Sunday, September 14, 2014

Honestly, ENOUGH. On Hurricane Odile.

In the eight years we've lived here we've never once experienced a category 4 hurricane. I think the strongest we've ever felt was a 1 or a 2.



Cabo has never felt a category 4 hurricane.



Tropical storm Odile decided to become a full-fledged big-girl hurricane and is now racing toward the Baja peninsula at a rate of approximately 125-135 mph.

Whoa.

We've battened down our hatches. (Plywood is serving as window coverings, as are heavy rugs over sliding doors that are shielded by rain.)



Am I nervous? Absolutely.

This is not small.

So is Ferg. I wish I still had a baby carrier of some sort because she really wants to be with me. Closely. All of the time.

I'd just like to say, "Uncle".

This week has been insanity.  It's encompassed all of the following: sudden hearing loss, a robbery, the one-year-anniversary of my Mom's passing, my Dad's 67th birthday - for which he too, isn't on earth to celebrate, also the logistics of moving including re-doing a kitchen, buying faucets, phone issues and more. (Yay for living in a culture where I'm required to speak a language that is not my first.)

Currently, we are anticipating the riding out the storm in our somewhat-packed old house, while our cars are riding out the storm in the garage at our new house.

Honestly?

ENOUGH.

ENOUGH FOR ONE WEEK.

They tell us it's going to start getting bad this evening.

It's 4:19 p.m. and the rain has come... it's getting louder.

The view from inside our courtyard.

Sigh.

I hope that by some act of God our A/C doesn't go... I mean, life in a closed up house when you can't open the windows isn't fun. Especially when it's 80 degrees outside.

But alas, there's been a rumor that if/when the wind get to be "too much" they'll shut off electricity to prevent the blowing of transformers, etc.




How would you like that coming straight at you?

Your prayers are appreciated.

This is big.

::

Stay tuned to advisories here:

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPEP5+shtml/141453.shtml

And also here.

And my favorite: http://www.eebmike.com


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Acknowledgement

As an American, I must observe today.

Sigh.


As his daughter, I must also observe this day.

My Dad (Vivi's twin) would have been 67 today.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

I love you to the moon and back.


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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I hope this veers a little west...

We had a little hurricane last week (Norbert) and now we have Tropical Storm Odile coming directly at us.


 Ah, hurricane season...



I certainly hope she moves in the other direction.

Now on to the name, "Odile."



Here's what it means:
Odile is a French name meaning "wealthy, fortunate."
Odile is a variant of the Old German name Odila, and its meaning is "fortunate or prosperous in battle".

Tropical storms and hurricanes don't often evoke "fortunate" feelings for me.

And it's very clearly, not popular:


The more you know... (chime, chime, chime... who remembers that?)


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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

on grief: Hello, one year.

Of course this little gem was waiting for me this morning as I walked to my car.
I'm going to be just fine.

"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge..."
Psalm 91:4a

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The Story of Loss. On Losing my Mom.
September 9, 2013  ::  The day I found out ::  Post here.
September 16, 2013  ::  It's One Week today  ::  Post here.
September 25, 2013  :: The Call  ::  Post here.
September 30, 2013  ::  Slivers of Sunlight  ::  Post here.
October 6, 2013  ::  That first week.Those first days :: Post here.
October 14, 2013  ::  14 days after  ::  Post here.
October 20, 2013  ::  I found a treasure  ::  Post here.
November 4, 2013  ::  She's been gone for 4 weeks  :: Post here.
November 13, 2013  ::  I smile and drive and cry and smile and cry  :: Post here.
November 17, 2013  ::  Weekends aren't easy  :: Post here.
November 26, 2013  ::  The holidays, the firsts  ::  Post here.
December 1, 2013  ::  8 weeks  :: Post here.
December 10, 2013  ::  The Dream  :: Post here.
December 19, 2013  ::  Vulnerability and Moving Forward  ::  Post here.
December 22, 2013  ::  The reminders. They're everywhere  ::  Post here.
December 29, 2013  :: 2013  :: Post here.
January 1, 2014  ::  The New Year  :: Post here.
January 7, 2014  ::  2 days from 4 months  ::  Post here.
January 17, 2014  ::  Another Gift ::  Post here.
January 25, 2014  ::  She would have been 60 today  ::  Post here.
February 9, 2014  ::  Five months  ::  Post here.
March 6, 2014  ::  Almost six months  ::  Post here.
March 27, 2014  ::  One of the Best Gifts Ever  ::  Post here.
April 1, 2014  ::  We're all in this together  ::  Post here.
April 24, 2014 :: 7 Months, Easter and Nope, I'm still not normal.  ::  Post here.
May 6, 2014  :: Mother's Day without a Mom  ::  Post here.
June 1, 2014  ::  Moving "forward"  ::  Post here.
July 6, 2014  ::  Denial & acceptance & blah, blah, blah  ::  Post here.
August 20, 2014  ::  So, I'm 35  ::  Post here.
September 2, 2014  ::  7 days  ::  Post here.
September 8, 2014  ::  The Day Before a Year  ::  Post here.

Monday, September 08, 2014

On Grief: The day before a year.

Love.


Today was more difficult than I thought it would be.

I felt nervous and anxious. I couldn't focus on anything today. Every inch of my body was on edge; on the defense. I couldn't help but compare last year, on this day, to this year. The date of her passing is actually the 9th, but Mondays have continued to be hard for me since that Monday last year when I got the call.

Today, on the way to work, I couldn't help but think, "You drove to work last year, on a Monday, just like this... you had no idea what was in store."

As I sat at my computer, I couldn't focus. I was looking out of the same window that I was looking out of when we began to worry... when we couldn't find her...

I unconsciously wore a very similar dress today; very similar to what I wore a year's-worth-of-Mondays ago.

I was nervous. And anxious. And physically incapable of focusing.

Highly alert.

I am surprised at the physical response to today that I've had. I fear for tomorrow. The "real" anniversary.

And that's the thing, I want nothing to do with this "anniversary." It's stupid. Why on earth would I want to acknowledge the day that my Mom died? I honestly cannot, for the life of me, figure this one out. If it were up to me, which it may be if I can get my emotions on board, I will zoom through tomorrow feeling... nothing. Nothing but sunshine and rainbows and love.

But, that's where my confidence in myself has been somewhat shaken.
My track record of, "enjoying the day" on any of the firsts this past year hasn't been that impressive.

Thanksgiving - boo.
Christmas - boo.
Her birthday - ridiculous boo.
Mother's Day - oh man.
Throw in the kiddos school presentations, Easter and a few more holidays and I failed. Miserably.

It's like for every "first" I've tried to amp myself up motivational-speaker-style. "You can do this! Remember the GOOD times! Find a great memory and 'wrap yourself in it'. Talk to her! Do it for hte kiddos! Tell her you love her! Do something that would honor her!"

I have good intentions. But my intentions seem to be overtaken by at first a whispering reminder that she's gone... and then by mid-day, the whisper has gotten louder - it's full-blown-conversational tone and doesn't let me forget that this year is different; this day is different.

You might as well get into bed now. Who cares if it's 3 p.m.

I fear that's how tomorrow will be, too. I'll try to ignore it; to "rise above it" - but it's still going to be there.

You don't forget the Worst Day of Your Life.

And maybe you're not supposed to?

::

A year ago tonight, it was her last night to live.

A year ago tonight was the last time I ever heard my mom's voice.

It's hard to not think of that.

::

For me, today has felt like driving on ice in a blizzard. (The midwest never leaves me.)

You're clenching the wheel... the stress in your neck and shoulders has crept it's way up to your head and found a nice place to rest in the form of a dull, sometimes sharp, but omnipresent headache.

You have no idea when you might hit a patch of ice, God protect you, and you might spin helplessly into another car or off the road.

You want to pull over, but you can't. So you keep going... silently praying.

Today was that day for me.
I spun out a few times -- I sobbed at my ENT appointment -- because doesn't everyone lose it with their Ear, Nose and Throat specialist?

But, I kept going.

And, if there's anything I've learned in the past 364 days it's that time marches on and tomorrow is always a new day.

::

Today, after the ENT sob-fest I heard myself exhaling loudly.
It immediately struck me.
I did that for months after she died.

Sometimes, you just need to remind yourself to breathe.

::

I've been thinking about the one-year-mark for a month or so. I immediately felt that I didn't want to or plan on acknowledging it in any sort of celebratory fashion. I want to celebrate her life, but I can't ask myself to do anything more than observe this anti-milestone.

Instead of reminding me of my precious Mama, tomorrow reminds me of our loss.
It underscores that she's gone.

And I just don't want to be part of that. At least not right now.

I hope that by tomorrow evening at this time, I won't be lost in the mire. I hope instead, that I can feel her with me and that I can sit and write about the good things. About the ways that she made me smile. About what we laughed about. About what I love about her. (Love, not "loved".)

I've been meaning to write down all of my memories of her... just everything I can think of, free-style, free-flowing writing...

...maybe I'll start that tomorrow.

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The Story of Loss. On Losing my Mom.
September 9, 2013  ::  The day I found out ::  Post here.
September 16, 2013  ::  It's One Week today  ::  Post here.
September 25, 2013  :: The Call  ::  Post here.
September 30, 2013  ::  Slivers of Sunlight  ::  Post here.
October 6, 2013  ::  That first week.Those first days :: Post here.
October 14, 2013  ::  14 days after  ::  Post here.
October 20, 2013  ::  I found a treasure  ::  Post here.
November 4, 2013  ::  She's been gone for 4 weeks  :: Post here.
November 13, 2013  ::  I smile and drive and cry and smile and cry  :: Post here.
November 17, 2013  ::  Weekends aren't easy  :: Post here.
November 26, 2013  ::  The holidays, the firsts  ::  Post here.
December 1, 2013  ::  8 weeks  :: Post here.
December 10, 2013  ::  The Dream  :: Post here.
December 19, 2013  ::  Vulnerability and Moving Forward  ::  Post here.
December 22, 2013  ::  The reminders. They're everywhere  ::  Post here.
December 29, 2013  :: 2013  :: Post here.
January 1, 2014  ::  The New Year  :: Post here.
January 7, 2014  ::  2 days from 4 months  ::  Post here.
January 17, 2014  ::  Another Gift ::  Post here.
January 25, 2014  ::  She would have been 60 today  ::  Post here.
February 9, 2014  ::  Five months  ::  Post here.
March 6, 2014  ::  Almost six months  ::  Post here.
March 27, 2014  ::  One of the Best Gifts Ever  ::  Post here.
April 1, 2014  ::  We're all in this together  ::  Post here.
April 24, 2014 :: 7 Months, Easter and Nope, I'm still not normal.  ::  Post here.
May 6, 2014  :: Mother's Day without a Mom  ::  Post here.
June 1, 2014  ::  Moving "forward"  ::  Post here.
July 6, 2014  ::  Denial & acceptance & blah, blah, blah  ::  Post here.
August 20, 2014  ::  So, I'm 35  ::  Post here.
September 2, 2014  ::  7 days  ::  Post here.

No, she didn't. MARTHA. Stop it.

I was just reading some of my favorite blogs and obviously checked on one of my absolute favorites: The Martha Stewart Blog. (I urge you to add it to your blog-reading list.)

From TheMarthaBlog.com

Before I go on, kindly note the subtitle on Martha's blog header: "up close & personal"

Now let's move on.

Here's today's post:

Not only is the title riveting, but it comes.with.pictures.



All I could say, while reading this with a smile on my face was, "No. No, she didn't."

Yes, she did.

Yes she did, friends.

It appears that one of Martha's crowns in her mouth had unfortunately broken and she needed it repaired by her dentist of 15 years, Dr. Marc Lowenberg.

SO, she TOOK PICTURES OF THE FIXING OF THE CROWN.

I literally cannot stop laughing.



Please go to her site so that you can read the captions on the photos They're so thorough, so grammatically correct, and so Martha.

[I really love this woman. I do.]

She is educating her readership regarding the crown replacement process; think of how many fears she's assuaged by sharing her experience. I mean honestly, that's awesome.

She's tossed aside vanity [and any notion of hygiene discretion] and has shared her dental procedure with us in order to demonstrate that she too, is a mere mortal, prone to cracking caps. And she, just like us, would do just about anything rather than pay for dental care. (You know she got that cap for free.)

I adore her.

This has made my day**.

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**My Mom would have loved this. :)

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Book Review: Call the Midwife - the 3-book series



Books:
Book 1 - Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy and Hard Times (On Amazon)
Book 2 - Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse (On Amazon)
Book 3 - Call the Midwife: Farewell to the East End (On Amazon)

Author: Jennifer Worth

Apparently, Call the Midwife is a show on PBS inspired by these 3 books written by Jennifer Worth.
I didn't know about that, since PBS is the one channel I don't get in Cabo.
But, any broadcasting company that can bring you Sesame Street and Downton Abbey has my vote of confidence.

That said, I loved this trilogy of memoirs. Midwifery fascinates me. I remember when I was pregnant for the first time with my first child who turned five in June. I was telling my cousin how nervous I was to "give birth in Mexico." The pragmatist that she is, she immediately said, "They've been having babies there for centuries. I think you'll be fine."

And there you have it. She was right.

Women have been having babies since, well, the beginning of time. In their homes. With the help of skilled midwives and loads of female friends and family members.

These memoirs give us a little glimpse into what it must have been like to have a baby in an era when pitocen and c-sections weren't so common.

The first book, Call the Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy and Hard Times, detailed what it was like to be pregnant and give birth in the poorer sections of post-war London. It was eye-opening to say the least. But the second and third book evolved from being "yet another story about a birth" (which I don't think I would have minded...) and instead focussed on telling the life story of some important characters.

These books were the perfect read for me this past summer: Why? They were interesting, relevant for me (as a Mom). I love historical fiction, I love social history and I'm nosy -- I love to know how other people lived.

The author, Jenny, was strong and cool and awesome. The nuns she lived with (yes, the nuns) were full of strength and quirks. It was a well-oiled machine; a service to the people.

Great series.

Read it.

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