Saturday, May 30, 2009


click to enlarge or enrage, you decide.

This full page ad runs in the squeak at least once a year and every time I read it, it makes my skin crawl. I think it's great that the local pastors are trying to keep the rate of divorce down but I really don't think this "Town X Area Marriage Policy" is aimed entirely at the local church going crowd.

You see, we used to live in town X. We bought a beautiful house on a foreclosure sale 4 years ago but only made it one year there and happily paid capital gain taxes to get the hell out of town. The problem and the reason for moving out were crazy rules and nosy neighbors. No work on Sundays for everyone, including heathens like us. No lawn mowing, no gardening, no laundry (at least don't hang it outside) and most certainly no booze on Sundays (or any other day for that matter, recycling day was always fun at our house!). The weekend we moved in, we had a parade of neighbors come over and explain the rules followed by an invitation to their churches. What, do we have horns growing out of our heads? Is it that obvious?

Now don't get me wrong, Town X is a lovely community, but just not for us. We still live very close to this small town, but being out in the country has given us the cushion we need, and no more nosy neighbors stopping by on Sunday to tell us we're doin' it wrong.

This video has made the rounds lately but it goes so well with this post.

Thanks to the bloggers listed below for passing this video on.

This is not meant to ruffle any feathers as I know I have several Christian readers. Stuff like this gets me thinking, and thinking is a good thing!

Ooh, one more thing. This is my 200th post! Hard to believe that I've spilled my guts in 200 posts already.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tiger, Rocco and a Birdie

Yesterday Binny and I were driving to school to pick up Mae and all of a sudden Binny heard the name Rocco on the radio (We were listening to Fresh Air and the guest was an author hawking a book about the showdown between Rocco Mediate and Tiger Woods at the 2008 US Open.) and said...

"Mom, that man just said Rocco."

Oh, he's talking about a person by the name of Rocco.

"Not our dog?"

No, honey.

"Oh... Tiger! now he said Tiger!"

That's the name of another man, another golfer playing against Rocco.

"So they aren't animals?"

No, they're golfers, people golfers.

"Now he said birdie. Who is that?"

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wardrobe Wednesday

Another great one of Grandpa.

One of the girls was running around with the gardener's flair hair visor and insisted Grandpa try it on. For those of you not familiar with flair hair, it's a cheesy camo visor with fake hair sewn to it. Klassy stuff! Completing this look is a can of beer and a dandelion lapel flower.

See the effect we have on people? He usually looks like this.

More Wardrobe Wednesday at Heathen Family Revival

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Back To Normal-ish

After a weekend of family and sunshine, it's time to get back to normal... sort of. My mom and grandparents were here to visit over the long weekend. Having Mom and grandma Dee here was great because that let me off the hook for cooking for a crowd all weekend.

Just try and keep my mom and grandma out of the kitchen. Not going to happen.
Of course I helped out a little, but they did the bulk of the cooking and kitchen cleanup. That gave me a chance to sit back, drink some coffee and enjoy the company of my dear grandparents that we see but 2 or 3 times a year.

Speaking of grandparents, mine rock. Sometimes I wonder where I get my tiny frame and no filter mouth, then I hear my grandmother chime in on some rather inappropriate dinner conversation and a smile appears on my face. Last Friday when they arrived, we were still planting the garden and we all decided to take a break and have some lunch. As all nine of us were piled around my kitchen island, we started talking about unfortunate last names. As the guys and I were running through the classics (Dickmann, Asse, etc.) Grandma pipes up and says "I used to know this family by the name of..." then she whispers in my ear "F-u-c-k-s, but it was pronounced Fukes." Of course my kitchen erupted in laughter... Gotta love Grandma!
leaving for Birthday lunch with Uncle B

Mae goes back to school today. She hasn't been in 2 weeks and I plan to ease her in with just mornings for now at least until the PICC is out. The PICC line is going well and we haven't missed a dose of the antibiotic yet, even the 1Am infusion (right now) isn't as bad as I thought it would be. Gives me a chance to blog in quiet at least. Mae lost another tooth yesterday morning, but she at least washed her hands before pulling it out this time. Her ankle is feeling much better and she's getting around fine again but it's still a tad red and warm to the touch yet. She goes back to the doctor tomorrow for a dressing change on the PICC, some blood work and she'll also have the stitches in her ankle removed. The one noticeable difference I have seen in her since we've been home besides her energy level, is her appetite. I'm not sure if it's the medication she's on or if her body is trying to gain back the couple of pounds she lost while in the hospital, either way, it's nice to see her eating well again. The other morning for breakfast, we had to cut her off at 4 pieces of french toast, several pieces of bacon and a pile of fresh fruit!
This was a gift basket Mae received from my cousins K&P. When their little boy (R) was born (almost 3 months premature) last year, they spent a lot of time on the inside of a hospital so they sent this sweet gift to Mae complete with the little tiara clip for her hair to cheer her up. Thanks K&P! I also want to thank everyone who helped us out in the last 2 weeks, sent cards and brought over meals and treats. It means the world to us to have such great friends and family in our lives.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday Garden Club

Get your gardening gloves and knee pads ready. It's time for another installment of Monday Garden Club.

Finally after a very hellish week, my garden is planted. Hooray!

The gardener built all of the fencing (using old gates and wood from our barn) to trellis the (pole) beans, sugar snap peas and cucumbers. After one more pass through with the rototiller, we (We meaning the Gardener, my brother, the girls and your truly) started marking out rows, sowing seeds and planting the starter plants.

Front garden

carrots, onions (red and white), lettuce (2 kinds), spinach, pole beans (on the taller fence), sugar snap peas (on the shorter fence) pickling cucumbers (on one gate of the smaller fence), slicing cucumbers (on other gate of the smaller fence), green and yellow zucchini, purple kohlrabi, strawberries, red and gold raspberries, blueberry bushes, and rhubarb. I also squeezed in a few flowers. 1 Elephant ear, gladiolas, dahlias, and sunflowers.

The gardener also cut some leftover electrical conduit for row stakes.

Rear garden:
tomatoes, peppers, vine plants, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, sage, Italian parsley, basil, cilantro and sunflowers (from last year's heads).

I saw this variety of tomato (Mortgage Lifter) at the garden center and couldn't resist.

Purple Kohlrabi
Pickling cucumbers behind and to the right of the purple kohlrabi

Rose bush planted yesterday
Empire apple tree
Flowering Crab apple tree

Peach blossoms on our otherwise unhealthy looking peach tree
There you have it! Tune in next week for a seedling update (hopefully) and maybe some flower gardening if time and weather permit.

Now for all you gardeners out there who wish to participate, either post a Monday Garden Club update on your blog (don't forget to drop your link in the comments. I'll add you to the bottom of this post) or leave a comment on what's growing in your yard. I couldn't figure out Mr. Linky again (dumb computer and html code) but I do have this awesome (if I do say so myself) photo of Binny planting kohlrabi that I'm using as a photo link.

Just steal the photo and put it up on your sidebar with a link to my site if you wish, no pressure.

Happy Gardening!

What other bloggers are growing:

Musings of a Wandering Elf is already picking onions! While you're at her blog, also check out her hairy beef cattle. No seriously, she lives on a farm, it's okay.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Whole Hand- A Letter To Binny On Her 5th Birthday

Today was another crazy, hectic day. The gardener was home from work (still on 32 hours a week), both girls were home, my brother came over to help plant the garden (details on Garden Club Monday) and our out of town family arrived today too. My mom, my grandparents and my brother-in-law are all in town for the long holiday weekend. As if that wasn't enough going on, today is also Binny's 5th Birthday. It was fun for her to get some of the attention after all of the attention Mae's illness has brought on.

Binny wore her Birthday crown all day and had a great time accepting Birthday presents wishes. I didn't have any time or energy to make a cake this time around, so I asked my Mom to pick up a DQ ice cream cake on her way here today. Who doesn't love a cold piece of ice cream cake anyway?
There are so many things I could say about my sweet Binny on her 5th birthday. She has become a very compassionate and loving little girl full of kooky sayings and unique clothing choices. She loves to help me cook in the kitchen but is a little leery about working in the shed with daddy. She loves sweets and constantly sneaks treats out of the "treat cabinet." She's a sound sleeper and tight hugger, loves her dogs and her sister, and most of all Binny is a happy, happy child.Much to love to you Binny on your 5th birthday.

Love, Mommy
***For the record Binny's Birthday is the 22nd, even if I'm only getting around to write this at 11:59 PM.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Feeling Weird Lately

  • I was craving watermelon, then my friend L and Neighbor Bonnie both brought watermelon over today.

  • I was wondering just today when my friend would update her blog after 2 months, then boom, updated.

Do I need an exorcism? Maybe I just need some sleep.

Wardrobe Wednesday

FYI- "DO NOT ENTER" tape may not be an effective form of birth control...
or in other words congratulations to my friend T and her husband on the birth of baby #2 this morning.

Home At Last

Well, we made it home! We left the hospital this afternoon around 3:00 and made it home a little after 4:00, just after Binny arrived home from school.

The home nursing company dropped off the infusion pump supplies and antibiotics this afternoon so we could start the first antibiotic treatment at 7:00 tonight. The hospital staff had said that the home care nurse would come to show us how to run the equipment, but by 5 minutes to 7:00, still no nurse. I called the nurse hotline to see where our gal was and finally around 8:00 she showed up. I'm not sure what the deal was with that but when she finally showed up everything went well and Mae received her first home treatment. It's a little scary to be the one responsible for dumping strong antibiotics right into her veins, but I'm sure I will gain confidence as the days go on. The next treatment is at 1 Am and already I'm starting to fade but I hate to go to sleep and chance missing the next one because I'm so tired.

The important thing is that she's home and showing huge improvements. Now the fun begins of trying to get the insurance company to cover as much of this as possible. The doctor visits, the trip to the ER, the first hospital stay, the ambulance to Children's hospital, Children's hospital, the countless diagnostic tests, the doctors (because that's billed separate from the hospital charges) and of course the home nursing that we started tonight. I try to tell myself not to worry about the money, but I can't help it. The bills will start coming soon and I know that although our insurance is pretty good, we will end up with some hefty bills. Nothing we can do about it I guess, she's feeling better and I'm very thankful for that.

For the rest of the week I plan to keep her home from school. She still has the stitches in her right ankle and the PICC line is still so new, I would hate for something to happen to it. She will go to the doctor on Thursday to have the stitches removed and have a follow up with her (fantastic, no-nonsense) pediatrician. And boy do I have a list of things to go over with her!

Tomorrow the Gardener goes back to work, Binny has a field trip that I was supposed to help chapperone (Grandma is going in my place) and back to the farm for me. This whole new schedule along with our old schedule will take some getting used to. After a few days I'm sure we'll get the new routine down but right now I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. A friend is making dinner for us tomorrow night which is awesome, and my brother is coming over on Friday to help plant the garden. Then company rolls into town this weekend... That should be fine too and will maybe give me a little time to catch my breath as I will have my Mom and Grandma to keep the kids entertained and help out with cooking.

Thank you to everyone who has been thinking of us over the last week and the many well wishes we received. My daily blog count has doubled from all of the people checking in on Mae. I plan to continue to update Mae's recovery for anyone who is interested but mostly for my record keeping. This blog has been so wonderful for me lately. I have gone back to check my notes many times and found it so helpful, especially when all the days seem to have smushed together. I wish I would have started blogging years ago, the Internet has a much better memory than I do.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Next Time You Hear From Me, We'll Be At Home!

Hooray, we're going home today! Mae's PICC was placed this morning without any trouble and the physical therapist was just in here to go over some exercises with us that we can do at home. She is now walking around and bearing weight on her right ankle and knee without any problems. The Infectious disease doc (doctor W.) was just in and talked to me about the bullshit regarding the cancelled PICC placement and fasting. He was furious that we had to stay an extra day just because the radiology department couldn't get their crap together. He encouraged me to call patient relations and give them all the details about her not being able to eat, the third IV line and frustration from yesterday. With his encouragement I will be in contact with patient relations to let them know about my frustrations regarding scheduling tests and general slowness around here. This is a great hospital but I think that there could be some improvement made in the way of parent/ medical personnel communication. It's been a lot of wait and see type stuff.

Mae's next antibiotic treatment (the first one using the PICC) will be at 1:00 and after that we will be discharged but figuring in "hospital time" we probably won't be out of here until at least 3:00. The home care nurse will come to the house tonight to deliver the medication, supplies and medication pump. She will walk us through the first dose and show us how to flush the line and care for the whole works. Mae will still be on the every 6 hour dosing schedule. 7 PM, 1AM, 7Am, 1PM and so on for 4 weeks. The home nurse will come once a week to change the dressing and blood draws which will all happen right through the PICC, no more pokes! We have an appointment to see her pediatrician on Thursday and every week after until it is determined that she doesn't need the penicillin antibiotic anymore. The ID doc was thinking that in 2 weeks she may be able to switch to an oral antibiotic (Clindamycin) if everything goes well and the infection clears up.

I talked to The Gardener this morning and he's just as thrilled as we are that we'll be coming home today. He has been a busy man preparing for our arrival home this afternoon. He washed, dried and folded many loads of laundry, vacuumed the whole house, washed and put away all of the dishes and everything else that I normally take care of including caring for Binny on his own the last several days. What a great husband I have!

Still no word on when Mae will be able to go back to school (again the communication here kinda sucks) but I spoke with her teacher yesterday who plans to send some work home to keep Mae busy until she can return to her class. I'm not concerned about Mae being behind academically, she does very well in school and I plan to continue the same type of lessons at home.

That's all for now, I'll hopefully update tonight after we get settled in at home. I'll have to do something to keep myself occupied while waiting to give the 1 Am dose!

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's Been A Long Day Full Of Broken Promises

My kid doesn't have cancer, doesn't need a transplant, and has a good heart, and for that I am thankful, but this hospital crap is getting old. Mae was supposed to get her PICC line today (it has been scheduled for days) but noooooo.

Last night she fell asleep before her dinner arrived and was NPO (not allowed anything to eat or drink in preparation for her PICC placement) after midnight last night. This morning she was not given breakfast, so we colored and squished play-doh instead. Finally around 10:00 am the nurse came in and said Mae would be allowed clear liquids until noon because her procedure would be at 2:00. She had a popsicle and a few sips of apple juice to calm her hungry tummy. The woman who would be performing the PICC placement came in and explained the whole thing to us. The home care coordinator was here to set up equipment and medication details. We were ready to go. Then around noon, the nurse came in and told us that she canceled the procedure and rescheduled it for 8:00 tomorrow morning. There were still 9 other patients ahead of Mae and she hadn't had any thing to eat in 24 hours. The likelihood of her having the procedure today was slim, and at that point the thought of having to wait on an empty stomach only to be told that they couldn't do it anyway was not worth it. I was so hoping that this would be done today so we could have a little get-to-know-you time with the PICC before we are sent home tomorrow but I guess that's not how it's going to work out. After that shitty disappointing news I ordered Mae some lunch and the Nurse slipped some laxative in Mae's apple juice because, well... do I really have to explain that one?
During lunch one of the hospital teachers came in and invited us over to the school here. Mae was so excited to go over the classroom, so I told her she needed to finish her lunch then we would make our way to the other side of the hospital to the classroom. Just as we were getting ready to head out, the nurse walked in with Mae's antibiotic to put in her IV. Bad news, the second IV (that was placed on Saturday) was no longer functioning and she would need a new one. Obviously, this was not good news and would not have been necessary if she had the f*cking PICC placed today! Ridiculous!

The nurses tried to put a new IV in and Mae held so still for a very long time but the nurse missed the vein and was chasing it all around. Mae lost her patience and started screaming and kicking because there was a big fat needle dodging all around under her skin. That poor kid has been stuck more times in the last week than most people are in a lifetime. Her little arms are black and blue, full of little needle holes and covered in sticky band-aid and tape residue. The nurse finally gave up and called someone from the Infusion Clinic to come up and place the IV. With only one quick try the IV was placed and her antibiotic was given, but by the time all of this was over, the classroom was closed for the day. More tears and disappointment for a little girl who has had bad news and disappointment for a week.

Tonight was a little better. She had Spaghettios and a Robinade for dinner. Oh, and the kitchen forgot to send up her cupcake. I asked her if she wanted me to call in another one and she said no. She seems to be getting used to disappointment. I sure hope that she gets to go home tomorrow. She has excitedly told nearly every person she saw today that she'll be going home tomorrow. I would hate for that not to be the case. She deserves a break!
The hospital bed is proving to be lots of fun.

What Grandma Dee Thinks Of Dancing With The Stars

My grandmother just called to check in on Mae, and after the crap day we had, this was just the conversation I needed.

"Have you ever watched that Dancing With the Stars program?"

I have, but not this season.

"Good Lord! You know they don't even dance to the music. They were just doing a waltz, but that was like no waltz I've ever seen. It's more like aerobics than dancing. They were shaking and jumping around like a bunch of monkeys. And those outfits! Well, this gal at least was a little covered up but most of them have their boobs and every other part hanging out. Forget it!"

Grandma, you made my day!

Monday Garden Club

Well, as expected my gardening in the last week has been on the light side.

I was able to do some shopping for the starter veggie plants last Tuesday but they sit on my back patio not planted. Saturday night as I was watching the news here at the hospital, I heard that there were frost warnings issued for our area overnight. After I freaked out a little and wished we were home and not here, I called our neighbors and they agreed to run over and put our plants in the garage for us. Thanks K and B!

The Gardener went home yesterday and will be off of work today and tomorrow, so he was hoping to clean the house get the garden tilled one more time, then set up some of the trellises for the climbing plants, while Binny is off at school today.

Also last week Monday, before all of this hospital junk began, I worked up the soil around all of our fruit trees, mostly to remove all of the weeds, then I added fresh mulch to each tree. They look so much better. Most of the apple trees are starting to blossom but the peach trees only just started to get their leaves. The peach trees don't do as well as the Apples in our climate, but there is nothing better than a fresh, juicy peach in the middle of summer.

The tulips are still blooming and most of my perennials are up and growing. Once we get home (hopefully tomorrow. Keep your fingers crossed!) I need to give my blueberry bushes an acid treatment and pick some of our huge rhubarb. My mother-in-law said yesterday that she came over and picked some of our rhubarb for a rhubarb pie, but yet she didn't bring any for us. ;) Oh well, in a few days we'll be home enjoying our own rhubarb and picking what's left of my spindly asparagus.

Binny says the tulips smell like Pillsbury crescent rolls. Leave it to Binny to come up with that one.Binny picked some tulips for Mae last Friday to take a little piece of home to the hospital

Now it's your turn bloggers. What's growing in your yard? Since I'm cooped up here, I would love to hear how your gardens are growing. No Mr. Linky today. Again the wifi here is being super helpful (sarcasm), but I shouldn't complain. We actually have it pretty good and I am very thankful to be blogging at all. Later this afternoon I'll post an update on Mae.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

As Promised

I was finally able to upload the photos from the last several days, but unfortunately my brother's computer does not have any photo editing software on it and the wifi connection here at the hospital wouldn't let me access picassa or download any editing software. So, these are the raw images, bad fluorescent lighting and all. I was just happy to be able to get them up on the web.

locked and loaded for the ride to Children's hospital

Chit chat with sister
playing computer games from bed

Yesterday's visit with my dad and brother

Today was a long day. Mae had her blood drawn again this morning, then the bone scan which showed that the infection had made it's way into the bones of her ankle and lower leg. The only difference in treatment will be that she will need the full 4 weeks of IV penicillin treatments. The scan showed no other areas of infection anywhere in her body, which is terrific news. The docs agree that this infection was just a fluke and don't believe that this puts her at risk for future infections, but she will be monitored closely over the next several months.
After the test, Mae was visited by 2 handsome little boys who helped her eat lunch. What a bunch of cuties!

After our friends left, Binny and Grandma N arrived. This was the first time we had seen Binny since Thursday and her first visit here at Children's. She had a great time being spoiled by with Grandma but she was happy to see Mom, Dad and Mae. Grandma visited for a while, then my in-laws showed up for a visit. They were also the transportation home for The Gardener and Binny. At about 6:00 after playing the Wii and hanging out in the playroom for a while we could tell that the girls were about spent. Binny started to fuss and complained of being hungry but refused to eat and Mae was also getting cranky. It was hard for me to see them leave but after the whole weekend away, it was time for Binny to go home and get back to her normal schedule. The Gardener is taking tomorrow and Tuesday off of work to be home with Binny so that she can go to school.
The word is that tomorrow Mae will have the Picc line placed so that means no food or drink after midnight tonight as they may need to sedate her. That might not be so fun as Mae didn't eat a single bite of dinner but instead is sleeping. She has been eating pretty well so missing one meal shouldn't be a big deal, but if the procedure isn't first thing in the morning I could have a cranky girl on my hands. After the picc line is placed, I will be shown how to care for it and give her the antibiotics. Thankfully I am not squeamish so dealing with the new Picc line shouldn't be too much of a problem, but I do have a few concerns. After all Mae is an active 6 year old. I don't know how long she'll need to be out of school or if she will go back at all before the end of the year. I'm nervous about how she'll feel about having semi-permanent tubes sticking out of her and how her friends will react to her if and when she does go back to school. This is all so new to us and I know that this is the only option right now, but change is scary. She will most likely be discharged on Tuesday, then she and I will go home to join Binny and The Gardener and hopefully I'll get my house clean and my garden planted this week before family comes to visit next weekend! I can't wait for life to return to normal, to get a good night's sleep, eat some home cooked meals and not have to worry about machine beeps, blood tests, and sick kids.

I am so grateful that this infection was caught before it spread to anywhere else in her body, but a little annoyed that it took 3 doctor visits to get some answers and correct treatment. Over the last several days I have heard some infection horror stories from the docs here which tells me that Mae is in good hands with experienced medical professionals. Children's Hospital is a great place!

Thanks again for all of the thoughts, prayers and help everyone has given us over the last few days!

One more thing. I still plan to post a Monday Gardening update tomorrow, although I haven't done much gardening in the last week. If anyone else wishes to participate, please do. I would love to see what's growing.