Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Clone Me!

There was a time I was fascinated by odd scientific happenings. Like cloning. Remember Dolly the sheep? She was the first ever cloned animal, "created" in the mid-1990's. Dolly was a real media sensation, and she lived a very pampered life for a sheep. 

Lately, I've wished more than once that I could clone myself. If only there were two--or three--of me, I would be able to be more available to my family and friends. I could accomplish more. And I wouldn't have the stressful feeling of being torn much of the time.

The other day, my phone rang. It was Joe, my college kid. I don't have an opportunity to talk to him often, as he is extremely busy with classes, studying, fraternity and football. And in that particular phone call, he didn't want anything...other than to talk. He was telling me about the upcoming game and he was really excited. I was too. 

Then another call beeped in. It was Nicole. She was supposed to be on a train from New Orleans to Jackson, and I felt I had to answer the call in case there was a snafu. 

"Hold on Joe! Don't hang up..."

Nicole was calling from the train. She was fine. Just thought about something and dialed my number. Nothing important. 

OK, back to Joe...but before I could click over, another call beeped in. It was Larry, calling from work. Since he had major surgery less than a month ago, and is back at work on an abbreviated schedule, I was concerned...so I answered the phone. Larry was fine...just had a quick question. 

Now back to Joe. No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He hung up! I punched in his cell phone number and got his voice mail message. Too late. My window of opportunity to have a conversation with my son had closed. 

What are the odds that all three of my immediate family members would call me at the same time?

I sat back, sad and disappointed because even though I had heard all three of their voices, the quality of our conversations was sorely lacking. I felt like they all thought I didn't have time for them. I felt pulled three different ways and it didn't feel good.

I thought that feeling would leave me when my kids got older. I think back to when I worked full time, Larry worked most nights, the kids were in school/dance/soccer/theatre....getting them fed, where they needed to be on time, and trying to be interested and engaged was a constant challenge. Now they are grown, and I still feel pulled...wanting to give each "child" 100% of me when I can. Yet, they still just get a distracted fraction most of the time. 

When Nicole had her accident, the world pretty much stopped. It's like time stood still as I sat in the corner of her room in the Neuro ICU at New York Presbyterian Hospital. There was nothing else vying for my time and attention. Just Nicole. I focused on her 110%. I learned then that it's possible. Back home, Joe had badly broken a finger, and it really needed surgery to re-set it. But I couldn't control that situation by phone from New York. And Nicole was in critical condition. She needed me more. I had to say a prayer that Joe could/would handle his situation on his own and forget about it. And he did. 

But when the situation isn't life-threatening, their "demands" for my attention are just as important to them. I feel like I let them down when I'm not there for them like they want me to be. But I'm realizing, slowly, that I'm not letting them down. They are adults. They understand that I'm pulled several different directions at any given time. I'm realizing that the disappointment is something I'm putting on myself...and it's causing me stress. And stress kills.

So, I'm working daily on doing what I can, when I can, but not beating myself up when I can't. I'm only human. It doesn't mean that I love them any less. It just means it's time to let them figure it out on their own.

Be kind to yourself today. 

Blessings to all who read this!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Attack of the Killer Squirrel

It started innocently enough.

Larry was suffering from a touch of "cabin fever" after being in for so long following his momentous surgery last week. After dinner, I suggested we go up the road to the Livingston Farmers Market to get out of the house and into the fresh air for awhile. The market is from 4pm to 8pm each Thursday, and my neighbor/friend Phyllis Geary had never been, so we picked her up and off we went.

We arrived about 7:20. The sun was sinking behind the trees and there were still plenty of people there. A wonderful little band was playing, children were running around, and folks were gathered in the wine garden under a canopy of trees to visit and sip on the day's selections from Colony Wine Market. Scott Jackson poured us all a glass of La Vieille Ferme and off we went to see all the goodies the merchants had to offer.

Sauntering along the row of tents, it was as much about seeing friends and soaking in the atmosphere as it was looking at the items each merchant had for sale. Phyllis bought some fresh tomatoes. I bought a jar of apple butter. Larry was just happy to be on his feet. Just a nice, relaxing evening...sipping on wine and enjoying the ambiance of the market....

And then, it happened. Out of nowhere (actually from directly above my head), something fell from the tree and square into my face. Something big. Something that hit me with enough force to scratch my chin, bust my lip, and cause me to start bleeding profusely. Something that almost knocked me off my feet. Something that made me Spill. My. Wine.

My first thought was that it was a really big pine cone horse apple or maybe even a branch. (I have been following the facebook posts by the mom of Tripp Halstead, a little boy who was playing on the playground at preschool when a large branch fell on his head, leaving him badly brain damaged.) I'm fully aware that things like that can happen.

Before I could fully process what happened, a crowd of people gathered around me. I could see the horrified look in their eyes as they saw my bloodied face. That's when people started telling me what fell on my head.

Yep. That's right. It was a squirrel. Several folks saw it scamper away on the ground after it dive-bombed my head.

But it was no ordinary squirrel.

It was a killer squirrel. With killer instincts. Out to kill me. I'm convinced.

And just as crazy was the way people wanted to take care of me. Someone handed me a napkin to put on my chin, which was really bleeding badly. Someone else took the napkin from my hand, and poured what little I had left of my wine on it to "disinfect" my chin. Then a wonderful lady told me to come to her booth, because she wanted to put some clay on my chin.

But it wasn't any ol' clay...it was Mississippi Miracle Clay. According to their website,

No one is sure of the exact mechanism through which this clay acts but many people contribute the healing qualities of the clay to the fact the clay is formed out of negatively charged molecules. Viruses, inflammation, pollution and bad bacteria in your body are positively charged and the clay acts as a powerful magnet to attract the positively charge molecules and then absorbs and removes them from the body. In addition the clay replenishes the system with minerals such as silicon, magnesium, sulfur and other important trace minerals.

All I know is that the "clay lady" smeared some of the clay on my chin and it stopped bleeding and stopped hurting. I even put some inside my busted lip and the pain went away. And you guessed it, I bought some!

So, let's recap...I'm standing in front of one of the tents at the market when a killer squirrel swooped down and crashed into my face. A woman comes out of no where and smears clay on my chin and I stop hurting. What are the odds?

All I can say is that if a killer squirrel had to crash my head, I'm glad it happened in Mississippi, because what other state has miracle clay???

The rest of the time we were at the market, I had a big glob of clay on my chin and lip...

The funny thing was that everyone at the market told me "that stuff really works," and they proceeded to tell me their own stories of healing by using the miracle clay. I started feeling better. 

I went to bed last night with a bit of a headache (that squirrel hit me HARD!), my face covered in clay. This morning, I have to say, the wicked squirrel scratch was much smaller and the pain is pretty much gone. 

Roxie spends her mornings sitting on the loveseat in the keeping room, staring out the window for movement in the trees. When she sees something, she goes crazy, wanting to go outside and try to capture the offending squirrel. She's never caught one, and I'm not sure what she would do with it if she did. The squirrels seem to take great pleasure in taunting her, running along the top of the fence outside of her reach. I guess I'm going to have to school her on the very real danger that killer squirrels pose in our society. 

The moral of this story is to be aware of your surroundings at all times. And remember...

Blessings to all who read this!