to be continued

I’m having severe problems right now with my
computer.  So it’s incredibly difficult to get anything written, much less published. I’ll be posting again as soon as I
can get this worked out. Meanwhile, I
can’t access email or this blog very easily. So please bear with me.

I’ll be
back as soon as I can…

random

It’s Wednesday and here am looking at pictures again.

Have I mentioned how much I love dial up? It gives me time to cook and clean.  Oh, and speaking of cooking and cleaning, I shouldn’t have
to do either tonight.

Today is my anniversary. Woohoo!

Chris and I have been married for three unbelievably bizarre
years.

I think we deserve a night on the town.

seeds in the wind

I’m very excited. Tomorrow night, I get to meet with the Prescott
volunteer group for the Organ
Donation Advocacy Group
here in Arizona. Not only will I get to actually meet real
live people, with common interests, but I even get to have a bit of time to myself. I can hardly wait. 

Chris originally said that he’d be able to stay at home with
Kajsa, but now he and Shaun are working really hard to try to get a roof on before he
starts his new job.

Oh, that reminds me. Chris got a new job. He’s now an
employee of Home Depot. Yep, one of the
country’s most dangerous places to shop. But even so, it’s still got to be worlds safer than hanging off roofs. Not only that, but in three months he get full
benefits. What could possibly be better? Hours, and paychecks, and bennies, oh my!

So, we’re both setting out on new adventures. We’re just going to have so much to talk
about over dinner.  Yipee!

monday memory 4.17.06

The first
year of my marriage was really grueling. Not because Chris and I were having any particularly dire marital
problems. But, you see, Kajsa’s
diagnosis came just a few short months after our wedding. So there was a lot of trying, and crying and
(for lack of a better word) why’ing.

  • We did
    everything in our power to beef the kid up before having her g-tube placed at 4
    months
  • We watched as her labs
    fluctuated wildly from day to day – which we knew the results of because we
    drew blood every single day.
  • There was, in fact, one day when Kajsa was
    stuck 16 times, before I completely lost it and told them that if they couldn’t
    figure it out I was going to start doing it myself. And if you know how fearful I am of needles,
    you are aware of what a bold statement that truly is.
  • Our family
    was separated for Christmas as I stayed at the PICU with Kajsa and Chris
    traveled back and forth from home with Maya. In fact, we spent Christmas day at the parent apartments across from the hospital
    as Kajsa lay fighting for life.
  • A couple
    months later she was out of the hospital, but the prolonged illness had taken a
    predictable toll upon her kidneys. So we
    had the dialysis catheter placed and began PD nightly a few weeks later.

During
that year, I wandered through life as a zombie. I don’t remember much of it well. But I know that Chris and Maya were always there being supportive and
helpful. After the dialysis started,
things began to calm down a bit. And
while I had a fairly strict routine, but it wasn’t enveloped in such a cloud of
fear.

…*~..~*…

Imagine my
surprise when, a week before our one year anniversary, Chris told me that we
wouldn’t be able to go to our niece, Sarah’s birthday party that year. He further informed me that I should pack for
an overnight trip. But he wouldn’t tell
me where we were headed…just that it was a couple hours away.

So I
packed up the dialysis machine, feeding pump, scale, blood pressure machine, 15
different meds, renal formula, two boxes of dialysate, diapers, and toys. I also loaded a change of clothes and
toothbrush for myself. And then we
headed out. And what a beautiful drive
it was.

I’d been
trying to imagine for three days, where we might be headed and had thought of everything from the
San Juan Islands to one of the Portland Bed and
Brewerie
s. I simply had no idea just how
well my husband knew me. We headed east
and then north, meandering past giggling rivers full of icy spring melt.

As we drove I began to think that I knew where
we headed. You see there’s this little Bavarian town
in the
Cascade
Mountains

that I’d always wanted to visit,
 Leavenworth. It’s cheesy as all get out, but so am I, so I was quite taken with the
idea.
 

Well, when
we got to the room, there were chocolates, wine, a fireplace and a
Jacuzzi. But we couldn’t stay because
there was a horse and carriage waiting for us downstairs. We rode around
Leavenworth for a while enjoying the scenery
and the nice slow pace. Chris and I
cuddled as Kajsa proclaimed “Horsy!” many, many times.
 

We later
strolled along the main street and had dinner in one of the German pubs. The next day was more of the same…perfect! It was a laid back and very much needed
couple of days. I’ll never forget
it.

We don’t
get to do this kind of stuff very often. But whenever things get really challenging in our life, I look back on
that time and think about how good it is when it isn’t being so hard. I think about how much I love my husband, and
how much he loves me back…even when times are tough.

Wednesday
will be our third wedding anniversary. For such a short time, it sure has been intense. I can think of no one I’d rather face life’s
challenges with.

Happy
Anniversary, Chris.

(And yes,
I’d do it all again.)

 

 

befuddled wonderings

Well,
it’s been quite interesting to read people’s comments on the Thursday Thirteen
that I posted this week. Some people
called me brave for bringing up politics on
my own blog
. A few of you cheered me
on (please remember that I was mostly using someone else’s words.) And still others, led me to more accurate
information and / or expressed dismay with the general tone of the post. I want to take this time to thank each and
every one of you for your comments…even those who do not share my views. 

At
the very least, you made me step back and reflect upon what supports my knee
jerk reaction to this issue. It also
allowed me the ability to put on a wider lens, thereby looking though your eyes
at why you may hold opinions which, at first glance, appear to be in direct
opposition to mine. Once examined, they really aren’t that dissimilar to my
own. Again, thank you.

I don’t claim to have any
answers. (Boy, is that an
understatement.) And I absolutely do not
wish to turn this into a lecture, debate or sermon.

But
while driving in to town with Kajsa, I was thinking about some of the comments
at which I’d previously peeked. And with
it being a long and lonely drive, I had time to look at this from a few
different angles. What I kept coming
up with was, well, timing. I thought
about my family and how we were not even originally of this continent. In fact my great grandmother was one of the
little girls who shot a gun at the start of the Oklahoma Land Rush.

Well,
thinking about that made me begin to dwell upon the legality, politics and
justice of such an activity. So when I
got home, I had to look it up. Here’s
what Encarta
had to say:

Homestead
Laws
: collective name for a series of enactments by
the United States Congress allowing settlers without capital to acquire
homesteads. Although sentiment supporting the idea of free land for
homesteaders existed from the early days of the
U.S., the law was not passed until the
American Civil War had begun. The South was antagonistic to the free-land
movement, because it feared homesteaders would be against slavery.
 

The
homestead law was enacted by Congress in 1862. It provided that anyone who was
either the head of a family, 21 years old, or a veteran of 14 days of active
service in the U.S. armed forces, and who was a citizen or had filed a
declaration of intent to become a citizen, could acquire a tract of land in the
public domain not exceeding 65 hectares (160 acres, equal to a quarter
section). To acquire title to the land,
the homesteader was obliged to settle on or cultivate the homestead for five
years.

The
law expressly declared that no land so acquired could be levied against by
creditors for the satisfaction of debts contracted prior to the issuance of the
land grant. Other federal homestead laws, enacted by subsequent congresses,
were essentially modifications of the act of 1862. The federal homestead laws
provided an incentive, in the form of easily obtainable land, for the
settlement of the West. Largely because the supply of suitable public land was
exhausted, remaining public lands were withdrawn from homesteading in 1935.

See, if this had come up
150 years ago, perhaps we wouldn’t have had the same problem. Oh wait a minute. That was why we had that whole
Mexican
War
.
"What?" you say. That’s okay. This part of history was a little fuzzy for me, too. So I looked it up as well.

…Conflict
between the
United States and Mexico,
lasting from 1846 to 1848. The war resulted in a decisive
U.S. victory and forced Mexico to relinquish all claims to
approximately half its national territory. 
Mexico had already lost control of much
of its northeastern territory as a result of the Texas
Revolution
(1835-1836). This land, combined with the territory
Mexico ceded at the end of the war,
would form the future
U.S.  states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah, as well as portions of the
states of
Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. See United
States (History): War with Mexico
.

Mexico’s territorial losses signified
the end of any likelihood that
Mexico, rather than the United States, would become the predominant
power in
North
America
.
As the first conflict in which
U.S. military forces fought almost
exclusively outside of the country, the Mexican War also marked the beginning
of the rise of the
United States as a global military power.

Many Mexicans, meanwhile, deeply resented their loss to
the “Colossus of the North,” viewing the conflict as an unnecessary war that
had been thrust upon
Mexico by a land-hungry United States. This nurtured a fear of the United States —sometimes bordering on
hatred—among some Mexicans that has been kept alive and popularized through corridos,
the folk ballads of
Mexico. 

Hmmm…I’ll be sure to
listen more closely next the time I’m munching away on chips and salsa at
Anita’s Cantina. So I guess there really
never was much hope. Even if we hadn’t
had that little spat, they probably wouldn’t have been invited to the
party. ‘Cause Manifest destiny was never intended to include non-Anglos, anyway.

You do remember Manifest
Destiny. No, it’s not the latest
collaboration to come out of the American Idol
phenomenon. It was:

A
well-developed popular ideology [stating] that it was inevitable and good that
the
United States occupy the continent “from sea to
shining sea.” Some talked of expanding freedom to new areas. Others talked of
spreading the American ethic of hard work and economic progress. Still others
imagined a
United States with Pacific ports that could open
Asian markets.

Before long, some were imagining a North America  without what they considered the
savagery of Native Americans, the laziness and political instability of
Mexicans, or the corrupt and dying monarchism of the British. God, they said,
clearly wanted hard–working American republicans to occupy
North America. In 1845 a New York City journalist named John L.
O’Sullivan gave these ideas a name: Manifest
Destiny
. It is, he wrote, “our manifest
destiny
to overspread the continent allotted by
Providence for the free development of our
yearly multiplying millions.”
 

American Westward Movement, movement of people from the
settled regions of the
United States to lands farther west. Between the
early 17th and late 19th centuries, Anglo-American peoples and their societies
expanded from the
Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Coast. This westward movement, across
what was often called the American frontier, was of enormous significance. By
expanding the nation’s borders to include more than three million square miles,
the
United States became one of the most powerful
nations of the 20th century.

However, this expansion also resulted in great
suffering, destruction, and cultural loss for the Native Americans of North
America. 
America in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and
eighteenth centuries. For good or ill, the westward movement of these
Anglo-American settlers was one of the most influential forces to shape North
American history.
 

So here we sit, with our
slightly ill gotten gains, talking about property rights and such. And while I know that this is all in the
past, I find it relevant. I mean, who am
I, that I was lucky enough to be born in a country of advantage? It really was just luck of the draw. Doesn’t this twist of fate somehow indebt me
on some level to show some compassion to those who weren’t.

Despite that fact that we
are now live in a huge country with tax ID numbers, welfare crises, and even immigration
procedures, I feel that we are skirting some issues. And no, I don’t know what all of them
are. I don’t even know that if I did,
I’d have a clue as to what a truly effective resolution might be. But I do feel that it bears further
examination from all of us…with myself certainly being no exception.

Bunny

Kajsa was so surprised to hear that we’d spotted the Easter Bunny hopping through our yarden.
So we just had to run out and see what he’d left for us. 
Maya was fantastic as she showed Kajsa the ropes.
She is, after all, an expert egg finder.
Easter_004
Just as we were finishing up, I spotted that fuzzy tailed wascal leaving our house.
We rushed in to try to catch the fella. 
But we were, again, too late.Easter_006Imagine Kajsa’s surprise upon finding that our elusive hare had left
behind such a lovely basket of goodies. 
She was truly in awe.
Bunny
He even gave her a chocolate representation of himself, complete with flowers for our sweet little daisy girl.