have to find a way to work through them now.

Oh, wait! I forgot something....

Tuesday night I took my lovely munchkins to the pool - we are incredibly lucky to live in a great complex, and one of the amenities is a great pool/spa area. I feel like I'm at a resort when I go out there! Our apartment overlooks the pool. I was a bit worried about that at first, but since the pool closes at 10, and we have really great neighbors, it's been much more of a blessing than a curse. So, we ventured out into the hot, smoky evening for a cool, refreshing dip....and who's out there? MY EX-HUSBAND! Yeah. Nice.

Sometimes on a Saturday before he drops the kids off, they'll spend some time at the pool. I think it's wonderful. Well, it got really wonderful last week. Apparently, he met a lovely woman - WHO LIVES RIGHT HERE IN MY COMPLEX! So, now, when I get home from work, I get to gaze out on the sight of them all snuggly by the pool. Isn't that just great? How lucky am I?

Well, tomorrow I'm off to be pampered. Thanks to the incredibly wonderful, thoughtful, and insightful folks at the Stirring, I'm having my picture taken with the kids (by a professional, no less!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Radioactivity - It's Good for You!

In the word's of my esteemed son, this is just freaky! "The value of radium is unquestioningly established in chronic and subacute arthritis of all kinds...." Oh, but even better:

So, maybe only my hairdresser knows for sure, but - come on. Let's see, which would I prefer - visit a salon semi-monthly where chemicals that may or may not be toxic are applied to my head, OR JUST APPLY RADIOACTIVE WATER TO MY HEAD ONCE A WEEK, in the comfort of my own home!

Back in the early days following Mme. Curie's discovery, it was believed that "radium" was health-giving. Oops. Didn't work out so well for little Marie, now, did it?

Secretly, it's one of my little paranoias....radioactivity. I'll never, ever forget my first x-ray. I was in high school, and fell and hurt my arm. I was literally in tears and hyperventilating as I went into the x-ray room. All I could think about was the fact that my Uncle Costia died while undergoing radiation treatments for cancer.

And my most terrible nightmares always involve a world war, with nuclear attacks everywhere.

I wouldn't mind living in a town that was a target for a nuclear war, as much as I'd fear living just on the outskirts of it....close enough to get the radiation, but far enough away to not die immediately. Like the characters in McCammon's "Swan Song" (which, by the way, if I'd kept my paperback copy would now be worth $109 on Amazon, thank you very much).

I grew up during the Cold War. I remember the drills in school, hiding under our desks and covering our ears to protect our hearing. I remember even then thinking, "There's no freakin' way this DESK is going to protect me from a nuclear blast, even if it does have a really cool little recess to hold my pencils." Just let the bomb land on top of me, okay????

Never death I fear, just the dying part.