Thursday, September 22, 2016

Unplanned week off...

A picture from Lake Superior at sunset. Zack knows how much I love that lake and sends me pictures he takes from around it. Water is my happy place, and sometimes just looking at a photo helps to center me.

On Monday I wrote about my fall and scrapes. I was starting to feel some better by the end of the day, but took Tuesday off too as Eric said I still looked too scary to attempt doing my job. Tuesday morning I woke up and my eyes, both of them, were swollen, hooded, and turning red/purple at the inner corners either side of the bridge of my nose. I looked like I had "piggies eyes".  I called the clinic at 9 and left a voice message requesting an appointment. I called back at 1:30 and was able to get in at 2:15 (although my doctor was running about 30 minutes behind).  The doctor gave me a cursory once over and said she was ordering an antibiotic for my knee, which was infected, and I could "pick it up if I'm allowed to go home". She then said I could make some choices: I could go to the ER and have them see me, or she could just order a CT scan, and I could try to see an ENT specialist Wednesday, "provided I didn't have a hematoma on my brain causing the pressure on my eyes/nose".  If I did have one, I'd need to go to St. Louis, to Barnes or SLU hospital, where they have neurosurgeons on staff and I'd be admitted over there. Talk about freaking me out! 

I elected to just have the CT scan and go from there. Fortunately there was no hematoma and I was able to go home, picking up my antibiotic on the way. I let my boss know I would need Wednesday off pending the appointment with the ENT, and she was fine with that. I waited a fair portion of the day and then called the clinic. They had sent a referral to the military insurance provider and were waiting for approval; so I waited. In the meantime, the swelling started going down, but slooooooooowly. 

I woke up this morning and my eyes were still puffy, but the inner corners near the tear ducts no longer looked like they were going to explode. I sent my boss a text letting her know I was planning to come in but would need to leave when my appointment was set. She texted me back saying "no way--no working until cleared by the doctor." I was already enroute to the office when she sent it, so ended up making a circle and coming back home. I called the clinic again and finally was told that my referral was approved, and I was given the information of who the specialist was I'd be seeing. I called and got an appointment for this afternoon. 

The specialist said that nothing was broken. He thought I had an infection that started responding to the antibiotic from Tuesday, and that all the bleeding and swelling from the initial impact was being drawn by gravity into the soft tissue of my eyes and my sinuses, as I had quite a bit of congestion along with the swelling. He wants me to use eye drops for the burning and itching, nasal spray with a steroid in it for the congestion, and keep putting ointment on the forehead and nose scrapes.  He said I'm healing, which is the important thing, and I am cleared to go back to work. Plus I don't look quite so scary!

Anyhow, I got home from the clinic and updated my boss. I let her know I'd be back in the office tomorrow and could work my weekend as scheduled. She sent back that the office could survive without me, and that if I wanted to I could take tomorrow off to just be, work on call as scheduled, and report for work on Monday, mostly recovered and comfortable. I figured why not, as I have the time available... 

So an unexpected week off! Not necessarily fun, but I have knit quite a bit, cross stitched, read four Anne Perry novels I was behind on (one to go to be up to date on both the Monks and the Pitts), read some blogs, kept Eric company when he was awake (he's not only on overnights, he also took on two overtime shifts this week!). I finished a few chores, and have sat out in the yard. Not a bad way to spend the week over all! And other than some pressure and soreness, I didn't otherwise feel too bad, despite the bruises and scrapes!

Reimond has been calling me almost daily on his bike ride home from work, and he sends me snapchat photos. I love this one. I can almost smell the water, feel the breezy fall air, and hear the lap of the wavelets against the shore. This is lake Nokomis, with the cedar avenue bridge to the left. 

I've been feeling really guilty in a way that my clumsiness resulted in so much drama over a few scrapes and bruises. It really did turn out looking much worse than it actually was, for which I am grateful. I just feel stupid that it got as big as it did. I know it's better to be safe than sorry, so there are no regrets, but still... When I do something I can't do it the easy way, can I! 

Monday, September 19, 2016

That didn't go as planned!

So I am home from work today... On Saturday night I had a fall on some uneven asphalt, and the asphalt won:

Fortunately the injuries are all cosmetic--scrapes and bruises--but one cannot comfortably enquire about the abuse of children when one looks like a victim....

The swelling of my face has gone down, and the black eye looks more shadowy than it truly is, but the bruises are blooming nicely. I caught my foot, lost my balance, and gracefully landed on knees, hands, shoulder, and face. The shoulder bruise is still too deep to see, but the rest are colorful. Falling at 54 is far more traumatic than falling at 4 was, and I am feeling muscles I forgot I had!

On a happier note, I have gotten through the bins of yarn, and bags of clothes that I brought back from MN. 
 Going from this...
To this:

There is more to do, and I have enough acrylic and cotton yarn to make more afghans and dishcloths than I will ever be able to use, but I am excited by the possibilities! 

I have gotten further into the shaping of the "skirt" on my Hitofude cardigan, and am enjoying knitting on it. Still have reservations that it will fit me, but lace sizing isn't true until it's blocked. I am really craving starting something new as a reward for all I've finished, something small and portable like socks. No socks are on the needles right now, which is unheard of--I generally have at least one pair going at a time! 

I also have the sewing bug something fierce.  I've been reading a number of sewing blogs that are stirring my desire to sew clothes and quilts. Fortunately I have quilts to work on and plenty of things to lay out and stitch up.  Thanks Cindy for redirecting me back to the world of blogging!

Reimond is settling in nicely at his new job and home. Andrea has only called once to beg me to come and get him! Tony is having fun with a partner in crime--can do his weekend side jobs in half the time with his brother to help (of course he also has to split the profits). Liisa closed on the house with little ceremony and is breathing easier. 

Work has been stressful for me. The cases are what you'd expect, and they take their normal toll. There are tensions though from staffing changes that are also taking a toll on morale and attitudes, not all for theBetter, and policy changes to figure out. Government work is never static. Eric is taking on additional temporary supervisor duties as well for the time being. It's a nice change for him and despite being back on overnights effective this week, a positive challenge. For the rest of the family things are fairly status quo. 

I bought myself some roses when doing a Walmart run last weekend, and they made me smile. As did some keepsakes I found amongst my treasures I unpacked, sorted, and repackaged. I texted back and forth with my sister and a cousin, sharing things that made us smile, like my deceased cousin's 4 year old signature from 1962, and gifts and notes from Kristi in the late 70's.

Two other odd finds:

 I don't know if it would still play--need to find some batteries!

And Skee-ball tickets (from valley Fair?)

 There must be a couple hundred of them. I don't remember what I was saving them for, but I wonder if they could be redeemed still!

Anyhow, while Eric naps, I am taking it easy and letting my body heal. The irony of my fall is that I was wearing decent shoes, hadn't been drinking, and Eric was right beside me, but couldn't grab me in time to steady me! I'm grateful nothing worse happened other than mortification and some soreness and stiffness. I'm debating on finding my knitting, cross stitching, or crocheting out here in the glorious sunshine. It's not my normal Monday!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Weekend plans

This is what I need to work on this weekend:

Note--the totes against the wall with the picture framed on top and the stacks ARE sorted, and have been there... They just have no shelves or cupboards to be enclosed behind. That is my fabric stash... Almost 40 years worth of useable stuff that I am actually using.

The totes, boxes, and painting on the chair (by my dad, of Lake Superior's fishing harbor at Cornucopia WI), table, etc.are all things I need to go through and place somewhere or dispose of. 

And this is Reimond's now mostly empty bedroom, with the antique wicker daybed and ikea daybed I also brought back. Both need mattresses, but I wanted them. The black bed had been Liisa's, and the wicker one was mine, a hand-me-down from my moms house years ago. It also needs a good painting but I love it. 

Oh, my finished Reyna shawl, draped over my "hey teacher" sweater I knit 7-8 years ago:

It came out nicely. I ended it before the pattern called for because I was running out of yarn, but it is in no way "too small" and I think will be nice with a winter stadium coat I got from my mom for work.

I've also worked steadily on my Hitofude sweater, which is made in one piece with a weird construction: starts off as a rectangle, then the long edges are bound partially off after folding it in half, an edging is added for the collar and waistband (so like a shrug), which is where I am currently at, then the top edge is bound off and the bottom is knit longer for a cardigan length sweater.

I'm a little concerned that the three needle bind off on the sleeves is too rigid, but it otherwise has lots of stretch. I am working on the ribbed edging/waistband right now.

 A close up of the unblocked lace pattern. 24+ hours in the car offered a lot of knitting time last weekend. Unfortunately I haven't done anything on it since then. I think I'd rather be knitting on this stormy weekend than digging through my past, but I promised Eric I'd not procrastinate (so here I sit blogging about it instead of doing it.... Shhhhhh!)

In other things, Reimond likes his job with Rollie at the service station, and is finding his feet. Andrea called yesterday and demanded I come bring him home, then laughed and said things are going well. Alexis has already talked him into chaperoning a school field trip the end of the month. I have talked to him almost every day on the phone, which makes me smile. Liisa closes on the house on the 13th and we are all okay with it. 

Last night I came home from work to discover Po had been extremely ill all over both levels of the house.  On the carpet (why oh why couldn't he have been on the linoleum?). Liquid dog poop is not easy to clean up! Thank goodness for steam cleaners and green machines. Aurora took the upstairs and I did the main floor. Now we have wet carpets that refuse to dry in the humidity and stormy weather we have.  Another "reason" for hiding out upstairs in my room with candles burning and lots of lights on.... 

BUT I did have a plan, and make a promise... So after I finish my coffee it will be off to sorting boxes and finding homes for things. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Short and sweet

It was a whirlwind trip up and back. I spent some quality time with my mom, brother Erik, and my kids. I got to say hi to Erika briefly. And I came home. 

We came home with almost as much as we brought up there. The trip was long, and made longer by a slower speed due to the trailer and many stops for gas. 12 plus hours almost each way! It was strange seeing my house so empty and forlorn. The warts and flaws hidden by furniture and love were exposed to the world, the gardens were in sad disrepair, and it generally looked lost and forlorn. The soul left it  and it's now an empty shell, waiting for someone new to love and breathe a new spirit into it. I wandered room to room, taking mental snapshots and reviewing memories as I peered in closets and cupboards and stroked counters and window frames.  A lifetime of love and memories remain in my heart and I gave thanks for the shelter and joy it provided over the 31 years my family has resided there. 

Rather than crying, I gave thanks to God for the blessings he provided to us, and I prayed for the new owner that she finds the same love, security, and joy there that we shared. We went to the new home Liisa is at to get the rest of my things, then headed to Tony's for grilling and family. Not surprisingly, the spirit missing from my old house resides now in Tony and Andrea's house, as children gathered outside to play and laugh, neighbor's congregated on the curb in front to converse, and we, as a family, ate dinner at the picnic table and laughed and shared memories, and made plans for the future. I know that that spirit also resides with Liisa's house, because she too shares in it and carries it with her. 

While Liisa, Eric, and I moved boxes and daybeds, Tony, Justin, and Rei worked on preparing the new sidewalk in Tony's backyard.  They busted out old concrete, laid forms, and tamped down base for the new concrete to be poured next weekend. It was fun to see the boys working hard together while Andrea and Alexis did their own chores, and then we watched as the kids practiced wave boarding on Rei's rip sticks. Tony got into the act too, and we laughed at their antics. Then we grilled, visited, and had a fire in the firepit. These are the only pictures I took over the day we had to be. I played a game of magic with Justin face to face instead of over the miles, and then he and Alexis went to bed, and we said our goodbyes.

Rei was humorously panicky as we parted, and I know there was an undertone of truth to it, but watching him with his siblings reassured me he will be fine. Tony is thrilled to have him there, and Liisa is welcoming him with open arms too. Rei starts working tomorrow at the station with Rollie, learning basic automotive care, and in time he'll move on to other things. If he decides cars aren't for him, he can always go back to restaurants.  Between Liisa and Neal he has options there too, and 2 years of kitchen experience from the roadhouse.  

I'm tired and not necessarily looking forward to going through boxes, but Eric works this weekend, so that is my plan. Who knows what treasures were left behind in the garage rafters over the past 8 years that need finding! I have a lot of things to process in my heart after talking with my brother, but those are things for another day. I am at peace with where things are today.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

And so it's here: packing day....

 My rose on Sunday, newly opened.

I took today off at the last moment (requested it Monday) because on Monday morning I cried my way to work. It hit me that this is real, my baby is moving "home", and my apron strings are being lengthened once more. I went thru it when Tony joined the army, and again when I moved down here. Now it's finally Reimond's time to fly free. I've never considered myself a helicopter parent, but today I've chosen to hover a bit. He's my last chick and has been under my care for 22 years. 

This was his 13th birthday, just before Eric and I really talked for the first time on the phone after his marriage irrevocably broke. It was generally just me and Reimond, with Tony over seas, Andrea and Justin up the road, and Liisa in and out, but not living at home. Nine years have gone past in a heartbeat! I told Rei yesterday, he's been a gift from God all his life,  a baby I didn't know I could have. He's been my anchor and inspiration, my burden and my joy.  I'm proud of the man he's become and I am so pleased with the direction he has chosen to go in his life. It's just hard letting go of his hand. 

At heart, I am and always will be, a mom. It's been a title, a name, and a calling. I've been blessed immensely by all the children who have passed through my life and under my roof. I'm proud to be grandma too, and knowing that the three oldest grandchildren use technology to contact me because they want to has thrilled my soul. I've never wanted to be that parent or grandparent that one has to be "encouraged" (forced) to call. To hear their voices or get their messages out of the blue makes me so happy. I pray that bond continues with Adrianna and all that we may be blessed with after her!

This is my rose today, the bloom not quite spent and a bud along side it. That is how I feel today. One chapter in my life is ending, but the promise of the next is right there in front of me. 

This weekend I am saying goodbye to my house in Minneapolis, walking through it one last time, and loading the trailer, once emptied of Reimond's things, with the last of my belongings Liisa stored for me. Then it's back home to Mascoutah to begin the next page. It's hard, tears will be shed, and there will be lots of hugs and kisses exchanged. But I know I'm going to be okay because I'm not alone. Eric and I are in it together and he understands.