Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Mornings

4:00 a.m. is my favorite time of the day. I like that hour. I usually awaken sometime around then and visit the Loo, and like the fact that the house is quiet, and everyone is where they should be...in their beds.
I wander to the kitchen for a drink of water, look out at the yard to see if there are any cougars or skunks or other dangerous villains, and have time to think. My thoughts are relaxed and uncluttered at that time of day and there is no pressure.  I have a few hours to go back to bed if I want, or I can sit in a chair for awhile, or kneel and pray. If the dogs need to go out, they will get up with me at that time too, and I will go out too and look at the stars. The 4:00 hour on our street is silent and I can hide in my too-short pajamas in the darkness behind the giant ponderosa in our front yard.  The dogs do their biz quickly and quietly and since nothing very interesting is going on, and because they are afraid of the dark, they come in quickly, without my having to chase or call after them ten times which is what happens if they get out during daylight. 
It is the best hour for me, for thoughts that feel sacred and clear.
6:30 a.m is the next favorite time for me.  I wake and roll out of bed for a walk, followed by some weed pulling and other gardening while the air is cool and delicious. 
By 7:30 a.m. the persons who don't have work off for the summer have been bidden "good-day" at work and the dogs have been fed and some laundry and dishes have been started.
The morning continues on with breakfast, scripture reading, checking bank accounts and e-mails while moving the sprinkler around the yard if it's a watering day-or hand watering on other days.
I am inspired everyday of my summer vacation by the possibilities for hiking, reading, artwork or writing that might happen!
By 10:00 a.m. it's time to think about what we're going to eat for the day and face going to the store. It's never as bad as I think it's going to be, especially if I get it done early.
If, by 11:00 a.m. it's not too hot I can usually try to get some other cleaning done, try to be happy while trying to get teenagers to want to do anything productive....or fun, on any given day, like get out of bed before 1:00 p.m. But, If it's hot, and because we have a swamp cooler that only really works on days when it's less that 98 degrees I start to fade into a thing that dosn't care. 
By lunchtime on hot days, all my morning optimism turns into clamminess and a desire to escape into the basement for an extra degree or two of coolness and sink into the land of bad Netflix movie choices. I have been known to not emerge again, aside from obtaining nourishment, and/or trying to find a reasonable representation of nourishment to the starving masses that live at my house and/or to those who may be visiting,  that won't take me or my kitchen past the degree of heat where things start to combust. 
If you're looking for me this summer, try to find me before lunch time. 


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I don't know squat

I DO NOT "KNOW" lots of stuff.
I am convinced that I have some kind of  learning disorder(S) that makes my brain unable to  process certain things.  If you are going to try to spell something to me from across the room so that the children present won't catch on then forget it!  You'll need to wait while I get a piece of paper and pencil so I can write it down first.  I have to be able to "see it".
 Also, To say that I am not a "Math Head" is a laughable understatement. The last math class i managed to pass was 10th grade algebra. I remember tearfully trying to explain to the teacher that i did not deserve an "F" because after all, I  did turn in all of the assignments and take all of the tests-and that that should merit at least a "D". I reasoned that if I had not turned anything in and had not taken any tests-then that might justify an "F".  The part of a brain people use to do math is missing in mine.
I'm not a good "multi-tasker" either and I need more down-time than the average person I think.
Socially, I am a bit "off". I am not trying to get sympathy here and I am not ashamed.  All my dearest friends and family can attest that... I'm a little weird. I am happy they love me anyway, but  this has gotten me into some trouble from time to time and currently up to now even.
I felt, growing up that I was just not really aware of how to act in many circumstances.  Once, in High School there was an assembly that was very emotional  for me-because it was the "Dance Company Assembly". I was feeling hurt-I wanted to be a Dancer-to be in "Dance Club" but the tryouts were rigorous for me and I found that I could not learn complicated dance steps to even get me to the "tryout" level. I was deeply afraid of Connie Jo-the Dance Teacher who yelled at me for...laughing at the wrong time once-during a very serious pas de duex excercise.  As I sat there watching all these beautiful girls in their black sparkling leo's, I felt tears welling up in my eyes. It was horrifying, I could actually feel water beginning to drip down my face! I became aware of my friend beside me, shaking. Was she crying too? Was she laughing? Was she aware that I was crying and trying to lend some support? I've always cried at odd and weird times-this friend was always good at cheering me up-or at least ending my emotional upheavals with distractions.  I'm not sure why this struck me as it did, but I started laughing and that made my friend laugh. If she wasn't laughing previously, she was completly lost to it now.  Soon we were both laughing our guts out. My laugh was louder though.  I laughed at the whole philosophical thing. It could not have been funnier-this idea that I was not "In" dance company.  I did not also pass an audition for Choir. I was a failure. Except for "Pep club" and "Science" club, my whole idea of what I thought I should be doing in "High School" was a bomb, and realized in this very moment! And yet somehow embraced through a deep acknowledgement of hurt, then tears-turned to laughing.  So Strangely comforted by the Universe in the dark East High Auditorium during the Dance Company Assembly.  It was hysterical. I think I wet my pants.
It was not hysterical however, to the sister of one of the dancers, who sat several rows behind us and who was sure we were laughing at her sister, who by the way had rather large bosoms-which I guess she was sensitive about. (?)  The sister was enraged and promptly informed said sister...  Dancing, mad, sister, later questioned me-I was her friend right? Why was I laughing at her during the Dance assembly?  I was, like "Whu?"  Actually, thinking about it all these 30+ years later I think there might of been a second of laughing at ms. dancing big bosom-but it was more like "Wow, so this is the ideal?"- I'm not such a freaky freakout....so you can dance-but you've got your problems too...all you perfect girlies up in there that can dance and are all that!
Yeah. It's weird to be me. I have learned better over the years to cue in to social norms like not laughing during performances, and other good stuff.
I  could go on and on about all the stuff I DO NOT KNOW. I felt bad about that stuff for a long time.
I mean, Why can't I know how to do math? I've tried. My dad blew several gaskets and I blame his alcoholism on my not being able to understand math.  Just kidding. More on that later.
That all changed when my daughter was born and later diagnosed with pretty significant learning disorders.
I had a dream that was so deep it changed the way I see what my daughter "Knows" and what she does not, and therefore what I do and do not.  I wrote about that dream earlier here and I won't go into it here completely, but the idea of it is that I am completely convinced we have been given exactly what we need here in this life to learn and accomplish precisely what we alone are meant to do.  We have been given all the tools we need.  We don't have all the same tools! Freak! What would that look like? We all have what we need to help and serve others and they too have what they have to help us when we may have a need.
It's absolutely the divine plan of the Creator who designed us. Not one of us is complete unto ourselves, only together, sharing what we've been given are we going to end up growing in the things that are important, deep and meaningful.
So, I can't do math and I'm a bit socially awkward.  My auditory processing skills are slim to none if I didn't get a really good night's sleep. I can do 2 things at one time only for 3 or 4 minutes a day. I can list a whole other page of  good "tools" that weren't packed in my "box", but I'm at a good stage where that hardly bothers me anymore, because I'm really really thankful for the tools I got to come with.  I'm really glad someone said-"Well, she can't do a lot of things, can't dance, can't sing, has some pretty major issues, including laughing at inappropriate times-but let's let her "KNOW" that the Gospel is true.  I needed that. I got it. For whatever reason, my mind gets to know it.  I know and have always known that there is a God.  I know that his Son Jesus Christ is The Saviour of the World and that His Church is on the earth right now.  It's here until he comes again. I know about the Book of Mormon too...I get to read it everyday and feel the truth of it.  It's true that it was written by Prophets who lived on this continent thousands of years ago...written about Jesus! They knew about him, when HE was born and when HE died and when HE was resurrected because HE came here and visited them. Awesome. They wrote it on gold plates, and Joseph was the guy who got to interpret the book, for US.  Then the angel came and took the plates back. I know there are angels among us.  The only way a person can know if it's true is to read it and pray about it and ask God if it is true. More amazing awesomeness.  I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. When he prayed as a young boy, to know which church he should join, God the Father and his son Jesus Christ appeared to him.  Got it. It's truth to me. I know it. I've known it forever. Can't remember when I didn't know it.  I know it again and again. and more. It feels like a gift. I wouldn't trade it for dancing or singing well or a zillion other things. Or even doing math. Amen. I'll not apologize for knowing.  Some people get to know. I don't know why some don't other than it comes back to that whole "tool box" thing. We don't all have to have the same set of gifts/tools.  It's useless to ask things like "Why didn't my daughter get to have the tools the other kids get to have? nope. How about me?
Don't I get to learn math? nope. Not in this life.  



Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday

It's Sunday today.
I love Sundays.
I've probably said/ written that before about a hundred times.
It's the day that helps me regroup and regrow brain cells and recharge.  I'm pretty sure the day does not actually help me with brain cell regrowth in any physical way, but on a sub-terrainial  or spiritual level I feel the beginnings of what must be like "being healed".
I'm healed from the busy-ness and bussiness of life because I can sit and be quiet. I can rest.
I know where everyone is today. All my kids are at home. We will enjoy going to church today and eat together and read or watch a movie. We will talk, or choose not to. We will all be at home and know that we are all available and accessible. I will sleep in late or take a nap.
I would not trade my Sundays for a whole year of vacation.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

FISH DREAM


     I've always thought that it would have been nice for me as a new parent navigating the world with a child with learning disabilities to have known other parents that I could talk to or ask questions.  I did not know anyone in those early days.  It was all bewildering and NO ONE, it seemed knew how or what to recommend. That all came later down the road, after what seemed like a needed time "alone" or apart.  
There are so many phases of understanding and knowledge to "disability enlightenment" and we've been through them all.  That's a whole other subject for another day, but we're at a good place now.  What I'd tell new parents' of children starting to accept that their child will live their life with a disability is not to be too worried, it will all work out and IT WILL BE OKAY. 
However crazy and unimaginable it might seem in the "early years" it is absolutely true that your child has everything they need in their lives to live a meaningful life and so do you! 
     
     You might need to change your attitude about some things and you will have to drop your tendencies toward perfectionism-if you have any.  I was a classic "perfectionist" and very judgmental about a lot of things-which is also a topic for another time that I don't want to wade into right now, but wow if the Universe has a cure for a whole bunch of people who think they're pretty smart and self sufficient and want to control everything I think that would be to make them parents of children with disabilities. That was just me, being judgmental I guess- I should not make blanket statements about all parents of CWD. (Children with Disabilities)

Because there was no help to be had in those days for us, we stumbled along and went through our grief and worried and prayed and sometimes received some comfort. What would I have done without all the grandmas and grandpas well as friends and neighbors and some amazing teachers along the way? 
The most important and life changing thing that happened for me though, was a dream.

We had to wake early one Saturday to drive to Idaho for a favorite Aunts Funeral. We were driving when I recalled and related the dream I'd had that night to my husband, Kari.  In the telling of it, I was again aware of the beauty of it and when I spoke about it there was something about it that made me want to cry.
I dreamt that the four of us were in a boat. My husband, my son and myself as well as our little daughter, who, we were now very aware that there were some issues about her language and learning abilities and wondering what to do and where to go.  I think this was when we were very concerned about what school and what kind of education would be available for her needs...and thinking we had to figure this out on our own.

We were in a boat on a very beautiful, but "other worldly" kind of lake.  The setting of the lake was extremely  bright and colorful and sort of  reminded me of a Disney Movie. The water was clear and deep and there were Huge towering mountains and waterfalls and lush vegetation all around us.  The sun was out and the sky was blue and we were the only ones there on our boat on that lake.  It was a beautiful day and yet we were a little scared because we had never been there before or seen anything so big or beautiful-we were all quite in awe of where we had found ourselves.  We were enjoying the views and the ride and our little daughter Raini, when suddenly she wants to go fishing!  We are very nervous about it and worried about how she's going to do this! After all, we're still not entirely sure where we are! I'm wondering if there are even any fish in this lake and what kind of fish there are to be had.  But she seems to know that there are, in fact, fishing equipment and " tools" for fishing right there on the boat and she goes to them!  She gets them out as we look on in amazement-we certainly didn't think of fishing and why didn't we know about those tools?  She gets them out and lays them on the back of the boat and I then see that they are unusual and strange and some of them are.invisible! Amazingly however, she knows how they "fit" together.  I am watching her do this while Kari meanwhile is driving the boat and guiding us slowly along and he's  taking care of how close we are to the mountains and concerned more with that than what Raini is up to-for that moment anyway...and  I'm thinking that maybe we should do something! But before I can think of anything Raini has her fishing "tool" in the water and has caught a fish!    She pulls it out with it attached to her "pole"
 that I can't see.... to see that it is a big beautifully colored sparkling fish!  His beauty is surprising and delightful and he even seems delighted to have been caught!  Kari sees the fish and we are all so happy and surprised at this amazing luck!  There is the feeling there that she has just caught the very BEST kind of fish!   Raini is so happy and we are all so proud...there is this feeling that we are just so happy we can't believe how she did this and we got to be there with her!
By the end of the telling of it we were both weeping.  It is hard for me to try to describe how spirit-filled this was for me...it  was real comfort in a deep way for us then even if we didn't imagine all the implications then .  It's been 18 (?) or so years since that dream and I appreciate it more and more and have realized more and more over the years what it means for our family and for all of our children. I have written about it and told in a few small settings and felt like writing about it this morning.  It feels the same every time I think of it-like it was meant as a reassurance for some uncharted and wavy waters.  I am so thankful for calmer seas and more peace as far as how I see the world we have to live in.  
I am more and more convinced the older I get that My daughter and all children already have all the "tools"or abilities they need in their lives for their own journeys in this world.  They arrive here purposefully and decidedly "complete". They might have unusual or different tools or equipment that I don't see or know how to access-but they know how and use them to the utter amazement of those around them.  Some of these tools are actually more like gifts or magic. 
      It might be hard for certain  parents who have been fully indoctrinated to the ways of this material world to believe  in the beginning, but with practice and patience you can get there and even find that the best prizes are for Us and our children! I think we are the lucky ones.  I have seen some of those prizes. Some are too deep to write about publicly but I have felt them and let me assure you that they are really sweet.
 I'm quite happy now after all these years with exactly who my children are and who I am with them. I am really happy to say that a lot of my besties are kids with invisible fishing poles.  




















Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Turning 50

So here's a day in my post surgery life June 2013

6:30 a.m. Wake up, dress and go for a short walk. I've been told a short walk is good, but there is no mention of what a "short walk" is. I'm guessing something under 20 minutes since I am directed to not stand or sit for longer than this. I have been going to the corner and back and today a bit further.
7:00 a.m. eat breakfast  This is usually yogurt and fruit and or granola or peanut butter toast or a protein drink. Today  I had a  boathouse chocolate protein drink and half a banana and it was a treat.
I put clean dishes away from the dishwasher and load what's in the sink and handwash a few extra things left out from previous night. A colander, a few pans and etc
7:30 a.m.  Back to bed for prayer and meditation and to read and journal. Today I prayed for my son who is  a little unsure of his route to work and heavy traffic.
8:30a.m. I've said goodbye to my husband who has left for work by now and also to my son who has just started working his first full-time job. Lie down and see if I can rest a bit-sometimes I can fall back to sleep.
10:00 a.m. I'm up because the phone has been ringing, but didn't catch it in time.
Get up and get on computer to pay some bills and check bank accounts. I checked e-mail and looked at facebook.  I love facebook. Yesterday I chatted with a friend who also had a hysterectomy last week.
11:30 a.m. I went outside to lie down on the trampoline for a little sunbath. I have to use a stool to climb up and down. It feels great to lie down in the sun. I have always loved this and I think it must help my vitamin D and seratonin levels because I always feel good after a few minutes in the sun.  Now that I'm almost 50 I try to limit my sun exposure to 10 or 15 minutes.
12:00 p.m. some inside and coax various kids at various stages of wakefulness to do chores and help me load laundry and bring laundry up to be folded. They find this extremely annoying. Children like mine like their mother to be up and healthy and are thrown for a loop with too many demands for additonal help. I could not care less, and feel this will be a great learning experience for them all.
12:30 p.m. Eat an apple.
1:00 p.m. Took a shower.
1:15 p.m. Watched Kathie Gifford and Hoda Kotbe on Today. Oh brother.
2:00 p.m. Took a nap.
3:00 p.m. Yesterday I tried to read some more in my book "THe Tiger's Wife". I need a new book.
I'm also working on a "yarn and rope coil" basket. Didn't feel like working on it today.
4:00 p.m. I was not very hungry today. I don't think I ate lunch? Invited youngest son to give his turtle a bath, and oldest to bring laundry up, and middle child to go water the veggie garden.
1st middle child has been sort of missing in action yesterday and today. I think she does not want to be assigned any more chores.
I'm a little paniked about dinner tonight, after about a week of having my lovely neighbors bring dinner in.
Can we do it ourselves? I have enlisted everybody's help to make french toast and sausage.
5:00 p.m.Watched news. Had to get on and read the Blog of the girl who was drowned in Lake Powell, whose body they found this week.
This had made me get on and write on my own blog even though I have not blogged for over a year.
6:00 p.m. Dinner became quesa dillas with avocados and black beans and salsa. It was much easier than I though it would be.
I am so happy though that I told two friends they could bring dinner tomorrow.

It's my birthday this thursday and I feel very thankful to have finally had this surgery and this summer to recovery and heal.
I'm excited for this next phase of my life...have almost completed my 50th trip around the sun!



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mele Kaleki Maka

I could not believe Mrs. Anderson, my third grade teacher did not choose me to Hula Dance to "Mele- Kaleki-Maka" for the Christmas program! April, Gaye, Kathy as well as my friend Katie were chosen, along with I think 2 or 3 other girls (?), because of their very coordinated and fabulously danced Hulas. They were also going to get to wear little bikini tops (really? I guess that was not really a big deal in 1971) with lays and grass skirts for heck sakes. I remember being seriously surprised that I was overlooked, and because I was full of confidence and of course full of myself I set out to show my expert "hula" every chance I got. I practiced at recess, in the hall, and at every moment I thought Mrs. Anderson might notice me. I remember thinking that once she saw me she would absolutely realize her mistake in not choosing me! She did notice me, thankfully, as I swayed like a born Hawaiian one day in the hall. What a kindness she did me to acknowledge and graciously invite me to join in the dance, not at all because I was a good dancer- but because of my exuberance. She seemed to be easily delighted and willing to be kind at every opportunity. I have known a lot of people like that and it's funny how many of them are teachers from my elementary school days. Mrs. Carr, Mrs. Anderson, Mrs. Nelson were complete darlings. Mrs. Nelson even had parties at her house for us which included being able to hike up the "H" rock behind her house.
Happily, thanks to Mrs. Anderson, that's what I think about whenever I hear Bing croon"Mele Kaleki Maka".
It's like the message from "It's A Wonderful Life" about how we all influence each other in small but meaningful ways. I'm thankful for good people throughout my life who have influenced me for good by sharing kindnesses and by just being who they are. It makes me want to try harder to not let a chance for acknowledging someone in kindess pass me by.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Marriage list for my children

In thinking about the news of Ms. Kardashian's recent failed marriage today I was considering the list I have made for my own children regarding what they should look for in a mate. I have never shared this complete list with them, only at times when for example we're hiking and I say something like; "Make sure the person you marry likes to hike." or about themselves; "Don't burp at the table or no one will want to marry you."
Here's the list I have for my children I hope they will think about... (In no particular order)

1. Don't marry anyone who says "I don't cook". I think everyone in a family should know and love to cook at least a few things.

2. Marry someone who reads and can tell you what their favorite books are.

3. Don't marry anyone who parks in a handicapped stall. ( Unless, of course they are a person with a disability)

4. Don't marry anyone who makes fun of anybody.

5. Don't marry anyone who takes longer than 20 minutes to get ready for the day.

6. Watch out for girls under 30 with fake nails. (Except maybe for special occasions)

7. Marry someone who loves dogs. (If someone is kind to animals-they are usually kind to everybody)

8. Marry someone only after you've hiked with them. The longer the hike the better. Do they complain a lot? What is the conversation like? Are they so focused on the heat, the bugs, messing up their hair or getting back to their video games that they miss the beauty of nature?

9. Marry someone who believes in the same God you do.

10. Find someone who will tell you what their faults are. They will usually admit when they are wrong.

11. Marry someone who's parents did not give them everthing they wanted.

12. Marry someone who thinks you're awesome and who does not tell you what to do.
Run fast and far away from someone who is critical and who wants you to change.

13. Look for someone who has a dog, and then see if they clean up their dogs poop. Don't trust anyone who won't clean up after their dog. I firmly believe that people who don't mind cleaning up after their dogs are not afraid to get messy, tend to have open minds and hearts, are willing to serve others, can weather life's storms without freaking out, and are okay with the fact that sometimes you have to put up with a little crap from those you love.