Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Summer is Over?


I have been up a few hours now and the minutes are counting down to when the alarm on my phone will go off. It says: SKI! Because I had to set an alarm when we were at Grand Targhee just in case J. didn't get up.

I will hit snooze and that will leave another hour before my son gets up and I send him off to school. Again. Another summer.....

Yesterday I was outside in the crisp air and sat in my adirondack chair as J. played with a remote control car/truck/something; Padre worked on a project with his saw, and Mom cleaned off and hosed down the steps.

I took care of the gnats in the crease along the front porch and then settled into my adirondack chair and looked at my flowers. I got emotional. I am emotional right now!

Another summer.

Before school let out, J. and I did some "Stay Vacations." This was where we pretended to be visitors in I.F. and spent the last couple days of school, at a hotel. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to travel much, camp, etc. and so we pretended. Best idea. The summer cruised by us so quickly.

Due to me needing to be home more this summer,  we almost got through the whole series of "Little House." Yes, it is a bit cheesy and when we are emotional we now will jokingly say:

"Oh, Pa!"

like Laura or Mary  Ingalls and I wonder if Michael Landon is dispatched in heaven? ha, ha!

This summer will be remembered as the one where I got into:


Which meant bringing in Marnie. Another "Best Idea"; get a pro to help you organize. Most things have  a place now and most of the time find their way back to their "home."
 There are "Re-location" boxes still hanging around wondering where they will be re-located. It's a long process, getting organized. And I haven't even gotten to paper yet. Another day.

Thankfully, most everything is like clock work and makes me more able to accomplish the tasks that one takes for granted when in good health.

It was a good summer thanks to a lot of people and friends. My heart needed one last look over it all and I had to come here to write. J. and I both worked through a lot this summer and will continue to as another school year is upon us. Lots of prayers shooting upward.

Cowboy FairyTale

(my kind of log cabin from cordwoodconstruction.org)

So Madre got some story telling tips from her grandcowboys.

After relying heavily upon the written version of books while babysitting them one night, they asked for a

Real Story.

"I am not very good at those." she said knowing that their father was the best at the tall tales.

In an effort to ease his grandmother's mind and help her, Kid #2 said:

"It's easy! You just start with 'Once Upon a Time There Was a Cabin'.."

She uttered the words and he encouraged her with some hand motions to pull out the words.

His brother sat next to him playing with a little truck. He got a big elbow and told:

"Pay Attention! Grandma's telling a story!" I think they ended having bar room brawl in their bedroom and Grandma had to break it up.

It's Back to School for J. and last night we reminisced about the time when it was Summer and how the cool air has set in, signaling fall and football. I can't believe it.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Green Light on Entyvio

Guess What! I got the call from an Infusion Center telling me I don't have to wait for any pre-auths from my insurance and we have a green light for me to take the latest break through med,
I will be the first in this infusion center. (I gotta come in first some time.)
I have decided to chronicle it here, on the blog and we shall see how it works, whether I can get off prednisone like the Dr. says I should be able to with Entyvio

Here are some new words I get to learn:

About Entyvio (vedolizumab)
Entyvio, an integrin receptor antagonist, is a humanized monoclonal antibody that specifically binds

to the alpha4beta7 integrin and blocks the interaction of alpha4beta7 integrin with mucosal addressin

cell adhesion molecule-1 (MAdCAM-1) and inhibits the migration of memory T-lymphocytes across

the endothelium into inflamed gastrointestinal parenchymal tissue. Entyvio does not bind to or inhibit

function of the alpha4beta1 and alpha E beta 7 integrins and does not antagonize the interaction of

alpha4 integrins with vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). The alpha4beta7 integrin is

expressed on the surface of a discrete subset of memory T-lymphocytes that preferentially migrate

into the gastrointestinal tract. MAdCAM-1 is mainly expressed on gut endothelial cells and plays a

critical role in the homing of T-lymphocytes to gut lymph tissue.

(Entyvio must work like a tool kit and hammers in those nails up there on the cells. )
The interaction of the alpha4beta7

integrin with MAdCAM-1 has been implicated as an important contributor to the chronic

inflammation that is a hallmark of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.(Reference: Takeda)

Due to being tired, all I got out of that was something about my cells sending hallmark cards to each other while wearing "Go-Pro" cams to show all the destruction they are causing.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Picture Hanging

I just hung this picture! I love it! It is called: Our Advocate by Jay Bryant Ward.
Usingy my stud finder and brand new measuring tape, (Padre thought I needed a Fat Max- I went with another brand. It is smooth like butter! )
I hung my picture. A LED light from Home Depot can be switched on to light my way and beams onto the new picture at the end of the hall.
Another photo that is on my Peach Fuzz wall color is this:
James C. Christensen next to the photo of Lehi- (See the Book of Mormon) tasting of the Tree of Life.
I wish I had this photo of his too:
The fellow, Jerome, is daydreaming about reincarnated as a snake. I just think he has Crohns or something.
When I pull out my tool kit I feel really cool. One because it is purple and I got it for Christmas. Growing up I let Padre do all the measuring. And after that everybody else. In the book The Last Lecture I love how the author was given the liberty to decorate his room however he wanted.
He went gung-ho and it was pretty awesome. Padre would never have allowed that kind of leniency. But he has come a long way. For instance when I was hanging the top picture at 7 a.m. he was really cordial.
Padre per text: "What are you doing??"
Me: "Hanging a picture so it wouldn't get broken or something."
Padre: "It sounds like you are hanging a wall frame rather than a picture."
He was right- that was one hard stud. It must be the main stud where all other studs have branched out. Surprisingly, J. didn't even budge as I pounded the nail into the wall. Allergies and football are helping him sleep like a teenager.
Fall is upon us. I could feel it beneath my feet the other day as I watered my flowers barefoot. And I can smell it in the air. Along Hitt road the trees on the north side are all changing colors. But not the ones opposite of them. hmm.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A River Runs Through Him

J. fly fishing.

I wish I could've uploaded this picture better.... it shows the line on the water just as J's wrist had flicked it, ;skimming the top.  It is so beautiful. I was not on this trip camping. Over Memorial Day it was finally established that I currently can't camp. I don't know if I will again. Thankfully Padre put in a fire pit in the back yard. That is as close as I can come to it.

But what was so interesting was that with Padre's photos on my phone I felt like I was there. I honestly am so grateful for modern technology. It has made it so I could "be" with them on this vacation.

It was so peaceful to imagine and the pictures of the sun setting on the river as J. fished seemed surreal. I wonder, as his mother, how many rivers he will fish in his life. I am so grateful that he has the opportunities to do the things that he loves. I love that he loves life, has good friends, has coaches and teachers who go the extra mile for him.

I don't know what I did to "earn" him in this life. Tonight he further elaborated about the football scrimmage today saying that "they" were a bit rusty at this point but he felt confident that things would come together as the season went on. Some of the one liners he said:

"172 pounds, mom." about the guy who was crushing him on several plays.

"I tried to swim through a tackle and he just grabbed me mid air." he said and makes the hand motion of a kid holding onto an airplane and flying it through the air.

"The skinny, small guys are lucky cause the big guys can't see them."

"Once E. tackled a guy and I clapped and said: "ya-ah! way to go E!" only to turn around and briefly see the dude before he clobbered me to the ground."

Another scene he re-enacted for me was him running after the guy with the ball, turning and seeing the Big Dude running after him, and then J picking it up and simply running faster to get away from the guy. I don't know what happened to the kid with the ball. I imagine he was tackled and J. had to keep running around the mix until the kid chasing him was tired.

The way he talked I thought they got demolished but they won both of the games.

It is hard to imagine that J. could be lifted up by his football pads and slapped to the ground because J. himself is a pretty stout fella. But when you see some of the kids out there ya start wondering if they are on steroids or something. Or failed a few grades. Who knows.

Bet J. wishes he was fly fishing during brutal summer football workouts.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A Cure for Depression?

Nothing like watching some videos on Vietnam with Padre to help your depression.

James Bond.... something- was a POW for 8 years. Yes, Readers, 8 years. His wife  was seriously as smart and helped him get out as he was.

But seriously, watching what he had to endure, i.e. : The Ropes until they would say: "I submit." Wow. I can't imagine.

Then I got the briefing of J's scrimmages today, Readers. I tell what- there is some comedy coming out of this season for sure- I don't know if it is J's spin on the re-telling but he had me crying tears of laughter so hard and it was of my own kid being shook like a rag doll before # HE WILL CHASE U DOWN- ripped his shirt off and then chucked him to the sidelines.

Oh, boy. This year is going to be a doozy. Keep dropping in, folks! There are some seriously funny stories to be coming. I guess I will have to wait for J. to squezze everything outta summer before he takes time off to take photos for me.

Peach Fuzz and Pep Talk

No, not the stuff that grows on your face on prednisone- but the color on my south wall. I love it. The other walls are in "Alluring White" - not Heavenly Hue, which is what J. and I had been calling it for some time before the painter put it on and I realized it was, well, Alluring.

I love it.

I am grateful that it is on my wall. Thanks to all who helped me take everything off the walls, put paint on, and put everything back up.

this summer started out with one goal: Order.
So much gets out of order when you are sick. And I wanted to get it back together as a stay at home daughter. I thought it would take a month or so. We are still working on it.

But, like a puzzle, it is coming together! And guess what! J. has told me that after his game he will take pictures of it, and upload it to the blog for me. He also said he would take pictures of the flowers and garden.

It is a bitter-sweet summer. I have read my blog and looked at myself from years past and really felt sorry for myself. Sorry.

The flowers have been so great. And as summer went along I loved adding to them. The other day I was out trying to water and suddenly realized I was the one needing water as my arm could hardly hold the purple wand up.

After getting in a lot of my special saline in (1 liter of water with 1/2 tsp of both salt and baking soda plus 4 T of sugar, which I adjust, ) I was able to do better.

I have a lot of thanks to people like Marnie, Nat, my neighbors, people from church, and J. that helped me get organized. J. and I have had a calmness to our lives especially now that everything is almost put back together.

The biggest wish is that I was put back together. ay, yi, yi.  Setting goals and accomplishing them are very different now than a long time ago. It is so hard to hit the "set backs" when you are moving forward and WANT to keep moving forward.

I had a friend chat with me the other day about someone she knew who had worked really hard trying to obtain a degree. She had family coming to support and even throw her a party. Problem was, she failed the final.

Annnnddd had to go home to friends and fans and tell them. It is kinda like the episode in which Mary, in Little House on the Prairie goes to that state math exam and ends up taking 2nd. Well, she had to ride the stage coach back in to Walnut Grove and face the whole town. (who knew she took second)

"Oh, ma!" she exclaims as they pull into town and Michael Landon is there holding the baby and the band is playing and she thinks she has to tell them she didn't take 1st.

They know but that one guy wid dee accentah says something to the effect that they are still proud of her.

It must have been like that for this gal who tried really hard and has to try really hard again and re-take the test. It's hard. Coming in 2nd- or not even getting to the event, is hard. At least Mary knew math pretty well.

But, anyway, it has felt like that this whole summer, off and on. Ya want to do really well for all those Walnut Grovers, but ya just fall short. ya know?

Last night, despite my own feelings, I had my J. to pep up. So I first consulted Dr. Suess in a favorite book, which I read to him and it has been a loooong time since we read a picture book before bed.
The book is the one about the places ya go. - how you will be famous, except when ya aren't, and the best of the rest, except when your balloon gets snagged in a tree and then ya aren't in first then either.

And how you can hit the slumps and unslumping yourself (like when ya get mono) is really hard to do.

And how you will face your problems head on. And they happen to have a big bum. (the illustration of the monster the kid goes up against has one-or it could be your own bum too. but that is another post)

And how you will move mountains. Hard to imagine doing- moving a mountain. but it's apparently possible.

Football season is here. Along with dumb injuries that make it that much more fun. Which makes ya need that much more pepping up.

After Padre had flip flopped down stairs and said something about not being able to close the paint can lid I had in the bathroom because it may splatter all over his flip flops, we had a good laugh and got down to the nitty gritty pep talk. About who you are. On the inside. And what you can become.
It's hard to see that. Not for a mom to see that in her kid. Or a teacher, or a friend, or whatever. It's hard to see that in yourself.

He even told me: "That's easy for you to say." And, Readers, it is. I don't have a problem looking at J. and telling him what qualities he has that amazing. It isn't hard to smile and look at that kid and not love him. But I'm his mom. And so, yeh, it's easy for me to say that he has the talent and ability to become what he wants.

J. listened quietly. And we had our family prayer together, he and I, right there in his room like we do most nights and it felt like the final touches to the pep talk I gave him.

Now, really early in the morning, I am reciting and trying to believe those same words I gave him last night. That life can be scary but it can be great. That there is so much to look forward to!

The words to a song from one of the CDs my dad gave me is of little kids singing the lines to a song and one phrase: "try, try, try." plays over in my mind.

Readers, I am. I try to stay hydrated. I rub that Vick Menthol stuff into my muscles and I massage the muscles that are spasming at the moment in my forearms and I type on. And I hope that what I am able to do is enough. It isn't much. Maybe things will change with the Entyvio, if I am approved.

Who knows? Gotta just keep on keepin' on.