Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Gardening in my mind....... the only safe place to do it

I've been thinking about spring lately.   Yeah, I know, it's only the end of January and we have 3 more months until it gets here and because I live in upstate NY it's probably closer to 4 months until we see any sort of clear ground.  It's just that as soon as I've had enough of the cold stuff, my brain starts to activate this fresh dirt chemical that makes me think of chirping birds, tree's budding, flowers growing.... that sort of thing.  I'm not 100% sure the dirt chemical is a proven scientific fact so I'll have to get back to you on that, but wishing for spring is a sure bet!  I was in the store yesterday and I saw seed packets and mini bags of potting soil and I was drooling like Martha Stewart had just cooked a meal in front of me.  Maybe that would be the way to go.....  I could be the gardener for Martha Stewart!  Except, as part of my salary requirements, she would have to fly me someplace warm from the beginning of Dec. to mid April so I could start the seeds in the proper temperature.  Nothing to extravagant, maybe someplace like Key West, or the Caribbean....... and of course the new born plants would need to be flown home on a private jet so they didn't get stressed.      Yeah, I think that is the way it should work.  Unfortunately in the real world, my garden will probably be a set of containers sitting forlornly on my deck hoping and praying I don't forget to water them once a day.   You see, I'm not the avid gardener as my dream job would suggest.   I'm more of a "lets go see what grandma is growing" type of lady.    Even though every January I dream of gorgeous towering tomato plants and beautiful bountiful bush beans (yes I did just go there) , and cucumbers the size of baseball bats I know that in reality that the only way I'm going to get any fresh vegi's is to stop by the local farmers market.  I'm not sure where the disconnect is in my brain when it comes to Gardening 101.  My mom can grow just about anything and make it look like she prayed over each and every seed that she stuck in the ground.  I'm pretty sure she has had a successful garden ever since I can remember.   Even two years ago during the Great Tomato Blight (yes it was real) she still managed to save hundreds of tomatoes while her neighbor lost every last one.  So I'm really hoping my mom never meets Martha or I will be out of a job!
Oh who knows..... maybe this year will be different.  Maybe I will turn over the soil with shovel and hoe so it can be turned into a garden that Martha would kill for.     I'll let you know how it turns out........  as soon as the snow clears.........  sometime in July.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Moebius Awareness Day

Today is Moebius Syndrome Awareness day.   Although most of you that read my blog regularly know what Moebius Syndrome is, I thought I'd give a quick  Moebius Syndrome 1.1 class.........

As stated on the Moebius Syndrome Foundation website, Moebius syndrome is a rare neurological disorder that is present at birth.  It primarily affects the 6th and 7th cranial nerves, leaving those with the condition unable to move their faces (they can’t smile, frown, suck, grimace or blink their eyes) and unable to move their eyes laterally (Moebius Syndrome Foundation).
As is the case with Daniel, about 30% of kids affected with Moebius Syndrome are on the Autistic spectrum (Moebius Syndrome Foundation).

Danny has other brain abnormalities which complicate things, but his outward appearance is caused by the Moebius Syndrome.   I really can't imagine him any other way, nor would I want him to be.   Is that horrible?  I just know that he has been such a huge inspiration to me and others that I think one of the biggest purposes in his life is to show people that you can be all that God intended no matter what problems you may face.
For us, I'm not sure what one thing has been the hardest part of Moebius.  I think for Danny, he might say that the surgeries have been hardest.  I think for me, the not knowing what to expect has been the hard but I think the hardest part is watching when other kids and at times adults have either made fun of Danny or whispered about him in our presence.   

So in honor of Moebius Awareness Day, wear purple and take a look at the Foundation website to read more about this condition.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

40 and more

Turning 40 isn't so bad.   I guess to be completely honest, I never thought it would be.  To me, age has always been a non issue for the most part.  Yeah, getting older is the pits in some ways, like having the 'ladies' act like they are praying to mecca, and wrinkles appearing where there weren't any before, knees cracking under pressure and that sort of thing.  The whole thing of being out of shape isn't fun either, except that has more to do with me just being plain lazy rather than age.........   So, all in all, 40 isn't bad.
Looking back, I couldn't wait until I got older so people would have to take me seriously.  When I had kids I thought it would happen..... nope.    When I turned 25 I thought I would have felt older or at least more mature........ definitely not! Surely at 30 I was going to be taken serious........  was that a joke?  Well, i've arrived at the very mature age of 40 and very few people still take me seriously, so I guess I'll have to rethink that whole pipe dream.
Another really cool aspect of my birthday,  and whether it's because it's my fortieth or not is a different story, is that I've been blessed with lots of people who wish me happy birthday all over facebook and friends who call me and sing silly songs to me (yeah that really happened). I've come to appreciate the friends and family I have immensely more  than I did when i was 20 or 30.   It's not that I didn't love them, it's just that I didn't understand the importance of appreciating those who love me.  That might sound odd.  I guess it is odd. I've always been one to want to pick up and move every few years.......  Ron is JUST starting to get to think that idea isn't so bad.   The moving part, not the every few years part.    The funny thing is, I'm starting to think I wouldn't want to.  We talked about it last night.   I came to the conclusion that I think I would actually be sad to move.  I have got the best friends any person could ask for......  no, really, I do.... and I love being close to my mom and dad and Ron's mom and sister.  My hope is that when the kids finish school they decide to get jobs someplace really awesome so we can just go stay with them for a few weeks and drive them nuts. 
Today also makes me think about my mom.  I'm thankful that she had me.  I'm glad she decided that they needed me even though I am 9 years younger than my sister......  I'm not sure if I'd want to start over with another baby after tasting 9 years of diaper free time.   Well, not tasting the diapers, but you get the idea.

So all that being said..............turning 40 isn't so bad ............

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

life from the sea shore

Recently the kids and I had the opportunity to go see Jake in North Carolina.    While we were there we went to  Wrightsville beach and walked up and down the shore so the kids could get sea shells and fill their shoes with sand.   Every car needs a pound of sand scrubbed into it's carpet from time to time.   
For as far as the eye can see the shoreline goes on and on;  waves lapping and dancing up to the edge and then quickly retreating as if the sand had burnt their watery toes.   As I bent to pick up a broken shell, God began showing me how we as humans are like these broken and battered shells.  
Every few minutes the kids would bring me a new shell to inspect and ooh and ahh over.  Some of them were nice, but some of them weren't so pretty.  That is when it hit me that we are just like that to others.  What I regard as beauty, my kids might find boring.  There were shells that my kids found that I would have quickly over looked.  The neat thing was that each shell was fulfilling it's purpose, being who it was and just how God had designed it.  The shell didn't, and more importantly couldn't change anything about itself to make it more appealing to the observer.  I think God wants us to understand that.  We don't need to change anything about ourselves to be loved, admired or chosen by God.  Who cares if person X doesn't like your shell?  The next shell hunter probably will and that is who needs your shell.  Ok, let me speak in human terms, I think the sand went to my brain.    There will be people who pass us by, who over look our gifts; however, the reason God has us here is to be Jesus for the one who needs us most.   We all have unique gifts, just like every one of those shells I picked up had unique markings.  The cool thing is that every one of those shells had to be broken and bounced around in the waves to be polished so they would catch our eye.  I think that is how God uses most of us.  We are broken and bounced around in the waves so we can be polished and honed just right to be used for His glory.  
When I think back on the things in my life I have walked through, I see how God has used it to shape me into the person I am.  Even the hardest things in my life like my dad's death when I was five, and the physical challenges I face with Danny, God has used those things to grow me.  Yes, I felt like I was being tumbled in the waves and sometimes forgotten on the beach, but looking from the other side I can see how God was polishing me and making me into something that can hopefully glorify Him.  
Next time you have the chance to go to the beach, take the time to search for some broken and imperfect shells and hold them to your ear.   You never know when one of them might be speaking to you.