I'm surprised it took so long....

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 No comments
Well, I thought it would happen LONG before now. 
A couple of days ago I was in my studio (really a craft room but studio sounds fancier) and my baby boy, who's 14, came hopping in and was in obvious distress. He hopped over and fell into the chair clearly in pain. My first thought was,"Wow, I can't believe it took this long..." 
My boy was playing soccer in the yard without shoes and hurt his foot. It already looked swollen on the top and the arch looked look oddly flat. We tried icing it and he went to bed.  The next morning he seemed to feel some better until it was time to put on his shoe! That's when I realized somebody's day was gonna be spent at a doctor's office. After visits to his GP, ER for X-rays, back to the GP and then to see the orthopedic nurse practitioner. The consensus was it was an avulsion fracture. In the grand scheme of breaks its the best kind. Again I thought, "I can't believe it took this long."
This child has had a variety of staples and stitches, 4 separate times, but has NEVER broken anything. I expected it long ago. He is very athletic and tends to tear up everything in his path. I've often thought of buying extra crutches and a boot just to be ready. He would need them at some point. 

 He clumped around in the boot for several days and finally was cleared to start practicing soccer again. Proof again that our household revolves around soccer. The foot has since healed and was proven just fine after scoring a goal in his first game back.

There's one of yours....

Lately I've been thinking about families. Two times in particular are of interest.  I have an uncle and aunt (really cousins but that's another story) and every time I see them my Aunt says,"Charles, there's one of yours!"  First, she's the only person I've ever heard call him Charles. It seems extra special when she says it. Second, it feels good to be considered "one of yours". The aforementioned Aunt and  Uncle are the kindest people ever.  Charles is actually my father's cousin but I didn't realize it until I was an adult. He was always just one of my dad's younger brothers. Weird, I know...it doesn't matter how they are categorized though. My dad has been dead for years and his family never really kept in touch with us. That's probably not fair to say as they were always very good about attending baby showers and such but I only remember being called 2 times from the time I was in grade school until I became an adult. That makes it all the more special to be considered "one of yours." Families are interesting like that. 

On another note about families...a few weeks ago we were leaving a soccer game and one of the Angel Boys friends said,"Hey...." using his mom's first name instead of just a generic Hey Mom. I asked him if he always called his mother by her first name and he replied if he just yelled,"Hey Mom," several mothers would answer and reply and it was just easier. He's right on a lot of levels. In a small town like ours the kids have many mothers. 
Today, I took my kid to the doctor's office and the  Boss Lady hugged me and called me friend and called my kid by name and filled in the other provider on his interest, etc.  She also asked about the other kids and I asked of hers.  The other doctor spoke to me and I asked about his kids. He went on to tell me all about his oldest playing soccer, etc.  I asked about his parents who I've known since I was barely a teenager. 

I guess it doesn't really matter how people are related, from cousins to chosen family. We need support from a lot of different people in a lot of different situations. Some of our families are involved out of obligation and others considered family are providing the day to day support.  No matter how they are classified it is important to be thought of as "one of yours", dear friends, of another kids back-up Mom.

We LOVE soccer!

Saturday, March 10, 2018 No comments
Our family loves soccer. Ok, we like soccer...or we enjoy watching in good weather and know some of the rules. I still don't get off sides though. I made the mistake of asking one of the high school kids what it meant to be called off sides. It was something like this.
Me: Ok, what is off sides in soccer?
Kid: well, it's a tricky one.
Me:Try me. I know ALL about basketball and football and mostly about baseball.
Kid: We, you have to be very careful who plays ahead of the opposing player. It has to do with unfair advantage....blah, blah, blah.
Me: Can you start over and relate it to a sport I know something about?
Kid: (looks at me like I'm an idiot), okay, well, it is a tricky call...it...
Me: Never mind.
My baby boy loves soccer though, no other way to say it. He LOVES soccer. He's a good player and actually wishes they have practice every day. At least this early in the season!
He's played for several years now but we are barely closer to understanding exactly how things are supposed to go. 
I DO know about HAT TRICKS though. That's THREE goals in one game for you beginners.

Juvenile Fiction is my life!

Sunday, March 4, 2018 No comments
My current juvenile fiction love is The Doldrums. How often are we gifted with a fabulous book with incredible illustrations? It's almost unheard of but the author and the illustrator are the SAME PERSON, Nicholas Gannon. I was in love after just a page or two. 
The premise is a family consisting of two parents an a child that is a "dreamer". Archer's father's parents are world renowned explorers and his mother is doing her best to make sure Archer isn't like "them." She desperately wants Archer to be normal. It very hard if you live in a four story house decorated by your explorer grandparents. The narrow house is in New York City and is FULL of taxidermy "pets" for Archer. He is often heard speaking to his animal pets much to the chagrin of his mother. His father is an attorney and MAY have been a dreamer at one stage but doesn't have much of it left. He does, however, realize that "being a Helmsley means something."
The grandparents are current lost and presumed dead after being abandoned on an iceberg. Archer gets packages tied with a red ribbon from his grandparents. He cherishes these journals and gifts from his grandparents. One of his favorites is a glass eye. He knows he is different and the gift of an eye proves his is really a Helmsley.
Archer doesn't have many friends because the other kids consider him as having 'a few too many cracks in his nut.'
Archer does have two very special friends, in addition to his many taxidermy friends. The boring life of summer is coming to an end and Archer and his friends will be attending a school known as The Button Factory.
In a nutshell, this book is fabulous! There is a sequel, too. It is described at a 'stand alone sequel', whatever that means. I will be buying the REAL book and will keep it forever. 


Thursday, March 1, 2018 No comments
I’ve always been a reader. I know...everybody is a reader. I read for pleasure. Fiction, mostly mysteries are my favorite. Sue Grafton’s alphabet series (may she rest on peace) are some of my favorites. The Stephanie Plum series are fabulous as well. I must admit they crack me up but seem to be getting shorter and more monotonous. Anyway, I love juvenile fiction as well. Stay tuned for a review of my current reads.
I also read blogs. I was a fan of The Pioneer Woman (http://thepioneerwoman.com/) before she was famous. She makes me so want to live on a working ranch and homeschool. Well, at least own Bassett hounds and wear cowboy boots. A couple of my ‘go to’ blogs are The Nienie Dialogues (http://www.nieniedialogues.com) She’s such an incredible force. She and her husband survived a plane crash and her resilience since is nothing but inspirational. Her photography isn’t professional but more than adequate and quickly you forget as you are drawn in to her amazing self. A worthy read.
Quarters One (http://quarters1.blogspot.com/)is also one of my go tos. Shand is a career Army spouse as her husband is a commanding general. Her son in laws are serving and she in chin deep in military life. I love that her husband is sometimes deployed, sometimes kids get married and move away and sometimes the move to another military base. She is so patriotic but also has great taste in decorating and a keen sense of military history. Their current military is first rate (literally as he’s the top dog) but past housing is historical and amazing. If you visit at Quarters One make sure to read back to prior housing.
If an extra moment is found in your day I’d highly recommend the blogs I’ve mentioned. Let me know what you think.
Saturday, February 24, 2018 No comments
What If.....
What if THIS is your kid?
What if the first kid had one HUGE dream
What if he always wanted to be a helicopter pilot
What if he was happy to travel with his mother and grandmother UNTIL he saw a helicopter
What if his Dad knew it would happen
What if he chose an Army theme for every birthday party and Halloween costume
What if he decided to join the Guard at 17 and you had to sign for him
What if he went to basic training before he could vote
What if he left for weeks with only a Bad Company quote for his mom
What if he wrote letters to his Great Grandmother while he was gone
What if his mom cried through his basic graduation
What if he didn't really like school
What if he knew he HAD to have a degree to be an Army officer
What if he made the Dean's List
What if he joined ROTC
What if he went to PT before dawn
What if he jumped out of perfectly good airplanes
What if he graduated a semester earlier than his class
What if he was commissioned an Army officer the next day
What if he got a call a few weeks later asking if he could be in Fort Rucker in Jan
What if he didn't hesitate to load his beloved car and drive 10 hours to begin flight school
What if he now has a duplex with furniture and neighbors and cable TV
What if he makes his own dinner and takes out his trash
What if he completed dunker training
What if he is beginning a portion of training that his mother is scared to think about
What if his dad knows it will be beneficial and maybe life saving
What if the second kid is still so excited to be an Army officer

Sunday, February 28, 2016 No comments
You may have noticed that my pictures of the supporting characters here at The Carlisle Connection have changed! It is a shock to me every day how they have grown and become such good, compassionate and wonderful people. Still a work in progress....but getting closer every day. Our goal is to raise self sufficient hard working adults. It's a process.
I took this picture the day before The Future Trooper graduated from basic training, August 2014.
He was so excited and ready to go as I cried like a fool. He turned to me as he got in the van to take him away and said, Don't cry Mama, smile and wave goodbye."  Song reference anyone?
Anyway, it was incredibly hard to wait for his calls and letters. Big Daddy knew what was going on at basic and found my misery mildly humorous. This "child" who never liked to read or write stories wrote wonderful detailed letters to us as well as his grandmother and great-grandmother.
I cannot describe how proud we were when he graduated from basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, 35 years after his dad did the same.
I have always thought our boys resembled me more and Little Girl looked more alike her dad and his people. This picture may have proved me wrong. Just maybe..
The Future Trooper is now an active member of ROTC and a Criminology major with a minor in Military Science. He is a good student and is on track to graduate a semester early. He saved his money from basic and bought himself a new car...a story for another post.
I'll be back soon.