Monday, January 31, 2011


Yesterday was my birthday, yay me! I had a good time, the pattern of the last few was broken, and although I try and be a traditionalist, change was good. :)

The Firebird is doing great in basketball. He is a shooter. He gets the other team's rebound, passes it off to one of his teammates to move the ball down the court, and races down the court to get in position for our rebound. He made 8 points tonight. His highest so far was twelve. He had a lame couple of games with few or no points right after Kristen's accident. He has rebounded well.

The whole team is doing well; everyone's improving and our coach challenges them more every game. Willow and I are a couple of fans, cheering in the stands. Phoenix's success has enabled us to gain acceptance in his new school. Some of the parents assume I must be a basketball expert, so it's really funny when I make some really dumb comment. haha.

We have a big storm coming, welcome February. January went fast, I'm hoping the rest of the winter follows that pattern. The temp was 10 below zero this morning. Supposed to be 15 below tomorrow morning, and not knowing that I called Boss this noon and begged to work tomorrow. I missed Friday because I was in the ER.

I had three trips to the hospital last week. Monday for my three week blood work. The nurse called me Tuesday and said my levels were coming down and stay on the med. Then I mentioned I had a sore throat. She told me to go right to the lab and have blood drawn. It was snowing-so she grudgingly agreed I could go in the morning, but I had to stop taking methimazole immediately until the results came in.

Methimazole has a rare side effect. It can cause your white blood cell level to crash, making you vulnerable to infection. A sore throat is apparently cause for immediate concern.

Those blood tests came back fine. I was off the med for 24 hours and resumed it that night. The next day my shoulders felt like I had a tetanus shot. By bedtime the pain settled in one shoulder and I struggled all night to sleep, getting out of bed at dawn to drive myself (singledhandedly, literally) to the hospital.

Trying to get into a hospital gown had me in tears. I could wiggle the fingers of my left hand and that was it. I had to use my right hand to move my left arm and even that was agony. I had an x-ray series, an ice pack, and 500 mg of Ibuprofen. They offered me something stronger, but I would have had to have someone pick me up because they wouldn't let me drive. After once driving myself home after receiving morphine in the ER and getting carsick after the rotary, I hastily agreed to just Ibuprofen.

I was diagnosed with rotator cuff injury. The pain started to fade. When I was released 4 hours later, I was able to touch the steering wheel with my fingers. By noon I was lugging laundry one handed to the laundramat. I worked the farm the next morning. By the 36 hour mark all pain and stiffness was gone. Today I split wood.

Ok, that was weird! I had something similar happen before I went on the meds with the other shoulder, only not so painful. So I wonder if there was a relation to going off the meds for 24 hours? I should probably let the endo know, but I am waiting to see if it happens again. So here's hoping it doesn't!

Saturday I went over to visit Kristen's family. They wanted me to go through her clothes. You would not believe the bags and boxes they had put aside. I went through everything one thing at a time. If I hesistated over something, her daughter would say how K had loved that, or wore it all the time, So in the keep pile it would go.

Then her daughter's boyfriend was helping, "Oh, that's a nice shirt," if I hesitated.

The only comment D made was when I put on a silver metallic thread turtleneck sweater. "That's shiny," he said. I put that in the reject pile. :)

About halfway through I said, "I'll just throw out all my clothes."

Because there is two complete wardrobes of stuff sitting in bags downstairs right now. I have no idea where I can put it. So I am going to go through everything again in front of a mirror and try and keep a quarter of it? That still seems a lot!

No tears were shed during the visit, although Willow got a little bleary eyed at one point. That was her first visit to the house since K passed. I am sort of in shock, no so much because of the volume of stuff, but the concept of it. It's like an extension of my own stuff, from old stained sweatshirts, felted sweaters, nice stuff, out of date stuff. So it sort of rocks my feeling of immortality, to put it mildly.

Her daughter had already taken what she wanted, so you can imagine what the entire amount must have equaled! Then, I'll call her Vine, gave Willow several of her own beautiful dresses, including her prom dress. Willow was thrilled!!

D was smoking a butt on the deck when we made our goodbyes. He gave me a big hug and pressed something into my hand and said, "Happy Birthday, this is from Kristen." I closed my hand and thanked him sincerely. As I walked away, I opened my hand and saw her beautiful pair of blue glass and silver drop earrings.

I'm not very fond of Death at the moment.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


My car is back on the road for the time being. A friend bought me some power steering fluid and it was still leaking so I took it to the mechanics. Three big guys pushed a truck out of the bay so they could get my car on the lift. Then they fixed it in about 10 minutes and charged me $10.

All it needed was a new clamp on the patch. I am not mechanical, and even after I jacked up one side of the car lying in the snow (on a blanket) trying to seat the clamp on the hose was beyond me. Something about lying down with the car inches over my head made me too claustraphobic to deal with it properly. Definitely worth the $10.

We are under a winterstom watch with snow and ice later. The alert system called and said the kids will be released at noon, no basketball game tonight.

I have 2 cords of wood to stack, groceries to buy, dishes to wash-laundry will have to wait for another day!

Brrr! cold but at least above 0F!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What a week

Thanks Tonia, for you kind words about Kristen. The whole week has been downhill from the funeral!

Wednesday, my cat Ruby went into labor on schedule. She had slipped out a couple months ago and was discovered under the house with the neighborhood tomcat. Willow was so excited to have some kittens in the house.

Ruby went into labor around noon on the couch, and proceeded to have four stillborn kittens. Friday morning I found another dead kitten that she had during the night. She went over 24 hours before she had the last one. We were all heartbroken!

Yesterday at the farm The Boss wasn't in the barn in the morning. The big snow we had Wednesday she overexerted herself. We had about 16 inches of snow. She came up on the hill to trim a buckling's hooves mid-morning, and addressed the three of us: "I am still not feeling well. You all had better seriously start looking for other jobs because I am cutting back drastically."

I embarrassed myself by crying in front of P and R afterwards in the tack room. Kristen got me that job, just devastating to think of the farm downsizing to that point.

Then this morning the Firebird and I got in the car to go to the farm for work. No power steering. I filled the reservoir, still no steering. I backed up and saw all the fluid in a puddle in the snow. I called the farm and told them they would have to come get us or get someone else to work since we were stuck.

They decided to come get us, so I said we would wait at the end of the drive. It was freezing!! Below zero, sun just coming up. I told the Firebird we would be warmer walking and we headed down the road. The breeze from walking was pretty cold. I used to walk a lot, I hit my stride and kept going. Everything was covered in frost from the cold, the low lying sun made everything look as if covered in diamonds.

We walked about a mile to the end of our road. The sun was up by then. The road comes to a T intersection there-straight ahead is a frozen pond and the sun was rising over it. It was almost cozy in the sun. We certainly drew attention from the neighbors. One lady from town was heading down our road and asked us if we needed a ride.

Then my phone rang. Mr. Boss was in the next town over. Boss forgot to tell him to turn up the road we were waiting on, and he overshot us. He did pick us up, the car was nice and warm! He had to drive us to the big bucks over at Prescott mid morning, but I called a friend to give us a ride home and we left from there. It was -4F when he picked us up, and 18 F (heatwave!) when we headed to Prescott.

The Firebird had some trouble with his hands freezing, and like a typical teenager he refused every suggestion. "move faster, get the blood going!" shake your hands, squeeze your fists, take my gloves..." well, it WAS cold, poor kid.

I attempted to fix the leaking power steering line. A patch was put in the last time-of course it was leaking there. I crawled under (the car has about 8 inches clearance and I actually got stuck under there at one point and had to pull myself through the other side!) and loosened and tightened the clamp and it stopped leaking, but I thought I was out of fluid, so a friend brought some fluid and I started the car and didn't see a leak. I crawled back under to tighten the clamp up good just to be sure. And then power steering fluid started leaking all over my hands will I was trying to get the screwdriver in there-it was a nightmare, and my hands were frozen by the time I finished.

Neither friend could fit under the car-the skinny one tried. which was why it was me who was under there.

Now all the fluid has leaked out again so I don't know if it is still leaking or not? The men assure me I can drive it without power steering. hahah. I can't even turn the wheel. I have lost a lot of upper body strength with the thyroid thing. So I guess I will eventually call the mechanic and then see if I can drive it over there with no power steering. Since I don't want to pay $100 for a tow.

That's a heck of a week, isn't it? Nine miles to the nearest store and no car. sigh.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Kristen's service was tonight. Lots of tears and a few laughs. Her father and sisters and brother spoke. And her husband and daughter spoke briefly. I was doing good until her kids filed in, the youngest son glancing at me until our eyes met and I gave him a half smile. But it was the sight of him that had me bawling. Seeing her kids, all adults now, side by side...

Naughty and nice, yes that fit Kristen. And if we all could be a bit more like her, her brother said as I nodded in agreement.

A large crowd, two rooms overflowing to a back room that only had a view through the doorway. Beyond the immediate family, not many familiar faces, but the sisters and father and brother, whom Kristen had spoke of and whose pictures I had seen, helped me get even closer to Kristen. Just as she had described them over the years.

The most devastating moment for me was when her father spoke of the daughter Kristen had given up for adoption. Kristen was very young, pregnant out of wedlock, a part of a fiercely devote Mormon family. She gave the baby girl up for adoption.

Kristen had grieved for that child, even with a full nest of three boys and a baby girl. The records were locked. Her father said he wanted to strangle the man that wouldn't give up the information. Kristen always hoped for the day her daughter might seek her out, because the records were really only locked one way.

That never happened in her lifetime. Then her father shared that now the man is willing to unlock the records.

I let out a cry and buried my head in my hands and wept for some moments. I am sure the immediate family already knew that information, but it came at a shock to me. I have tears in my eyes now reliving the moment. I knew how much finding that lost part of her meant to Kristen.

Kristen was a wonderful mother, friend, sister. I think everyone
that was close to her is having a hard time trying to accept she is gone. Such a vital spirit.

I have been gathering information since her death. She went off the road on her side at a high rate of speed. She did not have her phone on her. Her car had been at the mechanic's the day before. She was known for driving slow, not fast. She was coming off a curve in a straight stretch with an oncoming curve. did someone coming the other way force her off the road? Was she distracted, looking for something? Mechanical failure? She was new to working third shift, did she drift off the road half asleep? The accident is still under investigation.

One thing is sure. My boss (and Kristen's boss for years) is retired Dr. of Psychiatry, and my co-worker knew her for years. We all agree there is no way it was suicide. She hit a mailbox, a telephone pole, and an ancient maple. The car split in two. She would not have committed suicide coming home with groceries and taking out a mailbox. And she was not the type of person to do it.

On her Facebook page a woman posted a photo montage to "Forever Young". Kristen had walked up to her driftwood fire on the beach this summer in the night, and they became friends. My favorite bit was "Kristen's chair". Kristen and her husband were staying at the cabins on the shore to celebrate their wedding anniversary. Kristen took a chair from the cabins and put it on the bluff to watch the sunrise.

Kristen loved life and everything that went with it. We will miss her. She was like a sister to me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Goodbye my Friend

My best friend, she was best friends to many, died in an automobile wreck today around 11 am. I missed the wreck by minutes, and was diverted because the road was blocked. I knew it was someone close to me. Her daughter called me this afternoon with the devastating news.

Rest in Peace Kristen, I know you loved Neil Young:

"After The Goldrush"

Well, I dreamed I saw the knights
In armor coming,
Saying something about a queen.
There were peasants singing and
Drummers drumming
And the archer split the tree.
There was a fanfare blowing
To the sun
That was floating on the breeze.
Look at Mother Nature on the run
In the nineteen seventies.
Look at Mother Nature on the run
In the nineteen seventies.

I was lying in a burned out basement
With the full moon in my eyes.
I was hoping for replacement
When the sun burst thru the sky.
There was a band playing in my head
And I felt like getting high.
I was thinking about what a
Friend had said
I was hoping it was a lie.
Thinking about what a
Friend had said
I was hoping it was a lie.

Well, I dreamed I saw the silver
Space ships flying
In the yellow haze of the sun,
There were children crying
And colors flying
All around the chosen ones.
All in a dream, all in a dream
The loading had begun.
They were flying Mother Nature's
Silver seed to a new home in the sun.
Flying Mother Nature's
Silver seed to a new home.