Friday, May 28, 2010

Eight Tracks in My Past and Present

Back in the dark ages of 8 track tapes and am/fm radios in our 1969 Thunderbird, I was treated to songs my parents enjoyed. When I was little, it was fine. I hadn't yet developed my own musical tastes. As I progressed into the turbulent teens and discovered what I liked and what I didn't, I chafed at being stuck in a car for a long ride listening to The Mills Brothers or Charlie Pride or The Statler Brothers.

I spent hours traveling to California or just across the mountains to Chelan with the 8 track blasting through the speakers. I knew where every break in every song was on every tape as the tapes turned over.

I complained. I was a teenager, of course I complained. But I also sang along and learned all the words. I still know all the words.

It comes in handy knowing all the words because each night our home phone rings and it's my older sister Cheri. She asks me each night, in her own way, to sing those songs to her.

And I do. What she likes best is to hear The Statler Brothers. So each night I sing the songs I learned from 8 track tapes when I was a young girl. Some nights I sing a few songs, other nights she wants a full concert. I know she's done when I hear the staff worker tell me she's done and is pushing her wheelchair to her room to go to sleep for the night.

Here's her favorite request.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Girls

I love them. Yesterday was a kind of impromptu girls outing. It wouldn't have happened if not for this...

In Children's ER til 3 in the morning. Ash was having severe chest pain. The medics said she needed to go to the hospital. With her FVL (coagulation disorder) a severe pain in the head, chest or legs is always cause for concern. They found no evidence of blood clots on the CT scan and her EKG was normal but they said she had inflammation around her sternum and rib cage. This was more than likely caused by her bad fall at the ice arena on Saturday.

Her Grandpa Doug is a massage therapist, so he offered to work on her yesterday afternoon. That involved taking the ferry over to Kingston and we can't go there without a stop at the beach cabin. We stopped there first, then went to Doug's house up in the woods. Here's Steph and Ash on Grandpa's deck.

After she was worked on, we went back to the cabin. It was calm and beautiful there. The sky was amazing. I know you can't see this very well, but it's a sea hawk against the late afternoon sky. Trust me, it was breathtaking.

We were all sitting on a large driftwood log, watching the waves gently lapping the shore and enjoying the play of light on the clouds.
Me: "Isn't the sky gorgeous? Look at those clouds"
Girls: "Umm hmmm"
Me: "Clouds are like sky art"
Stephanie: "Way to be deep, Mom"

Yeah, that's me.

Anyway, it was sweet to spend most of the day with my three amazing daughters. We laughed and we hugged and we walked the beach together. I am truly blessed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Medical May I

I got a call on Thursday....or was it Friday? Anyway, it was last week and it was HR offering me the position I'd interviewed for on Tuesday.

Of course I accepted it. And then I did the obligatory happy dance.

I was wearing more clothes of course.

My new position is something I always wanted to do, but never knew I always wanted to do. That's deep, I know. I'll let you think about it for a moment.

May seems to be Medical Month for me. Apparently my warranty has expired and it's time to do an overhaul/check on all my systems. My visit to the cardiologist and subsequent stress test on a treadmill showed that I've a very healthy heart and arteries. They only squicky thing I carried away from that was a massive bruise from the IV spot.

Today I had a colonoscopy, again with completely favorable result. The squicky thing about this was the prep. If you've ever had to prep for one of these babies, then you know what I'm talking about. My parting gift from this experience was a massive headache and the inability to be coherent for the remainder of the day.

But Pam (you say), you're never coherent. I know. It's a gift.

What will tomorrow bring, you ask?
I'll tell you!

Really, really not looking forward to that. Necessary pain. I get that.

Just wish it wasn't necessary.

Now, back to my happy dancing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Raising children is hard.

Very hard. They don't tell you that when you're pregnant. They don't tell you a lot of things when you're pregnant, like your body will never be the same, you will be a walking zombie for years to come due to massive sleep deprivation. You will probably break your ankle by walking on toys in the middle of the night, you will clean up more vomit than you ever dreamed was possible, and you will accept soggy cheerios from chubby, grimy little fingers and cherish them as being better than gold.

Your refrigerator door will hold art that means more to you than a Rembrandt. Finger food will give way to real food and wars over broccoli and asparagus and whole wheat goodness.

Once your children are old enough, friends who have been parents longer than you have will tell you how much to dread what's coming and you look at your sweet angels and can't ever imagine that such a dark, hormonal cloud will erupt within them.

But it does.

You go from bottles and diapers to backpacks and homework. From diaper rash to pimples in the blink of an eye.

You worry, you cry. You struggle. You spend a great deal of time on your knees pleading for help to know what to do, to make the right decisions and to know when to step in and when to step back.

You wonder if it is all worth it. You continue to struggle and try and just get through one more day. Then another. And another. You're told by others who have walked this path before you that one day you'll get your child back from the grasp of whatever it is that has them. They will become your friends and wonderful companions once they become adults.

You try to see that far ahead but have difficulty believing that it will happen.

It's not all bad, but sometimes it's bad enough that you stand outside their bedroom doors at night when they have gone to bed and cry. Pressing your face to the cold wood of the door, you pray, as you often do. You pray for the strength to continue to do what's right for them, you pray that all your teaching and hugging and loving will one day be remembered and that they won't really hate you as they have sometimes said they do.

And happens.

Dear Mommy,

Thank you so much for everything over the years. You're truly the best mom in the world! Now that I'm older, I can see how difficult raising kids & everything else is in life is & I can see that you brought us up to be the best we could be.

I love you and want you to know how grateful I am to you; without you I would have no right sense of direction in the world, or truly understand sacrifice. I love you Mommy!

Feliz Dia De Las Mamas!


Today I had a job interview for a job within the school district working with our immigrant families. It's a wonderful job and I'd love to have it. I was a bit nervous sitting in the office waiting to be called into the conference room for the interview. As I waited, I pulled that letter out of my binder and re-read it. Twice.
As I read it, I felt a wonderful sense of calm steal over me. Though I'd love to have that job, in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter. My real job, the very best job I've ever held is the one I've had for the past 21 years, 4 months and 11 days.

I'm a Mom.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Los Pinguos and Ocean Shores

The second time seeing the amazing Los Pinguos was just as good as I thought it would be. We went to Aberdeen to see them. Steph, Sam (her boyfriend), Alli and Ash came with Lance and I. Due to my photophobia, (is that a word?) I was the one who snapped a couple of pics of Lance, Steph and Sam with the band.

They are from Argentina and besides being gorgeous, their music is addicting. We stayed after the concert for pictures and got to talk to them for a bit. I also met a woman there who is from Venezuela. Her accent made me so homesick for Venezuela!

The rest of the weekend was spent in Ocean Shores. My father, brother and 2 nephews were staying there in the Ocean Shores State Park, and we stayed in our hotel.

Hey, I like camping just as much as the next girl---I do! Ok, that was hard to type with a straight face. I DO like camping, just not in tents. I prefer hotels, with their hot water, indoor plumbing and nice beds.

But I digress...

It just so happened that our stay there was during the razor clam dig. This meant that we got up in the morning, donned shorts and shirts and headed down to the beach in the freezing wind and rain.

The beach was filled with clam diggers bundled up in thigh high boots, coats, hats, etc. We were the only group there in barefeet. You should have seen the looks we garnered as we walked into the surf and dug our limits.

Here's my nephews Chad and Cody checking to see whose clam is the biggest and my brother Bob is in the background.

Here's Lance in the surf.


Sam had never dug on our beaches before...and at first he was too cold to move. Soon though he became numb like the rest of us and dug right in. He was a GREAT digger! Here he is with Steph.

Sam digging and winning! We bestowed a new nickname on him. Clamarony! (His full name is Samarony, so you know, clam+ Sam+rony...uh..yeah. I know. Clever, right?)

Blogger won't allow me to upload any more pics right now. Suffice it to say that we had fun around the campfire at my Dad's campsite (my coat smells deliciously of smoke) and we dug the second day and then I spent the day when I got home CLEANING well over 200 clams.

Clam patties...clam chowder.....fried clams. I am clammed out for now.