Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two points a basket!

Two points a basket
..... the basketball basket net that is.

Take a few boys who are eager and willing to attend a full day of basketball camp, to learn skills and drills, playing games in between.

Take those same boys and offer them just a wee bit of sun, not too bad for their instructional play this day.

But then, add to that the unexpected highest humidity so far this year, and hottest day on record for this same day in all of history, and you end up with a bunch of cherry red faced boys tempted to land in the dead center of the water park located at the same vicinity.

And taking a very cold shower once at home later at days' end. Cherry face glowing in the dark by night.

Take those same boys again, and let them play on through the area's first ever known earthquake to strike and ripple from the Quebec border, the one felt all over Southern and Central Ontario.

And then hear about the tornado that touched down and wrecked a town nearby just a few hours later.

Wow, will we forget this day anytime soon?

I think not!


I love this sport myself.

I used to play it a long time ago, and can still get that ball into the basket today to score those even numbered - two points.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Embracing Jeremiah 29:11, part 3

"For I know the plans I have for you,"
declared the Lord,
"plans to prosper you and not harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."

~ Jeremiah 29:11

If you missed part one, you can find it HERE

If you missed part two, you can find that one by clicking HERE

Down the hall and into the room we three entered.

Within seconds, all of us were seated in the tiny medical cubical type of room one would expect in a hospital, and as ready as one can possibly be for what would prove to be the most intense medical appointment to date for my husband.

As strange as it might sound, even with the intensity of the life and death topic at hand, very quickly, the room was filled with calm and a great sense of peace no one could deny.

Prayer.... it was hugging us tight and evidence was all around us.

I could even see the impact it was beginning to have on calming my hubby's weary nerves, though he was still gripped with fear over the professional medical title behind this man's name, the very one sitting before him, the same one that might quite possibly hold a scalpel over the front of his chest in an attempt to save his life in the near future.

Understandable were his emotional concerns, and while the mood seemed a bit somber at first for the intensity on the purpose of the visit, the surgeon had a wise knack for controlling just how tranquil the meeting session was to be.

There was an undeniable peace swiftly filling the room, offering an unhurried sense of purpose to settle in for what would prove to be quite a serious fact finding time.

An invisible shield seemed to be wrapped about the room, one offering gentle tones to squash any telltale quivering that might visit our voices when having to speak, or to quiet the pounding in our heads from wildly beating and extremely frightened hearts obviously ready to burst.

Naturally as one might imagine, it was there in that moment when even more silent questions began to gush to the forefront of our minds, ones that we just felt like orally blurting out, just forgetting about any type of proper etiquette, so impatient to just get answers to those not so simple questions such as;

... "when, where, if, how, can you, will you, will I, will he, shall we" ...

~ and a myriad of other sentence starters began to take up space at the tip of our tongues.

Setting that blue file folder on the desk before him, the surgeon was preparing for our next few hours together. I admired the way he remained unhurried, no doubt sensing the emotion in the room for one thing, offering a smile without words, as if assuring us all would be alright.

As the file was obviously belonging to my husband, his first remark was something like;
"Gee I love the look of that very slim file, not thick and overflowing as some of my others have been in this medical journey of mine."
Smiling back at him for the remark, and picking it up to open the cover, the surgeon showed us the few pages filling its interior, all offering a chuckle momentarily, an ice breaker to be sure during that very fine beginning of our session together.

Around the same time, the surgeon had also turned on the computer, pulling up the chest xrays and ct scans my husband was able to have forwarded from various medical doctors and other hospitals for this day's fact finding purpose.

Since most were quite current, he had been previously notified he would not have to repeat all of these this day after all, a good thing too because that meant a shorter time at the hospital and no unnecessary radiation before its already next scheduled appointment timing booked already ahead this September.

While the doctor studied the material on the screen, discreetly my hubby and I turned to one another and locked eyes for a second, feeling even more depth of that peace as we simultaneously sensed the kindness and gentleness of this man's demeanor. No one would deny the importance of securing a medical surgeon with a proper professional personality and respectful bedside manner when thinking of surrendering one's care to him.

We liked him right off the hop.

A bit of kibitzing from that thin blue file folder assisted in creating a mood for the rest of the appointment, still so very intense internally in every way, but peaceful waves that really did surpass all human understanding for the type of required conversation and questioning at hand.

From my viewpoint, when he magnified the one ct scan on the computer screen, no one could deny the copious amounts of damage to the interior of my husband's lungs, nor along his trachea and bronchial areas.

I could detect from where I sat, all of the white flecks of bronchiectisis damage, the scarring in the interior of his lungs. I caught myself, a tad emotional for a second realizing the meaning of that, seeing the interior and state of my husband's lungs right there on that screen.

I had not yet seen this particular ct scan myself, suddenly intent on ensuring we got a copy for my husband's file at home.

I've been documenting and collecting all of the medical data information possible for the past ten years, subsequently filling a three ring binder and a second is now required. It's been an information reference which has been instrumental for new doctors since our move east; especially for rereading things along the way we had either forgotten about or didn't see a correlation on before.

The doctor surprised us a little, concurring we should have our own copy and tried to print one out, unsuccessfully for lack of getting the printer to correspond to his program on the computer screen, apologizing for not being able to assist with handing one over to us suggesting how we could obtain a copy later.

(In Canada, this is not always the case to have a doctor want to share copies of his file, normally they don't do that here. Luckily most of my husband's have.)

Very soon, I had full confidence in this man sitting before us!

First things first, he reviewed the slide show content with us, the one we had watched together before seeing him as he wanted to be positively certain we understood the depth and complex nature of what was entailed in lung transplantation in the general sense of the word, the dramatic reality of the topic, and the blunt truth of it all.

He seemed very relieved and pleased to find we were quite knowledgeable ourselves on the topic, explaining to him how we had already enmassed plenty of our own personal research over the years, keeping abreast of all things on the disease itself and lung diseases in general, even having followed several live people towards lung transplantation and through their recovery.

And as other assorted topics appeared, he was greatly relieved to hear how we had become interested and kept abreast of current medical research in progress around the world on various topics for the lung transplant process itself, things like;
  • banking one's own stem cells before transplant
  • blood type advances for transplant recipients
  • living lobar lung transplant options
  • anti-rejection drug alternatives
  • anti-rejection side effects and treatments
  • recovery requirements and physiotherapy continuation
  • diet and lifestyle changes
  • and alternative lifelong considerations.

This doctor/surgeon was such a good listener, so compassionate and so patient. He invited my husband's thoughts and questions;

  • What did this surgeon see in his case so far to offer a time estimate for end stage disease?
  • How long would he have before this option was imminent?
  • How were his FVV1 readings compared to what he prefers to see in his patients?
  • What about his low lung capacity readings?
  • Should I bank some blood ahead of time, seeing as how mine is such a rare type?
  • He asked pointed questions about the suggestion for banking some of his own stem cells for the future?
  • What about my oxygen levels and the need for oxygen support over time?
  • What about his rare blood type slimming his chances of a transplant in the first place?

As I watched my husband trying to assimilate all of the answers to his questions, writhing in unintended facial emotion, his voice began wavering and lowering, eventually becoming very quiet. This talking life and death together tends to become such a morbid issue, its as if a stop sign suddenly appears and everything has to come to a halt for a time out.

I'm sure the surgeon recognized this too. He was not in any hurry to discharge us from this visit. We had just begun it seemed. In fact, he sat and acted so casual with us, as though he had all the time in the world, so very soft spoken, so deeply respectful of the life before him.

When it came time, my first question was a straight shooter;

  • "Have you seen a patient before with MKS"
.... and by his answer "Yes I have", the way he voiced it, I knew whoever, or however many there had been before through here, they were no longer alive.

It was here I wondered, how many, how far along was their disease, and what possible other issues could they have had alongside of it.

He could tell I knew the end of those patients journeys, his eyes meeting mine, just seemingly able to acknowledge what I was thinking. They were no longer alive. I knew it then. But, HE HAD MET another...or maybe a few. This was excellent news however morbid that sounds!
I knew I wasn't able to press on, the privacy rules so strict in Canada, he wasn't able to tell me more. But still, I wondered....
  • So how rare is this case?

not an answer I was actually wanting to hear.

I won't kid you about my deepest feelings here, I've always wondered if everyone had the right diagnosis from the very beginning due to the fact his disease seems to carry similar traits of others. The what ifs, and the parallels to other thoughts have always come up.

And then I really dropped the bomb...the one no one has had the answer to for so many years...the same one a few of us need answers on;
  • If Mounier-Kuhn Syndrome begins in the trachea which then predisposes the lungs to multiple lung diseases over time, like all three in all in my husband's case, getting new lungs sounds all too typical to replace the old damaged ones. BUT, wouldn't new lungs then also become predisposed to the same end?
  • Would my husband not also require in this same operation, a new trachea, and new bronchial system for these are both quite damaged also?
  • How then if not would we be able to protect my husband's new set of lungs from future damage from the current trachea?
  • And what about the bronchial tube and both bronchi then?
It's about right here when one gets all involuntarily uncomfortable under the collar, pent up emotions begin to swirl about in our heads, mostly for this darned disease's "RARITY", when no one really has all or even any of the answers, not even the best of the best surgeons!

It's not his fault though, nor my husband's for presenting such a strange case. It's just hard to watch my husband happen to be the one who is living the reality of it all.

Where there are no answers,
one can't grasp on to the hope of possible solutions.

Where there are no answers,
a zillion questions will continue to fill our minds.

And where there are no answers, and all is left until such time as one's chest is cut open and widened, maybe that's when it's going to be too late to acquire them, when other emergency measures might well occur and drastic decisions suddenly required medically in the flash of an instant. How does one prepare for that then? Having faith is all I can think of...

As much as I wondered how many lives he had saved during his lengthy career expertise, I also wondered how many had he lost and we wondered how many were lost while they waited their beepers to sound off when hailed to drive to the hospital for their operations.
Last Friday, my husband returned home at dinner, announcing to me that one of the two patients at his usual respiratory physio had been working hard on gathering more strength and wearing beepers for lung transplants, the one that was the strongest in his opinion, a 58 year old woman, had contracted bacteria in her lung and she had succumbed to the infection only the day before. Poof. Just like that, in three days since he'd last seen her, she had passed from pulmonary failure.

Life and death can pass that quickly for a someone with a lung disease, fear of infection is great and for good reason.

The surgeon kept assuring us he did not wish to ever rush anyone in to a transplant decision, and preferred the attitude of the patient to be only proceeding as a last measured option as opposed to a cure by way of prognosis, and not to hurry prematurely through to the end step without due cause. But in reality, my husband knows he's getting very close to this deciding factor as he admitted to the surgeon he feels weak all of the time now.

I found his preferences respectful as I remembered writing to the world renowned "Mayo Clinic" ten years ago, detailing my husband's rare case, begging them for help, and the only reply that came back was; "We can't help you, but if you ever need a lung transplant, please contact us again."

These were two very different methods of choosing to proceed with a life giving operation. One had compassion and a huge sense of respect for life in general, while the other was sadly all business.

A certainty of those deep issues we had been discussing made it very clear of the probability of losing my spouse if time were of the essence in the near future without obtaining either a miracle itself, or a lifegiving lung transplant operation.

The morbidity of the whole topic in the first place has always been all too heady but the only way through, might be....well, ... through it. We knew in our hearts this day's fact finding was going to have to remain an open ended option for my husband's consideration.

If we claim to be "ProLife" at all, that means we stand our ground for life from the cradle to the grave.
That also means when there are deeply emotional conversations with the patients at my husband's respiratory physio, when all fingers are suddenly turned and pointing towards him with regards to the topic on what he should or should not do, well that just becomes all too uncomfortable. With deep respect, he listens and absorbs how others are feeling in their own circumstance.

But sadly, it suddenly became way too personal recently when all pounced all over him negatively when he admitted not wanting to check off that "DNR" box on his medical papers, the one where he is taunted for even wanting to be resuscitated at all in the event of the beginning of pulmonary failure, it is in these conversations where he will no longer participate in the talks because emotions become so personally explosive when he just wants to stand up and shout out his own preference and say;



Part 4 can be found by clicking HERE

Embracing Jeremiah 29:11

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Beach or Zoo = BEACH!

This was the big question of the week;
Beach or Zoo?

Well you know we've already been to the zoo since I posted a very basic pictorial collage overview about it, but that time the Zoo won.

This time, the Beach won!

It seems since mid May, our weather has been extra warm and sunny.

Quite a large majority of our days since that third week of May have actually been too hot to get some beachcombing memories in, at least not without someone ending up with a very uncomfortable and unsafe sunburn, or worse yet, maybe even sunstroke.

Yes, it's been just that warm over here, hovering in the high 20C to low 30C for the most part ever since that timing.

Enter into several possible beach days in recent weeks, during an afternoon, or maybe for a front row seat sunset dip.

One sunset evening this week proved very comical as three of our children decided to play in the light off the water, making totem poles, and mimicking the Karate Kid one legged move called; "The Grasshopper".

Playing football, swimming, and combing the beach waters, ended up finding all worked out and soothed by nightfall, sleeping ever so peacefully, well once their heads hit their pillows by day's end.

Taking children to the water's edge is one of God's most fascinating playgrounds, no toy are even necessary. Notice after a little while how they just seem to be smitten with their surroundings, and how easily entertained the hours there prove to be.

Savoring the moments, dipping our feet, walking or splashing about, collecting things, enjoying the vista, this is how we remember these times.

Our visits aren't usually scheduled, or preplanned, rather they become a spontaneous part of our days when considering and taking into mind any humidity issues, and high temperature heat waves.

No matter though, short or long, all visits to the water always offer a respite.

To be by the water's edge is like being present for a mini retreat.

One always takes away more than they first came with, quite frankly and literally speaking.

Such peace awaits the person exploring, walking about, or sitting near to the shore.

There is an offering of tranquility there, for the person who is yearning for that soulful sojourn, the bonus offering for those who make an effort to be there, the ones who have a deep appreciating for the natural beauty of the gift before them, and joyfully begin to gulp it all back.

Come to me,
all ye who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest.
~ Matthew 11:28

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I've been blogging, several posts in fact, the ones which are supposed to be postdated for a bit, but as I seem to be "all thumbs" here today, and once yesterday, you might see posts that just aren't edited and ready for publication yet.

For these, the ones that might appear prematurely in your RSS feeds and/or in your email box, I stand red-faced and apologize.

I guess life is like that... silly things happening when you don't want them to. gulp...
Better yet, don't even read them okay? :)

~ Renee

those faddish toys ...

It hit me this week after watching another round of "Toy Story 1 & 2" with the family, remembering all of those crazy children's toy fads over the years. What boomer baby doesn't recall many of the toys in these films with fond affection anyway?

Many of the toys highlighted in these films immediately warmed my heart and my husband's for we either owned some of them during our own youthful years, or we still have them in hanging around in our home today.

There have been all sorts of faddish toys that have crossed the thresholds of our doorways over the years, many of them providing hours of play for our children, before such a time as the desire and interest eventually nearly all but disappears.

Most of all, it becomes a reminder for parents to "have patience" with all the continued newer toy fads, those both present currently and for those yet to come, which might roll in through our doors when our children use their own money and insist the purchase is such a great playtime investment (grinning).

Question then; Do you have a Zuzu in your home? Not a real one like this one we saw at the zoo recently;

But one like this?

I just can't figure this one out. Funny though. It may become a beloved item found in an antique store one day.

Were you aware this cute little furry thing can race around on the floor and make multiple noises in any given moment? Like a guinea pig for one, but a cow, and other assorted animal noises? Yes, this one I just can't quite yet figure out myself.

And after rewatching "Toy Story's 1 & 2" with our family, it really hit home that a toy wasn't well loved unless it was labeled and marked with the owner's name in black felt pen. Well? Did you know that too?

Guess what I see happening here?

Now onward toward a matinee viewing of "Toy Story 3" up ahead.

Shhhh, don't tell me!

I already heard I will need a tissue or two, for a parent thing or such reasoning.

Meanwhile, I think I might dig out that bin of wooden tinker toys, and stand Buzz and Woody's pals within them for a time before going off to see it. Maybe I'll even take a picture. Or a few of them. :)

How about you? Have you seen the part three yet yourself?

Shhhh, don't tell me yet.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


BEST ~ Wasp & Bee sting remedy EVER!

It's so simple and it works super quickly!

It's the best remedy ever for stings!

Have any of your children had a wasp or bee sting when you weren't at home, and all your usual remedies for dulling the sting aren't with you?

Our youngest daughter was stung by a wasp, under the length of her chin not once, but three times.

Welts became clearly evident instantly, growing before our eyes. Sometimes for some of our children, they can grow as large as golf balls, and the possible requirement for a spoon full of Benedryl is quickly often an end option, seeing how there has been allergies to bee stings in this family.

One woman with me insisted on a copper penny held on top of the welt.

Scrambling for my wallet, all I could find locate were the newer type of pennies, a metal alloy instead of real copper!

Two other women searched their wallets, and between them, we had three pennies to try out this guaranteed old wives sting remedy.

I also found bandaids in my wallet, something I always carry for anyone suffering from a blister requiring one while we are out. I opened all three, placed the pennies on the welts, and adhered them with the bandaids.

Without a word of a lie, when we checked on the welts half an hour later, they were gone! How long do those things usually hang on for in this family? Sometimes for a few days.... and voila, here they were (poof!) - gone.

Moral of the story here?

Always carry a few REAL copper pennies and bandaids with you.

Place them in a wee ziplock plastic pouch inside of your wallet and you'll be prepared for anything this summer. Maybe even poison ivy itch will be relieved with this, who knows?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Learning to Dance In The Rain Movie

Gratitude is foreign to many folks.

is a gift we can all practice every day, something I strive to do myself in a whole myriad of ways - daily. To be ever thankful is a habit developed over time.

For there is so much to be grateful for.

No matter the storm presenting itself, there really is so, so, so much to be grateful for, always!

Please click onto the link below and watch a very inspiring movie!

~ Renee

Click the link below...

Learning to Dance In The Rain | Learning to Dance in the Rain Movie

Update on "Embracing's next part"...

Just a heads-up there is not only one more part coming to the "Embracing Jeremiah 29:11" series, but two. One will be posted on Monday, the other postdated to come a few days later during the week.

It happens upon occasion, seldom, but it happens when speaking in depth (or writing in depth as in this case) about this dear-to-my-heart topic, I find it sometimes leaves me feeling as though I've been punched in the gut afterward. It's easy for me to write, therapeutic in an odd way in fact, and yet so hard to assimilate when rereading for the editing process, yes - even for me - the author of these original posts.

I recognize when these times occur for me now, sensing that all too familiar dull ache when the heart is hit and a mental time-out for a bit of recovery is required before I'm able to rise and speak/write of it all again.

There is a type of mourning involved, and a deep yearning to rid life of that deeply serious and morbid talk for only a
"normal living mode" once more, even, if only for a little while.

So, rather than edit this whole writing at one sitting, I've spent chunks of time instead meandering back and forth checking off a few pre-summer goals, like the one of decluttering like a mad woman, gardening outdoors on the loveliest days, catching up on the laundry - washing blankets and wintry woolens, hanging them on the wire rack to dry.

It felt good to be back into something "normal" for a while, with ipod earbuds in and me dancing about like a crazy lady. (smiling)

Wanting to suppress the intensity of all the recent medical details for a bit, I always succumb to the reality soon after - over and over again, that no matter how
"normal" the events of the day, or the notes and commitments on the family calendar tend to appear, our lives continue to be anything but that, BUT we try, try, try again to offer up our days with only the purest of intentions, keeping as normal as possible each and every single day.
"In moving through life's pathways, we often miss the heavenly applause and the angelic fanfare that mark our seemingly ordinary moments. Focused on our outward performance, we overlook the spiritual reality of inner victories and heart growth as we face each day with courage. Yet our invisible God sees such moments as the significant occasions of our lives, where greatness is forged through secret choices of faith seen only by him."

~ Sally Clarkson; "from; Dancing with my Father"

Again, it becomes a valued perspective when one's calculated desire is to live each day by treasuring every single moment, and not wanting to miss a thing, while the rhythm of the second hand on the clock ticks round and round inside of its circular shape filled with guided numbers.

Time is such a precious commodity, and yet how we waste it worrying and allowing our lives to become filled with anxieties instead of filling them up with COURAGE!

Seconds can feel like hours. Hours can feel like seconds.

"Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it... We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world."
~ Helen Keller

Even hoping to be cast frozen in time couldn't possibly change a thing when troubled hearts permeate our lives upon occasion, though the sweet smell and visible blessing of loved ones could keep me here in this present state forever. Of that I am certain, though we all know it is hardly possible.

The certainty that "Life is Good" and already ordained in all ways keeps us grounded.

Common sense tells us worrying only takes away the goodness of the present day, so we continue to fling it aside, and pray instead for a grander depth of;
  • peace to fill our empty tanks
  • joyful thoughts to fill our minds

  • for great love to fill our aching hearts
  • promises of hope for the future
  • and the tangible presence and feeling of loved ones near holding us tight.

These are all real life things requiring us to be "live in the moment" and for these almost routine and/or mundane things filling my recent days ~ for these things, I am utterly grateful.

"Do small things with great love"

~ Mother Teresa

Today, I'm living in this moment, thinking of my husband as he attends his typical Friday respiratory physiotherapy this afternoon.

With great humility, may I humbly ask that you to think about and offer prayer for all those afflicted with lung diseases while you try to assimilate the remaining read, trying to imagine how life presents itself in various forms of suffering, including medical presentations which are heady and allow for an unravel of the world's strongest of humans, waves of uncertainty at times filling up every cavity of one's being who (medically) walks this road?

Yes, the diagnosis and lousy prognosis of a lung disease is like that, for anyone, for my husband and for all who are near him during his respiratory physiotherapy program today and every other day he attends it.

On another note....
someone asked me; "Why the tulips?"
The meaning of tulips is generally perfect love. Like many flowers, different colors of tulips also often carry their own significance. Red and orange tulips are most strongly associated with true love.
This meaning alone ... is all good enough for me to use my "love of flowers" and this photographic tulip subject session, weaving all ever-gently and comfortably throughout this grand epic writing.

Have a great day everyone and may you spared from having to dodge both an earthquake and tornado passing overhead, both on the same day as our day proved to be filled with two days ago. Thankful for our safety, so close and so damaging for areas affected. Whew...

Summer nutty weather..... oh well, what would our lives be without a little bit of drama, huh?

~ Renee

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Summer Soccer

Over the past few weeks, there's been nothing like keeping all things normal around here, especially for things like regular routine items scheduled on the calendar to keep our minds occupied with all good things.

Our two younger children were registered in a small community soccer fun program last summer, nothing more than a recreational soccer league filled with other families who all show up and cheer for their young players.

Once again, here we are every Thursday evening, chairs in hand to watch their soccer skills and drills take them into all the game action from week to week.

Last year, they both met a few children whom they are thrilled to see again this year, even if they might happen to be on opposing teams.

Our daughter is always up to more moments outside of the barn with her friend, a sweet girl who has worked with our daughter, caring for their joint responsibilities on all things horse.

On evenings when it's not too humid outdoors, my hubby comes along and enjoys these moments on the field.

And our older daughter who has a work shift in the evening this same day, well, she can walk down to meet us for her ride home.

We even brought our son along this past week who thought the community event was quite fun to watch for him too.

All agree, we are definitely looking forward to a few more weeks of this summer soccer.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Zoo days

Be back again to share more about our adventures at the zoo...

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Father's Day

This "Father" wasn't sure about this whole day ahead of him.

Strange things began to occur starting the evening before when he noticed the refrigerator was locked, tied shut and children were protecting the kitchen from his visits.

One of them cornered me to say; "Mom, please, you have to take dad out for a while so we can plan together, for tomorrow."

Off suddenly, he was suddenly with me at the wheel, driving away and not knowing why he was given the royal boot from his own home. :)

Stormy clouds to the south, sunny rays to the northwest. To the beach then, which suddenly sounded so perfect.

Two chairs in hand my hand, I ushered my hubby to a front row seating to bid the day's sunset adieu.

Nice. Relaxing. Perfect.

Up and at em on "Father's Day", all were ready on time, and very soon we were off to church early in the morning, with a perfect drive on the sunniest and most beautiful day ever.

No humidity!

Even better!

Great sermon for all to chomp on, all remarked on what fruits we individually reaped from it.

"Pssst - mom!
Could we stop at the store to pick up a couple of things we need for our breakfast on the way home?"

"Yes, no problem"; I replied, though hubby wanted to know what they needed from here.

Once back home again, hubby was whisked away quickly, locked prisoner in his room, with loving orders not to come out until he was summoned.

Plenty of activity was in progress, a big hubbub gathered round the stove; four children with their menu prepared in advance, the dining room table was set up, cards were made, all eager and happy to be serving their daddy this day.

Shame of shames, hubby poked his head out of the bedroom to ask if there was coffee, and then another time to ask again. So impatient. Or was he? Nah, his curiosity was getting the best of him. He was being snoopy, he was.

This was serious to the children!

They took charge by bringing him not only a cup of coffee, but also his guitar and then recommended he get outside on the little deck to enjoy the fresh air, sans humidity.

Frying pans on the stove, eggs being broken nearby, syrup poured into a dispenser and pancakes on the grill, someone else cutting fresh strawberries and another stealing mouthfuls of whipping cream nearby.

All four tried to work together to accomplish their goal, that of a great breakfast for their daddy.

The menu then was clearly;
  • Pancakes with fresh cut strawberries and whip cream
  • scrambled eggs
  • slices of fresh pineapple
  • orange juice
  • coffee
  • and one freshly made mini cake
(the one that had been locked away in the refrigerator for "Father's Day" the night before).

They did good!

In fact, they really did great.

Just a bit of sibling bickering, not too much, an older picking at a younger, elbows thrown up to take charge, you know, usual stuff.

All was well.

After all, this was a day all about celebrating their father, and ahead many other assorted plans were yet to happen, all hoping it wouldn't be too much by days' end to have accomplished, at least I had hoped so.

The kitchen clean-up was organized quite well by all of them, while others were out running the dogs around for a while, walking trails, exploring new bird nests, and checking the water bowls for the bunnies. When one of our dogs was stung several times, and a wasp nest found resting under one of the porch steps, our older son knocked it down to the ground in hope of all flying away, of course also sending everyone running away from the area for fear of being stung.

With such a lovely day, of course mom with camera insisted on a few photos on the deck, the ones of children surrounding their dad on "Father's Day".

And then after a time, we were off again... to a matinee all chose to view together, "The Karate Kid", which had its moments; funny, silly, cultural, and quite dramatic.

Finally, as I took charge with keys in hand, it was my turn to drive and no one knew exactly where we were headed.

As we are from the Westcoast though, and real ocean seafood is not very available or fresh in these parts, we were headed to take dad out to dinner to the "Keg restaurant" because it's currently "Lobster fest time" and he'd been drooling over going there ever since he heard about it!

Okay, so I was a little nervous at first.

I had no reservations and the parking lot, though still early for dinner hour was packed, cars stopped which hadn't been able to park yet, the front guy awaiting someone to reverse from his stall and offer it to him.

I was able to drive around them, and around the corner almost across from the front door, there was an empty spot - for us I thought...smiling.

(Happy Father's Day greetings came in from the west while we dined.)

Entering the waiting area, the front desk area was empty of patrons, though they were all standing around. I asked about wait time, which was 2 1/2 hours to the dining room.

I snickered and said it was such a nice day, we preferred to sit outdoors on the patio, so how long for that. Within no time at all, to my husband's awed amazement (grinning because one of our older daughters will get this one, but good too...winking, for she inspired this dinner idea) there we all were, so lucky (!), with the perfect table, with a spectacular sunset, everyone in such GREAT spirits, out there, together, on that patio having dinner in honor of their father.

Obviously, this is ONE meal with work attached to it!

Some of our children were amazed at just "how much work it entailed to eat a lobster", marveling at the tendrils, claws, shell and assorted other fancies of this seafood luxury their daddy was absolutely, and most thoroughly enjoying.

The rest of us watched, snickered at him working for his meal, and enjoyed the loveliness of the entire day together.

Back home, hubby was happily spent, and off to bed just after 8pm.

One by one, final preparations for the evening's closure were complete and the entire family was retired slowly but surely between 9-10pm.

Day was done.

Memories were incredible this day!

Love you honey.... Happy Father's Day.

(And sending more love and hugs to our father's back on the Westcoast)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

floral colors in the garden

What a desolate place would be a world without a flower!
It would be a face without a smile,
a feast without a welcome.
Are not flowers the stars of the earth,
and are not our starts
the flowers of the heaven.

~ A.J. Balfour

With a few flowers in my garden,
half a dozen pictures and some books,
I live without envy.

~ Lope de Vega

To pick a flower is so much more satisfying
than just observing it, or photographing it...
So in later years,
I have grown in my garden as many flowers
as possible for children to pick.

~ Anne Saint-James