Monthly Archives: March 2013

Five on Good Friday

I’ve been anchoring the couch this afternoon with a blanket, frequent doses of Emergen-C and the occasional Cadbury Egg (for medicinal purposes, you understand) trying to keep the sniffles at bay.

I’m hoping to have nipped it in the bud, Andy, before it turns into A Thing.  Maybe a peanut butter egg might be a good little extra bit of insurance. 

It’s been a full week and the increased activity (and the sun finally breaking through the clouds) has boosted my spirits.  Here’s a peek at what we did and why this, indeed, is a good Friday:

1.  Spent some time in the craft room.

I  found some cute potholders on Pinterest that looked like a fun sewing project that wouldn’t take six months to complete.  Heather came over for lunch on Wednesday and talked me through some ideas for how to recreate them.  I didn’t have the rickrack to make them exactly like the inspiration pic but was generally pleased with how the first one turned out.

photo (132)

Okay, so it looked more like an oversized coaster than a potholder, but YOU GET THE IDEA.

2.  Spent some time at Ace Hardware.

The boys built a project in the middle of the den with the help of their daddy.

photo (130)


photo (131)

It’s a marshmallow shooter which means they now join Legos, Nerf darts, and Airsoft ammo on the List Of Things On The Floor That Vex Mom Greatly.

3.  Didn’t spend time in the hospital.

I was at BJ’s this morning and found this sign stating that our brand of tuna was recalled.

photo (129)

And it’s good that I found it AFTER we’d already consumed the entire lot so I didn’t have to spend time digging through old receipts for a refund.


4.  Learned new methods by which to parent.

I couldn’t be in two places at once so I asked Tommy to watch Travis for me on Wednesday while I took JJ to an orthodontist appointment.  The appointment ran much, much longer than anticipated and I knew Travis would be needing some help going to the bathroom before we could get back home.   I tried calling the house phone repeatedly but I couldn’t get an answer.  I didn’t panic, though, because I knew that Tommy would be exactly where I left him, with earbuds plugging out any sound,  obliviously playing Minecraft at the kitchen table approximately thirty feet away from where Travis was obliviously playing Wii.

Hailing Tommy was clearly not going to happen so I tried a different angle and texted Travis in an attempt to have him stop what he was doing, take his iPod to Tommy, and deliver the message.

photo (2)

And learned that T is really great at typing ‘Yes!” and completely ignoring any other instructions. That experiment failed but I learned that T has developed an epic bladder capacity because he was able to wait until I got home.


photo (1)

5.  Enjoyed a few smiles.

Therapy has resumed and it’s going well.  T was able to do some standing and put some weight on his leg without too much difficulty and Jen, his therapist, is very pleased with how willing he is to do what she asks him to do.  She says he’s her very best kid.

photo (134)

Can I tell you how much we love her? She’s just an incredibly funny, warm, patient, caring person and Travis has developed a real friendship with her.  It’s a blessing to hang out with her twice a week and to see Travis laugh and have some fun while he’s getting stronger.

photo (133)

A good Friday, indeed.

Have a nice day.


We’ve had a smooth transition home from the hospital and have settled into the new care routine which looks a lot like the old care routine except with many more bathroom breaks for T (so the leg immobilizer doesn’t accidentally get … Continue reading

Hanging with Mr. Cooper

We’re out of surgery and recovery and into a very pink room on the bone marrow transplant floor which is the only place they had an empty bed.

He ended up not getting a cast, just a leg immobilizer which he will wear constantly for the next few weeks. Current plans are to resume weight bearing next week and then start range of motion therapy in three weeks.

Other than some incision pain, Travis is doing well right now and plans on spending the afternoon watching Nickelodeon, drinking apple juice, and complaining about the loud air conditioner.

Thank you for your prayers. We’ll be home tomorrow.

Have a nice day!

Five on Friday

It has been a sweet week in my little corner of the world, filled with special moments and reminders and lessons.  A few thoughts:

1. Peace abounds when others walk beside you.

We’re preparing for Travis’ surgery on Monday.

As in, three days from now.

I don’t know if it’s because of his excitement (who knew that drinking Sprite in a bed that moves up and down was all that and a bag of chips?), the relative simplicity of the procedure in comparison to what he’s had done before, or the prayers of so many on our behalf, but we are not anxious in the least.

photo (120)

Both Travis and I found prayergrams in the mailbox yesterday from the Prayer Room at my home church and it was so encouraging to see how God has answered their supplication for peace and comfort for Travis as he prepares for another season of pain, healing and recovery.

I’ve been on the receiving end of these sweet notes for many years and in different circumstances.  They are all so precious to me, and many are tucked into a folder in the bottom drawer of my file cabinet so that I can pull them out and read them again.  The card I’m holding in the picture is going in the file this morning.  Written by Ms. Nelda, a long-time family friend who watched a young Susie grow up and make her way in the world, it will be clipped to another card, saved now for almost ten years, sent by her husband, Mr. Hugh, another mighty prayer warrior on behalf of my family.

There’s something so grounding about having adults in your life who stick with you, through thick and thin, always exhorting and supporting you in the good times and the rough ones. I pray that my kids will have their own Ms. Nelda and Mr. Hugh to encourage them as they blaze their own trail.  

2.  Take time to listen.

Lately I’ve been sensitive to the fact that I talk about my problems, my projects, my ideas, me, me, me, my, my, my ALL THE TIME and that maybe I should just shut up for a minute and listen.  And you know what?  It was a blessing.  For one, it blessed others by allowing them to get a word in edgewise, and for two, it deepened some friendships with precious people God has placed in my life.

And when you’re not talking, it gives you time to drink the brown sugar and cinnamon latte while it’s still hot.

photo (114)

3.  The back road many times is better than the highway.

I meandered my way through JJ’s quilt project and finally completed it.  I spent the better part of Monday and Tuesday finishing the binding.  It can be done on a sewing machine but I prefer to do it by hand because by the time I finish the quilting part, I am ready to chuck the machine through the nearest window and it’s just better if we part ways for a little while.

photo (118)

It takes several hours and much needle re-threading to get it done but the weather earlier this week was sunny and beautiful so I sat on the front porch and listened to music and waved to the neighbors and slowly, steadily made progress.

photo (117) photo (116)

Seeing a happy boy curl up on the couch with the world’s ugliest quilt makes all the hours worth the effort.

4. Life stops for the ACC Tournament.

This part of the country has an embarrassment of riches for college basketball lovers, and I am one.  No, I don’t keep up with stats and recruits and all the blah de blah blah but I love the game, especially when it comes to tournament time.  This town shuts DOWN for the ACC tournament and radios and televisions everywhere are tuned to the feed from the Greensboro Coliseum as our respective teams battle it out.  You can’t walk around the grocery store without hearing people on their cell phones talking about particular games, and I was accosted the minute I walked into T’s therapy room for the score from the State game.

It’s a happy time to be fan.

5.  The enemy of the good is the perfect.

Which is my way of saying ” I don’t have a fifth thing for today so I’ll just make something up to fill this so I don’t have to sit here for another twenty minutes trying to come up with something witty.”

Have a nice day.

Monday Musings

Good morning, world. I’m on the third cup of coffee and feeling pretty zippy this morning.  The sun is shining, the birds (and squirrels) are enjoying the new bird feeder I hung over the weekend, and my husband is home all week long.  There is much for which to be thankful today.

We’ve had an eventful few days.  Travis got to skip school on Friday because he had a couple of appointments in preparation for his upcoming surgery.  Clearly, he was upset about missing out on all the learnin’.

photo (111)

Our first appointment was with the orthotist who fit him for his new braces.  They are bigger and wider than his old ones; I could tell just by looking at them that his calf muscles have started to fill out.  Of all the boys, he’ll probably have the smallest feet, but the largest shoes.  We had to buy 14 4Es to fit over his braces and when we first tried them on at the New Balance store, he gave me this “Woman, you’re crazy if you think I’m going to be able to take a step in these big lunkers” look and told me they were too big.

Oh, I’m crazy all right. This will make the third person in the family who has size 14s.  I can’t take a step in any direction without tripping over someone’s FrankenFeet.  

After the shoe store we headed up to “P Duke” for his pre-op appointment.  We’ve been going to Duke to see various doctors for years now and Travis has his own descriptive terms for the different buildings he visits.  His favorite by far is P Duke, which most people would call the Children’s Health Center but he has his own special name for it he uses and it only took us three years to figure out how he came up with it.

Yep, the P is for the parking garage right across the street.  And there you have it.

photo (110)

We saw two nurses and a child-life specialist, confirmed the details of the surgery, received the scrubbing supplies and instructions for his pre-surgical bath, and, even though it was just a mere 7 months ago that we were there, took another tour of the surgical preop and recovery rooms.  At each point along the way, T collected stickers, stickers, and more stickers that he enjoyed taking pictures of with my phone because his iPod ran out of batteries.

photo (109)

And when he ran out of room on his leg, he switched to his hands.

photo (108)


And when he got bored with waiting, he took pictures of his mother who was also bored with waiting and ready to get the heck out of Dodge.

photo (107)

Assuming he stays healthy and fever free, we were officially declared “all systems go” for March 18 so we came home and ate ice cream and frantically picked up the house to be ready for Craig’s return from California.

Saturday was a shopping day because now that Craig was back it was time to restock the deli meats in the house.  I do not understand this man’s love of the sandwich but it apparently runs deep.

photo (106)

Then Saturday night we ran Tommy over to his friend’s birthday/bar mitzvah party and I will have to say I was a little misty to see a sharp-dressed man-child go out the door.

photo (105)

Yes, I’m a little haggard.  We need to train Craig on how to use light to my advantage.

Tommy thoroughly enjoyed the event and told me all about the games they played but his favorite one was called “Mafia” and apparently it involved wearing fedoras and running around trying to kill each other and then he showed me a picture of the boys playing the game and it looks like they basically stole the  Jewish black hats that had been worn to the religious service, so, I offer my heartfelt apologies if the Baptist kid was culturally insensitive.

Sunday was church and the first really warm, sunny day in weeks.  We broke out the shorts and t-shirts and Craig let the boys earn a little spending money by washing the cars.  I don’t know if he taught them proper technique or if they taught him proper patience in the ordeal; all I know is I can now open the car door without a thousand fast food wrappers flying out.

photo (103) photo (104)

Craig and I got to spend some time hanging out together Sunday night while the kids were at youth group and we took full advantage by going to Taco Bell a fancy restaurant and then strolled hand in hand at Big Lots an upscale boutique and found a gourmet treat that was the perfect sweet ending to our evening together.

photo (113)

I am almost ashamed to admit that I did a little happy dance in the aisles because I had abandoned all hope of finding them on the East coast and let’s not even talk about how they were issued last summer in anticipation of football season and yet, months later, were still well within the expiration date.

Yes, an eventful weekend, indeed.  Go Hogs! And Happy Monday!

Have  a nice day.

In which I have no news to report

I’ve been running a quart low this week. Between the cold weather and the sniffles, I haven’t had a lot of energy to spare except for rallying to meet Heather at Hancock Fabrics to “help” pick out black felt for a project she was doing. After the six seconds it took us to locate said felt, we were free to move about the store and talk about all the things we could do if we were disciplined enough to follow through on all our good intentions.

photo (102)

She bought supplies for a REAL project – you know, clothes that people can actually wear in public – and I bought some vintagey-looking material for another quilt because I haven’t finished the latest one and don’t deal well with closure.

Later that day Heather sent me this ridiculously hard pattern she suggested I use and this is why I love her so because she believes in me  lies to me and makes me feel marginally confident in the face of complete and utter lack of skill.  

Yesterday I spent most of the day in the kitchen making chicken vegetable soup that was serviceable but didn’t quite turn out like I wanted and some oatmeal raisin cookies.  The cookies were a serious error in judgement because I KNOW my people do not like them and now I have to eat them all by myself.

Which I did for breakfast because they’re healthy and whole grain.

“I need another vacation to in which I have to be in a swimsuit because right now there is zero motivation for self-control”,  she said as she put whipping cream in her coffee because she was out of half and half.

No big plans for the rest of the week except for therapy, doctor appointments, and shopping.  Tommy has been invited to a bar mitzvah on Saturday and his friend told him he needs to dress up like he’s going to church.  Seeing as most Sundays I have to turn the boys around at the bottom of the stairs to change (sweatpants and skull-and-crossbones are better suited for weekdays, don’t you think?), that means we need to hit the mall.  He doesn’t have a navy blazer and he could use a pair of khakis that don’t fit him like capris.  It makes me just a little wistful that my boys are getting old enough to go to events where jackets are required. I know they’re excited about growing up and experiencing new things but that means my daily experience with them is rapidly coming to an end and see above re: closure.


I need another cookie.

Have a nice day.






Monday Musings

I’m hoping this week is a little less homebound and a lot more healthy than last week. Travis came home early with a bad cold on Tuesday and spent Wednesday and Thursday on the couch in a miserable, hacking state. He went back to school on Friday and I’d hoped to get out and run some errands but our built-in microwave finally, officially, died and the trim guy said he could get out Friday morning and install the new one (it was bigger and necessitated some cabinetry cutting) and since heating leftovers is a pretty critical part in the running of this house, I sacrificed a trip to Jo-Ann Fabric/Starbucks/anywhere but these four walls my important plans to stay home and meet him.

Turns out it was a good thing he came because the smell of fresh cut wood sawed from the cabinet facing went a long way towards masking the general household stench from the night before when the glaze from the ginormous ham that I’d placed in the too-small pan boiled out all over the floor of the oven and poured black billowing smoke all through the kitchen.     

Yeah, it was a week.  

All that to say that I didn’t get much of anything accomplished except for almost catching the house on fire and catching Travis’ cold and I’m hoping it doesn’t get super bad and waylay me for I intend to accomplish great and mighty things this week, the first of which is to finish the quilt that I promised JJ over a year ago. It took him only six seconds to pick out the fabric (which I would never have chosen but it’s not my quilt and I’ve given up control for Lent) and yet I’ve draagggggged my feet getting it pieced because while there is nothing better than snuggling under a warm blanket, there is nothing worse than making it.

Oh, I kid.

A little.

The inspiration fairy lit a fire under me yesterday afternoon and I wandered into the craft room and promptly got sidetracked by the mounds of fall (!) and Christmas (!) decorations that I’d randomly stacked on the floor and shelves to deal with later so there was a slight delay in getting the project underway while sorting and storing took place.  Then I pulled the sewing table to the middle of the room in front of the TV, popped in a movie and started working on J’s quilt that had languished in a corner for far too long.

photo (101)

It was a lot more fun to tediously pin and sew while Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth fell in love in the background but I have to confess that I ripped out more than one seam and started over because I was a little too entranced with the big screen to notice that I’d not put right sides together and thus was born the new rule that all movies must be placed on pause when reaching critical junctures in a project so as to avoid starting all over again.

I made a lot of progress by the time they got married and would have pressed “Play” a second time and kept going but the children were hollerin’ about important things like supper so I closed up shop for the evening with plans to get back at it this morning right after I heat up a cup of coffee in the now functioning microwave.

I hope your weekend was equally delightful.


Have a nice day.