Sunday, June 26, 2011

Morgan's Rabbit

Every year, we plant a garden. Every year, the rabbits and deer eat well. This year, we prayed really hard to be able to harvest our crops. Morgan wanted us to be able to pick food from our garden too, so he asked Tommy to let him hunt a rabbit. Morgan has a BB gun,... that's as adventurous as I can get with him. So that meant Morgan had to find an alternative.

He started off trying to snare a rabbit. He tied rope from a tree limb and laid a carrot underneath it. You guessed it...something made off with his carrot, but didn't feel the urge the hang itself in the rope. I'm suspecting our chickens enjoyed the carrot. That frustrated Morgan, so he set a new trap...that worked equally well. So he turns to Tommy to build him a trap. Tommy couldn't come up with the materials needed for such a project without going to the store, and he just didn't feel that inclined to trap rabbits.

Poor Morgan.

Each morning, it is his chore to tend to our chickens, cats and dogs. If he gets up early enough, he oftentimes meets up with a rabbit that managed to get itself in the chicken pen, but not out. They always escape once he opens the fence gate.

A few mornings ago, I got up and got ready for work. All the sudden I hear Morgan squealing so excitedly that I knew something was going on. I ran to the living room to see what was going on, and there he stood with a rabbit in his hands. Yes... I said a rabbit in his hands. Morgan caught a wild rabbit----BARE HANDED! This thing didn't even think about kicking him or biting him or doing anything a normal wild rabbit does! Unreal!

I think that rabbit is sufficiently traumatized and won't be robbing our garden this year :D

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gettin' Old

I can't believe it, but it must be true: I'm gettin' old. It was bound to happen one day. I just thought it would take a little longer to get here than this. Can't say I'm real happy about it either. I mean, it's just kinda rude of nature to fling things at you before you're ready!

For a year now, it has taken less and less for my blood pressure to go up. For the last couple months, it has stayed up. The last couple weeks, it was so high that I can't tell you everything that has happened during that time. In fact, I can't tell you much about what happened yesterday even! Apparently, blood pressure has that kind of *power* over us.

A couple weeks ago, my blood pressure got up something like 158/108. Once it hit that ugly number, it stayed on it. The top number would bounce between the 140s and the 150s and the bottom number would bounce from 106 to [gasp] 116. No kidding. The day it hit 167/116 I have very vague memories of. I had a headache that was almost blinding. My head throbbed so hard that I thought people could see it pulsating on my shoulders. The world looked blurry. My herbs weren't able to work fast enough to get it down either. Honestly, I don't remember what it was Tommy made me do, but it started my pressure moving down and I could think again. I'm lucky to be friends with a doctor who really enjoys his profession, so I sent him a text message and said I NEED YOUR HELP! He was on vacation, so when he came back, he called me and from there, I ended up on a medication.

I'm not happy about it in the least. I don't have insurance, and whenever you take medicines like this, you need to have regular liver tests to make sure you are doing ok and your liver doesn't get bombarded with the junk it has to filter because of that med. I can't get those tests. There are herbs that can get me off this stuff, and at some point I am DEFINITELY going to go that route. For now though, I have GOT to get relief, the medicine has entered my world. The good news is, it doesn't happen rapidly, but my blood pressure is on its way down....and my head has finally stopped hurting.

On the other feelings are bruised. I'm 40 years OLD and taking old people medicine.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Manti's 21st Birthday Adventure

I have it in my head that this is the last time I'll get to spend a birthday with my "little boy". His next birthday will be spent away from home, somewhere in the mission field. The one after that should be out there too. The 24th birthday, he should be home, but he could easily be engaged or *choke* married then! He'll be a man, he'll be his own person,.... he won't be home with the mindset of being a child. So this was my last chance. It is so bittersweet.

Anyway, what he wanted for his birthday was to go visit Etowah Indian Mounds State Park. Did you know that (at least in the state of Georgia) you can go to the public library and check out a park pass? This lets you park at any state park for free, and another pass let's 4 people have free admission! That is super cool! So it cost us gas to drive a little more than an hour from home to visit a historical site with our kids!

What makes this is even more cool is that the little bitty teeny tiny museum has pictures inside of one of MY ancestors- Menawa! Now that's even MORE cool!

Let me explain a little. The mounds are actually a lot like the foundations of buildings. The largest one is the Temple Mound. This is a large mound (132 steps to walk up) and at the top is where the chief lived. The other mounds had other purposes too. One of them was an area where the council members would go to tend to important things...perhaps ceremonies or maybe council meetings, or who knows what else. It wasn't "open to the public", but was an "invitation only" type of place. There used to be several other mounds that somehow "disappeared" when the government purchased the land. Don't ya hate that? The land and field around the mounds would have been similar to the small cities we still have in America. People lived close to each other and interacted constantly, a lot like our neighborhoods. The river was right there also, and they had built a fishing trap area to let them fish well.

It's all really neat to see.... and we took 99 pictures altogether! 30 of them turned out extremely well, but I won't post quite that many. I'll show you a few so you can see our experiences as well as the area.

We're at the top of the Temple Mound looking across at another mound. That's Manti coming down from it.

This is a wattle and daub hut, the kind Cherokee people lived in way way back. Manti wants to move in to this one.

We're at the top of the Temple Mound. The wind is blowing in her hair and I couldn't resist taking a picture of her like this. It was a profound moment on top of that mound.

So many good pictures came out of this trip. The best of all is the unity we felt as a family. It was hard on Tommy and I to do all the walking and climbing those horrendously steep steps, but it was worth it. We will likely be waddling in to church in the morning, but we'll be proud of each step!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Personal Growth

There are very few people who pay this blog any attention. The only ones I KNOW are regulars are my family members, with a couple exceptions :) So you family folks may find this interesting to read, whereas those who don't know me as well may feel the need to skip this post. Whatever.

I guess I've looked at my life as if I were facing a monkey, know the kind that gets a kick out of flinging poop at you. I don't know how I've always been right there in front of that dumb monkey, but I always have been. At least, that's how I've felt. I've known I had talents (such as stepping to the side of the line of fire when the monkey gets armed), but they just weren't impressive enough to be worth much, and thus I get splattered in some way. Again, this is just how I'VE felt.

Recently, I've had some help re-evaluating my personal opinions and looking at that monkey from a different angle. I've realized a few things I haven't realized before, and it seems to have made life not such a terrible thing anymore. Such as....

  • not ALL the things that happen to my loved ones are my fault! Seriously! Not all of them! I'm still struggling to accept that more fully, but I can pick out a few things and say "I'm not the only force in nature, and that means there are OTHER causes to problems." It's good to know that I'm so powerful that I can control all things.
  • I'm not so unusual! I made a statement the other night, that I had come to decide every single family in the world had SOME level of dysfunction about them. Some might have heavier stuff than others, but even those "perfect families" have problems of some kind. Turns out, the medical community agrees with me, and tells me its far more true than I ever want to know. It's a relief to be able to stop comparing my downfalls to your perfections :)
  • Facebook is a Barbie Doll! This one is huge to me. I had not realized that when I am looking at the fun stuff you all say on Facebook, that I'm seeing the wonderful things you WANT me to see and you are holding back the worst of things. I'm doing the same thing, but I'm doing it because I don't want you to know how far down the abyss I am..... oh, but you're doing that too? hmmm.... :) We're mutually misleading I guess!
  • It's not just facebook... people are doing it at church and at work and everywhere else! I think the only ones not pretending they are normal are the ones we all wish would start pretending or just plain go away.
  • My personality is a perfect match for my husbands personality. Never have I doubted he was "the one"...never. I have wondered though if he ever got sick of me and just stayed with me just because hunting for someone else to share his life with was too much hassle. I'm not easy to live with, I know this. I have a very "forward" personality. I will muscle through when I feel the need. I will pursue an issue until it is fixed or gets taken from my reach...and if its taken from me, I will stew over it and let it fester till it makes me sick. Tommy, on the other hand will retreat more often than not. We are opposites in our approaches. That's good and bad, but as far as a relationship goes, it works because each fill in where the other needs us to. When I am relentless, he is gentle and tolerant.
None of this means my broken self is "healed" of what ails me. It just means I'm learning to sidestep to make that stupid monkey miss me once in a while. I can't do it often, but I can do it occasionally-- and that's so much better than never being able to do it. I'm so glad I can look backwards and see self-improvement in my personal view of myself!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Cookie Game

A couple weeks ago, our family was visiting with my inlaws. It's a Sunday routine...we always go visit them. This particular Sunday, the tv was on and America's Funniest Home Videos was on. It was one of those shows where all these previous winners were together on a cruise ship and competing to see which winner was the TOP winner. Shows like that are stupid in my opinion, but this one had something to offer me: THE COOKIE GAME!

It was typical dumb video that won $10k at some point in history, but the game they played was great...and was PERFECT for a Cub Scout meeting! So we did it! The boys loved it too!

Here's how you play:
You need at least 1 cookie per person who plays.
Sit on the sofa or you can lay on the floor, but do it in a way that allows you rest your head in a tilted position. (Flat on the floor does not work for this.)
Place a cookie on your forehead. Place your hands by your side.
Use ONLY your facial muscles to move the cookie down your face and into your mouth.
If the cookie falls or you touch it with your hands, start over by replacing the cookie on your forehead.

That's it!

It is so funny to watch people play this game. They will twitch eyebrows up and down, and bat their eyes so dramatically. Mouths will open and close in rapid succession even before the cookie gets low enough to be affected by that. It's quite funny.

Now there are some things to remember: you HAVE to keep your head tilted at an angle so gravity can help you, but not take over. You can't lay flat because gravity will hold the cookie in place and not allow you to move it at all. You also can't use a moist cookie. It tends to stick. I tried it with chocolate coated cookies and they cling to the skin too much. Dry type cookies will work, like Oreos and Oatmeal cookies. Fresh baked cookies will work if they have cooled completely. Try it at your next family night or game night! Be sure you have a camera with you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cub Scouts to the Rescue!

Today was one of *those* know the kind, more than you can deal with. It started when I woke up. (Maybe that was my first mistake.) I've struggled for months now with headaches that come from a "kink" in my neck. I've gone through umpteen pillows trying to find one that suits my neck. The one I have right now has given me the best results, but that just means I wake up with a headache 4-5 days a week instead of 6-7. Anyway, I woke up with a headache. I also had to work.

When I got to work, I made myself a bowl of grits with butter and salt...just how I like them. I keep a few things at work for meals since I can't leave the shop to purchase food. I had butter stashed in the fridge too. All was well. I even have a large bottle of water there so I can avoid the nasty nasty tap water that comes through the ancient pipes at the shop. All is good, right?

Maybe an hour later ( I lost track of time here ) I decided the headache was becoming intolerable. I've got a bottle of Excedrin Migraine I keep in my purse for headaches that take over. I hate taking them, but they work when the headache is so severe and I have nobody to rub my neck and try to get vertebrae to go back where they belong. This was one of those days, so I took some Excedrin. About an hour later, I was so sick that I was hanging my head over the cold porcelain sink in the kitchen wishing I could throw up or die. My head hurt so bad that I couldn't see clearly and Facebook was not enough of a distraction. Thankfully, customers were few and far between so I didn't have to do any real thinking and I had already written my newsletter and blog article the day before. I finally had Manti bring me some lunch thinking possibly it was from lack of sleep, or from sleeping funny....but it could also be that I just needed some protein in my system. He brought me a salad from chick fil a. I ate a couple bites of the chicken, but I nearly lost that. It took me most of the day to eat those 3 small pieces of chicken in my salad. I never did touch the lettuce. It was horrible! I called Tommy. He suggested the butter might have been a little old or exposed in the shop fridge, so I should take some charcoal caps. (That's what you do for food poison...they even do it at the hospital.) I took some, and for a short time, the nausea eased in intensity, but not totally.

Finally, it was 3:45pm and Tommy brought the kids to me. We had cub scouts today and he had a doctors appointment at the same time. So Mesa came in to the kitchen where i was and started massaging my neck and head. I got bits of relief here and there as things shifted under her fingers. THEN my boss walked in to relieve me so I could go to scouts. It was a bigger relief than she knows!

We get to scouts and the boys are being SUCH boys.....loud! I thought my head would explode. We had our opening and we separated into age groups. My boys were going learn some knot tying. I only have 2 boys officially (Luke and Morgan), but sometimes I also have Jared (my 5 year old) and Tristan (my friend's 6 year old) who are what we call "Honorary Cub Scouts". We include them so they find out that scouting is awesome fun and want to participate when they get old enough. We're successful with that so far.

We tie our knots, we tie neckties, we do all our "work" and are ready to play. The whole hour we were in our room though, we had no air conditioning. It got hotter and hotter and I decided we couldn't stay in that room any was 99 degrees today! I had the boys start picking things up under Mesa's supervision and I went to check to see if the other group of boys was ready to stop and play a game with us or not. Their room had A/C! They wanted to play our game too, so I went back to my room to collect my boys and join the others. Mesa was in the floor though! They boys told me that Mesa fell backwards and her head went "THUMP" on the floor. She kept laying there after that. I asked if she was playing and they said no, they didn't think it was a joke. They thought she passed out, but she wasn't bleeding. I leaned down to look closer. She was just laying on her back, eyes closed, breathing quite shallow. I nudged slightly and said "Mesa, are you playing? Don't play like this." She didn't move. Mesa can't help herself, she would have cracked a grin if she was playing around. She didn't this time. My alarms in my head went to shrieking. I touched her shoulder and moved it slightly, not wanting to shake her, but wanting to shake her to bits at the same time. I talked to her as calmly as possible and told her she needed to get up, that she was in the floor and we needed to go to the other room where it wasn't so hot.

Mesa is a sleep walker, always has been. When she walks in her sleep, she has a way about her that doesn't verbally respond, but she does make slight grunt noises and she moves very deliberately like she's trying to go back to doing what she was doing...but she wants to do it like she is doing it knowledgeably. That's how she was acting as she got up from the floor and her eyes very deliberately opened. She sat up, stood up, walked around as if she was picking things up and leaving the room. So I started asking her what happened. That's when she realized her head was hurting. She didn't talk a lot at first and she was quite pale. She had no idea what happened, and she vaguely remembered the floor hitting her head. Her skin felt very hot and clammy, so I got hold of her arm and carried the few things I needed to the other scout room. Together we all joined the older boys and they played a game with cookies. I'll have to blog about that game by was hilarious.

While the boys played, I collapsed in a chair and watched. That's when it dawned on me what all had happened. Two weeks ago, I had one of the doctors from church come in and teach some very basic first aid to the boys. They listened, but they were all show-offs at the time too and I figured they all knew how to put a band-aid on and that was likely all they retained from the class. I was so wrong! These little boys did not panic. They just went right to checking on Mesa to see if she was bleeding. They told me EXACTLY what they saw and they were willing to do what I needed them to so they could help her further. They got out of my way right off the bat without me having a chance to get flustered about it. That let me not panic and get right to the issue and take care of things.

They did exactly the right things!

Now that might not sound like extraordinary..... but then it again it might if you knew that these boys are quite young. Jared is 5, Luke is 8 and Morgan is 9.

And Mesa is just fine. She was overheated. She hit the back of her head on the tile floor, so she has a bump now and a headache, but she is otherwise just fine....

Thanks to my little first responders!