Showing posts from August, 2012

Pillage and Plunder

It's fairly late at night after a day during which I did more - much more - than I should have. I'm on tramadol, and I should realize that tramadol, combined with exhaustion, should suggest that I may not want to try to carry on a conversation, and if I do, I shouldn't expect it to be at all coherent.

I rifle through a few bags of thrift store finds, and exclaim, "Pillages!"

"What did you say?" inquires my husband?

"I said pillages, but that's not right."

"What is it, then?"

"Lots of pillows."  

"Did you come by them honestly, or did you pillage them?"

"I bought them at Savers."

"Not pillages, then - and even if you did pillage them, they'd be plunder, not pillages."

*sigh* "No pillages. Not even plunder. Not so exciting after all." *pout*

Methinks I should go to bed now.

Back to School

Summer is coming to an end. The first day of school is upon us. Wherever we go, there are back to school sales and parents stocking up on notebooks, pens, pencils and myriad other things on their school supplies lists.
Recently, while we were shopping, a cashier asked my kids if they were excited about the first day of school. Most of them grinned and shrugged. One said, "That was so long ago, I don't even remember!" Surprised, the cashier asked what she meant. She explained that we're homeschoolers and never stop learning, which meant that her first day of school was the first time someone taught her something, which was when she was just a baby.
When asked to elaborate, I hesitated, thinking carefully about what to say. The gentleman interrupted, saying, "why don't you tell me what you did on Friday"...   
On Friday we went to Old Sturbridge Village, a popular Summer destination for many families.     My kids had fun playing with hoops and sticks, as in t…

Stay Tuned!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to bring you this less than satisfying episode of "Life. Chaos. Everything." Extreme emphasis on the Chaos. Tonight we'll learn that it's easy for a blog to be pushed to the back burner when Life gets in the way. Multiple medical appointments, good news, not so good news, an unexpected heart-wrenching incident, lots of phone calls, a good amount of soul-searching, and a frenzy of we-need-to-change-things-now-for-the-situation-to-improve activity consume every hour of the day and every available brain cell. End of the Summer activities provide wonderful adventures, yet add to Everything and create the extreme need for sleep and little time for reflection and putting things into perspective - and into words. Soon things will quiet down, brain cells will start to function well enough to get a grasp on the swirl of thoughts and ideas, and a brilliant coherent blog post will materialize. Until then, stay tuned for the next in…

Farm Fresh

Every Wednesday from late June through September we park our car along the driveway of an organic farm, and fill bags with beautiful produce. Occasionally we plunk four dollars into a can in the fridge in exchange for farm-fresh organic eggs or six dollars in a can on the table for a container of fresh honey. Otherwise, no money leaves my wallet.
Most days we play with the dogs, the kids play on the jungle gym, and usually we're in for a nice walk up the hill to pick berries or flowers. We often see the free-range chickens that provide the eggs. Sometimes we glimpse the turkeys, marveling at how quickly they grow. In the Autumn, the kids make and jump into piles of leaves while I fill our bags with the farm's bounty.  I love that this is part of our lives. I am delighted that my kids see where their food is coming from, including their Thanksgiving turkey - and get to talk to the farmer as well. I appreciate that I can pay for all of this earlier in the year when we usually hav…

Your Kid Is Defective

Why does he act like that?

Doesn't he know that's inappropriate?

Haven't you taught him any manners?

Doesn't he have any self control?

What's wrong with that kid?

There is nothing wrong with my child. There is something different about my child.

My child often lacks impulse control. My child doesn't like to be touched by anyone over age six, unless perhaps they are related to him, and even then it's iffy. My child has difficulty making eye contact with and talking to people he doesn't know. People he doesn't know includes people he's seen hundreds of time but has never spoken with. My child doesn't understand what is and is not socially appropriate without it being spelled out for him. He is well socialized, but does not pick up on social cues. They don't mean anything more to him than astrophysics means to a three year old.

It isn't that my child doesn't notice what's going on around him - it's that he notices every single thi…


You see them on telephone poles and gas pumps ... in store windows and on bulletin boards ... by cash registers and on billboards - missing person posters. 

I used to glance at them. Look at the person's face for a second, read the vital information, and move on with my life. What are the odds that I'd see the person, anyway? And if I did, I'd probably remember what they looked like, right?

Then my pastor's neighbor, Barbara, disappeared. After hearing about her disappearance from my pastor, a friend posted on facebook and asked for prayers for Barbara and her family. I shared the post. I prayed - not just once, but throughout the day. I really looked at the poster, and joined a facebook group for the people searching for Barbara Grohs. It was there that I discovered something. 

The stories about Barbara from her family and friends touch my heart every day. Their love for her, their fear for her safety, and their prayers for her return consume their lives. Perhaps Barbara…

One Question

I came across the website Fifty People One Question that contains videos of fifty people who are asked the same question and the answers they give.

One of the questions is, "Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?"

Some dreamed of tropical locations or reconnecting with family members. Some didn't care where they woke up, as long as they were with the person they love. Others, happy with where they are in life, would choose to wake up in their own beds at home.

For me, the answer was simple. Ok, maybe not simple, but it was a concrete thought as soon as I heard the question. I would want to wake up in a nice handicapped accessible house with at least two bathrooms. This house would be fully paid for and the title would be in my name.  It wouldn't need things fixed, and would have enough space for my family, but not too much space. A nice piece of land, with a place for a big garden and chickens would be nice; with woods, and a stream... in New Hampshire. And since it&…


Eight kids our smallish house were going stir crazy. Rainy days tend to do that to children. 
Outside we went, in puddle boots, crocs, or whatever footwear we didn't mind getting wet. Two older children went for a walk in the rain. The six and under crowd went on a mission to find the "best jumping puddles ever!" 

Unfortunately Miss M wasn't having any fun. Nope. Not a bit. Don't let that look of sheer joy fool you. (My apologies to her parents for her soaking wet sandals - but she was having such a good time!)
Suddenly, a discovery was made. The sounds of splashing erupted from a nearby driveway. There they were- 

The Best Jumping Puddles Ever!!!

All jumped out, the children retreated to the house to warm up in a bubble bath, faces beaming from the pure fun of rain play. The tomatoes in the garden appreciated the rain as well. 

What a refreshing experience it is to play in the rain! 

Please Wait

I wait. Rather impatiently, I might add. My mother can attest to the fact that I'm not good at waiting. I never have been. It seems no matter how hard I try to wait patiently, it seldom works. I need to DO something. Waiting isn't so much doing something - it's the lack of doing something, letting time pass. It's excruciating. 
I waited most of my life for my psoriatic arthritis diagnosis - to finally learn that it wasn't growing pains, or all in my head, and that I was not, in fact, imagining the pain and exhaustion.
I waited eight months after my diagnosis to finally start treatment, needing to get more diagnoses out of the way first - celiac, simple fatty liver, and pre-diabetes among them - so my doctor could figure out which medications would be safest for me to take.
Then I had to wait for months to see if the first treatment worked, then more months to see if the second treatment worked better than the first. 
Now I wait again. After blood test results indicated…

Dying to Get Better

People with chronic illness often have to balance the drugs they take to treat their illness with the potential harm the same drugs can do to other parts of their body. Through blood tests and attending doctor appointments at regular intervals, it is hoped that the scales can be tipped in favor of the patient so the disease is treated without doing any damage. It is not an easy thing to accomplish.

I just received news that my liver enzymes are higher than they already were and my kidney function is worse than it was before. Having not only psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, but also simple fatty liver and pre-diabetes, this is a scary result. To make matters worse, the medication that seems to be working for my PsA could be to blame. 

In a few days I will see my rheumatologist, armed with lots of questions about Remicade's possible role in all of this. Next month I will see my gastroenterologist with more questions and will hopefully be referred to a nutritionist to he…

Long Day

That is about how I feel. 

It's been a long day. Bloodwork in the morning, followed by a couple errands, then feeding a horde of children, putting Miss M down for a nap, feeding myself, housework, and a trip to the park so the kids could play and I could chat with grown-ups for a few hours. Then we went home to make dinner, hand wash dishes, load the dishwasher, clean out and organize the homeschool bookcase, shred and freeze well over a dozen yellow squash, and take basil leaves off of two dozen stems to freeze. Bathtime for Miss M followed and she should be picked up soon. 

As I type, Miss M is making the rounds to see what the kids are doing and keep herself awake. One child is playing Minecraft, one is watching a documentary on shipwrecks, one is reading, one playing some sort of game, and one is watching the end of a movie she was watching sometime last week and never finished.

Soon Miss M will go home and I will send the children to bed. Then I will curl up with the cat picture…