Thursday, September 29, 2011

Boxed in By Crazy Dogs

Barney's Birthday Bash. James was a bit disgruntled, his options this particular Saturday were to go to the Barney show or to go quilt shopping with Mommy

Barney and all his friends

Nothing like a good loaf of "butt bread" to start off a cozy weekend. This didn't turn out quite like I thought it would

When I went for a run or walk in India, 95% of the time I would finish with really high blood pressure.  Mainly because I feared the dogs, monkeys, cows, etc. that shared the road with me.  I remember thinking to myself that I looked forward to being able to go for a run in the States without fear.  Well, this week all my animal fears came rushing back. 

Incident number one.  It is really quite dark out at 6:15 a.m. in the morning here in Northern Minnesota.  I was starting a run and, not even out of my parent’s driveway yet, I heard a very loud and daunting huffing/snorting noise from the woods, like five feet away.  Needless to say, I bolted back to the house, and my fear kept me in my parent’s yard, running laps.  Can you believe what a chicken I was?  I knew it was a deer, there are tracks galore, but logic did not win out - irrational fear did. 

Second incident took place on Saturday morning.  Again, going for a run.  About 11:00 a.m., total daylight.  Now, let me back up a bit to India.  There was a very specific time, on a run, that I got myself boxed in by crazy dogs on one side and crazy monkeys on the other.  I chose monkeys, and ran my hardest under the trees where they lurked.  Blood pressure sky high.  Okay, back to present day.  Saturday morning, quaint dirt road on a beautiful fall day.  I came upon two dogs... I stayed calm, slowed down, got by them.  Whew.  Jogging on, came up four dogs.  Four I say.  Still, two behind me.  I totally panicked.  And a mail car passed me just then.  I started waving my hands and shouting out, “Excuse Me!  Hello!  Excuse Me, Hello!” - got his attention, so I ran up to his car.  Note: mail driver was about 20 years old, with loads of tattoos and piercings. (I am all about loads of tattoos and piercings, it just kind of makes the story that much more ridiculous.)  So, I said to him, “I am like crazy scared of dogs (I am panting and sweating mind you), umm, could you like follow my out to the main highway until I know the dogs are not going to chomp me to pieces?”  I have no pride people.  Gone.  Done.  The guy was great and said sure.  So, there I went and he followed me for a good half a mile until I was safely on the road.  He then proceeded to follow me some more, and double back once, and I thought, “Great, I got past the dogs, but now I am going to be kidnapped...”  Alas, I kept on running, mail guy continued on his route and I went back  to the house, with sky high blood pressure. 

My quaint Saturday morning running route, dogs and all

I know that was a totally long story, but I just had to share it.  It is often good for me that some of the hard things that were in India for us did not just stay in India.  They came with us.  And they are still here for us to work through.  So as to not “blame” India, but know that it’s more about me and my own silliness to work through.

Last week I mentioned my dad’s health and that he was going to be “back to his own foxy self in no time”.  Well, the foxy self will be a bit delayed, but will come in time.  After going down to Mayo Clinic last week to check on a few things after his stroke, we found out that he needs open heart surgery.  So, on Friday, my very brave Dad is going to get his chest “cracked-open” as he likes to say.  And my very brave Mom will be right there with him.  And their daughter too. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

A New Week Has Arrived

Jovie's first day of ECFE with mommy
A gorgeous view of Lake Bemidji
Weekend chores - sweeping pine needles off the roof 
I was asking the kids tonight at dinner, which I lovingly prepared, what was the most surprising moment of their day.  Very quickly James fires off, “The most surprising moment of my day is that this dinner actually tasted good.”  Well, I asked didn’t I? What was the most surprising moment of your day?
The most frequented place I go these days is the grocery store.  The second is the dentist.  They just love my teeth so much that they cannot get enough of them.  Or... I had three cavities and a wisdom tooth that needed to be pulled.  You choose the correct answer.  Anyway, I was sitting in the dentist’s chair last Wednesday and I was letting him know to be careful of my canker sore that is the size of Detroit.  And as he saw it he asked, “Are you stressed out or something?”  And I awkwardly said, as his hands were in my mouth, “Well, my dad had a stroke a few days back, my husband’s been out of town working hard to find a job, and my daughter is going to have her tonsils and adenoids out tomorrow...”  I really didn’t mean to say it all, but I just did.  I felt like my canker sore deserved a minor applause.  So, it’s been a bit of a 10 days.  But it’s Monday.  A new day.  A new week has arrived and I say, Go Team!  

Sydney and I had quite the fun night in the hospital sharing the bed
So, backing up a bit, my poor dad had a stroke.  I will not give a doctor’s report, but he is rapidly improving and will be back to his normal, foxy self in no time.  But while walking alongside his trauma and my parent’s stress of his unknown health issues, I was pretty grateful to be around, to be able to hear real-time updates, to run and get him that sandwich he was craving, to be able to intercept all the phone calls of people wanting to know the latest, to be told a number of times by family and friends “if there is anything we can do, just ask”, to bring his four grandkids in a couple times to let them ask a 101 questions about the hospital room, and then to celebrate when he was able to to come home from the hospital.  I say, Go Dad!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


The Palm Six, Living in Bemidji

I just made a really yum scrum peach and blueberry cobbler.  I’ve been dreaming of peaches for two plus years.  Crates of peaches are being sold in a beat up van that sits in the parking lot right next to my parent’s shop.  The same guy, the same beat up van, not the same peaches (but similar tasting peaches), the same parking lot, for as long as I can remember.  I love the steady-on practices that unfold in the midst of our transition.

It seems appropriate for some reason to blog today.  First day of school, I guess.  Ani, James and Sydney all made their way into Schoolcraft Learning Community.  It’s a charter school out by my parent’s house.  Nothing, other than lakes and woods, are out by my folks - except Concordia Language Villages. Which, on the property of their French Camp, houses the charter school during the school year.  We feel grateful for the five minute drive to the small school in the woods.  I thought for the last month or so that we would be out at the school that I went to as a kid, which would be a bit trippy.  But this opportunity came along, and noodlie-doodlie, to Schoolcraft we go.

I’ve only been away from Bemidji for 15 years, but coming back as a resident-in-limbo does catch me off guard sometimes.  Okay, most days.  Today, I was grocery shopping at the same grocery store that my family has shopped at for ages, and I ran into the mom of a friend that I grew up with.  Barb was the first stay at home mom that I ever knew.  And back in the day, stay at home mom’s were a bit rare.  I kind of had a moment in the grocery store today - not having any clue when I was snatching cookies out of her freezer 25 years ago that I would be a stay at home mom as well.  Or, in both Ani and James’ classes, they have buddies that are the sons and daughters of good friends of mine that I grew up with.  Or, Jayson and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary by going canoeing of Lake Bemidji, a lake that I played on since I was a kid.  The contrast of coming back from India, a place that was so foreign to us, to place that was my home for all of my growing up years, is all a bit foreboding.  

I’ve been making photo albums of our time in India for each of the kids.  I do not hesitate to tell you that I have weeped with every child as I look back on who they were when we first boarded the plane to who they are now.  I have been kind of avoiding the task of the needed photo albums, in part because I am rubbish at making photo albums, in part because I emotionally could not muster the energy to pick out 20 pages of pics that best describe each child’s life.  But here I am, both cursing my horrific inabilities and sniffling through the process.  Three and half down, and the other half of Jovie’s will be done in the coming nights. 

First Days in India for The Palm Six

Jayson heads down to Minneapolis tomorrow for the rest of the week.  His goal is to be down three days a week, every week for the month of September.  70% of jobs are found through networking, so noodlie-doolie, to networking we go.  He’s really been hard at it for the last two months.  Every month is ramped up another notch.  We still stand with hope and courage that a job is just around the corner.  Most days we stand that way, it would be untrue of me to not tell you I do have my moments of slum-bummin’ it, that’s for sure.  The peach and blueberry cobbler tastes that much sweeter in those moments, which I am grateful for.

On a separate, side note, thanks to all of you for your cheers for me to keep on writing.  Along with the comments on the blog, I also got a nice round of fun emails from you all.  Thank you, thank you.  That was not my intent in posing that question to you all, but thanks nonetheless.  I am going to keep on blogging.  But a few changes will happen.  We are not going to keep on emailing you when I have a new post.  There are about 400 people that read the blog and only 40 plus that are signed up through the blog to automatically receive it.  So, Jayson is going to type out below about how to subscribe to the blog, so you can receive an email through the blogging service when I do blog.  I think I will shorten my blogs as well, try to keep them weekly again, and I have no idea what I am going to write about, but I do want to write, so noodlie-doodlie, to writing I go.


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