Friday, October 29, 2010

Weekend Retreat...

Our traditional family October retreat took place once again this past weekend. Thursday after work Matt, Brit, Taten and myself were pulling a near-all nighter to drive to Washington state, meet up with Mike (who'd been there all week visiting) and overnighted at our "summer place" with our daughter-in-law Debbie.

Friday we headed to the Coast and our little slice of heaven - Kalaloch. Our UofI students survived midterm week and drove over late Friday as well as our dear friends Mike & Linda, who recently moved to the Seattle area.

Saturday we ventured down to the beach at high tide. The beach logs were back but a convenient path to reach the water's edge was available. Despite the cold temperatures and high tide, our oldest and youngest sacrificed their dry clothing to keep their nephew entertained. Taten had talked of nothing for a week except "the beach" and he was determined to play.

With questionable "adult" supervision Taten was able to jump in the surf, stopping only for a periodic emptying of the boot when it became too full.

Erin, Matthew, Taten and Krieg

Britnee was hiding up on the beach logs with me keeping warm and DRY.

I even made it down to the shore (despite the boot/crutches and the whole non-weight bearing status) - with the help of my trusty "sticks".

There are a few beach trails that have better pathways than others. I got down to the sand, found a comfortable beach log and watched my family make special memories together.

Britnee, Matthew and Taten

Uof I Vandals - Krieg and Erin

Back inside our cozy cabin, we enjoyed a warm fire, rain falling outside (as well as some thunder, lightening and 60-70mph winds), way too much yummy food, a few competitive games and your basic R & R.

All too soon our visit was over and we were once more on the road heading our separate ways. For awhile we were a 3 vehicle caravan. Taten put his window down in Aberdeen to wave to the red (Papa) and yellow (Ah-Boo and Tio) jeeps behind us.

We even stopped in Centralia on the way home to enjoy a meal and fun visit with Debbie in her new restaurant

Another Kalaloch visit in the books. More memories in our hearts.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Left or Right Hand?

Our daughter is talented, beautiful, very focused and has a great sense of humor. Much like her mother who is very RIGHT brained - that creative side.

However once in awhile her father genes shove their way to the top and take over. They aren't bad genes - in fact he has a great sense of humor however he's very black and white at times.

Today I'm bragging to her because I've got less than three (yes, count'em THREE!) hours left of work and then we will be heading for the Washington Coast.

She writes to tell me she's finished a mid-term test from ech-ee-double hockey sticks and wonders if it's too early for a margarita.

She still has a shift at the biology lab to work. She says "a margarita might make the microscope work more fun!". She's presently looking thru water samples for left handed snails.

Thinking I'm being funny I said, "Who knew there were left handed snails? How can you tell? Is their watch on their right arm?".

She proceeds to share how snails curl in a different way. If you face the opening of the snail at you, and reach in to grab the meal the holes are on different sides and the curl goes opposite, or curled around itself.

Not even a LOL. The girl needs a vacation!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Heigh Ho...

I was more anxious today than I thought I'd be, as I got ready for work. I found myself wishing I'd taken one more week off work - and yet honestly - would have hated returning even more.

It was great to be near so many of my "working ladies" again. My work load is light (read: knitting, again) for the next two weeks as I continue to train a very capable woman who only needs me for an occasional question.

How much fun being welcomed back and feeling welcomed back! Much like our lacrosse weekend with friends.

What a great way to start the week! Even if it was WORKING!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hello my name is Deb...

And I'm a Vandal Lacrosse Addict.

Apparently there are a couple other Vandal Senior parents who are open to a support group. We're thinking parent alumni gatherings near future game locations, therapy sessions near wine tasting (strictly for medicinal purpose of course) and group discussions (because we've all been "family" for too long to not stay in touch). We will create our own 12-Step program.

This weekend was the Gem State Tournament in Boise. Selfishly I offered our home up for hosting the team dinner. Honestly I was afraid I wouldn't get to any of the games and really wanted to have the chance to see everyone.

The Vandals came to town with a 26 man roster. We had nearly that many parents and family join. It was the easiest dinner I've ever hosted. One parent did all the organizing and even dropped stuff off during the week. I made a large pot of spaghetti sauce. My friend, and fellow lacrosse parent, Cindy came early (sacrificing good photography light on the sideline) to cook spaghetti and take over kitchen duties. Alex and Carol both pitched in as did so many others. The boys were treated to mounds of spaghetti, fresh salad, hot garlic bread and soooo many cupcakes and brownies...

We are so blessed to have these wonderful people as friends. Thank you all.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Quiet has helped me to hear...

For months we've been nurturing a rocky relationship with an extended family member. It blew up in our faces two years ago after sharing, in January, we were postponing our annual family trip to the coast from July until October. We were all going back to Wisconsin for my parent's 50th anniversary. It was also our preference to go when Krieg would be available as he'd missed the year before.

Apparently her family was ok with our decision as they chose not to go either but they did show up in October. Of course not without a great deal of drama from our announcement.

In a summer cleansing of My Spacebook account I removed people I don't regularly contact or respond to - including a couple of family members. I figured it was my choice and another blog perhaps as I await other's thoughts on this subject.

This opened up another chapter of drama in August. I got a very friendly request from this family member asking me to 'friend' her again and then 45 minutes later received an email telling me I was a horrible person and she couldn't believe the way I treated family - as no one should remove a family member from their Spacebook account. I guess I missed that rule - but coming from her was especially ironic as two years ago this same person removed Mike and I from her 'friends list' and hadn't 're-friended' us until last fall.

I emailed and apologized, explained why I had made the choices I made and hoped we would move forward. Her answers were not of the same sentiment. Mike was concerned about her friendly request vs her angry response in less than an hours time. He expressed his concern with her. I think he was genuinely concerned about her mental well being as she's had difficulty in the past.

I've emailed a couple more times asking if we could speak. Family is a BIG DEAL to me. I don't like animosity or hurt feelings. Especially when there has been a relationship before. I've said to myself "I'm going to move on" but my heart strings have been trying to pull her back.

This week I received an email response telling me how horrible and heartless I am for removing her from the social network because she "hadn't responded in awhile". She's upset her Uncle hasn't spoke to her in her exaggerated two years (has she tried to reach out to him since she accused him of things) and (probably rightfully so) upset about his comments regarding her mental welfare.

Perhaps the solitude this week opened up my ears to better hear my heart. I've answered her -"I'm sorry. I've tried". In fact I answered her the same way to her last two emails - both going on about how awful I am.

I feel at peace. Is that horrible? I finally accept the fact that I have reached out halfway - and then some - and cannot force her to hear. She has to open her heart and truly want us in her life.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Things I've learned while in Confinement...

1. Nonskid on my good foot makes the scooter go faster.
2. I don't make left turns very well.
3. I cannot back up without running over my good foot.
4. The weather outside is beautiful when you cannot escape.
5. Riley sleeps alot.
6. I suspect I'm on to the secret of hoarding narcotic prescriptions.
7. Everything I WANT to do involves being outside on TWO feet.
8. Thank you for your visit.
9. I also enjoy the chats on the phone. It breaks up the silence.
10. Make a bigger stash of chocolate.
11. I'm not very good at rationing.
12. If I take time to brush my hair, dress in something besides sweats and add a little make-up -I will be home alone all day.
13. Crutches are NOT my friend.
14. WiFi and laptops are a necessity.
15. The inventor of the duct tape/hefty bag shower combination is a freakin' genius!
16. Leaves make no noise when they crash land.
17. There is an NCIS or Law and Order on at any given time.
18. There are a lot more places online to order food AND have it delivered than I originally believed.
19. Jimmy John's needs to expand their delivery circle one quarter mile otherwise I have to meet them in the LDS church parking lot outside of our neighborhood.
20. I still like cold pizza at the age of 50!
21. I'm off work, home by myself and there are STILL others who spend more time of Facebook than I do. Sad.
22. As soon as I go up the stairs I will remember something I wanted to do downstairs.
23. If I am going past, stop and use the bathroom otherwise I'll need to as soon as I sit down.
24. There IS a limit to the number of laps I can make in the house before going crazy.
25. If I plan to sleep in - do not need to set the alarm - my neighbor will be outdoors at 8am with his electric trimmer.

Monday, October 11, 2010

This little piggy went to the doctor...

As part of this 'year of changes' I began dieting and exercising. Eating smaller portions wasn't such a big deal. Making healthier choices was easier than I thought it would be.

Interval training on the treadmill, water aerobics and Zumba classes helped in shedding some weight.

At one point back in April I felt something 'pop' in my foot. I walked it off - got back on track and kept at the routine.

Ice packs on the tender spots seemed like enough. How bad could it be? It was like rolling the ankle but more on the top of my foot. Who runs to the doctor for a little ache or pain.

When I was at my annual physical we discussed the changes I've been making - I happily accepted the doctor's praise for my healthier choices. Since we were on the subject of 'aging' I asked if there was anything I could do to strengthen the ligaments or muscles in my foot and explained what happened. It was like opening Pandora's box... an x-ray to check for a stress fracture, an MRI to determine if it was tendinitis, and finally a foot specialist. Good grief.

I explained what led to my latest visit, the doctor decided I should have one more set of x-rays. He then told me I had injured a ligament in my foot. It's a common sports injury and often the result of a car accident. The lins franc ligament holds together the metatarsus and tarsus bones together.

I spent six weeks in a lovely walking boot. Ka-thunk, ka-thunk. It's a lovely addition to one's August wardrobe. (Read: HOT!) However it was unsuccessful at healing.

My choices were - 1) orthodics for six months to see if it heals on it's own, 2) 4-6 weeks in a non-weight bearing status on crutches; or 3) surgery. Each of the options led to surgery so I opted to skip all the waiting and just have the surgery. I wanted to move forward.

Last week I had ligament surgery. A nerve block to the back of my knee and an IV sedation. I woke 2 hours later with a heavy foot and a useless leg. It took over 24 hours to get any feeling back in my foot.

Imagine our household... Mike with his limited abilities because of his recovery from back surgery - Me with my booted leg.

Mike is a good sport about the chores - he hired a house cleaner!

I have three wires in my foot held in place by the beads. The pins run lengthwise with the first two bones and then one angled across the two bones and through the ligament. The pins will remain in place for six weeks.

Crutches are not my favorite means of transportation as I've determined this week... I'm a klutz. I'm somewhere between a size 5'11 and a 6'0. Mike 'fitted' them per the directions but no where did it mention the pain to the elbows and wrists or the gnarly bruises under my arm pits on the side of my breasts. (Obviously I'm not doing something right!

There should be a warning to wear a fitted shirt as an undergarment. If not for the injured party than certainly for those who have to watch... My shirt keeps riding up my chest revealing my stomach. The top of the crutches are constantly getting caught up in the sleeves of whatever I'm wearing. The under wire on my bra catches too.

On the other hand walking on crutches is a great calorie burner and my appetite is nil so perhaps I will be able to use this time to make better food choices.

Apparently the doctor agreed because when I left my follow up appointment last week I had a prescription for a new set of wheels.

A scooter! Tate calls it my 'doh-tart'.

Truthfully I would look much sweeter on a scooter like this...

But in reality this is much more realistic! Oh well...

It's a small sacrifice for two good feet. Meanwhile I have two weeks off work. Mike set up the office computer with a "foot up" area for me to sit and scan photos. I have plenty of reading material and some scrapbook projects.

I'm home alone this week while Mike visits the Texas gang. So far no drama. The weather is treating us to some gorgeous fall temperatures. I think it's time to figure out how to 'scoot' around the block with Riley. I need to be outside.
Riley is a bit leery of my wheels in the house and prefers his post on the stairwell landing.

More important - I can't wait to get back to my workout routine!