Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Missing My Mom

My mom is down in Oregon to be with her brother since her sister passed away last week. She was able to be there for the interment (burial of the ashes), and I'm glad.
I'm glad she was there. It's where she should be.
But today is her birthday, and I'm sad she's not here.
I miss her. I miss the stuff she does around here.
With her gone we're taking the girls to Farmer's Market, and I'm feeling incredibly selfish. FM was so intensely crazy with a 3 yr old and a 6 yr old.
I'm ready for my mom to be back! I want her here to watch the girls when I take a shower, or when I go to FM. I want her here to take some of the pressure of being a mommy off me.
I'm completely spoiled. I can leave the girls with my mom when I go grocery shopping, or take a shower. When Abigail hit her knee and the doctor told us to go to the ER, Jake and I both went and Deborah stayed home with her grammy. I can run out at night to rent a movie, and leave the girls in bed 'cuz my mom is here to listen for them.
Except she's not now.
And I want her back.
Which makes me realize how incredibly blessed/gifted/spoiled I am. Because my cousin just lost her mom, and is having a very hard time.
Mom, I miss you! I miss talking to you and I miss asking you stuff.

God, thank you for my sweet mom. Thank you for her ability to be a wonderful Grammy. Thank you for all she does and is for my girls. She has been a stabilizing force that they badly needed this last crazy year.
Please hold Susan close. Remind her how much you love her and how much her family loves her. Please allow her to work through her grief in the right time and right way for her. Thank you that my aunt is home, and no longer in pain. She can breathe, and run and walk. And hold her two girls she's been waiting so long for, and hug her mom and dad, and siblings.
I love you, God. Thank you for your good gifts.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wake Me

I need clarity, vision. A direction.
I'm tired of this mundane, run of the mill, repetitious life.
I'm tired of the same, the same, the same.
Day in, day out.

I want God to speak, shake these walls.
Right on the wall with His finger as He did in the Old Testament.
I want to hear Him say, "Go here. Do this."
I'm tired of hanging on the edge, not in the middle.
Doing, Being, Used by God.

I've been there-
so close I could here Him whisper,
feel the air move as His Spirit passed by.
When did I become so crusted in sand?
When did I become immobilized, trapped by dead dreams?
When did these vines, weeds, thorns grow and cover my heart?

Prince of Peace, cut through the briar that's grown here.
Kill the dragon of despair.
Please, kiss me awake.

Summer Blues

I hate how my cast seems to be pinning us inside the house. I've got to take care of that, take control- get us out more.
The girls get to the point where they are bouncing off the walls, sniping at each other, picking on each other just to make each other yell and scream. They are so funny! One minute playing happily coming up with fantastic adventures. Right this minute, they are pretending to be mermaids and saving each other from burning hot lava. But two minutes from now they'll probably be yelling for me to come take care of some hurt... I wish they got along all the time. But I suppose that would mean they didn't have a full personality...
I hope we can get out and enjoy the lovely weather today.
I was right- Abigail just yelled, "I don't like you anymore and you aren't my friend!"

Currently Watching- Medium

We're watching episodes of Medium in the evening right now.
I'm surprised at how much I'm enjoying the show. But I probably shouldn't be- mysteries, paranormal stuff, interesting relationships, good acting.
In particular I enjoy the family relationships. I appreciate the tension placed on the main character, Alison Dubois, as she struggles to be a mom, wife and deal with her special abilities.
I find the selection of gifts they've granted her kind of weird, though. Not only does she have the ability to see and talk to dead people, she also has telepathy (the ability to hear and understand other people's thoughts), precognition (the ability to see the future), psychometry (the ability to read emotions and images off of objects), postcognition (the ability to see an event after it has happened). Most fiction about paranormal abilities separate these abilities, granting only one, perhaps two, to each person. I find it interesting that they've chosen to given this character so many abilities.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I haven't posted any of my books in a LONG time. I don't know why. I've still been reading. I'll probably still be reading as long as I'm breathing.
-I've re-read the Jim Butcher Harry Dresden novels. All of them. I rented the series from Blockbuster and wanted to compare the books. Wow. The shows are interesting, but not as good as the books. I think they got Harry's character very well, but all the other stuff? not so much...
-I re-read all the Kim Harrison Rachel Morgan novels. I love those characters, in particular Jenks. Too bad he's not real. ;)
-I re-read the Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson novels. I enjoy her world. Some of her characters are a bit annoying, but the world itself is fascinating.
-I've read Stephen King's Misery. Very powerful story. Good one. I think the story really got good during the last third of the book.
-I read several Karen Kingsbury novels. I am surprised at how good they are. Good writing. Interesting characters. Believable situations. I shouldn't be surprised. But so many Christian novels are lousy. Poor writing, self-righteous characters, unbelievable situations. Just lots of preaching to the choir.
I've read lost of other stuff, but I lost track somewhere in the middle of the last two months. I'm dragging... Just way behind life. Too much has happened recently.


"If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere." ~Frank A. Clark

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Letting go

My Aunt Corine passed away last night. She had lupus and was in a lot of pain. Her immune system was down and something went wrong with her lungs- either pneumonia or some unknown bug. She was struggling to breathe and panicking when she couldn't get air.
And I'm glad she's not hurting anymore. And I'm glad she's home with Jesus.
But I'm sad.
Sad for her family.
Sad for her daughter.
Sad for her brother.
Sad for her sister. (my mom)
Sad for me.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Blessed to be a Blessing

Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.
Henry Van Dyke

My favorite definition of blessing is 'a gift from God'. No matter how small, the gifts God has given you were meant to be used. To bless you, God and those around you.

Water Balloons

Jake took the girls outside Thursday night with a bag of water balloons and a hose.
Very fun!
They were all soaked and giggling when they finally came in.

The duckling

While my girls were playing with water balloons on the front lawn last Thursday, we had a strange visitor. The girls were running around, and found a baby duck by our mail box.
We live about half a mile from the river, but a baby duck? In our yard?
So we gathered it up, and I called our vet to figure out what on earth we were gonna do with this little fellow- whether to take him to the animal shelter, or just what.
The on-call veterinarian told me that ducklings rarely survive & thrive when raised by people. She also told me that their best chance of survival was to find a mama duck with babies. Any mama duck. And the age of the babies didn't matter too much. She said that ducks can't count, so if they see a baby they just assume it's one of theirs.
Beth and I drove the truck over to the pond off of Geist by University Park Elementary, 'cuz I've seen ducks with their families there on my walks with the girls (but there was no way I could walk the 10 minutes or so with my cast). I prayed on the way over that we'd find a mama duck with babies, and Beth prayed that she'd accept this baby. I had remembered correctly!
There was a mama duck with babies about the same size as the one on our lawn!! But we couldn't get down there to the pond 'cuz I had the cast on, and Beth (silly Beth!) had on flip-flops. The ducks were at the other end of the pond, down a steep rocky hill and out across a marshy muddy meadow.
So, I asked God what we should do. And a family walked by- a mom, a dad, three boys and a baby in a stroller. I asked the mom if she'd send one of her boys down to the other end of the pond with the duckling, and she thought it was a great idea. She got her oldest, and while he took the baby down there we told her what the vet had said. As soon as he left the baby in the water (and walked away) the mama quacked her way over to the duckling and tugged it into the rest of her little fleet. She had them all swimming in formation by the time the boy got back.
Then we got to hear his mom explain what the vet had said- that this duck probably wasn't the baby's mama, but that she would adopt the baby.
I came away with a profound sense of God's timing:
If we hadn't had the girls out playing, we wouldn't have found the duckling and it probably would have died. (Seriously, we aren't ANYWHERE near where that poor little thing could have found it's way home. I have no idea how it got on my lawn. Very weird.)
If I hadn't gotten the vet tech I got, we might have taken it to the shelter, and the baby probably wouldn't have made it.
If I hadn't walked by that pond and noticed ducks last year, we might have just taken the duckling to the river, and the baby probably wouldn't have made it.
If the family hadn't walked by, we might have just left the baby at the end of the pond we could get to easily.
If that boy hadn't gone out there, he wouldn't have learned about adoption in such a physical visual way.
I was also reminded that God gives family to the orphan, that God's plan is for us to nurture and care for those who are alone.
God, thanks for the duckling. Thank you that the girls found it, and we got to be part of returning it to a safe home.

Father's Day

I took the girls to Fred Meyer's today to select cards for Jake.
Very fun. And INTENSELY crazy.
I had to ride around in the stupid little cart 'cuz of my foot, and the girls were INSANE. Looking at everything, touching everything, crying 'cuz they wanted to walk, crying 'cuz they wanted to ride on the cart with me...
They had already painted wonderful picture frames to give him, and I'm going to put good pictures in them (our printers out of ink, so I've got to order some before putting the pictures in).
But the big excitement was this- a RC helicopter. On the way to FM I asked the girls what they thought Daddy would like, and Deborah stated most emphatically that what Daddy should have is a remote control helicopter. And nothing would deter her. Nothing would sway her.
Besides it seemed like a good idea to me. ;)
Turns out, Jake thought it was a pretty good idea, too.
I've got the silliest video of my cat chasing the helicopter. Wish I could figure out how to share these things on here! Oh, well.
For right now, you can just imagine it. Luna stares at the helicopter as it lifts off, follows it around the room, then darts after it as it plummets. Very silly.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

20 years

I went to my 20 year high school reunion last night and today. Wow. I can't believe it's been 20 years since I went to high school. Shocking.
(I graduated HS when I was 17, so that makes me 37 for those of you who are dying to know. ;)
I'm glad I went!
I had a nice dinner last night with friends I hadn't seen in 20 years. It's fun to see who has changed, who hasn't and who looks exactly the same... I got to see Debbi! ;) And meet her husband, Tom and her 2 kids. I was so happy to see them. The dinner last night was for adults only, but Debbi didn't have an alternative option for her kids. I'm guessing that her kids might have prevented some of the more alcoholic mayhem that could have occurred at such an event. Jake got to come with me, and we had a fun date-night.
Today, there was a picnic scheduled at Alaskaland/Pioneer Park. I'm glad I went, but this was a much more stressful event. A park trip with my ankle in a cast, a 3 year old and a 6 year old and without my husband is not my idea of a fun time. I'm glad Deborah is now at an age where she will cooperate. I pretty much had to just grab Abigail by the hand and drag her out. Poor kid. She'd already had her swimming lesson so by the time we were leaving the park, she was wasted.
I'm sure there is more I should say, but the biggest thing I wanted to say was that I'm glad I went. I was very nervous. As a hs loser/geeky gal, I wasn't sure I wanted to see most of 'those people'. But most of them seemed okay now. ;) Or maybe I'm a little more 'normal'. ;)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

My New Best Friend

Yup, I'm in a walking cast on my right foot.
For the next 6 weeks.
It stinks to be me.

I've had increasingly worse pain in my right ankle and I finally got to see an orthopaedic/sport doctor. (Had to wait forever to see one) And I've got acute Achilles tendinitis. And the only way to fix it is to not use my right Achilles tendon for at least 6 weeks. If I'm not good about leaving it on ALL the time, I'll have to wear a fiberglass one that I can't take off. Right now, I can take it off to shower and sleep. I'm definitely going to be a very good girl. Sometimes I think the walking cast is just as bad as the tendinitis... I can't imagine what the fiberglass one would be like, and I DON'T want to know.

The doctor said he sees this in the summer when all the hibernating Alaskans come out and decide to do crazy physical activity. I wanted to laugh at him. I couldn't walk for about three months at the end of last year and was in a wheel chair before I got in for surgery. And then two months later I had another surgery.
Duh. I couldn't do ANYTHING for a long time. And all I've been doing since summer hit is some light walking, bike-riding and Farmer's Market.
So my problem is more likely result of surgery-induced sitting-on-my-buttness, followed by getting excited because I COULD WALK!!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sadness & Misery

My two pieces in the Bead Star contest did not win. I'm sad.
But at the same time, I'm pretty delighted that I made it to the finals.
I would have liked to win. Duh. Who wouldn't? The yummy prizes, and the coverage... New people would have been introduced to our stuff.
"But I... I will survive! As long as as long as I know how to love, I know I will stay alive!"

Friday, June 12, 2009

15 Books

This is a FB quiz I couldn't pass on. It's about books! ;)
Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.

1. The Forgotten Key (by William Sleator- I read this in 5th grade and it changed my reading forever. I'd been into Nancy Drew and suddenly I discovered a world of fantasy.)
2. The Bible (In particular, the book of John)
3. The Lilac Fairy book
4. Classic Christianity (by Bob George)
5. Mere Christianity (by C.S. Lewis)
6. Firestarter (by Stephen King)
7. Anne of Green Gables (by L.M. Montgomery)
8. Homecoming (by Cynthia Voight)
9. Star Man's Son (by Andre Norton)
10. God Came Near (by Max Lucado)
11. Watchers (by Dean Koontz)
12. A Wrinkle in Time (by Madeline L'Engle)
13. The Art of Walt Disney (by Christopher Finch, published in '75- wonderful cells from the oldest shorts up to around Mary Poppins)
14. The Snow Queen and Other Tales (Old book, my mom's)
15. Mother Goose (my mom's OLD copy- I love the illustrations and remember reading this at different stages of my life and understanding it differently each time)

Friday, June 05, 2009


On Monday, I had a miscarriage.
I'm still not sure how I feel, or how I should feel... I didn't know I was pregnant. The baby was only 2 or 3 weeks old.
I'm sad. And thankful. Poor little thing. I wouldn't want a baby that hurt all the time. And if there was something so wrong, the baby would have been sick most of the time.
At the same time, I am now sure that I want another baby. I already knew that I did, but this confirmed my feelings.
I've been taking it easy and sleeping a lot. My poor body has been through so much this year. I'm still recovering from the surgeries, and this wasn't an easy week. I'm ready to feel better- to not be tired, to not hurt...

God, you're good. I don't understand this. I'm sad, but I find myself trusting you. Resting in you. Thank you for the gift of my girls. Deborah & Abigail. They are so beautiful- so precious. You give good gifts.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Swimming Summer

I've got the girls taking swimming lessons at Mary Siah. Deborah's first lesson was yesterday, and she LOVED it. She was hoping that she could go back today. The girls have been playing swimming class all morning. Very cute. The funniest thing was that Abigail was playing the teacher and she hasn't even been yet!
Abigail's been all sad 'cuz her first lesson isn't until Saturday. She was laying on the couch wailing when I left with Deborah yesterday. It's hard to be 3!!! She gets to take a parent and child class, though and I think that will be better for her. I'll go in with her and hold on to her for all of her classes. Much wiser to do that with the itty ones who don't necessarily follow directions well...


Today is the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square event. I remember the images of then. I had just graduated from high school, and was contemplating my future. I related to these young college students.

This is an excellent article I found here: http://www.stargazette.com/article/20090603/LIFE/906030318/1115/life/We+have+freedoms+that+others+die+for

We have freedoms that others die for
June 3, 2009

by Jennifer O'Hara

It is hard for me to believe that 20 years have passed since the People's Liberation Army of China (under the direction of Deng Xiaoping) began forcibly removing students and other pro-democracy demonstrators from Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 3, 1989.

I was a college student at the time, with convictions and a history of peaceful demonstration. As such, I found myself particularly grateful to be an American with First Amendment freedoms. Twenty years later, I find myself pondering my idealistic perception of these freedoms. If you think nothing like this could ever happen in our nation's capital, think again. It already has.
First, recall events that precipitated the Tiananmen catastrophe. In April 1989, students entered the square to publicly mourn the untimely death of their pro-democracy party leader, Hu Yaobang. The mourning led to protests in which millions of sympathetic Chinese filled the streets. Unable to convince the protestors to leave and unwilling to meet their demands, on June 3 of that year the military was authorized to forcibly remove the demonstrators. Hundreds were murdered in the process.
Remarkably, changing only a portion of the words in the above description creates an accurate account of the events leading up to the forcible removal of World War I veterans from the streets of Washington, D.C., on July 28, 1932.
In May 1932, 15,000 World War I veterans organized a march on Washington to force Congress to pay them a previously awarded bonus. The veterans had originally agreed to have the payout delayed until 1945. But poverty and starvation occasioned by the Great Depression changed their position. Calling themselves the "Bonus Expeditionary Forces," they and their families, totaling 43,000, used whatever they could find to set up makeshift camps throughout the capital.
Despite the protestors' efforts, on June 17 the Senate voted against the House bill that would have accelerated the bonuses. The veterans remained in their tent city, most being homeless with no place to go. On July 28, President Herbert Hoover authorized Gen. Douglas MacArthur to forcibly remove the veterans. In the process, several were killed, hundreds injured and the camps were set afire.
I'd like to believe that, 77 years later, the same can't happen in America. But, a government (with no intention of capitulation) faced with dissenters who similarly refuse to leave must either allow the protest to proceed ad infinitum or exert force. Either can be dangerous.
All that we enjoy is a delicate balance between personal liberty and the government's need to preserve order. The beauty of democracy is that with our ability to vote we are able to direct the government in drawing that line. And, with a free press, we can vet ideas and exert that pressure to effect the change we desire. In remembrance of those who died in Tiananmen Square fighting for freedoms we already enjoy, let that be our duty.

Jennifer O'Hara, of Big Flats, is a full-time mom and visiting lecturer at Corning Community College.