Quite awhile back we bought a blue spotted pig for Amber. It “oinked” appropriately when squeezed (or bitten) and it was pleasantly fat, made of some type of rubber. We’ve bought scores of toys for Amber in the past 6 years, most of which last 30 seconds or less. Balls get popped, heads are chewed off, squeakers removed, the ‘toy’ becoming trash almost before the tags are off.
The blue pig was different. She loved it, of course, and attacked it with her usual enthusiasm. She would grab it, running around the living room, office, and foyer, biting it to make it squeak, shaking her head to break its neck, bringing it to us over and over to play tug of war (though she cheats, putting her whole body into it, then letting up just a little to see if we’ll relax and then ripping it out of our hands), retrieving it when thrown (though MANY times she doesn’t actually bring it to us and relinquish it, preferring to TEASE us with it, running away again.) It is her favorite.
She has been delighting when the TV is turned off for the night, bringing the pig, and a whole host of other toys that we keep in a basket on the floor beside her bed, to strew them all over the living room floor before she’s finished. She’s great at getting them out and playing with them and us, but she’s not at ALL good about putting the toys back in the basket.
This all came to an end a couple of nights ago when during the tug of war, the pig’s head was partially ripped off the rest of the body. Since Amber immediately started ripping the stuffing out and leaving it all over the floor, I declared “game over” and took the rest of the stuffing out and threw it away. Amber is still getting the pig out of the basket, but it’s not fat anymore (hey – maybe THAT’S the way I can get rid of some of my lard – have someone rip out my ‘stuffing’!) , and it doesn’t squeak anymore.
She is really upset, so I went online to Walmart’s website and searched. Happily, they are still offering these for sale, so I ordered two of them! I can’t wait to see how she reacts when she sees she has a new friend. :0)
A SHORT HISTORY: We married in 1969. Between then and 1977, we lost three babies to miscarriages. (Rh Factor) In 1978 we had our son. In ’79, we lost another baby to miscarriage. In ’80 we had our daughter and our family was complete. Two months later, on February 5,1981, we lost our daughter, Jade, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
“Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexplained death, usually during sleep, of a seemingly healthy baby less than a year old. SIDS is sometimes known as crib death because the infants often die in their cribs.” The peak incidence of SIDS occurs between 1 – 4 months of age; 90% of cases occur before 6 months of age. Babies continue to be at risk for SIDS up to 12 months.”
She was “perfect,” and she was gone. Our minister said, “Jade was born, lived a little while, and then died.” I couldn’t listen to more.
The pain was so intense that we both seriously considered suicide, then decided we had to live for each other and for our son. I read everything I could find on SIDS, and discovered the experts knew very little about it – why it happens or what can be done to prevent it. The experts also told us we were lucky that our son was only 2 – that he wouldn’t understand or remember it. Soon after we lost her, he took Jade’s blanket across the room to the trash can, threw it in and said, “Broken.” So much for the experts.
Lasting effects –
I still can’t hold a baby in my arms without crying, even after all this time.
I worry for pregnant women or women with babies under 1 year
I can’t go to a funeral without falling apart and bringing all the attention to me, so I try to show I care in different ways.
There ARE some positive effects, though –
I have learned that there is a core way down deep inside that enabled me to not only survive but to enjoy life again.
I have looked at life differently since then, cherishing the people in my life, and all the things that are beautiful and bring me pleasure.
I am much more forgiving, even though I threaten my husband from time to time of having the backhoe guy on speed dial to dig a hole for him in the back yard.
Our family grew closer and stronger.
A really frustrating thing is that the experts know little more now than they did 42 years ago about SIDS. There are now baby monitors that are very helpful to parents. The experts now suggest that babies sleep on their backs. I haven’t found anything more about the shots that babies get at two months. I will never forget, though, that our pediatrician came out to the house when he heard we had lost her, and cried with us.
I hope that one day I will see Jade again, finding that her spirit is healthy and happy; and that one day the mystery of SIDS is solved.
Last week I was doing well on my efforts to lose the lard. I’m back to square one this morning, having blown it by eating everything except the wall in the middle of the night last night when I couldn’t sleep.
To make a long story shorter, I’m worried about my husband. I’ve told you he has had a couple of strokes. Mostly, he has bounced back. He has trouble talking at times and I type for him, but those are the major after-effects.
Yesterday he sliced his thumb while trying to cut up an apple for us to share at lunch. I came in to start lunch and found him fumbling trying to get a band-aid. He hadn’t said anything, and still didn’t think it was anything, but he’s on blood thinners and it’s a bigger deal than it is with other people. We got him bandaged up and he seems to be okay, though his thumb is sore.
Last night I was waiting for him to come in from taking our dog, Amber, out. He was delayed for some reason, but came in, looking distressed. It turned out he had fallen in the garage while trying to get the garage door shut, get Amber inside on the leash, the light off and the inside door closed. He got distracted and felt backwards down onto the concrete. Thank goodness he didn’t break anything. He said he fell on his back and hit his head. I checked him over and couldn’t see any problems, but of course he was moving slowly. We got upstairs and I noticed he was limping. When he took off his boot, he showed me the bottom of one foot. It had an area that looked almost like a flattened blister. He had put the toe warmers I got him directly on his foot, rather than outside his sock, so the pad of his foot where his feeling is kind of numb was almost burned. We have now AGREED that he will use the warmers outside his socks, and preferably on the TOP of his toes where he has good feeling, rather than the bottom where his feeling isn’t as good as it used to be, due to his Type II diabetes.
I guess my point is that even being with him essentially 24/7, things happen. I can handle things okay during the day. I just watch him like a hawk and try to help him when he decides he’s going to tackle something. In the middle of the night, though, my defenses are down and the worry won’t let me sleep. I come downstairs and read awhile, trying to calm my mind and get sleepy. That inevitably involves stuffing my face, since my willpower is at its lowest ebb, as well.
So last week’s lost pounds are back. I’ll try to lose them again THIS week, hopefully, and then build on it NEXT week.
Teacher Debbie Moon’s first graders were discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different hair color than the other members. One of her students suggested that he was adopted. A little girl said, ‘I know all about Adoption, I was adopted.’
‘What does it mean to be adopted?’, asked another child.
‘It means’, said the girl, ‘that you grew in your mommy’s heart instead of her tummy!’
Yesterday we got to talk to our son via “Whereby” a wonderful program kind of like Facetime, that allows us to talk and see each other securely, even though we’re across the world from him. We don’t get to do it often because there is 12 hours difference in our time during part of the year, and 13 when we’re playing with Daylight Savings Time. We talk on our chat program on almost a daily basis, leaving messages, pictures, music, videos for each other, but it’s SO good to be able to SEE him.
I’m still grinning, feeling happy deep inside. He’s happy. He’s doing well. AND I watched him smile several times, and even laugh. Priceless.
Due to Covid restrictions on both ends, I’m not sure when we’ll actually get to have him home again. I don’t want him to risk anything just because of my greed in wanting lots of his world-winning hugs. To be able to communicate, and SEE him sometimes, is enough.
I wish I woke up eager to start the day, a smile ready. Instead, I always get up reluctantly, grudgingly, putting one foot in front of the other, trying to get morning chores under control quickly and then enjoy a cup of coffee.
Today is much nicer because I just finished chatting with our son. Before he moved to Thailand, he set up a secure chat program for us, as well as a conference call program, so we can have good communications even though he’s all the way across the world. He has recently purchased a condo and is having it renovated. Huge new windows have been installed that will be much more efficient and make his condo much quieter from the outside traffic. He’s now going to set up a 2nd bedroom to be a combination office and music room. I’m eager to see how he sets it up. We can type-real-time with each other, plus send pics, leave messages and pics, plus actually visit on video when we’re all up at the same time, so I get everything but his stellar hugs. Can you see me smiling?
Yesterday I got the Christmas presents I’ve made for friends protected from the elements and stored safely until gift-giving time. I also got some work done on the inside of the Christmas cards I’m painting. I may be able to finish them today – except for flattening them again.
I’m using the chicken we brought home from yesterday’s Lunch Bunch and making what we call “Main Meal Salad” for dinner tonight. I’ll sneak some extra veggies in there. My scales are finally beginning to notice my efforts on eating – or NOT eating – and I’m on DAY 22 on my daily-yoga-practice goal. (Picture my husband cheering me on in his recliner while chomping on some Fritos . :0)
This wonderful photo and our weather are at war for who can make me melt into a puddle first. I say the sweet puppy, but our heat index will be 110 degrees F. today… UGH.
I’ve really been enjoying the time in my art room. I may finish the Christmas presents today. It’s so much fun to try to make things my friends will enjoy. They’re so good to me, and I want to give them at least a little something back. So there are lots of warm feelings, memories, appreciation and smiles in that room lately. The time there really helps me keep my cool about the rest of the stuff happening in the world and in my life. too.
Our dog has quite a sense of humor. She now thinks it’s funny to wake us up in the middle of the night barking at what my husband calls, “ghost gophers.” When we get up to check on things, there is never anything there. We don’t know if she smells something on the deck, or in the garage, is dreaming, or what, but it’s irritating when we are in the middle of some good rest and are jolted awake. Sometimes my husband goes downstairs and threatens her verbally. Sometimes we can ignore it and she stops. This morning it was closer to the time we normally wake up and she only did it for a few minutes, so we were able to catch a few more zzzz’s. It’s a good thing, with our own ‘old people’s weird sleep patterns’ plus Amber’s sense of humor, that we can take a nap during the day if needed.
We got this postcard in the mail yesterday from our veterinarian’s office. The back reminded us that we need to take Amber for her rabies shot. I think this is inspired on the vet’s part, and a happy way to make sure our animals get the care they deserve.
Since Amber isn’t on a leash often, and is SOOOOO strong, I asked for the time of day today when they tend to be the least busy. I’ll dash in to see that the coast is clear before we try to bring Amber inside. We’ll weigh her, get her shot, and come home again.
This is Amber and my husband. Actually, she has gotten larger since this picture was taken, but it gives you a reasonable idea of her size. She weighs about 90 pounds.
I spend a lot of time loving her each day. She has her ‘rituals’ during the day and it’s very hard to distract her from them. For example, she comes to me when I’m at the computer, getting my attention and then staring across me toward my right pocket, where she knows I carry dog treats. She doesn’t have a subtle bone in her body. It’s very clear that she isn’t worried about ME, wanting love, or wanting to go out, or anything else – just a cookie.
This morning I was slow to respond to her drama. She climbed up – the front half of her in my lap – and nibbled on my ear. When I laughed, she used her front paw to encourage me further, catching me just below my neck with a couple of claws. She really got my attention with THAT. I’m not sure if I’ll have marks or not, but she did NOT get a cookie for that.
Yesterday she was jumping up and down beside the truck, as if she were on a trampoline, waiting for me to open the door for her so she could jump in. I started to open the door and she came down with both feet on MY feet. I was in sandals, so I really felt all 90 pounds of her. I now have bruises on the tops of both feet.
I have learned the lesson well that when she is in the yard with me, I need to pay attention. She suddenly decides she should join me. If she is across the yard, she starts running. I try to either get beside a tree, get up against something, or at least turn to the side so she doesn’t run smack into me, knocking me flat on my back. Kneeling down doesn’t help – it just allows me to fall down from a lower spot.
Amber will either keep me young or put me in the hospital. It’s never boring.
“Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials.” Meryl Streep
My personal path to motherhood has been a rocky one – story shorter – two miscarriages, then our son, Brian, then two more miscarriages, then our daughter, Jade, and then we lost our daughter to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in 1979.
We are lucky to have a grown, intelligent and caring son who not only loves us as parents, but also seems to genuinely LIKE us as people. Although he lives across the world from us, we are very close. Before he left, he set up a secure chat program and a conference call program. We chat several times a week and we do the conference call thing whenever we’re all awake and functional at the same time. (There is 12 hours difference half the year, 13 hours the rest because of daylight savings time here.)
My sweet sister-in-law wished me a Happy Mother’s Day this morning, sending one of our favorite photos taken some years ago when Brian was visiting a zoo in China, I think.
When we married, I hoped that we would have a large family. In my head I figured 5 kids would be a good number. That wasn’t in the cards, but we ended up with a close family, nonetheless – so lucky to be on the same planet as the son we both admire and love.
“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” ~ Sophia Loren
Happy Mother’s Day to all those lucky enough to have children and grandchildren – the greatest gifts in the world.
The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the ‘Peanuts’ comic strip. You don’t have to actually answer the questions.
Just ponder on them. Just read the e-mail straight through, and you’ll get the point.
Name the five wealthiest people in the world. 2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners. 3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant. 4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize. 5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress. 6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.
How did you do? The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish … Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one: 1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school. 2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time. 3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile. 4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special. 5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Easier? The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money … or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most.
Pass this on to those people whom you keep close in your heart. “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia!”
It’s due to be rainy again today. I’m still breathing a sigh of relief that the warning, with tornadoes imminent and on the ground went JUST to the north of Greenwood. I was watching the experts on our local weather station monitor the tornado warning and the line of the bad stuff was JUST above our town on their map. Hopefully, we’ll have the same luck today.
Lynn, my massage miracle worker, contacted me to change my massage from Thursday this week to today. I’m delighted that I didn’t have to just miss my massage this month, so my body is already singing in anticipation of her good work. I’ll put the trash out and get our mail when I go.
Other than that, I’m planning for DAY 2 of the month-long program by my ‘weights for seniors’ video guy. He has a stretching video, and then ‘physical activity’ (of my choice) for 10 minutes. I’m going to do my elliptical trainer in the garage. In addition, I’ll do one of the weights videos, and then my normal half hour of yoga stretches. These will be spread out throughout the day.
My husband is still trying to get his computer working as he would like. I’m helping only when he asks – with this exception. He and our son were trying to use the conference call program so they could actually SEE each other and talk real time. Lately my husband hasn’t shown any interest in wanting to do that, so I was delighted that he was trying to talk. They were having trouble getting things set up right on our end so that our son could hear my husband. I went over, looked at things, and saw that his microphone button was off. I pushed it, waiting to hear him yell at me for interfering, but was pleased to see it worked! Instead of yelling, my husband told our son, “She fixes stuff for me all the time now.” I was relieved and melted into my computer chair on the other side of the room.
When they were finished, our son wrote ME, asking if I wanted to talk, so we each had a wonderful catch up time with him. Absolutely beyond price. :0)
Our son also wanted to know who my dad thought was the WORST radio voice was. There was a woman who ran a flower shop in Tulsa when my dad was doing the radio ads. I THINK her name was “Christina” and I THINK her business name was “Christina’s Flowers.” She had a low, gravelly voice. My dad thought it was wonderful because everyone else on the radio (except she and him) had voices with round, mello, smooth tones. So he billed himself the Second World’s Worst Radio voice. Wow. how MUCH I miss him.
It’s funny that our son sent these this morning, April 3rd. It would have been my parents’ 80th wedding anniversary. I had been thinking of them yesterday, missing them, so it’s amazing our son sent this.
He also sent me an image from Google Maps showing our home in Tulsa as it appears today. The people did a lot of work to the house and put a fence around the perimeter of the property. I wish I could share it with you, but I can’t get the URL to embed here. I’ll add it here – just in case you are able to make it work.
This sweet fellow looks calm and collected – and I’m trying to take inspiration from him.
My day has been pretty frazzled so far, and I’m getting a very late start on writing here today.
Lunch Bunch was today. My husband decided he would stay home because he is rebuilding and upgrading his computer and the things he ordered were due to be delivered this morning before noon. Lunch Bunch was small, with only Kay, Bud, and me. We had a nice time talking. I brought home lunch for my husband.
The computer stuff is still not here. I don’t know whether we’ll get it today or not. My husband is upset about it.
Meanwhile, he wanted me to help him with a financial transaction. We started an hour or so ago and are still working on it. He wants me to help, but fights me every step of the way, gets mad if I make suggestions, doesn’t want me to leave OR say anything – a continuation of the last several days. I wish we could both reboot our BRAINS…
A very nice surprise happened. When we went through the mail I brought in, I found a package neither of us recognized. It turned out to be
It’s already past 1pm here and I haven’t gotten anything accomplished. Oh, well.
Sometimes I feel as if I’m on my last nerve. The past several days have been like that. I’m having ‘whine’ with my cheese today.
My husband is trying to drive me crazy. I love him, but I’m actively thinking of hiring a man to use a backhoe and dig a hole for him in our back yard.
Just one example –
He doesn’t want a cell phone. I’m listening to music on the computer. Suddenly, I realize he’s talking to me. I stop what I’m doing and turn to him. He wants to know if we have “What’s App”. I tell him, ‘no.’ I ask him why he’s asking me. He tells me someone wants him to pay them using the app. Then he gets mad when I tell him I haven’t added it to the phone. I leave to go to the other room since I’m tired of him ranting at me. I get comfortable in my chair and fall asleep. He wakes me up, asking me what my passcode is to my phone. I tell him. I drift off again. He is back, telling me my passcode doesn’t work.
I get up and come into the office, put in my passcode, get the phone working for him. I get busy on the computer. He asks, “how do you get messages on this thing?” I stop what I’m doing and show him again where the messages thing is, push it and pull up his message. A bit of time passes, and he asks me, “do we have “what’s app?”
I have a favorite spoon. It isn’t valuable to anyone except me. It’s a great spoon for eating soup and such, kind of between a regular dining spoon and a soup spoon in size. It has a wooden handle, and that sealed the deal for me. I LOVE wood.
I’ve used it for YEARS. One day several years ago, the wooden handle split. I tried to be adult about it, but I was really sad. I’d never seen one like it and knew I couldn’t replace it. My husband managed to find a wooden shape that was perfect. He spent a long time carefully drilling a hole down the middle of the complicated shape and glued it on the metal end of the spoon. I was delighted, and have used THIS ONE for years.
Well, as you’ve probably figured out, the handle finally gave up the ghost again. I mentioned it to my husband, but figured he probably wouldn’t be able to get more wood the right shape. His hands also shake now, making precision work much more difficult. I put the spoon with the split handle in the cutlery drawer, just keeping it, even if it couldn’t be used anymore.
When I was getting my coffee this morning, my husband went outside. He came back with this –
It might be dumb to cry over a spoon, but I did. He explained that he got more than one piece of wood years ago so he could repair the spoon again if the handle failed.
The hole I’m digging in the back yard for him will definitely have to wait awhile. :0)
I’ve told you over the years how proud we are of our son, who lives and works in Thailand.
To give you one example of why we are proud –
He is really good at languages and keeps finding ways to improve his skills.
He speaks English, of course, and also Mandarin and Thai.
When he was home last time, he showed me that there was an app on his phone where he could help people with the language. People wrote in, asking for a translation, or ‘how do you say,’ questions. He would read the question and then answer it. Sounds simple? Sometimes the writer was Chinese, sometimes Thai, sometimes from an English-speaking country. He had three keyboards on his phone that he used to answer in the language of the writer, telling them how to say ‘—-‘ in Thai, or Chinese, or English. I would have happily watched him doing this in real time forever.
His newest thing is flashcards. You notice there is no English on them. These are for Chinese people trying to learn Thai. He is using these to refresh himself on Mandarin and learn how to spell Thai words. (He knows how to SAY many more Thai words than he can write.) He will work with these every day to increase his expertise in both of the languages.
I have no idea where he gets his ability to learn languages. His mom and dad still struggle with English from time to time (I’ve heard word retrieval problems are one of the perks of getting older.)
He considers learning a language well as respect for the country and the people where he is living.
We’re still eating ‘sicky-food’ around here, at least another day – soup, crackers, eggs, toast. I awoke suddenly last night with my husband being sick. We got his system settled down with Alka Seltzer. I dealt with the aftermath and then couldn’t sleep, so came downstairs and read for quiet awhile. We both slept in this morning a bit. My husband slept through the night and is feeling stronger today, thank goodness, but we’ll be very careful with his food again today, hoping this will be past us soon.
One of the really LARGE perks of being old and retired is that – if you’re up a lot of the night for one reason or another – you can take a nap or two during the day so you’re not TOO much of a zombie. To say we’re grateful for this is a vast understatement.
If my husband’s health improves, we may look for garden plants this week. I’m just ITCHING to throw off the tarps from our raised-bed, square foot garden planters and get some plants growing! If I do, I’ll take some pics to share.
My husband and I were up most of the night. Something didn’t agree with him and he was really sick. I finally got some Alka Seltzer into him and that settled his stomach enough that he could finally sleep. I stayed up for a couple more hours after he went to sleep to keep a careful eye on him, then rested as much as possible, alert for any movement, the rest of the night. He’s weak and a bit shaky this morning, but is in his chair resting now and reading or watching TV. I’m hoping he’ll take a nap and rest. I’ll be relieved when he’s his normal, ornery self again. Meanwhile, I’ll watch him like a hawk.
Our snow is melting fast. I’m waving ‘bye-bye’ without the slightest regret, silently telling winter not to let the door hit it in the butt on its way out. :0)
I was here at the computer reading the news of the day when Amber, our 85-pound-ish yellow lab decided she HAD to have some love and proceeded to flip my arm up with her nose and try to climb up in my office chair with me. We both started rolling around with me laughing my head off as she tried to kiss my ear and bring her back legs up into the chair with me at the same time.
We didn’t dump the chair, but it seemed close. I hugged and petted her until she finally got enough for the moment and started listening to my requests for her to ‘get down.’
An overflowing lapful of dog is a great cure for any worries you’re having.