Saturday, November 12, 2005

The Leagacy project

In Dear Abby yesterday this site was mentioned and its an awesome project.
I couldn't go without mentioning it here so that others could find this resource.

I, myself need to preserve e-mails to hard copy and archive them so they are saved.

Peruse the letters and be in touch with part of your history.

Blogging--A New Leisure Option

BusinessWeek online points to an AP article about how bloggling has become a new leisure option for senior citizens. Anyone care to comment?

Blogging--A New Leisure Option

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day

Today is the day we Americans take to honor our Vetrans, past and present.

I am proud to take part in this celebration.
I have a son who is serving this country on the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy today.
It is with immense pride that I honor him as well as all the Veterans I personally have known and those I haven't.

This country is what is today because of the selfless service all those men and women have given since its inception.
From the Revolutionary War up to todays' War in Iraq many average, everyday people have stepped up to the plate and put on a uniform in defense of our freedoms.

Tonight I sit here and think of the families who have given service by standing alongside their family member and sacrificed peace of mind, time at family gatherings, a hug and kiss at night, a wink at an inside joke, and many more everyday feeling too numerous to mention in support of their loved one.

At this moment I don't know exactly where in the world my own son is. I know he would much rather be home in Texas raiding the refrigerator, playing with his dog, getting ready for a date with his fiancee, talking to his sister, taking a nap, being told to take out the trash, having to report tomorrow for a civilian job.

I remember the first time I saw him in uniform.
I was awestruck. He was my personal hero. I knew what it took for him to wear that uniform.
He had not had it easy those few years previous to enlisting.
We had watched the events of 9/11 and knew the graphic reality of what wearing that uniform meant.

And my next feeling seeing him in that uniform was trepidation. he was my baby; my last born.
His whole life up to that moment flashed before me.
I saw the tiny infant that fought to be grown up even at one day old. I saw the little baby crawling around who chipped his first tooth on the bathtub.
I saw the 2 yr. old who went down in my driveway and his heart stopped and his Dad had to give him CPR.
I saw the little boy who loved his doll, Lester.
I saw the little skinny legged tyke wearing the red boots and making up the most awesome stories.
I saw the little guy that would sneak his finger into the chocoalte cake icing thinking he wasn't caught.
I saw the older boy who was so interested in what everyone else did for a job and curious to know if he could grow up to do the same thing.

I saw the scared 6 yr. old who accidentally set fire to my bedroom playing with a lighter and I later took to the Fire Marshall to put the fear of God in him.

I saw the 8 yr. old boy in a Cub Scout uniform having his first and only birthday party in our humble home.
I saw the 10 yr. old who had an accident on his bike when the handlebar and front wheel came off and we had to rush him to the hospital.

I saw the 12 yr. old trying to tell me a yarn when i found a Playboy magazine hidden in his pillowcase!
I saw the 14 yr. old taken away in handcuffs because he had been accused of something another family did but wouldn't take responsibility for.

I saw the young man who assisted his family through their personal tradegy because of a flood.
I saw the young man who thought I didn't know was drinking and cussing and thought he was all grown up.

I saw the young man who got in trouble because the "friends" he chose were the wrong crowd.
I saw the uninspired, depressed, wandering young male with no sense of direction in his late teens and early 20's.

I saw the compassion he had for others in times of need. the desperation and hopelesness he had when too many school friends died through drunk driving and suicide.

I saw the battles a young man and his mother went through.
I saw the love he had for the first girl he was ever really serious about and watched it unfold.

And that day I saw in him a fear deep inside because he knew in a matter of days he was being sent off to a farawy place without family or friends nearby and the unknown before him. That place was called Afganisistan. We were looking for some lunatic we really didn't know much about named Osama Bin Laden. And his ship was going to support that mission.

I also saw a pride he hadn't known up to that point as neighbors and friends gave him the recognition due him for donning that uniform.

Today I am proud of him for his service as an American yet as his Mother I am scared, uneasy and anxious and miss him tremendously.

My story is one of thousands. my story is not unique.
Mothers all across this country have their own story to tell.
Iam proud to be an American and PJ, I am proud of you.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Happy birthday PJ!

Today my "baby" is 25 yrs old.

He has been such a blessing to me; not always were there good times but even when there rough times we learned together what "through thick and thin" meant.

The pregnancy was very difficult; I was in and out of the hospital 28 times to stop labor from week 6 on.

His was the longest pregnancy of the four; he was due the 19th of Novemner and was born the 9th.
The doctors had told me he would be the biggest; more than 6 lbs. All the others were under 5 lbs.
Well, they were wrong. He was the smallest at 5lbs 3 ozs and 17 inches long.

He was so tiny; 5 inches longer than a ruler. I had to cut newborn Pampers in half and use masking tape for diapers until i got hooked up with P&G for preemie Pampers.
His little butt fit into the heel of my hand; newborn sleepers were swimming on him. His feet came to the crotch and I would pin up the legs to the back of the sleepers at the shoulders!

He was the first of mine born in the winter; the first with reddish hair.
I had dreamed of someday having a redheaded, freckle faced little tyke and I guess God knew he would be the last so he gave me PJ as a special gift.

Dan had made me promise if the new baby was another sister we would adopt a "brother" for him; I was happy to call early that Monday morning before school and announce "we have a brother"!

Dan and Steph were at their Dad's and Mandy was at a friend's house. My family was scattered.

I remember the day PJ was born; it was a Sunday. I had been sent home -again- from the hospital with instructions to get to the hospital as fast as i could if I went into labor again.
They discovered the placenta was front and he was in an abnormal breech position.

They instructed me if my water broke I would have 15 minutes to get to the hospital before the placenta would try to come first and the baby and I could hemmorage to death.
This was in the very early days of HMO's and unfortunately they aren't a lot better today.

I pleaded with them to let me stay; we lived 25 minutes away by ambulance.
I was so scared and pissed off.

So the contractions started and I went to my best friend Joyce's house down the street from Dan and Steph's Dad to wait. I was determined this time when Ii finally entered that hospital they weren't going to send me away.
So I endured contractions until they were 2 minutes apart before I left for the hospital.

I was sick of the in and out and sick of my family being interupted and living apart and wanted some semblance of normalcy back to our lives.

So they gave me the epidureal saying it wouldn't be long but then the doc got an emergency C-section which tied him up for awhile.
Meanwhile they were waiting for the water to break; they didn't believe me that it never broke on its own.

By the time the doc came back and examined me I could tell by the look on his face that something was amiss.
The water was now protruding and he had to take by hypodermic needle.

When he completed he looked at the clock as it was past 11:30 PM and asked if I wanted to wait until "tommorow".
I said, " hell no, lets get this show on the road!' And PJ was born at 11:39.

He was sent into the neonatal PICU right away because of his size.
He was an exact replica of his Dad as Dan had been of his Dad.

Right before delivery I was given another epidureal because the first one had worn off.
It took effect in the recovery room. I remeber being so cold and shaking when the pediatrcian came in to tell me " he may be little but he has all his working parts and he's using them".

I told the pediatrician I thought maybe he was born to be a Marine! Ironic, when he grew up he wanted to be a Marine but ended in the Navy instead.

When he was little he would say he and I were gonna get married when he was 37! And he would buy me a Winnebago and we'd go camping all our married time!

He was given red snowboots by his Grandma in Ohio when he was 3. ( we lived in TX).
He loved those boots. Our next door neighbor nicknamed him Rambo Red Boots. here he was this skinny little guy with the heart of a Giant.

He had the most wonderful imagination. He would make up the most interwesting, fascinating stories.
He had been given a doll he named Lester for Christmas. Lester was his responsibility and he took it serious!

Through the years he was the one I would get called to school about; he was the one who had run-ins with the police but he was still my wonderful PJ.

Now, he's all grown up and serving out country; I don't talk to him. His choice.

Family dynamics are such that our family is disjointed now.
The only one of my kids who keeps in touch is Dan.

I just want PJ to know that whereever he is today his Mommy is thinking of him and wishing him nothing but the best.

Maybe someday I will get to bake another cake and he can run his finger through the icing and I will pretend I didn't know it was him.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

trip to Oroville

Last weekend Bob and I took a trip to Oroville, CA to see his cousin and check out the community.

Bob will be retiring after the new year and he wants to retire to Oroville.

Oroville is a community of approximately 12-13ooo people near the foothills of the Sierra Mtns. its about an hour north of Sacramento.

Its big enough to have a Wal-Mart but not large enough for a Target! Actually, it has about anything you could really need and most of what you'd want.

The town gets its name from the early settlers who came for the gold rush.The saying "in them thar hills " would be appropriate.

Lake Oroville is right on the outskirts of town. The dam was created about 35 yrs ago.

There is a lot of historic preservation in town; they still have the Chinese temple used by all the Chinese immigrants who worked there during the gold rush.Those people eventually left and took jobs with the railroads when the gold mining ceased.

The climate is Meditterean and therefore there is a large olive grove near the area.
Another industry is a cannery that is supported by the salmon and other fishes found in the Lake.

It can get as hot as 110 degrees in the summer and has snowed a few times during the 25 years bob's cousin has lived there.
There is more of a season change because its further north than the Bay area.

There are a couple casinos in town; one of which we visited Friday night.That was my first visit to a casino.
We enjoyed a fabulous seafood buffet before we took in a little entertainment and playing the slot machines.I was more of an observer;Bob won enough back from the Wheel Of Fortune slot to recoup our expenses for the evening.

Saturday we toured the city to get a feel for the community starting with one of the restaurants that boast a $1.99 breakfast. We ended up choosing a $3.99 breakfast which was terrific.
It was a nice restaurant with good food and great service and very friendly.
I joked that we could still eat there after retirement even though we both were on fixed incomes!

Oroville is in a valley surrounded by the mtns.Very scenic.
we found a couple over 55 senior mobile home parks to further investigate.One won an award in 2003 for being the best park that was amazingly clean, well organized, and landscaped.
The other, and the one we may choose, was older but equally as nice but more wooded and rustic; just a short distance from the Lake.

Neither of us wants the upkeep of a yard or other related expenses or chores so that is why we are thinking of going in that direction.
It would be hard to find a small lot; most have acreage involved.

His cousin lives on 2 acres and although it was nice to visit there we both know it would be more than we would want to be responsible for at this stage in our lives.

We met a few people while there; one couple lives on the adjoining acreage next to marty and operate a fruit stand on the conjoined driveways.
They leave apples in cartons at the fruit stand and everyone is on the honor system to leave their $2.00 in a box provided. thye have never had a problem with someone not paying or stealing the money.

Another relative, husband of Martys late husbands ex-wife came by to use the telephone to report his phone was out. He was recently out of the hospital with a heart condition and needed his service working so the phone company agreed to get someone to fix it that day. Try that in a big city!

I saw my first wood pellet stove. It seems to be an efficient source of heat and apparantly everyone has them there.

The trip went too fast and I look forward to the possibility of living there soon.