Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Off They Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder 

They Actually Went Someplace Colder for Spring Break


Don't Jump Little Castle. . . 

This Won't Hurt a Bit

Make New Friends . . . but KEEP THE OLD 

Good Food and Good Friends--I did not say OLD friends.

I'm not going to lie. I'm not someplace warm. And I didn't go anywhere warm. I haven't really been warm since early September. Now it's spring break. 

I'm warm inside. 

We went our separate ways. Bill took Mary on the epic western tour. They started by skiing in Colorado and went on to San Francisco riding the train. Today they are off to Muir Woods. Then they will take another train along the California coast and fly home Saturday. Adventure. I can't wait to see the photos of the redwoods. It's humbling and spiritual to be with trees that are so much older and wiser than you will ever be. 

Calvin left last Thursday with the Eastview band to tour Ireland. He's photo streaming pictures and texting his journey. I was excited for him, but I didn't really understand how beautiful Ireland would be until he started sending the pictures. They are having a great time. I've been feeling very good about my decision early on to never, ever be a band director. 

My friends came to visit. We had three lovely days of girl time. In order to qualify as "girl time" there has to be too much food, a little too much wine, way too much shopping and at least one spa service. Check. Bonus points if you end up at a tattoo parlor and get your ears pierced. My new friend Nate did laugh, when I told him my mom finally let me. He was a good sport and was quite impressed with my level of calm while he free handed the ever so sterile utensil through my tender little earlobe. Nate, I'm a mom. It's gonna take a little more than this to raise my heart rate. 

All joking aside, St. Sabrina's was cleaner, more sterile and better organized than my doctor's office. I did my research. Nate also didn't try to prescribe ibuprofen to me. . .just a lollipop on the way out. 

Family time is overrated. Important, but overrated. One on one is where it's at for me. I think spending time with one kid at a time is more precious. God bless Bill for loving to travel and loving to travel with each kid. He and Calvin have taken the train and also had road trips. In a quest for sainthood Bill also took each child to Disney World, alone together. 

I get one on one time everyday. At the piano. Which is one of the reasons I love it so much. And further validation of the band director decision.  

One on one means you have my complete attention. Only you. We get to be ourselves to the best of our ability. I love the time in the car with Calvin on the way to his new lessons. I love shopping with Mary, even if we don't buy anything. I love cooking with Mary. Deep down, I think we all need to be loved alone.  


I think if we are paying attention, God sends us all the friends we need, when we need them. Music friends, church friends, garden friends. All serving a beautiful purpose. A safe place. 

Three or four friends make a trinity or so. . . and that's good too. It brings depth to the conversation. A constant outpouring and in pouring. Humor goes a long way. 

I'm off to Iowa tomorrow. It will only be just a little warmer there. I'm going to see my mom without my kids. One on one. Oh, I hope to see my sister and my niece too, but it will mostly be one on one. It's been a while. I'm excited. 

Saturday the Kotrbas will all reconverge and that will be good too. I'm missing them. Sitting here alone at my computer, I actually feel this tiny itsy bitsy tinge of loneliness. That doesn't happen very often. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
I guess in a perfect world I would appreciate each moment with each person just as much as I appreciate one weekend a year with friends. Something to work on. 

One on one times. Family times. Friends. 
I'm grateful for it all. The seasons they do go round and round.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Thank you for all the people in my life. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

A Cure for Hives

Bill is not a cat lover, but he does love taking photos. . . 
When that day comes and I pass through those pearly gates, I am eternally hopeful that there will be some answers, maybe in the form of a printout that I can study. First of all, why didn't baby Calvin give it up for a nap when he was tired. Second, why does Garfield pee on my things but only now and then. In between he acts really cute just to keep me from "rehoming" him. Thirdly, what was with Mary's hives?

For the past eleven days Mary has had hives. They travel from legs to back to neck to feet to hands to face and everywhere in between. What a curious and miserable journey. On day three I took her to urgent care since her doctor had no appointments available. Dr. Jim took blood and a strep test and proceeded to write a prescription. I took a moment to ask. . . Dr. Jim, is it an antihistamine? Is it a steroid? No, he said, it's like Aleve. Yeah. That would be ibuprofen. We have a $2 bottle of that at home so I think we will skip the $45 script. The word jerk ran through my mind.

On day five I tried again to get an appointment. No luck and you can't go back to urgent care for something a second time, not that I wanted Doctor Jerk again anyway. So, we limped through. Each day the hives seemed to be okay by about 9:00 in the morning with Benadryl and Zantac and Ibuprofen and oatmeal lotion and cortisone cream. They returned each night.

Day six bruises started showing up on her feet and ankles. Don't google hives with bruises. I messaged her real doctor to have her look at Mary's blood work to make sure that I only lost one night of sleep wondering if we were near the end.

Blood work was normal.

On to the weekend of SAM Graduation recitals.
Mary played on Sunday. Here is a link to her Puck. MARY'S PUCK

Sunday night was worse than ever and many tears.

On Monday I decided Mary needed a boost, so I cleaned her room for her. Per the Gist book, (The Essence of Raising Life Ready Kids) I've been trying not to do this. Even though I can. And it doesn't even take that long.

I'm not saying a clean room is a cure for hives.
I did not say that.

On Monday I managed to win the lottery for the actual dermatologist appointment. That was after getting an appointment with her regular doctor, switching all my students for that time and then having the regular doctor call and say she should see a dermatologist. Switch lessons back. Shift lessons for dermatologist appointment. I am woman hear me roar. And I have flexible students.

If having a clean room did not cure the hives, having the golden ticket of a real appointment with a real dermatologist did.

We are down to only a dozen hives at night and in the morning. I'll take that. I cancelled the derm appt.

Writing this blog and skipping the derm appointment will probably ensure that she goes into anaphylactic shock tonight. I hope not.

We will probably never know if it was the cinnamon bread, or the chocolate almond milk, or some mold outside playing, or a virus, or truffle oil from french fries or if she's really just reacting to an untidy room.

She has been a trooper. I respect that. All joking aside, it was a moment to confirm that who we are inside is not about our skin. Our skin maybe be completely covered with red bumps that burn and itch and look terrible, but inside we are the same bright, joyful, creative, musical, talkative child of God. Still all things considered I'll take the no hives version of Mary.

Amen to that.