Saturday, July 28, 2012

Old letters and memories

My storage areas are in dire need of purging, tossing what needs to go, keeping the necessary, or at least what seems important. I started in the basement cabinets behind the bar. It was fairly easy until I came to the pictures and letters. I sat in a pile of stuff reading letters that my mom kept, some from me and my kids, some from her and my dad. It was fascinating reading about life events from 20 years ago, details long forgotten. Most of these letters were written in 1993 after we moved to Garden City from Baton Rouge. It was heartbreaking to leave my parents and I went through the heart ache all over again with the letters. I wrote so many letters during that time. They stopped once we got a computer and started using email. Kind of sad, that. My mother loved hand written letters from loved ones and spent a lot of her time writing to relations and friends. She was so great about keeping in touch with friends from much earlier years. I tend to live in the moment. It's not that I don't cherish old friends, well, perhaps I don't cherish them as I should. I found one letter from 1979, where I complained about not being able to find the time to sit down and write a letter because of chasing a toddler about and cleaning up, etc. etc. I'm glad I finally did. That's the great thing about these blogs. You young mothers, when you are grandmothers, will find your earlier musings to be most interesting. Maybe not as interesting as finding a folded letter stuck in an envelope in your own handwriting, but still very good.

Monday, June 25, 2012

tipi time

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It looks like we will finally be setting up the tipi! We were hoping to have this done much earlier, like springtime, but now we are shooting (so to speak) for the 4th of July. Chuck and our neighbor, Jim, went out to our land near Hutchinson a few weeks ago and set up the poles. Back in Wichita, Chuck and I visited the Mid America All Indian Center two Wednesday nights in a row to observe someone erecting actual tipis. The following Wednesday, they let us spread our tipi out on the floor of the center so we could trace out our design. The next problem was where to paint it. They wouldn't let us do that at the center and our driveway seemed too dirty and too hot, so we settled on the basement, which has worked out fairly well. Chuck has been applying paint section at a time. Our son, Keenan, and his two oldest children, Ari and Keira, will be here next week. They are excited to see the tipi and hopefully camp out in it. I'm praying for unseasonably cool weather and not too much wind so we can enjoy being outdoors.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Texas Trip March

Chuck and I recently took a leap into unfamiliar waters, taking a road trip to Texas with two grandkids, sans parents. Last Friday morning, we loaded up the new Jetta with Charis and Blaise in the back seat and headed south for Arlington, Texas to visit the Texas Roaches, Keenan, Sara, Ari, Keira, and Asher. Charis and Blaise were very excited to be going to see their cousins and aunt and uncle. The trip down went very well, only stopping twice at the usual places, the OK welcome center to have lunch and the Texas welcome center to run off some wiggles and to pose for a picture.

We arrived at Keenan's house in the afternoon and relaxed outside while the kids ran and played. Saturday held big excitement of a train ride to Ft. Worth to see the beautiful Water Gardens. It was a hot day and the water was very tempting, but signs every where prohibited wading or swimming. We had to be content to water gaze and clamber around. We had fun people watching too while we cooled off in the shade.

Back home, the kids rested in front of a movie while the dads went shopping. Later, Sara fixed us a mini seder meal of matzah ball soup, matzah, and haroset. Mmmm!

Our little passengers weren't quite as happy on the trip home, and were very worn out, but it went pretty well, especially after Blaise fell asleep, finally.

A big thank you to our hosts for putting us up and all the cooking and cleaning. We had a great time!

And thanks to Kelsey for helping me with the slide show. Sara helped me with this before, but I lost the instructions.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wings of Life

A friend asked me for the recipe for potato salad, the only potato salad I make and have been making for over 30 years. It's in a cookbook called Wings of Life that I bought when Chuck was in law school in Lawrence and I worked in the library. It was a book I was cataloging and I convinced Chuck to let me buy it as I promised to cook delicious meals for him. It was pretty clear at this point that I was not my mother, not one of those homemaker types that cooks up hot meat and potato meals every day. Some days I just didn't FEEL like cooking. And I was getting a reputation in my family when they would come to visit. Oh, you want to eat? The whole hospitality thing took years to get used to and I'm still "practicing". Chuck would complain about it back in the day, but when I did cook on a regular basis, he complained that he was putting on weight. But couples adjust to each other. As a result of my not cooking, Chuck learned that he liked being in the kitchen at times. It was either cook or go out to eat and we couldn't afford that, so he cooked. Now my spotty meal planning works well for us. Sometimes I cook, sometimes Chuck cooks, and sometimes, often times, we simply graze. At dinner time, we saunter into the kitchen and see what we can throw together. I am so blessed to have a husband that likes this system as much as I do. As for Wings of Life, I don't remember what recipes I used from that other than the potato salad, and that recipe was worth the price of the book.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Natural woman

I have to admit, I'm kind of surprised that my daughter would turn out to be a big proponent of natural birth. I was a part of the hippie generation, and going natural was rather a fad and both of my ob/gyns were reisigned to this and hospitals made an effort to accomodate women's wishes. But going natural today flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Most women have the notion that labor and delivery should be entirely devoid of pain and see no problem with asking for drugs. Doctors and hospital are thrilled about this and more than eager to comply and everywhere you turn, you hear the fear. Not fear of being cut open, or taking drugs to dull the senses and what it might do to the baby, as was my fear, but fear of the natural process of giving birth. I figured that God made me, my body, and gave me the ability to carry a child and deliver the child and then nourish it throughout it's infancy. Call me naive, but it worked out splendidly.

Kelsey, my daughter, had her firstborn in a hospital. Her wishes were to have a natural childbirth, but the professionals got in the way. As soon as we walked in the door, the staff was in control. Kelsey was made to lie down, endure a catheter, told not to eat or drink, was hooked up to every kind of monitoring machine and then when things didn't move along (surprise surprise) fast enough for them, they gave her drugs to speed them up. That caused more pain so they gave her drugs for the pain. Brent and I stood on the sidelines, not really necessary except to give Kelsey our love. It was an agonizingly long labor and so hard on my sweet girl.

In her second pregnancy, Kelsey researched natural births and gained a lot of helpful information, including hiring a doula to assist through labor and to be an advocate at the hospital. What a difference this made! Kelsey labored at home with the doula and Brent and me, arriving at the hospital with only enough time for the doctor on call to catch the baby. It was comical to see the staff running around with their forms, but with not much to do. It was over before they go started! This experiece gave Kelsey the confidence to go for a home birth with baby three.

When Kelsey went into labor for her third child at one o'clock a.m., she counted contractions by herself and tried to sleep in between until 6:00, not wanting to wake anyone unnecessarily. The midwife and her doula arrived about 9. They were wise enough to let Kelsey make the calls. Clearly, Kelsey was in charge, not a doctor, or staff. If she wanted to walk, she walked. If she was hungry or thirsty, she ate and drank. Sometimes she sat with all of us, sometimes she just wanted to be alone or with her husband. When things got tough, we were there for her to lean on and cry on and to pray for her. We all felt like an important support team for Kelsey. At 1:44 p.m., our little Iris made her appearance, surprising us all. We knew the time was close but not that close! The long dance was over at last. Kelsey cried tears of relief and joy.

Now for the real work, raising the children, and that is also painful at times. But children are a blessing from the Lord!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve 2011


Just took a quick look at our 2011 pictures in Picasa. It's like the entire year at a glance, in living color. Almost all of the photos are of my treasures, my family. My husband, my children, my grandchildren are my reason to get up in the morning and carry on. I thank my Father in Heaven for everyone of them and ask His blessings on them.

I am also very grateful and relieved that the Creator of the Universe cannot be voted out of office. He was and is and is to come! This is reassuring as political leaders come and go, so greedy for power, so full of lies. All we want is to live our lives, love and provide for our families, enjoy our friends, enjoy freedom. Sadly we share the planet with those who want to kill and steal and destroy, and many of those are in positions of power.

I don't know what is coming in the next year, who will be president, how many freedoms will be left, how prosperous we will we be, but I do know that God sits on his throne and he will not change no matter how many claim he doesn't exist. He is Lord!! He is King! Allelujah!

Come Lord Jesus and revive us again!
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Toilet paper

My friend Shana has started a blog with a bang and much enthusiasm so I thought I'd blow the dust off of mine and crank it up again. It's one week until Christmas. My last blog was in the heat of summer and now it's sweater weather. Woot! Is it just me, or have the past three months just whizzed by in a blur? Seems like yesterday I was tossing out the rotting pumpkin. Someone has made the observation that life is like a roll of toilet paper. It goes slowly at the start and then, zip, you find yourself clinging with that bit of glue to the cardboard tube. Not that much paper left on my roll. Sigh.

Ok! That was a cheery bit of insight. On to happier things. One of my granddaughters has a birthday tomorrow. She will be five. Grandchildren are the sweet reward for nearing the end of the roll. I'm going to hang on as long as I can.