Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Leaning in...

Its been an unusual week. Its either a fluke, or a new normal evolving. I'm not sure which.

I woke up early Monday morning vomiting. I had felt my stomach churning on and off throughout the night and I tried to ignore it. The relief was almost instant when I finally succumbed to the contents of my stomach.  I had no doubt my dinner hadn't agreed with me the night prior. But I still felt queasy. Upright on my feet for most of the day was not an option. I decided to lean into it.

Actually, I caved.  I crawled in bed with tea and rested.  And then I decided to Get Lucky... this... Get Lucky, by Katherine Center.



I read, I laughed, I dozed, and I'd wake up wondering what new adventure was waiting around the corner for Sarah.  I devoured this book in one day.  I loved turning the page never fully knowing what to expect, but delighting in each new character that came along.

Tuesday, feeling much more like myself, I dug into the day hoping to catch up.  In one day I could not believe how much of a disaster the house could become.  On a whim I called and invited both my dh and my dd (dear dad) for lunch.  Praying my stomach was ready for some "real" food we picked up dad and went to a diner.  My stomach fared okay.  My dad, however, did not.  He is not one to complain and would never pass on an opportunity to go somewhere, but he was not feeling well.

He struggled to walk more than a few feet without completely running out of breath.  He ate some of his meal and then pushed it aside in a move that was perhaps the most telling.  Dad, to my knowledge, has never left a scrap of food on his plate.

When he struggled walking again back a few feet to the car, I decided to talk with him while we were still in the parking lot.  Sometimes, he just needs for us to gently encourage his next move.  This time, he didn't wait for me to say anything, he just asked.  "Do you have some time you could take me in to the er?  I would feel better getting checked out."

So I just decided to lean in again.

We dropped Rick off, picked up my mom, and spent the afternoon in the er.  I could not have conjured up a more compassionate doctor.  He spent time listening to my dad.  He ran all the usual tests- x-rays, blood work, ekg, etc.  And while we waited for the results, he read dad's history.  I am not kidding when I say he sat at the nurse's station reading the entire 1 1/2 hours we waited.

The tests came back reporting all of the usual underlying conditions. The doctor reassured my dad that he felt all the medications were the right ones, and that the dosages were all correct.  He thought my dad's doctor was on top of his care and doing everything in a reasonable manner.  It was just clear, dad's congestive heart failure is progressing.  It was what we had expected to hear.

I think we were all okay with the news.  I felt reassured.  I felt heard. I felt like I could continue on. Sometimes, you just have to lean in.

Do you ever just lean in?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sometimes I need to remind myself...



... childhood passes so quickly.  When "the girls" come to play, I am reminded of how fleeting the days are of endlessly filling paper with rubber stamps... and marveling each and every time. "See that?" And that?" As she points to one exactly like the previous one and I laugh at her ability to see each one as "brand new...






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... of how you can run until you literally fall into a heap on the couch fast asleep for over an hour...
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... how today its just a princess dress, but blink a few times, and it quickly becomes a prom dress...

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... how this boy who yesterday needed help on the swing...

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... now spends his time helping her on the swing...
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... how she reaches to him to steady her, as he used to reach up to me to steady him...
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... how sometimes, we all need to let go... knowing someone else has a firm grasp on us.
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Of what do you need to stop and remind yourself?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The new "kids" on the block...

A male and female duck have become "squatters," in our back yard. It seems they moved in and have taken over the neighborhood. I've been trying to come up with a name for these pair. Bonnie and Clyde? Sonny and Cher? Fred and Ginger? Hmmm... the closest I came to naming them is the time I found them lying on the bricks of the fire pit in the back yard ... and then the name "roast" duck came to mind. Awww... giggles.

Maybe the most appropriate name is "Jon" and "Kate," as the female laid over a dozen eggs in the bush in front of my neighbors house across the street. Some days she warms the nest all day, other days the two of them snooze in their yard or ours.  But I always see them together. Yeah, so Kate and Jon maybe not so much...

The neighbors stopped using their front door in order not to disturb the nest. I made Rick use a long lens through the window to get these pictures as they dozed in our back yard the other day.  I'm not sure what caused them to pick our two yards over the pond down the street.  But obviously they knew a "protected" habitat when they saw one.








Monday, April 19, 2010

Simple






There is beauty in simplicity.  

Today was really simple.  

And beautiful.  

The sun shined.  

The wind went away. 

4 family members were squished into a golf cart, but fun and amusement were had by all. 

Some days, when the sun shines, its all there for the taking.  

You don't contemplate anything.  

You just be.  

Outside.  

In the sun.  
 
There is beauty in simplicity.  

Today was really simple.  

And beautiful. 




































Friday, April 16, 2010

What you find in the empty places...

If you are lucky like me, you find when you lean into the empty places that first you are virtually hugged by all the sweet comments left on your blog and stories of so many other lost furry loved ones. Thank you to each one of you.


Then yesterday just as I decided to embrace the emptiness of being the girl who missed her dog, love walked in. I woke up to a semi-panicked call from Deb, the mom of the girls I took care of last fall. The stomach bug had visited her daycare and grandma was out of town, could I take the girls?

Could I! Within minutes of E and L's arrival, I was smitten again.  It was all dolls, and talking on the phone, and cooking and watching Umizoomi.  We even squeezed in a whirlwind trip to the park.


L's doll of choice turned out to be Woody.  She rocked him, and hugged him. He even acquiesced when she chewed on the hard plastic of his boot to relieve her teething.  The things we don't do for love.





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Despite the vicious gale-force wind, we ventured out to the park. I had more than a couple of flashbacks to my own boys as I raced about trying to keep up with two girls running in two opposite directions. L may be all of 15 months or so, but she is determined to keep up with E who is 3. She was fearless in her desire to climb even though she is still a bit unsteady on her feet. I felt victorious pushing the stroller home. Some days its enough for a tired mama to just bring them home in one piece. I remember those days so well.


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Unquestionably, as much as their mom thought I was bailing her out, clearly it was I who was rescued.  With giggles and hugs, running and playing, not even the wicked wind could strip away the joy oozing into all those no longer empty places.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The missing thing

Somethings missing.  I haven't been able to put a finger on it all day.  I looked for it everywhere.  Blue sky? Check.  Rhubarb poking through the leaves? Check.  Sunshine, sunbursts and color in my no longer gray and white days?  Check, check, check.

Why is it not quite right?  I am joyful but with a side of wistfulness I haven't been able to articulate.  But then I reached down to clear some leaves, and found...





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... a clump of her fur.

Its the first time in 13 years my ever faithful backyard buddy hasn't been at my side in these early days of Spring. I am dumbfounded every time I recognize the old tender ache of missing my girl, Dakota, sneaking up on me.  So I invited the sadness in to mingle with the joy, and sat together with it in the sun.  Just a girl, alone, missing her dog.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Land of 10,000 Lakes



Minnesota happens to be "The land of 10,000 lakes," and it only takes you a few minutes drive from our town to start discovering a few of those lakes. In fact "going to the lake," is synonymous with warm weather around here. So this Sunday, we jumped in the car and headed to Detroit Lakes. It doesn't matter how many times we will make a visit to DL this summer, the one place we will frequent nearly every time, is Zorbaz. Its an iconic eatery in the lakes area and we love it both for the "macho" nachos as well as the pizza.  With a near 70 degree day, no wind and a wide open afternoon, we met Grandpa and Grandma for lunch.

To work off our nachos that did not disappoint us in terms of their macho-ness, we went for a walk along the quiet beach afterwards. The ice has barely gone out of the lake and open fishing doesn't start for weeks.  The water temperature is in the "frigid" range, much to the disappointment of the boys.  In another month or so however, the water will warm up and the beaches will be filled with revelers from all over.

Today it was like having the place to ourselves.  True to their word, notice the boys stuck to their promise to their dad of staying "off of the sand" and technically their feet never left the sidewalk.  Their hands may have raked through the small pebbles for shells, but their feet remained planted.  Really I could only admire their ingenuity.

After a leisurely walk to the fishing pier, we climbed back in the car and slowly wound our way through the lakes and back home.  With a handful of shells, a full tummy and the smell of the lake clinging to my clothes, the pull of the water will beckon again and again these next few months.  I am so ready.




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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Moving sale?

It isn't often the only item for sale in a moving sale is the whole house! These are all houses along the river that have been bought out by Fema because of the number of times these houses have flooded or are in danger of being flooded.  A permanent dike of some sort will take their place.

A mover from South Dakota has bought them and is moving them out of their lots by the river and re-selling them. House, after house, after house was either up on blocks or abandoned and waiting for removal. The river is now only at minor flood stage and slowly making its way back into it's banks. In fact, its ironic, just a few weeks ago we were worried about being under a deluge of water. Today, we under a no burn ban, as we anxiously await the need for rain. Mother nature is fickle.









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Gives new meaning to the phrase "water in the basement..."


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Displaced residents.  The deer, as well as the ducks we have all been finding nesting in our yards, are making due in places you wouldn't normally see them.
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In the end, serenity...    it was the last photo of the day.
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Thursday, April 8, 2010

What could be better...

What could be better than baking a box of brownies with your friend in the kitchen? Why making TWO boxes of brownies of course.  Its no wonder Nolan asks to go play at Riley's house 17 times a day.  Nolan has also been trying to sell us on the idea of buying the house for sale next to Riley's house.  The fact that the house has two pink bedrooms, hasn't deterred Nolan in the slightest.


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When you get lucky

When you get lucky

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