Sunday, July 31, 2011

Real Life

We are back to real life here in the Valley, you can escape for only so long. Mom fell in her yard and broke her wrist and shoulder 2 weeks ago and has required 24/7 care since. My sister and sisters-in-law have been wonderful, jumping in to help with her care. We rotate through the week 24 hours at a time. so blessed to have such a loving family.
Stephen King and I just finished the corn; we have quite an operation, him outside shucking, blanching in a big canner on the gas grill, me inside dumping it in icy water and cutting it off with the electric knife and bagging it up. It is finished for another year, and if it doesnt rain soon, our garden with it. Our tomatoes are desparate for water. Overall, Stephen King has had a banner year with his garden this year, love to have some tomatoes to can though! We never seem to be satisfied with what blessing we have, always asking for just a little more. Must have come from Eve and that danged apple!.
Bless her heart, Mom held out till I was almost home from vacation to get hurt. We had a terrific time in Cape San Blas, relaxing, swimming, playing on the beach, and lots of reading and eating. Caleb was amazed at the amount of food we  bought, cooked and ate. He kept asking, " What are we going to do with all this food." I think it was because lots of it had to be put on the counter at the bar. Our house was new, modern, and beautiful but lacked a pantry and good storage. This drove me crazy, as I like everything put away out of sight.  Apparently it bothered Cabe too! 
Yesterday was a fun day for my girls and I. We headed to Clarksville for our annual school shopping and lunch. Mackenzie is a senior so this will be our last for high school , but I'm sure IUS will require a trip or two next year. Madeleine is a 6th grader this year and she is ready to go. Her last year at Throop Elementary. Only our boys remain. I promised them a trip for boys only this week. In the first and second grades, they have lots of school years to prepare for. Caleb is not quite as enthused about the whole deal as we would wish. He seems to like freedom and play much better than learning. Or at least better than sitting and listening. He and Gavin are bright boys, quick to catch on the new concepts and they get along well with other kids. And can charm most adults into whatever they desire!  To add to the fun day, Shawn and I took all the littles to see "The Smurfs" last night. It was a cute movie, so much less annoying than SpongeBob or even than the old TV show. After the movie Stephen King and I joined the kids at Trent and Nina's pool. An after dark swim was just the ticket after a hot busy day. So quiet down on the farm at night, just the stars and some heat lightening for company, we floated around quietly chatting. Gavin went to sleep in a floatie on Shay's lap. So peaceful.
This week brings another Riley visit for Mack, this one to the pulmonologist. Her lungs have responded well to the new antibiotic, but still  inhibit her activity. A new kidney will help her breathe better by sending clean blood to those damaged lungs. The disease is dormant, just scar tissue remains in the lungs, so keeping the undamaged areas healthy is critical. We are waiting for the initial meeting of the transplant team, so we can start the family testing. So many have offered to donate if they match. Wonderful, caring people, family and friends plus a few strangers who have heard of Mack's need for a kidney.
Mom is healing well, better than expecting at her age. We will just keep doing what we are doing till they can start physical therapy in a couple of weeks. She has been a pleasant patient so far, but the PT may bring on more pain than she can graciously deal with. And that's OK, she deserves to complain a bit. She has always been a quiet, gracious lady and with this injury her biggest complaint is feeling guilty that she has to "bother" us girls. As if she hasn't devoted her whole life to taking care of her family... we are just paying our dues! It truly has been a pleasure to do for her. I hate to see her hurting and helpless, but I have loved being with her for all the hours, even sleeping in the big king bed beside her. Watching over her and making her comfortable makes me happy. I am so glad I have retired and can do this. 
Talk tome ,Ladies. Love you all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Week 2 begins with a thunder storm that catches me and the little ones on the road to Port St. Joe! It is quickly over though and the heat intensifies well into the 90s. We return to the house and collect the others for a trip to Appalachicola and St. George Island. Surrounded by such beauty in the land and seascapes, I am smiling with joy. The guys, Stephen King and son, returned to Indiana yesterday morning after a pretty pleasant week. Papaw settled into the groove of vaca after a day or so and enjoyed himself. He still finds no attraction with the ocean, preferring mountains, but was sweet to try.
Kenz hurt her foot in the pool and has hobbled around for 2 days, minimizing her discomfort and replying "fine" when asked how it feels, She attempts to keep a good spin on the whole trip. The translant is obviously on her mind, as she searches the internet for experiences from other organ recipients. I think she has resolved her qualms about the surgery and just wants to get it over with at this point. Hopefully, we will find a quick family match and put this behind us by fall. My prayers are for peace and good health for Mackenzie, she has been ill since she was 9 and has no memories of being an active little girl. A series of seizures a few years ago, took away most of her childhood memories.
Maddie has had a good time, quietly observing all the rest of us, playing with her daddy and Caleb in the water and demonstrating her own teenage angst! She turned 12 last week and is already having meltdowns which require slamming doors, silent stares and mouthy responces to adults. I'm amazed at some of her antics! She has always been so laid back it is funny to see her having normal reactions. I have a difficult time reprimanding her, we have waited so long for her to communicate her feelings. Didn't expect such strong feelings though! I realize some of this is the ADD and OCD along with her communication disorder and we should be redirecting her towards more appropriate behavior. How hard it is when the child is yours and not a client or student. I am encouraged by such typical adolescent actions from Madeleine.
Shayla is here with us, leaving the others behind. She was not about to let a Florida trip pass her by. She is showing some homesickness though, a little crying spell, lots of phone time, but overall, she is satisfied. Shay enjoys being with the cousins and grandparents wherever we are. She is up for the beach, the pool or shopping. She always volunteers for clean-up duty and will sleep on a rock if necessary with no complaint. This house feels smaller than some others we've rented, but everyone has had a good place to sleep. I insist on that when I rent. Sleep is important even on vacation.
We have had 2 days of rain with clear evenings. Maddie and I play pool volleyball til it is too dark to see, laughing everytime she serves over my head and I roll under the water. It is Tuesday morning and everyone but me is down by the pool soaking up rays, as much as 70 SPF allows! Of course, I have to avoid the direct sun and spend my time on 1 of the decks, reading and watching the kids and the waves. Yesterdays rain allowed me to hear the surf! Usually I try to sleep with my door or window open, but here Im in a room facing the road, not the water. :-(
The girls have planned on a mini-shopping trip this afternoon to Port St. Joe's boutiques. Mexico Beach has a nice little Life Is Good shop that we will visit too. I love the things from that company and have been eyeing a new tote. But really, do I need another totebag? But this one is striped in the colors of the sea! But didn't I just donate bags to Goodwill when I cleaned closets? I do not need another! But.....
Our car will be so full of people and luggage going home that our purchases are limited. Shayla and I will be riding with Shawn and the kids since the guys took my Jeep home. I want a large clay pot for my yard, but doubt if we can make room. I'm thinking a water feature from it to add alittle something to my back garden. Stephen King sent me pix of tomatoes from his garden last night!  He has taken green beans, cabbages and cucumbers to my sister and Mom this week. I hope I don't miss all the good stuff! I intend to can tomatoes and freeze corn later. Stephen King raises great corn! Our tomatoes are usually a little iffy, for some reason. But there is nothing better than produce straight from the garden into the kitchen.
Shawn's mom and nephew are here this week, adding to our fun. Rosie is an old friend of ours and is so sweet and easy to be with. We have all been family for so long there are no uncomfortable moments, we just fit. She is a realtor and even in this economy her phone rings constantly, luckily we have poor reception on the Cape! I believe she is enjoying the break.
They are beginning to drift in for lunch, Caleb has eaten 3 bowls of cereal and 2 bagels and a bowl of strawberries! Nothing like an 8 year old boy to put away food. 
Having another terrific day in paradise, wish you all were here.. Talk to me! Love