Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I can't believe another year has flown by. This has been a very tough year physically for me. I spend most days in bed and read and sleep a lot. I have been saving for a Mac Pro, but think it might go towards a IPad. I can use that in bed. I mostly just read e-mail and do FaceBook. Of course every year I say that I am going to write a book, but I am not saying that this year.

This year, I am very excited and looking forward to having my Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted. I did the trial with excellent results. I mean, I won't be able to do much more than I am, but I won't have so much pain and might be able to get out of bed a little more often than I do now. I am not looking forward to the surgery. They always mess up my pain medication and make me go into withdrawl. So, I am looking forward to a nice short time in the hospital! Our hospital's don't have a very good repuation for nurses getting to you when you need them too. I mean, I know when it's an hour away from meds, too call them and ask them for it. It's ridiculous!

But I don't want to focus on the negative, but the postive. Once I have the Stimulator implanted, I will have some relief and begin to titrate off some of the pain meds that I am on. I am really looking forward to this.

So, it's going to be a good year everyone. I have a wonderful wife, 2 beautiful daughters. 1 in college and doing awesome and one in second grade and also doing awesome. They are beautiful and make me proud! Despite some hard times at work, Cheryl is chugging along. She makes me proud to call her my wife!


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Angry Birds!

My BIL got me addicted to this App on my iPhone called Angry Birds. It's a game where you fling all sorts of birds through the air (and each bird does something different) to kill the pigs that are usually heavily fortified. It's very addicting I have to say. I have to put it down after a while and then I pick it up again and try for a while.

Speaking of addiction, LOL, Gillian is heavily addicted to Epic Mickey for the Wii. She has fought her way through the game and is still going strong. I can't believe all the stuff you have to do to win this game. It's definately a great game for the Wii, but not something that I think my 7 year old can figure out. My 18 year old is having a hard enough time.

Katie has a friend over today and they are playing nicely. I am so glad that she has such nice friends to play with. Oh, and I picked Rules of Deception by Christopher Reich bach up. I picked the book up at a rest stop and then put it back down. I think I could get back into it. I finished the other book mentioned in the last post, but it wasn't anything to write home about!

Well, I am off to read, then we will be dining at Wegman's and then I have to chauffer Gillian to her group meeting at the Q center. After that, I will come home and drop into bed. I do have choir practice, but it's so late at night for me that I just don't think I can make it. We'll have to see.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010


So, am I the only one who seems to love reading? I mean really love it! I can eat my way through a book in a day or read one on the Kindle in a few hours. I always feel as though I have to have a book either in my Kindle or in a pile next to my bed. And talk about the guilt that I feel when I don't finish a book! I just bought Bill Bryson's book about his house and had to put it down. And I love Bill Bryson. What is it about this book that I just can't read? I have a pile started of books that I have started and can't finish. Maybe when I go back to them I will have renewed energy to read them. They seem like good books.

I am reading a Nora Roberts fluff mystery now called Brazen Virtue. It's good and I am almost done but it's not fullfilling. You kind of know how it's going to finish. Then I move to the Kindle where It's Not Me, It's You: Recollections From A Terminally Optomistic Woman.

The difference between the Kindle and having a book in your hands is minor. The only thing that I don't like is that I don't remember what the book in the Kindle is about, but it must be good or I wouldn't have bought it! LOL!

So, Kindle or real live books that you hold in your hand? Speaking of which, I have another box of books to send to Marianne! I still need to read her box!


Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Whew, it's over! That is all I have to say. The girls got what they wanted for Christmas. Katie's big ticket item this year was Lanie, an American girl doll, with a dress for herself so they can match. She also got doll bunk beds (as she now has 2 AG dolls), an armoir to hold all her doll clothes and some other small things that she wanted. Gillian got a 19" TV (she said to get her a small one because her dorm room is so small, and better yet, a stand to put it on. Back in October she put a 19" regualar TV (you know the kind where the back sticks out and they are HUGE) on the top shelf of her desk where it proceeded to fall right onto the laptop computer we got her last year. What a crisis that was! Anyway, that was her big ticket item. She also got Epic Mickey for the Wii which she and Katie have been playing and LOVE! I love that she actually likes a game where there is no blood shed and killing! Cheryl got an Ice Cream maker and some really cool measuring spoon and cups that should last the rest of her natural born life. She also got the Twilight Series and some other little things that she wanted. I got a lot of cool stuff! A beautiful cross that you hold in your hand, made from Olive wood from the Holy Land. I have been using it when I pray to keep me focused. I got a Haiti Life Is Good shirt where all the proceeds went to the Haiti relief efforts and 100 Markers to use with the Prism and hidden picture coloring books. I love to color! It's so soothing and relaxing. I also got a T-shirt with Books written all over the front and cats laying on the words and books. A $30 Amazon GC to fill up my Kindle, a renewal of my Barnes and Noble membership and a $25 GC to go with it. I still like to read a "real" book sometimes. My MIL got us a knife set which we desperately needed.

All and all it was a really, really nice Christmas. One family fight, but hey, that is always to be expected and I am not going to talk about it here.

I look forward to a New Year. I can't wait to have my new Spinal Cord Stimulator put in (even though it means surgery) and have my pain decrease. I may not be able to work, but I might be able to exist more than just getting in and out of bed!

Well, I am addicted to Angry Birds on my iPhone! I must go annihilate so pigs!



Monday, December 13, 2010

Bad, Bad Blogger!

I can't believe that it's been so long since I have updated this blog. I know every year I promise to write more and then I don't. This year, it is going to be a mission for me. I need an outlet to get feelings out and since I don't think that anyone is reading this anymore, it's a safe place for me to do so.

So.....Gillian has continued to give me gray hair. I should back up and say that she is at UMass Amherst now, as a Freshman. Wait! Am I old enough to have a child in college? Oh, that's right, I was young when I had her....or else I am really old now. You choose. Gillian had her large intestine removed. If you so desire, you can read further and come to the place where it all happens. Because she has no large intestine, a flu bug most likely will put her in the hospital with dehyration. Never fails. This is what happend this past week, but not only did she need fluids, she needed blood too. She was severly anemic and had to have 2 blood transfusions. I am working with the hemotologist/oncologist here in Syracuse to get her an appointment to be seen when she gets home. Now, you might be wondering why we would even know a hemotologist/oncologist. Back when Gillian had Ulcerative Colitis, she was on medication that gave her eosinophilia, basically made her red cells look funny. Again, I wrote more about this back in '08 when it was going on. So, the MD at the hospital in MA wants her to have a bone marrow biopsy. I asked him if he gave her the blood, could she see the hemotologist here in Syracuse when she came home this week? He was fine with that and I am trying to arrange that.

But let's talk about how shitty it feels to be 250 miles away from your sick child shall we. It feels really, really shitty. Guilt doesn't even cover it. And of course this has to happen the week before finals when she should be reviewing. But, I have to believe that all things happen for a reason. This week while she is taking finals, she feels good and that is what counts. Cheryl and I will be taking a whirlwind trip down there on Thursday to pick her up and turn around and bring her home. I think I will be able to breathe then!

One good thing that came out of this is that an angel appeared to us! Gillian went to University Health Services (UHS) without her cell phone charger or computer. So, after her phone went dead, she had to call me collect. After the first time of doing this, we devised a system where she would call me, I would deny the charges and call her back. But she really needed her phone. To text, access the internet and make calls. So, I got online and sent out and SOS to my Queer Moms and lo and behold! Someone who lives in Northampton e-mailed me and asked what they could do. She ran out at 9PM at night after conferencing a phone call between Gillian and I with her and got her a phone charger! Once she met Gillian and found out she was pre-med, she went back out and brought her back some reading material! Gillian was so happy! And I was very relieved. And I had an extra pair of eyes! Thank you so much to our angel!

Katie is busy in second grade. We had a great parent - teacher conference where we learned that she is starting a third grade reading level. Her wonderfully nurturing and experienced teacher has been working hard to challenge Katie to work hard and do her personal best. It's no suprise that she likes to read as I am always with a book in hand. But, one thing that does escape me is the fashion diva that she has become. She can only wear certain brands.....seriously! So, my days of buying expensive clothing are pretty much over. I still order custom outfits that she pics out, but other than basic Mini Boden and Hanna Andersson, we are a Justice, 77 Kids and P.S. household. I just took a HUGE bin of clothing to a high end consignment store and am looking forward to a nice big check in January! I used to justify my spending lots of money on clothes for her by selling on e-bay, but sadly, e-bay has become so hard for sellers to make any money that I decided that this check with go towards a vacation!

I have great news about my back and leg! I finally caved in and tried the Spinal Neurostimulator trial! It was like a miracle! The first night I was sore from the procedure, but the second night, I slept 6 consecutive hours for the first time in 10 years. I woke up more refreshed than I have in a long, long time. I went to Church on Sunday and SAT for the entire service (standing up and sitting down caused a lot of pain because the leads were still on the outside) with no pain! What a miracle! I am scheduled to have a permanent system implanted sometime in the next 2-3 months. I can't wait!

We are eagerly looking forward to Christmas and all that it brings with it. I love that Katie looks forward to Santa coming and going to church and the magic that comes with the coming of the Christ Child. We are singing the Messiah this coming Sunday in Choir and I am looking forward to it. It really helps to bring in the Christmas spirit.

Well, that is the update for now. I have been reading a lot of books and should update you about the good ones and not so good ones. Maybe the next blog, will be about that!

Well, I need to get Katie to bed. I promise to write more and write it sooner. Actually, maybe I will throw some pictures your way!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

We're off to see the....

Well, we are off in a couple of weeks to drop Gillian off at college. I can't believe it. Never thought I would see the day. And I am a whirlwind of mixed emotions. I remember when I went to college. Boy, was it different. I had pretty much lived on my own since I was 16 and did things my way anyway, but this was really being on your own. I don't think Gillian get this. I think we'll be getting a lot of phone calls about money and other things that she doesn't get. But, we'll deal with that when we get to it. Right now, I am just dealing with all the seperation that we are going through. I think Gillian is feeling sad that she is leaving, anxious with what she will have to deal with and excited about the whole thing. And her way of dealing with emotions is to stick them in a pot and stir. And keep stirring until she has a bubling pot of emotions that she throws up on us all. And then we all react and it's not pretty.

So, less than 3 weeks before she is launched. I would like to pat myself on the back for getting her there.

And I have been quilting and reading. I have read lots of books but haven't been keeping track. Sad, I know. But, that is my escape. And quilting....I just started my nephews quilt. I think it will turn out nice.

My poor arms are getting tired so that is all for now. More later....

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Summer is winding down....

Well, like most of you, I have been unbelievably busy this summer. I wish I could say that I have spent the summer resting and getting ready for the school year. Well, that part is right. Gillian will be 18 tomorrow and going off to UMass Amherst in the Fall. We leave on the 4th of September and drop her off on the 5th. Katie then starts on the 8th. I am (hopefully) done dealing with the loan and it will hopefully get to the school before her bill is due so that they don't cut her housing off. It's been keeping me up at night and generally making me miserable. Yeah, me! I have basically done everything to keep the balls up in the air so that this child gets into college. It's going to be a hard break for both of us, I can tell you that for sure. 18 years ago today I was admitted into the hospital to be inducted. 27 hours later Gillian was born. In a short month she will be leaving my fold. How sentimental is that?
Gillian texted me last night and told me that she was getting a tatoo this week. :::::sigh:::::: She wants to get one that says "No colon, still rollin" which is what she has on a shirt. I realized for the first time that I can't say NO! Weird.

Katie is no longer interested in wearing clothes that I spend a lot of money on. I should be putting things up on e-bay right now and I just haven't had the time to do it. I am going to miss my time frame if I don't hurry up!

So, off I am to post to ebay ID is gandksmom1967 Mostly will be selling 7/8's!


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Changes are a comin'

Well, I decided that I have all these feelings inside me and BIG changes are coming and I don't want them to get lost. So, what better way than to blog. So expect more blogs, more often, maybe 2 in a day!

Let me recap for you where we are! Cheryl is still working at as a Cytotechnologist at Upstate. We are so lucky that she has a job in this economy along with health insurance. It's not lost on me that we could be one of those who don't have insurance! Gillian is 17, getting ready to turn 18 and along with this means that she will be graduating in a couple of weeks. Katie is 7 and in first grade. She is very much looking forward to the summer and running around and playing with her friends. As for me, I still struggle with my health and different diagnoses. SO, you can see there is so much to write about.

Last night Gillian had her award ceremony. I was beyond proud when she won a excellence in Math award and a scholorship for her integrity and a leader for peace. She worked so hard this year to keep her grades up and will be heading off to UMass Amherst in the fall. SO much to write about! I keep thinking that everything she does is the last time she will be doing's last award ceremony for High School, it's the last semester in High School. It's not lost on me that there will be a lot of new beginnings too, but I remember her the first day of Kindergarten and her little feet didn't even touch the floor when she sat at her place at the table. Gillian leaving is going to be interesting. I know that she will be coming back for holidays and visits, but it really is the first step to her leaving and her not being here daily will mean it's just the 3 of us. Of course I have the worries that all Mom's have about sending their babies to college. I have been trying to do less, and spurring her to do more so that she can learn how to make a MD appt, learn to use her health insurance card, etc. Life is such a learning experience and she is getting a crash course in it.

Katie will be moving to second grade next year. We finally discovered that she is lactose intolerant and has been having a much better time with her tummy aches. I pray that she doesn't go on to develop Ulcerative Colitis like Gillian. Keeping the prayers going that she doesn't develop it. Katie is just a creative and enjoyable little girl. She likes to play with her friends and has taken a shine to a little toddler that lives across the street and loves to "mother him"when they are outside. She desperately wants a little brother or sister, but that just isn't in the cards. She is going to be a fabulous mother someday!

As for me, I am again being tested for MS. I have a brain scan on Thursday which I think will be clear. I really think that my leg numbness and tingling is coming from the back surgery. The scan's don't show anything pinching, but I just don't think I have MS. I think the most frustrating symptom I have is word recall. It's scary as well. Just not being able to remember or recall an everday word is scary. I have been reading like crazy, mostly because I want to keep my mind sharp. I have also been quilting a lot more. I finished a wall hanging for Katie's Kindy teacher (never did get around to giving her end of the year gift...better late than never) that had me doing Prairie Points, which I have never done and I am sewing the binding onto a table runner for her teacher this year. I will take pics of both and upload them and show pics. I started to make Katie a dress out of a Jelly Roll (fabric strips), but didn't like the colors and decided to make a quilt instead. I am just making it up as I go, mostly just to get it ready to bind so I can pracice binding. I had forgotton how to do it because it has been so long since I last bound a quilt. After that one, then I am going to start on my Nephew's quilt. About 2 years ago he picked out fabrics that he wanted me to make a quilt with. I have about 5 quilts that need to be quilted, but it takes sooooo long on my machine. I think I am going to send them out to be done on a Long Arm and then bind them and then they are done! YEAH! My dream is to get a Long Arm and eventually make and sell quilts at craft shows (once I get talented enough that is)

OK, my arm and hand is cramping up so I am going to go. I am sure that there will be more soon. I have so much to write my upcoming trip to MA for Gillian's orientation, her graduation, etc.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Springtime update

Well, so much for my desire to blog everyday! Everytime I think about getting on the computer to do that, I wade through the mail, read a couple of blogs and then get distracted.

This week is spring break and the kids are antsy and want to go, go, go. I am sore and tired form being rear ended in MIL's car on Friday. Not sure there is any lasting damage. I was taken, by stretcher to the hospital with Katie in the ambulance with me. Because the crash wasn't just minor (his car was totaled) they said it was mandatory for her to be seen in the ER. She was a trooper. I was in agony. My back, as most of you know has a lot of hardware in there from surgery I had in 2007. The x-rays didn't show any fractures, but upon further notice, they said that one of the cages they put in might have shifted and is impinging on a nerve. So, I went back to the ortho that did the surgery and he is ordering an MRI, but they can't get me in until May 4th. I also consented to having a caudal block (basically they take a long needle and put medicine up by your tail bone). It hurts, badly. But if I can get some of the tingling and numbness to go away I will try it. Katie was fine, just shook up. She was like a rock that little girl. She seems to be a little less wary although a good night sleep would be nice.

I must admit that I am beginning to wonder if life is ever going to get better for me? The constant pain that I am in is beginning to wear me down. I can't seem to get enough sleep and I just want to be out of pain. I want to be able to walk, sit down and stand like a normal person.

OK, I am not going to make this a whining post. Spring is blooming all around with the promise of summer right behind. It's always nice after a gloomy winter. Hope. It's what I hold onto!


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Florida or bust!

Well, our trip began last Saturday at 6:00AM when we loaded up the kids into the car and took off from W. Palm Beach FL, in search of sunshine and warmer weather. We drove to Statesville N.C. the first night and stayed at a Courtyard by Marriott. The guy that checked us in practically peed himself when he realized we were family and even said that Gillian favored Cheryl. LOL! We got a good chuckle out of that.

So, quiz time...what was going on in Florida, on the East Coast at about 4PM? That would be correct, the Daytona 500. We were thankfully saved by a pot hole that I believe God put there just for us to get through the area and not hit traffic. We made it to Cheryl's sister's by 6:30PM and got ready to hunker down for the night. Katie freaked out when she saw palm tree's and Gillian was actually in a pretty good mood.

On Monday we went to the mall to pick up another air mattress for Gillian as the one we had, had a slow leak in it. They had a Naartjie store there and I had to shop there. I had never been on one and it was soooo cool. We got some errands done and just went back to the house to chill out and recover from the ride down.

On Tuesday, Cheryl's sister took the girls to a game place for the day and Cheryl and I went to Vero Beach to visit friends of ours from church who winter down there. We had a nice lunch and then went to the beach and walked in the sand and had some ice cream. Then we headed back South to Candi's (Cheryl's sister) and the older folks (Cheryl, Gillian and Candi) went to a movie and I stayed back with Katie and put her to bed and went to bed myself.

On Wednesday we went to the beach to have lunch with one of Cheryl's nephew and then went to Lion Safari, where we were treated to all kinds of animals wandering around our car. They had some rides that the kids went on and then we went back to Candi's before heading out to her friend's horse farm, where both Katie and Gillian rode Cheyanne. They loved it. Home for dinner and bed!

Got up early on Thursday to head to Sawgrass Recreational Park and went on one of the Everglade tours in those cool air boats. We saw one alligator sunning himself, but the rest, according to the guide were under water because it was so cold. Oh, did I mention that it never got above 70 the whole time we were there? BRRRRR! While at the Recreation park, the kids got to hold reptiles and other gross things. Lots of pics were taken, I just need to DL them here. Most of them were put up on Facebook.

On Friday we were up at the crack 'O dawn to trek home. It was a long ride. I am crippled, but we made it there and back. I can say in all honesty that I will never drive to FL again. Ever. When we were about 45 minutes from Candi's house the girls were so horrible that I turned around and yelled, "Keep your hands to yourself and shut the fuck up!" Then Cheryl started laughing.....but only until we started down Candi's street and there was this circle thing we had to go around in the middle of the road and she said, "Who the fuck puts circles in the middle of the road?" and this from a person who doesn't generally swear! LOL! I do have to say that I95 brought out quite a lot of swearing from my normally docile wife.

So, it was a fun trip and sunny. Just not as warm as I wished!


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Getting moving!

I am having a hard, hard time getting moving today. I should be packing and I can't seem to function. I am tired and sore. I am just plain tired. I am going to go and take Katie to Grandma's and then go and return some pants that are too big, hopefully to get a smaller size and then go and drop Katie's swim form (well I lost the original, but going there to hopefully get a new one) at the YMCA. Then I am going to go and get Gillian from school where we will take off to go and visit one of her friends that is in the hospital. She has the same health issues as Gillian, although her surgery wasn't as effective as Gillian's, so she was in for another surgery. Then back to get Katie and home for dinner and getting packed.

I really want to go to FL, but getting there seems BIG! Here is to some energy that I need to get going and get Katie and myself packed as well as over see Gillian's packing. Make sure that everything gets done.

And of course my prescriptions need to get filled the day that we are coming home. UGH! Right now, all I can think of is WHY ME????

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Hard winter!

Thank you Tracy for reminding me of my resolution. It has been such a hard winter and this was one of those things that have kind of gone by the wayside. And I have so much to write about. So, let me take them one by one!

* Gillian just got an awesome report card. Made high honor role and even got 2 100%'s! I couldn't be more proud. All of the comments on her card speak to how hard she works and what a pleasure she is to have in class. We are still waiting to hear back from college's and it's a pin's and needles kind of wait. I don't think it will be an issue for her to get in, but until she gets in.....we just wait. I can't imagine in my mind what it's going to be like with her gone to college. Sometimes I just don't think about it at all!

*Katie also got an excellent report card. She is above average on all her levels from reading to math and is also a hard worker. She, like her sister puts a lot of pressure on herself and we are working on the fact that it's OK to not be perfect. It's a hard lesson to be sure. She is going to be 7 in a few weeks and I have to just pinch myself to know that I am not living in a dream! 2 great kids. Who could be luckier!

* Cheryl stays busy taking care of everyone! She is working full time and teaching Sunday school. We are having a lot of fun in our relationship and it feels so good. That isn't to say that we don't have our moments, but parenting Katie feels a lot easier now that we've been through it once! We recently went to see Wicked! and it was great. It's nice to get out of the house now and again. So much of my time is spent in bed and in pain that to get out and enjoy time with my wife is nice. She is my rock for sure!

* Well, I am hanging in there. Some days are good and other's are bad. I am seriously considering Seminary again, something that I have come close to doing but something always stops me. Last time, Gillian got sick. Next year she is going to college and if I do the program in Rochester, it means I will be gone 1 night a week. And Katie has an issue if I am gone. I guess she would get used to it. I wonder if I can do the work. Today someone at church talked about being a hospital chaplain and I thought, "AHA!" "That is something that I can do!". It's a direction for sure.

So, life continues. We are heading for FL next week when the kids are out of school. Should be an interesting trip. Likely our last one as a family! All these lasts......

But lots of firsts too.....


Monday, January 25, 2010

NYC trip

I wrote a whole blog on it that Blogger ate. I am not going to write it over. It sucked. Not because SD (sperm donor) was an was much more than that. When I have the energy to write about it again, I will. BTW - it was a great trip for Gillian because I think she saw her SD for what he is and won't really be pursuing any kind of long term relationship.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I love getting screwed....

So. My SSD end of the year forms come today and not only did they include the money my lawyer got, we were a couple of dollars over the limit of having my money be taxed. Now, I am hoping that because it clearly says on the sheet that X amount was for 2007 and X amount was for 2008 and then the rest was for 2009. I don't think that I should have to pay for money that I should have gotten in 2007 and 2008! I mean, I still had bills that I couldn't pay. I still have collection agencies calling because even though we took almost every single penny to repay bills that were just sitting there waiting to be paid, we won't have money to pay the IRS.

I hate money. There has to be a way for us to live without money. This is just so frustrating.

And you all know how I get just a little wigged out about traveling. Gillian and I leave on Friday for NYC. We are taking the train and then supposed to take the subway to Mitchell's apt. Gillian and I are both excited about spending time together and meeting Mitchell, but also a little nervous. I am just hoping that the weekend stay's relatively inexpensive. We are saving money like crazy to go to FL next month. We haven't had a vacation away since 2006 when we went to Cancun to celebrate MIL's 80th birthday. And she paid for that trip.

So we are driving from Syracuse NY to West Palm Beach and I am getting excited and also dreading it a little. I don't know how this body is going to hold up to a drive like that. We are going to have to try and make a little bed for me in the back so I can lay down. Both girls will be hooked up electronically so this should ease the pain. Wish me luck.

And last night I went into Katie's closet to get out the size 8 pants that I put away for when the 7's got too small and guess what? They were too small. The bright side is that I bought them from Mini Boden and they have a free return policy and they give me a credit for the entire amount that I spent on the pants. I wasn't going to get any spring, but Katie does need a bathing suit and some underwear (they have the best underwear for kids hands down) so I guess I will use my credit for that. I picked up a lot of 9's for next year during the warehouse sale, so I pulled them out and other than being a tad long, they fit fine. And I got a ton for summer this year, so I don't think I will have to get much other than a few neutral tee's and denim shorts!

This is so disjointed and random.....but that is how my mind is tonight. Sorry!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Coming to you from bed...pain and Cival Rights

Well, I have a big week coming up with a bigger weekend and I am probably going to be seeing the last of my naps, so I am taking the afternoon off. I sleep alot and spend a lot more time laying down that sitting or standing. I just can't do it. Often times I am spending my time laying in bed watching the Travel Channel, like I am doing now. I am watching Andrew Zimmerman, but the perky blond, Samantha Brown is my favorite!

Went to church this morning and sang in choir. One of the nice things about being in choir is that you get to do a lot of sitting and standing. I can't sit for long, remember....?

Yesterday I went to a seminar from an Institute down in FL on non-invasive back surgery. They go in with a tube and do laser surgery and put some little instruments down the tube to take things out, shave things down, etc. I have a lovely mass of scar tissue under one of my screw heads that is sitting on my Sciatica. Ouch isn't the word. It Hurts, A LOT! I am losing the function of my right leg, which of course is my driving leg and I don't think I am going to be walking very long. Which is an issue, because I can't sit. SO, I hope that I don't get bed ridden!

Enough of that stuff. Today in Adult Forum at church we had 2 people talk about their experiences during the Cival Rights movement. It's interesting because the book that I just finished reading, Alex Cross's Trial was about a real trial that happened during the Cival Rights movement. It breaks my heart to know that discrimination still happens today. I have worked long enough as a social worker to see discrimination first hand. My Grandfather used to say all the time, "I was poor and we just pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and went to work and made something of ourselves!" No matter what I said......Like, "Well, you were Male and White and had options that African American's or Women had...He didn't want to hear it. He thought he was integrated because he had black friends...and that is what he would say, "My black friend...." I don't think I ever heard him say, "My white friend....." He didn't get it. Or maybe he couldn't. I think there were 2 things that made me the angriest. When my grandparents were getting ready to buy a house in FL, the town they picked was Steinhatchee. Why? Because the only black people were the one's who delivered stuff to town and left. WTF? Seriously? How could you live in such a place. The second was more mind blowing to me than that. When Gillian was 3, I took her to Springfield TN to visit my cousin. She and her husband owned an antique shop at first. Springfield is about a half hour north of Nashville. She proceeded to show me around town and then pointed out all the sites winding up in the "black" section of town. Yes, according to her, the blacks knew where to live and didn't live outside their area. WHAT? But I think the thing that stunned me the most was when we were in line at a grocery store and a black person moved out of line and let us go in front of him. I thought he was just being kind and mentioned this to my cousin afterwards and she just said, "Black people around here know better, whites go first" Again,.....WTF? My cousin really wanted me to move down there but no way was my daughter going to grow up in that kind of atmosphere.....I can't imagine it's gotten any better. So, so sad.

I had the awesome chance to work at an agency back in 2000-2002 where I was 1 of 3 white people who worked at an almsot all African American agency. It was strange at first, but it gave me a clue as to how it felt for someone who might be AA coming to work just about anywhere else. I laid low and learned more than I ever have. I learned that we didn't start the day until we ate breakfast. There was a woman who cooked every morning. Grits, eggs, toast, etc...and we had out morning meeting over breakdfast. Nothing was really timed. Home visits were done to other AA families but there were no set times. And they were accepted into AA homes much more readily than I was, no suprise there. But as time went on, the neighborhood knew who I was and I was accepted. I didn't have fear walking on the West Side (although Cheryl was) and never managed to get shot at. It was the best learning experience I have ever had.

So, this is long and I am ready to take a nap. Thanks for pulling up a chair and reading. Any questions?


Thursday, January 14, 2010

The BIG meetup!

As I alluded to in my Facebook status, Gillian and I are traveling to NYC next weekend to meet her sperm donor. Never in a million years would I have ever thought that we would even know who he is, let alone have the chance to meet him!

It all started when I contacted the Sperm Bank last year when she was so sick and wanting more medical infomation on her donor. They said that he actually wanted to be known to any of his off spring should they want to meet him. Lots of talks led to me sending a release to the Bank and then we got his name, e-mail address and we contacted him. I felt him out and thought he sounded like a nice guy. Has some books he's written, big time into holistic health and has traveled extensively regarding this issue. Also is a psychotherapist and acupuncturist. Since Gillian is going to be 18 this year, I gave her his e-mail address so that they could have whatever conversation they wanted. A few months ago we decided that we would meet. It's just going to be Gillian and I, as Cheryl is staying home with Katie. Don't need to confuse the 6 year old, who incidentally has a different donor than she does.

So, his name as you might know from Gillian's status, is Mitchell and we are taking the train to NYC next weekend to meet him. We are actually staying with him since it's so expensive to stay in Manhattan. I am nervous, excited and just wondering who this person is that is the other half of my daughter's genetics.....


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No readers?

According to SiteMeter, where I keep my stats, no one is reading me as of now. My first reaction was to quit blogging and then my second was, hey, if no one is reading, then I can just let it all hang loose. I started this blog to journal my family's life, not thrill readers! So....

Gillian - is anxiously awaiting college letters to come. She has convinced herself that she is only going to get rejection letters, but I have a feeling that she will get accepted to all the schools that she applied to. She is so much like me. With the dramatic flair and all! I know that she is going to get into Smith and that she will end up going there. It is the perfect school for her. Oh! She up and she's in a bad mood folks! I can see where this day is going! Must be the bad mood bug going around...Katie woke up crying this morning too.

Katie - Continues to be very active in groups. She was waitlisted for swimming and is sitting this one out. She finally makes it to the next level and we have to start all over again in waiting to get her into a class. I hate that. She worked so hard. We are supposed to be taking her to the pool and actually getting in the water with her and start teaching her the skills. Well, I can't swim because of my pain patches and Cheryl is just too darn tired. Katie is really active in Girl Scouts too. It's cookie selling time. So, she is busy selling cookies and going to meeting which her leaders make really interesting. She is dealing with a bully in her class. It breaks my heart when she comes home and says the mean things this girl has been saying. I called the teacher because it's starting to get out of hand. And in 1st grade! I can't believe that I have another 11 years of this to go through again. Katie told me that they keep asking her in school....which one of your mother's is the Dad in your family. Nothing like trying to cram a family back into the mold eh? I asked her what she said and she said, "Mama". I knew she would!

Cheryl - Still working at Upstate and listening to me moan about wanting to move south. As in Southern PA/Northern MD. I can't stomach living in VA with their laws and all, although as a state I think it's pretty and wouldn't mind living there. But I think our second parent adoption would be null and void. Anyway, I keep asking her to try and find a job say in Key West, but she just has this thing about staying put.

And ME! I am still struggling with being disabled. I slept most of the day yesterday and really needed it. But then of course I feel guilty. I have sewing to do ya know? I have to exercise ya know....I have all these things that I have to do and I have no energy. I think I was a bear in a former life. Crawled into a cave and slept all winter and then roamed for food and ate all summer. Maybe we could learn something from the bears! All in all, other than the daily major pain I am my joints are involved, I am doing. I guess that is all I can say. I am doing.


Monday, January 11, 2010

Losing weight!

According to the Wii, I have lost 4 pounds. That was since it last weighed me 128 days ago, but recently I was at 124 and am down to 197! That is 7 pounds since the last time I was weighed at the MD last month! I am doing a happy dance and have to think that my decision to stop drinking soda and work out with the Wii has helped. I did some yoga today, but that really bothered my back. I did some work on my balancing and that seemed to be where I needed to be today. I am going to try and get to the Y tomorrow and walk the treadmill. I just have to remember to take it easy or I will pay for it later.

Cheryl and I talked and we agreed that I can't go into this with wanting to lose weight, but rather to be healthier. And that is what I really want. To be healthier. I am only going to gain weight back and be angry that I am depriving myself. Whoever gave me the tip to drink seltzer with flavor in it was a genius! That has worked for me really well.

So, I will be posting a lot about my journey to health. Last night our Sacred Circle met and had great discussion. I have some interesting home work to do for that for next month and I am really going to love it. I love going there. It's really a great group of women that I feel I have bonded to really well. I can talk with them about anything!

So, check back often for more updates. I am heading off to the sewing room to start working on Katie's sit upon for Girl Scouts. Shouldn't take me too long and with the new CD/Ipod player that Cheryl bought me for Christmas that plays excellently. I love the music coming out of there and when you play your Ipod on Shuffle you never know what you are going to hear!

I am still reading the Maximum Ride books by James Patterson. I am on The Final Warning. They are a great short read, more for teens, but I really like them. I have one more after this one and then a new one comes out in March. I need to make a dent on my piles upstairs. Too many books, too little time!

Till tomorrow!


Sunday, January 10, 2010

The every other day blog?

Maybe that is what I should name this? I hurt my arm/shoulder being on Facebook so much Thursday and Friday and I couldn't really sit on the computer yesterday. But I am doing Wii when I can't get to the gym, which is most days because it's warmer in the house than outside. Oh well, at least I am moving. And NO SODA! Still. I stared at it longingly today at Target but only for about 2 seconds. Then I moved on.

We are having some wonderful convo's on FB. It's been a blast from the past and sad. Sad that so many of us felt so left out. We could have been a clic all to ourselves. It's weird how it's a level playing field when you are on FB!

Church was wonderful today. Katie was acolyte and didn't light the pastor's hair on fire! All was good. My good friend Dorothy did the children's story and it was a great on about not keeping mad and hate in your heart. Some of the adults we actually talking about it afterwards.

I love singing in choir. I really, really do. The only thing I don't like is that I have to go out in the freezing cold. Why does it have to be so cold? Today we are off to my niece's birthday party and then I quick stop at home to eat and then out to Sacred Circle tonight. Now that is one group that I NEVER miss because of the cold or anything else for that matter. It's the group that gets me through the week and month!

Back to school for the girls tomorrow. Well for Katie. Gillian has been sick with a sore throat and fever, so we might be heading to the MD to check for strep. That is, if she still is sick. I haven't seen her all weekend since she pretty much stay's at her girlfriend's house all weekend and her phone died. She's almost 18, so I figure that if she needs me, she knows how to get ahold of me!

Talk with you all tomorrow. I might actually have something worth posting to post!


Friday, January 08, 2010

Painful High School experiences

I started a post yesterday on FB about high school and not fitting in. I think it got up to about 80 posts from other people who felt the same way. Today, it's morphed into being bullied in school. WHAT THE FUCK people? Seriously, why did it have to be that way? I also confronted one of the twins that used to assault me on the way home from school only to have her say that she has no idea of who I am and that I must have her mixed up with someone else from school. No way missy. You know what you and your sister did to me day in and day out. Shame on you. Stand up and say you're sorry for what you did. Own it. And explain why? What was it about me that you felt gave you the right to beat the hell out of me? I swear to God that I will never let my children be bullied. I know Gillian gets some of it in school and I try to stand up as much as I can. And teachers....what about them? Do they seriously sit with their heads up their asses and not do anything? Apparantly. Although I do know some teachers who go out of their way to help others. I luckily had a 9th grade music teacher who made me feel as though I was at least a human being. The rest....I don't think they gave a rat's ass if I was there or not. I did have one Home Ed teacher in HS that I felt cared, but even she saw it just as a job I think,

I am riled up. I am supposed to start this damn fitness plan today and haven't even made it to the gym yet! It's cold outside and I don't want to go. Why did I have to go and post on FB that I was turning over a new leaf? It's too cold!


Thursday, January 07, 2010


I forgot one day! But I have been immersed in this site I found, You can put your name in there and everything that was in the paper about you will come up. So just to make it easy, for those of you who want to see what I looked like when I was a teen and what I wrote, my name was Wendy Knafelc. It's a gas I tell ya. I never even remembered that I was on the journalism committee. It brought back a lot of memories. Of course I scanned it to make sure there was nothing incriminating in there and we are all clear on that!

Our school had it's own page in the Messenger, which is what the paper our town had was called. And I was reading a page in it and there was a poem there that I could have sworn I had heard before. I go up and look at the author and it was me! Talking about how I had to leave for college, leaving my 30+ year old lover (abuser) behind. Of course I know this, but you have to read between the lines to get the whole story. I am sure that no one knew when I was in high school that a 33 year old woman was bedding (abusing) me! Especially when I told everyone that she was my guardian. Ewwww and UGH! So glad to leave those days behind. All the back biting and back stabbing...well hey, that still happens today doesn't it? Oh well, somethings never change.

Check me out when I was a teen though. Some of the words that I spoke I wouldn't change in a million years!


Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Feeling like a mouse.....

Running in a wheel. Well, until today when I actually had a chance to sit and have some grown up conversation. I took Grandma to get her hair done and while I was waiting, I decided to go and visit my friend Val and her husband Lee and their new baby Sophia! Tyler was in school or I would have played with him too. We had some nice conversation and before I knew it, it was time to go back and get Grandma. And now, it's almost 2PM and almost time for Katie to come home from school and then she gets to go and visit her Grandma while I go and run Gillian to the LGBTQ center you get the visual...running, running, running.....

It's really OK. It's what I signed up for. I am going to go and grab a few minutes of reading before Katie gets home. I am immersed in these Maximum Ride books, oddly enough.

And over New Years Eve talk, it became known to me that R. Crumb has a great illustrated book on Genesis. I went to Barnes and Noble to get it but they didn't have it so I came home and ordered it with the GC MIL gave me for Christmas. I almost forgot about my B&N membership which knocked $5 off the cost! I still have half the GC left. Me and my books!


Monday, January 04, 2010

Travel Fever....

I have been watching the Travel Channel a lot lately and love it. There was a great show on water parks this morning, but damm, I love that Samantha Brown. Not only is she easy on the eyes, but she visits some great places. And you actually feel as though you might be there. Today I went to Prague! It was so cool. Yesterday they did a whole cruise show on her. I especially loved the one where she cruised the mediterannian. I would love to do that! never know!

The kids are back to school today. I miss them. Gillian is worried now about what college's she's going to get into, but I'm not. She'll get into the one that is right for her. Please Smith, accept her and give us a great package. She's a great kid and would do your school proud! Now it's just a waiting game....and anxiety mounts as well. She needs to get a job too, but hasn't been able to. It's one of those times when you want to make things all better for them, but you just have to let them go through it.

Katie didn't want to go back to school today. I think she is bored. But, she went and I am sure will come home with a smile.

Well, I am off to sew for a few while I am waiting for Kate to get off the bus. I think I might start a skirt with charm squares for Katie. And I still have to head out to Joanne's to get the fabric to finish her class quilt! I will post pictures when I have them!

And if you have some extra love, please throw it my friend Casey and Judy's way? They are both going through a tough time.


Talk at you tomorrow!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Getting there

I am feeling better today. Actually out of bed and drinking Ginger Ale. I haven't ventured into eating anything yet. And the SNOW! UGH and double UGH! It hasn't stopped snowing here in days and right now, our deck is half full of snow. It's light and fluffy, which is good, but even if I wanted to leave, I would have to dig out my car and I don't want to do that.

I didn't even go to church this morning. I am sad that I missed it, but really needed the rest. Next week we get back to our regular routine and I am looking forward to that.

Oh, and we have a new Wii game, bought from our friend Abby! It's Outdoor Challenge and I am sure when I am up and running we'll be playing it!

Talk at ya soon!


Saturday, January 02, 2010


I paid for having a nice day yesterday by spending most of the day either in bed or the bathroom. It was supposed to be Cheryl's day off, but she got stuck shuttling Katie back and forth to all her activities.

I hate days like these. I wish I could have day's like yesterday more often.

Back to bed I go. More tomorrow if I am feeling better.


Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year!

I can't say that last year was a bad year. I think it was a normal year. I think we always hope that the next one is going to be better, but then when we get to the end of the year, we realize that it was a normal year. There are some up's and some down's. Sometimes there are more than the other.

We rang in the New Year with some friends from church. Much good food and laughter was had and it was the first time in a long time that I have been up until Midnight! Katie actually made it too! Thank you to the Bolands for the invite!

I am living up to my promise to blog daily. Right now Cheryl is outside with Katie playing in the snow while I sit in the warm house watching a show on ghosts. Tomorrow will be a busy day with Katie having much to do. We don't see Gillian much on the weekends anymore. Another moving out of the nest!

I look forward to checking in with you all tomorrow. Katie has 2 birthday parties and a Girl Scout event, so it's going to be a busy day.