Sunday, August 28, 2011

Heading to College

Great news! Dori was released from the hospital late Thursday and Dad D and I drove her home and got back early Friday morning.

Saturday we kept to Dori's plan and moved her into her dorm in the morning. The whole family went to the school and helped move everything in. She had a room change so that she was on the first floor and has a more accessible bathroom while she hobbles around with her removable leg cast. We helped move everything in and tried to help her make it look homey.

We met up with Pepper's parents and brother and all took her out to lunch. Then we drove back to her room. It was a little hard to leave her there. She looked little sitting in her wheelchair but also looked determined and impatient for us to head out too.

I sent her a text before I went to bed last night and she said she was feeling a bit lonely but was keeping busy. This morning, her message after church said she was not doing well. She felt self-conscious and not sure who or how to talk to in her new dorm.

I reminded her about my 'secret to being successful at college' and told her to keep trying. She seems to be doing ok today and will have lots of Freshmen activities to do tomorrow which should help her get to know more people. I think she will do great at school..... needing time for adjustment is normal when starting something new. :)

*Secret for success.... it is not just doing the classwork that makes one successful at college. Most people have no trouble with the required work in the classroom. It is 1) being able to connect with other people, even if they are different than you 2)be able to deal with all the red tape, non-sense stuff (like financial aid and registering for classes) and 3) believe that you belong there.

I sure am proud of her..... I will post updates on how well she is doing! :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cutting of the clothes

Coming into the emergency room as a trauma patient means your clothes get cut off. Dori learned this week that the ER staff don't even try to save the clothes. Her leather jacket and favorite jeans were split in two as they removed from her body. As the shirt was slit off, Dori said "Don't cut the bra!"

The man holding the scissors said, "Sorry, everything goes."

Dori looked at him and the other nurses around the stretcher and said. "This is a $40 bra and it is my favorite. You can cut everything, but NOT the bra!!"

Apparently, she had a very stern look or the female nurses around the stretcher had favorite bra's too.... but those scissors never came close to the bra. Dori has it safe and sound in her "My possessions" bag waiting for her discharge from the hospital. :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Motorcycle Crash

Currently, I am sitting in a hospital room in Virginia. Dori and Uncle K were in an accident on the 4th day of their 5 day graduation motorcycle trip. Dori has had an up and down day. The pain and meds she has each playing a role in her emotions. I have had an up and down day too. I was super charged to drive the 9+ hours to get to the hospital because I knew she was scared and lonely, waiting for us to show up. Dad D and I took off about 11 PM on Monday night and drove through the night and got to Dori before 8 AM. The hospital social worker thought we made excellent time. (My mom used to say that was “professional driver” talk for sped all the way) The day has worn on. It felt like 8 PM at Noon. I am tired and cranky myself but I try to be positive and not feel the ache in my neck as I rub her hair while she cries about the pain in her foot.

Dori has broken toes, a banged up knee and an impressive road rash on her face and backside. Uncle K was not so lucky. He has broken his leg in 3 places, a broken hip and pelvis. He punctured his lung and broken many bones in his face. He is intubated and has a cranial hemorrhage. He is not conscious. They want to operate on his hemorrhage but can’t because of his blood levels. Hopefully, tomorrow they can operate and K will heal as quickly as possible.

The story has changed a bit as we gather more of the story from the driver’s, witnesses and crash evaluation team. A deer ran into the road. Everyone agrees he came out of nowhere. A truck with the trailer slammed on his brakes when he hit the animal the trailer swayed and slammed into the motorcycle while it was in the slow lane. Dori was somehow tossed from the bike but Uncle K could not get free. He was dragged with the bike and trailer for several hundreds of feet before he could break free.

Looking at pictures of the wrecked bike it is obvious that Dori should not be in as good of shape that she is in. One of the things Dori said she asked Uncle K when they first started riding together was what she should do if there was a problem. He said, “I’ll deal with it. I might push you in a direction or even throw you off… but I’ll keep you safe.”

People can’t figure out how Dori flew free of the bike before the major damage was done. I can’t prove it, but I am pretty sure Uncle K helped her guardian angel and gave Dori a push to keep her from the full impact of the crash. I really hate that this accident happened but I am not sorry I let K take Dori on this ride. I know he protected her and he did what anyone that loves her would have done. I am grateful for the knowledge that he loves my kids that much…. And pray that he will be as unscathed as Dori will be from this accident. ☺

Mosquito’s Part 2

It’s interesting how a person’s priorities can change in the blink of an eye. I was sitting in my comfy chair last night, my only complaint was the mosquito bites I had on my arm from the walk Pepper and I took with Kirby that were itching me like crazy. My phone rang and I saw that it was a number I did not recognize. I answered it with my irritated “I-do-not-want-to-buy-whatever-you-are-selling” voice.

The woman on the other said, “Are you Dori’s mom?” Instant panic. Dori was somewhere south on a motorcycle trip with her uncle.

After I said yes, the woman told me she was at the scene of an accident involving a truck and a motorcycle. Dori and her Uncle were hurt and an ambulance was on the way. She said her family was traveling along the road and saw the accident happen. She said Dori was conscious and wanted to talk to me.

The woman stayed on the phone with me over 45 minutes. She told me when the ambulance came and then handed her phone over so I could answer health questions for the paramedics, after that I spoke to a state trooper about the incident report. This woman told me what was happening when they shut down the highway and when the life flight helicopters arrived. I got the play by play of everything that was happening from this woman and before Dori flew off to the hospital, she told Dori for me that I loved her. For those 45 minutes she was the only link I had to Dori, when she really needed me….. and through the whole thing I never felt one mosquito bite itch.

Thank you Karen from Boston….
At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have re-ignited the flame within us. ~Albert Schweitzer

Sunday, August 21, 2011


The mosquito's are horrible around here this summer! Worse than I have ever seen. There are these new 'super-size' ones here too.... they can bite through jeans and really hurt. I have been stung by a couple of them, and I seriously think they have little Red Cross pint size collection baggies strapped to their backs... they need them because they take A LOT of blood!

The sign above was up at a near-by store. It attracted a lot of attention... and hopefully a few bats!

Other signs that tell me I am not the only one that thinks the mosquito's are out of control this summer...

I drove past a neighbor the other day. She was headed from the house to her mailbox and was wearing a bee-keeper pith helmet!

We tried to put Kirby out on her run line that day... she looked at us like we were crazy! She looked me directly in the eye and I swear I could read her mind. She said, "Look Mom, I'll do my business super quick and we'll both go back inside away from these bugs! Don't you dare leave me out here with these little monsters!"

A few days later, Pepper and I went for a walk and we passed a women pushing a stroller that had mosquito netting all around it. She stopped to chat a moment and I commented on the netting. She told us it had come with the stroller but she had never seen the point of using it before this week. Pepper, the mom and I all looked at the little baby safe inside the netting girgling happily as we stood there swatted at bugs. You know we all stared into the little stroller and wished we could be in there too.

I suppose they will be around until the first frost... and as fast as summer is flying by, that won't be too long from now. :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

An Early Morning Conversation

Pepper: I dreamed we had a fish tank. But all the fish were dead.
Me: Why were the fish dead?
Pepper: They were in a bag with no water.
Me: Yep, that’ll do it. I dreamed I had a blue butt.
Pepper: A blue butt?!
Me: yes
Pepper: Did you dream you went to the doctor?
Me: No, it washed off.
{A few moments of silence}
Pepper: Are you waiting for me to interpret?!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

There are probably about a dozen things I can say I really regret that I’ve done in my life. Most of poor choices I made I can at least say I learned from. These include making one of my best friends in high school cry because of something I did, ignoring my mom when she asked me not to leave her alone to go see a movie and not standing up stronger for a friend in college that was struggling.

Other big ones: breaking into my elementary school because I wanted to play “teacher” the summer after 6th grade. I was arrested…. On Father’s Day… by far, not my brightest moment. Then there was the time I out ran a state trouper because a friend would not get her head… and upper torso… down out of my open sunroof and I could not afford {another} ticket. Disclaimer: This is not recommended and only worked because I zipped off the expressway into a neighborhood I was much more familiar with then he was…. And it was dark.

Most recently I regret letting my sister and Dori put mirrors all over the walls of her room. Several years ago, when we first moved into the house and my sister wanted to pay to decorate their rooms I thought it was great.

This week: not so much.

Pepper and I are now trying to take down all the mirrors (Pete is going into this room after Dori heads to college and we couldn’t get him to say he’d keep the FORTY mirrors that decorated the room!)

Redecorating in August is never recommended…. Especially in an old house without a/c. It is about 103 degrees in the upstairs bedrooms. Plus because we are taking off sharp pieces of glass, gloves and thick shoes add to the hotness. But we are working under a time crunch because KC (our new exchange student) is coming soon and we’d like the rooms done before she gets here.

All this hotness is actually the reason I am blogging this…. Avoiding. Pepper is ready to head back up and work on Dori’s room more, but as long as I keep typing I can get out of it. I am trying to look very studious and pretend I don’t notice that she wants me to come help. [sigh] She isn’t going to be patient much more…. I guess I better get back to work before I regret something else! ☺

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tomato Hornworm

This worm is BIG! He invaded my garden with a lot of his family and friends. I was not happy! :(

The whole family has spent lots of time trying to get all his cohorts out of my tomatoes. Unfortunately, by the time I realized what they were they ate most of my little potato plants.

The funniest thing about the situation was the look on Pepper's face when she accidentally touched this big fella! She did not realize it was a worm and just reached out and touched it with her finger.... and it was a bit squishier than she expected! She isn't really a gardener, or an "outside girl" or a bug lover at all... so when she touched it her look was very funny. I wish I had taken a picture of that look, but it does make me smile just thinking about it!!

We have the worms pretty well under control at this point. I paid the boys .10 cents per worm that they removed so they were quite motivated. Tomatoes are starting to come in... I can't believe how fast this summer is going by!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dog Walking

Every morning of our camping trip Pepper, J, Jay's sister and I took our dogs for a walk. We took 3 dogs with us, although we could have taken more since both J and her sister have more than one dog. (We have more than one cat..... see previous blog to know how I feel about that!)

Anyway, we walk along our usual route which is mostly side roads with lots of fields and cow pastures. J and her sister are training their dogs to follow without a leash.... I don't take the chance with Kirby... she still has the attention span of a nat. (picture Doug from the movie "Up") So both of the other dogs are bipping in and out of the grass by the ditches and Kirby is zig zagging between them. J's sister and Pepper are making comments about how Kirby is going at least double the distance of the rest of us because she is going back and forth so much across the road. Although I am being innocent and quiet here, just minding my own business and not saying anything J pipes in with, "Yeah, Kirby takes walks the way Ilene canoes!!"

Is that even fair? I canoe just fine! I was just being quiet and innocent, enjoying a morning walk....see how they pick on me?!! :(