Friday, December 17, 2010

The white stuff....part two or three...

John has indeed gotten to experience the dubious joys of snow....yes, it is beautiful and yes it makes the entire world pristine. Yes, compared to the dull and hollow world of fall, after the leaves have fallen, it is wonderful. Until you try ( and I do put emphasis on the word "try") to drive in it.

Last evening we were invited to supper at friends from my church. They have a ranch near Black Lake, not far from Angel Fire. Off we go...John, Zack and I while it is snowing. Mind you, it had been snowing since 7am in the morning. And mind you, the road crews here are less than stellar. If they show up.

We were supposed to be there at 4:30 and ( of course ) because of me, we left a few minutes late. I am talking maybe 3 to 4 minutes late. But John decides to make up that lost time and speed it up a bit. Not much....just a bit. However, ( you knew there would be a comma, didnt you???) when you are going 40 in an area where the " suggested" speed limit on the sign is 35 and there is snow to slide slide. Actually what you do is "fishtail" ..back and forth and back and forth and back and then you dang near die of heart failure. At this point there was no need to hit a tree because between my heart murmur and its arrhythmia I almost did die. Never mind any trees....just bury me here, thank you. John was not all that concerned and seemed rather amused. Ha. Not.

We did make it ( thank you Lord ) and supper was wonderful. Zack got to meet their horses and John got to play pool after eating...all in all a great time. The ride home was uneventful except for me hyperventilating and praying but I think the next time we visit we should wait until the roads are clear or until we can ride horses out to see them. Horses may have attitudes but they dont fishtail quite as fast as a truck does.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Our own Christmas miracle

I know the first Christmas miracle was the birth of our Lord....newborn, frail and tiny...the hope of the world. Delivered in a place for animals, born of Mary, little more than a child herself. But a child who said yes to the fearful wonder of God. In those days, in those times, a woman risked death by becoming pregnant outside of her marriage. It was no simple "yes" but carried a great burden. Yet in her faith, in her great uncompromising faith she said yes. For the incarnation and the gift of Jesus we are truly blessed.

This past week we were blessed again. Not by a birth but in the answered prayers of many. We heard from Tia that Liora had been to the doctor...not for anything more serious than a cold or flu. While there, the doctor measured Liora's head and it was off the charts....not a gentle growing curve but a straight line, up and off that chart. He suspected hydrocephalus. Even with treatment this is a bad thing. It can be fatal.

We know the shattering of heart a child who is medically fragile brings to parents. The risk of reverse in the natural order...of a child who goes before his parents. The agony of the unknown.
My faith is not the unqualified faith of faith quivers and quakes. It fears. It falters. But this time I knew to pray. I knew not to blame God and to question His workings as I did in the past. Not much of an improvement but He isnt finished with me yet. As old as I am, I am glad to still be a work in progress (even if it is slow progress).

So we asked friends to pray...and pray they did.

After the first ultrasound, we thought we were in the clear. Her ventricles are slightly enlarged and there is a bit of extra fluid : the radiologist said not to worry. But the doctor wasn't satisfied. When this test proved somewhat inconclusive, he thought perhaps the bones in her head had fused too early. Another dire situation, with even the best options less than good. Second test was a CT scan....while we continued to lift her to the Lord in prayer. While we prayed for her parents to be blessed by the grace and peace of Christ as they waited.

The results of that scan proved that she has a big brain...not a big problem.

There just are not words that cover the depth of our gratitude, our blessing, our gift. There is nothing in this world , nothing, that is a greater gift than this....our granddaughter is fine.

To all those who prayed with us...thank you. We know, intellectually, that the Lord is a loving God, that our best interests are safely held in His hands even if we can't see the whole picture and we may not understand His plans. It is just rare, at least for me, to literally be on the receiving end of a miracle and that is what this least in my book.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The day after...and the day before

I still dont know the fate of the mouse. The sunflower seeds still sit under the rock, untouched. Hopefully the chipmunks didnt have mouse sushi but that is beyond my control.

The day after the trauma drama the shower plugged up. One minute I am happily sudsy and the next I am standing the three inches of water. Supposedly all the drains in the master bath are connected...bathtub drains fine, sink drains fine but the shower plugged up.

And the flourescent lights in the creepy ( I just know there are legions of other rodents waiting to chew their way into the house) icky garage burned out. Arent they supposed to last for years and years?

The shower finally flushed itself so thinks me to myself....chance 'um again. I actually do aim for a shower a day just out of habit, even if it seems like a waste of water some days. And what should be crawling out of it but a lovely ( NOTNOTNOT) spider. Big fat body and short legs. Ugly even by spider standards.

John comes home with Zack tomorrow and I am willing to bet not one thing will break, we will have no rodent issues, the wind won't blow, the wildlife will have vacated the area and we will have nothing but sunshine and lollipops here....until the day he leaves.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Killer Wyman....not so much

There was something rodential in the garage.....and yesterday the deacon from my church came up with a co-worker to put a trap in the garage to catch it. Peachy.....used some of our peanut butter to bait the trap and left . Thank you deacon. However, comma, this morning when I checked the trap, the peanut butter was completely gone ( and I mean immaculately clean ) and the trap had not been tripped. Which is mostly fine since I spent most of last night waiting for the "snap" which would have indicated the death of something.

But it kind of pissed me off down I went to the hardware store to find something that would either give it wicked snow shoes or kill it. And I put not one or two but four sticky traps next to the cache of seeds it had stashed next to the waterheater.

Then I checked it.....not even two hours later.

And there, stuck by a hind leg and looking totally terrified, was a mouse. Not a rat. A scared little mouse. It had tried to chew off its own leg. I nearly died from shame. I dont kill things ( except for bugs). I had read that should I stick myself to this trap, oil would free me. Soooooo.

I got the oil out and some long tongs and took mousie out the garage door. Poured oil on it, shoved it under a big rock then brought it a cup of sunflower seeds, which I also shoved under the rock.

I hope it survives but I also hope it does not seek shelter in my garage again. There is poison in there.

Monday, November 29, 2010

All creatures, great and small.....which begs a question

Something is living, uninvited, in my garage. I saw it scurry behind John's golf bag and I did not see a cute fluffy tail. Which probably means its not an adorable squirrel or precious little chipmunk. No. It was chocolate brown and looked for all the world like a rat.

Not cute. I found the new bag of sunflower seed for the birds open, with at least half a pound shelled and eaten. I found feces and the stench of urine behind the waterheater. What I have not found is the critter. I have removed all the food and only hope if it gets hungry enough that it starts eating my golf bag since I have little use for it.

Now for the question.....I know God is great and He knew what He was doing when it came to creation. But seriously....rats? Mosquitoes? Gnats? Fleas? Ticks? Giant flying cockroaches???? And I have to ask why....when I see him.

Its just more than my small human brain can handle at the moment. I guess I should be grateful its not a racoon or something larger that has moved in.....

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Giving thanks for Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving I drove up to Colorado Springs to spend the day with Tessa and family, with whom I have not given thanks on this day for over 16 years. What a gift and what a blessing to be able to do that.

Not that the day before, when i did the actual driving, was without challenge. The dogs (yes, all four) and I headed out around 11am....early enough to get there before dark but not early enough to miss the incoming dark clouds and snow that was once again approaching. Once again the wind had picked up and swirls of the white stuff were just hitting the ground when I headed for Cimmaron pass and Colorado. Tessa promised me that once we cleared the mountains, it would be clear sailing. Which it was....and she was not kidding about the sailing part. The wind was even stronger and there were warnings if you were driving a "high-profile vehicle". Huh? I did not know if I was or not but I have to think they meant the 18 wheelers, who swayed like drunks, from my side of the road (whoa, big fella!!) to their own.

I got lost once we got to the Springs...which is not like me. I am the navigator when John drives and know how to get to her house. Always. Except not this time. Took an exit a few too far and had to pull out the GPS to find my way. Finally did arrive safely and took a deep breath..then we started cooking. We got the cornbread made for dressing and Noni Hilda's "red stuff" and finished defrosting the turkeys. Then it was off to the hotel with the dogs for a well deserved rest.

May I just say now, for the record, that traveling with 4 dogs and only one human leaves the human vastly outnumbered. Even with split leads that hold 2 dogs, its still barely possible to manage dogs, purse, bag and an electronic key. I did get them, their beds, food, Tonka the baldy's clothes and my stuff into the room and discovered that with every sound in the hall the four part harmony began. The only way to keep them quiet was by keeping them on my bed. No problem.

Early Thanksgiving day we headed back to the Hebert house. It was truly a wonderful day....and such a blessing to have been able to be there. All the humans really enjoyed it...way too much food, starting with Cinnamon rolls in the morning, yummy snacks till the meal was done then Turkey and all the sides. We were all stuffed and happy, knowing that the following day the food would be even better since we didnt have to do any cooking.

The dogs were more ambivalent about the experience. Tess has a husky....looks like Demon in the movie Snow Dogs but not in the same intellect catagory. He is a sweet, sweet, gentle dog but he is not the sharpest crayon in the box. Eason just wants to play. He doesnt know he is at least 6 x bigger than my dogs. Bikki absolutely cant stand him, period. No playing about it. Loki tries to ignore him, since Loki thinks he is the alpha male. I didnt have the heart to tell him the truth. Lady flirts with him, stealing his toys and chewies and prancing away from him every chance she gets. Tonka tries to bite him, stands on his back feet and attacks for all he is worth. Poor Eason just looks confused when this happens. I think, given enough time, Tonka would be his best buddy ( or partner in crime, whichever ) but they are never together long enough for that to happen.

Tessa also has a cat. Said cat was also not amused. He was pissed. Bad example too....said cat feels free to sit on the dining room table and, wise dog that he is, Tonka followed suit. That is where Tess and I found him when we got back from the grocery store. Joe took pics and Tonka looks quite at home there. I am sure, since he saw the cat do it, he felt it was ok. Fortunately our table is higher here at home and he does not have that option.

I stayed an extra day as the thought of driving back this far, as tired as I was just seemed out of the question. The kids were gone so it was just adults and was very relaxing and peaceful. It is something new to have only adults and such a small group but it was wonderful to have time to talk to Tess and Joe and I really did love it.

The drive back was exciting too ( sensing a pattern here>) since I got lost in Trinidad. A blinking sign said "merge right" and since I write left handed, I am pretty sure which way that means....usually. We lefties do tend to get them confused from time to time but not THIS time. And I found myself on Main Street with no clue how to get back on I-25. Out comes the trusty GPS again and after a brief tour of downtown found the freeway again. By this time Tonka had gotten car sick and I was ready for the trip to be done.

We made it home safely but I can honestly say I HATE traveling without John. Every muscle and nerve in my body was as tense as a violin string and had anyone tapped me with a tuning fork every one of them would have shattered. My legs were shaking and I was dizzy with relief just to see the driveway. I can and will do this again to see her and the grandkidlets but I truly would not like to do it again solo.

I cannot speak about what it was like to be away from John for the first Thanksgiving since we married, except to say it hurt. The blessing was having family I could go to and for that I am truly grateful.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And the weather report is.....wrong

At least there is a comforting consistancy, no matter where we live, that its a pretty good bet the meteorologist report on incoming weather will be wrong. Very wrong. I dont know if that is universal but at least in this country it seems mostly like a guessing game.

There were reports that snow would be falling north and south of us but the Sange de Cristo mountains weren't supposed to get anything but a dusting. That howling wind brought alot more than brought inches and in some of the drifts it climbed to feet. I was afraid of getting stuck so for the first time in my life I shoveled. I have shoveled other things but never snow.

Who would have thought that such delicate tiny flakes could weigh so much when they get together? Snow is heavy. This morning my shoulders and arms are aching. Usually its my back that goes out of wack but I think it has to play second fiddle to all the other body parts that don't want to move.

The girl dogs love, love, loved it. The boys not so much. Bikki and Lady practically danced in it...digging and rolling around on their back, dashing back and forth with doggie glee. The boys.... ummm no. Loki is a skinny lil' thing, lots of fur but no body fat so he came out to investigate then headed back to the garage. Tonka, he of no fur, had to wear both a fleece and a snowsuit and he still wasnt warm enough. He did bound out into it, kinda like a jack rabbit, then bounded right back into the garage to sit by the door. "That was fun now let me back in the house" attitude. Maybe he is the smart one ?

Today I am going to try and get the rest of the house cleaned....I did at least get my room and the bathroom done yesterday...providing I can still push the vacuum and the mop. My arms feel like over cooked spagetti noodles so this should be an interesting day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Three dog

Four dog day. All of us huddled in the bedroom...not just because of the temp of the house ( yes, cold, very cold ) but also because of the wind.

Today I have heard every sound that humans connect to wind. It has howled, shrieked, whimpered, whined, whistled and every other descriptive that starts with "w". It has moaned and cried. It has wailed then dropped to a whisper. Things have hit the house with enough force to make all 5 of us cower...then four of us barked. Fortunately one of them was not me, yet.

There has been no sound of human voice, save mine. Good thing I have the dogs otherwise I would be talking to myself. OK, I do that anyway but it would be pretty scary if I talked to myself that much. At least I have the dogs and they count, right?

I have to admit that since John left..and even before, I have not cleaned. My dust bunnies have married, had children and they have children. The floors are probably dirty but since you cannot go without shoes and avoid hypothermia here and since I dont stick to one place very often I have not mopped. Until last night I had not "cooked" unless you count the micro dinners and the boiled eggs I made a while ago.

Now we go back to the dogs.....its not like there is much else in my life at this point and they do keep me from being obviously insane ( I prefer the subtle approach to insanity, dont you?). We were almost out of dogfood. No, I havent dropped to that level when it comes to sustenance although its been tempting at times....but I digress. A person in Taos sells this stuff called "Nature's Select" super premium dog food...their description, not mine. So the dogs not only hate it but reject it from every orifice they have excepting ears and nose. You get the picture. Now multiply that by 4 ( or 8 , depending on how and what you are counting). Soooooo not cute.

Which brings me to the kitchen. I may not cook for myself but when my dogs are having digestive issues and I have to deal with them I can google and find out how to make dog food at home. Should be a no-brainer. They, like humans, are omnivores. A protein, carb maybe some dairy. They say add veggies but if there is one thing my dogs can eat around and never touch, it is a vegetable. So chicken and rice and a bit of cheese. Smelled better than the micro crap I had but I did resist.

With the wind battering the windows and coming in under the doors everything was different. For the first time in a very long time I did not make the bed. I stayed in it. Every single dog...and usually its just one or two....was asleep, on their backs with legs skyward, for a good part of the day. The wind apparently doesnt bother them as much as it does me or maybe with the howling and whining they think its a relative. I read some and then did something almost unheard of...I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. Just not normal. Then, as the dinner hour approached ( who really knows when that is since its getting dark so early now ) I decided to cook. Real food. Wow. We all enjoyed it and I think they like the Jasmine rice better than the plain stuff.

I think I might be getting really, really sick because I want to clean the house tomorrow. Unless its still windy...then who knows what might happen.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Getting involved

When we moved here it was a hard thing. Not just to leave family and my church but also moving to the unknown. Yes, we have visited here for years and had the condo for over 20 years but it is simply not the same as being here 24/7. So much I dont know and so much is different.

What I prayed for was that He would lead me do what He wanted, to become a part of the Body of Christ here. And He is faithful in answering prayer. He also seems to have a good sense of humor.

It is pretty well known how I feel about ironing. I do it well but realllllly would rather not. So ( you know where this is going, right?) I volunteer to do whatever needs to be done. Ahem. Guess what I got asked to do? Uh huh.....ironing.

The altar cloths ( basically big tablecloths ) have been being taken care of for over 2 years by the same sweet lady and she asked would could I say no. Tons 'o fun. They are large and by the time you iron all the way around the side drape, the first part you ironed is wrinkled again. Also, Loki decided when I was almost finished with the last one (there are three big ones and one HUGE one) to claim it as his own. Yes. Peachy.....rather, pissy. Sigh.

Maybe I should have been more specific when praying but honestly I find it ironic that the one chore I thought I left behind is the very one that followed me here. Kinda makes me shake my head but it makes me smile too. Thank you Lord that I can serve and that it was not toilet scrubbing you chose for me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The flue.....who knew

After my initial trial and error fire, I have avoided the fireplace. I figured I had enough excitement and would just use the house heating system to stay warm. Or try to stay warm. No matter what I set the thermostat on the heat level never changed, meaning I have been trudging around the house in long sleeve shirt over sweatshirt, sweat pants, socks, slippers....everything short of mittens and ear muffs. Quite the fashion statement, I know, but in the interest of not turning into a solid block of ice, I haven't really cared.

I have considered sleeping in the bathroom where we have a small space heater that actually warms the room. It has not been pleasant. To understand this one must realize I have always been the type of person who sleeps with the window open, no matter how cold it is. I dont like heavy covers on the bed and generally am too warm, no matter what. Ha.

Guess what? After said fire, I never shut the flue. All the heat was getting sucked up and out of the house, via the chimney. Duh. Now that it is closed the house is a balmy 72....which doesnt sound all that warm but compared to being in the 60's, its positively a hothouse.

I dont know whether its been the cold or some stray germ but this morning at 3am I woke up with a sore throat and swollen glands I look like a bundled frog. It could have been a reaction to shoveling several inches of partly cloudy off the deck and front porch in the middle of the night ( it gets dark here at about 4 in the afternoon so "middle of the night" might be a bit of an exaggeration...) but the drippy nose and red eyes dont add much to the look I sport.

Hot tea and a good book sounds pretty exciting right now, when I can get up the energy to put water on to boil. Does that count as cooking?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Fire and Ice

Living here has definately increased my learning curve. All my life I have cooked with electric stoves but was excited about using gas since its so much more immediate...faster heat, faster cooling once its off. What I learned yesterday is that its a good idea to check to see if the flame is actually lit. There is a little clicking sound that means the starter is working, so I set a pan on the stove, clicked it, not checking for flame, and put my sandwhich in to toast. After a few minutes I wondered why it was not heating....clicked the thingy off and back on and WOOSH, I got a gas ball of flame about two feet high. Wow. Good thing I had leaned back to see underneath the pan...otherwise about now I would have no eyelashes or brows. It was definately exciting. I have to wonder if I almost blew up the house.....Live and learn, right??

Later in the day I decided to start a fire in the fireplace....better than one in the kitchen and how hard could it be ? It too has a gas starter....oh joy. Stacked the wood just so, put some paper underneath so the gas would have something to catch easily, struck the match and Also smoke...lots and lots of smoke. Thinks me to myself "this probably isnt right" and sure enough, the flue was shut. Fortunately I found the little ring thing that opens it and by this morning the house is a bit less pungent than it was last night. Still learning.....

The ice part was not nearly as exciting. A few posts back I extolled the virtues of cold poo. As a mother who has dealt with bodily excretions most of her life I am excited by the little things like ease of dealing with said poo. However I have found that if you actually step in it and squish it onto a surface, it becomes super glue. You cannot scrape it off no matter what. Ok, so I will spray it off with the hose.

Let me take a short break to explain something I did not know about hoses when it is below freezing. Although I had disconnected it from the house, I had not drained it. What you end up with is 20ft of frozen water inside the hose. Not knowing this, when I hooked the lil' sucker back up (no easy feat when hands and hose are both frozen) and turned on the water, what I got was sprayed in the face by the hookup and not a drop out of the hose. Several hours later, after hanging it off the deck, it did drain and I got to repeat the hook up fun and games. Then the real fun started. It was above freezing ( mostly ) so I sprayed the super-glued-poo off and did the rest of the deck for good measure. It immediately turned into an ice skating rink...and I admit it is rather amusing to see all the dogs legs heading in different directions. I also learned that when wearing slippers with leather bottoms my legs head in different directions too. Not nearly as amusing.

One of my daughters has suggested that I need adult supervision. It is a distinct possibility that she is correct but it wouldnt be nearly as entertaining.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day....God bless them all

A veteran is defined as someone who the Armed Services. Someone who served. Me, my children , they were willing to lay down their life for us. Who deserves a gift like that? What have I ever done to deserve that?

The truth is that nothing I have done or could ever do would be worth that kind of gift.

This is not an impersonal "thank you" ...for my country or for us, a collective. This is a thank you from my heart because it IS personal. This gift was given, first by God for His Son and for his blessing in being born in this country but also for those others who gave their lives for me. That I could live in freedom, here , now.

May He bless those who have come home and especially those who did not....they paid a price that can only be repaid by God.

May He bless them and their families.....

Some of us will never forget.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Extremely random thoughts....

Some things about living here in Angel Fire alone are very cool....also cold and dry.

For example....when dogs crap here, if you wait a few hours, the poo is so dry and maybe also cold, that it does not stick to whatever surface it has been deposited upon. This is great...beyond great : ) For those of you who do not understand this, oh well.

When you are the only one living in a house you do not ever need to turn on the bathroom fan. No explanations necessary.

Cooking is optional. Another example...I boiled eggs today for eggsalad and consider that "cooking" while John is gone.

I can answer the door in sweat pants at 3pm and I do not get a strange look from the UPS guy.

Mail does not get delivered here....which means if I really want bills, I have to go pick them up at the Post Office.

I have learned that I cannot shower in the bathroom without the blinds pulled, never mind that the only thing that could possibly see me naked is a bird perched 30 feet in the air, in the middle of the night....Thank you Sister Mary Emma!!!

Also, no matter what the temp is, I cannot, for the life of me go to " church" (even though there isn't one here in Angel Fire and no matter that mass is held in a community center with basketball hoops) in anything but a dress with hose and heels. See above.

I have become an avid bird can I not be when there are so many on my deck??
I have identified Stellar's Jay and Clark's Nutcracker..both of which are amazing birds and are frequent visitors. There are smaller ones who visit more often and in greater numbers that I have not identified ...but will in time.

I am blessed to finally be here. Although Hawaii is a wonderful place to visit...I am SO VERY GRATEFUL to not live there anymore. I hated it. Maybe someday I will want to visit again....but I rather doubt least not in the near future (20 years might do it...maybe)

It is quiet here. I got sick to death of the constant sirens in Hawaii. Who knows, maybe there are just more people dying in Hawaii but I got sick of the constant drama of sirens. The dogs loved it....howllllllllllllll, howllllllllllll etc,ad infinitum, ad nauseum. Now, and only if I listen, can I hear the soft step of whatever is in the woods. Mostly, I prefer not to know.

While I know I am blessed to be here, I can not wait for my love to return. Even though I am grumpy and grouchy and not anything near perfect....I hope he knows I am a better, more whole person when he is here. I miss you my love....and wait for your return.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Silence may be golden....but it is lead too

Another month started alone. Ok, not alone but certainly lonely. The house is too quiet, even with all these yappy dogs. The wildlife is abundant....two days ago I saw the "girl" mule deer. Two mama deer and three babys. All of them look well fed and healthy. Then yesterday the "boys" came through. Four young one with 4 points, two 6 pointers and an 8. The eldest came last...meandering his way through the woods. Absolutely gorgeous. And I heard rifle shots, here in the Village. Makes me crazy....they are supposed to be safe here but ovbviously they are not.

The sky today matches my mood.....gray, gray, gray and cold. It feels like snow outside and inside my heart is frozen solid. I know I can do this....having survived the first month on my own I know I can do it again. That is a blessing. But the knowledge alone doesnt ease the sorrow. Knowing there are years of this yet to come makes it harder.

Maybe later I will start a fire...and pray I dont burn the house down.

Monday, November 1, 2010

A little of everything....

This past week has been least for me. It is entirely possible that its totally normal for this part of the country at this time of year but since I havent seen fall in 40 years its not like I would know.

On Tuesday we woke to near darkness....clouds roiling and boiling, wind whipping with gusts up to 50mph and the temp near 40. Felt much colder than that and as the day progressed the temp started dropping. Then came the rain...which turned into hail...which turned into snow. For the next day or so the mountains were hidden...only the foothills visible.

It stayed cold for the next two days then presto chango....warming weather, melting snow ( just love slush, dont you??) and yesterday I nearly fell off the deck from suprise. What should float by but a monarch butterfly. Not that I am up on monarch breeding but I am pretty sure freezing weather isnt one of their favorites.

Now all that is left are patches of ice where the sun doesnt reach and mud where it does. I dont know what tomorrow will bring but it is never boring.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Girl : )

Every pregnancy is is every child.

John and I , Tessa, Tia and Joshua had just moved into the house on Wehewehe Loop. Josh was still a non-verbal toddler ( seriously, with two older sisters who could translate every coo and grunt he did NOT need to talk!) of 13 months and I was in the process of trying to move into a "fixer-upper" with a mango tree , hanging fruit and rotting on what should have been a sidewalk ( those came later ), multiple spiders, cockroaches and green shag carpeting with a red dirt path from the front door to the back.

Then I found out I was pregnant ( it wasn't 'we' who were pregnant back in the day and although I think the sentiment is cute, it was just me). Josh sat on my belly --sorry Lisa--throughout the entire pregnancy. Since Josh had been 9 days late the doc decided to induce.

Oh joy.

Apparently Melissa Anne was less than thrilled with the idea too. We had to get up at O'dark thirty and be a Kapiolani Women's and Children's Hospital at approximately ( who am I kidding...even after all these years I still remember EXACTLY what time!) 4:30am on 22 October....1981. Since I was a multi-para, they assumed it would be quick...usually was and no problem. Ha Ha Ha Ha....

For over 12 hours John and I watched insipid game shows while Melissa refused to cooperate. The nurse would come in every hour or so, see that I had had exactly the most two contractions, turn up the pitocin and leave. Repeat, ad infinitum, or at least for 12 hours. The doctor finally showed up, told me that if there was no active labor shortly, I would be released to go home and we could try again soon. Really?

Melissa Anne Wyman was born shortly thereafter....and I dont know if it was fear or exhaustion on her or my part but she arrived safely. Pictures of her immediately after birth show a child not happy to be where she was ( out of a warm, safe comfy place and into the scratchy, blinding, loud light). I seriously doubt any of us remembers our true " birth day " better than our mothers. As a mother, every child's arrival is indelibly etched into our souls, isnt it?

We are very grateful for the gift of Melissa and proud of the wife and mother she has become. Happy Birthday Baby girl....and yes, you will always be our baby.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mountain wreaths and rivers of gold

We woke up yesterday morning to skies of Oregonian gray....solid, from one side of the valley to the other. The leaves, instead of gentle wisps falling, turned into a storm of gilt, shimmering on their way to the ground, seeking the lowest paths and turning them into rivers of gold.

When the sky started to clear, only the mountain remained hidden.....wreathed in clouds with its summit peeking out. Whiter than the clouds, snow...the first of the season, blanketed it. There is a different "feel" to the air when snow comes. Even when the temp doesnt change, it has a different crispness to it.

Today those leaves are assuming the color of the earth....grayish brown and the gilt is gone. Changing back to the earth from which they came....the circle of their life. They will become nourishment for what comes in the out of death. As it should be. Hopefully when we go, as all things must, we too will leave something good behind for those who come after us...our love and our faith in Him. It is really all we have that is worth anything, isnt it?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A patchwork quilt, stitched by God

We have seen the aspens here when the first blush of color appeared on dead looking branches. The tiniest specks of color in a world bleached returning.

When we returned in May they were in full bloom, vibrant startling lime green, every branch shimmering.

Now , in fall the valley is stitched with color....amber and butterscotch and a few rare crimson scattered among them. The ground is covered in coins of gold...flung down to carpet the earth in splendor.

The valley, from this distance is a patchwork of color. The dark green of the pines and the wild excitement of the aspens. It truly is a living quilt, pieced by God Himself. Who else could create, out of the dying of a season, such amazing beauty.

Isn't that how we are too....our youth, brilliant, blazing....the middle, still colorful and beautiful but on the path to the end. And the winter of our lives when it seems death is there, hiding beneath the gray, brittle exterior...if we are safe in the arms of our Lord...there is life.

What a blessing to be here surrounded by such a gift, not only of grace but of beauty.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Shockin' ma : )

Joseph, Tessa and Jessie came down for the 4 day holiday weekend and I expected to be doing the "taking care" that I usually do. Man was I in for a shock! As soon as they got here Tess told me to relax...she was going to do the cooking and the clean up. often do you get guests who tell you to do NOTHING???

Um never.

And true to her word I had to do about easy guests.

On Friday the fire crews came through our area and cut trees that were part of the "right of way" that extends onto our property. Lots of wood laying there and from what I had witnessed almost as soon as it hits the ground there are people up here with trucks and their own saws "bucking" the wood and driving off with it. I knew by the time John got back it would all be gone.

The next day Joseph broke out John's power saw and spent hours getting what was here bucked and had Tess and Jess helping him stack it. You would not believe how much they cut and how hard they worked. John was in shock when he saw it...he just kept saying " that's ALOT of wood".

Needless to say ma is in shock....and Dad is thrilled. What a great homecoming gift for him and what a blessing for us both.

That kind of visit I am up for anytime : )

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day trippin' to Santa Fe....

Yesterday, after FINALLY finding out what Melissa and Tom are having ( this was the 4th or 5th ultrasound and until Wednesday that little one had managed to conceal what everyone wanted to see) and its BOY!!! Proof is on her facebook question anymore.

So it was time for this grandmother to do a little shopping.....but the closest place is Santa Fe. Trusty GPS by my side, off I went. I do not understand why, when the easiest route to any given destination is the LAST way a GPS tells you to go. It is almost like the stupid thing takes a perverse pleasure in leading you in circles to get you where you are going. Once I got oriented ( yes, it does occasionally happen) I realized its a straight shot down one long street and a left turn and bang! you are there. And please do not try and tell me techie toys dont have attitude. I am pretty sure after having this little machine tell you for the 16th time that it is "recalculating" in its snotty voice, you would agree.

Got fun boy things and located, by accident, Borders, Target and the only Sam's club. No time for extra shopping but good to know where they are. I did enough damage at Ross and headed home. We have been having daily afternoon thunderstorms and I wanted to get home before it hit. Sure enough, as I came through the last pass into Taos all I could see were huge black clouds in the direction of Angel Fire. Made it almost all the way home before the storm hit and its wasnt rain, it was hail. Not the monster golfball size that hit south of here a few days ago...just little peas of ice that hit the window and slushed off.

This morning there was no bowl of clouds.....just a light, bright mist everywhere. Then lightening and thunder ( huh?) and frozen slush started sliding off the roof, past the windows. I checked out the neighbor's roof and there was indeed frozen something that the rain was washing away. I have no idea whether it was our first snow or hail that had stuck. What I do know is that winter is on the way....woohoo!!!

That was an hour there is a rainbow arched from one side of the valley to the other. I guess if you dont like the weather up here you can just wait a few minutes and it will change.

What an amazing planet we live on and what a blessing from an amazing God.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Water, rocks and the path of least resistance....

The landscapers did a great job of creating a man made river rock water way along the side of the house to move rain and melting snow away from the base. This is good because it was causing damage to the support of the house. However ( yes, yet another however...) it ends at the bottom of the back deck stairs and flows toward the propane tank. So I think to myself " I'll just get a few more river rocks and divert the flow a bit more". Hahahaha.

Got the rocks a few days ago. Took me two days just to get them moved out of the buckets in the car onto the floor of the garage. Did I mention that rocks are REALLY heavy? Rocks are really heavy. Ended up carrying them in my cleaning buckets ( I now need new cleaning buckets as these will never, ever recover) through the house, stopping to change shoes in both directions since I had no intention of mopping up mud, down the back stairs and placing them where I thought they would best stop or redirect the water. I even dug up dirt and repositioned some gravel, thinking I knew what I was doing. After all , its not rocket science, right?

It started raining again a little while ago and I checked to see how the fruits of my labor were holding up. Water is pretty sneaky. It moved around the rocks although not to as great a degree as before. I guess what I need is a nice beaver family to dam the damn thing.

Not that I am giving soon as the thunder and lightening stops I will probably be out sloshing in the mud again with a few more stratigically placed boulders.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The weather is a bit different here.....

On Saturday when I went to mass ( one priest for 4 churchs so no Sunday services here in the village) it was 58 the time I got to the community center it had dropped to 54. Five minutes, max.

Some light rain and very distant donner und blitzen. By the time I got home it was in the 40's. Lightening and thunder closer and raining. All the dogs get nervous but Lady was terrified..she gets the shakes. So all of us sat in one chair and watched the Ducks cream Stanford. Go DUCKS : )

Along the bottom of the TV was a weather advisory for the areas just south of us for not only the above mentioned thunderstorm but also hail the size of golf balls. Having lived in Hawaii for so long and it being so small, there just isnt enough land mass necessary for the convection heat that gives you dramatic storms like this.

Then the storm actually hit the valley...not with hail but with thunder that echoed and reverberated from one side of the valley to the other and whipping rain. Wow.

Apparently I was not the only one impressed. It literally scared the crap out of Tonka. All over the bedroom. Have I mentioned that I have an excellent gag reflex? Oh man......that is just not the right reason to start the day on your knees.

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's a long and winding Taos

Although I try and stay here in Angel Fire, there are things that you cannot buy here, for example piddle pads for the dogs. For the most part they do go outside ( or in the garage if the weather is problem) but Bikki has a weak bladder, no doubt because of her pregnancies ( like I don't know what happens when more than one kid sits for an entire pregnancy on your bladder, although to be fair I never had a litter) so she goes in the middle of the night. Can't blame her since I do the same thing except I dont need a pad on the floor...yet. The upshot being that the drive is necessary sometimes.

It is a 21 mile drive from here to there ...unless you are traveling from there to here, then the road sign says it's 24. Someone , somewhere got it wrong but either way its a 45 minute drive. With exceptions. It is not a straight shot as the crow flies but switch-backs where at times the speed limit is 20 mph. Unless you are a Texan. They are definately the exception. Give them a slice of road, on a turn, with oncoming traffic and they will pass you. You can see them coming and usually I just pull off the road if there is that possibility, and let them go. We are talking about a 2 lane road with no shoulder to pull off on. You basically have to have a driveway ( there are some...) to pull of onto or you just slow down and pray when they gas it.

That is the fun part. The not so fun part is the political and mental climate of Taos. Politically, when one sees how this state votes , one sees a democratic stronghold. Wrong. Reality is that Albuquerque and Santa Fe are dem, pro-illegal and not representative of the rest of the state. But Taos is where you see all the Obama is our savior bumper-sticker crap. Also one of the only places you see beggars ( yes, I do give them money ) and hippie/artist/losers. They make me want to throw up in my mouth. But its either shop at that Wally World or drive another 40+ miles and shop at another Wally World.

I got A LOT of piddle pads today.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

There are Big Girls ( fauna wise ) then there are BIGGGGG GIRLS

Once again yesterday evening I took the dogs for their evening stroll. And once again we saw some "wildlife" except this time the girl ( doe, cow or whatever you call a female elk ) was just a bit bigger. Had I stood next to her, which I almost did, her booty would have come up to my chest. A bigggggg girl. She did not hop nor did she run....she looked at the 4 poms, I am pretty sure she smirked, and she sauntered off. Mind you the poms were ready to go in full pursuit mode which again I thwarted but this was a large target. She was medium brown with a white booty (ok so maybe she was just another type of deer that doesnt I would , not ) but I am always suprised when I see what lives 20ft from the house.

I also found a shotgun shell when we were walking. We are within the township limits ( similar to city limits but wayyyyyy smaller ) and there is NO hunting here. Certainly not on my property. I am of a mind to post a sign that says "Bears, racoons, elk, deer, squirrels, chipmunks and birds on this property will not shoot back but I WILL....TRESSPASSERS WILL BE SHOT , SURVIVORS WILL BE SHOT AGAIN". This may not sit well with the village fathers ( or mothers, brothers and sisters....) but too bad.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Off again, on again....opps, off AGAIN *sigh*

I am talking about electricity.

In Hawaii, it is to be expected that at any given time, no rain, no wind that suddenly you have no power. After 40 years its nothing new. For the most part, the power lines are above ground...which makes for lovely vistas....mountains - power lines and poles. Ocean? Also power lines and poles. On the south side of the island of Oahu it is very exciting in high winds and big storms since the last time we had those conditions, 18 poles went down on the one and only access road into the area. Fun, fun, fun. Not.

Even in areas that are "progressive" like Mililani, where the lines are supposed to be underground it can be exciting. Why you ask? Welllll....when an underground line goes out HECO (Hawaiian Electric Co ) and HawTel (Hawaiian Telephone...the only local provider of telephone service ) both run the lines up the streetlights, tie them off and leave them for years. Never mind its against the township codes for above ground lines. Then fun things of the light poles, corroded by years of neglect and rust, fell on Tia and Dave's truck a few years back. Does that change things ...absolutely NOT.

So when we moved to the mainland I was thrilled thinking the power would be more stable. Hahahahahahaha. Wrong.

Yesterday, for the first time in literally weeks, I decided to cook. Got a small roast started in the crockpot...woohoo, home cookin'!! Lookin' good, smellin' good...and poof. No power. problem thinks me to myself..I will put it on the stove, since it is gas. Wrong. Apparently the stove ( actually propane and not gas ) has an electric starter. Oh joy. No cooking that way.

Called the power company...yup, its out and the operator, who tells me she has 30 calls on hold, asks " are you in Angel Fire" ....yes I say, and she says " yes there is an outage " and hangs up on me ( I had called on the cell phone since the land line guessed it....electricity). Wow. At least in Hawaii they will tell you what areas have outages and when estimated repairs will be made. eventually the power does come back on and by 9pm the meat was done even though the potatos and carrots were still crunchy. Edible...both the dogs and I were thrilled ( ok, I was thrilled , the dogs were ambivalent but hungry...they are cute but very discriminating when it comes to food ) and we ate.

So off to bed. For some reason the master bedroom is hot, even in 40 degree weather , with the window open and the fan going. The master bath, which is attached, is COLD. Frozen buns is what you get when you sit on the throne, no matter how warm the bedroom is. What woke me was the fan going off...and the night light being dark. "Sigh"....and "bigger sigh".

Eventually ...with both the dogs and me did come back on. Here again, no wind, no rain and here the lines are actually underground. Makes ya wonder, doesnt it?

Good thing I have lots of candles.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Changes in mind and body

While the changes in my moods have been pretty obvious ( can we say "roller coaster" emotionally ?) there are changes in the body too.

For many years I had my nails done professionally and they were lovely. I knew before we came up here that there would be no place to have this done and in this climate they break constantly so I took them off. The good side of that is the price....none. The bad is that I am an inveterate cuticle biter....I bite them until they bleed. I didnt do that while they looked good but its an old habit that resurfaced immediately. Up here, they also crack and bleed on their own. Not cute.

Then there is the lizard lip moisture means you lick your lips, which instead of adding moisture, dries them out. It doesnt matter how often you put lip slime on them either. Also not cute. Did I mention along with lizard lips you also get alligator skin? Ackkkk.....

Won't John be suprised???

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bounding deer and a shoe in my sock

I have been taking the dogs walking daily, unless its stormy. Two days passed with either thunderstorms or pouring rain so by yesterday the dogs were more than ready for their daily sojourn into the woods.

We hadnt been walking long when it felt like I had a rock in my time then to stop and get it out...just shake the foot and keep moving. It seems like I am always the last to see whatever wildlife is out there...the dogs are wayyyy ahead of me on that score.

Lady, who is never the lead dog in the pack started straining to get ahead of me (huh?) When I looked up not 20ft in front of us was a female mule deer...a big girl. By this time the rest of the crew had seen her too and she took off like a shot...not running mind you but bouncing, all four feet off the ground and gone. I stood there in shock for a minute : who would think a deer could hop?? The dogs investigated every hoof print and were more than ready to give chase but I still feel like they are out of their league when it comes to chasing game that weighs hundreds of pounds more than they do,so we turned for home. ( The "rock " in my shoe was getting a bit uncomfortable by then, so it was a good excuse to end the walk ).

Back to the house, off with the shoe and rock. Hmmmm. Ok off with the socks and what fell out was a shoe. There are teeny-tiny Barbie dolls that Bella and Ellie love...and they come with even teeny-tinier shoes. For the most part ( choking hazard doncha know ) the shoes always get tossed in the garbage. Not just because of the choking issue but because when you step on them barefoot it hurts like the devil. How this one made it into my sock and all the way across the country is beyond me. But I am not tossing this brings my girls to mind so I will keep it, just not in my socks.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ding dong...its WHO calling ?


You have to be rather ancient to recall...that it used to be a woman , in a pillbox hat and suit with her little bag and the commercial literally was...."DINGDONG its AVON calling". And yes I did sign up to sell it today. ( Are you kidding me?) Nope. I did it. Why you might ask. Well, when it comes to makeup or skin care or body care, here in Angel Fire its a joke. There is one of those 5ft tall twirly thingys by the cash register in the only grocery store in town with 5 yr old mascara on it...or nothing.

Mostly I did it so I could have access to what I use...and thought it might be a good idea for other women in this valley who are without any access to goodies unless they drive almost an hour. I dont want to really "sell" but I do buy (thank you Lisa : ) and I will probably be my own best customer. It also seems like a good way to meet other women ( Tia says it might be His way of getting me out of the house and into the community....)

But seriously....ME selling soap?
Yep...looks like it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Although the exterior rain continues, the interior has stopped. I needed to go back to my roots... and since I cannot " look unto the hills, from whence cometh my strength" as they are covered in gray falling water, I can and did look to His Word.

It isnt as though I play " let the Bible open where it may" but I had no certain scripture in mind when I opened the little New Testament I have.

Romans, Chapter 8, verses 5 - 10.

It is when I focus on the physical that I feel loss....when I am in His spirit, I can not only function but live. With Him, I can bear all things.

And the question is never am I blessed, it is instead, how can I be a blessing.
Praying I am quiet enough to hear His leading.

He says " be still and know that I AM "
It is a hard thing for a noisy human.

The bottom of the bowl

I almost feel that yesterday was a fluke. Last night was a bad one....bad dreams and very little sleep. And those clouds that covered the valley yesterday are overhead now....weeping big fat tears that echo my heart.

I started today on my knees today too. Asking Him to simply get through the day. With John gone I feel dismembered. It is more than just mental. Though I have checked and all my body parts are there I am physically imcomplete. What I think about now is the time we spent not getting along while he was here....and how sorry I am that I dont always submit or even agree with him. I dont know if he knows how important he is to me. He makes me whole and complete, even in the times that are hard. Which is not to say when he comes back I will be perfect....I know I wont but hopefully I will remember these times without him and my gratitude will outweigh any disagreement.

I am missing my grandkids too....they all seem to have changed in the short time that I have been away. Will they remember me? Will I still be important to them?

The rain is pouring and raindrops, like teardrops, are all around me and inside me. Is it possible to have a beating heart when it has an enormous hole in it?

Please pray for me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A bowl of clouds

When I woke up this morning, after the first good nights sleep in days, I looked out the window. At night what you can see is a few steady lights and ( of course ) the red blinking light...our one and only traffic signal. This morning the sky was totally empty of clouds....clear and bright and beautiful. Moreno valley was gone. Washed under in a foam of clouds that covered the whole valley. There were no houses, nor shops road , no lights. It looked to me as though God Himself had poured all the sky clouds into the valley. Shape shifting, moving ....a bowl of clouds.

For the first time in many days, I started this day on my knees, before a cross with Christ on it. Thanking Him for the day, for my life, for my family ( especially Gracie who called me on her own last night...quite the accomplishment for a 2 yr. old!!)...for all of it. Most of all for my husband. I miss him more than words can say. I am truly blessed and it is least for the moment - before I mess it up - with my soul.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall..something else new

There are really no seasons in Hawaii. Unless you count "hot and humid with no wind", "hot and humid with tradewinds" , or "raining".

This is the first time in many years that I will be able to see the change of seasons and it has already started. I dont know what I expected...I guess to just wake up one morning and find all the trees wearing their golden amber leaves but its not like that. One small branch went gold.....then another higher up and another lower down. There doesnt seem to be any rhyme or reason to it, at least not that I can figure out.

The game in the area is on the move too. Bikki just alerted me to a mule deer at the bottom of the stairs on the back deck. She is the "hunter" out of the four dogs and decided a deer chase would be fun. She is still whining about me not letting her out but honestly "pom vs deer" sounds like a losing game for the dog. To be fair Lady smells all the same things Bikki does but she has absolutely no interest in the hunt part. She comes right back in the house and watches through the glass door. Smart dog.

This has been a very wet year for Angel Fire and there is no shortage of fodder for the critters to eat ( and I supplement their diet with tomato cores, lettuce, bread and whatever else vegetarian that is ready to go in the trash). Since I get to do the garbage run now ( no mail delivery, no trash pick-up here) the less that goes in the can, the less frequently I need to do it.

What is amazing here is how quickly the temp drops when clouds roll in. You can watch storms coming in over the mountains and as soon as the sun goes under cover, its chilly. Thunderheads on the move.....and the dogs are definately not crazy about thunder. Personally, I love it.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Doing something I've never done

For the first time in my life I shopped in a grocery isle I've no experience with. FROZEN FOOD, already cooked. All I have to do is heat it. May not sound like much to you but to me it is HUGE. WOW. Even here in Angel Fire there is amazing varitety. Classic American, Italian, Mexican ...even Indian ( India Indian ) and Chinese. While some of those things are available at some of the local restaurants ( we do have an amazing Chinese restaurant....go figure!) these sit awaiting the pleasure of my choosing, right in my freezer. I am sure I will get tired of "nuking" instead of cooking at some point, but at this moment, I am thrilled. While I do love to cook, for the most part, what a blessing not to have to if I dont feel like it. Besides, when I do cook, its always for an will be a real trial to try and just cook for 1. Lovely to have another option ( and what took me so long to try some of this stuff????)

Doesnt take much to get me all fired up, does it?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gardening in the Rock(ies)...the root ball won

I figured that transplanting two itty-bitty pine trees would be a snap. Ha. The only thing that snapped was my temper. I thought wetting the ground to prep it would help the root ball release its hold. John did warn to to wet, wait, dig and repeat. Which I did three times. Did I mention that New Mexico grows rocks? Around which the roots had emeshed themselves, to the point that even these small trees are loath to let go, period. I think I did manage to expose both root balls, even though the trees never budged, so I probably killed both of them. At this point I have decided that if I want a baby pine trees, I will go buy them. I did google this ( unfortunately AFTER this little exercise in futility) and found out that for every 1 inch in diameter the tree is, there is 9 -12 inches in width for the root ball and 18-24 inches in depth. Oh well. Live and learn.

I am so disgusted that I am going to go iron. I figure if I do a few pieces a day I should be caught up sometime in 2020.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday morning, isnt just a song

John has gone back to Hawaii. The drive home from Albuquerque I was numb. I would say brain dead but I managed to make it back to the house. No workers were here, for which I was grateful, and the dogs were very glad to see me. I worried about whether the key would give me problems - it can be stubborn at times - but it turns out the front door was unlocked so the key wasnt an issue. I didnt know whether to be afraid or simply relieved.

I reached out a foot at 3am and my brain snapped awake with the knowledge that he has gone and was not there in the bed. That for the first time in our married life we have chosen to live separate least some of the time. While I do love this new house and the beauty that surrounds me, it is so much change at one time that I am not mentally "here". I dont know where I am.....

If this is the new normal, its a very quiet normal ( the dogs are great company and while they are not great conversationalists, they listen attentively : )

Fortunately, there is much to keep me busy.....a few boxes left to unpack, cleaning to be done, some digging, planting and potting ...and the ever present ironing. How I manage to be behind in ironing, always and everywhere, baffles me since we rarely wear clothes in this neck of the woods that require that sort of attention. It is one of the definate banes of my existence. I guess I should pray that the wrinkled look becomes fashionable....on clothes that is.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We mourn them still

There is sobbing of the strong
And a pall upon the land
But the people, in their weeping
Bare the iron hand
Beware the people weeping
When they bare the iron hand

This was written, not after 9-11, but after Lincoln was shot.
It was true then.
It is true now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Do you remember?

Tomorrow marks 9 years since we were attacked, 9 years since our lives here in America fundamentally changed forever. Like the murder of President Kennedy, most of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard about the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania.

In Hawaii, we were still sleeping. The phone rang and it was Tessa....and I remember thinking that phone calls in the middle of the night ( it was actually morning but still dark out) usually mean someone has died or something else horrid has happened. And it had. She said "mom, turn on the tv" which we did. By then the first plane had hit the first tower and the second was hit shortly thereafter. We thought, as did much of the country, that perhaps the first plane was an accident. After the second, we all knew we were under attack.

Not that bin laden was a newbie to the scene of the "hate America" gang. He had been in on so many attacks prior to 9-11. The USS Cole, Kobar Towers, the first World Trade Center bombing....his fingerprints had long been on many attacks but on 9-11 we were attacked in our own country.

It opened the eyes of many of the touchy /feely liberals who had remained blind to the hatred of America by much of the Islamic world. Remember the celebrations, those dancing in the streets even as we searched for body parts? Remember those who said we had brought this on ourselves, that what we wrought in the world had "come home to roost"? The American hate mongers like Jeremiah Wright who said "God damn America"?

Now in the White House we have someone who swallowed this vile brew for over 20 years and sends his greetings to the muslim world while bowing low to them. A man whose wife , for the FIRST TIME in her life, is proud of America. Who are these people??

Remember that day, those lives lost or broken....and unlike our new Marie Antionette, be proud of America. Never forget. Never.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Change of seasons....change of moods

I realize that fall doesn't officially start till later this month but my mood has changed already. The slow dying of included? I dont know if this is what its about but I know I feel different. Sad and though I am not alone yet, lonely. I know when the leaves start their slow decay I will mourn their vibrant presence. They used to be called "quaking aspens" and I now know why. Every passing breath of wind makes them quiver.....they are alive and beautiful and I remember how bare and dead they seem in winter. I still have the beauty of their dying....the orange, amber, yellow, reds. How is it that even as they die, they are at their most gorgeous?

Is that too , how God sees us? How , when we are giving up the " goat " or ghost, we see what He has always had to offer and are blessed , finally, and at the last call we see His glory and grace. Finally.

I am not happy but I am what I have been given, in family, in treasure, in time and yes, even I , by my talents. I dont see what they are most of the time...certainly not my talents. But like the gift everyday is, I must be sure to untie the ribbons and LOOK at the gift. And certainly, at His grace.

Thank you Lord....for all of it.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fun and games with the contractor....hahahahah the guy who built this house ( new construction, no one has ever lived here before us ) has a punch list, which he has had for the last 6 months , minimum. And granted, some of it is relatively unimportant. Light switches that are backward, grout under the oven that isnt perfect.....little stuff that I could and would live with.

Then there is the "other stuff" like the leak that seems to be washing away the support, not of the deck, but of the house itself. Not little. At least not to me. A leak in the downstairs "room", which isnt in truth a room but a storage area but the whole floor ( dirt ) gets soaked everytime it rains and unlike usual New Mexico weather, its been raining nearly every day or night. So....Mr. Builder guy figures out ( duh ) that the drain pipe , that runs at the base of the foundation IS NOT at the bottom of the house. This guy built this in the name of all that is holy did he NOT know where the freaking pipe was laid. Sigh......and BIGGER SIGH.

So. They started this "only a coupla days" worth of work and it has lasted since last week. The guy who is supposed to start what little landscaping we are going to do this year---mainly redirecting the water into a faux stream with river rocks, a holding pond and a cystern for the overflow ( important to save what water you can in this dry land ) is supposed to start tomorrow. But of course he cant, since Mr. Builder isnt finished. The hole they dug is still a hole with no end ( literally) in sight ...actually John asked if they found China yet but they dont habla and did not get the joke. Except its not much of a joke.

Man am I glad we did not decide to try and build instead of buying one already built. Speaking of which....anyone want a lovely plot of land, southern exposure, in the township at a good price????

Just thought I would ask....never hurts to ask, right?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

3 and counting

Three....that is how many critters have actually made it into the house. Two birds of unknown type ( small and scared ) which the dogs totally missed and a chipmunk that came into the garage, tore into the birdseed then decided to try out the dog food in the mudroom ( and that is in the house , folks !) John had the dogs on the back deck, I was in Taos picking up fresh roasted green chilis and the chipmunk had the run of the place. Guess I am lucky it scampered out of the house when John walked in. We have been keeping the doors open since there are no mosquitoes and very few flies ( one or two at the most ) but I do think that will have to change. I am not in favor of guests who show up unannounced and uninvited especially those of the fur or feather variety - humans are still welcome : )

Friday, August 27, 2010

Miracles in shipping

While we have not finished ( hahahahahahha) unpacking boxes, we did find my mother's china, all of it unblemished. How it made it here , considering the way it was packed is truly a miracle. The dishes were not separated, fragile cups stacked one on the other with no cushion of paper or anything in between....yet they are here and still in perfect condition. Out of all the delicate, breakable things we sent, only one stray cup shattered ( it was eggshell Chinese china, thin enough to see through ) and it was not something close to my heart.

Other things we have come across that make me wonder what in the world I was I really need ceramic sushi tray with a compartment for the wasabi?? Here?? Just how "fresh" would ahi be after traveling a few thousand miles.....coughgagcough.
( Do no be deceived....I may not be able to find the ahi but I DID bring wasabi with me : )

Pray for us....while it seemed exhausting getting here, the truth is that its only just begun.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The long and the short of it...a dog's tail

I had expected some challenges with regard to moving 4 dogs from sea level to almost 2 miles up , altitude wise. Sure enough...for the first 5 days here they literally ate nothing. Lots of water drinking but no eating ( which for Bikki, our chunky monkey is HUGE)!! So finally they start nibbling their dinners but still no real interest in their food. Not really a problem but it concerned me.

Then Tonka went for a walk on our 19 acres south of town. And all went well mountain lions thinking Tonks would make a tasty, if furry snack. No bears or wolves or coyotes....yay. knew there would be an "however" didnt you? All was well until he got close to the car, at which time he found one of God's nastiest plants. He was covered in some kind of stickers that were sharp enough to cut him and make him bleed and they could not be brushed out or pulled out. We had to shave him down to the skin.....I would say he looks like a poodle but I dont want to insult him any further. And of course, he is freezing. Morning temps here are high 40s or low 50s and he has never been without fur. We had to buy him some clothes....(yes, we are "those people" now, those who dress their dogs, but its not just for show, its for warmth!)
Dont know how he will handle winter and snow and I am pretty sure his fur wont grow back soon enough for the real cold that is coming.

Then yesterday Loki had to go to the vet...he had been coughing for 2 days and I thought something was stuck in his throat. No, says the vet, its kennel cough ( and this dog hasnt been in a kennel for at least 2 years!!) She said he could have gotten in on the airplane simply by being close to another dog who had it....peachy. So he is on antibiotics and the rest of the gang have to go in and get shots for Bordatella(sp?) because the cough is highly contagious. At least it isnt something fatal, for which I am glad. Nice vet and close too...but hopefully we wont need to see her too often.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Good new and bad news

I think my pity party is over and (oh joy) I have other things to concentrate on. We received word that our household goods have arrived in the state. The good news is that it will be delivered on Thursday. The bad news is that it will be delivered on Thursday. I have visions of living with boxes for the next several months and am wondering why in the world I packed and sent so much. I keep thinking I should have simply shipped the couches and coffee tables and dumped the rest. Couldnt sleep last night thinking about what is to come. Oh well...maybe it wont be that bad??

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Missing you......

When I left Hawaii, I was told by many how much I would be missed. Apparently not. I am the one to make the calls , trying to contact those whom I love and are supposedly missing me. Or not. I am tired of trying to contact "them" since "they" dont 1) pick up their phones and 2) dont bother to call back....
Oh much for being missed.
Perhaps I should just let my phone die, not answer my email and say enough is enough. I am not needed and will not get those calls.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Blinking Light

There are no street lights here in Angel Fire and there are no stop lights either. When you enter Moreno Valley, either from Taos Canyon or coming from Cimmaron and head for Angel Fire you eventually come to a blinking yellow light. This marks the intersection with Highway 64 (the direction you head to get here) and is the only traffic signal for at least 20 miles in any direction. I am such a ditz....from the back deck you can see a red blinking light....and it took me a couple of days to figure out that the back-side of the yellow light is
We actually heard a siren a few days ago and its so rare up here that the dogs didnt do their usual 4-part harmony in howl.
It is quiet. Very very quiet.
Oh well....if it gets too quiet I can turn on the TV ...yes folks , we have TV now : )
Woohoo , just like city livin'!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The wildlife is very welcoming....

We arrived here in Angel Fire Thursday evening with all 4 dogs still panting ( for which I am very grateful ). The first evening we saw a bear about 150 yds away, near the house next door. Saturday afternoon I saw a mule deer on the side of the road that leads to ours - church here is on Saturday for me as there isn't enough Pastor to go around (my new Pastor, Fr. Emmanuel, has 4 churchs he attends to and does services for). That evening I started to go out onto the deck and heard claws clacking on the wood. It was an adolescent racoon helping itself to the birdseed. It didnt seem frightened but is camera shy...when I tried to take a picture it left for the evening (John feels sure we will see it again : ) I would be ok with not seeing bear up close and personal.

We are making progress in getting settled. Got a P.O. Box and a checking account started and then found out the only grocery store in town no longer takes checks : ( Oh well, I am pretty sure I can find somewhere else to use them, ha ha. We tried to get the car registered but found out you need every form of ID ever issued to you, starting at birth, literally. After that it gets complicated. Same thing with driver's licensing....oh joy.

This is the first time I have been on the 'puter since we got here....I developed the coughin' crud that was going around Hawaii right before we left and have been feeling like someone mopped the floor with my brain. Promise to check email soon.

If it weren't so beautiful here I might be missing Hawaii more. A little more oxygen would be nice though.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Two days and a lifetime

Two days until we go. Leaving a lifetime of sameness, moving into the unknown. At least I am.

I have never been just me, with me. I dont know who I am really without being in relation to someone else. John's wife, Tessa, Tia, Joshua, Melissa and Zechariah's mother. Keith, Jonathan, Jessica, Jonah, Elliett, Gracia, Liora and soon, Thomas John's ( we think its a he) grandmother. That is how not only I define myself but also how the world has defined me. As something to someone else. Who will I be when I am only me? I do not know. The thought of it leaves me shaken and stirred, pun intended but not a good thing.

It is a good thing the Lord is in my life again.Not to say He has not always been there; He has but I shut Him out for many years. I know He is there and I know it is true that when "I lift mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my strength", my strength does indeed come from the Lord. I can look at the mountains here in Hawaii and know it and I can do the same thing in New Mexico.

My biggest weakness (well , ok, one of many big weaknesses..) is being still in the presence of God. "Be still and know that I am God" he tells us. It is so hard for me to wait on His message to me...I am too often busy talking to Him instead of simply being still. To be my mind and heart. To listen instead of speak. Or ask, implore, beg,whimper, whine....all of the above at times.

Lord help me listen.
And be still.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Doctors....the good, the bad and at this age, its ugly

I thought it would be a wise see the various doctors I see, prior to leaving the state and being, at least for the moment, without any care givers in the health department. So....three doctors in two days and I am painfully glad to be finished.
Eyes, expensive little buggers ( John will no doubt be thrilled to learn my prescription has changed and I needed new glasses!). They promised that the new eyewear would be ready before we leave but guess what ? Nope, isnt going to happen. I am, needless to say, thrilled. Especially since we do not have a post office box so they cannot be mailed when they do come in. Oh joy.
Then yesterday was my internist, nice lady and about as warm as a fish. Literally. Her hands are like ice. She had a good time pushing around on my ab scar, which is always a fun thing. And great news...when I asked how long it was going to take for the pain to stop when I try to lift something, she said it probably never would. This is the new normal. Kinda ticks me off because I hate feeling like I have to be careful every time I lift something heavier than a kleenex tissue.
Immediately after this I saw my Gyn doc, which technically, I have absolutely need for. He too had a grand time shoving the scar tissue around and doing other things which shall remain unsaid. Fortunately he found nothing new or exciting and that is a blessing.
Today I feel as though I have been hit by a sledgehammer in the belly (the bad)...and am glad I only have to do this once a year (the good). Probably wont get any better as I get older (the ugly)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The more things change, the more they really do stay the same

For the most part I am ready to go...except for the random little things (my recipe box ...are you kidding me?!) that I am now in the process of sending to Tessa. I can pick it up on the way to New Mexico. We are flying into Denver as that is the easiest on the dogs , only one flight and not several , even though it is long, then driving down to NM. Denver is only about an hour north of Tess in the Springs and on the way "home" so we will pick up all the almost forgotten treasures then drive on.
It is harder by a long shot to stop feeling possessive of this house than it is to move my stuff out of it. And protective ...."dont bang the walls, dont drop food on the floor, dont leave the water running " and on and on. I wasnt always this way....for many years we didn't have "nice" furniture or breakables or "dont touch-ables only look-ables". We had kids and the kids ( and many friends ) LIVED here. Which is not to say it wasnt clean or neat...just not off limits. And its a hard habit to break, this constant correcting, once you've acquired it.
That said, its time to let go.
Its not really my house any more and that is fine. I am grateful its family that is going to live here and I am grateful that I have had these weeks...the stripping of the walls, emptying of closets and getting rid of garbage. Its been a good thing to go through this process over a period of weeks, months...but I am ready for it to be done.
I am grateful this house will be full again of children's laughter ( and no doubt tears too ; comes with the territory ) and that maybe in the future I can visit and see how the blank canvas has been repainted - literally : )
Change within the sameness....movin' on.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Letting go of my other family

I already know how hard it is going to be to let go of the family that is here in Hawaii. Hard. I have cried so much about it and so often that I pretty much thought I was cried out. Not that I think the move is the wrong thing....but that doesn't necessarily make it easy. And I do think that is true about much in life ; sometimes it is the most difficult choice that is the right one. Ok, so I know in advance I will mourn those I leave here.
What suprises me is how much I am going to miss my church family. I only returned to the Catholic church about 2 years ago after close to 40 years away. When I returned I didn't want it to be partially, I wanted it to be a complete return. That meant that my marriage to John needed to be con-validated by the Church and I still needed to be confirmed, something usually done when you are 12 or 13...not 56. For a year I attended RCIA classes at St. John's and I am so glad that this specific church is where the Lord led me. The teaching I received isnt something I would have valued or understood had I been an adolescent. What a blessing and what a gift...not only to return to the Lord but to have a great sponsor ( thank you Stan ) , a great group of classmates and a loving and dynamic teacher ( thank you Deacon Wally ). Maybe its just being more sensitive to the leadings of the Holy Spirit but I am so connected to my church family and it cuts to the quick to be leaving them too. I can go to so many of them ( and I have often ) and ask for them to pray...for my family, for myself, for following where the Lord leads....and they pray. I am loved and I know it and can see it and can feel it. I am going to miss this part of the Body of Christ.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The packing ...+2

It has been two days now since the movers came to pack us up and I think I can finally talk about it.
Leading up to the big day were innumeral days of grief. What we were doing was disassembling the life we have lived for the last 30 years in this house. Not to say we aren't taking tons with us..we are. It just won't fit the same way ; not a bad thing , just different.
I did not realize what a creature of habit I am....and a messy creature at that. Just cleaning out the junk drawers ( no irony there, right?) revealed that much of what was in there was garbage. Why was it in there? Also, the drawers were filthy...ack. What other filth do I live with that I ignore or "choose" not to see?
I digress.
On Tuesday the movers showed up at 9am. We had expected them at 7:30 but no problem. There were three men....again , no problem. Then two of them left.
One guy, working by himself from 9am till almost 1pm when the other two showed up again. I must say that the one young man who worked by himself had done an amazing job and that the other two were nowhere near his level of competence when it came to the packing. Nevertheless, it was after 4 pm when they left the house and all things considered, it could have been worse.
A few things came immediately to light, literally. First was the dirt under where the couches stood. Truth be told, it was not as bad as I had feared. What came to mind were the skeletal remains of small creatures , lost holiday candy ( it could have been halloween, Christmas or Easter ) and pine needles. Always and ever pine needles...a different story. I was right on two out of three ....candy ( we think it was Easter by the wrapping ) and pine needles. And hair...both dog and human. The second realization I had was the fact that there was alot more floor that had to be vacuumed and mopped now that the furniture was gone. Also, there is an unnerving echo : )
Those floors are mopped. Now for the rest of the house.....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Does it never end ???

I started going through cabinets, closets, drawers, shelves and whatever else could be gone through two weeks ago and if I press hard I just might be ready Tuesday morning when the movers get here. The bad part....who knew we had so much JUNK ..ok not all junk and to someone down the road it may well be treasure. The good part old silver lining so to that I am finding things I thought lost years ago. I have found 1 glove whose mate was tossed a few years back, a sandlewood fan ( dont know where it came from nor to whom it belonged ) , the pants to a gorgeous velvet pantsuit - the top got donated to Goodwill with the last yard sale, ski socks, 3 of 5 metal measuring cups ( probably made of lead or another heavy metal )...well the list of fun finds is almost endless.
But not quite. I do believe there is an end in sight since there is not much else to go through. The living room is stacked high with only a narrow corridor to walk through to the kitchen and the kitchen table is stacked high with everything breakable I own which the movers assure me wont get broken. The movers tell me this will only take one day. Okie dokie, if they say so.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Not a clue....

We are now in the process of getting ready for the movers to come in 10 days....which means going through the detrius of 37+ years of accumulated stuff. Some of it belonged to my grandparents (definately keep) , some of it my mother (definately keep) but for the most part it is ours. Now by that I mean mine, John's , Tessa's, Tia's, Josh's, Melissa's and Zack's. And for the most part I am good...I generally do remember to whom it belonged , what the occasion was and why I have held on to it for all these years.
However, there is another catagory....not only do I not know A) why I kept it, B) to whom it belonged (although it MUST have been important, else why would it still be here among the treasures?), or ...this is the best one... C) what in the name of all that is holy it is, was or why I kept it. Not a clue.
Ah well.....I just hope that a year or two down the road I don't have an " ah ha " moment as to what said treasure was and wish I had not consigned it to the trash.
Hopefully my memory lapses will continue unabated and that will not happen.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Waiting Game

I would love it if someone could explain to me why most women ( at least all those I know ) have , for our entire lives, played the waiting game.
We wait, from the time we are little girls, for the "right man" to come along so we can have "the wedding" and I put it parentheses becasue it will , without doubt be THE most wonderful, romantic, costly, beautiful AMAZING wedding in the world, bar none. And when we start waiting for this, it doesnt actually matter who " he " will be , because its the wedding , at this age that matters.
At some point , it does become about the who "he" is. Not a huge part, truth be told, because for the most part its still about waiting for the wedding itself.
Then the who does matter...and we wait. Is he smart enough, handsome enough, successful enough, kind enough, romantic enough....are any of his attributes " enough"??? Well...maybe, provided the wedding is going to be good enough.
Then we wait...until he proposes...until we accept and set a date ( and some men wait YEARS for this part ) until the day actually comes around. The waiting for the date and the day is enough to send some of us around the bend and cause us to become bridezilla.....or just plain nuts ( rather redundant, I know ).
So, the day comes. It is done.
Now we wait...for him to come home from have time to spend with us ( and I guarrantee its not the same before as after...since HE no longer has to wait for us there is no urgency on his part ) to tell us how much he 1) loves us 2) misses us 3) wants to spend every waking moment with us . No. All that is over. Now , once again...we wait.
Maybe next we wait for ....a first child to be born ....*yawnnnnn* this usually takes 40 us that is the same as several decades and to him its over in the blink of an eye. Sorta. He usually notices A) our ankles have swelled B) we are NOT interested in sex after the baby internally is the size of a small watermelon or C) we cant see our feet and we are , therefore, not as sexually available as prior to this blessed occurrance. Duh.
So the blessed event eventually occurs. Again , duh.
Now we wait ...what is it? 6, 8, 10 weeks before we again can satisfy ...
Then we wait till it doesnt hurt.
Then we wait till our bodies get back in shape ( ya, right ) .
Then , assuming we dont repeat the last few sentences again and again and again..which I admit I did....we wait.
To be the most important part of his life.
Wait to be more important than his parents...his job...all the other things we have been waiting for since day one and guess what?
It does not happen.
So at this point...I am waiting ( shocking isnt it??) to be primary in his life, for not having to wait for all this crap to be done and I STILL have to wait.
Cant get him on the phone without waiting.....
Still not as important as his (mother, brother, job it...I still dont rank in the top 3) ...still waiting.
And I have to wonder, at this point in my life, if this is what God put me here to learn.
To wait.
Have I mentioned I dont wait well ?
Nothing like stating the obvious.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Update on Gertie (who is so not a gecko)

Checked with the pet store and Gertie the not-a-gecko is still hanging in there although her babies did not survive. She is still in shock and her back legs dont work and NO I am not adopting her.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lions and tigers and LIZARDS??? oh my...

Today started like most other days, with me doing pom poop patrol...scraping , spraying ( and trying not to gag ). While engaging in this lovely activity the dogs started going totally bezerk, nutso WILD! And Bikki, our blonde uber-alpha and who also happens to be 1) overweight 2) extremely bitchy in addition to being a bitch and 3) the only "hunter" among the poms, had something in her mouth and was shaking the living crap out of it, literally.
I rushed to try and rescue whatever it was, praying it wasnt a rat or some other rodent, only to find out it was a huge (ok, huge to me in the reptile dept. is anything over 3 inches and this baby was in the 9-10 inch catagory) jackson's chameleon.
And hanging from this prehistoric looking reptiles mouth was what appeared to be its stomachs ( do they have more than one ??) or something that could definately have been pre-born lizard babys. Bikki had bitten it then shaken her head repeatedly and whatever this reptilian's innards were, they came out through its mouth. Neophyte that I am when it comes to any and all reptiles, this was not ok.....actually completely and totally GROSS is what it was.
Still , I could not let the dog eat it ( ackkkkk ) or kill it...soooooo, using the dog ( clean of course ) pooper scooper, I gently (?) shoveled it into a shoebox and watched. It did not die.
So I called our pet store ( they sell these prehistoric critters AND the bugs they eat ...another hearty ACKKKKKK ) and agreed to take "it" for observation. Which they did ( after I had taped that sucker into a box sooo well - with air holes , of course , that even godzilla could not have gotten out.
Then I googled jackson's chameleon.
They do indeed give birth to live babys and what had come out this girl's mouth ( yes, ugly as she was, it was a she )
was preborn babies.
Didnt know ( thanks wiki ) they could have between 8 and 30 babies. But , yes a girl and yes , she is at the pet store. Will call tomorrow to see if anything it managed to live the 4 hours plus after the attack is beyond me.
So....according to Tia, this is just the kind of thing my mother would have done. And I do admit that my mom was willing and did rescue anything that walked...I just am pretty sure that she never rescued anything scaled, slithery or that had a tongue that could zap stuff from half-way across the room. Cats, dogs.....never lizards. of His creatures ( have to ask Him at some point " Lord WHAT were you thinking...with mosquitoes, flies and reptiles????) and I have done the best I could.
I did not run screaming ( scream factor of reptiles is wayyyyy above flying cockroaches by the way ) and I have tried to get it help, while not allowing it to be eaten.
Brownie points, right ????

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A man works from sun to sun but woman's work..... never done. It is a recurring thought I have about "retirement" and what exactly that means. Because I dont get to...retire. I am pretty sure no matter what , that John is still going to expect meals and clean clothes. I am pretty sure he will expect those nice new toilets to get scrubbed ( no, they are not the self-cleaning models dang it!) And I imagine when the dust is thick enough to plant things in, he will expect me to get rid of it. So while he is busy building things or buzz cutting the trees or whatever else it is that men do when they retire to stay busy (and keep their wives from chasing them around the house with sharp knives or other implements of destruction), I will be doing what I have been doing since I was 18. Except now I am slower...and slower. And its more painful... squatting to clean behind the toilet has never been easy but now its torture and I cant help but wonder who looks back there anyway?? Well, aside from me, I mean.
So about that retirement does that work for women?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fathering a different from being a father

My family history is definately more about the mothers than fathers. My mother's grandfather was one of those mean german patriarchs who never smiled and didnt seem to love anyone or anything. You have seen pictures of men like him : grim looking and rather frightening. Fortunately for her, he died young. That seems harsh but apparently living with him was no treat. He was miserable and made everyone else miserable too.
My mother and her mother lived with them since my grandfather was in the Navy and on the go all the time. Then my mother's father got a splinter in his finger ( weeks before sulfa drugs came out ) and he died of blood poisoning when she was in the 5th grade.
My own father, Buck, was less than great in the "being a father" department. He liked being with his friends, out and about, more than he liked being present in my life. Mom decided we could do without the drama and trauma of all that he brought to the table. Divorce. Mind you , I still got to go see him but even that was something less than wonderful. I never knew which girlfriend he would be with or if she would be kid friendly. The one he eventually married was not. At least not to me. I was 12 when he to spend part of the year with them in Salt Lake City but that was the last time I visited with them. She had a miscarriage and said it was my fault ( apparently I was sooo awesome that I had life or death powers over the unborn). For years I believed that. He also sexually assualted me that last visit....another reason I wasnt ever keen to go again. Ah well....
Then there was ( is ) my step-father who dumped my mom after 17 years of marriage so he could revisit his past with an old flame. Although he was an amazing man who actually did the father job of raising me, the hostility I felt ( feel ?) about what he did to my mom overshadowed all the good things. From this distance ( and advanced age ) I see that nothing in that situation was about me, per se, and forgive him. could and should have been so different for her.
Which brings me to the father of my own children.
What a difference. He was up in the middle of the night when they were babies, changing diapers, rocking them, loving them the way a father should. Something that even as recently as the 70's ( dont chuckle, it seems recent to me!) men simply did not do. He was in the delivery room for every birth....and has remained a part of their lives ever since. He is the one they respect above all others....he is the one they love beyond measure. He is the one they know they can turn to when their lives are falling apart and they KNOW without doubt that he will be there. He is their strength and support. He is their biggest fan club. He simply loves them.
And that is the difference between fathering a child and being a father.
What a blessing...what a gift from God that my children have this man in their lives.
What a blessing to finally see and know what being a father is, up close and personal.
What a gift that they will never know what its like to be without that love.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I hope there is food in heaven

Looking over the cookbooks in the kitchen I realized some of them are paperback copies of some that I have in hard back version. And the paperbacks arent even mine...they were my mom's.
Three in particular stand out, not because they are different but because each of them have scores of sticky notes attached , the name of each item hand written for ease of locating them, sticking out of the pages.
Since my mom died I have always fantasized about finding a note, written just to me, hidden somewhere no one but I would look. Something...anything. Well, this was a message, even if she didnt mean it to be.
After going through all the recipes something did indeed strike me. All those recipes were of things she never got to cook and never got to eat in the last 20 yrs of her life. She was married to a man who liked almost nothing except meat and potatoes ( with the occasional chicken thrown in for good measure).
All of the recipes are for things like asparagas soup, stuffed bells, swordfish....not your everyday menu but guarranteed things that my mother wished for and never got to eat.
She knew Jesus as her savior and I hope to see her in heaven but it is also my fervent wish, no prayer, that there is food in heaven for my mom to feast on...all those things she couldnt have while here on earth. I was blessed to be able to spend the last 10 days she had on earth with her and I did cook whatever she asked for. I just had no idea how many things she missed and wished for over all those miserable years.
If there is a divine, all you can eat buffet, you will find my mom there, partaking of the rare and unusual ( sweetbreads for pity's sake!!) eating her fill and as she did here, keeping her girlish figure.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some days its not even worth chewing through the restraints

I guess everyone has those days. This is one for me. Nothing is particularly wrong, but nothing is right either. The move seems overwhelming....too much crap ( still, even after a yard sale ) and not enough time. We have wayyy too much stuff, period. And I am more than willing to purge most of problem. Yes, problem. Too much to think about rationally. Oh well, being rational has never been one of my strong points.
Then there is the house problem. Zack wont be able to stay in his room ( is this a good thing for him?? is he even being considered ?? ) there isnt enough space for Tia's family even though this house is roughly double in size, even though we managed with 5 kids before it was enlarged. How being in a bigger, nicer house is a bad thing I am not sure I understand. Maybe with all the crap going on it would be better for him to be in a group home. I dont need him feeling like he is unwanted or that he is a burden. Maybe the best thing would be for him to just move with us and sell this house. I cannot believe how much trouble this is....this was supposed to be the best for everyone but that INCLUDED Zack. It just makes me sick to my stomach.
Dont know what Melissa is going to do...come for awhile, go back ...stay for long? No one knows. What are we going to do with her stuff in the meantime...she cant afford storage and her stuff cant stay here as I have been told in no uncertain terms. All I do know is that what was supposed to be a good thing suddenly isnt. ( not really sudden I guess since we have been waiting to find out what the hell is going on for months now). Why are we always the last to know???
At the very least I have no doubt any longer that leaving is absolutely the best thing we can do. I am so tired of all of this. I dont care who "gets" the house anymore. Maybe selling is the best option. Or not. I give up. Someone wake me when the nightmare is over.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to Gracia Ruth : )

A truly great birthday for Miss Gracie ( how did she get to be 2 so quickly...and for that matter, its not possible that Keiferman is 18 ...holycrap ) No drama and at this age Gracie still likes the wrapping as much as the gift inside. She was DEFINATELY not ok with lighting the candles on fire ....eyes got big as saucers could be pretty sure she was thinking " helllooooooo, why are you setting my cake on fire, people?????". What a fun, no stress, enjoyable birthday party!!
Its like my mom usta say " the older you get , the more like a train going downhill " refering to the passing of time. I am pretty sure just last month Keith was a baby (no way he turned 18 in December) and Tia was still in high school.
Now Tia's 3rd isnt a baby.

Good thing my friend in Holland sends me perpetual calendars to keep track of birthdays !!!! Melissa and Tom's baby will make grandkidlet number


Old and older


Friday, June 11, 2010

It's a dogs world.....and various other thoughts.

I am a bad pom mom...I dont brush dog teeth. After spending over a thousand dollars to get teeth cleaned, pulled ( some , not all ...they arent down to gumming their food yet ) anal glands expressed ( gladly pay for that little treat ) nails clipped and blood work for heartworm ( all negative...kinda seems redundant since we have them on heartworm preventative ) they are almost ready to travel to New Mexico.
Now what I have to do is start getting them used to crates. Since they will be doing a fair amount of traveling, both by plane and by car, its a good idea to introduce them before hand.

Other random things....
Have decided on the moving company ( Beakins ) and on a landscaper ( Pacheco's) but we are still waiting for the builder to let us know if he is going to trade our 1 acre property in Angel Fire that is undeveloped for finishing the man cave downstairs.
The man cave is a necessity since John's new TV is the size of a small car and I dont really want that in the main living room. If it is downstairs he can blast the surround sound and hopefully it wont rattle my teeth upstairs. What is the deal with men and ginormous TV's??? The screen is so big you can see nose hair and enlarged pores on people....ack.
The mini cooper still hasnt sold....and I still wish it wouldnt . We got a Ford Escape when we were back in the mainland and its ok. Mini Explorer ...sigh.