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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hanging On

I wish I was a real fortune teller, (Not just on Halloween) Then I could see the days ahead better for my family, for my mother and for my father. Going through these changes a stroke brings about it, is hard on anyone, not to mention extremely hard on my family. Because my mother was the center of the world for my younger brothers. She was the perfect babysitter for her grand kids for my sister and the homemaking wife that kept good foods cooking for my father. She is now getting better everyday even if she gets frustrated and tired. I think my mom will go through a huge range of emotions and moods before even ever leaving the hospital. THAT is the part of hanging on I want to write about tonight. Since I was gone working the fair the last couple of weeks I purposely stepped back to look at my family, my mom and my own emotional pains. I can honestly say that it is amazing how quickly my mother is getting better and making a difference in her aftermath of this stroke. I meant it when I wrote I am so proud of her, she lives now almost fearless not wanting to be in pain but wanting to get back to doing everything in her life. She wants to teach my younger brothers how to cook and care for themselves, she wants to learn to use a walker to get around her gardens and she wants to go shopping in stores that are big enough for her wheel chair. I think she is amazing to have these game plans and these desires. With something to work towards she can get there and be proud when she makes it! What I do notice is the painful struggles of my family members who are staying with her and caring for her around the clock. She is still in the hospital, still doing work on her paralyzed side but it has taken a tole on the rest of the family not just my mother in her own painful struggles. I know that it is important to take care myself, to stay healthy and be strong before I visit my mother or else I am not any good for her. I can't make other people do the same for themselves, (especially in my stubborn family) But I have been thinking that hanging on to my own self-respect, my own health and happiness is the key to helping out when it's needed, IF it's even needed....In fact hanging on might be more important then letting go. OR maybe you need the right balance of both to live life either way?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Letting Go

I could hear the beeping in the ICU as my mother laid in her bed, it was my shift to be with her (Not that I knew what my shift really was, it can be a very stressful time having someone you love in the ICU, so I just did what I was told not questioning the long term effects living on that level of stressful schedule could do to a person) Maybe it was just that my mother and I were together alone or maybe it was because she was in so much pain, deep pain really...with half her head shaved and skull removed. She laid there looking at me as my silent tears flooded my neckline of my shirt, I have poured my heart and soul out to this woman when she went into a sudden coma and now a few days after that emergency surgery I wished I could take all her pain away. Her eyes, those beautiful blue-green eyes were closed then open then closed as she said "Debby." I was leaning down real close to her face usually kissing her soft cheeks. She also spoke in whispers, faintly and with difficultity. "Yeah Momma?" I asked feeling a sudden bolt of lighting full of fear, maybe because it was the ICU everything is just naturally scary there. But I smiled calmly into her good side of sight, if I am afraid she will NEVER know it. "Debby, the boys need help, need love." That sentence was slow in coming but I chuckled as I whispered back to her open eyes "of course, they will always have both from me Momma." I sighed thinking that was not as scary as I first felt it was going to be. But Mom's eyes closed as she sighed loudly saying the words that froze me in place "I am going to give up." a new fountain of freshly warm tears flooded me quietly, as I nodded in agreement because I knew she was in just so much pain! She opened her eyes at me as I said "I know, I know, Momma please don't go, please fight for us a little longer....We would miss you so much!" She half smiled and slowly repeated "I'm letting go now." I nodded again saying nothing. I knew in my heart what she was telling me. I didn't want to really think over those words. Now a couple of hours later when I was gone from the hospital she went code blue, even gone for 5 minuets....I believe my mother did want to go to heaven. She has believed her whole life that Heaven is out there waiting for her...So I wish for her the very best journey there! But in that very personal time with her, I think she was in so much pain that she wanted to see the next level of life and be rescued from pain. I didn't tell my father who came in shortly after her letting go words to me, basically because he and I were in a personal struggle already. As a resault I have thought long and hard about what it means to die...I think when the soul wants to let go of the body it can choose to do that. I like to assume my mother meant she will no longer live with fear, with regret or with grudges. I choose to believe that my mother died that day after she told me she was going who she is as she lives and relearns her life back, is a new person ready to be better then her life time before! She is still my Momma only she has seen the light at the end of the tunnel, so she can live now not afraid anymore! AND I am so very proud of her no matter what!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Take me out to the ball game.....

My husband Tony goes with his dad to the baseball games all the time. Usually I meet them for dinner then go home to my dogs, as they go to the Boise hawks game excitedly cheering on the "Beer Batter". Tony took me to a game recently as I thought it would be all guys and all beers in the hot sun. I was pleasantly surprised at how much fun it all was! We ate all that "Bad for you" foods and cheered on the mascot "Humphrey" the red hawk in this picture who makes kids laugh or cry. The beer batter actually made it to first base so for the next 15 minuets beer is only a dollar and I ran down all those stairs in one graceful move to be in the first 10  in line out of the hundreds racing to get the beers! It was such a fun summer night and I hope to go back again! Tony loved showing me everything about the baseball games, I was surprised by all the people we sat next to watching the game who already knew Tony and his Dad! Most of our time was spent visiting and sharing goodies. (I also loved impressing my husband with my knowledge of baseball hahahaha) The Boise Hawks are a fun team to cheer on while also racing to get in on that dollar beer deal! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our Public Pool

I told my husband that this summer doesn't feel right, maybe because I hadn't  gone swimming yet at all as we entered August. Of course having my mother in the hospital tops this summer as the worse in my life and history so far. Tony excitedly took me to the public pool up and around the corner the other summer evening, he knew that I would still be sadly thinking of my mother and my family's trauma. BUT when I saw the pool I happily splashed around laughing and talking to my husband about how we were the oldest ones there! I loved the smell of Coppertone's sun screen! I felt like a kid again in the public pool in that calm hot summer night. The smell of the chlorine and my husband laughing while I showed him my mermaid moves in the glow of a beautiful sun set up high in the Municipal pool. This is an architecturally fun pool, as it sits high up from the ground as people can walk under it to the stairs to go swimming into the horizon. I LOVE THIS POOL! and whenever summer doesn't feel quite right I will just go swimming with my adorable Husband who said "If I tried to make friends with these kids would that be creepy? They are having the best swimming races, and I want to join in!" I laughed so long as I realized we all want to be a kid again when we splash into that cool blue water!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Midnight Mother

It was a strong hot summer day, bright and clear. I watched my mom with her soft smooth dark summer tanned skin walk around the Fair with an icy soda. She was always beautiful even when I was growing up, she was now getting a bit more excited as the evening came on starting to cool the Fair grounds down in that crisp sweet smelling way that it does in August. I had come to the Fair on my day off to hang out with my mother and 3 younger brothers. Even my sister had pop over with her baby girl, then left later in the afternoon. We had seen animal shows, went on rides and ate greasy food. Usually we bought food we all could share and get to taste more that way. My mother with her barbie doll legs was the only person at the fair that day who actually looked Good in shorts! I was amazed at how energized mom was talking and laughing and looking for fun fair things to do. She had her brown curly hair laying against her shoulders as I noticed some tiny parts of gray blending out around her face. "Oooh Shoot! That line was shorter a minuet ago!" She said after drinking her soda down watching the lines of people for the carnival rides. I chuckled as I held the hand of my youngest brother he and I had just exited a fun ride to find our mother staying in lines for the next time we wanted to go on. She never really rode on the rides but she loved drinking her icy sodas waiting in a spot for us. On a cheap wrist band day she wanted us to get "Our money's worth" a common line she always used. Mom also had perfectly groomed feet for her sandals on fair day. I liked joining up with my family to ride along with my brothers making it four of us so we could always sit next to each other. I lived in town with my husband and he always sent a little extra money down for my brothers to spend. Maybe because of the 20 year age difference but I kinda felt like an Aunt to my brothers at times. We ate down an ice cream potato as it got evening, the boys and I were feeling wiped out after the whole day at the Fair but our mother was lively. We watched her in awe and with smirks on our faces as she exclaimed "It's not LATE we can't go until midnight, I want to stay till the place closes down." I looked surprised as she smiled big and proud. "Why do you want to do that?" I asked feeling like 9pm was to late for me. The boys were giggling and shaking their heads "no". Mom snorted "Because I can! Because it is summer time and I feel like I could stay up ALL night!" I was laughing now for seeing my mother like this wasn't normal. But I liked it, I liked seeing her happy and goofy. The boys and I had to run to catch up with her as she blazed the Fair in the glow of the night full of lights and scream from the thrilling rides. We ate more ice cream bars and watched music concerts, mom was alive on the move and on the go to stay till closing. While the rest of us were dragging more and more. Mom was chatty, was teasing us for not keeping up with her and was just really loving the cool summer night. It was almost midnight when I finally said I had to go that I couldn't stay awake up longer. Mom looked surprised "You still have a half hour.....then it is Midnight! Come on You are younger then me and I am not slowing down at all!" She had such a big grin that I laughed out loud in my reply "YES we know! We can't even keep up walking around with you!" The boys and I agreed so Mom sighed "Well then I guess we can leave together...It might take that long just to find our cars." I smiled shaking my head at my Midnight Mother who was determined to stay till the Fair closed down!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Skillet

It was the first ever woman's skillet tossing here in Idaho at the Fair. It was also a hot summer time evening as we all gathered to throw the 7 pound skillet. It was really a good turn out and many woman in the middle age bracket participated. I automatically signed my mother-in-law Jo Anne up since I knew she would be at the fair that night sharing food with her husband Roy. I was thrilled to cheer her on! She was not sure if she wanted to toss the skillet but I got her up there anyway! It was fun to watch the younger girls do it first to get an idea of how to throw it and Mama Jojo threw a foot farther then me but since her age group was bigger then mine I came in 4th place...I thought there were only 2 in my age group so it was funny to have a 4th place ribbon, hahahahaha! The rest of the evening Mom, Roy and I hang out with their friends and ate fair foods. I am really lucky to have 2 sets of in-laws, I know I say that all the time BUT it is so true! Mom and Roy cheered for me as I tossed the skillet up and away and I loved that Mom was a good sport even though she told me that she isn't usually into competing.....It was such a fun time at the Fair just knowing we had the strength to throw that heavy skillet! GO MAMA JOJO!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pig Races

At the Fair this year whenever I have a free second I like to watch the pig races next to our contest building. It is one of those fun things to watch! I think being at the fair every single day this year allows me to see everything I normally would skip. This has been a busy season running all the contests and sometimes having events back to back. I love taking time out to walk the animal barns and read about backyard chicken care. I hope to have many of my own animals someday but for now I love all the Fair! I also had a corn dog today which always reminds me of my Grandma Norma who really loved those pronto pups! So as I eat a corn dog cheering on the pig races I can't help but be simply happy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Onion day

Yesterday at the fair we had a onion day, full of onion games like golfing with an onion. There was a 50 pound onion bag race and then the eating onion rings contests. I ended up snacking on so many onion rings that I got a bit sick! The last contest was of caramelized onion recipes. There were enough onions to even give bags away to the Fair workers. I think the Cheese contest coming up will remind me to not over eat on cheesy things like I did the onions:-} Last night's onion dish I thought was very tasty was mini chocolate pies with saute onions on top! Very Interesting and actually quite good! The smell of onions yesterday was everywhere at the Fair and it was fun to give away free onion rings too!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


My Husband Tony has his own blog that I happily love to read! He is almost polar opposite to my "Love everything, always" blog approach. He has a more "Let's call it like it is" attitude or a "this is life, and it's not a new thing" message. I truly LOVE that about my man, how he can say things we are all thinking while not getting into trouble for it very often....He keeps me grounded if I allow my imaginary fairies to take over (as I wish for something magical to save me from life's struggles sometimes) Tony will always smile and wink at me jokingly saying that my fairies need to just let me deal with life on my own. Now he isn't such the cynic I first married and I love that too! While I knew he was different, especially around Christmas time every year with his Grinch like face, I still never gave up my holiday cheer and now he will proudly announced that he loves Christmas and most holidays too! We really do balance each other out, I was laughing so hard the other night when Tony said to me ".....As a reformed asshole, I have great insight to what most rude and selfish people are thinking." I laughed so much because that is a funny way to put his changed attitude, He also claims that living with me has reformed him. Looking back I was always just myself and I accepted him as he was/is different from me. We are sharing this one same life as different people.  For I enjoy everything about our marriage, even our arguments because I learn something from those too. My Tony helps me stay wise and I help him dance in the cool summer evenings a little more:-)
Today I want to feature my husband's blog on JESUS. Because Jesus was the very first thing we discussed together and I still enjoy the topic, although I am not eager to reclaim Christianity....maybe I can improve on my spirituality instead?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Words of the song "Stand My Ground" by Tom Petty

Well I won't back down, no I won't back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down

Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around

And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down

Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out

Hey I will stand my ground
And I won't back down.

Well I know what's right, I got just one life

In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I'll stand my ground and I won't back down

Hey baby there ain't no easy way out

Hey I will stand my ground
And I won't back down
No, I won't back down

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Candy Apples

We went to the Fair every summer as the last fun summer event  back when I was a kid and I would save my money all year to be able to go wild buying anything I saw! For I had learned quickly when I was younger as my father wouldn't let us have a drink of his soda on those hot afternoons when we spent all day long at the Fair. He would simply explain to us that he bought his beverage with his own money. It is interesting looking back, I use to think he was mean to not let us little kids have a drink, but that was his way of teaching us to save our own money if we were thirsty again, especially for the next hot summer fair! And it really worked. (Although I wouldn't ever do that to my kids I can still see how well it trained me so young to not suffer from thirst again) My money went to all kinds of things, many mistakes or poor quality. But every year I liked buying candy apples, milkshakes and cotton candy! almost the instant we walked on to the fair grounds! That bright red color of the candy apple was the most beautiful to me! I was so attracted to it, like a moth to a lamp. It has been years now since I've had a candy apple, sadly most apples I get are to mushy and that glazed bright red candy coat is often rock solid. Luckily I never broke a tooth and maybe this year I will give a candy apple another try....With my own money saved up from all year:-D

Friday, August 19, 2011

Loaded Fries

Each year on the first open day of the Fair my friend Chantel and I go out into the food court full of yummy smells to share a plate of loaded fries! WE count down the days of working setup and check-in to when the booths are open for our excitement! A plate of loaded fries are so built up that easily 2 people can get full chowing down! Chantel was the one who got me into this Fair job and we happily enjoy margaritas on the rocks after our hard working busy summer days, We have ordered our loaded fries from many different places counting the layers of stuff like chives, salsa and sour cream. When we get bacon bites or jalapenos we are thrilled and tell everyone what booth has the BEST loaded fries! Fair Food is amazing, greasy, smokey and salty...I think that it is simply Perfect for a hot summer night!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

OoooOooh Wow PRETTY!

Every year the Fair brings such a magic feel with fun rides and sparkling lights! There is still a crowd of many strange people but it is this common interest in enjoying the rides that has us all standing in lines. I have my favorites that I try to ride every year even if I am completely by myself. I like being on my own in taking a ride but it can be really fun with a friend too! I love how my husband knows the second we spot a carnival that my very next words will be "Oh WOW Pretty!" He begins to laugh and tease me for being such a kid at heart! I know he loves me just the way I am and I can share with him how beautiful, how amazing and how sparkling the world is from my eyes as I watch in awe!

So how about YOU the reader share in the comments below what is your favorite Fair Ride? For I would LOVE to know!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Famous Ice Cream Potato

Every year for the FAIR I buy an ice cream potato and it is amazing! It is chocolate syrup drizzled over an oval shape ice cream ball dusted in cocoa powder so that the inside is vanilla but the outside looks like an real potato, I think it is  Completely Genius! Top with whip cream to look like sour cream and shaved chocolate to look like chives. I can not describe how much I love this dessert! I first shared with my Grandma Norma when we went to the fairs, parades or festivals in the parks. Then I always shared one with my mom, and I can eat a whole one on my own in the summer dry evenings while listening to the screams from the carnival rides under the glow of the street light by the water fountain. I take in all the reflective end of day shift,I sit watching people go by or I dance for awhile to an oldies band on a live stage then I enjoy eating my own ice cream potato as the grand finale! Sooooo why don't you go try an ice cream potato this year at the Fair? .................for I can not talk enough about them!  YUMMMMMY

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I LOVE my department at the Western Idaho Fair! It is the one with all the VEGGIES! We have been decorating the department the last few days and planning for months all we will be if you want to check out my scarecrow it is the one in lace and a sun hat hahahaha I love this time of year, the next few days will be all day long but it is that kind of work you feel good doing and worth the wiped out feeties!

Monday, August 15, 2011

4 Mondays ago

 I haven't really liked Monday mornings least not like I used to, maybe because my mother's stroke happened only 4 Mondays ago? That early Monday morning nightmare makes me very reflective come another week in a new Monday. Then I start singing the "Closer to Love" song automatically. Will I get back to loving each and every morning again? My husband thinks so....he says I am not the kind of fire who can be put out. I will light up my life, I will smile again on some random new Monday morning, BUT maybe not for this year.........

Monday Morning

Monday morning how you sold her

How you woke us all up

It isn't your own fault for being just another Monday morning

I told you to go away

For I wish my mother would be okay

Now I have watched her lay, resting in such a way

She makes jokes that she is very old

Yet the truth be told she is only a few weeks gone

With a life time to remember

With new ways to get better

She makes faces when she is told

That another Monday morning  unfolds......

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Have I ever mentioned my big family growing up? How I was surrounded by Aunts, Uncles and Cousins? Along with Grandparents visiting or living close by? (Hahaha oh I have a FEW times..) As a small child I saw such a beautiful family on each side of my parents. I loved the loud, bold, fun laughter of my father's family just as much as I loved the quiet soft conversations of my mother's family. When I was a kid being home schooled allowed me to really notice all my family members as potential friends. I look back now while watching my mother sleep these last few weeks and I realize just how lucky I was, to have such a big family. Each  and every family member taught me something, brought about some part of the world I was lacking from just being sheltered by my parents. After I married I had a hard time not knowing why if my husband has so many cousins  he didn't hang out or call them up to chat? He would just look at me oddly if I asked about it, so I guess not everyone sees family like I do.....In the same way years can change people, miles can really keep family apart.I understand that we each have our own personal relationships, that we treat differently from one another. But I can't help see how important everyone was to me as a kid and now once again as an adult.  Family is that group of people who knows your history and how you got started in this world. They have seen you success or fail. They know when you change or stay the same, family gives us a place of refuge and safety. It can also shred your spirit and take you down, sometimes family was never meant to be. The combinations and history of each personality can make or brake families and maybe now I wonder more about this then I ever did before....when my mother was so close to death I thought about how she IS the one family member to keep us together! As the 6 of us kids share that bond in loving her, we may not share much of anything else but we DO share that! Now when I see any extended family I am in awe that they came and that they are here, the years and grudges grew outside of my childhood until no one was around anymore...I found in my marriage the very best family for me and I wondered how does it come about that relationships dissolve? I hope I can be aware in my own life to not allow bridges to burn, to not settle for less contact with others. I hope I can learn how to always love unconditionally, always honor my history. For I am very proud of each and every one of my family members after going through this crazy time with our mother, I am also very proud of all my extended family coming forward boldly and with such love to be supportive!.....I believe that with each new day is another chance to brake down the walls in seeking for that honest true family.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Cup Of Tea....Please.

I sat next to my mom yesterday in her physical therapy time not holding on to her as the ladies were working with her. So as she sat down, it was important for her to balance herself all on her own....she then said "My daughter and I will have a cup of tea now please." We all chuckled as we watched her sit on her own a few minuets. My mother is actually very full of witty cute things to say right now. I love how she has these long conversations with her left side that is paralyzed. She will sit in her wheel chair saying "You are no good anymore and If you would just listen to me when I tell you to work and when I tell you to wake up that means it is time to start moving now. You really need to work again because my tummy muscles don't like ALL this work." I could listen to her for hours talk to her body in person, then she will sigh while sitting back in her chair. She is repeatedly explaining to me that no one listens to her and not even her own arm! I am always smiling watching my mother do such cute, very sweet things! We almost lost all of the moments with her so no matter what she says or does I COMPLETELY love it all! My momma with those adorable big bright eyes as she expresses herself clearly and I usually have to catch a loud laugh at instantly noticing how truly adorable and funny she is! I think it is important to remember all of her improvements with her clever jokes along the way. Then after a dry joke she smiles in the same way her father use to and I see him shinning out of her. 

She was set back into the hospital  bed all clean and refreshed when she said clearly with her eyes closed "I need my binky or a baboo (Bottle)." I let out a sudden loud "HA haha..." as my sister Dana and I looked at each other for second then back at our mom as Dana asked "Mom are you being funny again?" Mom's side grin with a simple nod as she relaxed made us girls giggle even more....
 If my mother keeps making progress then it will be possible for us to have a cup of tea sitting side by side in no time!

Friday, August 12, 2011

My First Guest

Dear Readers 
    Today is my one year anniversary of this blog and it is a very powerful thing for me to reflect on how I started this after being inspired and encourage by my dear friend Laura Page. I was thrilled to meet up with her a couple of years ago after reconnecting online. It is wonderful to see how she has grown up to be such a beautiful woman inside out and I am truly happy to call her my friend! She is also my inspiration for sharing this blog! Thank you Laura Sweetie for guest blogging on here today......I Love ya Lady!  
 Debby Shively

  Hi everybody, my name is Laura. I have known Debby for many years. So many years, in fact, that some of the first memories I have of Debby go back to when I was an awkward little tomboy of about eight years old and Debby was my babysitter. That’s right—one of my best blogging friends was once my babysitter! And I have to say, my siblings and I always BEGGED to have Debby over whenever my parents were taking a night off for themselves. Debby was an inspiration, and she continues to be an inspiration.
This month, Debby will have been blogging for a year. To my great honor, she asked me to guest post here, today, because she and I started blogging seriously around the same time, and we both inspire each other to write and express ourselves. Today, Debby is JUST as fun and spontaneous and warmhearted as she ever was. But she is even stronger than she was a year ago. As many of you know, Debby’s family is going through an incredibly rough time right now. Debby asked me to blog here today before any of the difficult events of the last few weeks occurred, and there are many topics I could have chosen to write about, but I find it most fitting to write about how much I have been encouraged by Debby’s transparency and resilience. Debby has been somebody that I can count on to be open and sincere about her feelings. Throughout the difficulties, she has been kind. Even to those who have not been understanding.
Debby blogs here at Live in Lavender Love tell her story. She writes the story, post by post, to record the joys and sorrows, the ironies and revelations, the mundane and the surprising in life. Few of us keep a record of these things in such a meaningful way as Debby is, here on this blogsite. It’s easy to talk about the good times, but not so easy to talk about the things that hurt. The lesson I have taken from Debby’s record of her experiences here, is that maintaining an open heart, no matter what your circumstances are or have been, is so important. Debby has shown me that keeping such an open heart is what enables us to continue living in harmony with ourselves and others after the storm has passed.   

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My summer time job

It is that time again, my summer time job at the Fair. I love everything we get to do and how fun it is to creatively setup our agriculture department. In the first part of this week we wash everything and did set up. We will have a meeting this Monday on preparing for all the contests also. I really LOVE watching everyone bring their produce and talk about the growing season this year. I have 2 really great very approachable bosses. It makes working this job even more wonderful, I want to be like all these older ladies I work with also,  talking about pets and plants happily! This summer job is apart of my life before my mother's stroke, so returning to it makes me feel whole again. I know my mom would be happy that I am still working and that she would love to stop by again to see me:-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Hospital

In the last 3 weeks since my mother's stroke we have spent very long hours at the hospital, of course nothing as long as my father or even my brother. Although if my sister could she would never leave, but our lives all do start to move on in our usual different directions. In times like these families don't get a paper manual to fix everything (although that would be nice) I am amazed at how wiped out I got by all of this that I was truly thankful for my fair job coming up as I develop healthy boundaries in caring for others again. I love my time with my mom she is both clever and sweet, she is determined and strong. Her recovery will no doubt amaze us all and I can see that spark in her eye as she tries. The hospital is such a big place, full of hundreds of rooms and a bathroom almost around every corner you walk! The whole building is amazingly setup for big families or quiet corners to hide away in alone. I was walking down the hallway last week thinking to myself for such a big busy place I haven't seen a single person in awhile....
Hospitals are what we choose to see, if we see the coffee shop as a rescue escape to smile and chit chat with the barista then that is what it becomes, or if we sit alone reading for the peaceful quiet then that is what a hospital is. It is no secret that I am very social person, in my first weekend here at our cottage I knew the names of my neighbors before I even met them all. I can honestly talk to anyone without any fear. I have always loved people, I love having family gatherings, BBQs and any big event! I would never say that I have enough friends. SO naturally if the hospital has no friends or family then I am more likely to dislike the place. TRULY...IT IS hard to not be surrounded all the time by hugs and loves in this lonely hospital. In the few times when we were all there together, I thought it was the most comforting. My husband promised me that if ever I am in the hospital as a patient I can have all my book clubs, chick flick friends around me as much as I wanted. He made me laugh when I really thought I was going to cry, being in the hospital one time we were sitting together watching a big family hold on to each other, coming and going in the ICU. My husband caught my eye as I admired this loving family, he whispered "Maybe they should give us some pointers on how to handle such trauma?" I replied sarcastically "Maybe like how everyone is welcomed? or how important ALL family is?" He shrugged taking my hand into his then winked at me. And I felt instantly safe again as I realized clearly that sometimes a Hospital is what you make it, so I will choose to see only love....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Dear Sweet Newton Spirit
I hope you are resting in peace with all the memories you have to leave...
As the tiny fuzzy puppy, you were the gift to Dad during his divorce that left him sad.
Until he saw your friendly face and laughed!
I was always in awe at your balance being raised by the cat, How cute you were when you sat.
Or how nice you were to any new thing you met....
The Therapy dogs will all miss you and we will always LOVE you!
For you welcomed in Dad's new bride, proud to stay close to Teresa's side. You were the peacemaking dog that kept Eddie and Oscar from odds. You guided blind Cory to the lawn and kissed on Sidda even if she just yawned. So now that you are gone....We hope you can hear our song, hear our hearts long! It was very hard to say goodbye and understand the world will not seem quite right. Not without our shining light in our Sweet Newton, with your greeting howl and many long cuddles and with all the ways you had us giggle......Now our sudden struggle is for we had hope you stayed awhile more keeping us all warm and safe! Yet no dog can take your place as you leave us all with a true proud smile on our face!
I hope your spirit will always stay close as the years keep us on the go.....maybe even with your wet nose you catch all of our tears and we didn't even know! 

Rest in Peace Newton Shively 

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Worse day EVER

It had been a very stressful long day at the hospital on July 27, 2011 and I could tell if I stayed much longer I was going to completely snap. I love my time with my mother no matter what is going on, even if she gets a sponge bath I can stay happily focused on her, keeping eye contact and hoping she feels safe. (I actually have no problem with nakedness actually, especially in the medical world) I love listening to everything she says even when she repeats a hundred times over. I love it all because I know how close we almost lost these moments forever......Yet on this day I was going to snap if I spent one more second around my high strung father. Naturally his whole world is upside down and nothing will ever be the same for him. I realize this every time he speaks and every time he moves, I see him taking each day through his own nightmares....he will never be able to get his life back the same, and so he working through this. I am going to need to learn who my parents are all over again, like I said before the world is changed. When my husband Tony got in the car that evening from his office he worriedly looked at me as my silent tears fell. I mumbled "If my father says that I am braking my mother's heart one more time I am going to completely snap." I explained why my tears soaked into my shirt. Tony sighed helplessly, just as his phone rang and he began to instantly start crying as he talked to his own father on the cell phone while I drove down the road then Tony choked out "Newton died." I knew it was straight to the freeway in the car and on to Caldwell where my mother-in-law Teresa would need us. Sadly Dad was out of town working on a big project and loosing his dog of the last 11 years was a painful sudden shock to us all! We spent the evening digging Newton's grave in the garden and crying. Over a picnic blanket we took breaks to eat and talk about how much we all loved that wonderful dog! I realized at that moment it was possible that I will NEVER stop crying.........With my mother in the hospital, my father on edge and my whole world spinning with the passing of such a good friend like Newton. I was hugging the other dogs around me as I sat saying goodby to Newton. It was during this whole process of digging and laying to rest our family dog that I got updated over how my mother went code. How they almost couldn't save her and for about 5 minuets she was gone. The sudden rush of fear and sadness took me down beyond any place I have EVER been before. When Teresa hugged me I realized I couldn't save my life was simply gone.
That late night driving home I had to see my father and give him a hug after all he went through and even in my dirt covered knees I found him on his lap top talking matter of factually and impersonal. He said it again that I was breaking my mother's heart and I truly did snap.....I flipped out actually. It was a "Come to Jesus" moment that I had been trying to avoid but I was also glad he and I got some things off our chest.  NEVER in my life have I EVER cried that much before, a whole day basically lived in flooding tears and fears......The worse day ever actually.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bohemian clothing

Yesterday walking and talking with my beloved friend Tiffany, she noticed my style of clothing is free spirit and then she said it was very bohemian. It was such a fun thing to think about how people have their own unique styles of clothing......So naturally I thought today I would share some of those pictures of the style I really do love so much!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sometimes it just takes a life long friend to get you out to smell the flowers and help you enjoy life again:-) Thank You Sweet Tiffany for walking with me at the Farmer's Market and making it such a peaceful good day!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My Sweet Puppies come home!

Today I have been running all around and still quite a few more things to do, but as I stocked up on doggie cookies yesterday at the pet store I felt a whole new joy and peace come over me that I have been missing lately, The promise of my dogs to hug and kiss SOON....Tonight Tony's Dad and Teresa will bring us all together again! Dad has been out of town all month for work and seeing him again will mean life is coming back around to something similar!
For there is nothing in this world quite like the wonderful friendship in our dogs!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

To Be Nice...

It is easy to get wiped out hanging out at the hospital everyday, all day or all night......Most people I talk with often raise their eyes in surprise when I say what my hours have been or what the family is doing in rotating schedules at the hospital. It is diffidently not normal.....what we are doing, but I know my mother likes seeing her family around. My father is working out his job around his life at the hospital, with the help of us kids he can step out without doubting our mother's care. Then the night shifts switch back and forth between my brother Derek and our dad. With my 3 younger brothers rotating each day so one of them just hang out in mom's room. My sister is on top of everything, with her own time for her kids and her college classes she still hang out at the hospital almost full time. I know eventually everyone will calm down and get into a better setup of taking care of themselves along the way....but for right now it seems crazy to an outsider looking in. "You guys really shouldn't live here like this, trust the nurses and the hospital to help your mom then get some actual good long rest!" were the wise words of my neighbor in the hospital hallway and I chuckled nodding for I had heard this many times before from many other caring, loving people who have gone through the whole family member in the hospital thing before. I have to explain this is the first for my family so we will figure this out as we go along. I have begun to stop worrying over my father's food or sleep I trust him to care for himself and my constant asking or trying to hand him some ready food just annoys him....I realized yesterday that we are coming up on 3 weeks almost, and I am truly wiped out! I love how my mother is progressing but I can see clearly she needs some time on her own in her own bed for her own peace of mind and rest. Today her surgery went good, they put her head all back together again and now she will be able to really heal and get moving again. We will need to be ready full of love, compassion and encouragement for her in these next weeks and months ahead. I also hope she gives her own self personal grace to take her time and not be quickly frustrated. Yet whatever her reactions or emotions are I understand how important it is for her to feel them and let them wash over her until she heals. Truly her journey will be her own and from the inside out she will work on all of this. I guess what I want to know is to be nice, (As my mother used to reminds us all to be) should we smoother her or let her have some room to grow on her own?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Father

It is no secret that my father and I have a rough history. It is clearly seen and understood how different we are from each other. Yet I have seen similarities also, like I can raise my voice to meet his or we both easily show on our faces what we feel. If I could I would always have someone from his job at the hospital keeping him company and giving him a moment to enjoy himself. For there is nothing quite like my father's job to cheer him up and change his mannerisms. The hospital is a scary place where things happen out of my Father's control but with his job he can easily call the shots and find his peace of mind again. I simply like to watch my father visit with his friends from work and seemly change right before my eyes. My sister caught up with me in the brake room after we noticed this connection, Dana said "I want to work at Dad's office so I can get to know him better, he seems like a nice guy!" I laughed out loud and nodded thinking to myself that I noticed that right away too. My father IS a nice guy to those he likes or understands, he is a mixture of all kinds emotions just in general and now with his wife of 33 years in the hospital from her stroke his whole world has changed. I know that he will change along with it, but the side of him that is easily frustrated spills out more to us kids. Now what I am currently figuring out is how to not take it personal when my father tries to control the topics we can cover when visiting with our mother, or how he bosses us around like we were little kids again. It can make me instantly glare back at him, then I remind myself he is just trying to figure all this out on his own. My Dad use to grab us behind the neck to control or correct our behavior as kids and sometimes I get the feeling if he could he would do that again even though we are in our 30's. I know that my father loves me, that saying those words are not actually easy for him but in these last few weeks I have heard him....he has the biggest job then all of us here. He has to get to know his wife all over again as she is forever different, he has to gain patience in ways he never had before. He has to respect all the surrounding family members at the same time heal himself. I think as long as I keep trying to see through his eyes on all he has to work on then I can let go of petty arguments or sharp comments. Dad has already said he is trying, that he knows what Mom would say to him right now among all the people here to help.....She would say very clearly to my father in love and understanding 
"NOW BE NICE."   I really admire that he is willing to TRY....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My Mother

With the fire pit crackling in our new place, My husband and I visited while roasting marshmallows with my Mother-in-law Jo Anne and her husband Roy. It was on the topic of parenting that we were sharing on how you sometimes have to be a parent to your own parents or how Tony growing up didn't follow any of the usual rules in the parenting hand book. Jo Anne shared "I do not know a single mother out there who doesn't have some kind of regret for what they said or did to their kids at one point in life. All mothers every where know they could have been better at that job."  I suddenly pictured my own mother and how I was sure she would have loved to share what motherhood was like for her, I know she wished she could have changed some important moments that we can't EVER get back. I forgave her along time ago for these parenting mistakes that I realize and understand now are really universal, No one is perfect and trying will just wear you out in the end. I know that I have said this on here that I wish I had fought harder for my mother's friendship, I wish I had been stronger in all of my honesty to help better her own life also. I use to think when she pop up at my front door or called saying she was in town looking for a shopping buddy that someday she will be gone from my everyday life and I will miss her so much. So then with all of my hope I would put my best foot forward to have those memories of laughing over a sales rack in a department store. When I got her to sit in a coffee shop over some tea I was THRILLED knowing deep in my heart I would remember and love those times in discussions the rest of my life. I had a such a longing to know and understand my mother outside of all her religious rules and fears, I saw how she could be brave if she would just trust me but even though I kept braking down walls around us, I knew for whatever reason it was the little things I loved about her and the memories that would out last the grudges we created......SO now as she recovers from this life changing stroke I realize how important it is to live with a new clean slate. She is simply my mother.....

Monday, August 1, 2011

2 weeks ago...

2 weeks ago today my mother had a massive stroke, I know that I wrote the world had changed. Then actually learning to live again in this changed world is hard, it is both painfully sad and stressful. My Husband Tony had tears in his eyes as he watched me lay on the floor and cry deeply Only just 2 weeks ago. He hated to see me hurt and wish he could simply fix my family so that we all didn't have to ever see our mother suffer like this. It was terrifying when she almost died a couple of times and even more tears fall when she has to struggle in her changed painful body. It was true for me to say nothing is going to be the same, There will be good things to learn and bad moments to take but it is hard for me to realize it was ONLY 2 weeks ago from today. so on this early morning I remember that raw fear in every tear I cried on the day the world had changed, 2 weeks ago....the longest time in my whole life.