Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Transitioning & Big Foot's Tendencies

Isn't it amazing how the red and green plaid towel hanging in the bathroom can go from the everyday



Christmas Pine Green

and Rudolph's Sleigh Red ?

No more ordinary, but extraordinary simply by my mind frame.
Paired with my best fluffy green and...

They have looked festive all year actually, and somewhat out of place, Years ago I decided to use them. Since they were such nice towels I wanted to just look at them! Why use them only ONE month out of the year, right?
And the others did need replacing.

And have you ever been in love with but afraid of a color?
My secret towel is purple.
Why can I NOT commit to this?

Am I afraid of it in the laundry room? Somehow them bleeding  in with my whites?
Will  towel therapist please enter the conversation??

And the year round tree, in the corner of J's room- was  moved into the family room, its branches straightened, Skyline helmet taken off the top. In its place was a beaver cap and doilies snowflakes decorated its branches, while adorable Grizzly Bears drinking hot cocoa or something their hands can hold onto like

a red cardinal.

J. needed some help in lowering gears as to his lawn mowing; extra motivation and teaching packed into this last bit of summer that I hope carries over into next year.
The transition?

Dusting and vacuuming. Trying to help him see the advantages of spraying the chemical on the rag, removing the the little treasures and THEN wiping is still something we are working on.
He fixed a part on the vacuum and felt pretty proud of himself and so this is how we go... in the mom department. I pray that I am teaching him all he needs to know. So if he cleans hotels, wulp he'll be really efficient and fast.
The latest big transition is we are back on Remicaid. I don't even know if I spell it right. I have been on it for three years at one time and i still don't check if I spell it right. You see, I am in denial with this transition; being back on the mouse protein.
Yes, mouse.

The brought in a fire truck and doused me with some prednisone so mmy body wouldn't reject it and that felt like, well, be hit by a fire truck full of prednisone. Not good.
So often I wonder if I am doing the right thing. If this is claming inflammation down, then yes. If not, then no.
But how do we know that until awhile has passed and I start to do mouse-like things?
So here's the deal:
 Christmas starts NOW.
Padre needs to get on the stick and get those Christmas LIghts up, pronto.
And I need a pine swag to go over my mail box!
Okay, I have to be done because I just put in the picture of the mouse above, and his name is Tikus.

I don't have time elaborate about Big Foot.
Let's just say J isvvverrry interested in him and his whereabout, habits, and boffies.

Monday, November 18, 2013

When a loved One Forgets Who You Are

When I returned to work after a bout of disability, it wasn't a surprise when  a co-worker didn't recognize me. I'd put on a prednisone weight, had the chipmunk cheeks and switched to contacts.
Oh, and I'd cut my long hair. It was a cute pixie cut right up until I went squirrel and then it just wasn't it cute. I wasn't. It was tough.

But not as tough as tonight, when my Grandma forgot me. I knew it would be coming; the moment she would not know me. But today? This early? With other family members around?
In all fairness, I did look like a hospice worker unloading all sorts of favorite things to make misery more comfortable.
But when she asked me to remind me who I was again in the tone that I was a the worker from some other place; I felt dumped.

First of all, I just stopped mid sanitary sheet; stunned. This was it. This was when my Grandma would not know me. I sorta went into a panic. Yes, I'd avoided visiting for a long time because I had been sick. But so was she. And I had to get to her...

ME: Grandma, it's me, Amanda. I said solemnly holding the card, I'd written her in my hand as if it were the proof we were related

Grandma: "Oh, Mandy! " and she hung her head in her hands. Talk about: "whew,"

But still.....

Sweet Grandma to 'Ol Gramps: "I just forgot Mandy, T." I didn't watch his face but I figure he was feeling sad too. Things have gone down hill fast. I felt like I was on the same hill but traveling slower, and knew I had to get over there.

When you see someone you love suffer from Parkinson's Disease, be prepared to be unprepared.
The jerky movements. the list goes on. All I could do was read my letter to her.
Then she said we needed to get up and go into the room where she could listen to me read the letter.

That made me feel important. So I had to make the whole thing sound fascinating. Which it was not.
However, it was simple and it talked about being simply happy with small things. That was all.

Later on in the evening I was asked to come to her room with the swabs I'd brought over and our special dry mouth cream we love to use. She needed my help. So she had her dinner of protein. I brushed her teeth with the 3M product that is a toothbrush for being bed ridden then I let her dip it in water and suck on it while I cleaned her gums, insides of her cheeks, her tongue. Those remaining teeth.

We pulled out her dentures and got those gums scrubbed. It wasn't a bit bad. I was so happy to do it, I cried. She was very agitated and felt the presence of lots of family in the other room.

Her:" I feel like I need to get up and get busy being a grandma.""

ME: You stay put and let us get busy being grandkids.

So I took the lotions and started in on her feet. Trying to find those muscles that were tight. Tenderly taking in the process of tending to feet that had taken her a lot of places and through a lot of work.
I turned off the lights and let her lillte hydrangea night light glow as I sang the ritual of songs I would sing to Jaden when I tried to put him to sleep.

She fell asleep in her recliner.

Oh, Grandma........
What more could I do for her to alleviate her pain?
We had talked about how she took care of, not one but TWO women in her life time in their old age.
Her mother. Who lived to be 103. And her mother in law, who went only to 97.
Earlier I had gone downstairs to look up some cards online and under
the keyboard was a post card... from her to her mom.
I read it.
Yes, I was nosey.
Her handwriting was beautiful. She wrote about a trip they had taken to D.C.
I'd lived there for a couple months.
My heart was wrenched as I sat in that room my lullabies finished.
I wanted to climb into the spare twin next to her chair and be there for her through the night.
Instead I chose to talk with family  around the dinner table where I eat some dessert with canned raspberry jam.
Can I bare this?
She woke up shortly, needing to use the bathroom.
Damn Bathrooms.
But I hate them. And have a darn good reason to hate them.
And so does she right now.
Where is the dignity in that?
I wanted it to be MY JOB to take care of her. But I have my own problems to be up on.
The holidays are coming and I have revamped my Christmas List.
It is much simpler.
I can't recall exactly what all Grandma said when I asked her the questions I wanted to know.
But she said, "the babies made it worth it."
And we laughed at J's prayer one night that they would remain "cute".
And I told her some sweet stories.
Like how Oh-wee stuck his binky in my shoe. And it was located the next day when I tried to put it on and found something blocking my foot from entering the shoe all the way. I'd like to think he did that on purpose.
Another nephew has had to have his binkies cut up. Caused him to turn into a wild man. Leaving his brother to wonder if he'd turned into the Hulk.
Glad I am not facing that.
I pray that my health stays good enoguh to visit her. And the other way around
I'm zonked.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Blah, Blee informed me that I mispelled UTE #4's name

My friend talked to blah blee and guess what! I misspelled Number Four's name.

Dear Brian,

Will you autograph my son's jersey so we know how to spell your name? Oh, and can you include some cool information about yourself so we can be legit fans?

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Harvest, Halloween, and Hope

(this was a great season for the garden.)

As most of  you Dear readers know, we haven't had any real stellar harvests from the 'ol garden in awhile.
I will re-cap the season and eventually get to the Carrot Life lesson that was taught to me this year.
Actually, I just lied when I said the garden wasn't stellar. - Last year there was non stop abundance of lettuce.
I love salad, however....
One can only rinse, drain, rinse, pat dry with paper towels and then  enjoy a salad sprinkled with dirt, smothered in  Ranch dressing, for so long.
(Or so I thought.)

There was the rutabaga. Which was a complicated sort of veggie to get used to.

I almost forgot that we did have ample amounts of potatoes in which family members would go out and dig some for a meal. I was so proud at those moments. And grateful.

And the grand kids still loved to walk barefoot, or flip flopped, through the garden to the raspberries patch; eating them right there.

(which of course is BERRY CUTE of them)
The garden isn't there for a huge haul of veggies- it has been there for
me .
For me to weed.For me to heal. Or for me to endure.  For me to do my thinking. It's, like, my office, my home office.
On a bathroom stool I would sit and weed; work out the stress in my life.
This year I didn't do much thinking, er uh, weeding. Because I had to attend to my

Patient  "work"  office-
So...it  [the garden]flopbottomed out ;without its Momma to tend to it.
(yes, I feel like they are my children.)

How sad!

Each morning that I can, I do the daily routine of opening the blinds to let in the morning sunshine on our kitchen table and breakfast. First I'd check my flowers progress. Admire it and compare it to the day before.,

Let's just say that the blinds didn't get opened until later in the day- like lunch time and then it was with such remorse and regret that I viewed my garden like it was . Like it were a wayward child; electing to rebel rather than obey.
(I had told Padre I would NOT be able to do anything in regards to a garden in the spring.However, you know Padre. If not read my blog.)
Padre, in a desperate attempt, threw some seeds in the soil during the spring  and Idaho sent in a late frost.
Thank you , Frost.

That's why Idaho is so neat. You never know what you are gonna get.

The morning could be clear blue skies when you set off to school on your bike basking in the sunshine only to find out by second recess that you would be riding your bike home from school in the snow.

 Back to the garden- all we have to show for it is a cute pumkin' patch decoration on the porch..

Thanks to J.'s, he was able to get the  porch decorated for me.
-Knowing I love to make flower arrangements, he arranged  a dead sunflower amongst the patch.
And when I finally got around to the front to see his work of art;
I teared up.

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
Albert Camus

Susan Branch says to take a walk and when a leaf falls, to catch it, kiss it and make a wish as you thrown it back in the air.

She doesn't live in Idaho. Catching that leaf can be difficult in 80mph winds. Exaggerting. But you can pick them up when they pile up on your lawn. But I don't know where its been so I haven't kissed any leaves lately.
We enjoyed some cucumbers, and that squash p will be lathered in butter and brown sugar soon.
Here is my bicycle basket atop the sand and paper dividing up the carrots. 

There were even potatoes, not planted
that re-seeded themselves amongst all the weedsin the piicture below!

whoa! Way to go
 hearty fellas!

 This is Idaho, though. We are known for them!
Under this mess of weeds, dead sunflowers and a lot of spiders, we found the potatotes and a few toys.

One orange BSUfootball that had been missed

Yes, we did get our tomatoes through out the summer but the heirloom seeds Padre put in weren't cutting it like the kinds we have used in the past.

Good NEWS!
(no, they haven't found a cure yet.)

Padre got rid of the eye sore tires! I get to have my water walls back!

But not until some serious renovation takes place out there. It is like the lone and dreary wilderness or something. I can't have my office like that! How can I sit on a bathroom stool and think with that mess?
 So I enlisted some troops. Who, coincidentally, wearing army fatigues to gear up for Halloween. "The Boys" were assigned Operation Fix My Office.
They were paid.

The job J. loved most was when the nieghbor just behind that worn out fence, asked if he'd blow the leaves off her roof, gutters, and so and so forth.

He came home so excited, he grabbed his gear, lasso and heaed over to their house.
He shimmied up the shed, then onto the roof, lassoed the rope for Virginia, and proceeded to do what every kid dreams of doing: standing on a roof.

He was told to anchor himsielf to the chimney by his mother.

He and his cohort in crime  like to dress lin fatigues every day after school, but on the 31st, they got to show everyone in the neighborhood their special ops attire.
And put a bunch of paint on their faces.


One day, J and Ace  cleared  weeds while I taught them that each seed  on the weed would produce six offspring.
 I learned this from Google University one night.
(so don't quote or source me)

So basically, this summer,  due to our neglect, we were able to harvest millions of weeds. Some that will stay dormant for seven years or so. 


Lots of time to think next spring! While sitting on my new 2Step Stool Padre bought!
After the initial let down about the garden, the stress of the task before us,  I broke down and aksed
 I asked for help
in harvesting what was left in the garden.
The task was too big for me or J. and time was running out... 
So ..
a good friend and neighbor came over, methodically went through the carrots; like an old school  w elementaty nurse, using a fine toothed comb, looking for lice on a kids; scalp; the carrots received a thorough search.

Because I couldn't just let this person do thw for me, me inside... I hsd to sit next to the garden while it was being overhauled.

This is when I learned my Carrot/LIfe Lesson. 
Carrots. that I would have discarded, because they were Campbells soup bite sized,  were tossed my way to be saved in the layers of sand and newspaper.

My job was to break off the green stems, line them up like kids in a classroom, except I got to put these in a box filled with sand.
(I didn't know this trick! You also put a layer of newspaper between each layer of carrots.)

As small carrot nubbins came my way, I started to really think about how I discard, waste, and  take things for the most part, for granted.

Oh, who am I kidding, I take a lot for granted.

(weeds and some onions, I think from last year's garden- when I was starting to not be able to get to it..)

This person showed me a valuable lesson. 

Morsel or bite sized carrot was
was left in the ground.....
Before the "Parable of the Carrot" took place, I had I been using the fishing philosophy/rule of:
Catch & Release.
  I know, fishing and gardening hardly can be compared, with exception that they both are outdoor offices for some folks.
The carrots were so.... small.

And I saw myself  trying to grate one and all I could see in my mind's eye was ending up with a thin slice of skin from my finger along with an half inch of carrot peal.

*(chives for potatoes)

The fact they came my way and were expected to still be tossed in the box drove home the point of not wasting.
This person had lived through the leaner times in our country's history. Ane I wonder if this is why there was such care taken in harvesting the garden.
Cause prednisone messes up your hormones, I got a bit teary eyed as I snapped off the green feathered tips of the carrots and placed them in the box.  Because the onions were next,, it didn't help my tears. Or my fatigue.

And so the garden got harvested. The onions are atop the sanded layers of carrots in our garage.

Earlier in the summer, when the raspberris came on, Padre guilted those with in ear shot that having canned raspberry jam was the whole reason he worked so much over time. All those "cases of trouble" he has that come from the

" Kingdom of Dispatchers",

 or whoever it is that hears word of a case of trouble and then passes it on to Padre; is so that he can burn slices of french bread and drizzle the yummy goodness of:

Canned Jam; The Reason Padre is Alive, er uh, works long hours; so that he can come home, sit in his captians chair and have homemae jam on charred toast.

Personally I prefer my bread simply toasted. Not torched. I will even eat it non-toasted.
And right now it is making me weepy because the Grandma that I love, the one who made the best jam, smothered a piece of homemade bread with butter and then the
delicious and most valuable jam was placed on it.
Sitting up to her table right now is bringing back memories.
She is fading down the Parkinsons Trail.

One we can't follow but only watch, remember, and soak in the moments.

Back to my bloggyness:

Seems simple enough to pick, wash, and then can the fruit, right?


Raspberries take over and then, when watered enough and given ample sunlight, they become
they demand all of your time to gather, rinse, and can them so you can enjoy them on burnt toast.

Every year since tearing up the lawn and putting in this garden,  I am too tired to deal with the prepping of the garden for spring.


Soooo badly I want tulips to emerge in spring and purple crocuses to come out the snow in my flower beds to offset the beastly winters.
Don't tell, but I think I will just use some fake ones and no one will know the difference.

**A friend helped me plant tulip bulbs. I am so excited. They are even out my window.
AND there are  yellow Crocus, to peep out of the snow to tell winter that spring-spring WILL return to us Idahoans. 

Can you believe it????

Finally, after seven years of living here,  I get tulips. I am overjoyed. It is a simple thing to many I am sure. but I could never do it. Too tired.
Dvery year I have descend into this disease and I have to monitor myself. Usually I am So tired. And broke. Ha!

So, even though I could not garden this year- I was in a position to put in flowers.

Now, I have flowers to look forward to in t
he spring. It was the nicest gift someone could give me.


 It isn't Spring yet you say?

But there is so much to gardening. I wish I'd paid more attention to the people in my life who were there to teach me about flowers but I was too busy.

So back to the real time.....

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.”
Lauren DeStefano, Wither

The grande finale has been playing out before my eyes. The red berries on all of the foliage stand out against the dry, crackly leaves left to endure the winter.

When I find Padre's thing a ma jig, I will show you more pictures of what fall is for me. Where do I put things? Gads.



To be or Not to be #4 jersey Brian Blechen, Ute Fan

Well, I have tried to stay away from controversial topics on this blog.
But this one has to go down for the ages.

To Be or Not to Be a UTE fan
- in a world of Cougars-.
... yikes.

I love football.

Jaden rolls around in it like a... hmm. Something that rolls around in something that relishes every bit of it. Sorry. Crohns, Concussion, Side Effect Brain working right now.

Up until recently, we didn't ascribe to any denomination concerning BYU and the Utes. I know, we are crazy.
 Due to the fact that we are Idahoans and I didn't go to the Y. and I really didn't get the Y bug may be why I didn't get into the rivalry.
 I mean, I did go to an AWESOME  game between Air Force and the Y during 09, oh and the killer game between the Utes and the Y that same year. I sat on the BLUE side.
And I sorta felt the inclination to side with the Y.
But I was too busy workin' up at the U's office with the Crohns dealio.

After going to the U for a very long time, passing their campus and stadium as I went to the office I started to think about it more. Then a friend got into it cause her son-in-law loved it.

The conclusion: I figured I needed a jersey since I "worked" for them, I liked red, and I actually have an Indian brother. No kidding. His name is Chepa. And, well, he lived with us for a year. And I love Indian books. Everything about America's history, Idaho history,
I was there for the Indian stories because, let's be honest, they are a little freaky if you were one of the unfortunate pioneers or homesteaders to come across some not so nice ones. And to hear that they liked to scalp blondes. ThaT Had me scared.

So the "Holy War" between the Blue and the Red could really be like the fighting between some of the fiercer Indians, or Indians obeying the rules and the settlers who liked to come out and sell whiskey and til land that was technically not part of the game plan drawn up for the Indians to sign and so on so forth.

Oh,  there was the book: The Flight of the Nez Pearce. that I read at a
young age- after 4th grade Idaho history and I came to really admire the N.P. The solemn words:

 "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever."
struck my heart. But not enough to keep me from fighting with my siblings. Cause the sun is standing was standin'  in a different place.

Hardly any reason to align yourself with a football team, right?

Which brings me to the point- I go to the University of Utah Hospital. That is my main office for my profession, patient.

Once I said with a far off look: "I should become a Ute fan. I mean, I practically live here."

 The other person on the SLC shuttle must have shrugged. The person might have been an old person going to the VA hospital for an appt. Or a person going to SLC airport.

So, with limited knowledge of who is who on the both the Y roster and the U roster this year- a nice young lady told us that we should go for #4. She had some connection that I can't recall right this second. oh, and I must say that I did read about the player whose wife was killed as she left one of the games. It was really sad. I read her blog. Unbeknowst, I inched closer to being a UTE.

J. likes red too. Couldn't wait to wear the jersey to school bought for him.
We didn't put much thought into the whole thing.

Said kid named J. as he walked in the door:
 "I am NEVER wearing that jersey to school. Again. "
Almost like Chief Joe's statement of not fighting anymore again.

ME: "What?? Do you know how much that cost??"

J: "I got called a TRAITOR!"

ME: That's cause a lot of folks here are True Blue. It's like the I.F. Skyline Rival. And it looks like you set up camp on the wrong side of the stadium. Heck, I 'll wear it.

As he was taking the jersey off to get ready to mow, I dialed my friend. 

ME: Who is #4?

HER: BRIAN BLECHEM. He's 'blee, blahs' favorite player.

J respects and admires 'blee blah'.

ME: "J. # 4 is blee, blah's favorite player. She has his autograph on her jersey. He's injured this year, though. Plays on defense."

J- He stops for a minute and does some thinking.
It retracts the offer to let me wear it and then heads out side to mow the lawn. Which pays for his sports.

But even then, how can you just say you are a FAN unless you really know what's going on. It would be like saying you were a BSU fan cause you watched that one awesome game with your family on Thanksgiving. And you live in Idaho. And if someone asked if you were a BSU fan you'd say:

"chuh, puh! Yaaaaya!"
It takes a leap of faith. And that is what we did with #4.
so J is going to garner up his courage and wear it with pride.
Because the kid is pretty awesome at FB. Looks like he stumbled into some trouble....
(smoked some pot and suspended 3 games. darn.)
But J. doesn't need to know about all that. It is a good moral lesson, though.
We all make mistakes that cost us.
if you read this, please give J. a shout out. He wore your jersey loud and proud in a sea of blue.
He really took one for the team today.
We promise to get on board with watching the games and paying attention to what is going on despite the illness I have going on.
We would love your autograph.
We would love to come watch a practice.
heck, we'd love to have lunch with you and listen to what it is like to be a Ute.
Cause we're on board now. And we've got your jersey.

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