Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Who Is In Charge Here?

There is no place like home.
I can't imagine what it would be like to be a kid and not be able to go back home.

Today I am freaking out.

My heart is breaking all over again and I feel like I could lose my mind.

The hardest thing in the world for me is to let go.
The hardest thing for me is to not be in control.
The hardest thing for me is to wonder about all of these decisions and choices; and stay out of it.

The hardest thing is still not knowing anything about what is wrong with Kayla. Or what she can really be expected to do.

I went and saw her today.

If it was my call, I'd say the hospital dumped her. I'd say this is the wrong place. For one thing it is co-ed. It's like a half way house where people have 3 hots and a cot and one year to become independent.

OK, so it's what it is. I am not the one in charge here. Like I said that is the hardest thing.
I don't know what Kayla can do really. I have worked very hard to train her and teach her.
The house mother said she could tell. We talked for a bit, I answered her questions and she gave me the papers with the house rules.  They have internet access with monitoring systems on them.
It's in a rough neighborhood. It borders the ghetto. Kayla is in a tiny little room with a very small chest of drawers and half a closet.  She sleeps on the top bed of a twin sized bunk bed. She shares a room with a 19 year old who has a one month old baby.  Kayla is not to big on babies. I hope she has patience with a newborn crying at night. Whew, I really have anxiety over this. I was hoping for a place that was all women and where she would have a lot of supervision. I told the house mother that. I told her Kayla can easily be victimized. She is willing to work with her and that is a blessing.

The rule list is awesome. The structure for the day is very good and no messing around with breaking the rules. It's all very no nonsense.  It could be just the right thing. Dear God please calm me down,
help me to trust.

What a change from her beautiful room here. What  a change from our beautiful home.
She misses her cat.

Of course she complained about the food.
She hasn't got to the place yet where she can just be thankful not to be hungry.

I know I am not in control.
I have to let go and I just want to say forget it, this is all just a bad dream now let's wake up, and bring her home.
If I did that we would be right back where we started.
I can't.
She won't listen to me.
She would be "good" for a couple of days and then go right back to her agenda of risky behavior.

So here we are, right in the middle of it.
I am amazed at the letters some of you have written to me of trials you have faced.
We all have a lot of hurts. Sometimes it takes one of us to pull down our masks for a minute and then others do too. It's risky to be real. It's risky to let others know your life isn't as pretty on the inside as it looks on the outside.

Shoot fire it's just risky to live.

So today is a day to wrestle with anxiety, who knows what tomorrow will bring?

And don't forget the give away.
Ya'll sign up for those seeds!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Garden of Eating Give Away

I haven't been doing a very good job of working lately. Yeah, I know you don't blame me. I decided when I got up this morning that no matter how I felt I was going to hit the kitchen and get to it.

Fresh cilantro, love that smell.
Time to simmer down.

Salsa. Got the recipe off the internet. Last year my salsa was too salty but I used it on roasts' and it was delicious. We just couldn't eat it. This time I followed the recipes STRICTLY.

I have just  2 hills of cucumbers. All of this from just 2 hills. I have given away at least this many and been eating them to. Gardening is a great way to save money and feed your family 

chop chop chop

work them up and chop chop and stuff the jars.

the added grape leaf for crispness.

These are half gallon size jars. I made 6, 3 gallons of pickles. Good night nurse.

Today was just the beginning. The peach tree is absolutely loaded and ready so I can't get too far behind on the summer harvesting work and putting food up. 

Linda over at Home Town Seeds would like to sponsor a give away. I decided to just cut and paste what she said in the e mail and let you choose the prize if you should be the very blessed winner. I'm honored she would consider my blog for a give away because I think my readership is small. But ya'll are a mighty bunch so what I figured is that with you cutting and pasting and posting we could give Linda some good exposure for her generosity!

We love to do giveaways. We would be happy to offer one of our Survival Packs as a giveaway . Or if you think your readers would be more interested, we could offer our Variety Pack  or our new Herb Pack (which isn’t quite up on the site yet, but includes 10 varieties of our most popular herbs). Let me know which pack you think would be best.

So here is the deal. 
For every place you post about the give away, and link back to my blog. You can have an entry. One for a comment, in the comment state your choice of seed packs, one for a Face Book and one for a twitter. You have to let me know what you do because I don't twitter. If you talk your friends into doing the same you can have an entry for each friend you get to do a link, up to 10 chances for each person. 
If we get a big turn out I'll figure out random integer. I don't know how to do that so I will probably make up name tags and put them in a hat and have the Hunny draw.

My bag of survival seeds is big, it came with directions and it's is sealed air tight to keep for next year. Even though we are in the thick of harvesting it's never a bad time to get more seeds. These seeds are also NOT hybrids so you can collect and save from you own garden. UBER COOL! 

You have one week. Wednesday July 7th we will pick the winner. If you enter before 6pm that day I'll add you to the hat. Winner needs to live in the USA.

Back to my life.

 I had a little visitor coming through the yard.

Maybe his name is Peter.
Bet he is pigging out on my garden, because 
he was a fat little fella.

Pretty cute little bunny ears don't ya think?

Very cute little visitor. Unlike Mr. McGregor I think we have enough to share and the little guy is welcome to eat his fill.

Maybe I should make him a little blue jacket.

I love Beatrice Potter.

It has been quite a day.
I decided to call my brother.
I talked with him and his sweet wife.
If you can call bawling your eyes out, talking.

I felt a lot better after bawling like that.
I've been to sick to let myself cry.
I figured if I did I might end up in the ER.

Who would ever think that it is a blessing to breathe good enough to bawl your eyes out?

That is just pathetic. Out here we say things like
"Bless yer heart," or " that is jes pitiful."

Well alrighty then pitiful it is, because I did some serious bawling.

But my God is an awesome God. We got a call from Kayla tonight she has been placed in a home downtown. It's a Christian home and she can stay a year. Her plans are to go to college. I'm amazed.
She seems to have a good attitude. I'll talk to the house mother tomorrow. To find out what is involved.
Kayla wants a shaver it's been 6 days since she could shave her legs. A girl has to make priorities.

She sounded really positive about making a life for herself.
She told me she made friends in the hospital and the home is a nice place. 
She said she is going to work hard to become independent.

Totally God.
Excuse me while I go cry some more.

I was thinking today about you. I was thinking today about how some of you have been my friends for a long time and you don't believe in God. You know I do, I know you don't. That is OK and it has not stopped us from being friends. That is how it should be.  What I have always wanted you to see here, is a person who has a real relationship with the real alive living God, Jesus Christ. It is not about religion. It is not about a list of do this and don't do that. It is about a God that cares about us and meets our needs. It is about a God that offers to forgive us, deliver us, redeem us, transform us, and keep us. He never gives up. He is the God of the last chance, no chance,  the slim chance, and the fat chance.

He is real. I would go through every bit of this if for one minute it makes you who don't believe think twice, that maybe, just maybe, this is the real deal.  If it makes even one stop and think about Jesus- who is this guy? Was he just a good teacher or is he who he says he is? 

It's worth it. You are worth it. Jesus thought so he already gave his life for you.
So what is a little testimony of his faithfulness on my part? 
The least I can do.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Next Step.

If you had to work the system would you? Millions of illegals do it every day and they get free health care. They get all kinds of services. I have talked about it before from a health care giver role. Today I became a part of the problem. I decided to hold my ground and make them help us. I know we don't have insurance. I know the hospital is going to take a loss.

I don't care. We need help.

We had a meeting today. It was exactly what I expected. They are working on the fastest discharge plan they can come up with. They want us to take her back. The doctor gave her a generic depression diagnosis. Anything else they said takes time.

I know about that. How about 19 years?

We made some tough decisions before we went in there. That if they didn't offer us anything but the same old thing we were going to let them figure this out.

That is what happened. They are going to have to place Kayla. She does have some options. It's more work for them. But hopefully since she is an inpatient the SW can file for her to be on disability and find her a place to live. The SW was trying to let us know about waiting lists and all that. But I know the rules. They can't kick Kayla to the curb. She is there until they can find a place. That is what you call motivation. They will work much harder at it since it's their wallet. I'm mean aren't I.

She mentioned a home where Kayla would have to work a 40 hour a week job. That would be too perfect. I don't know if she can even keep a job and follow directions. She usually thinks she has a better idea. It is my hope that God will provide for her just the right situation. That she will meet some people and make at least ONE real life good friend. I pray she gets a job she can do and feel good about herself doing it. This kid needs some success. There will be room at the inn for her. She has Someone on her side that can supernaturally help.

That is as good as it gets.

Jennifer is working on her situation. She has promised to go to a clinic and get "Fred" looked at before I have a nervous breakdown.

Then I went to Cato and bought Jennifer a beautiful new baby sky blue blouse with gold designs on it, and a little card, just because. Sometimes the things I miss most about my own Mama give me ideas about exactly what I ought to do next. It cheered me up to buy a gift. It will cheer her up to get one.

I am actually more relaxed than I have been in weeks. I called the hospital and Kayla is not crying, she isn't upset.  For the last 3 nights I have been able to lie down in the bed and not cough. I'm so tired this time that not even the steroids are getting me up and buzzing around. I'm resting. I'm going to go take a nap next.

So much to be grateful for. God is on the move, He never fails.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

In the Land of Uz.

An amazing thing is happening. Now that I broke the ice about what is really going on I might not be able to shut up.  Life is like that. You hold stuff in because it's ugly or fearful and try to stuff it. Stuffing stuff, eventually you get too full and like an overstuffed teddy bear you start spilling your stuffing and little parts fall from the rips in the seams. I can relate to a tattered up toy.

My daughters. The one who I had, and who gave me three more and a little boy. It can become confusing because rather unconventionally they all get lumped into the category of "mine"- my babies.  Kayla is in the behavioral health hospital. Monday we find out if she is going to go for long term treatment and that looks like that will be the case.  It hurts worse than anything so far that I've been dealt. It hurts because we got so close to the dream. We had the college education in our grasp. All the work to teach her had really produced results and she could make it. For her it was a monumental achievement. Her education has been one rocky, tough hill to climb. It took a lot of persistence and nagging. It took creative thinking to get ideas into her mind in ways she could understand. After all these years of effort the sky was blue, the scholarship granted, and the future bright.  Then a hurricane blew in and it is all vanishing.

When she was young she was really a handful. She was so hyperactive that she was expelled from three preschools by age three. My husband and I would just roll our eyes at each other.  It was so obvious that Nannie was going to have to stay home with these two. Because that three year old did not dare moon me or her shiny bum would feel the wooden spoon. She didn't mess with me like that, but she had no mercy on the preschool teachers.  My job was to keep her from leaping from tall walls to her demise, or getting burned from touching things that were hot.  Or doing things to our pets that would hurt them. It wasn't easy. She was fast and impulsive. It seemed that her cause and effect was completely broken. Keeping her safe was a huge challenge, huge!

I mean it.

Have you ever had a kid pick the shiny glass balls off of your Christmas tree and start eating them?
I have. They looked pretty enough to eat, so she did. With her mother and me trying like crazy to get the glass out of her mouth. Did she do it only once? Nope. Her Mom and I nearly tore the tree down that year. It almost wasn't worth the stress.

How about losing your kid at a big country fair? This little girl had to do life fast, and move quickly. It was always hard to hold her hand. She would squirm against your vise grip to get loose. One second of forgetting to hang on and she would be free. When I realized she had got away I had my first panic attack.  We were in a very large county fair in Watsonville CA. I took them almost every year. We loved looking at the exhibits and sitting on John Deare tractors for a photo shoot. They were so cute back then. One time as we stood in front of some darling Nubian goats one of them was really talking to us. I feel so sorry for 4 H animals. I know that it teaches kids but these animals have been raised by one loving child and when they get sold they are totally freaked. It's sad. Heather was watching this little goat and finally she looked up at me and asked me, "Nannie, what is she saying?" I said, " I don't know honey, I don't speak goat. But it sounds like she wants her mama."

After I found Kayla that day I started hooking a leash to a loop in her pants. She hated it and I didn't care. She cried that I was walking her like a dog. I had to!

I want my Mama. I don't care how old you are when things get rough we want our Mama. Mine has been gone for a long time. I sort of had an idea when my Mom died and I was 26 that we were getting the short end of that stick. Only time has really defined what that short stick feels like. I miss the little surprises. Mom's do things like get you a package of new underwear, or just pop in to go have lunch. Mom's know when your trying to stuff your stuffing and they call you on the carpet before your seams start to split and spill. Mom's. We need them more when we become one. From the time I was a little girl, maybe even five years old, my one main desire was to be a good mom. I wanted a bushel basket full of kids. I had 9 dolls. I named them all and dressed them up.  I'd wash their hair and cut new hair styles. The only problem being that doll hair doesn't grow back. So if a doll ended up with a butch, I'd just make her be a boy and put that doll in boy baby clothes after that.  You know creative problem solving.
I have tried to be a good mom, where I have failed them, I have made up with loving them.

Kayla required creative problem solving from the first week of her life. She was the cutest baby we ever laid eyes on. Actually she was such a replica of her own mother that it was a big fat deja vu. It felt so weird to take the same child into my arms. Strange I tell you, as I searched for a difference and couldn't find one. I was speechless. She was a beautiful newborn, creamy skin, pure white hair and big dark blue eyes. Her little head was perfectly round, no molding and her cheeks were chubby. She looked like a little perfect doll. Beautiful. My husband nearly swooned he was so smitten with her. He just sat down awed at how pretty she was.  He looked at her and said, "I have never seen a pretty newborn before." He just lost it over her, completely head over heels. Kayla has always been Papa's baby. Papa's heart is breaking too.

I taught her to write on a cookie sheet spread thin with chocolate pudding. If she made a letter right she could lick her finger. We started printing that way, edible finger painting. It was the only way I could get her to focus. Once she could make all her letters we went to paper and big crayons. It took awhile but she learned how to write. Reading was another hurdle. She loved to play on the computer and could install programs and "do" them. All without reading. We had every Reader Rabbit program I could lay my hands on. She was 8 years old when she figured out the reading code and then she went through every book in the house, with 100% comprehension.  In our big house in Felton there was enough rooms to have a room for school. It was filled with everything a kid could want to play with that would teach them. I adopted the philosophy of surrounding them in a rich environment of learning. We had a ton of choices. Lots of hands on ways to learn. Beans to count, dough to squish, art to make, stories to read, it was a lot of fun. We managed to hit all the subjects in a rather random way but they always had a full day. We studied how plants grow, we studied the world we live in. We learned about animals on the land and on farms. We explored the ocean and all the creatures and plants in it. We learned how food grows. We planted gardens and they climbed trees. We played in the mud and had tea parties. They had lots of music, you know singing loud, banging on sticks and drums. They loved Harry Belafonte and singing Day-O. We had a blast. It was so much fun. I don't think learning needs to be a chore and not much of it happens in workbooks where you fill in a blank. At least that is my opinion.  Our young girls learned and grew and they thrived. They were happy.

Then life got tough. They moved back with mom and at first life went well. Kayla became a handful again but in different ways. She was mean to her younger sibblings and rebellious. She began to over eat and steal food. She would eat other kids lunches at school and lie that her mom didn't feed her. She gained weight so it was pretty obvious she was getting more than enough to eat!  She had trouble in school making friends. She could make friends with boys and kids that were younger than her. She refused to work for the teachers and after a few frustrating years she ended up in special ed.  I'll never forget what she said to us about riding the short bus to school.  "Now what have I done?"  The broken cause and effect. She never has understood how certain behaviors get a person into trouble.

She has never learned that. No matter what approach we took. She has always obsessed on one thing at a time. When she was young it was safari animals. All she would play with was safari animals. When she got into video games it was all over. I didn't let her play with them. Her mom liked them, she played them too. When you look back it's hard to see which part of your trip may have been a wrong turn. What was it? We may never have the answer. My hope is that after all this time we might get a diagnosis. If someone will take the time and care enough to piece the puzzle together.  She is 19 and she is old enough to ban us from this experience. If she tells the medical team not to talk to us, I guess that will be how it is done. It will make it a lot harder for them because I have a lot of useful information. That is if they really want to know and not just punch the clock.

Here we are. Another big hurdle in Kayla's life.  I had no idea she had such thoughts until I found that she wrote them down. Shocking stuff. On the outside is a sweet precious girl, in the inside is her evil twin full of rage and rebellion. Full of fantasies that can only lead to death and tragedy. Heartbreak and the kind of stuff that gets you locked up. Too scary to ignore.

Have you ever been heart broken? Isn't it weird that it physically hurts? Your heart can feel like it is ripping apart in your chest. I have experienced that over broken relationships with men. Children can rip your heart out on a whole nutha level. I can't tell which is worse, they are both bad. Today I think a child induced broken heart takes the cake.

Worry can creep up and smack a person right in the face. Sometimes in a big right hook. I have to fight with worry and lay that bad boy down. Worry steals from me. It steals my peace and sometimes my sanity. I can't play with it. I have a whole lot of worry coming at me right now. I'm having a full on nuclear war with it.

Besides Kayla, Jennifer has her troubles. I am so proud of her. She has finally grown up. She has such a great sense of humor and she is so funny. You have to watch out for that girl she can make you pee your pants giggling too hard. She works hard and she has become strong. It makes a parent proud when they see their kid can put their hand to the plow and make a field. It is a satisfying feeling. It's good.
But our world is rocky right now. That cool little shop at the beach is struggling to stay afloat. Struggling enough to get behind on paychecks. Getting behind on paychecks is getting behind on the rent. Getting behind on the rent is getting into trouble with the landlord. The whole thing seems about to implode.

That should be enough right? Enough trouble? But no....let's throw in a sudden onset of horrible toothache. Let's go to the dentist after hours and get a big bill just to be told that we have 3 teeth in serious trouble. One can be pulled because it's in the back. Two have gaping holes and are infected. Root canals ka ching ka ching. No money, no benefits, owed the last 3 checks, working 10 to 14 hours a day 6 days a week and no money. That just plain isn't fair. But I'm not done yet! There's more. Yep believe it or not there is more. I saw Jen changing her pants and she has a goober on her thigh that is a big ugly. I freaked. I am so much better now at maintaining my 5 alarm bells but this one was tough to keep calm. This was a "WHAT IS THAT?" Let me see it! And my funny girl is jerking her pants on as fast as she can to get me away from that goober. She says, "That's Fred!"  I excitedly answer back, "FRED?" This thing has been with you so long you have named it?

 Before you judge, think about what you would do as a single mom working 60 hours a week without benefits. When you are using everything you've got for food, roof , clothes and some occasional fun to make up for the lack of time to your kids when your home. There is no time or money for the doctor. She is TIRED.

But her mother (me) worked oncology. Her mother knows when the cavalry needs to be called. The calvary needed to be called a year ago when Fred was a little sore that wouldn't heal and bled. Fred is bigger than a quarter, crusty, blackish blue and irregularly shaped. Fred's last name may be melanoma. But Fred might be just one of those benign barnacles that old folks get.... probably not.  As I try to beat worry down with a big bat. As my fear grips me, "Do I get her back to lose her?" She is in a lot of pain all the time every day. The teeth could have attacked her joints. But she had other alarming things happen while I was there, like have bile in her urine. Her low back is thick in an odd way, the tissues feel dense. When I tried to give her a back rub to make her feel better she had something foul tasting spit up into her mouth. 5 alarms went off in my head, no maybe 10. So I had a great big asthma attack instead, and we blamed it on the mold.  There is a lot of mold in her place.

Maybe that's why I am up typing at 3am in the morning and can't sleep. Steroids will do that to you. My house needs another good cleaning. Last night at 3am in the morning I wiped out the microwave.
I may be totally nuts before this over. Here I am without a job. I am not in a position to do anything. I have thought about selling the house. It's the last thing. For a person like me who likes independence and problem solving; being in this position with my knees knocked out from under me all I can do is pray. Have mercy God have mercy.

At least my blog is going to be going in one direction. I may have to change it from "where you never do know what your going to get,"  to "where you never do know what is going to happen next."

On a happy note the HOMETOWNSEEDS folks want to sponsor a give away. I'm going to get that post up the first part of the week. I just got my survival seed pack and it is very cool and a very big supply of seeds. It will be an awesome give away.  I just need to get my thoughts together about it.

 I will too, these last two posts are cathartic in a helpful way. it has always been easier for me to write than to talk. I even pray better when I write. I have journals full of prayers. The cool thing is I can go back years later and see how God answered, otherwise I just forget. My mind has trouble with recalling data. Writing about all of this other stuff is helping me. I hope you don't mind sharing my journey. If I quit stuffing then my bulging seams might stay together.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Winning and Losing

Have you ever had so much going on in your life that it kind of knocks your knees out from you?
I have practically become a blogger drop out and it's because I don't even know where to start.
It all started when I tried to take a vacation. At least I think so. If I made a list of all the crap that has happened this last month you would suck in your breath and say, WHEW.

It's been one of those months where I made butter and didn't photograph it or post about it.
Where every idea I had about a post got immediately shoved to the back burner by life.

Back to where the trouble starts, does it start in grade school? Were you the kid that could catch and throw and be picked out for the team right away? Or were you the kid they picked last because they had to pick you there was no one left, and you knew they didn't want you at all, not even in right field. You know the winners and the losers.

We have set it up from the time we are little. The "successful" crowd and the "losers." Funny thing is a  lot of the time the losers are more authentic people. Ever been to an AA meeting? Not to many folks in there interested in presenting a mask, or a portfolio, or even the latest greatest fashion statement. Nope, those folks are interested in surrender. Surrender of whatever it is that has held them in bondage.  I'm not an alcoholic but I appreciate the meetings. Part of my training in nursing school was a rotation through psych and drug and alcohol rehab. I have visited with friends and always got something from a meeting. Last time I went to one I said I was addicted to 'stinkin thinkin." Everybody in the room nodded their head yes to me.  For addictions success is in surrender.

Maybe that's where we go wrong sometimes with our kids. As parents when our kids are doing something we know is harmful to them we just demand that they stop it. Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't. Recovery programs never demand a person to stop, they ask for surrender. To realize their life has become unmanageable. It's getting there that can be tricky. Getting to the "ah ha" moment of clarity.

I have a kid whose life is now unmanageable. A kid who has been wearing a mask. A kid with a secret thought life of fantasy that has now become dangerous, and may be insane. She is in the hospital, and I am devastated.

The funny thing is, I don't want to talk about it.
I don't want to call the pastor.
I don't want to call my friends.
I don't want community.

And in doing that I am depriving myself of a very important gift. The gift of "me too."

But we don't like to admit that someone in our family has mental illness. There is a stigma to it. The "loser" stigma. The "eeeewwwwww" factor.

What is so sad is that my sweet girl has always been the ostracized one. She doesn't have even one friend. Why are we all still so stuck up that we cannot love other people who are a little bit different?
What in the hell is the matter with all of us that we have to be in our own little comfort zone all the time. Heaven forbid we should reach out to those around us who aren't our first choice. Maybe they are our last choice. Maybe they would never be our choice.  Maybe they are my sweet baby who has gone crazy from loneliness.  Since she was little she couldn't fit in with her peers. She has always had problems. She found acceptance on the internet. She found acceptance with witches, weirdos and sex perverts that would exploit her. Great, every parents nightmare is now my reality. Another plan B.

I am in limbo land.

What's next? I don't know.

We had a first class ticket to a fine college. Now we can't take the trip.


Uber stress.

Did I mention that I am STILL sick? A real blast from the past I have had a major exacerbation of asthma that won't let up. I'm on my second round of steroids and all of this is putting my hip surgery at risk of failure. But I can't quit barking like a seal and having coughing fits till I barf. Yeah it aint' been pretty. No news from my camp is usually bad news. I have this thing about not being a whiner. Part of the rules about being a winner or a loser is no whining. Winners don't whine. They don't have kids with handicaps they don't have kids in mental hospitals, and they don't lose their jobs. They smile look pretty and talk success talk. Winners are definitely not on disability at 55.

Isn't that really the whole line of crap that we accept in our society?
It is crap too. So are you backing up and going the other way now?
We wear these stupid masks because if we are authentic we run the big risk of rejection.
Or maybe someone else says--"me too."

The difference is, I don't care how it looks. I don't care if people think less of me because of these problems. I have done the best I could do. The truth is I have poured my whole life into these kids. I have sacrificed my career, my retirement, my financial security, my time, everything I have; I have given for them. It still didn't come out like we hoped. We do believe that if we do certain things that a positive outcome ought to occur. It doesn't always come out right. Then our sense of justice gets it's feathers all ruffled. Then we start asking questions about suffering and God and why isn't it right? Don't we?

We think that Christians ought to have the answers to this too. Guess what, we definitely do not.  Not me anyway. I couldn't begin to explain suffering. But I rely on the God of the fat chance, slim chance, no chance. For me it was about surrender to that higher power. I recognized that I didn't have any answers. I understood that believing in God would not make my life better or make my troubles go away.
I wanted to go through my life with Someone that could always be relied on not to fail me.
For me forgiveness and faithfulness is enough.

I thought we had made it. It was looking like all the years of hard work had paid off. I thought the future was bright.

Plan B. The truth has been revealed.

The good news is. I have hope. I have faith. I have faith in a Someone who goes above circumstances and sorrows. I have faith in Someone who is in control when everything seems dark and hopeless. I have faith in a mighty God whose arm is not to short to save, and that is where I have set up my camp and no I don't FEEL any better!  I am not setting up camp in my feelings. Feelings are a slippery slope.

Does that make it hurt less? No
Do I understand why? No.
Do I think God is being mean to let me suffer? No
Well then can I explain it? No.

What I do know is that when I fall back into those everlasting arms, they are there. What I do know is Jesus said two very important inseparable sentences. He said "In this world you will have trouble; and then He said, "but take heart, I have overcome the world."

I don't understand. I can't explain it. I can hardly accept it. But in the end we win because we are with Him, and the winner takes it all.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gardening for Home Grown Food

About a month ago this is what the side garden looked like.  I put in 2 hills of cucumbers, some herbies, and 4 tomato plants. I guess I'm crazy but I like flowers and vegetables mixed together. There are a lot of strawberries in this bed.  I never have been one to lay out rows of things in separate areas. My husband the real farmer, thinks I'm odd that way but he does admit that it looks pretty.

This is the side yard about 2 weeks ago and those cucumbers are running into the driveway. They are producing really heavy and I am going to be busy making pickles soon. One of my big crispers in the refrigerator is almost full. A friend just told me that one grape leaf in the bottom of each jar keeps the pickles crisp. Has anyone else ever heard of that trick?

While I was in Texas I ate some green tomato pickle relish. It was kind of like a sweet chutney. Wowzas it was delicious. I would love a recipe for that!  Anybody have one?

We have a long hot growing season here so I plant from seeds directly. A good source of seed is a company called Home Town Seeds. They are on line. Right now they are offering a 20% off for seed orders and they have a cool survival seed kit. The seeds are not hybrids so you can save from your harvest for the next year. They have some nice heirloom seeds available. Enter a code that says thanks.

Survival Seed Bank Link.

and happy gardening. The summer is on us and it's hot. Pretty soon I am going to be canning everything.
The peach tree is just loaded. That's the thing about gardening you have a lot of work to do as your harvest comes in; but it's saved money in the bank. Ka ching Ka ching.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sometimes It's A Plan B

My grand babies take after me they love the water.

Lindsey likes to cook, she baked a little cake to celebrate.

Sisters back together and Heather looks wonderful. She is really happy in Santa Cruz.

Axel was glad to see us. He hadn't forgotten us.

I love my baby.

Sometimes the best plans get changed by things we can't foresee.  May 31st I flew home on the first flight out of Oakland. I was going to be in California until June 16th.  It seems that I am allergic to the state.  I became sick with asthma while I was there and it was literally the worst asthma attack I have ever had.  I wondered if a ventilator was looming in my future and I am serious as a heart attack about that.  I sipped whiskey on the airplane to try and control my cough. The passengers were looking at me and the stewardesses were coming over to try and help, just what I like most, being a spectacle.

When I finally got home I thought about going directly to the ER. I didn't. Have you ever been too sick to go to the hospital?  I hadn't slept at all in 2 nights and I had all the medications I needed at home. I have a nebulizer machine and all the da das and gizmos.  What I thought is, that if I could make it through the night at home I would go to the doctor first thing in the morning. That is what I did. My doctor wanted to admit me to the hospital. Money is an issue when you don't have a job so I asked to please try keeping me at home. He agreed. One big steroid shot in the big bo hiney and a bucket full of prescriptions and off to the house and my own wonderful bed. I made it. I have been making a good recovery here in my sweet home.  I decided to let you all imagine me vacationing in California and let the blogging rest too. I was too sick. The disappointment was so intense. When I left my daughter I was just sobbing. I could hardly let go of her. Our visit had been so precious we laughed ourselves silly. It was so great to just be together and love each other. She worked every day but one, and I had to leave the day before she had a day off. It was a dirty cheat.  What I do know is, God is in control. I know that He is good. I do not understand why this happened, but I had to trust Him that there was a good reason for it. I don't have to know what it is. I never made it to Debbie's, and there were some blog buddies I was going to meet. All of it got scratched. Plan B. Go home.

We did a lot of living and loving in that one week. I missed the wedding and seeing the little grand babies. I insisted that my Hunny go on the trip without me. I was actually back home before he even left!  He couldn't do me any good being here. He has worked so hard and his whole family was going to be together for this wedding. The little girls had birthdays and his cousins were coming down from Reno. He needed to go. So I sent him with my blessing. It's been actually nice to be home with just Kayla and rest and putter around.  As I improved I'd get up early like 6 am and go work in my garden for a couple of hours. I have still got the touch, the garden looks amazing. Those truck loads of horse manure have done amazing things out there.  Some of my zucchini plants have leaves like elephant ears. The plants are gorgeous.

I also took advantage of my husband being gone to get some other projects done. HA HA. I had the broken windshields in two cars fixed. I went through junk and tossed it in the trash. I washed all the blankets and linens on the bed. Steroids do crazy things to me. I get the energy of an army. I did PACE myself and rest. I have done some stupid things on steroids before like paint the house. The outside of the house! No, stupid projects this time.  The other thing is I have been taking a lot of wholistic supplements and got back on my cod liver oil. Blech yum blech yum. Is anyone else addicted to carrot juice? I can't drink enough of it. It's interesting, but carrot juice satisfies my sweet tooth. I am almost completely off of sugar.

And now for some good news.

I am well enough to go to Texas for a family reunion. My mother died when I was just 26. Her youngest sister is having a big family reunion. My brother and his wife are coming and all of my cousins. I haven't seen any of these people in probably 20 years. I didn't even know about it until the California trip was planned. I was really upset about missing it. Now, I am not going to miss it. It's a short drive only 6 hours. I had my windshield changed on my car and am getting it serviced and the oil changed today.
Tomorrow early, early we hit the road and will have a little trip. The amazing thing is that I have recovered so fast. Usually when I get sick with asthma it's a really long drawn out mess. I guess the good Mississippi air is the ticket for me.

I already miss my daughter and all the kids. They want to move here and that is all I can think about. I just want to get my arms around them again, and frequently!

There is nothing like family. I am so blessed to have a home, a garden, friends, and a life to live. When I got home my friend brought me fresh milk and vegetables from her farm and filled my refrigerator with good food. I didn't even have to go to the store.

My world is full of beauty. My heart is full of hope. My arms are full of children large and small and for all of this I give God thanks. Even when things go wrong they can be right.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I do have a first born, actually an only child.

She is a grown woman now and it has been about 8 years since we have really visited each other. There has been a lot of rough water under the bridge.

Even so, you never stop loving them.

You can imagine my excitement.

She practically runs this place. It's a pretty cool job right on the water.

She looks like ET in the closet full of toys. There is a ton of stuff in this place. All vera vera expensive, but Miss Smiley is a fabolous sales lady. She can pile your arms high with doo dads and trinkets that you didn't know you wanted, and you leave smiling and broke.

I was very grateful she didn't use the force of that charm on me.

This customer did not escape. Buy! you buy now!!

One of her more favorite tasks is to feed the pelicans. My baby is brave she can man handle dead fish with her bare hands---oh wait maybe not, those are gloves!

It's a perfume thing I think.
and here they come. They actually know her, she calls them and they come flying in for a free feast.

Come on, you know you want it. She says the little suckers can really scratch you up when they are hungry. They aren't all that excited today. Here birdie....nice fish!

Check that out!  The fish is in her hand and the birds mouth. What a shot!! Whoo hoo!  Yeah I know it was pure luck.

All done.  The fish are full and I am standing there soaking in the sight of my beautiful girl.