Sunday, June 28, 2009

Oooh! Aaaahh!

Yes, it's fireworks time again! For the third year in a row, we have had the good fortune to be invited by some wonderful friends of ours to the Independence Day Celebration and Fireworks display that is held by their church. The church is HUGE and in the middle of nowhere. But, it is so impressive that such a small area can support such a large congregation (I think they said 2000+).

The church is Rock Springs Congregational Methodist Church in Milner, GA. It's not too far away from us (we are in podunk also) and it's just a huge party on the grounds with bouncy rides for the kids, a climbing wall, several other things, a petting zoo, famous frisbee dogs, etc. For $3 you can get a hamburger/hotdog meal with lots of extras, plus they won't charge any family over $10 to eat regardless of the number of people. That's a really nice thing in this economy.

We ate before we left home because DS12 has a hard time in crowds and the food is in a very large fellowship hall, but it is so crowded that he panics. It's just easier to eat at home.

Due to my injuries, we had to take a kitchen chair for me to sit in with my modified donut pillow. Yep, I looked like a total dork, but it kept me from hurting very much. We also brought a cooler with some ice and a few drinks and water bottles.

It's always a great group there. People are friendly, even though the place is very crowded. There is no cussing, no trauma, no fighting. Excellent behavior abounds and it is so very nice. We enjoy visiting with our friends and DS12 does better in a crowd if it is a well behaved one (me, too!) and we are outside.

The fireworks display is always top notch! We were expecting rain and storms, but the rain held off and we had a lovely breeze and a fabulous view of the fireworks. The breeze pushed the pyrotechnics closer to us and we did have a bit of debris falling, which was a bit strange.

A good time was had by all--and since the display was tonight, we will still get to see the municipal display on the actual 4th of July!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sick kiddo

DS11 has been back to the doctor since he is having more asthma problems than he should be having. So, we have adjusted his medicine and he is on an antibiotic since he has a lingering cough. Fun.

One of my students went to Girl's State 2 weeks ago and she was exposed to a genuine case of H5N1 bird flu. Oh joy! Fortunately, she is doing well and being monitored.

I mentioned before that my boss' kids have whooping cough.

Drink your orange juice!

Austerity Parties?

Sounds odd, I know, but has the potential to be really fun. I read about this on another blog earlier this week and kind of like the idea.

Face it, the economy is total crap right now. Nobody has funds for major entertaining, but we still like to have fun. So, the idea is to do it in an austere fashion. For example, meet up with friends and family in the park and hold a potluck. Have someone bring a frisbee and everyone brings chairs and some cheap to make food to share.

It's about fellowship, not hardship.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Just when you thought it was safe to go out and about, guess what seemingly eradicated childhood disease is making the rounds? You guessed it! Pertussis, otherwise known as Whooping Cough.

Why is it making the rounds? Or better yet, why is it making the rounds among children who have been immunized? Because people are refusing immunizations in droves. So, their children get these diseases. But, these folks don't keep their children away from other children so we all suffer from their decisions.

I can tell you that if my immunized kids get pertussis I am going to be seriously pissed.

Wait, if you are reading this and don't know me well, don't jump to conclusions about my motives. Don't tell me about poor kids with autism from shots (you definitely don't want to get me started about that one) and how they aren't necessary any more. I AM a mom of an autistic kid, one who likely developed symptoms as a direct result of the mercury based preservative in the doses that he received. I get it.

However, that doesn't mean that these parents and their ill functioning logic are off the hook. Oh NO!!! See, immunizations don't contain any of those preservatives anymore. Plus, as an informed parent (and not one jumping, uninformed, on a bandwagon) you can insist that your child receive a dose with no preservatives at all. This is what I do for my Aspie kid. He gets all of his shots and is kept healthy that way.

I understand trying to avoid autism. But, if my kid can be immunized in a way that does no further harm, then all kids should be protected. I immunize my kids in hopes of avoiding deadly disease. Perhaps I should immunize them against the by-products of uninformed, unintelligent parents.

I have a kid with autism. To have kid with autism who has whooping cough would push me right over the edge.


The beat goes on---and on.

There is very little activity of note around here. Since I am post surgery, but have to wait to get my stitches out, I am very limited in what I can and can't do.

I'm very bored.

I have read books and watched movies and talked to friends. And while I have greatly enjoyed all of those activities, I really miss having some level of freedom and independence.

I guess I like sitting around the house better when it is my CHOICE to do it. Right now, I feel like a lazy slug. Sigh.

The boys have been checking my volunteer blackberry bushes and we are getting some fruit off of them. The spring rains that we have had really helped out with that. We are putting the fruit in the freezer to work up later into jellies, jams, smoothies, whatever!

Today, I will venture out just a little bit. I will take DS11 for a haircut, a doctor's appt (asthma is flaring up again), and to the pharmacy to fill prescriptions. Can't wait! I get to go bye-bye.

Can you tell that I have been cooped up a little too long???

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summertime, and the living's easy....

Imagine that line sung with a sultry, sexy voice that I don't have.

Well, not exactly easy, especially if you are me. My klutzy nature ensures that I am constantly on the brink of some minor (generally) disaster or another. At least it helps to bolster my prayer life when things are out of control.

We are back from our glorious, week long vacation at Jekyll Island. Sigh.

What a nice, calm place (filled with family and wonderful friends) to recuperate from my little surgery. Ahhh.

Except that I fell (hard) on my fanny the first day we arrived. On tile. Tile laid on top of cement. Can you say, "boom?" Can you say, "very bruised tailbone?"

I was trying to go into the narrow, tiny bathroom in the vacation house.

So, I am in a wheelchair and/or walker as need requires. My butt hurts. REALLY hurts. To the point that I no longer notice that my foot hurts. So, I begin to walk. I figure that what is the worst that can happen. A little bit doesn't hurt. Soon, I am walking (hobbling) more and more because sitting is painful and getting up from a seated position is an excruciating proposition. My family doesn't want me to lay in bed all day (and it is boring after a few hours, even with a good book).

Eventually, I am comfortable sitting in a car for a little while and can get out fo the house and go for a ride. I enjoy it a lot after being more or less trapped in the house. My mother refers to it as, "airing myself out." We laugh a lot at this statement.

So, the verdict is that vacation was nice and restful. Perhaps a little too restful for me, but my family had a wonderful time. However, I do hope that I never have to do forced rest on vacation again. My toes never touched sand and I couldn't get close enough to hear the sound of the waves on the beach. I really missed that part.

But, I did get to see my friend Karen and her beautiful family. We have been close since we were in the 7th grade. She lives in Tennessee and I am a Georgia girl, so this is our one chance to connect each year. I wouldn't miss it for the world and I am so glad that I didn't even if it was a really bizarre thing to go on a 5 hour drive to vacation 3 days after surgery!

My Dad did the cutest thing for me, though. He took his phone to the beach during a quiet moment and made a 30 second recording of the waves on the beach. I could even hear the ocean sounds. I love it.

So now we are home and I can walk as much as I need to (comfortably) but am stuck in this surgical shoe and bandages for another week until my stitches come out. Hubby cut a donut pillow that we purchased so that it has a notch in the rear so that I can sit without my tailbone touching anything solid.

Is summertime easy? Well, not this year, but it is certainly looking up right now for me.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


While Fireproof is not a new movie, by a long shot, it is one that I hadn't had a chance to watch until this evening. Hubby bought it for me to watch during my convalescence with my foot.

I must admit that I enjoyed it very much! The acting was great, the cinematography was even better than in Facing the Giants, and the story was morally sound. I truly loved it.

Every marriage has its ups and downs and even though I am blessed to have been married for almost 22 years, it brought up some really good points on how, not only how to save a troubled marriage, but on how to make sure that it doesn't become troubled.

I highly recommend it.

The Neuroma is Gone!!!

I am pleased as punch to report that the surgery went successfully. There were only a couple of minor snags in the whole process. It was tough getting the IV in place successfully, but the two nurses who worked on it were slow and deliberate (meaning that they didn't stick me over and over again and dig around) and eventually we found a vein that was agreeable. The other snag had to do with scheduling.

We were scheduled to arrive about 8:15 am and we arrived a bit early, at 8. They took me on back and I changed into my hospital gown, got my IV, signed the last of the consent forms, etc. Then hubby joined me. My orthopedist, Dr. Gary Stewart, came in to check with us and answer any questions about 9 am. He said that we were waiting for a surgical room to be ready and that we would be good to go in about 45 minutes.

Finally, the anesthesiologist came in about 9:50 and did a nerve block on my lower leg and gave me something to make me "a bit woozy" since we were about to go back. The woozy stuff worked, because I fell asleep. I woke up on my own about 11 am and we still hadn't been able to get into surgery. I was shocked.

Poor hubby, bless his heart, stood watch by my bedside the entire time, literally STANDING to watch over me. It had to be pretty boring for him. Hey, I fell asleep!

Finally, things happened really fast at a few minutes after 11 am. The nurse sent hubby to the waiting room, telling him that this type of surgery generally lasts a full hour. But, by noon, she told hubby to pull the car around because I was awake, lucid, and drinking a diet coke. Literally, she wheeled me to the rest room and out to the car. Easy breezy.

By evening, I needed my first pain pill. All seems to be going really well so far and I feel reasonably good. My parents brought dinner for all of us and several folks have called to either check on me or to let me know that they prayed for me. I am so grateful!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Blackberries, yum!

Today, I got to pick the first of our blackberries that have ripened. I probably got around 1.5 cups worth of small, sweet berries. This is only the beginning as there were many more that I wasn't prepared to dig for and so many unripened ones that I imagine that in a week we will be innundated!

This is such a blessing considering it is a wild bush that has just popped up on its own at the very end of our driveway. We are going to move it after the fruit ripens because if the county mowers come by, they will mow it down.

Another bush is popping up in the backyard as well. Hopefully we will be able to place both bushes in a good place to have a bit of a thicket. That means more berries each and every year! Not bad for volunteer bushes!!! Thank God for the bounty!

After sampling, I froze the remainder of the berries. I will keep adding to them until I have enough to make a couple of batches of jelly or jam. Then, if I have more, we'll have blackberry syrup for pancakes and gifts.

The homemade preserves I made from free pears last year were great gifts that everyone seems to love. A couple of people have asked to buy some. I was totally blown away! Now, if the pears come through we'll have both pear and blackberries to work with. I love the free fruit. It's the start of a fabulously frugal holiday season! Love that part.

The Big Dig...

No, I am not writing about the large tunnel project in Boston, MA. I am talking about attempting to regain a little control in my own home through "digging out" of the clutter mess that I (and family) have made over time.

Truth be told, I have a cute home and it is reasonably well decorated, but you can't see too much of it from the junk and clutter. Paper, in particular, tends to pile up horribly around here.

I have ulterior motives for this clean up, though. I will be on a walker and only partially mobile for a few days following my surgery to remove the Morton's neuroma. I want to be able to move around without fear of slipping on junk and falling down, making matters far worse.

Yes, I realize that it is pitiful that it has come to this to make me clean up my act. To my credit, I have definitely made some serious headway. I can see carpeting!!!

I also have tried to make very sure that I am keeping the laundry up so it won't be too horrible to keep up with . Today, I have done sheets and towels. Ahhh. Clean sheets.

I need to finish up in the kitchen (washing cabinets, counters, mopping) the bedroom (controlling the mess of craft supplies) and the master bathroom and then do a thorough vacuuming and then I think I will feel pretty good about life when people come to visit me.

The only major thing that I won't have had time to do is to shampoo my carpets and that definitely needs to be done. Maybe by the end of summer, I will feel up to doing that.

It won't be perfect, but it will be respectable. I just hope and pray that I can keep it up!


Summer Fun Alert!!! The movie Up! 3-D was really cute. We took in a matinee last week.

Note to self: try to update the blog in a more timely fashion.

The story is engaging even to the adults (there are parts of the plot that I think may have gone over the kiddo's heads, but they didn't care). It is ultimately a story of how to live again after loss. Not exactly what you'd think to find in a Pixar animated film.

The 3-D is so much improved over what I remember from my childhood and the boys and I looked like total dorks wearing the glasses, but it was such fun.

But, beware, when you see this movie--Doug will steal the show! Love that!

Summer Fun!

I have been determined to squeeze in some summer fun with the boys before my upcoming surgery. So, to that end, a friend of mine and her daughter invited us to go to the local water park. We agreed and had an absolutely lovely time.

We had a tailgate picnic before we went inside. Then we slathered on so much sunscreen that my friend joked that she was embarrassed to be seen with us! Then it was to the water!!!

The kids laughed and played and joked around. It was so much fun to watch them carrying on. DS12 (my aspie) asked a friend to join us--that was a major first! So, he was on cloud nine!!!

DS11 played with my friend's daughter and they tried to wear each other out--big time! I have some pics on my phone, but I haven't figured out how to transfer them yet. I'll post them if I ever get it figured out!

I even took my 41 year old tail down my first water slide!!! Okay, it wasn't all that and I banged up my ankle (on the bad foot of course) pretty good. But, the kids were thrilled that I did it. That part was worth it. Way worth it!

The crud makes the rounds!

Now, in addition to the kids being sick, hubby and Granny have bronchitis, Grandpa had the crud, but it hadn't moved into his lungs. Now, it is in his lungs with a vengeance. He woke up in the night and couldn't breathe and scared Granny half to death. They finally decided to put him on antibiotics and now he is (finally) doing a bit better.

The boys are largely over it now and I am grateful for that. Hubby is doing pretty well. He finished up his antibiotics, but has a little bit of a cough now and then, mostly when he is tired.

So, we are all on the mend.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Zzzzzzz.....snoozing away!

I absolutely can't believe that my boys are still in bed! This is so unlike them to sleep this late. They are pushing 12 hours straight. I keep going in to see if they are still breathing :-)

They are!

My best guess is that they are worn down from this crud that is going around. It has given hubby and granny bronchitis, grandpa and me sinus infections, DS11 wicked asthma attacks, and DS12 just a general runny nose and malaise.

They are just about over the symptoms and acted like they felt pretty good yesterday, but their little immune systems are probably needing to rest and recharge!

Sleep away!

Sinus Infections and other aggravations

I have been so excited to get this Morton's Neuroma cut out of my left foot. For weeks, it has been the one thing that I have been clinging to as I grit my teeth and stay on my feet to finish up the school year.

Then I get a sinus infection on the very last day of school. After talking to a nurse friend of mine, I rush to the walk in clinic at my doctor's office and explain the situation (surgery coming up fast). They are terrific and give me a shot of antibiotic only (no steroids--in case that would mess up my pre-op tests) and a Z-pack and a nasal spray. They assure me that there is absolutely no way that these meds will mess up my surgery.

I call my orthopedist to explain what is going on and leave a detailed message.

They won't let me have surgery without waiting an extra week. Ugh! This does not make me happy. It's another week to wait (no pain killers) for surgery with a hurt foot. It's another week that I can't take glucosamine and chondroitin for my knees.

I keep telling myself that God is in control and that it will be allright after all. I guess it won't be too bad since I really have been able to keep off of my feet a bunch since I have been home (graduation was Saturday and my last official duty of the school year).

I guess that I just want it to be over and to be on the mend.

Graduation--Class of 2009

It was a whole lot of hard work to make it happen, but Graduation was lovely and nice. Truly, it was a celebration of the students who have worked so hard to achieve their goals (and the parents who supported, and pushed, them along).

One of the cutest thing that I saw was the Juniors/Rising Seniors were so excited that they became "official" Seniors when the tassels moved across the mortar boards! I got tickled with them!

It was fun, but exhausting! On a selfish note, it was loads more work for some of the faculty and staff this year to have graduation in two parts, but now that it is over, I don't begrudge the kids a single minute. It would have been great to have more help, though. But, we live and learn and will make sure we have a few more folks next time.

Of course, I really can't complain about it at all as I didn't put as much time and effort into it as my friend, Misty, did. She was in charge of planning and executing it all. If I was tired and stressed, I am sure she felt it 100 fold.

But, it was lovely, truly lovely.

Washing Machine

Wow! Lots has happened since my last post. One of the most bothersome is that my washing machine died a horrible death (definition of horrible death, cracking the motor housing and spewing grease into my load of otherwise clean, white clothes--it if hadn't died at that point, I would have killed it!). It was only 7 years old, which shouldn't be the end of a large appliance, but it was.

Hubby worked on it and tried to get it apart to fix it (he is handy, thank goodness), but with his work schedule and the photo stuff, he doesn't have loads of time to fix it. Eventually, even after my brother (home from college) and he worked on it, it was clear that the design was faulty and that fixing it would require more than the machine was worth. So, off I went in search of another washer.

Graduation was coming, with honors days and all of the things that we dress up for and I can't even wash our nice clothes! Ugh! So, off we go to try and get a good deal on a new washer and definitely not a Whirlpool like this last one. Eventually, I catch the very last day of a Memorial Day sale and get a killer deal on an Admiral, which is made by Maytag.

The catch is that they have sold so many appliances during this sale at Home Depot that they weren't able to deliver it until today. And while I am ever so grateful to have it (I have my first load in it right now), I am terribly backlogged with laundry! It has been just over 3 weeks since my washer did it's last load. My mom has let us use her machine and we went to the laundry mat once, but good grief, with two boys, it's laundry city around here!

So, today is catch up day for laundry and I praise God that I can do it!