Friday, July 31, 2009

Make Lemonade or Kick It To The Curb?

I was reminded on the occasion of what would have been my mother's ninety-fourth birthday of an expression she used. It's just an expression and people use it as a way to feel better or put events in perspective.

Not everyone believes the expression to the extent that my mother did ... or in the way I do ... because of her beliefs.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But I think today I'd like to kick it to the curb. Life and its lemons.

The expression reminds me of brighter colors and happier days and oh! The beautiful lemon-yellow taffeta dress with lemon colored chiffon my mother sewed for a friend of my sister's ... way back in the 60's.

Today, I am saddened for a friend. With a friend. I am as discouraged and confused and crushed as one can be for a friend and I cannot elaborate on the why just yet. But I am sure as the next week or so unfolds, I will ... with her approval and even appreciation - not for the doing -- for the caring.

"I like the way you articulate things." she said to me today when I said, "Oh J! I want to blog about this right now! I am so ... !" and that's about all I could get out for that moment.

Making lemonade out of lemons is not going to help in this situation. Not at all. For a moment or two, in theory, there may be some peace or relief, but each waking moment is terrifying in the thoughts of what could come and what could be. There will be permanent emotional scarring and many lessons learned along the way. For everyone involved.

I've often enough stated here that as a mother of a child (who by age is no longer a child, but by ... er ... IQ, certainly is) I do my best work when it involves advocating for education. For change. For tolerance --if not acceptance. But there are times when I, with my nose to the grind stone researching whatever it is I need to research ... times when I think I've dotted every 'i' and crossed every 't' ... suddenly recognize or realize that, um, no, I haven't.

The guilt and shame builds and I think why am I so bad at this? This parenting of a child with special needs when in truth ... I shouldn't ask myself that. I am an excellent parent of this child and the proof is in the pudding of her.

The opportunities and independence I have worked so hard to build through years of pestering teachers, Ed Teams, husband, sister, friends ... to let her do it herself ... let her take care of it ... teaching her what I know, showing her what I know, helping her overcome the daily struggles of learning ... of living life. Her own life.


When I say to 'them' that she needs to do it herself. She can do it herself. Let her try to do it herself. When I stamp my feet and dig in my heels on an issue, I know ...


That is exactly what is needed. This young adult (by age) will one day have to go it alone to some degree. Her parents, who love her with no strings attached and for nothing in return if that is what she has to offer, may not always be here for her. That is why we teach her, why other parents teach their special children, to live their lives to the best of their ability doing things on their own.

But not alone. With guidance and a hand, always, and like our typical children, making mistakes along the way -- we let them learn from those mistakes. And we mirror the learning from our mistakes as we go along beside them, guiding them. We are, after all, human.


Although there are times when we are forgetful or harried and hurried and maybe, just maybe we miss a step or misstep along the way.

Sometimes when we least expect it we are reminded that indeed, mental retardation is present in our lives. The fact that our children are great mimics and blend so well and easily into society on a social level often hides the truth of their existence.
They struggle every day to be just like you. Just like me. Just like everyone they see.


When you see my daughter and her friends, you immediately know that they are 'different'. It may be looks, attitude, abilities, behavior ... it's there as distinguishable as night and day and you would have to be a buffoon not to notice.

Different isn't bad. It isn't a disease. It's just different. (I've said that often enough too)

Today, for the first time in the twenty years of her, I wondered, 'why?' Not specifically why her? Why me? Why us? Why them?

But rather ... Why did this happen? What's the lesson You want us to learn from this? Are we to reach out to others in forgiveness? In teaching? In anger?

Huh. I don't know. I'm going to pray on it.

While I'm praying on it, I'm going to be reflecting on ignorance. Ignorance as poisonous as racism. As ugly and dark and dangerous. There is no excuse or reason for it.

But it's there.

So God, please help my dear, dear friend get through this. And while You're at it, help me too.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Have You Been Up To Miss Kathy?

"Oh, not too much." I answer.

Today finds me off to the oral surgeon (again) for a(nother) procedure which, will complete the repair needed after that dammed tooth extraction last November.

Yep ... still working through that mess, both physically and emotionally. What amazes me is that I haven't bitten off any one's head. Not yet anyway. And ... that I am still wavering between anger, tears and feeling completely stupid.

I find myself somewhat culpable in this in that I just sort of put myself in a professionals hands so-to-speak, and completely trusted his opinion and his ability.

"Put it out of your head girl. Worse things could happen." I say to myself. I am correct about that, but then I think, "Why should I expect myself to accept bad things when they happen to me?"

Truth is, I shouldn't. I've mentioned before that I believe life, it's events or incidents, is all about perspective.

My perspective or view today is not so good.

I dreamed most of my sleep away with wild, wacky (and er, X rated) dreams and have woken with indigestion. Since I cannot eat, drink or be merry for the next number of hours, the indigestion will stay with me most of today.

Poor. Poor. Pitiful. Me.

I am bearing the cost of Dr. M's mistakes and negligence in more than emotional and physical ways. I cannot bring myself to type out what the cost of today's procedure is costing in greenbacks. I'll just say that the girls and I could have one very nice vacation if I could keep that money for our use.

Just think! Five days off from work. Today and tomorrow won't be so good, but maybe Friday through Sunday will be sunny and I'll feel well enough to venture out to ... the deck? Dr. G forewarned me that I should expect to feel better three to five days after this procedure. I'm shooting for three! Thinking positive! Wanting to be back to work first thing Monday!

A few months from now there will be one, final, corrective surgery. Good news about that! There will be no charge to me or the insurance company because Dr. G had to create this problem to work through the bigger problem. After that I should be good to go for the rest of my dental work (some that will even be covered by insurance) and I'm guessing that this time next summer I'll be eating steak off the grill and corn on the cob!

Oh ... I am so looking forward to that.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Award! Me? Cool!

The Rules:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.

Thank you Lynne! Although I don't write as much as I used to, I do try my very best to keep it honest.

2. Copy the logo to your blog. Done.

3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award. Lynne is heading out of blogger for a sabbatical ... and then going private. She'll be missed while she's gone! Please come back.

4. Name ten things about yourself that people might find interesting.

Many of these my regular (& old -- no, not older, just from before) readers will probably find this a bit boring ...

1. I was engaged twice before I kissed the frog that turned into a handsome prince. Then married him!

2. I turned to police & fire dispatching as a way to meet new people and spend time with adults after moving to the then rural community I live in.

3. I worked in the parts department of Cycles 128 (seems like a hundred years ago) and could find any part for any motorcycle that a customer requested. Could have had lots of dates too, but, alas, I didn't.

4. I'm sure I've forgotten pretty much everything I used to know about motorcycles!

5. I owned and rode my own motorcycle when I was 21 and after just 96 miles and one fender bender ... I brought it back to the shop and sold it!

6. My efforts to educate children about disabilities began in a grassroots way that included myself and one other mom and snowballed into researching a formal curriculum, working with the school district to purchase and implement same, and I am pleased to say is still in use in the local districts.

7. The Z Girls all love the color pink! And usually one of us is wearing it.

8. Golf. Need I say more?

9. My SIL & I have played the same KENO numbers when we meet for lunch at a favorite restaurant for many years now. The numbers where chosen by my SIL during one of my birthday lunches ... my birthday, lucky 7 and 69. I have one $100.00 playing the numbers on more than one occasion.

10. I have lived in three homes my entire life. My childhood home, my young adult home and my married home. All three are within ten minutes of each other.

5. Nominate ten or as many as you can -- Honest Scrap Bloggers -- include their blog links.







Vicki - 2






Well, that's my list of links. BUT. I am leaving some of Lynne's links in, because you know, links are a good way to go out, meet new folks, visit folks we've been missing and build community among ourselves.

Carlene at
Dawn at
Joann at
Linda at
Lyn at
Sheri at
Sugar at

6. Leave a comment on each of the blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.

Oh gosh ... I went to visit all of the links I posted and totally forgot to let them know I've nominated them! I'm off to do that now! ** Gave up** Got through four or five and blogger was having some AOL moments.

PS -- It's perfectly okay to accept your award and not pass it on. Sometimes that's fun too!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Just Some Flowers -- 'Cause I've Nothing To Tell Tonight

A daylily blooming in a bucket ... of daylilies that had been removed from my back yard garden.
I finally couldn't stand the overcrowding and on July 4th (nope, no parade, no fireworks for me!) I removed all the plants, drove to Lowe's and purchased new plants and soils and paving bricks and ... wow! all sorts of things for not too much money, came home and made myself a new flower garden in the back yard.

Funny, the first day I accomplished so much in two and a half hours that I was surprised at myself ... and invited a friend over for dinner ('cause Emily was in Maine at her boyfriend's and Dave was in New Hampshire on a mountain bike ride). My friend, her daughter and my Amy and I took off to the movies to see The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and What's His Name ... oh gosh we laughed and laughed.

Then on Sunday Amy & I took my nephew Landon bowling -- three year olds are so darned cute! -- and then it was home to do some more garden work. I completed the garden Sunday late in the afternoon but my two and a half hours on Sunday accomplished one quarter of what I'd gotten done on Saturday.

This body is getting ... er ... not old, exactly, but old!

Queen's Tiara Iris Lacy Ruff Iris

Looking to the woods next to the house, just a corner of the new garden. A tiny Astilbe in front of the iris and just behind them a small holly bush I transplanted from out front. The deer were having a field day with the front garden!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Just Because

Emily on the stairs of Boston Common with one wing of the State House in the background.

Just because I love this photo, I'm doing a 'hit or miss' posting. I might hit upon something of interest or it might be a total miss. C'est la vie!

Emily and I took the Blue Line in to Boston on Tuesday, a relatively dry, but not terribly sunny day, although there was a minute or two of sun ... any of you that follow me on FB know that I have been whining my sorry self to death (and you too) about the dammed rain all month long in June. As on June 24th there had been four days with sun. Only four. Pffft. What's up with that?
Emily and I headed into Boston to meet Amy at the State House where she is interning for a local state rep this summer. We packed sandwiches, chips and cookies for a quick bite to eat on Boston Common just across from the State House.

The trip in was uneventful as was the walk up Beacon Street to the General Hooker entrance of the State House, but we did have to stop and rest for a minute. It was getting muggy and we were in lightweight, layered clothing ... needed to shed a bit.

Amy wasn't in the office when we arrived, she was at one of the Legislative Aide seminars, Tim Cahill was speaking, and so we plopped ourselves in the nice, old, wrinkled leathers chairs in the teeny, tiny lobby of the senators office area. Talk about small! Wow ... in the office there are four desks occupied by four employees ... and an intern or two and you can imagine how cramped quarters can get.

It was really nice to see Amy in a different environment. We walked to a small convenience store, purchased some drinks and then headed over to the common where we found a nice quiet spot to eat and chat.

A quick visit, but we enjoyed every moment. Emily and I hiked back down the hill to Government Center where we picked up the Blue Line back to Beechmont in Revere ... and then home.

A quick trip, but fun. Emily would like to do it again! So, we will, right after her six weeks of summer work study are finished. Yikes!

The Dome. Tours of the State House and the dome are available weekdays for free!
Emily and Amy.