Monday, August 30, 2010

Hitting the road....

Now, "hitting the road" has some happy connotations for me but this past weekend, when I decided to really get up and take a long awaited power walk, my face hit the road when my foot got caught in a hole. I was moving well and fast...and was smiling and thinking, and not about the cruddy Michigan road. In any event, I was most fortunate that a couple was out walking with their grandaughter and saw me go down and asked if I was OK or not. NOT. So they dialed 911 and a Caseville baby cop came to check me out...first question? What was the date? HA, I don't work and one day is the same as another...asked if Saturday would be OK? I think I got a minus two points but made that up by knowing the president, the month and where I live, although, sitting in Caseville and telling him N. Ft. Myers made him squint.

He decided I needed transport to the hospital so took a nice ride. My neighbors weren't home, but Bob and Trish's 18 year old grandaughter heard the message and retrieved my purse from the house and followed the ambulance and brought me home.

My major observation is that padding, fat padding on one's frame, does not make one bounce nor does it save one from serious damage. Whodathunk that someone my size would land on their face, not the boobs or tummy? Kid cop couldn't believe my stomach and chest weren't totally ripped...and I don't mean that in a powerful set of abs kinda way!!

The next observation is that one cannot eat with a lip the size of a chimp's lips. No coffee yesterday but I decided I could use a straw this morning. Cathy, next door, asked me if I was drooling when I was talking with her and I said...yup! This morning, I woke up with both lips sealed tightly wound. Arghhh....and so, I am feeling empathy with Heidi. She has been very reluctant to go out in public with her tremoring because people would think she is handicapped or something.

I am sticking to the house....I keep thinking someone will look at my face and feel sorry for me. I might be a victim of spousal abuse. Never knew anyone in that situation but I can tell you that IF something like that had happened to me and I had to go through this, it would be a one time situation. This is soooo uncomfortable and I sound like I have a serious speech impediment. Swollen lips mean difficulty in pronunciation. Richard came out of the wilds and came home last night to help with dogs and with me. We are quite the pair...I can't talk and he can't hear, but he is trying to understand me. Life, gotta live it and enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Summer....winding down!

I have mentioned that this summer has been extraordinary and though, uneventful in many ways, truly bizarre in other ways. We have spent our first summer ever at our home in Michigan. Well, we spent it at times at the cottage and times at Heidi's home. Here is Richard playing with our youngest grandchild, Layne at the cottage. We have been very very happy to have had lots of time with family this summer. Makes me laugh and smile. Consider this once, type A executive, bathing and putting to bed four children under 7 and it has to make YOU laugh!! Grandma gives a mean bath in the kitchen sink...which I was told was not appropriate for a 9 month old!
We also spent ten days enjoying concerts and bands in various parks around Caseville during "Cheeseburger," a Jimmy Buffet tribute. I even volunteered one evening and met some of Caseville's movers and shakers...and one entirely creepy drunk man who had his fist in my face and a male stranger, a dwarf, came to my immediate defense and helped me get rid of the imbecile.

While at a concert with Kristin's three children, and Chase, Heidi and Chris' son, I was able to watch the three older kids kick back and dance their hearts out in front of the stage. At one point, I had to heard the kids away because there were so many adult dancers, I lost sight of them and was a tad concerned that they would get stomped to death...NOT on my watch!
Chase clearly is a smart young man as seen here with his MSU sweatshirt on. He knows the real Michigan University!!
Oh, and one of my tasks has been training and teaching grandkids a variety of yet, how to wipe one's crack rather than one's hip! Two five year old boys start kindergarden this year and neither can wipe the crack!! I have also taught and the grandkids have learned to make fried dough, make jam, can veggies, use chorizo, make a frittata, freeze fruits for the winter and oh, so many more things that I hope the kids will remember when we are long gone. The little boys went to their first concerts, heard their first bands and ate many new foods. Wishing my older grandson were here and missing my son very much though he is successfully navigating his new job and beginning his new studies at the University of Alaska in Juneau.
Missing friends and missing our home in Florida but being eternally grateful that I have had the time to watch our home addition being built; time with the girls and their families and for the first time ever in my adult life...six or more weeks with NO work. Makes me nuts but learning that I can do nothing all day very successfully! Missing wandering and trying to finalize upcoming work in Yemen and go to Rwanda again the end of September. Looking forward to seeing my five teams of guys I worked with a few months ago and will again stay with my good friend Eddie who works for the US Embassy in Kigali.
Our only bad news is that we may have to have Paco put down...he is having serious back issues and is in pain. Quality of life, his and ours, is at risk due to his inability to walk or climb the stairs. We shall see. Heidi is off with me to the Mayo Clinic in less than two weeks now and we are looking forward to meeting neurological experts galore...and praying for answers.
More soon.....

Monday, August 16, 2010


The summer has been interesting to say the least. The house addition is coming along quite well but a tad more slowly than I would like.

Check out this Davison, Mi playscape. I took Chase there one afternoon while Heidi was sleeping and he had the best time...where were these when we were kids?

Alex's going away party was a super fun time...a time to touch base with old and new friends. Bev, the lady to my right was Alex's second mom and is mother to one of Alex's best and longest friends, Steve. That is our young man next to Bev and beside Hilda McShane. Her son, Francis used to babysit for Alex and both of these women were members of St. Pius when we were there. Hilda also worked in the marketing department with me at The Flint Journal. Hadn't seen these ladies in quite awhile and so happy they could come to say "adios" to Alex.

For better or worse, this is my family. Chris, Heidi's husband; Pat, Kristin's husband and Richard, my husband are in the top row. Alex is sitting next to Heidi and Addison, Kristin and Pat's oldest is in the green t-shirt. I am the grey haired old lady sitting next to Kristin who is holding her youngest, Layne and Owen, her son is in the blue t-shirt. Chase, Kenz and Logan weren't home so we are missing Heidi and Chris' kids.

Now, Alex's party was not alcohol free but it was great fun to watch the group play "beer pong" with water! Steve is assisting Pat, my son-in-law with a "keg stand." I must mention that I had not ever seen beer pong played and had NO clue what a keg stand was. Lennie is in the pale blue and Brendan, another young man who went to St. Pius with Alex and Steve is in the black tennies and has white/blond hair.


Sunday, August 1, 2010


I have been horrid at keeping up with my blog, mostly because I just haven't been wandering. Musing, yes; wandering, no. Except, of course, the numerous trips between Caseville and Davison. We have had an eventful summer despite no travels. Kids have all been up to the cottage; Heidi appears to be strengthening but has continued to have seizures; Alex had emergency surgery for an almost ruptured appendix and I just learned today that Addison, our grandaughter broke her collarbone. What more can/will go awry?

We have had some very special moments though...taking the kids to Grindstone City for the largest ice cream cones in the US; visits from everyone, including my youngest sister, Sheryl and her family who live in Atlanta; driving with my 15 year old grandaughter around the countryside; Richard's teaching Logan and Kenz how to play "Widow Whist" and listening to them kvetch at each other and more.

Our neighbors up here have been wonderful and we are eating the best fresh veggies grown in our garden but also in Trish's. She and Bob live across the street and this woman has a garden to rival that which my father used to plant each season. We have had fresh lettuce, zucchini, corn, squash and green beans and now our garden is producing beans.

Alex has been given permission to go to Alaska where he should be going to college, working and living on his own. He leaves next Monday and we all are looking forward to his starting his new life. I am missing him already.

Work has been interrupted a bit with all the goings on and with the building of the addition onto our home up here in Michigan. I was to have gone to Colombia on the 23rd but no communication occuring yet on that but will return to Rwanda and then, possibly go to work in Yemen which would be very interesting to be back in a Muslim country. Will be interesting to see how like or unlike Yemen is to Iraq.

More coming....haven't been carrying my camera around much but I do have a few photos to upload and will get to it soon...promise!