Reflection

Reflection

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Holiday Craft from a not-to-crafty person

Ah, the holidays are here!  
Tis the week before Thanksgiving (oh it is just days away!)
and I look at my dining table wondering what to do.....

What to do?

Inspiration!
So, okay, I am doing a bit of copying....

Visiting my dear friend Kathy who had a lovely
try of candles, many candles,
all different heights.
Some of those nifty faux candles with a vanilla scent
that you just use a remote to turn on!  (Costco)
Then the candles that have faux birch wood wrapped on the 
outside.  Leaves scattered amongst them on,
leaves scattered on her large coffee table as though a
wisp of wind laid them there....
Needless to say Kathy seems to decorate in the way
that feels warm, natural, and speaks of home....where
you want to sit and sip a cup of tea or better yet
a lovely glass of wine.  (hint, hint, Kathy)
I had candle envy.  Can you have candle envy?  

Oh back to the dining table. 

I had a mission yesterday.  I was thinking,  surely I can find 
some of the faux birch bark candles. 
Then I thought of how to use the candles.
 I should have remembered while I was walking the aisles of
Cost Plus.   I thought of a tray which I did not have the size I wanted.
I thought of a mirror laid on the table...reflection and light!
I found the candles at Cost Plus!  Yippeee!  Bought four.  
(the employees need to know their merchandise as they didn't
think they had them. They thought they were only online.   I found them
after searching aisle by aisle.)

On to the craft store.  Once again I am distracted.
Too many women, too many carts.
I bought sheet moss, bright green, fresh moss.
I bought Lichen that is black on one side
soft cream on the other side, curly, crisp as
though peeled from a oak tree.
Distraction over the faux trees and what I
could do with them for Christmas......

Home. Thinking.

I look up and realize I have so many baskets of every type.  
In the garage way of high I spy a long, low basket.
This basket was so dirty. 
I thought of wiping it down but it was a mess
and would take too long to clean.
I  hosed it down at full force and set it tilted over the heat vent.
Dry in no time!

Perfect.  

I have plenty of my own candles I can add.


I have a wide enough table but I still need room for my place mats and glassware....
The basket will give me the length I need for a table set for nine.
 



I could look for some acorns....but went out and cut some
branches off the Maple tree for now.  
Christmas ideas are brewing in my head.

Seriously...thank you Kathy for the idea....

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Horse Tails - End

  


     Rodger found the flag holsters for our saddles as well as the flags.  Up until then we had practiced just with the horses, to keep the same pace and uniformity.  We had that down and we were feeling quite good about ourselves.  The vests and horse pads were almost ready and with horse show season as well as Fair time coming up we were getting excited about being able to do the Color Guard for the beginning of those events.  Note:  that we never thought we wouldn't get to do this.  

     Spring in Antioch is quite windy and this day was no exception.  Becky wasn't able to work with us this day on her horse Whisky so David's sister was going to substitute for fun with us.  There were a few other kids on horses in the arena along with us,  just having a good time riding.  Rodger had already placed the holster on our saddles where it would hang down from the saddle horn by the right side of the saddle next to your leg.  David was on his horse walking around with the flag waving in the wind.  His horse didn't seem to mind.  Of course he noted that you don't want the flag flapping in your face.  He was laughing and excited about the whole deal carry the flag.  This will take a bit of learning on our part holding the flag with one hand and reins in the other, that when standing in place it would be a good to hold the flag against the pole with your right hand.   

     My Duke and I are all ready to give it a try.  Duke is the kind of horse you call "bomb proof".   He doesn't get nervous or do stupid things like some spirited horses can do.  I can walk behind and under him with never a worry of getting kicked.  He just isn't that kind of horse.  He is the perfect kid horse.    In my mind he is the best horse in the whole world whom I love with all my heart.  


                                ***************************************************

     Tragedy comes to each of us and we are never aware or prepared for it's arrival.  A day will begin just as any other day.  You rise, eat breakfast, dress and do whatever your day will be.  And that was how my day was until it ended in that one moment of disbelief. 

     I can hear Rodger talking to me about holding the flag.  I am standing next to Duke not up on him.  I have split reins and one is up around his neck and the other is down.  What I don't remember is why I was not on him when we put the flag in the holster.  Why did we do it this way?  Rodger had suggested I walk Duke and he would hold the flag for Duke to get use to before I was on him.  What I remember is the flag flapping with Rodger holding the pole straight up and I was next to him.  We had started walking,  then with out any warning Duke took off running, the reins jerked from my hands.  Just like that.  I can hear myself yelling to him "Whoa, whoa!".  Yelling is name "Duke!"  I was running after him wanting him to stop.   That horse of mine was running with the flag still in the holster dragging next to him.  He was running in fear and I was as afraid as he was.  

     Then Duke did the next thing he had never done.  He tried to jump the arena fence.  The tall arena fence that was sturdy and strong.  The height of which to climb you go up four rails till you reach the top.  My eyes saw him try to clear it but Duke was not a jumper, he wasn't a big horse and he had that flag dragging in the dirt.  I can see him in my mind making the jump.  Though he made it over my thoughts next were, will he stop running?  Will he keep running and why won't the flag pole drop?

     I ran to the arena gate and swung it open.  Dub and Ilene's barn is right there near the gate with the one lane drive that leads around the fairgrounds.   There was Duke,  stopped and I was so overcome by this crazy thing he had done that I ran to him as he stood there and it was then I noticed his trembling.  I noticed his hind leg that he would not bear weight on.  I saw the blood running down that leg he held up, cocked on the tip of his hoof.   I ran to him my arms flung round his neck the tears flowing.  I never saw Dub come to me and was looking Duke over.  I never heard a sound but my own cry and the burning tears blinding my eyes.  

    Dub. Dear, sweet man,  Dub.  He gets his truck and hooks the horse trailer up.  He unsaddles Duke and gets a halter on him.  He somehow gets me to let go of my horse and load him in the trailer.  Ilene was next to me, arms around my shoulders letting me weep and cry.   I remember Dub telling us that he would go to Davis to the Veterinary School.  I am reassured as I have heard they are the best for taking care of horses.  I watched that trailer take my horse for as long as I could.

     My mom came to pick me up, at sometime Ilene must have called her.   She drives me to the doctor's office that she works at and gets me in a room.  I don't think my mom knew what to do for me.  This was not a situation she was prepared for to see her daughter so upset and unconsolable.    The Doctor came in and it was discussed that she could leave early.  We went home and I buried myself in my bed.  Alone as the day became night, crying, just crying.  At some time the door opened in the dark,  letting a shaft of light in.  My mom came to my bed to tell me that Dub had called.   It was not good.  Duke had shattered his hind leg in the jump and there was nothing that could be done.  My Duke was gone.  My dearest friend in this awful life of mine was gone.   I know my mom must have touched me or stroked my back but she was gone before I felt the relief that I longed for.  The darkness and at last sleep came upon me.


                       ******************************************************
       
     It was weeks before I would go back to the barn and see my friends.  See Duke's empty stall, his saddle and bridle, halter and all the memories flashing in my head day after day.  I kept the shirt I wore that day with the blood on it, his blood.  I hid it, I didn't want to have it washed clean, I wanted to have something that was of him with me.

     Everyone was kind and caring.  Telling me all the right things to say to someone who has lost their horse.  I sat with Ilene in the office for awhile till I felt I needed to leave.  Dub was not there, he was truck driving cross country for the week.  I was never told I needed to remove my tack.  Everything was the same there in the barn.  It was only Duke gone and my insides twisted and torn.


     The Color Guard group went on.  A young girl named Ann on her pretty Appaloosa took my place.   She was a sweet girl who had been quite upset over the accident.  I have a snapshot in my head of the four of them all dressed in our uniforms, the horses with the fancy saddle pads, fluttering silver and black as they walked.  They looked good.  I never see myself in that picture.  It was over and it was the end.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Some words said....speak volumns

     Some words can make you stop, pause, and feel good all over.  Back in 1996 my youngest daughter M. was in the school's Speech Contest and made into the finals.  As proud as I was for her making it to that point that paled in comparison to what she spoke of.

     The topic was "My Favorite American" and the person she spoke of was her Grandma Betty.  Her words tell it all.  These were her dear memories, and observations, without a bit of prompting or help from the rest of us.  It is of how much she loves her Grandma and about how loving to her Grandchildren this Grandma is.  Fifteen years later, seeing this once again,  it doesn't surprise me to hear what she said because M. has a deep love for her family.  Her speaking of how much Grandma means to her is as natural as can be.  Because when you really care about someone you share it.  This woman is my mother-by-marriage and truly there is no kinder, or more dear a lady, than this woman who I have been privileged to have in my life since age 16. 


So here is a love fest to see.  I have been archiving home movies and I am up to 1996.  A few video glitches but it was the 1990's before our digital cameras!

Film.   

Life brought back as though it was just yesterday......and Grandma....hugs and kisses to you!

Megan's Speech Contest  1996 from Ellen F. on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Horse Tails - March winds.....brew sorrow

     While Rodger was out searching for fabric for our Color Guard vests and the horses pads, then having his friend sew them, he also was finding the holsters for the flags to sit in for our saddles.  He was our leader every step of the way with the planning details.  In the meantime we would practice in the arena working on riding our horses close together as well as in unity.  David and I rode on the outside flanking David and Becky.  We practiced doing turns as well as riding our horses at a trot or a canter in case we were riding in an arena carrying the flags in addition to in parades.  We thought maybe we could ride as a group when the Contra Costa Fair came in July.  

     We had had a wet winter that year making the arena a mud hole a lot of the time.  Our horses were frisky from being cooped up and not ridden too much.  Still, whenever it seemed dry enough Rodger would have us practice.  Most of the time it was David, Rodger and myself as Becky had odd hours of being a nurse at the hospital.  

     March came rolling in which meant my birthday.  My parents thinking that my year in Antioch had been so hard on me thought to give me a surprise 15th party.  What a horror for me when I walked into our house to find my school friends and my barn friends together saying "Surprise!".  Two groups who had never met and couldn't have been more of a contrast from each other.  I obviously felt uncomfortable just having my parents having anything to do with a party for me.  I liked my friends, all of them, but they had nothing in common except for me.  I could hardly wait for the evening to be over.

      My next big shock was that my parents decided to divorce.  It didn't really bother me as B. wasn't my real father and I didn't have that close a bond with him.  Maybe it was the fact that I had heard them trying to get along but not doing so well, or maybe it was that I didn't care.  I think I was selfish at 15 and could only see what I wanted.   My mom, grandmother and myself would be moving into an apartment and B. to his own as well.  My grandmother was still in Tennessee and would find upon her return a new residence we would be at.  

      Not long after B. moved out, he took me out to dinner.  He was very nice to me, as he always was, but point blanked asked me if I wanted to live with him instead of my mom.  I was floored.  He brought up how my mom and I didn't get along and that it wouldn't get any easier with him gone.  Not that he had ever intervened in any of our arguments.  I firmly told him no.  I let him know that while we fought she was my mom and I had no intention of abandoning her.  Inside I thought that really it was my Nan that I couldn't abandon.  I had missed her so much while she had been away.  I never saw B. again or heard from him.  In my adult years I came to find out that he had had an affair that started in Salinas and continued when we moved to Antioch.  The woman was a friend of the family from way back when we lived in Atwater.  It was insulting that he moved us from all our friends just so he could be closer to that woman.   




     I came home from school one afternoon to find our two poodles, Pepe and Charlie gone.  When my mom came home from work that evening I asked her where they were.  She very matter of fact said they had been ill for quite some time and they were put to sleep as they were not getting better.  I was beside myself.  I loved those dogs!   I knew they both had been on special dog food but I could see nothing wrong with either of them whatsoever.   They weren't old dogs either though they were near 9 nears of age.  My never getting to give them one more hug, more more playtime, one more brushing, one more anything...no more hugs for those little guys.  What I think happened, thinking through an adult mind now,  was that where we would be moving they would not take pets.   My mom had to think about where we would live and the dogs were not high on the priority for survival.  Why we couldn't have found them a new home I will never no.  The discussion and sorrow were not coming from my mom and I was at a loss for why my world continued to be turned upside down.  My room became the only place I wanted to be.  I look back and realize that these had to be very dark days for her as well.  






     In the meantime at the barn, Dub and somehow talked my mom into getting me a new saddle.  I had outgrown my first saddle and we traded that one for a lovely tooled one that fit perfectly for my young adult body.  I looked at all the areas of the saddle that someday I could add silver concho's to like the girls with their fancy show saddles.  The only bright spot in the month of March, not that getting a new saddle dealt with my heartache.


    

Monday, November 8, 2010

Horse Tails - Rodger and David

     What were my parents thinking when they moved us to Antioch?  Because in my 14 year old mind I felt like they cared nothing for my feelings let alone my opinion.  I was mad as hell and sulked like crazy.  Not only that but I didn't have my horse for two months after we moved.  There I was in that good awful town with no friends and no horse living in an ugly track home development.

     When the time came for my horse Duke to come I was obsessed with being able to go ride.  The new barn where he would be was at the fairgrounds in town and my mom would allow me to go be there much more than when we lived in Salinas.  Heaven,  I could brush, ride, and just hang out with horse people.  Dub and Ilene who managed the barn, were the best of people  and made me feel like I mattered but did not  try to parent me.  I may not have had a purebred horse but they dolled Duke up in ways I had never done.  I would come out to the barn and Dub would have his fetlocks all shaved and trimmed,  his hooves shined up glossy, his bridle path clipped and all his whiskers shaved.  Duke had never had this kind of fancy grooming.  I didn't own clippers just a pair of scissors I found at home and took.  I didn't own the horse products to shine a horses coat up with and what was in the tack room I was allowed to use.  Dub would bathe my horse and showed me how to as well.  He had an extra horse blanket for in the winter that he even put on my horse to keep his coat from getting long and furry.   I became a better horse person listening and learning from that man.

     As much as I hated Antioch I met some interesting people that year.  The fairgrounds were filled with horses all year round along with quite a community of families with kids hanging around having a great time.  Our barn was separate and private with full care versus the fair stalls where you had to clean and feed yourself.  My parents oddly enough bellied up to paying more for this barn which impressed me.  Honestly I think they were worried about having to aquire hay and get the stall clean which would mean going there twice a day.  That wouldn't have been a chore they would want to do even if it would be me doing it.  But it would require them to drive me there and that wasn't going to work with their plans.

     Two of the friends I made were Rodger and David. They use to hang around on weekends talking to Dub as Rodger owned a big white Tennessee Walker which is the breed Dub owned.  Oh that horse was beautiful with his long flowing mane and tail.  My Duke looked like a midget next to him.  Rodger was lean and slight of stature, with a hairstyle that reminded me of Elvis Presley, black and greased back with long sideburns.  He smoked like a chimney but then it seemed all the horse people smoked.  David was a dirty blonde with lambchop sideburns that were a darker shade than his hair, trimmed short.  He had a way about him that I just couldn't figure out.  He had a half quarter horse that he rode  and kept in the fairground stalls along with his siblings.  Both these men were in their late 20's and were roommates.  They met each other at work being an ambulance driver (think of the vehicle that was in Ghostbusters).  David was always with Rodger,  they were quite a couple at the fairgrounds.   This was before I knew what gay was.  I had never been around any that I knew about but these two while not openly affectionate were clearly an item.  David was the feminine one, from the way he held and smoked his cigarettes, to the way he sashayed when he walked.  He also had this high toned way of laughing and, dare I say, giggled.  I never heard a guy giggle!  Rodger  was a bit more manly with his deeper way of talking and walking.  Noted by me as well was that they liked to wear their pants tucked into their cowboy boots which I just had never seen done except by little kids.


     I knew that David was estranged from his father who had kicked him out years before.  I can only guess it was his choice of relationship that caused an issue back in the 70's let alone in this hick town of Antioch.  He seemed to only be around his sisters when he was at the barn.  Rodger was his family.  With their shooting the breeze horse talk at the barn, smoking one cigarette after the other, it wasn't long before I was doing it too.  Of course I had already been smoking for over a year but not openly with adults.  I would bum them off the guys who liked the brand Kool.   I who had only done Marlboro brand before enjoyed that menthol flavor.  Sometimes Becky, who was in her 30's and owned a sorrel colored quarter horse with a flaxen mane and tail would be with us.  She had the longest false eyelashes I ever saw.  It never mattered to them that I was only 14.  

     They all took me in as an equal age to them.  When Grand Nationals came to the Cow Palace in San Francisco, the four of us went.  We talked about forming a Color Guard Group together.  Rodger had great ideas for what we would wear and what kind of flashy saddle pads for the horses to wear.  Silver and black would be our colors, with the silver being extra bright and sparkly.  He had found someone who would sew all our vests with silver fringe, and the pads for the horses that would hang down long under our saddles with extra sparkle and fringe.  We would have black boots, black cowboy hats with a silver trim to top it all off.  We were inspired upon seeing the color guard at the Grand Nationals.  Parade riding was nothing new to Duke and I as I had ridden several times in the horse parades during the Salinas Rodeo.   


      For all the flak David and Rodger took by others, which as time went on I heard some nasty comments made at the fairgrounds about them, they were the nicest people to be around.  My parents never were interested in what I did at the fairgrounds nor ever asked.  When the color guard idea came up that was fine with them.  I didn't realize my parents were having their own issues between them.  I heard them arguing more in their bedroom and my Nan had gone to visit her sister in Tennessee so it was just us three.  I stayed in my bedroom as much as I could except for meals.  I still was mad with them for taking me from Salinas where I was happy and had a lot of friends.  Here I only had the barn friends.  An oddball group of misfits we were. 

     One of the silliest times we had together was David driving his Volkswagon bus out to the field adjacent to the fairgrounds that had been cut but not baled yet, taking armfuls and filling that bus up.   His bus had a skylight that we opened and once we couldn't stuff anymore in from the side we passed it up to whoever was on top to throw down the skylight.  We were all laughing, covered with oat hay in our clothes and hair.  We drove that bus around in circles till we figured we better get out of there before we got in trouble.  You would have thought they were teenagers like me.  Our horses loved that fresh cut hay as a treat as Dub and Ilene fed pellets because of storage issues.  David filled his extra stall that he stored tack and feed in with the rest.  I think I had the tips of the oats stuck in my socks, shirt and pants for quite sometime as they seem to be impossible to fully extract.  


    

Friday, November 5, 2010

The piano

     When I was a little girl there were times when I walked inside the house after coming home from school or playing outside and I would hear the piano being played.  I could hear my Nan singing along to her simple chords of "Jesus Loves Me" while she sat at the piano in our living room.

"Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes Jesus loves me, 
The  Bible tells me so."

    I would come stand next to her and I think she was a bit embarrassed to be found singing.  Sometimes I would sit next to her but she usually didn't stay playing once she had an audience observing her.  She would stop and ask me about what I was doing.

     Her book of church songs would be open on the piano stand.   I would sing along with her if it was one I knew from Sunday school.  Jesus Loves Me being the one I remembered singing along to.

"Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
they are weak but He is strong."

    Most of the time I just listened to her softly sing her hymns.  She never preformed for us that I recall.  It seemed to be her time privately when we weren't at home that she would sit on the bench enjoying herself.   All her songs seemed to have been hymns which thinking about it now, I wonder why she didn't come to church with us.  I think she must of come every once in awhile for Easter or Christmas but otherwise she stayed home.  Maybe her piano time was her church time.  


    That piano now sits in my brother's home in his living room.  I should ask if in the piano bench are any of Nan's piano hymn books.  My mom kindly shipped it out to him many years ago when she decided a stand up piano wasn't the right look for her grand home.  She needed a shiny black baby grand even though she did not play herself.  It sits there like a fine piece of furniture dusted and well taken care of to the eye.  I doubt that it has been tuned in ages sadly as it deserves to be due to it's expense.  Occasionally one of my daughters has played on it while we visited but otherwise it sits lonely with it's white ivory keys shut tight beneath the black lid.


    The piano my Nan played had a life.  My brother took lessons and I tried to take lessons but gave up.  Sometimes I would  use some of the books my brother had or just plucked out some notes, but most of the time I played the tune "Chopsticks" along with "Heart and Soul"  with my girlfriends.   My brother's oldest son took lessons and played away on it beautifully.  It was used and isn't that what a piano should have happen?  To be played?

     In my home, we were given an old depression era baby grand by dear A. and C. before they moved to Seattle.  It's finish is worn and crackled, faded out of the black coat it had to a fine brown shade in the sunlight.  That piano has had much life in our house.  Our daughters loved banging on the keys to made up songs and then when two took lessons such lovely music came from it.  How much we enjoyed having a 'concert' given to us.  I loved to open the lid, prop it up, and have the sound come out so rich and loud when it was being played!   It needs restoration work but I cherish it because it was given to us just the way it is.  My oldest daughter sat at this piano with A. when just a little one, smiling with joy at the sound it made.  In fact A. is whom that piano is for me.  She may not live near me but the piano is a vivid memory of our times together at her home long ago.   

 1991 Erin on the piano from Ellen F. on Vimeo.


     At my parent's second home near us, they bought a player piano.  What a lot of fun that piano was!  It had all types of music scrolls that ranged from Christmas music, to old time music, to classical pieces.  I loved watching the music scroll down on songs we could sing along to as the words were right there easy to see.  Yet the best part was watching the keys play without a hand on them.  I think it felt like a ghost playing.  I don't know why my parents gave that piano away to some friends of theirs.  It sits in their family room at their vacation home in the mountains.  At least this family loves pianos and the husband plays splendidly.  In fact they have a grand piano there dominating the living room of that home  with special humidifiers to protect them from the dryness of the mountain air.  Sometimes  I want to ask them if they ever don't want it to please let me know.  I would find a place for that piano in our home just to have those good memories of singing around it as it played.  I would love to put one of the many scrolls in and listen to it. 



     A piano with a story, a song, fingers playing effortlessly, fingers, struggling to grasp the sharps and flats of a song.  Pedals for depth in a song, or the pedals hard to reach with young legs or not used at all.  I loved to push the pedal that sustained the notes.  The song "The Chimes" being a favorite song of mine to play just for that purpose, making me feel like I was in church with the echo of the lofty ceilings and high walls around me.  


  


The Piano from Ellen F. on Vimeo.


    

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Defining A Movement



This was posted on my facebook home page and it spoke to me of the mothering of my children.  I love the quiver in the voice of the woman speaking in this because that is how I would be.  Trying hard to say from the heart the love I feel overflowing towards my children.  This has given me a bit of inspiration as well....

Thursday, October 28, 2010

You tell me....

I think R. was ahead of himself in style with his hair.

When he was in 5th grade, 5 years ago, he decided he wanted to wear his hair long.  I didn't mind.  

Now R. had a baseball coach several years ago who constantly bugged him to cut his hair.  R. ignored him.  We ignored him.  What difference does it make how long your hair is if you play the game?  R. had been pitching for many years and doing a fine job as well.   I guess the coach didn't like his hair and he didn't think he pitched fast enough.  R. got short stop, third base or outfield.  Yeah.  

That was 2008.  He stopped playing baseball that year.  Burnout.  Fed up.  I don't know and in the end he really was enjoying his electric guitar and baseball games were a memory behind him.

Where am I going with this?  You tell me....but I think R. was rockin' the long hair way before the Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum....

My guy  -  2008

The Giants guy - 2010





My guy was definitely ROCKIN'!!!!!
 He wears his hair shorter now.   He still rocks...and rolls!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Toys at my P.T.

     P.T. is just a blast!   I have been treated with such kindness (really!), laughs, grimaces, great talks, grimaces, relaxation (while reading a magazine while I wait to be called) and there are such fun toys for me to have for MY benefit.

     After the fitting of my ugly splint the first appointment was all about measuring.  How far I could flex my wrist in different directions.  How uncomfortable that was.  Not part of the fun especially when you compared both wrists.  I have a ways to go before they are matched in the flexibility department.  The two hands don't even look the same!  The broken wrist at the beginning was swollen and quite stiff.  While presently the swelling is almost gone I still have some stiffness in my fingers and of course in bending my wrist.  Oh it is better, way better!   This whole recovery is going to take some time and I do need to be patient which sometimes I am not.

     So what fun things do I get to do?

      This machine is one that I think could be improved upon.   First of all you put your arm inside an arm hole of mesh fabric where they seal your arm around with velcro.  Good thing because when they turn the machine on all this hull stuff starts flying around with warm air.  Your suppose to make grabbing motions with your hand until the machine stops.  I guess about 10 minutes.  The improvement I have is there could be prizes inside that you keep searching for as you do the grabbing motion.  I suggested a diamond ring on the high side or for Halloween some silly items like fake eyeballs, plastic bats, and candy.  They laughed at me but thought that was a cute idea.


  
This is really fun to do!  The Parabath.  Doesn't that sound nice?  The idea is to put your hand in this warmed wax, dipping into it five times.  Letting it cool between dips till voila!  You have what I call the hand candle!   The point of this is to create warm heat therapy for my wrist.  Once I have finished my dipping my hand is put into a plastic bag and then wrapped in a towel for about 10 minutes.  I wondered how it was going to come off but it peels right off in one piece.  





Ultrasound....you can't feel anything with this but under my skin it is to promote healing for my joints and muscles.  They put a blob of blue (cold) gel on my wrist and roll it around and around for awhile.  We can have a nice chat about this or that during this time.  Passive therapy.




     This nifty gadget is a Muscle Stimulator.  I get hooked up with a couple of patches that are plugged in with wires to this machine.  Once the machine is activated and the dial is turned you gradually start to feel a buzz feeling.  I get asked if  I am stimulated enough (hahahaha!) and then my wrist is put on ice or heat for the next 10 minutes.   This is the last of my treatment at a session.  I stare out the window and look at the sky and trees or I eavesdrop on the next patient whose turn it is for whatever they need for treatment.   I bet you can guess what I choose to do.


  



Strength or what little I have after the trauma my poor wrist has had, was recently tested.  Last week I managed to squeeze to 15 pounds.   Pathetic.   This week I was pushing 23 pounds!  Yippeee!   The idea with this is you squeeze the handle and my therapist is able to read the dial of what I can do.  I can't even see it as it faces away from me.  





     I do like the massage I get on my scar to reduce the scar tissue that can build up underneath.  I also get much stretching of my wrist joint as well as the exercises I do at home repeated at my session.  Theses past two weeks I have been doing weights.  One pound weight.  Impressive isn't it?   My Love has had quite a chuckle over my weight lifting.  He better watch out is all I can say. 

     Looks like I will have another 3 weeks to go before I am turned loose to do home strengthening and healing.  I will be glad to not have to drive out there twice a week but I will miss the time spent with Jeff or Barbara.  They're really nice folks and I have learned a lot about my wrist and the healing process of what happened simply by falling down on a hike.  I am beyond grateful that I had such a good surgeon who fixed my broken bones.

     I can't wait to see what new toys I will get to play with Friday.....maybe I will get to play with the playdough stuff they have.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No pain...no gain

     For two weeks the hot pink cast and I made peace with each other.  I liked that it was significantly lighter in weight than the post surgery one.  It was even kind of cute.  

     After the two weeks I went back to my Dr. to have the cast removed.  I was going to graduate to a removable splint!   

     What to my surprise after the Tech. removed my cast was that he told me to go wash my arm.  What?  Once again my wrist was weak and ached with the loss of the support from the cast.  I walked over to the sink, turned on the water to warm and looked down at the dry blood on the tape covering the incision area.  I felt sick to my stomach honestly.  Somehow I managed to remove the tape, wash my now naked wrist and remain standing.  No fluffy towel to dry off with only stiff paper.   Really wouldn't it be nice to provide a soft towel to blot the water off this expensive incision area?   

     I am told to go to the Physical Therapy department to have the splint made.   I cradle my wrist as I make the walk hoping, please, that no one trips me on the way.  It feels quite uncomfortable even with the Aleve I had taken prior to coming in anticipation of being in possible pain.

     Jeff, one of the two P.T.'s has me sit down and speedily creates a splint that I swear he could do blindfolded.  It isn't pretty that is for sure.  I mean, I have a sleeve to put on my wrist that reminds me of a rolling pin cover.  Next the ugly splint with wide velcro to hold it on.  My new support.  I make future appointments for the next phase of recovery...Physical Therapy.  Torture treatment?  Oh how I hope not.   I make it to the car and sit for awhile.  I begin to cry.  I guess I needed a cry even if I want to blame it on the discomfort. I wonder how I am going to drive because of the pain.   Time helps though.   I pull myself together and start the car.   Just get home is my mantra.




     Four days later I went to my first P.T. appointment and Barbara worked on me.  It wasn't as bad as I feared as at this appointment she did some measuring to see what flexibility I had post-cast.  She gave me papers with new exercises I was to do 3 to 5 times a day after going through each of them with me.  I can't say that I was liking all the different moves I was to do.   When my wrist didn't like what I was moving it let me know quite clearly with a sharp pain.  Each move was to be doing slowly and carefully.  Following the exercises I was to ice my wrist as well.


     Show and tell came the next morning as I removed my splint and the rolling pin cover.   My Love and R. got to see how big my incision was for the first time.  And it was much longer than I thought it would have been.  They watched me grimace as I went through the routine.  My Love cheered me on with so much positive praise as he cooked or washed dishes while I diligently stretched that tight wrist.  I was swollen and bruised still which made it harder to do many of the moves.   As a note though, each day all the homework does pay off.  Little by little I have less discomfort from the stretches.  More bend, less swelling, more rotation.  I accept the scar easier as I massage it each time before I start working on my wrist with massage oil to help it heal by breaking up the scar tissue that lies beneath.  I accept this which is something for me.   Remember when it comes to blood, scars and icky pain I am a wimp. 




Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What Lies Beneath

I slept horribly that night following my surgery.  Even with all the pillow support and the sling holding my dead weight arm in place I couldn't help but think I would wake up in agony.  Instead I would wake up and hope I would just fall back to sleep.  I touched my fingers which still had no feeling and I couldn't decide if it was better to not feel a thing or to have pain.  Pain doesn't sound good but the absence of feeling is just odd.
After tossing and turning most of the night, giving my Love a bad night's sleep as well, I lay in bed with no discomfort.  I looked at my new 'cast' that was so much bigger than the previous one.  The new sling  snugly covered my arm, which felt just as heavy as the day before.  Still no discomfort as I expected.   Just the same I took the pain medication to be ahead of whatever may happen.  

Around noon time I began to have some feeling in my thumb.  It was tingly but at least feeling had come back.   I really worried that I would never be able to feel my arm which just flopped around if I wasn't careful.  Good reason to keep the sling on!  As the day went on gradually all feeling was restored.  Pain was not bad whatsoever.  I lay in bed, watched TV and was waited on which felt really good but I am not a TV/layaround person so I was bored.  The family were going over to my sister by marriage's home where my daughter K. was fixing a special Mexican meal.  I wanted to go but really felt  and was encouraged to just take it easy.  

Good thing I didn't go as the next day late in the afternoon I started to feel kind of off.  By Monday morning I was feeling really sick to my stomach.   I must of picked up a virus and now I was nauseous as well as severely constipated.  The medication in addition had plugged me up.  What a day.  My daughter K. and her boyfriend B. were to leave that day to head up to Washington state and I once again could not enjoy there being at home.  I just kept thinking why is all this going on?  

Let's see, a pity party is forming in my head.  My mom is in the Geri-Psych ward, I just had wrist surgery, I have a stomach virus and on top of that constipation.  I sent my daughter E. off to get me some kind of a laxative.  I am extremely grateful for having E. here to do this.  I am home alone the rest of the day as my Love has the big job to do, R. is at school, E. had to go back to work and K. has left.  I was so weak and miserable.  Every so often I managed to go to the kitchen and drink water and I somehow managed to even warm some broth up which helped my strength. 

Gratitude is when you begin to feel better.

As the week went on I felt more like me as and I was getting use to wearing that 'Tree Trunk' cast on my arm.  I was  looking forward to my Dr. visit on the Friday coming up.  At the office my Dr. comes in asks how the week has been and then says he will remove the cast/splint which I have had on exactly one week.   Today I will get another cast!   If felt weird as he removed it but nothing like when it was gone. 
The weakness of my arm, the discomfort and the queasiness of looking at the long incision just about made me shake.   Next was new x-rays of my wrist with all the gadgets inside.  I couldn't wait to see what was underneath my skin.  Boy was my arm sore!  I couldn't believe how uncomfortable I would be and I now wish I had taken something before I came.  I  asked the nurse if I could have copies of the x-rays as I knew the family would enjoy seeing my new hardware.
Next Dan the Tech. calls me in and says he is going to put my new cast on. I ask him if they have any Advil and he found some for me to take.  At least in a half hour I should have some relief.   He asks what color cast I would like and after a brief time of joking with him I decided on bright pink.  Yes it was bright, more like Hot Pink.  I was glad to have the support back on my wrist and the warmth of the cast being put on felt soothing.
So here is what is inside my arm.  We have looked at these x-rays and marveled at what I have inside me now and forever.  I had no idea that many screws would need to be used or that it would be as large a T plate as it is.  I am grateful that I have this Dr. who did such a fine job as well.


I sII 

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall Fest.....

I am feeling a bit sad this morning.  I have been thinking about how I could pull off throwing the Fall Fest I have been doing since 2005.  Yes, I did skip one year and skipping a year isn't the end...really.  Yet with each year my little nieces and nephews, not to mention my son, grow up more and more.  If I skip a year will the pleasure of coming to Auntie Ellen and Uncle Tim's party fade away?  Will they become busy with other things they would rather do?  I knew that would be a possibility in having the Fall Fest that I could have them interested for only so long.  Kids do grow up and they have friends who may have Halloween parties or school activities that will take precedence over our family party.  I really do understand this.

It just is hard to maybe see it pass away when that day comes.  


My Love has been the Wizard every year since the beginning.  The little ones never ever knew this.  My Love was so excited to plan what the Wizard would do and say.  We have a teepee that the girls were given ages ago that my Love decided would sit on the front lawn.  That teepee....it has been to Burning Man and it has endured the cubby area below the house with all the musty smell absorbing it's canvas fabric.  A dead rat was found in it one year requiring a thorough cleaning and airing out.  I think that has given it it's character.  With the help of R., father and son set up a spooky entrance as well as decorating the walk to the teepee.  Each year we have added a bit more or changed how one gets to the teepee. 

All of us go to visit the Wizard.  My Love pretending he is the Wizard is in all his glory.  Each child sits before him usually one at a time, a Persian carpet spread on the floor of the teepee, the Wizard on a throne.  Between them is a crystal globe and a lantern off to the side casts shadows on the canvas walls.  The kids faces entranced with this man before them.  Sort of like a Santa without the 'Ho ho hoing' yet with a magical slow waving of his arm's in gestures, telling a fortune, asking questions of them.  Yes, there was magic.  A couple of my nephews have figured it out and have become more bold with their seeing the Wizard.  How long before the magic for them ends?  He wears a deep blue velvet robe, tall blue and silver hat and full gray beard and hair, each year the beard taking on a bit more tangled and dreadlocked.

We sit outside earlier in the evening, before the Wizard appears having seasonal appetizers and wine.  Later is dinner with me always fixing for the kids Mummy Hot Dogs and Curly Fries.  The kids some years have carved pumpkins and played games.  Lots of photos are taken as all are asked to come in costume!  We spend much time thinking of what or who we will be this night the month before.  The excitement of dressing up and seeing what everyone else will come dressed in makes my Love and I anticipate the evening ahead.   Even R. who clearly is feeling too old for much of this now, gets into it in the end.  That is what I had hoped.  That no matter the age there would be this tradition of family getting together for a night to be silly, a night to laugh at each other.  

So why can't I do it this year?  My wrist mainly.  I can't cook without much help.  I feel like all I do is ask for help and I am getting tired of asking for help.  How much should I keep asking my Love to do?  The man is tired.  He has been working at his job and coming home to do more work here of what I can't do.  Can I really throw a  party?  I just don't think I truly can.  By now I would have set a date, I would have started planning, and having my Love bring down boxes of Halloween decorations to put around the house.  Planning would have come up as to how we would decorate the front yard the decision of how spooky to make it for the little ones who I don't want to scare.  

I will be okay with this skipped year.  Maybe just have a Halloween dinner with our sister and brother by marriage as we did last year.  Watch a scary movie...plan for next year.....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Buttermilk and Cornbread

     I was driving home from my Cervical Chiropractor after having to have x-rays and a double adjustment and trying to think about what I could eat tonight for dinner.  You see, after my wrist surgery I started having weird jaw problems.  I have been going to this Chiropractor for just over a year and the man is simple amazing.  I have learned more about my neck, my body and my emotional mind in regards to the health of my spine than I ever knew before becoming his patient.  





     I kept thinking ever since I broke my wrist, followed by the different casts as well as the surgery, that I was so lucky my neck was just fine.  I figured my neck surely would have gone out of alignment and yet here I was with no issues.  Then a couple of weeks after my surgery I started having popping in my right side of my jaw when I ate.  That moved on to my not wanting to eat on that side as it began to be achy and odd feeling.  Within days after that I had an ache down the right side of my shoulder blade.  Yet I couldn't think of it being a neck problem until that ache down my back.  I called my sister by marriage who confirmed to me that I should go see the chiropractor as that was a neck issue.  

     I went in and though my neck looked good on the heat scan I was not feeling good with him doing the hands on of my neck.  I was out of adjustment.   A quick adjustment and I was on the road thinking relief and still surprised how the body reacts.  For the next ten days I felt good or I had the popping begin, then it would come and then it would go.  I tried to ignore it and just thought since it would go away it must not be out.  

     At the beginning of this week my jaw seemed to become uncomfortable with chewing just as before.  I found myself once again avoiding the right side of my mouth.  The popping was annoying.  I went in and I was out of alignment.  Another quick adjustment and he told me to avoid chewy food, stiffle yawns and felt it would be okay but come in a week later for a check.  I left crossing my fingers that it would get better.  I just am tired of having so much on my plate with the wrist and my mom.  I don't need my neck to act up as well.  

     The next day I was hoping that all was fine but when I tried to eat breakfast it just didn't seem right.  I was popping every time  I chewed, then it began to be sore on my jawline.  Evening came and I yawned and that is when it really hurt!  I called this morning to get in and though I hate to have to go in it clearly wasn't holding.  The thing I really like about this guy is that he doesn't want to adjust you.  He wants the body to heal itself.  So when I have to be adjusted a part of me feels like my body failed.  He doesn't tell me that, quite the opposite but I still wish my body would cooperate.  


Not me but this is what he does to do an adjustment.  Magic....



     At my visit we discussed the possibility of when I was Intubated that it was likely my neck was put in an odd position that messed with my neck.  He did some x-rays to determine what was going on.  Sure enough two of my vertebrae were locked up.  So now I feel good.  I felt like this did the trick.  Still I was told to eat soft food, stiffle the yawns, do some ice and believe me I will do what he said.

     So what does this have to do with cornbread and buttermilk?  Thinking of soft food I thought of my Nan.  I remembered her crumbling cornbread up in a tall glass and then poring buttermilk till the glass was full.  She would eat it with a spoon.  I thought it was yucky as a kid.  I don't know if I would eat that now though I do love buttermilk and I do love cornbread, but not together.  What sounded good though was milk bread.  I thought some slices of cinnamon swirl bread with warmed milk sounded heavenly.  Sounded comforting.  It would be soft and oh so tasty.  I thought of when I was little that milk bread was a dish that was given to you when you were ill.  Why not use something other than plain white bread?  I actually wish we had some cinnamon swirl so I could have it but we don't.  Maybe this weekend I'll buy some at the Farmer's Market, fix myself a bowl and see if it is as good as I imagine it to be.  I wish my Nan was here to fix it for me too.  

     Keeping my power of the healing body that this neck will stay in alignment.  Grateful that I have this Chiropractor to help when needed. 



Friday, October 1, 2010

The birth of Megan

     The day of your birth was a warm Indian Summer day, October 3rd.  Somehow I felt within me that you would be born that day....I wrote this 25 years ago...I have revised it some but these are my words of that very special day.

     I awoke feeling contractions, yet thought that this was just more of the false labor that I had been feeling for the past weeks off and on.  Not at all uncomfortable, but they made me wonder if it could be the real thing.  I took my 6:00 AM shower as I always do, made my Love lunch, ate breakfast with him and the girls, then got the girls and myself dressed for the day.  After my Love left for work I started thinking more about these contractions and began to time them and jot that down on paper.  Not that close together.  Not that strong but they were there. 

     Kristin, our oldest daughter went off to Kindergarten leaving Erin, her sister and I to ourselves.  I started feeling excited and alive with an inner energy that I had never felt before.  It was a healing feeling that soothed over me a lot of the moods and discomforts I had experienced with this pregnancy.  I felt much closer to this child within me who went through my up and down times.  I sat many times in my rocking chair up in my bedroom dreaming of you my baby to be, feeling you kick and swim gracefully in your water world.  I sang to you of songs of love, of the joy of being with child and of when my arms would hold you and rock you.  So much inner thought waves seemed to be passing through us as though we knew our time as one would soon pass.  Our life as two, mother and baby would begin...excitement and yet I would miss this time in my life as I love being pregnant.  I love how my body changes, I am in awe of this gift as a woman, that I am able to nurture a life inside me.  I realized this might be my last time of being pregnant and though I was wanting this baby in my arms I mourned the memory of the feeling of being pregnant.  The first fluttering movements like butterfly wings, the rubbing my belly where your tiny feet stretched out , the knowing so intimately the feelings I held.

     Before my Love had left for work I did not say anything about my contractions.  I just didn't believe that this was it, yet I did.  I don't know why.....

     My contractions had started to get closer together so I thought it would be good to do something to take my mind off of them that way if it wasn't the real thing it would stop.   Around 10:15 AM, Erin and I decided to go for a walk and visit a friend who lived down the street.  I figured that talking would take my mind off the contractions which were now 8 to 10 minutes apart.  They had begun to become more noticeable and I could positively feel them grip at me yet I could not make myself believe that this was real.

     Outside was a beautiful blue sky.  A very warm wind was blowing the dry leaves all around the sidewalks.  Fall was just around the corner yet summer had not decided to leave yet.  Cool nights, warm days.  There is a unique smell this time of year and only then before the crispness of Fall begins.  I shall always remember that smell and how I felt that day.  I could tell it would be hot later on and I thought "Oh no!  I'm going to have this baby on a hot Indian Summer day just like I kept saying I hoped I wouldn't!"   Walking down the street I breathed deeply, as much for the aroma of the the air as for the comfort of the contractions.   I thought of calling my Love  but resisted, not yet, not till I was sure.  I didn't know what sign I expected but I just waited.


     It is a silly, scary, funny, overwhelming, mixed up, wonderful feeling when you realize you are walking around and you are in labor.  Especially when you are without your partner.  It is almost magical in what your body is doing inside. 


     At the time that I arrived at my friend Debbie's house until I left there, my body really began working.  The contractions became much more strong yet about the same time between.  I was having trouble talking and having a hard time sitting still while I was having the contractions yet I didn't  want to tell Debbie.   I still not believe this.  At about 11:15 AM I was feeling too uncomfortable sitting when the pains came. I decided it was to time to leave.  Walking home I became frightened.  Here I was with a two and a half year old, me in labor yet still trying to to deny it, without my Love.  Would I make it home?  I felt if I could just get inside our home that I would feel more secure, that things would change.  Labor would stop.  I didn't feel ready.  Being alone was not fun.


     I made it home and even managed to fix Erin her lunch.  That was not easy since at this time I was shaking.  Contractions were about 5 to 8 minutes apart and at times 4 minutes.  Believe it Ellen!


     My mother by marriage Betty, called and I still did not let on.  It was very difficult to talk and our conversation was short.  She came by not too long after.  I can't even remember why she came since I was so wrapped up in my contractions.  She sat with Erin for a bit and played then she left.  I wonder if she thought something seemed different about me?


     After she left I decided I had to call my Love.  I needed him badly.  At the time he was building a home for his cousins about a 35 to 40 minute drive from where we lived without a phone (this was before cell phones).  I was suppose to call the neighbors next door to the job  but they didn't answer.  Panic!  I'll have the baby alone is the crazy thought I had.    I remember that I can call dear Arleen and Clark who live in the town where the job is as well.  Clark says he will drive over to my Love and tell him to come home.   I called next to page Peggy my midwife.  She calls me back within minutes.  I tell her all that has happened and proceed to tell her that I hope it is not a false labor alarm.  Silly me...of course it is labor!  Contractions are about 3 to 5 minutes apart and I am having to use my breathing and my "Ah's" sound.  The pains hurt in my lower back and I hope that this will not be back labor as with my other two labors.  


     Erin is being so good.  I try to explain why I am swaying and saying "Ahhhhh" but she must think mommy is weird.  Please Peggy, my Love and Sandy the other midwife who is to help at the birth, please come now!  This is really it!  I was feeling so emotional.  Talking to Peggy on the phone I was almost in tears.  I wondered if I could hold it together till they arrived.


     It seems like forever before my Love comes home but at last he arrives.  It must have been around 1:00 PM.  I was so relieved to have him home with me.  I would be able to have our baby!  We gave each other a big hug.  I was giddy and I was shaky.  My Love thought he should call my mom to get Erin and Kristin as was the plan.  This would keep my mother busy instead of hovering over us all making me nervous.  No answer so we finally leave a message at Papa's office.  Next he calls Betty to come back over as she is the back up for the girls.  Then he calls Mary who is to take photos of the birth.  Lastly he calls Sue is sister to come as she is to be at the birth as well.  In the meantime Erin is quite happy playing by herself, with no care in the world.


     I am rocking and swaying my hips with my contractions which have become much closer together and longer in duration.  I barely have time in between to talk to my Love.  About 1:15  Sandy the other midwife arrives.  She does a check on me and I am dilated to 5 centimeters.  I am delighted!  She calls Peggy to let her know how I am doing and that I am moving along.  This will not be a long labor and tells Peggy to hurry.  She also wanted to know where Kay, the Midwife in training, is as she is not here and she has most of the equipment needed.


     My poor Love, he thought he would be able to take a shower before all the activity built up.  Forget that!  He and Sandy get our bed ready for the birth, bottom sheet, waterproof pad and another bottom sheet that have been ready in a bag are put on.  About that time Betty arrives to tend to Erin.   She is very excited and spreads such good cheer for us all.


     My contractions sometimes come back to back.  Double wammies as I call them.  Standing and leaning against the wall or my Love is the most comfortable position for me with my swaying hips as I say my "Aaahhhhs", keeping my mouth soft and open just as I want my body to be.  Open and relaxed to let this baby move down and out.


     My mom, Sue and Kay arrive, I hardly look up to say "hello", I'm too busy working!  Peggy makes it with her nine month old son and her Au Pair.  I feel so content that she has come.  I need her gentle, familiar presence as she was my midwife for Erin and also my childbirth teacher.  She is my mentor, she is the guiding force for me, I can't imagine her not here.  Another check, baby is doing great.  


     I am so hot.  The suggestion of a shower comes up.  No, but a bath sounds wonderful to me.  A delicious cool bath.  The contractions like it too.  Enough to cool me down as well but then I start to feel caged and disoriented.  Where do I go?  I am so unsettled as where to be in my home.  Do I walk some more, should I sit or lie down?  I begin to tire of this labor business.  All three midwives decide on another check and I can hardly believe them when they say I am 8 centimeters!  Then it is back to breathing, walking, standing, breathing, and swaying.


     The next check comes not long after the last one because they notice that I am sounding like I am bearing down.  I'm not sure really if I'm beginning to push or not but I do feel different.  In between contractions I feel great.  In fact they seem to have let up a bit.

     Mary the photographer arrives just in time to hear that I am fully dilated.  So fast! I don't believe any of them.  I feel too clear in my head.  Where was transition?




                                                                 Sandy and Peggy


     My waters were still intact but bulging.  The question came up as to whether we should break them.  We decide to.  The sensation of that feeling is warm and dreamy but only for seconds because then my contractions become quite intense and in earnest.


     I change to a side position but quickly decide that feels uncomfortable and awkward for me.  The pushing really hurts.  I don't like this one bit.  When will this baby pop out?  I go to a semi-sitting position and Peggy tells me to look at the mirror to see our baby's head as it peeks and hides and then I see the crowning of our baby.  I begin to feel in touch with this little baby who wants out as much as I want he / she out.  I feel so impatient!  I also become scared since it seems it is taking forever.  The excitement in the room builds and my efforts of pushing take on a urgency within me.  The feeling of letting go, to allow your body to release and let birth happen is difficult for me.  I know that if I let go that the pain will be real.  I know I can handle this as I did before, I know that my dearest Love is here to support me through this, but most of all my Peggy is beside me, talking in my ear "Down and out Ellen, down and out".  She is the birth whisper.  Her voice lulls me to follow her gentle direction to bring this child out of it's water world.  It is obvious that I am once again having back labor. 


     Peggy is close to my head, calmly and gently pulling me back to a quiet state.  She helps remind me how to push more efficiently.  I am so happy as well as relieved that she is here.  My Love has his hands on our child's head along with Kay the midwife as the rotation happens.  He has never had this experience and is worried he will hurt our baby with the turning.  He is encouraged by all the midwives he is doing just fine.  One push and baby's head appears.  Where is the rest?  Will I be stuck like this forever?  The pain is incredibly intense for this part.  The shoulders hurt so much coming and then with a slippery whoosh of the last amniotic water out then up to my chest our baby arrives! The blue shades melt into pink as she cries out.  How can one describe this sight?   Joy....words escape me for the profound feelings I have.  Tears of joy.


     My Love who helped with Kay guide our child to the world comes next to me where Peggy had been.  We look at this beautiful baby, perfect in every way.  Our little girl.....Megan born at 3:19 PM.



My Love, Megan and I



Papa, Erin, Kristin, Megan and I


     My timing of giving birth was perfect.  School kids were just walking to their homes while we were absorbing the birth.  Our windows wide open to catch any small breeze in the hot bedroom, our ceiling fan whirling round attempting to cool the air.  Had I still been in labor all the kids on the street would have heard me and more than likely most would have stood below our french doors to our driveway below for the entertainment they would have heard.  We lived in a neighborhood of days gone by where all the children of different ages played together.  Doors during the day were unlocked, most of the mothers were stay at home moms.  It was just several weeks before while I was taking a bath with Erin two of the neighborhood sister's came walking in.  They looked at my huge belly and smiled at me as they chatted, wanting to know if Kristin and Erin could come play.  Yes, I would have made good entertainment that day.  News traveled quickly that our family had a new little girl just as our daughters  were brought home to meet their little sister.   My mom still in shock that I would ever have a baby at home, and Papa smiling at the scene.  Wine was opened, crackers and cheese, laughter and smiles.  It was a fine Indian Summer Day...it was a good day for a birth.



                                                         
                                                                 My Love and his baby girl


              
                                                          Auntie Sue and Megan


   **My Midwife Peggy wrote a book back in 2002...Baby Catcher...I highly recommend it for she writes so well and believe me the stories are amazing!
 

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