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Wherein you will find posts with humor, photos, reviews, occasional rants and journalistic entries of interest to me alone but that I hope will touch you, the reader, in some way. I remain sincerely yours,
A Work in Progress

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I'm trying

 

It's the holiday season.  My very favorite time of the entire year.  Family, friends, joy, gratitude, are words that mean The Holidays to me.

But I am struggling this year.

As we sat last night, three of us, happily ensconced in Agents of Shield, someone was missing.  There were sightings of the fourth one of us.  She would come down for tea, or to grab something she needed, but then she would race back to the comfort and sanctuary of her room.

Then there was a thing while she was in the kitchen and everyone's heart got hurt and it just sucks so badly because no one was at fault.  And everyone was in tears and my heart just hurt. There is no blame but also no way to make it better.

After I fell asleep, I woke to sobbing.  Getting up, going in, knowing there was nothing I could do, nothing I could bring her, not even my presence, just sitting there with her would or could comfort her.  Nothing to provide solace.  And she said to me, "I will try to cry quieter, I am sorry I woke you".  And I went back to my bed, laying there, listening to her softly crying, my heart breaking in a gazillion pieces.

How are we going to have holiday joy when one of us can't even sit in the same room with the rest?  And how do I rationalize that the healthier child deserves to have all the fun and wonder of the holidays without the crushing guilt and heartbreak because the other can't?

Will she be able to go get the tree with us?  Decorate with us?  And if she is able to have a good day, how hard is she going to crash afterwards, and for how long?  Will enough meds bypass the symptoms long enough for her to enjoy the day with us? Will her legs hold her up that day, will her pain abate long enough so that she is able to enjoy tree day?

What about cookie day, a long beloved tradition?  And if she can't go, if she isn't up to it, how much more will the grief of not participating set her back? 

 This minefield we are tiptoeing through is fraught with unknowns.  Currently, we have a new med protocol that we are fighting to get implemented and that hasn't happened before.  It came as a shock that all of a sudden, our primary is balking at the orders of our Lyme doctor, questioning his thought process.   I've emailed, called, and pushed and I will know more today after our trip to the doctor.

But we will try.  We are a family.  Through all of this, we are well and truly blessed, time and time again.   And no matter what, we stick together, all of us, and we will get through this.  There will be windows of joy, moments of festivity, and there will be love and compassion and there will be Christmas, ready or not.





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Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving

 
“Could it be — no one receives the peace of God without giving thanks to God? Is thankfulness really but the deep, contented breath of peacefulness? Is this why God asks us to give thanks even when things look a failure? When there doesn’t seem much to give thanks for?”
  ~Ann Voskamp


It isn't always easy, that's for certain.  But the truth of the matter is, in all our trials, we are well and truly blessed and I am incredibly thankful.

I am thankful for the warmth of the wood-stove and the winter's worth of wood, in the pile, in the driveway.

I am blessed by the cheery sight and scent of candles flickering and the thoughtfulness of my Mom who bought them for me.

I am thankful, as always, for coffee after a long night and my new-found ability to auto-program the coffeepot.

I am incredibly grateful for my family, my extended family and my church family.  Beyond blessed in our relationships and so deeply thankful for each and every one of them.
 “Lord, behold our family here assembled. We thank You for this place in which we dwell, for the love accorded us this day, for the hope with which we expect the morrow; for the health, the work, the food and the bright skies that make our lives delightful; for our friends in all parts of the earth. Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind. Spare us to our friends, soften us to our enemies. Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavors; if it may not, give us strength to endure that which is to come that we may be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath and in all changes of fortune and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving to one another. We beseech of you this help and mercy for Christ's sake.”
~ Robert Louis Stevenson


It isn't always simple, remembering to be thankful these days. 

 It is rough when there is no change after months of medication and my daughter spends another sleepless, anxiety-filled night and there is nothing I can do to help.

It is hard when it seems so unfair that she suffers so much and there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel.

It feels hopeless when all I can do is make more appointments, fill pill boxes, make tea for her and I am unable to comfort her, console her or offer her hope.

It sucks that my 14 year old is in pain, back pain, neck pain, headaches, shaking hands and wrist pain.  And her meds don't seem to be helping either.  Though I am grateful her knees seem to have stopped blowing up and hurting her.

It is insane that I too am now on Lyme meds, I have two sick kids, a home school and a household to run, I do NOT have time to be ill as well.

When I thought, "My foot slips," thy steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, thy consolations cheer my soul.”
~ Psalm 94:18-19
 
I am thankful for bags of hand me down clothes and shoes that delight us all.  BOOTS for ME!

I am thankful for packages arriving of Christmas presents I was able to purchase and for the happiness I know they will bring.

I am thankful for my beautiful, new and improved kitchen with all it's storage space. And for my incredible handyman husband who did all the work himself.

I am thankful for crock pots, the greatest invention ever, for giving me peace of mind in the evening because I made dinner in the morning.   I hate the 5pm  "I thawed____, now what?" game.

I am blessed by our furry friends, their loyalty, silliness, love and steadfast companionship.
 
I am grateful for my Facebook friends, old and new, for keeping us in touch, for being able to share, uplift or laugh together on a daily basis in the virtual world when we can't see each other in the real world.
 
I am thankful for little silly things that make me happy, like a favorite sweatshirt, email, Amazon Prime, Netflix and books on my Kindle.  

I am thankful for my girls, their attitude, their humor, the gift of just being with them, even when things are difficult for them.
 
I am blessed that my Mom taught me how to knit so I can make things that make other people happy.
 
I am well and truly blessed and I am thankful.
 Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.



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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Honey Pot Hill 2014

“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir: We must rise and follow her, When from every hill of flame She calls, and calls each vagabond by name.”
~William Bliss


  On could have been the worst idea ever, we set out last weekend on our 2nd annual pilgrimage to Honey Pot Hill, in Stow, Ma to go apple picking.  I have had pneumonia for 2 weeks and Rowan can barely walk but off we went because it was our last chance to do so.
  One quick trip back home after getting gas and coffee for forgotten meds and we were on the road.  Laughter and music and games all the way up, for that alone, it would have been worth it. 
 It was a rare October day filled with warmth and sunshine, especially welcome after a 4 day N'oreaster.  It wasn't crowded so they let us bring our beach buggy, normally not allowed, onto the hayride, up the hill, to the current apple du jour for picking.  We then discovered the apple perfection that is a Mutsu.  Crisp, juicy, sweet with a hint of tartness, we filled three 20lb bags.  
  We spent some time on the little bridge overlooking the pond watching turtles, tadpoles and frogs.  It is a strangely hypnotic place, quiet and still, with something new to discover the longer you watch. 
We had been looking forward to the hedge maze, touted as the biggest one in North America, but knew we might not be physically able to pick apples if we did that first.  And we never did get to it, but that just leaves something new for next year.  We were all exhausted by the time we got home, but happy with our apple bounty and a few bags of cider donuts as well.

“After the keen still days of September, the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth...The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch. The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze. The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels, emerald and topaz and garnet. Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her...In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.”
― Elizabeth George Speare, The Witch of Blackbird Pond  
 And anything was possible. 

Jenny made an apple pie for some friends when we got home and another the next day for us.  Mutsu apples are great for baking, they were crisp/tender, not mushy, and not too sweet all cooked up.
“Anne reveled in the world of color about her.

"Oh, Marilla," she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it? Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill--several thrills?”
~ L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

 

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Normal for Us

 “Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul... but I must confess that I love you only because you are a prelude to my beloved October.”
  ~Peggy Toney Horton

 
Almost the end of September, we've had a few cooler days but it's warmed up again.  Finally got some badly needed rain.  Gardens will be happy.  Not much left out there, a few tomatoes, some peppers and three baby watermelons left to harvest.

8th grade is going well.  Jenny's logic class is particularly fun and she makes me laugh while she studies.  Quote of the day yesterday, "ad hominem, red herring, you have to follow the rules people, or this is just a common quarrel!"

We went to King Richard's Faire last weekend with some friends, Rowan wasn't up to it, which made me sad, but Jenny got the tickets for her birthday and it wouldn't have been fair not to go.  It was fun and festive and a feast for the eyes.  I had always wanted to go and never made it.  The joust was a hoot, there were so many beautiful things in the artisan booths I would have killed to have.  We watched some pretty cool shows like a guy juggling fire standing on a ball.
 On the Lyme front, Rowan is battling hard, sensory issues are insane and she is in pain and in bed a lot of the time.  On the 6th week of 8 iv/orals protocol.  We go back to NYC to Dr. Raxlen October 7th.  She still has her sense of humor sometimes though. She dressed up her IV pole like a dementor from Harry Potter.

Jenna is responding to meds this time around, finally hitting her bartonella.  She maintains, as always, her unique sense of humor. 
Dad: Did you take your pills?
Jenna: Yep, they are destroying my liver as we speak

It was 2 years ago last week that we mourned the loss of my beautiful sister in law, Becky.
It doesn't seem as if it could possibly be that long ago.  Miss her still and always.
Our new kitty is a love, she is 8 and a complete cuddlebug.  She high 5's.  Also, she drools.
Arwen's eyesight and hearing are failing, she is getting old.  How can I tell?  She didn't even see it!
Knitting an adorable skirt for Jenny, reading Kim Harrison's Hollows series, enjoying it very much, on the very last book.   Waiting for a chance to watch the season premiere of Sleepy Hollow because it is one of the shows Mike loves too so I have to wait for him.  Still wanting to catch up on the new season of Dr. Who, but they want $6 for the first episode and I object.  Hoping very much to go back to Honeypot Hill Orchards in Stow soon, we had such a wonderful time last year.   October is almost here, my favorite time of year!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

September, A Tad of Miscellany


 “What New England is, is a state of mind, a place where dry humor and perpetual disappointment blend to produce an ironic pessimism that folks from away find most perplexing” ~ Willem Lange

  Our annual family camping trip to Washburn Island was nothing of the sort this year.  With no way to keep clean, let alone sterile, Rowan couldn't come out and Mike was working.   Jenna and I went out and she woke up sick in the morning so we came home. I then went out alone, just me and the dog for a few days then was joyfully reunited with Jenna for a week together.

 I really tried for relax, refresh, renew, but there was a lot going on at home and with family that I needed to take care of from afar and worried about a great deal.  Jenna did get some badly needed R&R with her dear friends and I was very glad for that.  Arwen got to sleep on Jenna's air mattress while she was gone, so she didn't get as gimpy as she has in years past.

  It wasn't the worst vacation I've ever had, but it just didn't feel right.  
  When we got home, Jenny had some tests done and went back on meds for Lyme and Bartonella, one of them is really hurting her stomach so I have ordered something called DGL supplement.  It is supposed to help coat her tummy before she takes her antibiotics, should be here in two days.  Between those, ginger chews and probiotics, hopefully we will be ok.

   Rowan is back on two weeks of iv after two on orals.  She had an ER trip the one night Mike was on the island with me.  Our dear housemate took her in at 11pm and they didn't get home until after 3am.  From that I needed to coordinate from the island, a follow-up with our primary as well as a follow up with a specialist to diagnose an "atypical ocular migraine".  Our beloved housemate took her to all the appointments, he is such a life-saver.

   Meanwhile, Jenna started 8th grade and turned 14.  We had a small family gathering wherein we all had a wonderful time together and a semi successful Skype visit from those who were away.
  Getting things ready in the house for fall.  Tidying, dusting, putting things away and such.  It always seems smaller, somehow, once the windows and doors are closed up.  The air is crisp and cool in the mornings and it is perfect sleeping weather.    

  Mike, at last, built a shelf addition to Jenna's desk for all her schoolwork.  It is perfect because she now has all her desk space back.  
Next step is to clean out the wood stove room from the mess that accumulates all summer and have that ready to go and borrow the splitter to get all the wood we have ready to burn.

Off to new adventures, King Richard's Fair and Honeypot Hill Orchards coming up!

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