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Up at 3 am…

16 Feb

Our grandchildren are spending the weekend with us. We are trying to have them come at least once a month to visit and help on the farm.
We do not have the usual family dynamics. My children range from 29, 22, 12 and 10 years old. My grandchildren are 7 & 11. We also have my nephew age 11 who comes usually every Saturday night to stay over so he can visit and go to church on Sunday with us.
My brother lives in a studio behind us and is developmentally disabled. He has been living with us for almost 10 years and prior to that he had taken to being on the streets when my mom passed away.
Does reading that make you feel busy?
I have realized that there are a lot of families who have full plates, some with life dripping over the sides and some with stuff stuck to the plates!
I was sound asleep when my husband lovingly nudges me awake and says “hon, hon, your grand-daughter wanted you to know she is up puking”. Did she really ask for me? Is it just me or do most guys not deal with bodily fluids? Argh, I slowly creak out of bed and pad my little feet down to the bathroom. Poor little thing is trying to hold her hair back and not get the yuk on her. I rummage around and find her a hair tie, pulling her hair back into it. Next, I wrap a flannel sheet around her, get her a water bottle to rinse her mouth and ask her if she thinks her tummy is done protesting? She shakes her head no, so i hug her and tell her I will come back.
Hmmm, what to do to pass the time? Check my emails! This was probably not the wisest thing to do at 3 in the morning for most, however I am incredibly brave because I continually fight the no sleep minions.
I check mail and then pull up my bloggers page and enter titles into 3 more pages for ideas then go back to her.
She is huddled into the warmth of the flannel and tells me she is ready to go back to bed now. Rinse mouth, make sure jammies are in the clear of the vile vomit, wash face and hands, brush hair and we go to my daughter’s room. I make a bed for her on the floor with a soft comforter and fluffy pillow, flannel blanket, fuzzy blanket, tuck up to the chin and night-nights.
Now that she is seemingly doing better, I should be able to go back to bed. Houston, we have a problem! I am Wide awake!
I log onto Facebook to see if my daughter in law is online, my son and daughter in law are currently living in Germany and there is a 9 hour time difference. I am disappointed, no such luck this early morning.
Well, after reading this you will know how I deal with the insomnia issues! I have a routine when I wake up in the wee hours of the morning; bathroom, check on each child covering them up if needed and praying over each, giving thanks and uplifting them to the Creator. Stoke the fire, get a drink of water and back to bed.
I have been struggling with restlessness for a while now. I finally realized that my brain just does not want to turn off, so now when I wake and sleep is elusive…I pray and then I blog! Usually it is just long enough to type in some new titles and save them. I have found this is a wonderful mental cataloging that assists me with sorting the skeins of thought rolled up in my grey matter!
Well now that it is after 4 am and the fire died out, sigh, I think I will try going back to bed.
Our hardwood floors, though freshly vacuumed are chilly with no fire and I could not find my slippers in the dark!
Thank you for listening.

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A Dragonfly in October..

15 Feb

Lab and dragonfly

When I was reminiscing about this, the weather was cold, dreary, raining like cats and dogs. Our old dog Rowdy was wanting to go out and seeing the downpour hesitating, not wanting to venture forth into the deluge.
As I was calling him to go out with me, I realized that he at almost 11 years is an elderly dog.
This saddens me, he has evolved into such a great family friend, snuggler, protector of all.
When we got him, we had a black Lab named Roly. He was my eldest son’s first dog. We were able to go to the farm where he was born and usually you pick out the puppy, well this puppy chose my son. He was the largest and no one had wanted him because he was so calm. After the littermates excitedly jumped, wagged and licked everyone in sight, he quietly came over and set his muzzle on my son’s shoe. He looked up and then started nuzzling the shoelaces, progressing to normal puppy behavior by chewing the laces.
We went and visited the farm a couple more times and when he was 7 weeks old he went home with us.
That pup became my son’s new best friend, they shared food, toys and he was so insistent that eventually he let him sleep on his bunk!
Over the years, he was loyal and loving. He was a gentle giant at over 100 pounds and did not have to bark aggressively, he was just there and that usually made anyone think twice.
I had to travel out-of-state for a business trip and left my husband in charge of farm and children. At the time I ran a preschool/daycare out of our home and I had someone fill in while I was gone.
We talked by phone every night and at the end of the week, I was ready to come home. I missed my family and farm life.
No one had mentioned that Roly, now 10 years had been laying around more than usual. When I came in the door, Rowdy was there bouncing and carrying his toy. Roly was nowhere in sight, not like him!
I walked over to his bed and he slowly glanced up at me, I could tell he did not feel well.
Shortly after arriving home, I was in the car with Roly traveling the 40 minutes into town to the veterinarian.
After running tests, they determined that Roly had been exposed to Salmon and his body was in toxic shock. He came home on fluids and all kinds of pills to help him battle this sickness. Rowdy received a preventative dose of medicine just in case he was exposed.
Evidently because he was an older dog and given that he had probably been sick for 3-5 days, he was not able to fight.
After two days, the whites of his eyes told me it was time. They were lemon yellow and confirmed that his organs were shutting down.
We lifted him, bed and all into the van of a friend and again drove the 40 minutes into town.
The vet kindly came out to the van and in the last act of love and kindness we ended his fight. He had such a heart that the vet said he would of suffered for days.
I held him as his spirit slipped away his eyes never leaving my face.
We wrapped him in his favorite blanket and left for home.
I was so distraught, I came into the house to change clothes and calm down for a little bit before going back out to where we were going to bury him.
Rowdy kept snuffling me and it seemed he was wondering where his canine companion was.
I must tell you that it was October and an unusually warm day, almost like spring, not fall.
When I met my family and friends at the van, they told me that an incredible thing had happened. After opening the hatch door of the van where Roly was lying, a huge Black Dragonfly had flown out.
They were so surprised that they jumped back and stood in awe, it flew all around the van and circled around each person there. As I came, it had disappeared.
Of course when they told me about this, I started crying again.
“**It is said in some Native American Beliefs that Dragonflies are also held as a symbol of renewal after a time of great hardship.”**

I knew this was his spirit, it had to be and I had missed it!
I pulled myself together and just as we started to lift his massive body out of the van, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye.
The Black dragonfly was magnificent, after circling up and down my whole body, he landed briefly on my arm.
I was mesmerized by the intricate iridescence traced on his wings and how his head was focused on me.
As suddenly as he appeared, he was gone!
Although I was sad at missing my long time friend, I now was encouraged. I had been blessed at witnessing a very rare sighting of transition, this grew into a spark of hope.
Day after day I continued to search for a glimpse of the Dragonfly again, I wanted to feel in my heart the same joy I was blessed with when it appeared to us in our dark time.
Now, as I realize I my young pup is now dealing with the changes life gives us, I will rejoice that he is with us for hopefully many more years.

I will never forget the Dragonfly in October…

“**Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1604680

Driving your car…

14 Feb

We had a Skype session yesterday, I received the news that heart had already know for so long.
Another deployment, broken promises of worthless paperwork, dashed dreams and crumbled crumbs of hope left on the table.
Before you enlisted, you and Dad went looking for cars.
When you came home from your seeking, sometimes it sounded like an updated story of the Three Bears story. This one was too old, this one was too trashed and then you found one that was just right.
Do you remember that it was the second time around of looking and going back that you were successful in your quest?
A car of your own! I recall that you questioned your Dad about the price of the car and knowing what it would take to make it road worthy.
So impressive when you asked if it was honest to buy the car for such a price when after you and Dad discussed what the car would probably need, you knew the car was worth more!
We gave you a key ring, your keys for the Mustang are still on it.
Looking towards the back door when I knew you were both returning from buying the car. Wanting to treasure the look on your face, triumphantly striding in with a smile so big your face looked as if it would crack!
Teaching you the power of this new car, your Dad took you out for the first time. He was driving and as he turned onto Hwy 126 the road was wet, it had been lightly sprinkling. Your eyes got so big as the car slid sideways across both lanes and right over the white line!
One night you were coming home from your then girlfriend’s house and a big deer jumped out of the woods and right into your car.
You came in the house and I could tell by your voice, when you opened the door and called out “Mom?”. I turned around and looked at you, your face was very pale. I asked what was wrong and I started to think you had been in an accident. Your story spilled out and we went out to look at the damage to the car. Wow, did the deer damage the front end! After cleaning it up, you dried the car off and spray painted ouch deer on the side!
That car taught you to budget, it also instructed you in the art of being humble. You got into trouble together and still have quite a reputation, just like our own Dukes of Hazzard and Boss Hog!
Both the Mustang and you like to show that you got it!
That car loves to drive! Old cars and trucks have personality.
I so enjoy being able to Drive your car. When I get in and adjust the seat, mirrors and stereo I look for a CD to listen to. The case of CD’s you left for me are still in the car. I discover a blue CD that says Mom’s mix~ Love you Mom. I pop it in the CD player and memories come flooding back, of differences and compromises we both came up with. Remembering our Mother~Son drives and “dates”, you are always freshly shaven, sharply dressed and smell like your favorite cologne.
Sometimes I would close my eyes, sit on my hands and chew on my tongue trying to hold off comments that would offend you in regards to your driving. Time passes, life goes on.
Can you come pick me up at the airport…in my car? Sure, we drive two cars to the airport, to give you your car and we have a way to get home. Your brother and sister help detail your car, your dad does work to suprise you while you are away.
We were talking about how we were going to meet you at the airport again and how you would drive to your new duty station. That won’t be happening anytime soon. I can’t sleep. The flag is flying at half-mast in Veneta, honoring fallen soldiers. It looks quite striking in contrast to the dark grey sky. I want to get a picture of it to show you every time I drive past that flag I think of you.
Every time I see your car I think of you. The tattoo on my ankle reminds me of the promise of protection from your Angel.
Every time I look at it, prayer follows, then praises.
No visit home, no duty station change, no sleep, no airline tickets, no money.
You have no idea how much it means when I can go out to your car, which still smells like your cologne.
Listening to the blue CD while Driving your car.
Mayday ahah 079

~The Quest towards Pearly Whites~

11 Feb

It has been at least two weeks since I last wrote about grieving the loss of part of my tooth.
After the visit to the dentist this week, I figured I needed to update you on what is happening.
Contrary to what my mind had already convinced my heart of, I do not need to have all of my teeth pulled for dentures!
The dentist is very kind and took the time to explain to me that even though I have been diligent about the care of my teeth, sometimes there are things that are not in our control!
I was very surprised at this explanation and he elaborated.
Your genetics, body chemistry, medications and what you eat and drink are all factors that affect the health of your body, mouth and teeth.
After listening, I told him I guess that leaves me with a trio out to attack my teeth!
He stated that unfortunately, he would not be able to salvage my broken tooth. The roots or what is left would not withhold the repair to enable me to keep my tooth.
I could feel my anxiety rise as he told me that I need to have the tooth pulled. I have networks of facial nerves that do not know they are supposed to follow a blueprint. It is hard to find and numb them and with my mouth being so small, very painful after work is done due to cramping of my facial muscles afterwards.
I shared my anxiety with him. He proceeded to show me the last filling.tooth he had repaired. Pointing out the extensive dental work on this tooth, he reminded me that it took a lot more time to do that work than he will have to do pulling the offending tooth now!
He reassured me that I did great then and will do fine for this procedure.
I left with such a mixed array of feelings; thankfulness, sadness, twinges of fear, regret, anger and resentment.
I cannot believe that out of all this dredges up that I wish my mom was around so I could tell her what is happening in my life right now. I do fine for a while, then go on my merry way and something like this blindsided me.
Missing her so much lately, not having her advice, her laughter. It is so hard to believe that she has been gone for almost 19 years.
I want to ask her why she got dentures as such a young age, did she have these problems? Just to hear her say one more time that it will be ok. I search memories to try to remember the sound of her voice.

My husband also went to the dentist and his attitude is angry about the dental work he needs. Well, we don’t have $4000 to fix my teeth. We have to live in the meanwhile.
How does it come down to this? Going from having insurance and retirement to nothing? I am currently searching through my house, seeking what I can sell to raise the money. I am stubbornly refusing to give in to the mentality of….oh we are poor, it just happens!
According to society, we are not poor.
We have a beautiful family, a small farm, our cars are paid off (even though only one is currently running), we are trying to balance our lives.
The children have health insurance, dental and vision. Even with the insurance comes copays that need to be kept paid up and current.

This morning I am readying to go do the chores to care for the animals and farm we are blessed with.
My children up and eating a hot breakfast, with a warm home and starting school.
On the morn of having my tooth pulled I am reflecting, how far do we go in search of Pearly whites? Is this Vanity?

Mayday ahah 253

About those peeps…

5 Feb

There are a few blogs about chickens. I belong to several of them.
One thing I have noticed is, there are a lot of other people who like chickens!
When we first moved to our property, my husband stated very adamantly that he HATED chickens and never wanted us to have them!
Several years transpired and we started the eternal “this old farm”.
Our horses and goats were doing well. I ventured to revisit the why we couldn’t have chickens topic.
He finally confessed that when he was growing up, he worked for a family friend in upper state New York that had a chicken farm. The expressions that came over his face as he told me the story were incredible. I could almost smell why he would never want chickens as the tale unfolded!
His job was shoveling all the chicken poop from the floors that missed the conveyor belts! Ewwww!
Over the next few months, I was able to talk him into the next chapter of our farm adventure. He told us as long as he didn’t have to take care of them he would compromise.
We brought home our first tiny chicks we bought from the local farm store. Our fuzzy, peeping box of tiny chicks brought about feelings of wanting to nest. Not for me, but for them!
Day after day of caring for them, bringing them fresh tidbits of greens “chicky salad”, clean bedding, fresh water and having the children hold them while we changed things out evolved into an ongoing, growing 12 year love of chickens!
We look at egg colors, chicks, coops, runs, incubators, brooders, predators of chickens.
Our tiny, fuzzy chicks that we started with are now going on 7 years old! They are the queens of the coop and very fair with new pullets and help to keep the peace. They still lay eggs 2-3 times a week once Spring makes itself known.
So if you are considering having chickens, just do it! But before you do, study up, join some chicken habit support groups. They are wealth’s of knowledge and help you get set up for success.
If my friends wonder why I keep chickens, this is the answer I give them.
Wouldn’t you love this~as soon as our chickens hear my voice, they come running, no matter what time of day!
~Chicky girlz are always happy to see you
~Chicky girlz always have time and will listen to your problems
~Every spring is like a new adventure
~Seeing fresh eggs in nest boxes on your own farm, priceless~
~Being able to watch a Mommy hen hatch chicks, precious!
~Eating eggs from happy chickens~Delicious!
If you would like to talk about chickens, let me know!

This picture is of Miss Peep our farm mascot, she only has one leg.

Ms peep head profile

Failing Kindergarten

1 Feb

Reminiscing, I guess that is one stepping stone of realizing you are an unwilling victim in the aging process. I overhear children talking about how they are bullied, pushed. lied to, made fun of. Keep in perspective that most of what is heard is coming from third grade up to high school. Teachers uncaring, judgmental  dispensing unjust discipline.  Whispers of drugs, sex talk, cell phones, sex-ting, disbelief of intelligent child and adult interactions. Mistrust of adults overall is seemingly rampant, spreading like the cold you try to avoid by not touching fomites.

Forty five years is a long time, material things go from classic to antique status. Depending on the care and quality of the item either treasured or thrown into someone’s junk heap.

Listen with open ears, apply filters when necessary. Most of the things that really annoy me now, cannot be changed, fixed, averted, nor avoided.

Quite tragic that most of the drama starting at such young ages and progressing into adulthood is nurtured, cherished and shared with whomever will listen. 

Any helpful advice? NO, just want to make sure everyone knows. Can you offer help? Sure, it is not taken when proffered. 

It has taken over four decades for the realization that a lot of society’s ills, poor social graces and rudeness, anger and selfishness can be attributed to one thing from the childhood of everyone involved…these people flunked Kindergarten!

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Pearly Whites

23 Jan

Upon taking the children to their routine twice a year cleanings at the new dentist, we were informed that the reason they are having cavity problems is their teeth did not finish bridging together. The illustration the dentist used; their teeth are like mini glaciers, they have tiny fissure cracks and no matter how hard they brush, decay will prevail.

We have been faithful in seeking routine, preventative dental care and this is the first I had heard of it. Mind you, my youngest children are 10 & 12 years old! Needless to say, I was a little alarmed, dismayed, upset, ok Frosted! After a second opinion, both children are receiving the care to help them keep their teeth healthy.

I have been in a life change, diet that is. I woke up at 2 am, pretty common occurence for me. After I stoked the fire, I realized I was famished. I thought about eating something not in my range of food, then reached for a healthy alternative. Dried fruit, a piece of “seedless”plum. I had conquered the urge to eat “bad”! As I popped the treat into my mouth, I rolled it over and started to bite down. I felt and heard simultaneously the crack of my premolar. Being Sunday night and Monday a holiday, dread set in. 

Not only did I lose half my tooth, what was left is as sharp as a shard of jagged glass that you see in movie bar fights! So, thankful for Zoi yogurt, soup and vitamin shakes I hesitantly forged through most of Monday. I called and was able to get an appointment Tuesday late afternoon.

After an x-ray, the dentist informed me that not only had my tooth suffered decay, which caused it to weaken and crack, but I have abnormally shallow roots. Even if he did a root canal, he could not guarantee it would clean up and heal as it should. The best option is to remove the offending tooth. I could have a dental implant after it heals, I could hear him say. 

Well, I guess I am not ready for this part of my life. I do not want to relinquish my teeth to decay, my bones to arthritis, my activity to sit by the wood stove and watch the rest of the world go by.

What did i do? I started to cry, tears uncontrollable, streaming down my face. I must of sat in that chair for at least 10 minutes thinking, how does life come to this?

Come to what, you may be thinking? The point in my life, where I don’t have so that my children do. That we pull teeth, dodge medical issues and skirt bills to provide for them what  we did not have available to us growing up.

My mom passed away over 19 years ago today. Several years, the anniversary has quietly been passed over on the calendar. Today, I remember being a little girl and running through the house with my mom’s dentures stuck in my mouth! I had found them in the bathroom, soaking and curious I stuck them in my mouth. Then, I could not get them out! Well, unfortunately my mom had a houseful of ladies for lunch that day! I ran to my mom and she horrifically realized what I had in my mouth and she started yelling at me “Lisa-Anne, you come here right now!” Well, once I heard that I ran away. I was alarmed that I could not get the dentures out of my mouth!

My mom was a beautiful woman, no one would of ever guessed that she had dentures. She is not around for me to ask, how this came about. Nor can I share my grieving over the loss of my teeth, nor aging changes. 

I am thankful the dentist is letting me make payments.

I hope that as you care for your teeth today, remember how much power is in a smile!

I have taken my teeth for granted, I have cared for them as I could. Now, it is too late to “wish things back”. A new, uninvited chapter in the book of my life…