Wednesday, August 18, 2021

My Body My Choice?

 Hmm I guess that depends.  So I've been a volunteer EMT for over 30 years, I've seen a lot of things come and go. I was taught how to use MAST trousers- yeah I'm that old.

So when I first started volunteering, the HIV crisis was in full swing, HIPPA was just a mis-spelling of hippo and the old timers pooh-poohed at wearing gloves. "Ya can't do anything with these on your hands."

The one thing I soon learned in healthcare was that people get to make their own least if you are a patient. "My body, my choice"

You want an abortion?

You want to be a girl/boy?

You want piercings and tattoos?

You want to cuss me out for being a .....? 

You can go right ahead. 

The politicians and healthcare systems were fully supportive. If you are over the age of 18 you get to make decisions and the rest of the world has to live with it! And I had to treat them with respect.

HIPPA was passed in 1996 to ensure that I don't talk about your decisions to anyone. When HIPPA went into affect foster parents were told that they were not allowed to know if a child was potentially HIV positive. This was in the days when we didn't know what was causing it or for sure how it was transmitted.

But now, suddenly whole systems are mandating that your medical history is available to your employer and if you don't receive the COVID vaccine by a certain date, you will need to have the COVID test every two weeks...or lose your job.(Currently the case in our area of Pennsylvania.)

"Big deal," you say," they will hire more help and all will go on as before."

It does matter

Hiring many replacement nurses, paramedics, EMTs destabilizes a system. Yes, new hires are great --in small doses. You can absorb the mis-steps and hesitations that come with working with a new partner. But, from experience, I don't want that hesitation to happen when it's my patient OR when it's my loved one. 

Last year this time these same unvaccinated nurses, paramedics and EMTs were HEROS! 

We had bill boards along the roads praising us. This year they are expendable. Something isn't right in the world....well I know there are a lot of things not right, but this one is bugging me this morning.

BTW, I have my vaccine, - it was my choice.   Let's allow others to have a choice and not de-stabilize our healthcare system any further. 

Monday, July 12, 2021

Treasure Hunting

So the other weekend we decided to save a little money and instead of renting a cabin we 
invited our family to camp in the front yard.
But since grandma's front yard isn't quite as much fun as a campground or someone else's cabin, 
we did some thinking about 

Grandpa came up with  the idea of a treasure hunt.
We ordered a bag of 200 foreign coins off Etsy.
They came just in time.
We also stopped by the bank and got some half dollars
and some dollar coins (The Eisenhower ones, not the little ones)
In all he buried 240 coins in the yard- before you
come digging up my yard, most of them are not worth anything.

But we made treasure hunters out of the kids and grand kids.
They will be searching for years.

Our version of the ice bucket challenge-
Can you actually grab a coin out of the ice cream- maker bucket?
It took quite a few tries- salt water is colder than they thought.

This new 4- square volley ball set up is fun for all sizes- You can adjust the poles
for different heights.
It think we will use it quite a bit, as long as we don't trip over the ropes too often.

The tight rope wasn't used as much as I thought it would be.

Then this happened! Ahhh! How did we get here already?

 QOTD :As we were driving along one day, "Mom what does the 'plus' sign mean?"
I thought she'd studied the driver's manual! It doesn't mean "increase"!

QOTD #2 We were sitting in the DMV waiting for our turn and a real tough dude swaggers in and
sits in front of us. His t-shirt had some writing and I glanced at it and groaned inwardly.
My youngest was of course reading it too.
I leaned over and said "don't read it out loud."
"What does it mean mom?"
" I'll tell you later."
Later: "Mom what did that guy's shirt mean?"
"Umm, it's a really rude way to talk to people, we don't use that word."
"Mom, don't you know what it means either?"

Hmm, how to explain the f-word....

I'd rather talk about tie-dyed shirts.
Those kits from Wal-mart ain't all bad.


Friday, October 16, 2020

Emptiness and Fullness


‘Tis the season” “this too shall pass”

It’s a season of empty and full

Empty gardens, full larders

It’s a season of emptiness inside of me too.

A waiting on test results for my dad. You sure can’t hurry the medical system.

A phone call this morning, “mom, I’m not sure what to say.”

And I also don’t know what to say—the things we warned of are now happening and we are told we should not “enable”—so we commiserate but that’s it.

I look inside and have no answers, I need to leave it all with One who has all the answers.

My heart is full…

Two anniversary celebrations, one from our oldest who was married nine years ago, the other celebration is for an eight year anniversary. Nine years ago we were blessed to  add our first daughter-in-law.  Eight years ago today I met a feisty little two-year-old in a far away municipal building. A little girl whose picture we held for almost a year before we met. Though I had loved her for a long time (you can love a picture, you know) I was still a scary stranger to her.

My heart is full…

I have a husband who loves me and loves our children.

I have children and grandchildren to love on.

I have work that I love- a hobby that can actually support itself.

But all that cannot fill that other empty feeling…that takes Someone much bigger.

So I turn to the mundane tasks, refill the kombucha jar with strong sweet tea, bake bread and rolls for lunches, empty the dishwasher, and pray. I am thankful that my hands can do those tasks without my brain actually engaging…tho the dishes might have ended up in the wrong cupboards.

A year ago, I could not have imagined all that we would see and do in that coming year. We stayed at home except for my “essential” workers. And it was a blessing, we pulled closer as a family sitting in the living room having a more relaxed church. It was a time of learning to do family.

  As I sit now and look forward to the next year, I can’t help but worry pray that we can find joy in the next year as we did in this past year.  Joy in the little things. I pray that I can hold on for the duration.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

September Recap

It was the month we got back into the school routine "for real".
Shekinah also has been honing her hair-styling skills. Her My Generation dolls both have long hair. Then she decided to do my hair, I normally do not check the mirror afterward, but when she takes my phone and then laughs uproariously at the pictures she takes--I wonder.
I am also hearing that the "tough" summer routine I had her do---math and typing classes--paid off . yaay!

They do keep my on my toes, one of them came out of the bathroom very concerned and said "Mom the toilet is smoking." I few hundred possibilities went through my mind as I checked up on the toilet.

Silly girl!

This dog watches me very closely, she has learned that when I bake bread, I brush egg on the loaves before I bake them. I used to dither about what to do with the little bit of left-overs. Put 'em in the fridge and they get lost, throw it out--wasteful! So I started microwaving the left over and eating it--until the dog started following me around with a woeful look in her eyes. She needs the calories, I don't.

In early September we celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary and hubby and I went away for two days. It does get easier to do that after the kiddoes grow up a bit. We found inexpensive lodging in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The internet informed us of a nice hiking area called Seven Tubs Nature Area. 
It was a bit chilly and we had the place to ourselves for a good part of the morning.

No, we do not do selfies very well.
He even brought me flowers!

On Labor Day weekend we attended a local craft show with our leather items.
It was held in the concourse of a baseball stadium- we were back lit so the photos didn't get great.

I'm looking forward to the next three which will be inside.
I'm busy punching holes and stitching, Faith is concentrating on school right now so it's just me.

Yes, this pattern gets punched one hole at a time! I know there are 6-hole punches, but only the super-expensive ones get good reviews. 

I just had to try a back pack...and now I really want to make a couple more...Let's see October 31 (the next show) is 3 weeks away. There are other things I should be doing too, like cleaning out some corners. I did manage to clean the windows where we took out the air conditioners on Saturday. It is so satisfying to clean a window that actually needs cleaning!
I also have Adoption News ( 4 times a year newsletter) to get put together, but some of the topics I need to discuss are so dark and heavy. Wayward and wandering children, school issues (not ours) and other deep topics make me want to hide out with my leather and make beauty and function.
Not all the topics are heavy, but "hurt people- hurt people".
( I slept better after a certain someone finally answered his phone after ignoring texts for days)

I was privileged to help serve food at 3 events in the past three weekends. I didn't go out looking for that side job, but a lady from church does cooking at events and she asked for help last year at an event.
I like to see good food get consumed, but it is almost ridiculous how fast hours of work gets consumed in about 15 minutes....well not that fast, but almost!

I must say the huge group of ladies probably was the most appreciative of the work the food entailed.

Open air weddings and flexibility were the norm for this year.
I think I'm very glad I am not in charge of any wedding this year.
I am very glad that I have a God that is in charge of this year and His plans for the next years/days are much better than any plans I have.
Sometimes I take a huge shaky breath when I say that though.

Parker was very pleased with the praying mantis that grandpa brought home on his shoulder.
Hudson wasn't so sure he wanted to get too close.
No, Parker did not grow long hair, Shekinah posed just perfectly.
One Saturday morning at 3AM we got a call from our electric company telling us we were out of electricity and it would be back on at about 9AM. Thanks guys.
We got ready for our women's event, by flashlight and  gas lamp light.
Boiled water for tea on the gas ring on the porch.
We went out on the street later to see this contraption...the wire runs from one transformer to the next.
I guess our street is fairly safe from saboteurs.

Then more critter control. A hive of yellow jackets took up residence behind the siding. We've swept up hundreds and they still keep flying. The dog alerted us to how large the problem was when she started being very interested in the wall on the inside of the house. I first thought she smelled a mouse, but she actually acted afraid of the wall...glad we figured out it was bees, I thought the dog had a problem.
It is interesting watching bees, I saw them taking stuff into the hive...well down my sweeper hose...but I wondered what it was- it was too big for pollen. I was informed that it was probably a spider for the purpose of feeding newly hatched bees. Said spider is kept alive but anesthetized so it is good food for baby bees.  The world in an interesting place.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Summer of 2020

This summer has been a long one. I enjoyed a lot of it. This little one has been
a joy. She likes her "gu-gu" and her "grandma". For whatever reason I have been "gu-gu"
to this little one and her older brother. "grandma" is her other grandma.

She's easy to babysit and hasn't gone through the stage where I was only tolerated like most of my grands have done at one point or another.
The other necessity for this summer was a new set of swim suits for the girls and
for the first time--myself. Hopefully these last for three years like the last set did.

After finally finishing the patio we had a stretch of hot and humid weather and really
didn't feel like using it.

Then the past two weeks were blissful.
I think I should try to come out here for my morning devotions, but
somehow the kitchen table still works the best.
This girl has spent the summer honing a new skill...
well actually a few--one was a cartwheel- no it's not perfect but she has worked hard.
I'd love to share the video she made when learning the skill,
 "Even you, at any age can learn a new skill"

Trash can sitting isn't one of them, but a decent level of typing proficiency and 
I broke down and bough Times Tales download and I think we have mastered those
pesky times tables once and for all.
We had a small scare when a raccoon decided to spend the day in our garage acting very out-of-the-ordinary. After it hid behind a pile of salt bags, and wouldn't come out we/he took drastic measures.

As of this summer we know much more about "universal precautions" than at
any other point in history.

Ohh and stay tuned for an announcement from Once Mine Boutique in BlueBall.

A great summer project...splitting ice with hammers, looking for treasure.

Then suddenly it's August 8 or 10 or something and
 I FORGOT to register my home schooled student!!!
You get a letter in the mail.

We are trying to play more board games...The Logo game is a new one for us.
We're learning new things.

And since our youngest has never slept in a tent...outside, we needed to do that this past weekend when the older kids were away.
She snapped a picture of her sleepy old parents.
Because Saturdays are still not a day to sleep in!

"We aren't going to bring in any caterpillars this year."
Until we did.
Then two more came in with the food for the first ones.
This one snuck in with a tomato that I brought in in the we didn't have to feed him.