Friday, May 31, 2013

Hitchin' Post

When I first came home from the hospital I didn't feel like doing much of anything, but as the weeks (make that seven of 'em) passed I started getting a case of cabin fever.  I knew my forays into the real world couldn't continue to consist of a weekly visit to the doctor followed by an early bird dinner at Luby's.

Misty captured the magic of mine and Grayzilla's birthdays! The girl is now taller than me at 11. Oy Vey!

Ahhh...Luby's!  Where medical devices are not only seen, but de riguerer when supper is served in the afternoon.  "No Dentures, No Depends, No Service."  Have I mentioned I celebrated a birthday in the middle of all this?  Yeppers...I now not only qualify for dining at Luby's at 4:00 pm, but social security.  Oy!

At some point, I had to accept the fact this albatross hanging around my neck was not a curse, but a blessing...even if it did make putting on a bra an exercise in futility.  I had to get past the idea it was embarrassing and realize it was my badge of Purple Heart.  I didn't realize it at the time, but I had dodged a bullet.  In cases like mine, a high percentage results in not one, but two surgeries. God, the Great Physician, had spared me from climbing up on  an operating table.  The why I don't know.  It's not mine to question, only to be thankful for His mercy. I was...and still am. 

 Now before any of y'all get to thinking I'm a pillar of patience/patients...let me set y'all straight.
 I DID have melt-downs.
I DID have me some killer pity parties of one.
I DID give one of my doctors the stank eye.
my daughter DID want to strangle me more than once.

This is the real stuff y'all...although the jars came to us empty. Go figure!
(Photo courtesy Give Me Props.)

With Jenn's carrot-on-a-stick help and much trepidation, I stuck my foot back in the water.  She tricked asked if I'd like to do a little ride-along on a styling/photography set-up/shoot she had in the works.  She knew my medical restrictions, but she also knew I couldn't resist a chance to flaunt my stuff.

Little girl sure knows her mama.


Jenn also knows her camera.  Her first camera was a pink Le Clic at age 8 and progressed to a 35mm while taking photography classes in college.  Me...I don't know the difference between an F-stop and pit stop, over-exposure is something I work on not doing while dancing in public, and well...we all know the problem I have with focusing.  If not...see above*!

It was a hoot watching the adults scratch their heads over the chalkboard while the kids figured it out pronto. Gotta always think young y'all.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)

Jenn has slowly been building her business Give Me Props and it's starting to take off.  Her latest project was a poolside wedding reception (more on another post) and she took me along as her rented mule...ahem...I mean assistant!

The cake cutting ceremony was fast.  Jenn had to be quick on the draw.  Butter cream icing and sunlight can...and quite possibly...render a cake into the Leaning Tower Of Pisa in a heartbeat.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props.)

I 'd be remiss if I didn't take a moment to remind y'all...
Texas + spring = hot and muggy
...even poolside.

Hillary did a fantastic job with the cake. It tasted as fabulous as it looks. This girl bakes magic! I may have to order a cake to celebrate my PICC Line removal...just 'cause I love butter cream frosting...'specially hers!
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props.)

With her vision of what she wanted to accomplish, in two days we she transformed a backyard paradise into a bucolic setting.  She managed to keep the elegance already in place while mixing in vintage props to give it country elan.  A place where champagne and moonshine could happily splash together for a sit-a-spell.

If you ever wondered why daisies are such happy you know.  90 proof can have that effect although the next day...mmm...not so much!
(Photo courtesy Give Me Props)

Everything was beautiful...including the bride.

Divine Creations by Hillary lives up to the name.  She's in the DFW area so remember her for your next event. I've been told by a taste tester her carrot and Italian cakes are 2die4!  Hmmm...wonder what her German chocolate tastes like?

Here's looking at you kid! Another great way to pickle something...or someone...with a Ball jar.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)

And me you ask?  How did I do?

I got to get gussied up, fix my hair, put on pretty, matching underwear...and enjoy life as it is supposed to be lived...smiling out loud.
There is nothing like sitting in a room celebrating a new union while visiting with folks whose collective unions span over 200 years to put a big ol' grin on my face.

Oh mylanta gorgeous...with a capital O!
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)

Can you imagine?  Think about it for a moment.

There was a time when I could wear heels like these, but nowadays it's easier to shake my tail feathers barefooted.
Surrounded by couples who have been married 40, 50, even 66 years...amazing!  Even more amazing was witnessing the passion they still had for each other after all that time.

The bride redesigned her dress to get just the perfect one for her...and she was so right to do so!  The chest...bombe', not bride's...was purchased from me years ago.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)

Little compares to remind us life is good.  We only have to pack a light suitcase, lose the heavy baggage we keep dragging around and get out there to experience it.

Note to self: Even with an albatross around my neck.

No albatrosses were harmed in the creation of this lovely bouquet.
(Photo courtesy of Give Me Props)

Thank you Jenn for making me get the hitch outta my gitalong and earn some sweat equity in my life in the process.

Medical update:
Thank y'all for all the prayers. After a 4th CT scan and two visits to my doctors, I'm in the pink and  I've been promised the PICC line will be coming out next Tuesday.  The results are looking that good.  I'll be on oral antibiotics after that for about two weeks and as my colon doctor said...we'll see what happens after that.  There is no telling which pasture this ol' grey mare will be frolicking in after she gets unhitched!

Linking to Debra's Be Inspired Fridays

Monday, May 13, 2013

Smilin' In The 'Hood

I guess y'all could tell from my previous post I don't much care for hospitals.  Beats me as to why soap operas feel the need to base their story lines on them. Personally I do not find all that green paint and stainless steel sexy in the least.  I had days to look, but couldn't find one thing to fan the flames of desire...unless you count my desire to get the heck outta Dodge.

 For the record, I didn't have a single doctor, much less an intern, try to talk me outta my non-slip socks or even think of enticing me into joining him in the supply closet.  Maybe my "come hither" look was a bit too cock-eyed for their liking or maybe it was my peek-a-boo gown that scarred scared them.  That's okay y'all 'cause I didn't care much for their...ahem...bedside manner either.  Besides, their hands were always cold and Eau de pHisoHex has never been my favorite manly scent.  I'm more of a Lava and Old Spice gal myself!

The only good thing I found in being incarcerated for a week was the time it gave me to think.  A girl can only sleep so much you know...even on pain meds.

(Did I mention I only got decaf coffee in the mornings?  Now I ask y''s a girl to get in the mood for amour du jour without caffeine? Impossible to get the ol' blood roiling when there's no Starbucks flowing in the veins!)

I've only been in the hospital for any length of time 3 times in my life.  Twice when becoming a mother and once when having my remaining chance for further motherhood removed.


Be glad I'm not doing a rant post on the cost of medical care nowadays.  I'm pretty sure my three previous stays added together wouldn't be as much as a hospital stay is now.  I wish I'd taken a photo of the sign in my room that read "We strive for very good care".  Really?  Whatever happened to excellent care? Also, what the heck is going on and why is the push for medical devices now the big deal?  It's got me wondering how the heck folks survived anything 15 years ago! But like I said...I'm not going to get on a soapbox about it...for now!  I'll just say between the insurance companies and medical product lobbyists tying the caregivers know.

   Meanwhile back at the ranch...

(Hard to believe that in two short days after this photo was taken Easter I would be sick as a dog!)

like I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, becoming a mother was two of my stays.

I was young...very young...when I had the oldest melonhead.  When I had him, I had never changed a diaper, much less even held a baby.  I thought I didn't even like children.

(Factoid: His birthday was earlier this month.  Second factoid:  Both my of my children were delivered at 10 months! Jenn to the day.)

Lying in my bed at Baylor, I remembered the first time I was left alone with him.  Me who hadn't ever held a baby...remember?  Was I scared you ask?

You betcha.  Pea green.

I sat there in a chair, him in my arms, scared as all get out to move...much less breathe...afraid I would wake him and not know what to do.  For two hours I just sat there staring at this tiny creature, my heart pounding in my ears, trying not to cry when out of the blue...he smiled.  Y'all know the smile I'm talking about.  The one the nurses call gas, but I think differently.  In my heart of hearts, I know those sweet, smirky smiles are the baby's response to angels whispering in its ear.  God knew I was terrified beyond belief and I truly believe it was His way of letting Joey reassure me, in the only way he could, it was gonna be okay and he knew I'd never hurt him, but love him with all my heart.

It was the same with the Bella Mama.  She was born green as grass due to MAS and had to stay in the NICU for a week.  My OB/GYN, God love him, finagled it to where I wasn't released until she was.  Again I was one scared mama, but for different reasons.  I had to scrub up and don hospital duds just to go in and see her.  The day I got to actually hold her?  I can't even describe the joy I felt as I smiled through the tears at the wonder of her and her resiliency.  Resiliency forged at her birth that would serve her well with the birth of Bella.  God always at work at the details...even at the beginning of life.

(For all you young mothers out there who are wondering if you can possibly love a second child as much as your can and will.  Just when you get to thinking your heart couldn't possibly love any the Grinch's, it grows 3 times with each child.  Trust me on this one.  It takes 3x's to hold all the love you feel for each and every baby and still it spills over!)

On the day we brought Jenn home, my little lucky charm was no longer the color of a four leaf clover, but was perfection in cream with strawberry hair.  My but that baby was teeny tiny at 5 pounds. So small everyone but me was scared to touch her...even her daddy.  Mother came and helped me the first week and even she was a little frightened of her so we made a deal.  She'd take care of Joey and I'd take care of Jenn.  Looking back and remembering, I know she got the short end of the stick, 'cause Oh Mylanta, he was quite the handful!

Which brings me 'round to my mother.

(Open that can Helen 'cause what's a picnic without pork and beans?)

My mother loved being in the hospital.  Raising three rambunctious kids couldn't have been a picnic.  For her, it was comparable to a trip to a spa.  No kids to deal with, all her meals served in bed.  No bathroom to clean.  Waited on hand and foot and the center of attention.  If we came to see her (which we did) fine, if not, why that was fine too.  With all the books she could read while reclining in a bed that adjusted to her whim, she was content.  What could be sweeter?

That was how she dealt with life.  She took any given situation that was thrown at her and made the best of it.  Even at the end, when finding the good seemed impossible...her heart and health deteriorating...she was still smiling.  When we said goodbye for the last time, that smile is what I remember making the unbearable bearable,.  That smile told us she knew there was a better world awaitin' and at the end of her life, she was happy with the knowledge she was loved and at peace with the life she had lived.

It's kinda like the oldest melonhead pointed out to me while I was whining lamenting my incarceration.  He reminded me of something I would tell them when they were growing up.

When life seems to cover you up in crap...start digging.  With that much crap heaped up, there's bound to be a pony in there somewhere.

Law, but I hate it when my words come back to bite me in the butt, but I listened and I started digging.
And by golly...there it little ponies.

(A beautiful immigrant bridal trunk we just bought at an estate sale. think a little ol' thing like a leash and harness is gonna keep this ol' grey mare from a good sale? Think again y'all!)

I was given time to reflect and remember precious memories.  And if that wasn't enough, to date I've lost over 20 pounds...although this is not a diet plan I'd recommend to everyone.

But the time...oh yes...that I hope you are given and if not, take it anyway.  Steal it if you have to.  I won't tell.

I hope everyone reading this had the time yesterday to remember their own precious memories of motherhood and mothering.  Write them down, frame them, carry them in your heart forever.  These are the things that will sustain you when days are dark. 

Why else would God give us the ability to forget the pain of childbirth, but remember the joy of being a big part of someone's life and they ours?  Oh and for the takes more than blood to be a mother.  It takes unconditional love for others regardless of age or circumstance.  That is mothering at it's best.

Happy Mother's Day...just a day late.

Now I think I'll go saddle up my unicorn!

~Hold her head up Ma. She's goin' to the barn!~Cat Daddy 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

IV Pole Dancing

My time flies when you're having fun...or in the hospital!
This time y'all I have a really good explanation for being absent for so long...with a signed doctor's excuse no less.

For those of y'all who don't follow me on Face Book, I have been a very, very sick girl.  My original plan was to give y'all a step by step account of my recent stay at the Hotel de Baylor, but then I asked myself, "Self...would you really want to hear a full recount of a bout of diverticulitis?" The answer of course was not just no, but heck no!
Instead I thought I'd share a few things I learned.

With your kind permission, there is one thing I'd like to mention first though.  Don't expect the doctors to believe you if you inform them you don't have an appendix.  Kinda like a unicorn or the elusive Big Foot, they gotta look for themselves to prove scientifically it doesn't exist...just to be on the safe side.  After all...that's what they get paid the big bucks for isn't it?

BTW...I'm expecting my 8x10 glossies of that first CT scan they ordered to arrive in the mail just any day now!

Now on to the Talking Trash School of Hospital Dance lessons!

    Texas Two Step Via
  1. When doing the Mambo with an IV pole, it's always best to let it lead. Trust me, it's gonna go where it wants to go and no amount of pushing and pulling is gonna change it's course of matter how firm your hold position is.  It's kinda like trying to do the Samba with John Wayne if you catch my drift.  The only thing you'll accomplish is ending up wrapped to the pole by the IV line like a May Pole with your gown up around your ears.
  2. When the urge to bust a move hits, you best not wait until the last minute to ask Mr. Pole to Quick Step you on over to the bathroom.  I learned the hard way it doesn't like to sit too long on the wallflower bench and can get a might testy when one tries to hurry it along. It can and will step/roll on your toes.  This was a dance move I learned the hard way and I've got the bruised big toe to prove it.
  3. There is no way on God's green Earth you can ever make a cocktail dress out of a hospital gown.  Hot to trot?  Forget it...not even the matronly Fox Trot works in that get-up. Truth is, you can be neither vixen nor lady in one.  Nope...ain't gonna happen.  Face is what it butt ugly.  That split up the back is not and will never be the same as a split up the thigh.'s not there to attract the opposite sex.  It's there to facilitate treatment or so they say, but I got me a hunch it's there to humble you into submission.  And boy oh boy...does it ever succeed!  Not even the ruffliest pair of Rumba britches can change that fact. Oh...and take it from me...putting it on backwards won't improve the view either!  That'll only get you raised eyebrows from the hospital staff and your kids the need for some therapy.
  4.  If you're thinking a pair of dancing shoes will improve the situation...think again.  This year's fashion trend in hospital footwear includes a pair of hideous brown non-slip issued of course.  Which reminds me, I haven't got the bill for 'em yet.  I'm pretty sure those bad boys are gonna set me back more than a pair of Louboutin's.  Heck...couldn't they at least have red leather soles instead of white vinyl lines?  And lest I forget, there was the white electric leg warmers with matching knee-highs for circulation I wore each and every night.  At first it was like cat-dancing on my legs, but after an hour...ummm not so much.  I tried to re-imagine them as disco boots, but the first night as I was doing the Hustle to get them off for my bathroom Tango, I quickly changed their name to #%&$ PITA's.
  5. Lastly, but certainly not leastly...the hairstyle to complete a hospital ballroom look.  Now if you're hoping for an up-do and long, dripping with crystals, earrings...Oh Mylanta...are you in for a disappointment.   I'm here to tell you the only thing that'll be dripping is the IV bags...and quite possibly you from those #%&$ disco boots.  I found my up-do consisted of my hair sticking straight up in the air.  Maybe a classic French twist?  Yeah...that was me all right,  doing the twist trying to brush out the tangles with my free arm while asking the nurse to pardon my French.
So there you have it.  For a glorious eight days and seven nights, my dance card was filled.  I was never at a loss for a partner (with perfect posture I might add) and I also came home with a party favor...a PICC line for further at home antibiotic infusion.  This lovely accessory came complete with a navy blue neck bag...for further humbling.  Before you's working...both for healing and for humbling.  Navy blue has never been my color.  I'm more of an "autumn" type gal.

Now before you get to thinking me ungrateful, please allow me add one final important detail.  I'm blessed that I was able to come home with this latest in statement necklaces and thankful God kept me on the dance floor and not up on a surgeon's table.  I am recovering, albeit slowly, but everything is according to His plan.  Held firmly in His arms of my life's waltz, I will never try and lead, but happily follow Him as He grace-fully navigates me around the dance floor...
His rhythm and timing always perfection.

As I sit here, the IV line dangling over the keyboard as I try to type, I'm wondering just one thing:

Reckon I could bedazzle this cotton pickin' bag and start my own line of old lady accessories?