Tuesday, November 24, 2009


A week ago, I had an appointment to have an IUD put in. I was a bit nervous about it, as the last time I tried to do this my body had an "acute rejection" of it - it was the most pain I've ever experienced in my life, and it wasn't something I was looking forward to trying again. This time, however, my doctors were going to give me lots of drugs and such to help my body accept it and alleviate my anxiety. I made Bear come with me to hold my hand, since I knew I was going to cry. He was a real trooper, going even though he didn't want to, even though it was way more info about my girly bits than he ever wanted to know.

As far as the procedure is concerned, I guess it was a success. I have not rejected this one like I did with the last one. I had no idea, however, that I would be in so much pain for so long. Everything I read about the procedure dealt with the long term side effects and what to expect over the next ten years. Nothing I read prepared me for the four days following insertion. I couldn't tell if I was dying or if the agony I was experiencing was "normal". Its taken me a week to feel well enough to stop taking pain meds. I am not someone who ever takes medicine. To take two ibuprofen means I'm in serious pain. I was taking three every four hours just to take the edge off.

In short, it sucked.

I am finally beginning to feel better; I am able to spend several hours at a time without any pain at all. I'm not sorry I had this done, but I wish I had known what I was getting myself into when I decided to do it. One other thing I didn't know about? I can't "resume normal activities" for THREE WEEKS. This, more than anything, would have made me think twice before getting an IUD.

Two more weeks to go. Le sigh.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dear Daddy,

I've never made it much of a secret that you're my favorite. It was pretty clear, even with my first word ("da-da") that I was always going to be your little girl. Growing up I always wanted to be on your team at the family baseball games, wanted to ride with you in the big truck, wanted to cuddle with you during football games, wanted to learn to shoot and hunt in order to spend more time with you. You were, quite simply, my hero. It was many years before I began to learn what made you so heroic. Your endless patience, your love of simple things, your sense of duty, your soft heart - all of these things became part of you because of what you'd lived through, of the choices you made and the things that happened long before I was born.

When I was a freshman in high school, I went with the marching band on a trip to Washington D.C. While there we played on the steps of the Capital, toured the Washington Monument and visited the Vietnam War Memorial. Of all places, the last one touched me most. I knew vaguely that you'd been in Vietnam, and I knew it was a bad enough experience that you didn't talk about it, ever. When I returned home, Mom asked me if I'd gotten a rubbing of Georgie Bailey's name.
"Who's he?" I asked.
Mom was clearly pissed. "He was your father's cousin who died in the war. You should have gotten a rubbing!"
I felt terrible. I didn't even know you'd had a cousin Georgie, or that he had served in the Vietnam war. I didn't really know anything about your time over there, and since you hadn't chosen to share those details with me, I didn't want to ask. I've always been sorry that I didn't get that rubbing for you.

After that, though, I began to listen when you spoke with my brothers. They had all enlisted in different branches of the military, I think because they saw the quiet dignity of your character and wanted that for themselves. You raised us all to be grateful and to do what's right. As each brother came home from deployment, they spoke with you about the military. About war. And as I listened, I learned a bit about what you'd been through.

I learned that you were part of a team that recovered disabled tanks. I learned that you had some near-misses (the story about the bullet hole in the Maine flag that was flying a few feet from your head gave me nightmares). I learned that Georgie, your cousin and friend, was killed not far from where you were. I learned that you had to bring his body home. I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to look at your grieving aunt and uncle knowing that you'd survived and their own son hadn't. I learned that the Government was going to send you back to Vietnam, even though you only had six months left of service. I learned that you threatened to call "Aunt Maggie" (Margaret Chase Smith) if they forced you to go back. I was floored to learn that it wasn't that you were scared to go back, but that you knew that getting on a plane to return to the war would destroy your own mother. But that's you, Daddy - always thinking of other people before yourself.

I learned other things, too. That you still have days where the horrors of that time overwhelm you. That you aren't bitter about what happened, even though an injury sustained there permanently affected your ability to hear. That you got through Vietnam the same way you get through life - one day at a time, making the best of things, being thankful for what you have and not dwelling on what you don't.

It's because of all of these things that on this Veteran's Day I think of you. It's because of all of these things I'm thankful that you did survive. That you did come home and become my Daddy. There are so many things about that time that I'd like to know. I'd like to record it all somehow so that when your grandchildren are older, they can learn what a great man you are.

That's something I already know.

Happy Veteran's Day, Daddy. I love you.

Your Daughter,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An amazing meal I INVENTED!!

I texted my husband this afternoon and asked him what he wanted for dinner. I was going to cook and wanted to know what he wanted before I stopped at the grocery store. "Just surprise me," the reply said.

Here's what I came up with.

Open-faced turkey & asiago paninis

breast of turkey, shredded
italian bread, sliced
wedge asiago cheese (you can get this shredded, but it's more expensive)
red, green, and yellow peppers
garlic butter/garlic spread
olive oil

Using a brush, spread olive oil in the slices of bread (both sides). Place on cookie sheet and bake @ 400 degrees for a few minutes until lightly browned. You may have to flip the pieces over half way through, depending on the quality of your cookie sheet.

While bread is cooking, pour a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add small diced pieces of all three peppers (use about 1/4 of each pepper). Once that's cooking, chop up the onion (about 1/4 of a medium onion) to pieces the same size and add those to the pan. Cook until soft.

Cube the asiago cheese wedge into small pieces. Set aside.

Take bread out of oven and cool for a few minutes. Spread garlic butter on bread, add shredded turkey. On top of that place a spoonful of the pepper/onion combo, and top with asiago cheese. Place back into the oven for about five minutes until everything is all warm and melty.


Please - if you try this, leave a comment telling me how it is! I'd love to hear your opinion.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Insurance companies suck

I blogged a few weeks ago about the accident my husband had, how he fell on a freshly-washed floor and momentarily dislocated his knee. This caused him a lot of pain, especially where he already has arthritis and other wearing-down problems in his knees. He actually went to the doctor, which for him is a big deal. The doctor ordered an x-ray but didn't think there was much wrong with him.

Yeah, right.

When the x-ray results were read, they discovered that there was some laxing in the tendons and signs of other issues (the nurse said "the knee cap is 'technically' in place"), and ordered an MRI. A complete MRI, with contrast, so the doc could see clearly what is fully wrong with Bear's knee.

The insurance company said no.

When I asked, "what do you mean, 'no'?" we were told that there wasn't enough info to warrant an MRI. The doc asked instead for a regular MRI, the kind without the contrast.

The insurance company said no again.

I'm frustrated, Bear is frustrated, the doctor is pissed... and yet we are helpless to do anything about it. Bear's doc has been great about trying to find ways around this and his newest plan is to send Bear to a specialist - an orthopedist - for the knee.

I'm really hoping the specialist orders an MRI, and that the insurance company has to pay for the specialist AND the MRI that Bear should have had over a week ago.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Fragments

*I am surprised by how well my new fiber shop is doing. I've had four sales in three days! I'm waiting to hear how people like their purchases once they receive them. I'm already feeling the pressure to dye more fiber, to begin the next collection. I feel so fulfilled to be doing this! I don't know why I waited so long.

*I might have a t-shirt made up with the Highland Handmades logo on it, and then "Owner" underneath. Maybe one that says "staff" for Bear. That makes me giggle!

*I've giggled a lot this week. Especially once I started calling myself a "fiberista" and insisting Bear call me that, too. Is it too soon to call myself that?

*Friday Jeans Day is the best day of the week here at school. I love wearing jeans. They are the most comfortable pieces of my wardrobe, and that's saying something when the bulk of my clothing consists of sweaters, flannel, pajama pants and duck slippers. Seriously.

*I'm really ready to be done working my second job. Even though I know I can't afford to. Even though I know they need me there, at a minimum for several more months. Even though most days I enjoy the work. I am just so ready to be home during evenings and weekends. I've been there more than two years. When do I get to quit?

*It snowed last night - the thick, wet snow that sticks to every single branch and blade of grass and coats everything in a pristine layer of white. I know it won't last the day, but it was a beautiful drive in to work this morning.

*My grandmother made moose meat stew the other day at part of her physical therapy at the rehabilitation center she's at. There's something incredibly awesome about a place that encourages my gram to do what she loves as a way to heal her body. It may have been that they wanted to eat the stew, but so what? I'm thrilled they are healing my gram, body *and* soul.

*I have GOT to send my brother a package soon. I haven't mailed him, his wife or his son their Christmas presents from last year OR their birthday presents from this year. I'm a bad sister/sister-in-law/auntie. I will strive to do better.

*I'm having a long-term form of birth control procedure the week after next. It's not the permanent solution I want, but until I attempt to do this I can't get what I truly want. I don't know if I want this method to succeed or not. If it does (the last time I tried it, my body rejected it in a spectacularly painful fashion), then I don't have to worry for ten years or so. If it doesn't, then I can attempt to convince the insurance company to pay for the procedure I want (essure).

*The internet has introduced me to some of the most amazing, funny, intelligent, dedicated, moral, nurturing, and fantastic women in the world. I'd really love to get us all together at some point and have a huge party (complete with sleepover). I know it would be nearly impossible to get everyone there, but could you imagine the hilarity and fun that would ensue?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


I've been pretty quiet on the blogosphere lately, which I'm sure some of you may have noticed. It's been a combination of being very busy and that old saying, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." At last I can both show you what I've been busy doing and describe my utter happiness.

What have I been doing? Going into business for myself, that's what. I have opened an online shop that sells handdyed fibers and yarns. I have spent the last two weeks creating inventory, getting the necessary licenses and forms filled out, and photographing things in order to list them. Last night I listed seven of the first ten items I have ready to sell. I call it the Proverbs Collection - ten items that have been inspired by common proverbs. I'm still teaching and still working at Rite Aid, which has slowed me down, but with the help and support of my husband, I am official. I'm working with a student here at the high school who is developing my business graphics and hope to have that part up and running soon. There are a few other things that still need to be done, but for now I'm on my way.

My utter happiness is because within five minutes, I had two sales. Two people liked my fiber enough to pay money for them. I'm officially a fiberista! (okay, a made up word, but I'm totally using it.) I will be heading to the post office shortly to mail the packages out. The two ladies who purchased from me are women I know through the magic of the internet, and are both lovely ladies with impeccable taste. One is a handdyer of yarn herself and has quite a following. I consider this very high praise! I know that I won't always be this lucky, but today I am so happy nothing and no one can touch me. It has been months since I smiled on my way to work. Months. I'm finally allowing myself to believe that someday I may be able to have the yarn and fiber shop I so desperately want.

Please, if you would, click on the hyperlink and visit my shop. You don't have to buy anything, or create a profile on Etsy or anything like that. Just come back here and tell me what you think. Please?