Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Grandma's Buttons

I had the weirdest dream last night. I dreamt that the SM and I had inherited this old house. It was more like a one room huge cardboard box but it was very old and was given to us.

On the far side of the room was a dormer window and in that dormer were shelves upon shelves and on those shelves were little boxes. Hundreds of them. Old and dusty. They looked like check boxes. About that size.

I went over and opened up one of the boxes and it was full of money. Dollar bills, five dollar bills, tens, twenties.......I couldn't believe my eyes! I opened more boxes and they were all full of money. As I sat there looking at all of the money the wind started to blow and the sides of the house started to cave in. The SM stood against the cardboard wall next to me so it wouldn't fall on me and we talked about the money and how it wasn't ours and we needed to find who it belonged to.

The End!

Now that I'm awake I'm really irritated. Hello! I had skads of money and I wanted to find who it belonged to??

When my grandmother passed away and it was time to clean out her house my parents and sister found money stashed all over. Coins in little purses behind books, in drawers, crannies and nooks. Grandma knew what it was like to go without. She knew what it was like to survive the Great Depression so she saved everything. One of the many things she saved were buttons. She would cut buttons off of clothing when the clothing was no longer wearable.

I have grandma's buttons now and like my babies I like to look through them every once in awhile. When ever I use one of them I think of grandma and I thank her for saving her buttons and, "Look grandma! Look what I made with your buttons"!

The End!

Or is it........Oh hey! Maybe there's a message in this dream I had! Ya! Maybe I'm supposed to take Grandma's buttons and sell them on e-bay. Vintage buttons will make me tons of money and I'll hide the money in card board boxes and.........then I need to bury them so they don't get blown away!

YES! If you see me out digging in my yard in the middle of the night........go back to bed. It's nothing. I'm just irrigating....or turning over the compost.....

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I've been stripped buck naked. Now what?

Last night I was sitting on my front porch thinking. The family was gone for the evening and I wasn't feeling well enough to join them so I had some quiet time to contemplate things.

I thought about the things that I used to identify myself with and I realized something. We all identify ourselves with something. It might be a persons car, or their singing, their writing, their looks, their athletic abilities. They might be a talented speaker or artist.

For me, I felt like I could do anything if I wanted or tried hard enough. I loved to run and push myself in exercising and running. I loved to do things for others. Take people meals, clean for them, do their yard work, etc. I could clean the house, can and process food, do laundry, and ironing all in a days work. I took pride in being a hard worker. It is how I was raised. My identity was in a body that could run forever.

Take those things we identify ourselves with away and what are you left with? You've two choices really. Those who can't get past where they'd been and all they can talk about is what they used to be like, how it used to be, etc. and they become angry and bitter or those who move on and I don't know. Create a new identity? Or maybe those people who despite being stripped down had more to them so that when their "identity" was taken away they are still wonderful to be around because they know that the identity the world associated with them was just that. Something of this world and they know who they are. Children of God. What better identity could you have?

My dad told me once that fancy cars get rust, sexy bodies wrinkle and sag, it is the things of this world that you take with you to the next that matters. The relationships that we build here. The families that we have. Being famous or popular here on earth, having tons of money and having expensive things means nothing. Strip that all away as we will be in the next life and then what?

So, as I sat there last night contemplating who I am now that I've had my identity stripped away so to speak I realized it doesn't matter because underneath it all I'm who I've always been. A daughter of God.

Now, remind me of this the next time I'm wallowing in self pity when the desire to go running is over powering and my body won't let me and don't be offended if I tell you to stick it in your's the identity crisis talking.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


When ever Levi is in trouble even before you get a chance to say anything he says, "NUFFING"!

Yesterday I walked into the kitchen and there was Julie (Levi's dog) looking at the closed laundry room door. Dead give away. If Julie is staring at a closed door it means Levi is behind that door and behind that door in the laundry room is where we keep treats. Namely Cost-Co trail mix.

I opened the door and Levi jumped back from the shelves and yelled, "NUFFING"!

How am I supposed to get after him when he pulls stuff like this? Nuffing???? Well then where pray tell are all of the M&M's that are supposed to be in the trail mix? Suspiciously, they are missing! Nuffing..........That is absolutely correct. There is "nuffing" worth eating now that the M&M's are gone.....punk!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Gnewton's Law!

Last week I was feeling extra sorry and blubbery for myself. I'm just not a very heroic person. I hear stories all the time about this person or that person that is so incredible. They never complain, have a smile on their faces at all times, and despite their difficulties edify and uplift others.

Not me man! My SM has to listen to me complain and whine about how bad it hurts or how tired I am of being sick. How that whole "endure" part is the kicker. Last night he couldn't even snuggle with me cuz I hurt so bad. See? Now I'm complaining to you.

I'm trying. I promise. I really am but sometimes like last week it gets to be alot and I find myself several times a day wanting to sit and feel sorry for myself and dissolve in great big sobbing tears.

Yesterday morning the same feeling came crashing down and I thought, "Dang it woman! You can do better than this. You can beat this. Fight girl FIGHT"! So, I did what every woman in this century does. I got me a diet Coke and a big chocolate bar......Just kiddin'......only cuz I didn't have one on hand.

I turned to Gnewton's law. For every negative action there is a positive reaction. That's Gnewton right? Of course I'm right. I home school my kids! I read it in a great big Filsoffy text book.

Anyways........let's not get technical. The point is, for every negative thought or thing I was going through I made myself think of a positive. For example, all of the hours I have spent in bed or down. The upside is my baby loves to snuggle and so it has forced me to sit and spend more time with him. Also, potty training Levi has gone wonderfully because I've sat and watched the clock hour after hour after hour. If I'd not been down watching the clock, I'd probably be running around like crazy and forgetting to watch the clock and make sure he gets in the bathroom. He's 95% potty trained by the way........

Being down has also given me the opportunity to learn a new hobby. Guess who made that thar bunny you've been looking at! I KNOOOOOOOW! Shocking isn't it?

So, the word endure sounds really close to endear. I'm going to try and do better at endearing.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My entertainment has hit an all time level of low.

When one sits in bed for countless hours you get very bored. Apparently, my baby thought the little horse on the right was lonely and bored too. One day while I was laying in bed my baby came into my room and took his little horse (the one on the left) and wanted it put on the shelf next to my horse that Kristen had given to me while I was in the hospital. She knew without my babies I'd want something to hold. She's thoughtful and nice that way.

I don't think my horse liked the company though. Is not my babies horse the freakiest thing ever? If I had something that freaky staring me down I'd be hiding and cowering my head too! That thing looks like it is going to eat my little horse alive!

What ever my little horse did he didn't mean to. Just look at the look on his face!

Have I mentioned lately that I need cable or dish network....or....I'd even take PBS at this point...........

Friday, July 24, 2009

Smellin' the flowers.

What happens when you sniff a flower too hard? Yesterday my baby came into the house, showed me a little flower and said, "look momma"!

He then proceeded to sniff real hard and that flower clamped around his itty bitty nose afraid it'd seen its last day before being sucked clear up my babies nose. Thankfully, my baby can't hold his sniff/breath for too long or he'd be walking around with a stem sticking out of his nose.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Any one know where I can find a firm hand 'round these parts?

Very bad lighting with this photo but the point of this post is still clear. Since we are potty training Levi (and it is going quite well might I add) he has had some oopses along the way and the couch cushions have been in the direct line of fire. It comes with the territory and I'm an easy going gal. No problem, no worries, we'll just scrub em real good in the bath tub.

Now, I know that things around here haven't been normal with me being sick and all but I still like to think we're not living in squalor so that is why I was totally grossed out when I saw all of the dirt coming out of my couch cushions. Can you see it there in the bottom of the tub?

Then, I had to go and do something really really stupid and I looked up! Never ever ever look up where showers and tubs are concerned. Does everybody else have this ring of gunk around their tub or is it only me?? Don't answer that unless yours looks like mine or I'll have to hurt you.

I like pretty things. I want ugly dirty things to go away so I'm going to close and lock the bathroom door and never look at it again and just stare at this flower in my yard and if the natives come crying to me about not being able to get into their bathroom then I am going to lecture them and tell them these are the consequences for having such a filthy bathroom. I should not have to live under such conditions. Being a parent is difficult. One must remember to be firm and steadfast or all heck will break loose and the natives will be running amok and next thing I know I'll have dirty laundry piled all over the laundry room, beds unmade, dust so thick you have to use a pocket knife to carve your name in it........and.....and.......THAT'S IT! Who's in charge around here!

I swear you turn your back for just three years and the natives think they can get away with anything. I won't have it I tell you. I won't stand another minute! I'm going to make them wish they'd never stopped scrubbing. I'm going to make them wish they'd not stopped cleaning in their sleep. I will not tolerate slothfulness. I am going to whip the natives into shape just as soon as I am done eating this lovely milk chocolate bar from Trader Joe's for breakfast that Ginna just brought to me in one of these AWESOME BAGS this morning.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I have a fetish

I can't stand other people's feet. They totally gross me out. I don't want to touch em or have them touch me. I'm okay as long as the feet don't come near me but as soon as they come within inches of me I start to get all squirmy and I find a reason real quick like to leave the premises.

Unless.......they are attached to little people. Then I can't get enough of them. Especially if they are attached to babies! Then I have to hold them and kiss them and press them against my face. Am I odd? Don't answer that.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

She done me proud!

When I was growing up I had this habit of trying to fix and build things myself. Most of the time I would make a terrible mess of things and my dad would have to pay (literally) for the consequences.

There was this one time I wanted to make a peace flag. Not peace as in "duuuude......." but peace as in a white piece of cloth that you could wave back and forth to the enemy when you'd had enough of playing war out in the field and in the hills behind our house. A white flag attached to a nice long stick that you could wave back and forth. A flag the enemy would be sure to see. So I went into my dads shop, found a big nail, a nice long piece of wood, and started pounding that nail into the wood so that the white pillow case I'd snatched out of the linen closet when my mom wasn't looking would be sure to never fall off. We'd tried the tying a knot didn't work too well. We wanted that pillow case secure. Our very lives were on the line. At a critical moment you couldn't have malfunction.

I pounded and pounded and eventually got that nail in but boy howdy was it hard work. When my dad came home from work I told him all about my project and how tough it was to pound in the nail. I'd pounded in nails before.....I knew a tough job when I came across it. My dad asked me to show him the piece of wood and after turning it over in his hands, a funny look on his face, he sat me down, and explained to me the differences in wood. There was pine......which is softer and easier to pound in a nail......and then there was oak and this piece of oak just happened to be part of a desk my brother was building!

My dad then showed me a pile of scrap wood I could play with to my hearts content and that was that. Lesson learned. My dad knew I already felt bad that I'd ruined a piece of my brothers expensive wood. He didn't need to say anything more.

As I grew older I continued to meddle with things. We had this awesome riding lawn mower that by the time I started to ride it was ancient and had many health issues and needed constant mending. I had watched my dad several times take apart the engine and so I figured I could too! Many a time my dad would come home from work and there I'd be covered in grease, all the engine parts strewn around and I couldn't get it back together. Again, he never said a word. He'd either put it back together himself or if I'd done a real job on it, he'd take it in to have it fixed by the mechanic.

I'll never forget the day dad came home from work and once again, I was covered in grease with a massive smile on my face. I'd taken apart the engine, fixed it, and put it all back together again. When I showed my dad and saw the look on his face I knew, I'd done him proud!

That is why when my baby girl came into the house the other day and said to her daddy, "Daddy, will you help me build a tree house? I tried but I need some help" and my SM had me come out and look at what she'd been working on.....

I had to take photos of what my girl had been doing. She done me proud!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Explaining things in simple terms to a child doesn't always turn out the way you'd like....

After waiting an entire week it would seem that Eva is better at planned parenthood than my SM and I.

We're not going to let her get away with this though. We are taking her back to spend the night with that of the opposite sex.

My baby girl asked me if the bunny Eva was spending the night with was married to Eva. I had to explain to her that in the animal world (unlike us humans) didn't need to get married first before starting a family.

How awkward if they did because then I'd have to explain my justification for taking Eva to some strange male and exchanging money and..........wouldn't that make me a a a..........pimp?

Going to go and crawl under my bed, curl up in a ball, and suck my thumb.

Post Note: I kinda sorta forgot to explain the whole reason for this post. Eva did NOT have any babies. Apparently, she didn't "take" so don't you worry. We're not going to let her get away with this!!

Friday, July 17, 2009


When ever Levi gets excited about something he claps.

"Thaz gud job"! And he starts clapping. We've been doing a lot of clapping around these parts lately.

Every time Levi goes potty he starts to clap and gets that crooked smile on his face and says, "I go potty"! Or my greatest most favorite recently in the last two days, "I go poopy mamma"! And then he claps some more and I clap along with him cuz that's what we do. When Levi claps, you can't help but smile and clap with him.

We have graduated from running around the neighborhood in a diaper. Remember this post? To running around in our underwear. It is perfectly normal for a seven almost eight year old boy to run around in his underwear in public right?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Poop never looked so good!

It isn't everyday that you get to read about the use of the toilet on some one's blog. I would spare you on mine as well excepting that has been my life for almost two weeks now. Or has it only been a week? It feels like a month since I started trying to potty train Levi.

Yesterday, I was ready to throw up my hands and quit. Isn't that typical? Just when you think you've had enough, you just can't go on, or do it anymore....that is when you have a break through and break through did we ever have!

Levi was sitting on the toilet and announced he'd gone poopy. Ya right. I've heard this several times now and with daddy gone all week to scout camp it has been me cleaning and rinsing out the underwear everyday. Yesterday Levi had had several "wee" accidents and by the end of the day as I said. I was done. I figured he just wasn't getting it. It wasn't connecting and under normal circumstances I'd keep going with him and see it through even if it took several weeks, months, years but things aren't normal around here and so I was ready to put a diaper back on him.

But guess what? There really WAS poopy IN THE TOILET! I was so excited I about screamed myself hoarse. I jumped up and down and did a celebration dance. Boy howdy did I ever and then I ran out the door to the neighbors and did a dance in their living room and then ran to another neighbors and as she was coming out the door hugged her as she sat in bewilderment wondering what in the world ailed me! "LEVI WENT POOPY IN THE TOILET". Who cares if he had a several accidents earlier. We scored the big one!

If I could I'd climb the nearest mountain (which happens to be "Y" mountain) and beller it from the tops that is how elated I am.

Oh please oh please don't let this be a fluke. Here's to hoping, and praying, and crossing fingers, and anything else I need to do that he'll go in the toilet again today!

Oh! And in case you were wondering.....Levi can put on his underwear all by himself too and, "Look my underwear has a pocket"!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

An angel sent me flowers!

The other day I was sitting in my big comfy chair knitting madly away when my door bell rang. Who could it possibly be? "Mooooom, it's for you"!

I went to the door and lookie what I saw! Flowers! Delivered to me!

Now who would be sending me flowers? I read the card and just about fell into a fit of tears. Clear across the world in Illinois is a dear sweet gal who is going through the exact same thing as me and instead of moaning and groaning and whining about it like I did on Monday.....she sent me flowers! Flowers that I could enjoy that wouldn't need to be weeded and she hadn't even read my blubbery post!!

Oh yaaaa, angels exist. They are all around us. I know cuz Miss J.C. is one. She sent me flowers in a really cool vase! Does this girl know me or what?? Oh that I could send someone to her door that could give her the much needed relief and cure for West Nile Virus and all of the many others who are in the same leaky boat as us.

In the meantime, if I have to be in a leaky boat dumping buckets of water over the side I'm glad to have someone like J.C. in my boat!! She's good company!

And what was I madly knitting when my doorbell rang? This little hedgehoggy guy. Now aint he just special........

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Yesterday when I was moaning and whining and carrying on I had some interesting thoughts of this photo I'd taken.

I like it. I like it a lot. You can look at it two ways. Either you can look at all of the weeds that are growing and taking over the flower bed choking the few flowers that braved the winter and came back this year OR.......and I prefer to look at it this way, despite all of the weeds that threaten to take over this little flower it is alive and blooming!

I may have my moments of self pity from time to time. I'm human like everyone else but this is a life for living and blooming. No matter what our circumstances.

Bunny update: Poor Eva. Any of you that have gone over your due date can understand and relate. It's a difficult thing so to help distract her we've all sorts of lovely things planned for this donuts for breakfast! After that we're going to take her on a long walk, feed her Castor oil and cayenne pepper, take her on another walk, have her walk several flights of stairs, make her drink even more Castor oil and feed her pizza, have her jump on the neighbors trampoline for awhile.........we're here to support Eva and help her in anyway that we can. Even if it means eating donuts and pizza.

Sunday, July 12, 2009 decide.

I am not sure if this is a "venting" post or a "let me give you a perspective" post. I'll let you decide.

Three years no matter how you slice or dice it is a long time. A very long time to be sick. I was thinking about where I was at this time last year and remembered this post.

Last year looking forward I never thought I'd be pretty much where I was last year.....or the year before. Holding down the couch.

I've had several people tell me, "Gee, I wish someone would put me to bed". Or my absolute favorite of all times......."Gee, I wish I had all the time in the world to (knit, read, or pick my teeth....fill in the blank).

Last week was a tough week. I spent pretty much most of it other than Monday which was a terrific day in bed or on the couch. A few days into my vacation and relaxation one of the older natives told me, "Mom, there is broken glass all over outside". I got up and investigated. Sure enough, the two babies had taken several of my canning jars and had thrown them against my flower beds shattering them all over the beds, in the beds, and in the grass where they run with their tiny bare feet.

I tried to pick up the biggest pieces and had the oldest native get out the shop vac. and do his best to clean it up. Note here: Teenager! Doesn't clean like mommy. You do the best you can do at the time and so I had to hope and pray that he was able to get all of the pieces of glass picked up and thrown into the trash. Visions and nightmares of slashed bare feet kept plaguing me.

Later that evening the natives again came to me and told me that there was more glass that the oldest native hadn't seen. When my SM came home I asked him to investigate but beings as he is playing the role of mother and father he had to make dinner, clean up after dinner, and then get all of the little ones to bed. Too dark to clean up the glass.

The next morning as I was again on the couch (and didn't realize the glass hadn't been cleaned up) the natives again came to me and told me about the glass. I got up and went to investigate.

There is a dead end side street next to our house that the natives play in. Especially the two babies who ride their bikes there all day their bare feet. I'm a lousy mother. I know this already so it is pointless to bring this to my attention.

In the side street was jar upon canning jar smashed into tiny shards of glass. The two babies had taken who knows how many of my canning jars and had enjoyed listening to that blessed sound of breaking glass. It really is a blessed sound. You should try it sometime when you are really mad. Does wonders.

Anyway, I sat there looking at that street in dismay. The oldest teenage native was gone all day to work and the job before me of cleaning up all of that glass was not something I'd trust to the next teenage son in line. I've proof by way of his bedroom. He doesn't know how to clean.

I can't tell you how long I sat there with the shop vac. vacuuming the street. (I can tell you, I payed for it later.) It was a long time in the heat and all I could think of was A) how grateful I was and knew that Heavenly Father was looking out for my babies cuz I sure wasn't. Their tiny little feet hadn't been slashed and B) to all of those that think sitting in bed all day seems so appealing....... how romantic does it look now?

This is what happens when one sits in bed or on the couch all day. Weeds take over your flower beds that you are too sick to even plant flowers in. Flowers that had brought you so much joy in the past.

The flowers that you did try to plant you are too tired to even water and nurture.

Most days I honestly try to see the blessings and goodness in them. But some whoops me.....and life stinks.......

It's a darn good thing my life isn't as bad as Job's. It could always be worse......or so I keep telling myself each and everyday. At least my friends haven't turned on me right? RIGHT? Hello? Anybody there?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Potty break

Photo by Turtblu

An update on the potty training as I am sure you are all on the edge of your seats is it going potty training a mentally disabled boy???

Well, here's the deal. I have learned something very important during this adventure. Levi loves me more than his daddy. Don't tell my Sexy Man that although I think he is figuring it out on his own.

We started this several days ago and as far as the "wee" goes......we're not doing too shabby considering. We have a few accidents a day but tolerable. The "poo" part......not so great but here is where it gets interesting! All day long Levi and I visit the potty and then dip into the chocolate chips. In the evening AFTER I go to bed........Levi has a poo only he doesn't get it in the toilet so my SM has to deal with it.

Last night my SM took all of the kids except Levi camping. Levi went the ENTIRE day and night without pooping. Today, daddy gets home......I come upstairs to take a nap and before I can fall asleep what do I hear on the other side of the wall in the bathroom? SM lecturing Levi about how we go poopy in the toilet! Guess he didn't make it.....again.

So, my conclusion is either Levi loves me a real lot or I have impeccable timing!

Now, I'm supposed to be napping so I am going to hurry and put this lap top away and close my eyes lest my SM catches on and realizes he's been pooped, I mean duped!

Friday, July 10, 2009

We're almost to our due date.

Since we're "with child(ren)" I have to be very very careful about what I say or the pictures I take of Eva. She's very sensitive about things right now. Beings as I've had so many youngin's myself I totally understand.

Double chins and stretch marks are very embarrassing and touchy subjects around here these days especially as the hour approaches for the arrival of the little one(s). I made sure that the grass covered the growing abdomen so when Eva looks back on these photos she won't wonder why all of the other rabbits look so beautiful and cute when they are pregnant and she just looked like she was fat and frumpy.

I get these things. I really do so that is why I am being really sensitive to Eva's feelings right now. We women. We need to stick together.

This is the big weekend. She could have the baby(s) anytime this weekend so tomorrow on the calendar we have it circled really big in bright blue so we'd remember to put one of these in her bedroom. Eva is all about home births and I respect that.

This is called a kindle box. When she has her baby(s) it is called "Kindling".

It will be a busy weekend. We're brushing up on our Lamaze, focusing on our happy place. Making sure the midwife (that would be me--did you know I was a midwife? Me neither so I am spending great lengths of time getting my "education" via Internet) is on call ready at a moments notice to help Eva bring her blessed little packages of sweetness and uber cute fluffiness into this world. They won't be fluffy when they enter but neither were mine. I didn't hold it against the natives that they came here without a ton of hair and I won't hold it against the little kit(s) for coming into this world naked, bald, and blind. I know some grown-ups that still fit that description!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

So we're in Holland......did you know there are chocolate chips in Holland?

Yesterday we started the potty training saga. Hard enough with a "normal" child. Add the element of having a child with special needs mentally and makes for some interesting times.

Can I digress for a moment? Politically correct. Gets very irritating sometimes. I used to call my son mentally handicapped but then I was just told that that is no longer politically correct. Handicapped is parking. The "correct" term is mentally disabled. Tomorrow someone will be telling me that disabled is not politically correct because you see slogans all of the time that say things like, "Take the dis- out of disability". I do happen to like that slogan by the way, just using it as an example but honestly I can't keep up!

Anyway, yesterday. We were talking about yesterday. Another day in bed for me which I guess if one were to think positively is a good thing because my bedroom is right next to the bathroom which was visited often. You see, Levi used the potty and I made such a big fuss and gave him a chocolate chip. It was fabulous and fabulous two minutes later when he squeezed out a wee drop, and two minutes later when he squeezed out a wee drop, and I kid you not this went on all morning. I moved my bed into the bathroom I was spending so much time in there. Okay, I didn't but I thought I might need to!

We only had one accident later in the evening during dinner. That would be because that was the longest stretch we'd gone being away from the bathroom and the chocolate chips.

Today........I dread seeing all of those chocolate chips again.........

Potty training Levi has brought up other interesting factors. Digression of the baby. The baby felt he needed a chocolate chip too every time he went wee and needed me in the bathroom holding his hand as well. The first time it happened I did it......but when it happened again.......I tried explaining to him that these were Levi's and Levi was learning to go on the potty like a big boy just like him! Wasn't that a nice and purdy speech? My baby didn't think so either and continued to squall for chocolate chips cuz, "I go potty too"!

As the day wore on I was finding that to survive one must dig deep down and so that is exactly what I did. I'd give Levi a chocolate chip and then when he wasn't looking I'd dig deep down and get me a handful. The day went much smoother.

While sitting in the bathroom all day eating chocolate chips sounds romantic it does have its boring elements so I learned to make these stockings. Kristen showed me these from this site awhile ago and since she is going into surgery today I decided to try and learn how to make them and make her one with leftover scraps of yarn from my baby girls bunny/piglet/doll thingy I made her.

Today........the chocolate chips make their second appearance which will either be applauded and excitement all around at their grand entrance or it could turn out crappy........pun intended.

I meant to go to Italy........but now I'm in Holland!

Recently this was posted on a support group that I go to with children who have AHC like my Levi


by Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

We've been in Holland for several years now. There has been a lot of sight seeing along the way and once again, we are ready to do some more in the form of "potty training". Wish us luck. I'll keep you posted as to how this part of our trip goes. It may be a short side trip or a major detour......we're hoping it is just a short one.......with my health, I'm not up for too much excitement.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

It's a bundt!.....There's a hole in this cake........

Since we are drowning in cherries I went looking for recipes I could throw the cherries into and found a banana cake, (I happened to have some very ripe bananas that needed to go into something) so I tweaked the recipe and came up with this bundt cake.......and then I threw a bouquet of flowers in the center of it. Just kidding......on the flowers part.

I found a recipe in the "Baking From my home to yours" by Dorie Greenspan cookbook.

I adapted the recipe to fit the ingredients that I had....namely the cherries.....the very ripe bananas........and some coconut water we had in our fridge that no one seemed to want to drink........I wonder why......

The cool thing about this recipe is that you can throw in pretty much anything you'd like. Even a pot of flowers if you're hankerin'. Me.......I made a bundt! And it turned out pretty darn good if ya ask me. Very nice and moist.

The recipe as I made it:

2 2/3 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. grd. nutmeg (I like nutmeg so I dumped in more)
1 1/2 sticks butter at room temp.
1 C. packed brown sugar
3/4 C. sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp.
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
About 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 C. coconut water (We got ours from a Mexican grocery store. It comes in soda cans.)
1 C. dried cherries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray and coat with powdered sugar a bundt pan.....(I do this with all of my cakes....forget the flour...I go for the sugar!!)

Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together.

In separate bowl beat butter until creamy. (Do this by hand-don't use an electric mixer.) Add sugars and beat well, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla, bananas, and milk. Add liquids to your dry flour/sugar ingred. Mix until just Incorporated. Add the dried cherries.

Pour into your bundt pan and bake for about 50 minutes depending on your altitude. For me, it went for about 55 minutes. Do the cake test with a knife or cake tester to make sure your cake is done.

Transfer to a cooling rack and cover with a glaze making sure the glaze soaks into the cake.

The glaze I made was with the rest of the coconut water. I took the water and mixed it with powdered sugar until it was the consistency that I wanted and then covered the cake.

Actually, truth be told. I didn't feel well the day I made this cake so I made the cake, threw it in the oven, and then told my SM what to do when it was done baking and I went to bed! When we served the cake I sprinkled more powdered sugar on top cuz.....ya can't have too much sugar!!

I hope you all had a happy 4th weekend........we sure did.......and if I get around to it.....I'll tell you all about it!

P.S. Did you know spell check can't spell bundt? Mine is going crazy over it...

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Life and Times of Cherries

Beings as I am in a story telling mood this week (and the week before that) I thought it fitting to end this week with a story.....even though this week hasn't officially ended. I do realize that but for some reason I can't seem to get around to blogging on Saturdays or Sundays as of late so I'm going to call this the end of the week. Savvy?

This story is about the cherries that grow on our cherry trees in our yard. Some of you may wonder what in the world does one do with so many cherries. Well, I am going to tell you! So pop some popcorn, grab a box of tissues, and sit back and enjoy this story........a tragedy of sorts......about the Life and Times of Cherries.

Once upon a time there was a cherry tree. A big beautiful cherry tree. As the cherry tree grew and grew over the years its mommy would read "The Giving Tree" to it. The cherry tree loved this book and wanted to be just like the tree in "The Giving Tree". When spring came this year it reached out its branches turning them just so, so the sun could reach them and it burst forth in blossom. The tree blossomed like it had never done before. As the blossoms turned to fruit, never had this cherry tree been so laden. The branches were so heavy with fruit that the cherry tree could no longer hold them aloft and high but rested them on the ground. As in all cases of giving, sacrifices were made and some of the lovely cherry tree branches broke under the strain of all the fruit it was carrying.

Fruit it was carrying for a family that the cherry tree loved dearly and the family loved dearly in return. The natives in this family hurriedly tried to gather the cherries off of the branches to help the tree with its heavy load rejoicing and appreciating the trees bounteous offerings.

As the natives picked the cherries they laughed and talked with each other, climbing higher and higher up into the cherry trees branches and listened to books on CD. The cherry tree laughed with the natives and once again with tired heavy branches unburdened lifted them off of the ground.

As the natives brought in buckets and buckets of cherries their tired sickly mother, who is actually a beautiful queen under a very wicked aging demented spell (you should see her in real life! She's tall, has thick straight beautiful hair, and a body to die for.......sorry, I digress) ahem...the natives brought their bent over haggy mother (CUZ SHE'S UNDER AN EVIL SPELL CALLED LIFE AND THE AGING PROCESS) the buckets of cherries to wash and de-stem.

After she would spend way too many long hours hunched (cuz she's under an evil wicked spell that makes her back all hunchy) over the kitchen sink washing the cherries she put them into this contraption that would take out the seeds. The haggy baggy mom (who yearns for the day when this evil spell will be taken from her) was a hard task master and even made her babies work slaving away all day cutting out the innards of the cherries.

As the day wore on (day meaning Monday) evening came upon the natives and still their wretched mother made them help her in the kitchen blasting cherry seeds and juice from one end of the kitchen to the other as she stooped further and further over with fatigue yet not willing to let anyone quit. The cherry tree had given in abundance and the hag of a bag of a mother would not let it's gifts go in vain or be wasted.

The cherries after being disemboweled were placed into baggies to be frozen and later brought out to delight the taste buds in delicacies like ice cream, smoothies, muffins, cakes, and cookies........

and placed in the food dehydrator where later they'd be eaten by the handfuls or sprinkled on top of salads or cereals. Finally, after many gruelling hours, the mother let the natives go to bed where she soon after fell into an exhausted sleep.

The next morning (Tuesday) the poor sap of a mother roused the natives out of bed and another day of cherries commenced. Again the natives climbed the cherry tree relieving it of its offerings and again, the mother hunched over the kitchen sink washing and sorting the cherries. Today, they would make the cherries into syrup and like yesterday, the mother made even her babies help. Hour after hour the baby native sat plunging the cherries down and hour after hour he cranked with his other little arm.

Even the family dog was not allowed to rest. She had the arduous task of keeping the floors clean even if it meant that her beautiful pristine white coat would be splattered with cherry juice. No dog worked harder and no dog ever came away with such a hair dye. Till one o'clock in the morning the mother and her natives worked.....making and canning bottle after bottle of cherry syrup.

Wednesday came........and here is where our story turns tragic.......gallons and gallons of cherry syrup and shattered glass. Do you have out your tissues yet? For the mother in this story is still crying..........

And the guilty party?

Exhausted after all his hard work..........THE END!

Moral of the story: A neighbor of mine once told me, "Don't get angry, get out your camera".

2nd Moral of the story: When one spends over an hour cleaning up sticky cherry juice and shattered glass that goes clear across the kitchen and into all adjoining rooms and several feet up the walls......they have time to contemplate that, "it could always be worse" and was very grateful that when her baby by mistake tipped over the kitchen table with all of the finished jars of cherry syrup on it that he himself did not fall off into the mess and into all of that broken glass which would have been very very bad.......and we'll leave it at that and won't go into why he was climbing on the table in the first place because that would be pointless asking a monkey why he climbs..........