Monthly Archives: September 2009

Hanging Out With Betsy

Betsy is a very close friend, in fact she is the one that got me jump started on my writing again – the original founder of the writing group I am in charge of. I kidnap her frequently and we go charging off to escape the kids and play. Our excursions are never boring because, you see, she is pretty much blind (she has retinitous pigmentosa – a degenerative eye disease). I say pretty much because she can see a little – your face, but that is pretty much it – but if you run across the room she can see more of you. She has a cane named Edgar (her first cane was Chadwick, but he got crushed), so most people think she is completely blind. That is where the fun comes in.

Example #1

Often we will head to the mall, because that is where Bath and Body Works is. One day we were browsing the store and I wound up down near the cash registers, while she was a few isles away. I snagged something rather funny and turned to her. “Hey, Betsy! Look at this!”

The look on the cashier’s face was something else. She was completely incensed about my aparant insensitivity. I got the evil glare a few times, much to our delight. We giggled about that one for hours.

Example #2

The bookstore is a highly entertaining place to go. You can imagine the looks on faces when she pulls books of the shelves and begins leafing through them. Or when I pull of a book and hand it to her. “What about this one? It seems like a really good story.” Of course, It may not help that we usually end up playing Marco Polo when we are looking for each other. I think next time she should start sniffing the books, so if someone asks she can tell them she buys them based on which one smells the best. 😀

Example #3

Well, if you haven’t gotten the idea yet, she has an amazing sense of humor and we love to play with people’s minds. It is highly entertaining. One evening we walked in to 7-Eleven with a serious case of the giggles. One of us made the comment for some reason that “A wrong doesn’t make a right” and of course in response “but 3 lefts do!” So, Betsy proceeded to meander around the store making her three lefts while I turned right and headed to Slurpee machine. The poor store employee stood there looking slighty baffled and rather panicked. Here was this blind lady meandering around the store and her friend wasn’t doing a thing! The employee began looking a tad bit irritated with me when she finally made a comment to whether or not Betsy needed assistance. “Oh no,” I replied, “She is just proving that three left turns make a right.”

The employee started laughing so hard she gave us our slurpees for free!

Aside from a never ending supply to humor there are definite benefits to having a blind, or nearly blind, friend. They never tell you you look bad. They have happy camper parking passes (handicap parking). You can tell them to step up when there is nothing to step up on and watch them high step through the parking lot. They can sword fight with their cane – which is way cool.

Of course there is one drawback that cropped up after a shopping trip with Betsy. I was talking with my hubby and friend and suddenly the friend pipes up, “Wait a second. You’re getting fashion advice from a blind lady???” After we all finished busting up laughing I simply replied. “Yup, and I have better fashion now than I did before, what does that say about me?”

All kidding aside. Betsy is awesome, and it is amazing to hang out with her. Her independence and things she does never ceases to amaze me. She has an amazing attitude and sense of humor. She doesn’t let it get her down, but cracks jokes about it and focuses on all the good things. In short, she teaches me a lot and I have become a better person just by knowing her. So, thanks Betsy, for all your awesomeness. 😀

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Filed under Humor

New Addition to the Family

In August we added a new member to our family. And before any of you start questioning here are the pictures:

Spitfire

Our neighbor’s cat had kittens and they were giving them away. Believe it or not I think my husband was more convincing than all of the kids. I go to pick though, and she was my favorite. I loved how she was white with matching black spots on each side. 😀 We brought her home to see how she would react to Susie (our dog) and how Susie would react to her. She could definitely handle herself. Anytime the dog came near she would arch her back and start spitting. Thus her name was born.

She is quite a bit bigger now, and eventually I will take some more pictures and post them. But for now these will do. Meet Spitfire.

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Filed under Pets, Photography

Summer of the Jacob

It was a great summer. We were busy had a ton of fun and by the beginning of August everyone was chomping at the bit for school to start. In short the kids were quickly becoming rather sick of each other. I didn’t get much blogging done, or writing, or anything really. Just tried to keep the kids from killing each other (or themselves as the case may be) and entertained until school started.

I was successful – barely. Let me give you the run down of what Jacob, in just that last month of August, did.

Part 1: The Tooth

It was a rare moment in time when I had managed to sit down and snag my laptop in hopes of at least checking some email when my son came running in screaming. After a few tries I was able to calm him down and discovered he had been jumping on the trampoline and fallen off into the ditch. I started the not so panicked where are you hurt questions – not so panicked because he had managed to walk in here, gesticulating wildly with his arms, so I was fairly certain nothing was broken.

“My mouth,” he manages to say in between shuddering sobs, holding his hand over his lips. “I hurt my mouth.”

I have him open his mouth and sure enough one of his front teeth looks like its missing a piece. With it being Saturday I call to Paul and the inspection begins. Not only is he missing a piece off his tooth, but it is cracked in two places going all the way up in a V disappearing into the gum. Out dentist is out of town and the on call dentist can’t be reached. After extensive dental advice via phone with Paul’s Dad, we decided to give him some Tylenol (he wasn’t acting as though he was in a ton of pain) and tough it out until Monday.

Monday came and we got him in to see out dentist. I explained what happened as they took the x-rays and the dentist nods his head in knowing confirmation. Then he looks at the films and his eyebrows furrow and look of slight shock crosses his face. “And it doesn’t hurt him?” I shook my head no as he continued. “He had to have hit HARD in order to shatter his tooth like that.”

I looked at my little guy with not even a bruise and thought about how lucky we were and how this kid has someone watching over him.

The dentist proceeded to extract the tooth and was amazed at how well Jacob handled it. It came out in three pieces and he really had to dig to get the last piece out – there was so little to grab on to. So now we affectionately refer to Jacob as our Hillbilly boy. 😀

Part 2: The Gum

It was a week later. Poor kid had come down with a nasty cold. He was barking something fierce and I suddenly out of the blue one afternoon he is crying inconsolably about his ear. Turns out he had a major ear infection so we snagged antibiotics for it. Two days later he is sitting on a bar stool at our kitchen counter eating lunch. He is messing around with one of his sisters and falls off, catching his mouth on the way down. Proceeds to scrape his gum literally off his tooth (happens to be the tooth beside the extraction site). We can see his tooth going all the way up and his gum all bunch together – once we get the bleeding to stop that is. Again, it is a weekend, and we didn’t want to bother our dentist. Paul’s dad was in Mexico this time, so we pestered a church friend who confirmed out suspicions that there wasn’t anything to do and just watch for infection. I’d never been so grateful for an ear infection before. With him on antibiotics, infection was hardly even a thought. And once again, I was grateful for this lucky kid we had.

Part 3: The Van

Jacob loves all things vehicular. His favorite movie is Cars. The kid is going to be a menace. Actually, lets change that, he already is! Some time ago (over a year now) I made the mistake of leaving the car running while he was in it to run in and grab the babysitter. In the two minutes I was gone he got out of his car seat and put the van in neutral so it started rolling down our steep driveway. Luckily the babysitter stopped the van before it got too far. Since that point we have been careful to always do two things: Never leave it running and lock all the doors. Well, I forgot to lock the back end.

The kids were all, except James, outside playing and riding bikes with neighbor kids. Liz was under strict instructions to keep an I on Jacob. I was playing with James inside and had just sat down to check email before getting dinner ready. The door bangs open and Elizabeth comes tearing in, absolute panic written all over her face. “Jacob is driving the car!”

My first thought was, “He got my keys.” Because, honestly, I wouldn’t put it past him. I went sprinting out the front door. There was no van sitting in the driveway. I looked down to the road and there a little ways down the road sat my son in the front seat of our van on his knees in the driver seat. The window was rolled down and he was wailing at the top of his lungs. I charged over to him and immediately looked in the ignition for my keys. They weren’t there!

Turns out something is wrong with the transmission and it doesn’t lock in place anymore when it is in park and turned off. You can pull it out of gear. So Jacob climbed in the back end – being sure to close it after him of course – and yanks the car out of gear. It flies backwards down the driveway. All the kids, including neighbor kids, manage to get out of the way in time. He hits his bike (the real reason for the wailing) and runs over it. He turns the steering wheel so he neither runs into the house across the street or Paul’s pick-up. He is dragging the bike now out the front of the car and it slows him down enough to stop before he hits the curb and fire hydrant. Our usually busy street, on which cars never go the speed limit, is strangely empty. He hit no cars and no cars hit him.

After I get over the shock of it, I can’t find my keys, so I call AAA and they help me push it out of the way until Paul gets home. I found my keys once the van was safely out of the road and I could actually look for them.

I now know, beyond any shadow of a doubt that that kid not only has an angel looking out for him, but his own personal army! (and this all on top of what I wrote about back in July… it’s a wonder I’m not gray yet!)

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Filed under Children, Jacob, Miracles