Sep 15, 2012

Begin At The Beginning And Go On Till You Come To The End: Then Stop.

The King's quote  (Alice In Wonderland, of course) sums up my current effort to return to blogging. Was my last post really April 21st? eblogger format has changed so much I barely recognize it. This post may take a while...

Thank you to all of the kindhearted among you who tossed emails and snail mails into the rabbit hole while searching for us over the past 5 months.We are all perfectly fine but as busy as The Boy's collage above.

In other words, nothing much has changed.

A few family firsts that are noteworthy:

                               The Baby's first day of Kindergarten. 

She has begun talking in sentences. She has officially hit the terrible two's albeit 3 years late. Yesterday, was her last day in a restaurant for a loooooong time due to a colossal melt down regarding a lettuce garnish on her plate. She simply did not like it.

Yes, my sweet, compliant Baby has become...well...a normal twerp. She fits right in with the rest of the twerps.

                                         The Teenager turned 19!

She is pictured above in a stylish,singing birthday hat provided by The Genius. The Teenager still comes up with the most amazing quips. She recently informed me I could not hold her hand in public because it was "humiliating." Whether your teenager's IQ is 46 like my teenager or 146 I think it's safe to say they are pretty much all the same. Obnoxious Opinionated.

The Boy continues to be an inspiration to others. The above collage was posted by a friend in Orlando along with the following paragraph:

 "Hero". When I saw the subject 'hero', I thought of many people...the first one who came to my mind today was The Boy. The Boy is the son of my friend. He is all boy, loves bugs, snakes and monster trucks...he is a
big brother and a little brother ~ the only boy in a family of women! He is a helper to his friends at school and they all love him : ) The Boy's life is about courage, he has Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI). Also known as the "brittle bone disease". I have lost count of the times he has had a fracture, or a surgery, or a treatment to help strengthen his bones. He is an amazing boy! He is a hero!"
                               The "chicken whisperer" with his flock

 YES!  Chickens!

I have finally fulfilled my life long desire of being a chicken owner.  We are the proud owners of four Delawares named Beulah, Lula, Bobbie Joe and June. We expect lots of eggs and lots of poo for the garden. So far all we have is lots of poo for the garden.

                                               Photo from Google Images

The Boy and I have begun a meal worm farm for the flock. Thousands of wriggling alien-like larvae on a bed of oatmeal.

Truly the stuff nightmares are made of.

It's good to be back.

Apr 21, 2012

Things I Love On A Rainy Saturday

Bougainvillea against a wet, wooden fence.
Memories of Haiti

 Our very first potato

 A meal fit for a mouse

 Brick paths and weird tropical plants from my father

 93 years old on February 21st

 Our resident black racer who thinks she's Nessie

Navigating the Loch

Orchids in the back yard that grow themselves

Where did you come from and why do you stay?

Vines that marry

I now pronounce you Black-eyed Susan and Jasmine

 That the children have to walk under the vines to swing

Surrounded by fragrance 
 That Orange and Purple really do go together

In the garden, of course

Apr 17, 2012

Delaware, I Salute You!

Delaware state bird.

Up all night with The Baby who moaned, groaned, and yelled for me. This is the nightly norm for The Baby but in my sleep deprived delirium it seemed a tad more excessive.

This morning she has a temperature of 101.

"I sick. Are you sick?" she moans.

I can't figure out if I am also sick which seems to be a genetic trait from the paternal side of my family. Generally when my temperature reaches 103 after days of a "headache" I decide to use a thermometer and then am amazed at how sick I am, how long I have actually been sick and how I had no clue regarding this fact.

Not being in touch with one's own health issues is also characteristic of "extreme caretakers." You know who you are and many of you are reading this blog.

Come to think of it following an "extreme caretaker" around for 24 hours might be a good premise for a new reality tv show. Besides I'm bored with watching re-runs of Hoarders on Netflix. I could use a dose of wallowing in the misery of someone I actually have something in common with.

So I'm exhausted this morning and stagger after my cup(s) of java when The Boy hollers for me. I figure he has to wee wee.

"Mom! What did you do with the snake?"

The snake? What snake?

"Why did it have polka dots on it?"

Fever dream?

When I get The Boy up for school he cannot decide if he feels well enough to go to school or not even though it turns out that he does not have a temp.

Can't decide if he's sick. Uh. Oh. Sounds like it might be genetic and environmental.

I pack his lunch, and back pack and in doing so I find that he has a big art project due today. The letter from his fabulous art teacher informs me that The Boy has chosen the states of Texas and Delaware and that I was supposed to research these two states online last night with him and send in many, many facts and photos corresponding to those chosen states.

I can also use "weird " facts for example the "fainting goats in Montana."

Fainting goats? I seem to have missed this somewhere in the past 60 years of life experiences. The only thing I know about Montana is that for every one woman there are 12 men. I considered moving there when I was young and had hormones. Now I'm old, have no hormones and hate the cold so Montana no longer entices me.

And Delaware? Where is Delaware actually? Does any one live there? I have never met a soul from Delaware and in Florida we have tourists from all over the United States so I have to wonder does Delaware really exist? And more importantly did The Boy choose Delaware because it rhymes with under wear?

In researching Delaware for 20 seconds this morning I discover that not only does Delaware exist it actually has a chicken for it's state bird! Any state who has a chicken for it's state bird and whose residents do not spend winters in Florida annoying Floridians is worthy of praise!

Kudos, Delaware! I stand and salute you!

The Boy has been to Texas, however, so i ask him what he remembers about our vacation to Dallas.

"The cashews."

The train ride to Ft. Worth? The longhorn steer run in downtown Ft. Worth? The Dallas children's science museum? The book depository museum and grassy knoll where JFK was assassinated? The Los Lonely Boys concert in downtown Dallas? The vintage train museum?


"The cashews."

I remind him of the strong Mexican culture we also encountered when purchasing those cashews at a local farmers market and asked if he encountered a strong Mexican culture in Dallas what country does he think borders Texas?


Sick or not sick I predict it's going to be a long day and an even longer art project.

Apr 11, 2012

Cup of Java With That Urine?

So I recently got my income tax return.

"How did you get such a b-i-g return?" the bank teller asked in a way too loud voice.

'I am poor. I have lots of children." I replied.

"Wow!" she responds. "And how much would you like to put in your savings after you pay off your Visa?"

The Visa containing the surgery costs? Yes. I pay $457.00 a month for Blue Cross Blue Shield and Blue Cross Blue Shield didn't pay one penny of my November orthopedic surgery.

The Visa containing the van costs? Yes. Remember when it was towed away? Posting bond for Charlie Manson would've been cheaper.

The Visa containing living expenses because the recovery from surgery in November was far more painful than I anticipated? Morphine every six hours! Who knew Morphine and Sweet Tarts were basically the same composition? My Friend Big Daddy Dr. Weed had the same surgery at the same place one hour after mine and ended up getting staph in his wound followed by MRSA and is only recently able to walk without agonizing pain.

Maintaining a full work schedule during all of this? You must be kidding? We supplemented my lack of income with my Visa and measly savings.

And then there was the Teenager's hospitalizations in December, January and March. Oh, and lets not forget The Boy's hip fracture two days after the Teenagers March surgery.

"So your Visa is paid off. How much of your income tax return would you like to put in savings, now? Your current savings balance it $9.00." The bank teller announces to everyone in the lobby.

Was she jealous or something? She can certainly have my children if she wants a better income tax return.


We are basically shut-ins due to the hip fracture. My primary contact with the outside world is work. Who knew work could be so exciting? When Iris arrives I run screaming down the drive way. Free at last.

I sit here day after day after day after returning from work and listen to things like...

" I sure am glad I'm not a tree." From The Boy.

"Why?" I lamely inquire.

"Because it would be sooooo boring just standing there all day."

Who thinks this way?

I haven't slept since March 22nd.

"Mom! I am having jaw pain!"

"Mom! I have to pee."

"Mom! I have to poop."

"Mom! I need pain medicine!'

"Mom! My foot itches!"

"Mom! My splint is too tight."

"Mom! I need a drink of water." At 2 am?

"Mom! I'm having a muscle spasm."

"Mom! I got a potato stick stuck in my wisdom tooth hole."

And if that's not bad enough The Baby has developed the annoying habit of calling me by my first name if I don't answer to "mom."

Alright. Which one of you brats told her my first name?

And speaking of The Baby she is up half the night with her horrendous sleep disorder and the other half just because. Just because everyone else in the family is up.

I stagger out of bed at 6:00 am to get The Baby on the bus before work and find lemonade on the stove in a large plastic cup. I ponder it while making coffee. I don't recall lemon-aid in our house...

Capri Sun.



Dear God it suddenly hits me.

"BOY! Did you put urine on the stove in a plastic cup?"

He can finally sit in his wheel chair this week without pain but the chair won't fit in to our bathroom door so he pees in any available receptacle when I am not looking.

He knew I was perturbed by the urine on the stove so the following day it was placed on The Baby's highchair tray. Ah! Much better.

I wander in to the garden this week to sip my coffee seeking home-grown "respite." After I thoroughly wash my coffee cup first just in case The Boy decided to take a leak in that too.

I notice a little black speck on the rim of the cup and remove it. Coffee grind I presume. Until I swallow a soft, fat blob of something which I spit back in to my empty coffee cup. The blob has legs.

Garden beetle? I look closer. Oh my God no! Cockroach? I can't even go there.

I prefer my coffee black like my anal cercus

Apparently that coffee ground was a bug turd.

"Ack! Ack! I think I just drank a cockroach! I'm going to die!" I'm shrieking now. It's difficult to vomit when you are shrieking which is a good thing.

"Protein." The Boy suggests. "I eat ants you know. They taste like Hershey's chocolate."

I consider switching to Godiva while I run to the internet to see how long I have to live.

I find this:

Chocolate Allergies Linked To Cockroach Parts at The Body Odd site.

No words.

Mar 23, 2012

Femur Fracture and The Dyslexic Paramedics

Leonardo da Vinci was dyslexic

I think I'm tired.

On Tuesday when we came home from The Teenagers surgery I was exhausted but up until 1 am trying to get her comfy and situated. And then there is 6 am and work the following day.

On Wednesday we were in the car to take The Boy to school when nature called. I ran shrieking back into the house barely making it. Probably stress I told myself.

We eventually arrived at The Boy's school late and Ms. Trinidad of the front office looked at me. "This is very unlike you to be this late!"

MOM HAS DIARRHEA!" The Boy explains in his loudest voice.

Ms Trinidad started to to giggle. And then the howling laughter began from another direction. Mrs-Needs-To-Be-Canonized bursts out of a side office clutching her stomach and laughing. I took a bow and drove to work.

Einstein was dyslexic

On Thursday I finished work, came home and lay down with The Teenager, both of us exhausted. My cell phone made some weird noises and when I checked it realized it had not taken a charge during the night. What can you expect from a $14.95 Wal-Mart go phone ? My expensive texting phone which i need for my job took a dump the day before my van died. No. I can't afford a new one. Phone or van.

I plugged the ghetto phone in to the living room outlet and it rang twice but every time I looked at it the screen went black. I figured whoever called me would call my home phone if it was important.

Walt Disney was dyslexic

The Baby's school bus arrived, we unloaded her and piled in to the van to pick up The Boy from school. The Teenager wobbly on Vicodin in her bathrobe and The Baby covered in finger paint. She was green and yellow.

When I arrived in the school car circle I noticed 2 fire trucks and one ambulance. And then I noticed a teacher running across the lawn towards me. For a brief second I tried not to look at her hoping she wasn't after me and that she would go away. Go away. Go away.

But I knew. Lord . Did I know.

"The Boy! The Boy! He fell! Go around the back."

Sir Isaac Newton was dyslexic

I was relieved to see The Boy sitting up on a stretcher surrounded by a crowd from school and a group of firemen and paramedics. The paramedic informed me The Boy had hurt his knee. It did look a little swollen but I've learned to consult the Boy.

Femur or knee?


Is it broken?

"Yes. I want to ride in the ambulance."

Where does it hurt?

"Here." he points. "I want to ride in the ambulance."

This is not life or death. You do not require life saving equipment like oxygen. You are riding with me.

On a scale of 1 to 10 his pain was a 5.

I plucked him off of the stretcher and put him in the van.

I realize later how bizarre our conversation sounded to innocent onlookers. Unless you have a child with OI and in that case it was a perfectly normal conversation.

Winston Churchill was dyslexic

I dosed him with Hyydrocodone and Motrin.We arrived at the ER and two burly security guards helped me move The Boy to a wheelchair. The triage nurse took him back immediately. I found out later that many of the dozens of families waiting complained about The Boy being taken back immediately assuming it was because he was white. The triage nurse informed them that The Boy had a femur fracture. Your child has a cold. Buzz off.

One of my major pet peeves are people who use the local emergency room as their primary care physician. They drive me insane and the cost of medical care over the edge for the rest of us poor paying slobs.

And the white issue? You don't want to go there with me.


Architect Jorn Utzon was dyslexic

The Boy did well until we took him for his x-ray and the muscle spasms began. A small segment of kids with OI suffer from debilitating spasms during fracture times and not only are they excruciatingly painful, they are also dangerous. Children fracture on top of fractures from the spasms themselves. Of course The Boy is a member of this small club.

Lewis Carroll was dyslexic

The only thing that helps is IV Valium.

"We are out of IV Valium," ER Dr. Garcia informed me.


Steven Spielberg is dyslexic

The nurse informs me there is also a nationwide shortage of migraine medication, Phenergan, some chemo drugs and some blood pressure pills.
So they give him Valium by mouth and IV Morphine. As the ER paramedic attempts to start the IV The Boy looks at her and says, "there is no blood return."

"I can't believe you just said that to me," she smiles. She turns to me and asks what his IQ is. I assured her it was normal but he is gifted in soooo many other ways.

None of which i care to go into at the moment.

Yes, Stephen Hawking also dyslexic

The femur was cracked but the intramedullary rod on it's last leg (literally) held it together and kept the crack from displacing. As it turns out he did not fall. He was walking towards a classmate and the femur spontaneously broke sending him to the ground.

I had them put on a long leg splint in the ER. We "had a choice." Were they kidding? Of course I wanted him immobilized. Wait a minute....could this be where the IV Valium is going? The treatment was a tad Bob Marley-ish no worries mon-ish. Since when do you not splint a cracked femur on an OI kid?

Last night was a little rough.

The Boy is also dyslexic

And the dyslexic paramedics?

I phoned Mrs-Needs-To-Be-Canonized from the ER as I felt terribly sorry for her hoping she had recovered from the fracture fiasco and wondering if the paramedics got there any quicker than they did when Attila had the seizure at the Valentines dance and Mrs-Needs-To-Be-Canonized was chasing them around the block on foot waving her hands in the dark and screaming, "I'm old. I'm fat. I'm going to have a heart attack right here in the street!"

No. It did not go well this time either.

"One fire truck arrived at the church office. One fire truck at a students house across the street. And one ambulance parked in the school parking lot."

Obviously her call to the dispatcher after the paramedics circled the Valentine dance for 10 minutes going up and down streets didn't do much good. It seems the school is still "off the grid."

And then there was the dyslexic paramedic who wrote 25lbs for The Boy's weight instead of 52 lbs and who wrote The Boy's first name down as my last name. And then dropped his clip board of notes on the ground and then couldn't find it until Ms. Zookeeper, The Boy's teacher, handed it to him and when she did it was apparently love at first sight for the paramedic. He couldn't take his eyes off of Ms. Zookeeper after that. Apparently none of the paramedics could take their eyes off of Ms. Zookeeper.

Yes. I know. I know. She is "hot" (per The Boy) but focus boys, focus!

This afternoon I'm still in the clothes that i went to work in yesterday morning and slept in last night. The Baby needs a bath and The Teenager is complaining because she is still in her nightgown.

"I'm still in my PE uniform and my tighty whities and I need a bath. " The Boy states trying to cheer The Teenager who is still experiencing post surgical pain.

"But at least my under wear aren't yellow."

Ah, yes. Gifted.

In sooo many ways.

Mar 20, 2012

Happy Anniversary Mr. Snuggles

Mr. Snuggles in his favorite pink retro chair

Last night as I was packing for round two of The Teenagers dental surgery I remembered to pack Mr. Snuggles, the Teenagers favorite toy in the entire world. Mr Snuggles was accidentally left at home during her last hospitalization. Bad move. Very bad.

Mr. Snuggles has been with our family for about 8 years. The Teenager won him at a church Easter Egg hunt and crowned him Mr Snuggles on the spot. The Teenager names all of her babies the second she acquires them and never and I mean NEVER forgets their names from that moment forward. This has always amazed me. The same memory that thinks Martin Luther King, Jr. is, "I dunno the son of God?" can recall all of those names?

Of course when I went to pack Mr. Snuggles I was semi-horrified regarding the state of his current personal hygiene so i
tossed gently placed him in the washer on the delicate cycle last night. When I woke up at 6 am I ran to the washer with the intent to plop Mr. Snuggles in the dryer for a quickie fluff.

Mr. Snuggles looking rough


Did I hang him out on the clothes line last night? But more importantly how could I have forgotten hanging Mr. Snuggles out on the clothes line last night? I put my shoes on and traipsed out to the clothes line on the side of the house in the pitch dark praying i didn't sink in any Vanna White surprises along the way.

The clothesline was empty. I know I'm forgetful but how can one lose an effeminate rabbit so easily?

And then a thought occurred to me.

Upstairs in The Teenagers bedroom I found The Teenager and Mr. Snuggles sleeping peacefully. That is until I removed Mr. Snuggles from The Teenagers damp, right arm pit.

"Hey! Hey! Where are you taking Mr. Snuggles?"

Mr. Snuggles looking coy

We arrived at the hospital this morning with Mr. Snuggles in tow and ran smack dab into Miss Violet. We've known Miss Violet, a hospital employee, for over 12 years and it seems like every time we show up Miss Violet pops up. It's absolutely uncanny. Twelve years worth of uncanny. A while back i started to suspect that Miss Violet is really a black guardian angel with a very nice weave.

Miss Violet has always had a soft spot for The Teenager and always stops me to ask, "How's my girl?"

Today Miss Violet popped up in the outpatient building lobby as we were heading towards the walkway to the main hospital. When I told her why we were there and gave her a 10 second synopsis regarding the previous wisdom tooth fiasco Violet raised her right hand high in the air and shouted, "LORD JESUS, BLESS THIS CHILD TODAY!"
Startled me half to death along with everyone else in the crowded waiting room.

Call me silly, however, but after hugging Miss Violet goodbye and heading to admissions I had the peaceful sensation that this surgery was going to be different from the last surgery. I also decided if it actually was different I was going to find Miss Violet before every surgical procedure involving every one of my children and have her pray for them in her succinct, shockingly loud manner.

Mr. Snuggles tries to hold it together in the surgical waiting area

After admissions and a pregnancy test we were escorted to the surgical waiting area where we sat for two hours. Yes. I said pregnancy test. As a nurse I agree. As a mother I'm thinking ludicrous.

Surgical holding area. Is it over yet?

From the surgical waiting area we were escorted to the surgical holding area where we waited for one hour.

Eventually, The Teenager and Mr. Snuggles were taken to surgery. The Teenager for her remaining two wisdom teeth to be extracted and Mr. Snuggles to have his teeth cleaned. Or so the nurse informed Mr. Snuggles who did not look terribly pleased with the idea.

The nurse anesthetist could not get over "how beautiful" The Teenager was and commented to this effect three times as we walked back to the operating room.

I have to admit The Teenager totally rocks a hospital gown and I'm not just saying that because I'm her mother.
And it's hard to miss those gorgeous choppers which everyone is impressed with.

America's Next Top Hospital Gown Model

At the moment we are home. The Teenager has finished her pureed, Chick-fil-A kids meal and chocolate milkshake and is singing in the bathtub. Pureed chicken nuggets is a first for me but a necessity because unlike January's mess this time The Teenager is h-u-n-g-r-y and feelin' fine.

The dental procedure this time was the yin to the January yang.

In other words, it went beautifully thanks to Dr. Brady who, turns out, was neither Jan nor Marsha. And thanks to Miss Violet who obviously has a direct line to Lord Jesus. And last but not least, a special thanks to Mr. Snuggles for being a loyal companion to The Teenager bringing comfort during difficult days like today for 8 long years.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Snuggles. Here's hoping you'll hang around with us for another eight Easters.

Mar 3, 2012

What Up?


Thank you to all who have inquired if I am alive. I am. To say I have not been inspired since my last post is putting it mildly. Thus, my absence.

In the meantime things around the homestead are about typical.

Tomatoes have made it through the entire winter and are now bountiful. I have big plans for canning salsa but since I have been too tired I've been freezing the ingredients for a later date. My friends tell me my fatigue is "time change" induced. I can't ever remember a "time change" kicking my butt like this before, though.

The Iris's that my neighbor gave me are exploding. I love flowers but I especially love flowers given to me by another gardener. Remembrance is as beautiful as the blossom.

The family van took a major dump.
I was able to bail it out of mechanics jail after posting $1763.00 bond. Unlike county lock up mechanics do take charge cards. How do I know this? Don't ask.

The Teenager will be admitted next Tuesday to the local children's hospital to have her remaining two wisdom teeth extracted. Please pray.

The Boy and I are shooting hoops in the evening lately and having a great time. I played basketball in middle school and loved it and B-ball with The Boy is a great aerobic work out. I don't recall concern over breaking a hip in middle school though or a play by play announcer yelling, "and the old lady scores!" but the rest of the game hasn't changed much.

We are knee deep in IEP doo-dee with The Baby who will be entering Kindergarten in the fall. I have met with the school psychologist, school physical therapist, school occupational therapist, school speech therapist, school teacher, school social worker and probably the school janitor regarding, "next years placement." Why? Because the school she has attended for the past two years cannot accommodate her handicap. Yes. You heard me. They are looking for an "appropriate" classroom setting for her.

Wait! What happened to accommodations in all classroom settings? What happened to the hard and fast ruling our county just handed down that all children must now go to their "zoned school" no matter what.

All children except handicapped children that is.

It is a continuous source of amusement to sit in these meetings.

Until next time...