Friday, September 11, 2015


Today I feel very alone - the friend I often have breakfast with on Friday mornings is not available this morning and it seems like a long time since I’ve seen her. So I came home after bus route. I have plenty to do so that’s not the issue. Still grieving the loss of my closest friend in this area - stuff happened several months ago and our relationship will never be the same. It may not have been a “healthy” relationship but it was still one I could depend on to be a certain way - and she was someone I could call most anytime and chat about stuff - or listen to her stuff at least. Either way…I’m feeling alone.
Friends have been difficult for me - I’ve not ever had a “best friend” overall. I have “best friends” in whatever location I’m in at that time. As I’ve gotten older I’ve called them “closest friend” instead of best friend simply because best friend didn’t seem to fit. Maybe it’s semantics. But since the loss of that friendship I no longer have a “closest friend” - am working to build others but don’t see any getting that close. There is just no common bonds like what we had.
Some of my struggle with this is that I learned at a very very early age to stand alone - I left for boarding school in the middle of 2nd grade. I came in different from the beginning - had a cast and broken elbow complete with pins. Then coming in in the middle of the year…I developed early physically which resulted in the other girls in the dorm making fun of me. That wasn’t helped by the fact I still had to bathe with the girls who were not developed. Along with the physical development came an interest in boys who were definitely NOT interested in a girl as young as I was. At the age I was girls and boys still saw each other as having cooties. Of course, my crushes at the time were on boys older than me. On top of all that - I definitely hadn’t grown into my height - was all tangled limbs. All of that meant I didn’t fit in then - and I still struggle to find a place where I “fit”.
I learned to stand alone at my second boarding school in a new country as well - this time due to bad knees and much time spend on crutches. For a time I asked for help carrying glasses of water, etc. But a roommate - thankfully don’t remember who - told me to do it myself and from that point on I attempted to do it myself. I remember crutching down the dorm hallways with a mug of water (hot? probably at times) trying not to spill it. I remember standing at the end of the food line in the dining hall hoping desperately someone would offer to carry my tray for me as I couldn’t ask for the help. And I was still different - I had crushes on boys older than myself - they never looked twice at me and I wouldn’t have had a clue what to do if they had.
That ability to stand on my own served me well with Mike’s cancer - the hours spend alone sitting in the hospital with him - trying ot get him to do his therapy, waiting in ER rooms, waiting in hospital rooms. Standing up to the nurses and doctors for his medication - you can’t decrease that like that - you will cause him to have more seizures! IF you are going to decrease that medication it HAS to be done slowly. Why are you giving him that? What does it do? This one is missing. That dose is too low. (All this was done without any medical training - it was just my experiences living with him)
Sept 11, 2001 he was in hospital - in rehab. I drove bus that morning and headed to the hospital afterwards. He refused to do any rehab that day - took the attacks on the US personally because they used “his” planes - he worked for American Airlines. The tv was on and I spent the day in his room trying to get him to do therapy and eat. His depression at that point only got worse. After he died in March 2003 I was “alone” again - thrust fully into the world of single parenting. Having the boys was a blessing - forced me to get up and keep going- forced me to stay strong. and I certainly didn’t do it alone - physically I was but I always had my underlying faith in God. But I also carried unexpressed emotions that I still can’t name. I struggled for years with attending church - if not for knowing the boys needed to be there I probably wouldn’t have gone. (Thankfully David especially at the time wanted to be there also).
Remarried again now I’m content in my marriage - I know what choice I made and while there are things I struggle with in my marriage I’m content with my choice overall.
The picture of the lone solitary tree in Africa with a single figure standing under it always resonates with me - in many ways it describes how I feel.

Thursday, February 5, 2015


I wrote this to publish it a couple days ago and thought I had.  

A lot has happened recently - some of it fun and some not.  It's been rather a roller coaster ride of emotions overall.

Gives an idea of how deep the snow was - looking southwest towards the chicken coop
10 days ago was a fun day.  I drove one of the buses going to the Shrine Circus.  It was the first time I've ever done this and I was nervous as it is a rather big deal.  But it turned out to be a lot of fun - our school district sent 5 buses total - 3 from the elementary school I drive for and 2 from the other one.  We loaded our 3 buses about 8:30 and then moved to a road just off the main east/west highway in the area.  We waited there about half an hour until we got word the buses from the school districts to the west were on the way.  (That wait was the most stressful part of the day as that was when the kids got restless - you can't load 40-50 students on a bus then have them sit for 30 minutes and expect them to stay reasonably quiet and still!)  We fell into line about the middle where there was a gap in buses.  By the time all the buses had joined the convoy we had 50 school buses, an ambulance, a wrecker and a spare bus.  (I never saw the end of the line).  We also had 29 police cars from a large number of different departments - I counted at least 5 different departments including state and county police.  It was amazing.  Buses all drove in the left lane with 4 way flashers on while the emergency vehicles were lights and sirens in the right lane.  Police cars would hopscotch ahead and block every single intersection so the buses simply kept moving - nothing stopped us.  We got to the edge of the "city" and merged onto the north south interstate highway.  Police cars blocked that traffic as well - we had the entire interstate to ourselves for the 2 mile or so stretch we were on it.  Then local city traffic was also stopped for the convoy until we were parked in the venue for the circus.  After the performance was over we were served packed lunches on the buses before we lined back up and reversed the process returning back to the schools.  While the driving was a bit more stressful it made for a memorable day.  I only wished I could have been in two places at one time so I could have got pictures.  (There were people lined up along the edge of the highway at different places taking pictures - I even saw one gentleman in the median in the middle.  I decided that if I wasn't driving this trip next year I would definitely be parked along the route someplace so I could take pictures).  It was also nice that the weather, while cold wasn't excessively so and wasn't snowy. 

The next day Hubby and I were in a convoy of a different sort - much more sad.  We attended the funeral of the son of one of his high school buddies.  He had committed suicide.  What made it so much more difficult than most funerals I've been to is that I felt that there was no hope given.  No mention of salvation or anything though there was plenty of Scripture read.   

Starting Saturday night through last evening we had snow falling.  Churches were canceled all over the area.  We ended up with between 12-14 inches at our house.  It started blowing and drifting after the snow stopped and we had another snow day today.  Squirrel and Dipstick both went out this afternoon to sled with different friends.  Squirrel said the east west highway was still pretty bad this evening - traffic moving only about 30 mph.  Plows have been out all over but roads are still slick and snow-covered.  We are already on a delay for tomorrow morning - not sure we will actually go or not.  If we don't I'm certain I will need to get out tomorrow at some point.  I've been content to stay in so far.  

Yesterday morning one of Stretch's friends was killed in a rollover accident where they attend college.  Slick roads.  The campus is grieving.  Having said that they have the certain knowledge that they will see this young man again - he knew the Lord and sought to serve Him.  I met him once - he brought Stretch home for a weekend (that was cut short) his freshman year so he could attend a David Crowder concert.  Stretch was two weeks out from surgery to repair his broken leg.  His willingness to give up his time to do this was such a blessing.
My crazy cats sitting under the bird feeders

Monday, January 12, 2015

Snow Days

3rd snow day in a row.  I think most people will be very glad to get back to school and a regular schedule.  Last Wednesday we went on a 2 hour delay - the first of the year.  Thursday and Friday we closed - and we knew the night before.  That makes it really nice as the alarms don't have to go off (at least not as early).  Last night roads were bad - we had a skiff of ice before it started snowing.   However a delay wasn't called until this morning.  I was already headed for the bus to get it going when school was canceled for today.  Our road had not been plowed at all - probably about 3 inches to drive through in most areas.  The closest main road had been plowed and was somewhat slick but not terrible.  The next main road heading south was AWFUL as was the east/west highway.  I could have found a place to turn around but since I was halfway to the bus I figured I would go ahead and make sure it started so I didn't have to go back out later.  Squirrel is already climbing the walls though.

I have to say it is beautiful out - and not nearly as bitter cold as it was last week.  Overall I'm thankful for the snow as it makes things prettier out.  The white dusting on the trees and the silence as it comes down is so peaceful.

Today I'm hoping to finish a few things around the house - cleaning out the fridge is one.  I finally have my craft desk cleaned off and dusted.  A couple more piles there to sort through and it will be useable again.  (Piles are off to the sides but I would like them gone through first).  It would be nice if I had time to go through pictures on here but not sure if I will get to that or not.  Don't want to sit at the computer all day - it's in the darkest area of the main living area.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Angry - Rant

Ok...I admit it...I'm really angry.  I try not to always post "deep emotion" especially not negative emotion but today I'm angry and I have to write about it.  (And lately there's been more negative emotion then anything - I'm sorry.  I hope to eventually do better in that area but...not today)

Why am I angry and who am I angry at?  The why is easy - it's watching my father in law Dad K deal with medical stuff that just shouldn't be happening.  It's carelessness at best and outright negligence possibly.  Who am I angry at - that question is more difficult to answer.  And to even begin to answer it the back story must be written out.

One late Sunday evening 5 weeks or so ago Dad K wasn't feeling well again.  He'd had just a couple weeks before finished a long treatment for a UTI and had been catheter free for just a few days.  But that Sunday evening he was alternately hot and cold, in back pain and just not feeling well.  He went to bed early only to have us receive a phone call for B to go over and help him up as he'd fallen trying to get to the bathroom.  B and Dipstick rushed over and decided he needed to go to our local ER.  So B drove him in - he was quickly cathed and it was determined he had another UTI.  The doctor on duty was going to send him home with more antibiotics and the tube to be followed up later.  Mom K prayed as she knew going home wasn't an option - he'd been complaining of back pain at home and the on-duty ER doc wasn't listening to her.  Dad K's fever went up then his pain level in his back increased and an MRI was ordered and it was decided he would be admitted.  However this took so much time it was 6:30 in the morning before he was moved to a room.  When his regular doctor came in on rounds roughly an hour or so later he said Dad K needed transferred to "the city" to a bigger hospital who could care for him.  By the time he arrived at the bigger hospital he was septic and in septic shock.  To make a long story short he was in ICU there for 9 days, on multiple IV medications and we originally weren't sure he would be able to fight this off.  He spent a couple of days in a regular room and then was transferred to a rehab facility a couple miles away.  He was weak as a baby and could do basically nothing without assistance.

He's been in the rehab facility for 3 1/2 weeks now and has regained quite a bit of strength.  He is able to walk with a walker (and support), stand some, feed himself regular food without assistance, think and speak clearly...Due to his pulmonary fibrosis he still tires extremely easily but that has been an ongoing issue.  He has already outlived predictions for that...  We were just waiting for him to be strong enough to have the kidney stones "blasted" so we could then start thinking about bringing him home.  That procedure has been delayed once already due to lack of communication between the doctor's office and the facility on his medications.  It is currently scheduled for Dec. 16th.

Yesterday morning he was not feeling well when Mom K and I arrived.  (Mom K goes over there 6-7 days a week, I'm there 3-4)  He didn't eat much breakfast, hadn't slept and was complaining of pain in his side.  The nurse on duty was concerned that there was a bowel blockage of some sort and requested an x-ray stat.  This was about 9:00 am.  I left shortly before 1:00 pm to run an errand and go do my bus route.  Found out later that the x-ray was finally done at 3:15 and there were no results by 5.  Sometime between that and 6 pm I found out he was being transferred to the ER by ambulance for a ct scan.  B went in after 8 pm so that he could bring Mom K home.  Long story short - the ct scan was apparently never done.  The ER changed his catheter out, had some junk released and Dad K started feeling better and was able to eat.  They tested him and have determined he's got another UTI.  They tried to get B to take him back to the rehab facility - that was an argument until it was determined that B had no oxygen for him so he had to wait for ambulance transport.

Apparently the catheter should have been changed at minimum once a month - with his history likely more often.  So who was responsible for making sure that happened???  And who should be the "correct" recipient of my anger? The urology doctor who saw him a couple weeks ago and is to be doing the "blasting"?  He at the very least should have done that when Dad K was in the office.  He should have also made sure that was in release orders from the hospital.  The rehab home who are administering his meds and caring for him??  I think they would have an out because they have to follow doctor's orders.  But on the other hand - surely they should know it does need changed!

I am definitely angry with myself for not questioning that aspect of his care.  I thought about it several weeks ago and brought it up once.  I don't remember what I was told - I know I was told the kidney drain would be fine and did not need to be changed out.  But as just the daughter in law who is not medical and who has pushed on other issues and possibly stepped on toes I didn't push.  Some of my anger is definitely directed at myself.

Today Dad K is "perky" and feeling much better.  I'm thankful for that.  BUT this should not have happened in the first place.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Not Positive - with Edit at the end

Ok.  I admit it...I'm discouraged today - and frustrated.  Yesterday I had a great day - felt good, accomplished stuff - not everything that needed doing but was able to accomplish.  The house was warm and the sun was out.  The grapes are all juiced for was cleaned...bathroom counter was cleaned...and I figured out what all was going out when the circuit blew.  I even walked. And while I turned in a write-up on one student - and had issues with the same student at the beginning of afternoon route things overall went well.

Today...I dragged out of bed knowing I didn't sleep well.  The sun is going to shine at least some today.  The house is cold and I just don't feel good.  And I'm emotional.  Had issues with my student this morning - as well as kids at my last stop telling me there's no seats.  Kids wouldn't move in.  I know they all hate being 3 to a seat but on Wednesday mornings they are pretty much guaranteed to have at least a few seats that way.  I can't help it - it just is.  And Dipstick didn't make the bus this morning - nor did he text me to tell me where he was.  I'm feeling overwhelmed with everything going on this week - parent/teacher conferences this afternoon, bus driver committee meeting tomorrow morning and Grief Group tomorrow night for Dipstick (I have to be there for that even though he's old enough to do stuff alone).  For Squirrel parent teacher conferences are positive - I feel like it's a waste of the teachers time for me to go.  But I go anyway.  For Dipstick - it's frustrating.  He's passing all his classes currently thanks to the fact that he tests well.  But he simply doesn't bother to do the homework and nothing his dad or I say or do makes a difference.  So I'm going to go - simply because I believe it's important as a parent - even though I don't "need" to for Squirrel - and not going to have any answers for Dipstick's teachers.  I need to get the grape juice finished and canned and laundry folded at least. I have eggplants to dehydrate...and zucchini.   At some point I need to get bills paid and checking accounts balanced.  And I need to get a seating chart done for my bus kids - it's partly done mentally but needs to be on paper and finalized.

I've been thinking about life seasons a lot recently - Hubby and I are looking at basically being "empty nesters" in a year.  I'm realizing now that I will have more time to focus on being creative then and that's the time to do so.  But still looking at balance also - especially now. Balance is necessary but feels non-existent at the moment.   I'm not saying this well at all but am getting sleepier by the minute.  Hoping a short nap will help both physically and mentally.

Edited to add: Last batch of juice in the canner.  Will have 9 pints, 3 quarts and 1 jelly jar of grape juice.  Had a short nap and called and got a subscription straightened out.  Also folded 3 loads of laundry.  Hubby is out looking at incoming jobs so I won't need to make him lunch.  Since we don't have leftovers at the moment that's kind of a blessing.  I always have to laugh ruefully - he goes from having a few days up to a week without a lot of work then suddenly has a whole bunch of jobs come in.  This tends to happen right when he's getting really worried about not having enough work. The challenge is balancing them but the work has always been there when it's needed.  God provides.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Feeling completely exhausted today...emotionally as well as physically.  We lost our new kitten yesterday - she was an outside cat but Hubby and Dipstick both had become very attached as she was very tame - and a beautiful calico.  She got hit by a car.  I'm grieving that loss as well as Sally dog's.

Have been reading a lot about different MKs who are now as adults realizing what their parents endured as they sent their young children off to boarding school.  I think so many of us didn't realize the emotional cost our parents endured - I know I didn't.  Am really wishing I could talk to Mom to find out her thoughts as they left us - and as they received our letters.  I remember being quite ill as a 6th grader - spending several days in an oxygen tent.  I also remember finding out - imagine I was told but don't remember that specifically - that if I hadn't started improving soon my parents would have been called.  I'm not sure there was ever a specific diagnosis found for why I was so ill.  But I can still mentally picture that bed covered with the oxygen tent.  I mentioned that to my sister one day when we were chatting - she remembers that time as well.  Said she was allowed to visit me - I was in the school infirmary - and it was "scary".  She would have been 3rd grade at the time.

Still am crazy busy.  Squirrel had cross country meets both Saturday and last night.  The course last night was more difficult than Saturday's - he didn't feel he did as well.  His time was certainly slower but he was able to pass at least one team member.  His goal is to improve enough to catch up to our top runner - and hopefully pass him.  He is only 21 seconds behind him so it is do-able.  In addition to meets, I've been driving bus extra - drove the high school band to a festival on Monday where they marched in a parade.  Last Saturday I also drove for the band.  I won't be available to drive for them now until October as every Saturday we have a meet.  This upcoming Saturday will be at IWU where Stretch is finishing up his final year of college.  That meet is always fun and since I won't be driving a bus we will be able to eat together after.

I am in the middle of canning tomatoes.  After tonight I should have an estimate of how many quarts I will end up with.  Yesterday I spent roughly two hours peeling tomatoes and another half hour or so dicing them - that was using a vegetable chopper so it went quickly.  I had forgotten how messy it can be though.  Only finished about a quarter of the ones I have sitting in the kitchen - and they aren't canned yet.  They are sitting in my fridge waiting.  My friend Suz told me this morning that she canned hers last year without peeling them - just simply cored and cut out any bad spots.  She said it takes much less time so I'm thinking I will try that for the second batch.

Dipstick is struggling still with school - he is so intelligent but just can't be bothered to do more than the absolute minimum.  It is very frustrating - and something completely different for me to deal with.

I'd better scoot - have an appointment at 11:30.  Have got some laundry folded this morning and the kitchen almost ready to can in.  So progress...

To end on a positive note - the sun is shining today and it's not incredibly hot.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cloud formations from yesterday morning.  Just thought they were cool.
Lots to write is a beautiful day.  Low humidity and sunny.  That is a lovely change after the last several days of extreme heat and humidity.  Temperatures were in the upper 80's with heat indexes at least 10' warmer.  Made driving bus decidedly uncomfortable.  The rain we've had has been good though.
The dehydrator is running again - with more zucchini.  This time it's shredded fairly small so I'm anxious to see how how it turns out.  I have two more to do and possibly more on the way.  Also want to try doing some tomatoes but I'd rather get ones that are large enough to can.  We will see.

Yesterday I had coffee which turned into breakfast with a gal who will hopefully become a new friend.  We visited for over 2 hours - it seemed to fly.  She goes over the road with her truck driver husband for much of the year.  She is a believer and is just a few years older than I am.  There are always some nerves when making new friendships - at least for me.  So...we will see.

On a different note last Friday we lost our Sally dog.  She was 13 years old, probably as fat as she was tall - she was pretty short so that's easy to accomplish.  She was half german shepherd and half corgi-mutt.  Had shepherd coloring, face and feet with corgi legs.  We don't know for sure what happened as she was ok when I left for route that afternoon.  I firmly believe she was hit by a vehicle even though Hubby said she looked ok.  These last few years she didn't get enough attention but she was still faithful to wag her tail and greet us when we got home - as well as serving as an alert dog - letting me know when someone had come in the driveway.  She was especially helpful with that when the boys and I lived alone after Mike died - I never worried about having someone "sneak up" on us.  We got her about a year and a half before Mike died - makes her loss a bit harder as outside of my boys who I don't count in this list she was the last "thing" we shared to go.  Sally dog and two of my cats from OK moved here to IN with us.    The cats are gone, my purple "Princess" Intrepid is gone and I sold the house we shared a year about he died.  Kinda makes it the end of an era.  None of that to say that I'm not "happy" with where my life is now - just her loss signifies more endings.  I'm not at all sure how to express that.. There was some humor in the situation though.  I got home from work to see Hubby sitting down in the shop looking completely exhausted.  This is unusual enough that I asked him if he was quitting early. (It was one of those ridiculously hot humid days). His response was "Well I've been doing something I shouldn't have to do...I'm not sure what happened - whether she got hit or if it was just old age but Sally is gone.  I just got done burying her".  My reaction - mentally was "Sally's gone - and you buried her.  Why did you have to bury Sally?  Won't we get in trouble for having Sally buried on our property? Ooh poor Bob...where is he?" followed by verbally " mean Sally dog?!? I thought you were talking about Bob's wife and it didn't make sense to me.".   Hubby laughed...thankfully Bob did also later when Hubby told him about it.   I still look for her when I get home and miss her bark of greeting.
Pressure canned corn
Cross country and canning season are upon us.  I went after work this afternoon and bought a bushel of peaches (one of the few items I purchase) to can.  Hubby really likes peaches so it is high on my "preserving list".  Am hoping to acquire tomatoes without too much cost as well as more grapes.  This year I learned to pressure can and did corn that way.  Am excited to have learned that and to have 22 pints as a result.  However before I pressure can much I will have some supplies to purchase as canning on a glass cook-top is not recommended at all - the friend who taught me had her glass cooktop shatter when she was pressure canning one year.  I really enjoy canning even though it's exhausting.