Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Not to be forgotten

Don't want to forget that Amanda and Blair came down for a weekend to see me while I was recovering from surgery. It helped cheer me a lot!! Plus Lisa came and saw me as well. Also tomorrow Samantha is coming for the day before she and Lar fly to Notre Dame for the weekend. So I am a happy camper. I am fortunate to be able to call all three of my daughters friends as well as my family and I really enjoy spending time with them. Their hubbies and significant others are awesome folks too. Can't stress enough how much family and friends mean to me. Halters are family. Have a great evening.

Oh-and Amanda-do what you know has to be done with as much compassion as you possibly can. You are a great teacher as well as an amazing person. Love you.

Mama Bear

I hear I am in BIG TROUBLE for not posting

Well, as they say-the best laid plans of mice and men go astray. Lisa kindly loaned me her old laptop so I could blog and go online from my recuperation bed. Unfortunately anything on my leg causes me to go numb and/or severe pain. The cats and dogs are quite miffed as they consider me the best piece of furniture in the house. I will try to recreate the time line from Sept 8th or so. Here goes.

Renaissance Excursion
Lar and I were suppose to meet Mary and Jessica at the Renaissance but unfortunately Mar and Jessique got their times crossed, so it was Lar and I and a beautiful day. For those staunch State Fair goers, just skip ahead.

My pet peeve at the Ren is the dogs. As you know, I am an animal lover, but why in the world would someone bring their pit bull or Rottweiler or their tea cup dog when the Ren is full of strollers and food and unknown factors that are just begging for a bad dog bite?! Having to have your dog registered is so bogus!! Sorry folks, dogs are not meant for these type of events. I ooh and aahh with the best of them over many well behaved dogs, but cringe when I see the black leather tough guys with straining brutes with spike collars. Fear aggression is a bad combo and it is a miracle that no one has been maimed or killed. I am sure that bites occur and the Ren insurance settles to keep it out of court and the papers. Just bizarre.

Love the booths and all the energy and the costumes. The oddest this year was the very pregnant belly dancer with the python. Now I am all for the beauty of the female body in all its' glorious shapes and sizes, but this was truly out there. Different strokes of course. Demi Moore set the precedent so I guess anything goes. Somehow everyone walking up to her and touching her belly and unborn child just kind of creeped me out. Energy is a funny thing, and not all of it is good. Some Native Americans believed that a new born needed to be exposed to only known friends and family until the child's spirit was strong enough to fend for itself. Oh, and the snake and the unspoken Adam and Eve agenda was kind of interesting to contemplate. True knowledge doesn't condemn, so I wonder just how polluted that parable became over the centuries.

Did do some Christmas shopping at a favorite booth of mine. Suffice to say I broke down and gave Amanda hers already. I am very bad at keeping presents for long periods. I like to see the look when someone gets something that they wanted or just like. I am holding out on Mary's gift though. I think she will be a happy camper.

Got my turkey leg and my pecan King's Nuts roll. They hit the spot every time. I really should branch out and try a few more things but I am in Weight Watchers and choose my points based on what I know will taste good and satisfy my urge to splurge. I try to eat half of what I want and save the rest but on this outing I ate it all and didn't feel one pang of guilt.

Lar loves the shows and happily watched two of his favorites. He also loves to people watch so he had his fill and then some. What a crowd. This year they did not have down the usual wood chips and the dirt was very rocky and rooty (my own word) so walking was an adventure. We lurched along and saw the parade and then went into some art galleries. Wish I had unlimited funds and a few more walls. Found some western abstract type paintings that were very tactile that I really liked but forebore and just took a card. Hopefully another time.

Trip to Arkansas

Well, Lar and I drove to Rogers to see my folks and my sister and brother-in-law and nephews. Stopped at every rest area just about for my back but had a good trip down. Didn't get going until almost 1:30 Saturday because of my Mystery Book Club meeting but stayed in Des Moines and got in Sunday to Rogers rested and ready to visit. We stayed at a hotel this time. My folks weren't too pleased but their waterbed or the brass bed just don't cut it with my back and it was nice to have our own space when we had had enough together time.

Sandy and I got along pretty well and there were no incidents with anyone so I have to say a successful trip. It was good to see everyone and Lar and I even went to Jesse's and Zach's apartment. Quite large but very college dormish and the carpet was atrocious. They have a kitchen table from my mom that is at least 35 years old but no chairs. Since they have two couches they eat in the living room I guess. The roughing it days are overrated in my opinion. Oh well they seem broke but happy enough. Jesse is going to Jr College and Zach is working at the pizza joint again. Hope he gets it together. He just turned 21 this month. Time flies whether you want it to or not.

Sandy and I went and picked up a 6 year old breeding female Papillon named Pearl and Lar and I brought her back to a vet receptionist here in Chaska. It was a good fit. The breeder does not keep all of her dogs after they are 6 or so. She will not breed a dog after that and is cutting back her business and going into showing and breeding miniature horses. She and her husband own a true cattle farm and she has bred Papillons for years. Pearl was free and was up to date on all her shots etc. The only codicil was that Stephanie had to show proof of spaying and then Anita would send Pearl's pedigree papers. Worked very well.

Good thing I had surgery scheduled immediately after getting back or Pearl could have been mine. She has a sweet personality and is non- dominant. Never growled at my dogs or cats and they all got along. The only time she did growl was that night when Jody tried to get closer to me in bed and she was there already. I think she thought he was trying to get fresh and she said no way Jose-not tonight-in dog language. He took the hint and went down a little further by my leg. Good thing we have a king size bed. Lar gets his half and I share mine with four furry partners. Some nights I feel like a mummy hemmed in by a furry sarcophagus.

Ate at Catfish Johns and tons of other places. Mom did not even try to cook and did not seem too keen on my offer to do so. Terry was working on cars and had to go back to the boat the day after we left for home, so no good food there either. Oh well I don't need any more reasons not to lose more pounds. It was a good time and I am so glad we went. Seeing my dad standing there waving good bye looking so forlorn made me just sob. Who knows when I will lose one of them and if the last time is the true last time. Makes me cry even now. Life is not always kind.

The Dreaded Achilles Tendon Surgery

Sept 24th I had my foot surgery. For those that are squeamish skip ahead-the rest of you read on. The bone growth on my right heel had abraded the achilles tendon so badly that it was ready to snap. When Dr. Ebeling got in there more than 50% of the tendon was severed so he had to take part of the big toe tendon and graft it into the achilles tendon. He detached the achilles tendon, anchored it through the bottom of my foot, drilled out the bone growth, took the big toe tendon piece, grafted it, and then fitted another plastic titanium piece in to reattach the new and improved achilles. Sewed my heel up and casted me in vivid blue and pink swirls, kind of like a barber pole. I couldn't put any weight on that leg for two weeks. Had to use the walker cause the crutches killed my shoulder and neck. My back took a beating too.

I woke up in recovery in the chair and didn't feel a thing in my right leg. Totally numb. Very odd feeling. They ask if I was thirsty or hungry. I said both and they gave me diet coke and Lorna Doones. Both stayed down and I got to leave in a wheel chair thirty minutes later. Lar stopped at McDonalds and I had my cheeseburger special without the cheese and then we stopped to pick up prescriptions at Byerlys. I sat in the car. When we got home I hobbled to the front landing and then used a chair to get in. Trust me, until you are handicapped and can't walk, you have no idea how hard one or two steps can be. Only because I have had double knee surgery was I prepared this time.

Fortunately for me, Lar had brought down Samantha's twin bed, so I was able to go to bed and sleep right away. The pain was not fun, but nothing compared to knee replacement. For the two weeks that I couldn't weight bear, Lar and Jessie came home at lunch time and brought or made me lunch. I could not have made it without them. My mental outlook was saved by my noon visits.

I also received chocolate strawberries with a soft brown lamb that is adorable from Amanda, Blair, and Lisa. That put a smile on my face. Course everyone called and checked in. Samantha always made sure I was doing ok and I got updates on Seattle doings. Amanda and Lisa kept me posted on St Paul and Moorhead goings on. It was not fun but I made it through the cast stage without screaming or crying (much anyways). Lar still has his hair and still tells me he loves me so I must not have been too bad. The cast made me claustrophobic. I know that sounds odd but it did. Without my ice packs I would have been a hurting unit. Also my sister Sandy checks in about every day so that is very nice. For years she called daily so it seems like old times in a way.

I now am in an air cast that can only come off for a shower. I sleep with it and have to say that though it is a ton better than the cast, I hate it too. I have three sets of arches that have three layers each. Every Tuesday I peel one layer off to stretch the tendon. So about the time the pain eases off some I have to peel another layer.

I have been out twice since being able to walk. Once to the Arboretum to see fall leaves and scarecrows and the art gallery. The leaves were gorgeous. The other time Lar and I went to Hawaiian night at Darlene's place. We visited with her for a couple of hours. Mostly talked with the nurse and a care taker but Darlene enjoyed listening and having us there. She can't carry on a conversation very well at this stage of her Alzheimers so it is hard for us and her. Lar went to a mass for Honey and this time of year is hard for him. He still misses his dad and it is awful for him to see his mom deteriorate in front of his eyes on a daily basis. Ageing is not for the weak of heart or spirit.

The big news is that I made it up the stairs to my own bed last Sunday night. I carried Izzy down the stairs and am doing ok getting around the house. I can let the dogs in and out and the door is not open now all day long. Thank God for the fenced in area. I don't think I could have made it otherwise. Matt did not want to help this time round and no one was available to let the dogs out three or four times a day.

Mary was in San Diego and Phoenix right after my surgery so she was calling and checking in. She has brought lunch and visited a couple of times and I am very happy to have her back. She has been laid off from Aeration and her boarder left. So she is in a tight bind and looking for a renter. If anyone knows of someone who needs to rent she has a nice room downstairs. I know Chaska seems like the boonies to you Lise Marie but with the new 312 open and the bus line we are a hop and skip away from down town. Chaska is a nice area and we are now a suburb really.

Random Ramblings

I have survived so far by reading over 40 books and don't think I could have made it this far without my alternate worlds and places. If I ever go blind I think I will go insane. Books on tape just don't cut it for me. If you get the chance to stop by you will find both kitchen and dining room tables covered with bags of books. I took three days and went through and got all my unread books that I saved for this surgery and winter and have three bins full also. I can read two books a day so I was not being overly crazy to have so many.

My mental outlook has fluctuated. It is very hard having chronic pain and knowing that a lot of it will never go away. Also a real pain in the ass to know my body is destroying itself. I have the foreknowledge that I can pick my surgeries. I've been told I will have to have double hip replacement and back fusion and shoulder and neck surgery. My other heel has a small bone growth and may cause the same issue that I just fixed. So I can pretty much choose which part to work on. A lot different than deciding my ass is too big and I need to lay off the DQ for a while. Oh well, it could be a lot worse. At least they can do the surgery. If I had lived in my Grandma Storey's time I would have been bed ridden like she was for the last 12 to 15 years of her life. She fought it all the way and at first pushed the wheelchair. She was a neat lady and had a lot of piss and vinegar. Opinionated and fiery. Hmmm-I wonder if the nut falls far from the tree-lol. My girls are a lot like her. I am much more vanilla of course-Pinochio would be proud!!

I had a bug this weekend and am just feeling more human today. Poor Izzy had an anal gland block up and Lar took her in Monday. He is even giving her her meds so I have to say that Lar is becoming a better caregiver. He has had plenty of practice on me, that's for sure. May go out to dinner if I can find a pair of pants that fit over this air cast. Not sure where but lately all I crave is fries and greasy something. Of course I don't always eat what I crave, but if the Snickers don't go away soon I may not fit in the family pic coming up Nov. 15th. What a great idea Lisa had. Plus we are doing Thanksgiving early so that the tradition continues.

In Closing

If you made it this far, I have to give you kudos. You must be feeling pretty smug at this point. Yeah, this blog was overrated for sure. But I promised Amanda and the threats were escalating. So I will close with this little tidbit. The path is not always easy but the surprises and the companions along the way make it not only bearable but actually enjoyable. May your Tolkien ramblings always bring you home-and may the adventures not be too scary and painful.

Mama Bear is out of the building!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fall must be the time for new beginnings

So funny how fall can be a beginning time if you're a kid but be the same old same old as an adult. Well, fall 2008 seems to be different for a lot of the folks I love and care about.

First Samantha and Travis decide to move to Seattle. Samantha with Amazon and Travis in a new role in a Target store close to Seattle. Then Lisa starts her new job as a lawyer with Halleland et al (yes I know there are other names but I forget other than the Halleland and Johnson).

Amanda is still a French and language teacher but gets to stay in one school this year. Larry is in Maple Grove (cheated a little here-he already moved this spring) instead of Elk River. Jessica will be going to grad school soon.

So I am very disappointed that my September "change" will be having surgery on my right heel and achilles tendon. At least I am going to see my folks and family right before. This falling apart piece by piece got old a long time ago. Really sucks eggs. Thank God for books and the kindle!!

Though I am very happy for Samantha and Travis in one way, I am so sad in another. Life never stays still and you shouldn't take for granted that you have someone in your life. I hope they make their way back to Mn. but have thoughts that this is the first of many changes in the family traditions that I have tried hard to keep going over the years.

Samantha wants everyone to come to her place for Easter but realistically someone won't be able to go due to schedules money etc. Thanksgiving and Xmas will never be all of us together again even if Samantha and Trav do come back, as once kids join the mix they will want to have their own home traditions. So 2008 holidays will be the first of many holidays that will not be the old ways.

I tell myself that different is not bad and my head knows this. Just right now my heart feels like it is breaking a little and I remember the card I read stating being a parent is like having your heart walking around outside your body for the rest of your life.

Dad and I tried to give you roots-but also wings. Today I feel like we did a great job-but in a sort of bittersweet way I also feel we were overachievers. One of you flew too far.

Renaisance tomorrow. Should be fun. Take care.

Friday, August 29, 2008

In for a penny, in for a pound....

With everyone being in different locations now, it was time to join the gang and become a blogger. Samantha quickly showed me the basics and added a picture so that I have a slight clue as to how this works. This pic is of Larry and I at Travis and Samantha's wedding. Now Samantha is showing me links. Here is how to get to her blog. And here is Lisa's blog.

I have kept tabs on Lisa and Samantha (loosely-not a cyber stalker here) and hope that I don't bore you guys to death with my ramblings. Will try to post on a somewhat regular basis.

So if you enjoy my musings you have Samantha to thank-and if you hate them you have her to blame-lol. Love all of you.

Mama Bear Suzann

Expect good things from this blog. Samantha does. Her words. No pressure here.

Love ya!