Archive for June, 2010

June 29, 2010

June 29, 2010

This summer, I have had a new baby granddaughter born, rec’d news of my 1st publication, sent my book to a publisher (big day!), and my husband and I each got a new vehicle. We are in debt up to our elbows. But we pretty much had to do it. I had a Dodge neon w/ 160,000 miles on it. Never had any major problem with the car. It’s a cheap little car, not rated well, and for me, I nearly cried when I had to give it up. Loved that little car and it got 30 mpg! Now I have a gold Ford Fusion ’07 with 17,000 miles on it. So far it’s getting 25 mpg. Loved putting my Purdue alumni license plate on that gold car. My hubby got a pick up truck, something he’s wanted for 20+ yrs. This is the only way we’ll continue to drive to Indiana to see grandkids & his parents.

My big thing is a budget, paying our bills, keeping track of everything & cooking from the diabetic cookbook I got at Leah’s. We now have to make this budget work, there is no other option, whether or not we are traveling, at the beach, wherever or whatever.

Have been taking 40 min. walks 5 days/week again. Age is creeping up on my body. It’s not wanted, it is necessary at this point, to keep the joints active & limber.

Have had consistent 100 degree days. No such thing as a day without sunshine here. Take a walk at noon & you feel like you can’t breathe, come in and your clothes are soaked.

I am heading into a month of travel back & forth to Indiana & totally immersed in grandkids. I really need to work a LOT more, but the main goal of book-to-publisher is ACCOMPLISHED. Fall 2010 semester will soon sneak up and hit me like a bomb.

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BOOK

June 25, 2010

I mailed my book and book proposal to a publisher today.

hidden words of Baha’u’llah nos.41-42

June 23, 2010

Haven’t posted these in awhile. As previously stated, if anyone wants this book, “Hidden Words” send me your address & I’ll mail you one. Really!

41. O SON OF MAN!
Magnify My cause that I may reveal unto thee the mysteries of My greatness and shine upon thee with the light of eternity.

42. O SON OF MAN!
Humble thyself before Me, that I may graciously visit thee. Arise for the triumph of My cause, that while yet on earth thou mayest obtain the victory.

 (Baha’u’llah, The Arabic Hidden Words)

finished book proposal

June 23, 2010

I think, perhaps, tonight I finished the @*(#) book proposal, and have revised every dang chapter at least once or twice!!

Something in me wants to say every cuss word I can think of, I’m so sick of this project. Please God, let me publish this thing and be done with it. I may never publish another thing in my life. Which was definitely shortened by the length of this project and its toll on my mental state!

happy father’s day one week early

June 13, 2010

Somehow I am thinking of my father today. I want to wish him a happy father’s day one week early. My father died 9 days after I turned 16. He was 50 years old. I am now 56. Life is an amazing journey.

What was my father’s type of fathering? He was a professor of mechanical engineering. As such he supported the family while my mom stayed home w/ us. It was the 50s-60s, this was more possible in those days.

My father was an amazing man, coming from a poor white family with roots in Scotland/Ireland from who knows when. I am having trouble tracing back farther than my father’s grandfather. But they came from southern Indiana, probably southern Ohio before that. My father’s grandfather was a painter by trade, in fact died from a fall off a ladder. My father’s father worked for the Monon railroad. My father’s parents got married when his mother was 16 yrs. old. I think his father was about 20. My own parents met at the same exact ages, but waited to get married. My father was the 1st in his family to get a college degree. He lived in a small apt. on the street where my mother grew up, which is how they met. They used to take walks to the corner drugstore to pick up a Coca cola.

His style of parenting. He was with us as much as possible, always home for dinner, and spent many weekends with papers spread out all across the dining room table, grading, but he was home. He sometimes took my sister and I with him to the university on a Saturday, where we were left to freely explore his building. We did this with great delight. To us it felt much like exploring a house with many floors and hidden passageways. He was all about a sense of freedom, within limits.

Every summer we took a vacation, which usually meant a trip out west somewhere,  Bryce Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Zion canyon, the Redwood forest, Yosemite. We never did the Geyser national park, I forget the name of it. Our cousins went there repeatedly to camp, but we always went somewhere else. Once to Disneyland, once to Mexico, once to Canada. My August birthday was often spent many hundreds of miles from my home. We camped and slept in a tent. Eating out was a treat.

I don’t remember my father ever raising his voice. He would get frustrated, with my mother or us, and just turn around and walk away.

As a child, he contracted some disease and ended up with one leg shorter than the other, which meant for the rest of his life he walked with a noticeable limp. He couldn’t bend over to tie both his shoes; we always tied one for him. He also found a flute on the street one day, which was in some different sort of “key” and he taught himself to play it, transcribing music to make his flute play the notes. In later life, he wrote marches for Purdue band and also performed with them.

He rarely, rarely, hardly ever raised his hand to us. I remember him smacking my backside or the top of my leg and it was like lightning hit me, it was such a big deal. One smack and we would be sent to our rooms. He was, in reality, a very lenient dad. He wanted so much to discipline us and teach us things, but he also wanted to give us many things. I think it was more important to our mom to see us dressed well, and she would take us to Sears and charge up the credit card every season, getting my sister and I new clothes for the next school year or summer.

He loved to joke and play tricks on us. One example is when it was my birthday & all I wanted was a stingray bike. I went outside and saw one in the driveway. I asked, “Is that mine?” He said, “There’s a name on it.” I went over to it and it said, “SUSIE.” That’s my sister’s name. I was so shocked, but I looked up and here was my dad bringing my new bike out of the garage, laughing. My sister only got a new stingray bicycle seat. Mine was a whole new bike.

As I got older, I realized my dad never went to church, except once or twice a year to make my mom happy. He was a true scientist. He and my older brother would have science discussions, which I was not old enough to participate in, but I knew science was his religion. He told me one time that he was agnostic. God may exist, or He may not. But he believed in the continual progression and advancement of human kind. Deep down, I know he really hoped that God was real. Yes, in his younger days he sang in the church choir and all that, but to remember the man he was and be honest about it, we must acknowledge his cynicism in later life.

He loved life to the absolute fullest, and had the utmost highest of integrity in all he did. He and my mother had a few good friends, and they would often come to our house for an evening. We would eat, play music, and have a good time. He loved us, and my mother, without question. That I know.

His death left us with an empty hole that has never, and will never, be filled. to this day, I miss him so much. And love him so much. My dear father, did you know how very much you meant to us and how we would fall apart without you?

My life changed in ways it could not have, if he had lived longer than he did. Life is something we accept and learn from. It freaks me out to know I have lived 6 years longer than he was able. My dear father is with me always, in my heart forever. I thank him for all his sacrifices.

my kids are raised

June 11, 2010

June 11th, spent most of the day with Leah, Naylah and Zakiah at a Life and Science museum in Durham. It was amaszingly hands on for kids with tons of stuff to do and learn. For example, a wind park with large toy sailboats you could “drive” — operate remotely– from the side of the pond; giant “seeds” that went 20 feet into the air on a conveyor belt and then swirled down for kids to catch them; a dinosaur walk in the woods with replicas of dinosaurs around every corner; a huge “sand box” play area; a place to take sticks and beat loudly on drums, xylophones and tympany drums; and many other things. Naylah spent most of the time in the snugli and sometimes in the stroller. Leah could stop to nurse her whenever needed. We were all tired by the time we left. After watching many parents with small children, it suddenly occurred to me how HAPPY I am that my kids are raised!! Praise God, all that they are going through I made it through. I’ve done my parenting bit. All the exhausted nights, children’s classes, saying prayers and brushing teeth at bedtime, all done. We made lots of mistakes along the way, some of them pretty terrible. But our kids are all amazingly doing okay.

I have 2 more days here. Then I take Zakiah back to our house for this next week, returning on the weekend with my husband again. I feel sad that my 24/7 time here is about up. But everyone will go on with their lives and get used to these new stages we are in. And as grandparents, we are closer this time than when Zakiah was born. Naylah will know us and miss us when we go home, more than Zakiah did before he was 2.

Zakiah

June 6, 2010

Took Zakiah to the Mall this morning. Zakiah wakes up asking you to play baseball with him. He is awake and 1st thing, ready to go. He would not stop to eat breakfast but would bounce outside and start playing, if he were allowed to. It is hard to explain to him that Grandma’s aren’t quite the same. We awake, take a while to sit up in bed, slowly get out of bed, take an hour to drink coffee, have a little breakfast and get awake and ready for our day! I will miss Zakiah’s energy, even though I look forward to more time of my own in the future. The transition will be really hard now, since I will have been here nearly a month by the time I go home. Sad to think about right now. Zakiah is so used to waking up with Grandma in a bed next to him. “Dwama, wet’s pway.”  (Grandma, let’s play.)

So we spent 4 hours at the Mall, where he played in a kid’s play area (2 different times), we bought a few girly outfits for Naylah, ate in a food court, and then another 40 mins. in an outdoor area where water fountains sprayed intermittently while kids ran around and through them. By the time we got home, he was exhausted and slept for 2 hours +.

attending a birth

June 5, 2010

I feel a poem coming on about the total strength of a woman giving birth. If you ever have the opportunity to witness a birth, JUST DO IT. There is something sacred and all-encompassing amazing about witnessing such a totally awesome event. At this one, I sat back and watched, observing, as I was there for Zakiah, the big brother. We were being very quiet in the last few minutes before, which is when we came in.

Watching my own daughter giving birth to a granddaughter is something indescribable. Daddy Jean did an excellent job as well. As the baby descended down the birth canal, they were the most extreme, intense, but controlled moments imaginable. The two midwives coached, supported, spoke encouraging words, and told her when to stop pushing and allow her own body to stretch. They said, “There is no rush.” Indeed, what an amazing thing to say at that time, but it was true. The mother in those last moments can become confused and need wise coaching. She forgets, and needs to be told to take a deep breath, to breathe. She needs to hear she is doing beautifully, that they can see her baby’s head descending. It is the most amazing time. I remain firmly convinced that, given the encouragement, any mother can do a natural childbirth, and it is less likely to lead to complications. All this intervention stuff adds to the complexity of things going on, and leads to more problems! These problems can come from the mother not feeling a dang thing and not knowing even when she is having a contraction, not knowing when to push, when to relax. Problems also come from baby receiving unnecessary drugs. I fully support the mother, as she needs to do what she is comfortable with, but if doctors could remember that they are usually only catching the  baby, and it is a natural process that happens on its own, things would be much better for mother AND baby. I also am convinced that women understand women, and there is a wisdom in midwives helping a mother through birth. However, a woman wants her partner with her also, the person she loves the most, the one she made the baby with. They should share that event. His presence is invaluable as well.

When this chance comes up for you, do not hesitate— just GO, you will not regret it for one moment.

1 day old

June 4, 2010

Baby has arrived!!

June 3, 2010

Baby arrived at 6:49am this morning. Will write more later– 6 lbs., 5 oz., 19 inches, no complications, beautiful birth.

Grandma was holding Zakiah and came in just before birth, sitting some distance away. Zakiah started tearing up so Grandma walked out with him to reassure him, and the next contractions brought the baby! We came right back in. We were all excited she was a little girl.

Naylah Chemutai Justina Ruto

I forget what Naylah means…

Chemutai: Kenyan middle name for ” born in early hours of the morning”. All girl middle names start with Che.

Justina for Jean’s mother

Contractions woke Leah up around 1am, they woke me up at 3am, we left shortly before 4am, arrived at birthing center around 4:45, baby was born 2 hours later. Zakiah woke up at 4 and was up until just now, when he is going down for a nap, 1pm. Zakiah got his big brother present, a baseball and bat.