Monday, June 25, 2007

Way Too Generous

My estimate of comfortable hours in our RV was a tad exagerated yesterday. At least that is the case now that our a/c unit froze up. When Will and I came out of the bedroom to fix breakfast the temperature in the RV was 75. 30 minutes later it was 83. That was our first hint there might be a problem. We were adivised to turn off the "cooling" function on the unit, and just let the fan run for an hour so it could melt. It's been 33 minutes since then, and the thermostat says 90 degrees. OMG, It's FREAKING HOT IN HERE!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Preview of Hell

It has been upwards of 113 degrees F since we arrived in Vegas. Our motorhome a/c is working it's heart out, but it still got up to 89 inside the motorhome yesterday before the sun finally went down. Fortunately, it has been cooling down some at night. Basically, from 12 AM to 12 PM, we are moderately comfortable. The rest of the time, we pour sweat, drink water and generally feel like dying. Why does anyone choose to live here?!?!?!

On the family front, most things are going surprisingly well. I spoke with my cousin Richard yesterday for the first time in about 20 years (I told you all my family is fragmented). He and his son's Mom are not married, or romantically linked in any way, but they share a house and co-parent their son. That may not be the "ideal" family, but pretty impressive when you consider they had their son at 16 years old. Many "adults" don't put their children that high on their priority list, let alone teen parents from dysfunctional families.

Anyway, we decided to get together for an impromptu dinner at one of the many buffets in town last night. Originally it was just going to be my family and my cousin's family, but then it ballooned to include my Mom, Step-Dad, Sister and Grandma. My Grandma coming was the shock of all shocks. Let's just say, she is usually the source of the family chaos. So we all met, ate and generally enjoyed each other's company. WOW!! We are getting together again this afternoon for a BBQ. Who'd have thought?!!

There is just one teeny, tiny problem left to be resolved. My other cousin, Richard's sister, lives in Utah and is refusing to sign the consent to have their mother cremated. It's not that she is opposed to cremation, or has been asked to pay a penny of the expenses, or even that she wants to see her Mom's body first. She just refuses to participate in any way. According to Nevada law, they both have to sign. The only recourse Richard has left is to file for a court order to bypass his sister. In the mean time, he has to pay the mortuary $22/day to store the body (it's been over 2 weeks since my Aunt died). The courts won't even be open until Monday, and will cost more money that he doesn't have. This one could definitely use some prayer.

So for now, we will try to stay cool, and enjoy the fact that things are going much better than expected on the family front; at least with the family that's here.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Where Have I Been?

A little bit of everywhere.

Just to update everyone that been hanging out with me over the past few months, I'll begin with some of the ongoing health issues...

Bob was able to come home at the end of May. The transition was not a smooth one, as his condition is quite severe, and the "Home Healthcare" was anything but helpful. Through many sleepless days and nights, Lisa, their kids, family members, friends and church members have been helping to get him through the toughest times. The doctors and insurance company finally started Hospice care a couple weeks ago. We can only hope that they will provide better care. On a more pleasant note, this is the latest family photo, taken on Bob's birthday, just shortly before he came home. It's good to see them all together and happy!!

My Mom started her Herceptin treatments this past week. It is sort of like chemo, but is a biological agent that is able to tell the difference between healthy cells and cancer cells. That makes it a lot more friendy than chemo for most people. However, when my Mom went in to have her treatment, her body decided an allergic reaction was in order. Fortunately, with IV Benadryl and Decadron, the symptoms were curtailed and the treatment was able to be completed. Apparently, all future treatments will now be preceeded by this potent combination. Hey, at least she'll sleep well for a solid 36 hours every three weeks, right?!

Will and I have been working diligently on our plans for the Summer. Since we have the luxury of a true summer vacation, with him being a teacher and all, we felt like we needed to take full advantage of it. We had so much fun traveling in our RV last summer, that we knew that had to be included. The first stop was to be Port Angeles, WA; home to our wonderful adoption agency, AAI. They host a Family Gathering every couple years, and we thought it would be a great experience. It would also afford us the opportunity to visit some country we had never seen before, Well alas, that was not to be.

At the risk of becoming the most depressing blog ever, I will now update you on the latest family crises; because there have certainly not been enough already this year, right? On Saturday, June 9, Will's Mom had severe chest pains and shortness of breath. After an exciting ambulance ride, she endured all sorts of tests, with rather inconclusive results. Fortunately, the doctors were conservative and kept her overnight for observation. She ended up having another "episode" during the night. Both events were confirmed as heart attacks. After an angiogram, angioplasty and placement of a stent, she finally got to go home the following Wednesday.

Oh, but things did not start looking up there. My Mom called me last Tuesday (smack in the middle of the previously mentioned hospital stay) to tell me that her sister died. I am still in shock as I sit here writing this. My aunt was only 44. She has lived a rough life, but we've maintained casual contact over the past few years, and none of us even imagined that her number was due to come up anytime soon. Well, as often happens with these things, the funeral arrangements conflict with our much anticipated trip to Washington. Instead of cool ocean breezes, summer rain, gorgeous scenery and great company, we will be baking in Las Vegas with my Mom's fragmented, dysfunctional family (my Mom and her Mom haven't spoken in over 5 years). As if the family fracas wasn't enough to keep things spicy, the expected high temperatures over the next week for Vegas range from 102-108 degrees F. Now, THAT is absurd!!!!

In case I have come across as horribly insensitive, please know that I am deeply saddened by the loss of my aunt. All family issues aside, I have many memories of her from my earliest days to very recent times, and the loss makes my heart ache. The truth is, these last few months have been positively overwhelming. We have had one thing, after another, after another, etc. As soon we heard about my aunt, our family talked over dinner, and all agreed (without any hesitation, I might add) that we needed to be in Las Vegas. Over the next few days, we went through the motions to get ready to take our brood (8, including the dog) on the road. Now keep in mind, we will be going from a 3100+ sq ft home, to a 31 ft motorhome. We enjoy our RV, but getting ready to go out for the first trip of the summer is a monumental undertaking. It wasn't until last night, when I was searching for a few things for the trip in my closet, that the loss really hit me. I came across some old photos, that led to a search through more photos, which led to a flood of tears. Will found me there on the floor hours later, puffy eyes and tear stained cheeks, surrounded by pictures.

I'm better today, but the journey is just beginning. The drive will be much shorter, but the emotions much higher. We are heading into the desert anticipating the worst, but trying to hold out some small hope for the best. I guess that is the difference between the broken, dying tree that my Mom came from, and the strong, blooming branch she (and I) have chosen to become. So on that note, I am going to help my husband pack up for our trip, and look forward to seeing all the fruits and nuts on our part of the tree in Lost Wages.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Do You Think She Knows.... beautiful she is? As her Mom, I know I'm biased, but Grace is so pretty. She has her share of ornery, almost two year old moments, but mostly she is just VERY cute. When we were at Daniel's school today, I was sure we would have to bail out of the Multi Purpose Room at some point before the event was over. Toddlers just don't usually have the attention span or self control to quietly sit through such a thing. Well, I'm happy to say she surprised me. As long as she could get out of her stroller, she was quite content to stand right by us. She watched the speakers intently, and especially enjoyed clapping when each student's name was read.

So, as the names and speeches wore on, I gave in to my own boredom and had an impromptu photo shoot with my well-behaved little beauty.
How I love this girl!!!

SOOOO Bored!!!!!!

Being 4 years old is just not conducive to sitting still, listening to speeches read in monotone by 5th grade students, or finding anything about a Completion Ceremony remotely entertaining. To Justin's credit, he did not do anything to disrupt the proceedings. However, he did partially disassemble (and then reassemble) our stroller. Then, he moved on to making strange faces. I must admit, I was far more entertained by Justin's antics, than anything that was happening on the stage. For what it's worth, Daniel (our graduate)agreed!!

Great Job Daniel!!!

Daniel had his 5th Grade Completion Ceremony today. We are SOOOOO proud of him!!