Saturday, November 29, 2008

So, when did I become such a home body? It is the weekend of Thanksgiving and in years past would have been all up in black Friday shopping, visiting friends, going to the movies - just being out for being out's sake. I loved the crowds, the hint of holiday spirit in the air, traveling to and fro.

I guess the transformation began last year. It was just over a year ago when Jay said adios to his job and took a 6-month sabbatical from working. Actually, he was riding out a non-compete agreement and he did anything but not work during that time. Our beautiful, hand-crafted study is a testament to that. Being extremely tight on money we stayed at home and found ways to have fun without spending money. It wasn't easy for me - not the staying on budget, but the removal from society (ok, that is a little drastic of a description). For Jay, who has always been somewhat of a recluse, it was heaven. He prefers solitary hobbies - computer gaming, movies, etc.

Sure, this also has to do with her. She was my post-Thanksgiving shopping buddy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Squirrel Saga
Chapter 2 (To bring you up to date, Chapter 1 is here)

Ebsalic milk powder for puppies: 18.00
Bedding for the old bird cage: 9.00
Rich block food for rabbits and rodent: 8.00
New born puppy milk bottles: 4.50 (rejected by the squirrel)
Water bottle for cage: 2.00
Unshelled sunflower seeds: 1.50
Declared insane by all your friends and family: Priceless

Do I actually have to state the obvious? The squirrel is still here. Eyes are now open, tail beginning to bush out a little, not waking up in the night for a feeding (ptl!). Every day we talk about sending him away, but we (Jay) have grown a little attached (read obsessive). Today, I gleaned a tidbit on squirrel (part of my daily reading now) that it is not a good idea to release a squirrel during the winter. Not the news I wanted to hear. "Oh, we'll keep him for longer, honey. It is pretty easy," said by Jay, the squirrel man. This all still smells like roses (well, not the squirrel because squirrel deification really stinks) but he still doesn't have teeth of any significance. Mark my words, this is all going to come crashing down like a house of cards. One bite...and it is adios Theodore. More posts to come.

Anne of Green Gables

I think I posted several months ago that Sadie and I began reading, "Anne of Green Gables" together at bedtime. Somewhere early on, we forgot about it and for some reason, Sadie brought it back out a few nights ago. I was a bit giddy when she handed it over, for several reasons. It is the perfect book as the chapters are fairly short, verbiage simple and yet, almost a mini-story within the larger tale. And, yet, I was hesitant because of what it does to me.

I was hesitant because the book is emotional draining for me. I have subjected myself to more than one occurrence of tears building in corners of my eyes, daring to over flow onto my face. Is it the fact that I am a mother and it hurts how Anne is treated at times? Is it the fact that I feel some sort of connection between the tragedy this girl faces and disappointments in my own life? Is it my own loneliness and sense of displacement that is our bond? Or is it the basic reality that I am tired and worn out from the usual routine of being a stay at home mom which is not physically draining, but emotionally fatiguing. I am going with the latter - the others are just poppycock.

Side note: Can you tell I have been waiting for a reason to use the word "poppycock" upon learning of its Dutch origins meaning soft dung. Ok - back on topic.

Apparently, I may be the only one who never read this book or saw the movie as a young girl. So don't spoil it for me. I can still remain hopeful that it get less heavy on the old box of tissues.

There have been other books that have brought me to this point. After she died I read several books about death and grieving to the kids - you can imagine the response. But, those are pretty obvious ones. I wasn't expecting "AoGG" to do it to me.

This leads to a question - or, sadly, more appropriately for this blog since I have few commenters - it begs the thought: What books have you read to your children that made you cry? Or have you read a book ,written for a "younger" audience, for your own pleasure that elicited some emotional upheaval?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Is the doctor in?

This is a blog about nothing in particular, a chronicle of my life with my children. I don't think this is earth shattering news to most who visit this site. So, bear with me on this post as it involves a frequent topic this year - the ridiculousness that is my medical year. I have always considered myself healthy. I eat decently, occasionally work out (occasionally maybe stretching it), in a normal weight category and up until this year rarely went to the doctor. I started tallying some statistics and here is what I came up with since January 2008:

8 P/T appointments
3 MRIs
2 CTs
2 biopsies
2 ultrasounds
1 major surgery

I won't go into the details about my latest medical intervention, but I have to wonder - Is this what getting old is like? Are your days numbered by doctor appointments, tests and uncertainty? I used to wake up each day, taking my health quite for granted, going about my day without a thought about how I would get my daily grind complete. Not again.

My heart is more in tune with those without health insurance who either suffer in pain or suffer financially. There really is no middle ground here, right? When you are debilitated by a disease or injury everything just basically stops. The daily grind ends and everything takes second place. I watched it with Ansley, but it really is different when you experience it, personally. Definitely a new perspective.

I am grateful that is not our current lot. We have insurance, crappy insurance, but insurance nevertheless. Now, we are facing the end of our COBRA benefits in about 6 months. We are shopping around for a group policy for the business. Not really the time to have your worse health year ever. It will be interesting to see what the final tally is.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where in the World is...?

I found a really cool site:

Each day, the author blogs about an interesting map, part of geography, some statistcal data. Its breakdown map of the election results by county is really fascinating. Some of it is relevant to every day life. Some is probably best to be stored, ala Cliff Clavin from Cheers for that random moment in time when it might be a nice annecdotal comment.

I have always been drawn to maps. My favorite puzzle as a child was a map puzzle which had the US on one side and a world map on the other. It had the main indsutry in symbols on the states which is where I learned that Ohio had a mining industry (who knew). I can also remember our 7th grade social studies book which was organized by each continent and then country, listing fascinating facts about each. That is where I remembering the eye-opening awareness that in some parts of the world people live on $4/day or less and that the average life span is only 49.

I will be bookmarking it - it is just up my alley.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Just a Little Squirrely

Saturday, Jay decided to chop down a couple of dead oak trees in our back yard. These were enormous oak trees - just humongous. I was very sad that we lost them, but it is what it is. I could hear the chain saw buzzing from inside the house and just a while later heard the phone ring. It was Jay calling me from outside.

Jay: Kels - I think you need to bring the bird cage or box or something. There was a nest of something in this tree. I am not sure what it is. They are screaming - it is terrible.

Kelsey: Do you think it is a squirrel's nest? I'll find what I can. At which point the kids had been alerted to the "squirrel's nest" and started bolting out the door.

When I got to where Jay was, he explained that there were two "babies" but Bobo (the dog) got to one before he did. There was one left and no momma to be found. It was definitely a squirrel. Ethan bolted back into the house to get on the internet to read about caring for baby squirrels. Jay announced that he thought it would be a great "family project."

We guess he is about 5 weeks old - some fur on most of his body, but eyes still closed. We wrapped him up and waited to see what happened. In the meantime, we got out an old kid's medicine syringe and tried to give it liquids. After a few tries, he took to it like a baby and a bottle. He is thriving and even lets us know when he is hungry by a very high pitched squeal which sounds much like a squeaky wheel.

The really "squirrely" thing about this situation is Jay. Seriously, he has cared for this little mammal just about more than his own kids as newborns. The man has gotten up in the middle of the night to feed him, helps him go to the bathroom and swaddles him up in an old t-shirt of his. The squirrel sleeps in a box by his bed. Here are some quotes from Jay that make me spit my coffee through my nose:

*I don't know, I held him, felt his heartbeat and something changed.
*I think I love him.
*Look at him, have you ever seen anything so cute?
*Do we have to give him away?
*Using the word "teet" which would be fine on a farm or veterinary class, but used in your own bed by your husband feeding a squirrel is just weird.

At first I thought it was all some pent up need for another baby. But now, I sit in limbo on this opinion. Jay was responsible for orphaning this squirrel and it is probably this guilt that is propelling him to Dr. Dolittle status.

I called the Wildlife Rehab emergency line yesterday and sent two emails to licensed rehab specialists, but haven't heard anything, yet. If it were a good idea to have a pet squirrel then everyone would do it, right? It is time to bring in the experts and send him on his way.

The kids will be a little sad at the loss, and Jay...what am I going to do with him? Therapy?

Update: It looks like all rehab places are full. We could drive to the zoo (an hour) or hang on until an opening. Oh, the dilemma.

Monday, November 03, 2008


Random thoughts:

Pomegranate - One of nature's super foods? Or nature's most ridiculously staining fruit? My attempts at getting the seeds out for my kids rendered my white t-shirt splattered with red juice. I looked like I had just butchered a cow - seriously.

When doing any sort of major yard work which involves heavy machinery, should you just stop vacuuming your house until all the work is done? Or just put a big box outside the door for every pair of shoes, thus allowing kids to go to school to dirty their carpet with mud-caked foot apparel?

Why does a garage door work only when continuously holding down the large button by the door and not by the remote or by quickly stabbing the large button like it is supposed to do?

Why do kids still pick their noses when they have complete knowledge it is nasty? Caught Lily doing it tonight and she hung her head in shame.

If a child takes a toy into a room with other children and is given a choice to either show (not even share) his toy to other children OR put the toy away, is it really ok to allow them to put the toy in the backpack? Does that promote complete and total selfishness?

With 5 people living under the same roof, is it possible, by any stretch of the imagination to have all laundry done - nothing, not even a sock dirty? Why do I try?

How much sugar is really in all that Halloween loot? If I ate all the items containing chocolate, how much weight would I gain? There is serious contemplation of this fact every night.

If all of my high school class joins facebook and we all catch up through it, what are we going to talk about at the reunion? Does that defeat the purpose of a reunion?

How long am I going to wait in line to vote tomorrow? Why wasn't I a bit more proactive in early voting or even absentee voting?

What have you been wondering?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Sex, Religion and Politics

Well, once again, I have allowed "this world" to cloud any sort of judgment, mar my ability to think clearly and completely explode my perspective until it is kiltering on the edge - in danger of falling of into the grand canyon of insanity. It is time for me to stop. Stop reading websites with political news, stop reading emails sent to me by my ultra right and semi-left friends and family, stop reading an ultra-liberal blog I frequent - and probably just turning off news television - what could I miss in 4 days, right? Instead, it is time to get back into "God's world."

I remember reading an email a few years ago from a friend who is pretty liberal. She was trying to convince me of some political viewpoint. She was fairly active in her local political scene. Our emails didn't end very well as I kept trying to reach her heart - what was her basis of life, where did she find meaning, etc. She couldn't get past legalizing gay marriage. I remember thinking how sad, her life's meaning is tied up in such earthly, temporal things. And, now, here I sit guilty of doing the exact thing.

I read news on a political candidate today that just made my blood boil and I am not even sure why. So much, in fact, that it spilled forth onto my family in biting words. I then proceeded to post a comment on a ultra-liberal blog (anonymously, of course) and went so far as to post a status on facebook about it. May lose some friends in the process. I lost my mind!

My mind needs to remain fixed on the highest authority. For those that have not taken a moment to read John Piper's most excellent article, please do so now. Here It is a great reminder that voting is our duty according to the bible, but our lives need not hinge on it. As with all of this world, this election will fade away. What time I have wasted on this election when I could have spent it with Him! I have allowed this election to come between me and my sweet Savior and for that, I will spend some time with Him confessing, repenting and asking for forgiveness.