"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin


>> Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Everywhere in the news is the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. New Orleans dominates the coverage; probably because it is such a destination city. But Buloxi, Mississippi is just gone. Wow. That's about all I can say. Wow.

In a way this feels like 9/11. I'm in shock as I look at the pictures, hear the tales of loss, see the devistation. I am just in awe of nature's power. And I am saddened by the history that we have most probably lost. That area of the south is irreplaceable; the mansions in the Garden District, the plantations throughout the area, the antiques, manuscripts, and other items those homes held.

I am sickened by the people looting stores for things like TVs, computers & jewelry. The father of a police oficer from Jefferson Parish was on the Glenn Beck Show today. His daughter, a police officer, told him that she wasn't sure if she would get out of her patrol alive- the looters of the jewelry stores had snipers shooting at police. How wrong is that? And where are they going to put them? It's not like they have homes to go back to...

People who ride through these things year after year amaze me with their determination and stamina. I don't think I could rebuild. But most do.

I also heard that 95% of our oil refineries- which supply 25% of our fuel- are out of commission due to the storm. Holy cow. Gas prices jumped 20 cents per gallon. I wonder what the next couple of weeks hold?

StormAid is a Red Cross affiliate. Go there to see how you can help.


Luau anyone?

>> Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My husband and I went to a friend's 40th birthday party Saturday night. The theme was luau, and you were expected to dress. Well, being pretty modest, and in no shape to wear a bikini to the shindig, I purchased a t-shirt with a bikini printed on it and wore a sarong over that. A good time was had by all, even though Jon knocked me to the ground when we were accepting our prize for creative costuming. Here's a picture of me with the hubby...


Unknown Iowa Hero

>> Monday, August 29, 2005

State29 should be one of your regular reads. Today they've reported on Iowa boy Armand McCormick. He was awarded a Silver Star for his heroism in Iraq. State29 does a search for his name in Iowa based newspapers and finds <drum roll> absolutely no mention of his service</drum roll>. It seems that the Iowa papers are too busy reporting casualties to notice the heroes.

Also noted is liberal activists and professors on campus not liking their world-view challenged by vets returning from combat to civilian life. Vets challenging anti-warrior types get the "why don't you go over and serve" mantra.

From the NRO article:

The Left has adopted the mantra that it opposes the war but supports our soldiers. Those veterans visiting campuses tell a different story; the early fault lines forming on our nation's campuses do not portend hopeful signs.

I too have be the recipient of a hastily flung "why don't you serve" comment. It usually means that they've lost the argument. Anyway, my comeback is "been there, done that, got the medals to prove it." Okay, it was Desert Storm and as a driver for colonels and generals, my war was very different than today's soldiers. I have also used "If you support the terrorists so much, why don't you strap on an explosive vest and go blow yourself up?"

UPDATE: Related: The Media Quagmire, how the media misrepresented the American/South Vietnamese victory during the Tet offensive in Vietnam and are continuing in that tradition today.

UPDATE 2: via Lorie's roundup of Iraq War posts here's Hitch, A War to Be Proud Of The case for overthrowing Saddam was unimpeachable. Why, then, is the administration tongue-tied?


Sunday- the Day of Rest?

>> Sunday, August 28, 2005

Not in this house. Well, maybe for Doug. I don't begrudge him this as he works all week & I stay home with Brenna, eat bon-bons and watch soap operas. LOL

We have a lunch date with Doug's grandmother. She is a member of The Loyal Order of the Moose and comes to Des Moines every 6 months for the state meeting. It ends Sunday we have a noon breakfast at IHOP before she goes home. This is the grandmother that calls Brenna "Breena" (long EEEEE sound). And, as much as she has been corrected, it doesn't change. So we joke about it before hand and take bets on how many times she will say it wrong.

Today I am also attempting to turn an ordinary Radio Flyer Pathfinder wagon into a carriage built for royalty. The Iowa Renaissance Festival is fast approaching and, as we dress for the occasion, we can't have Brenna riding in something so ordinary as a plain wagon. Upholstry fabric, tulle, beads and a parasol... that should do it.

I am also working on her birthday cards. I have chosen the perfect quote from Peter Pan:

When the first baby laughed for the first time, its laugh broke into a thousand pieces,
and they all went skipping about, and that was the beginning of fairies.
- Sir James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan

Perfect, isn't it? I love it. The cards themselves will be decorated with fairies and other fancies. Her cake will be a fairy, as well. Kind of like this Barbie cake... but with faerie wings.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Ahhh, what else? Laundry... as usual. Hopefully an evening bike ride. And my continuous goal: to learn Gaelic. I told Doug quite a while back that I wanted to speak some Gaelic before we went to Ireland. I need to get on that.


Who Knew?

>> Thursday, August 25, 2005

As I compose this Brenna is ignoring Baby Einstein on the 100" TV and has bypassed all her toys in favor of emptying shelves and boxes in my office. Yep, no pricy toys needed in this house. (Which is why I buy most stuff at a steep discount *Thank you Target!* or at garage sales.)

We spent much of our day out & about. First we had to go to a photo studio in Des Moines to have Brenna's passport photos taken. For those of you who plan to get passports for young 'uns, most passport photo stations can't do them. Huh... who knew? Something to do with the dimensions and lighting. So we did that.

Then to Half Price Books, which is only half as bad as a regualr book store. They stole, ahem, I sold a few books to them for $6 and I spent $23 on others. So I owed them $17. I took in more books than I bought. How does that work?

We visited grandma at work and had lunch with her. Then downtown to drop off the pictures at the passport office. A quick stop at the Metro Market for milk (yes, it is worth the trip just for the milk) and a not-so-quick jaunt through Wal-Mart.

And Brenna had had it. So, we're home. I'll have to go to Target later, alone. Doug's cousin is getting married & her bridal shower is Saturday. I was told that she was registered at Wal-Mart, so we went there. She wasn't. So now I have to go to Target.


Today I leave you with a picture of Ross Castle, outside the village of Killarney, in County Kerry. The original tower is open for tours. Definately not the romantic version of a castle, but impressive nonetheless.


This one is for Jody

>> Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Jody and I like mass transit. If we lived in a place; oh, let's take London as an example; that had a decent system, we would sell the car and ride the tube. I am constantly amazed that the US is dismantling our system to be replaced with more interstate roads. Coyote makes a lot of sense with this post on railroad labor laws. Looks like a good reason to me.


Safety & Peace of Mind= $955

I just got off the phone with our travel agent. When I initially booked our trip to Ireland I followed her recommendation and did not book a seat for Brenna- against my gut feeling. Since she is under 2 we can hold her on our laps.

I wasn't worried about her being fussy. I didn't worry about Doug or I being uncomfortable. But my gut kept telling me that if we hit any turbulence the possibility of her being hurt, even the smallest possibility, was too big for me.

So I called our travel agent back and purchased a seat for her. Of course, since it wasn't part of our package it cost more. But it's a small price for her safety. Plus... she is used to sleeping in her car seat.

And now we're off to get her passport. Wheee! But not before I leave you with a bit of my last trip to the Emerald Isle.

This is the church yard at Kilmalkedar Church on the Dingle Peninsula. It was built in the 12th century and fell in to ruin during the Reformation when Catholic worship was illegal. The early Christian cross on the right has been buried by the rising ground which gives it the odd proportion. To the left of the cross is an Ogham Stone. It stood here 900 years before the church was built marking a holy spot. The hole drilled in the center was used to bind agreements- people would link fingers inside the hole therefore making their agreement binding. The stone is notched with Morris code-type script used by the Celts from the 3rd to the 7th centuries.

The feeling you get being in such an ancient place is indescribable. It made me feel insignificant and spiritual. And strangely peaceful. I took a bit of "the Irish" along on my travels and shared it with those who still inhabit these areas.


Jungle Law

>> Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Michael Yon reports from the front

If you aren't reading Michael's stuff, you should be.


And A Good TIme Was Had By All

>> Monday, August 22, 2005

Today was one of those perfect days that makes you not want to be anywhere else: temperatures in the mid-70s, skies the blue of a Caribbean sea, white, fluffy clouds floating lazily by.

Perhaps inspired by the day I phoned all my siblings and had everyone over for burgers and brats. I set up Brenna's castle and pulled the lawn games from the shelves.

Soon my lawn was busy with games; frisbees flying recklessly, barely missing the heads of those playing catch; wagon rides around the north lawn; chips, dip & beer being consumed.

Absolutely perfect.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com Lawn Games

Brenna & her cousin Koen

Image hosted by Photobucket.comWagon Rides


Mommy's Night Out

>> Sunday, August 21, 2005

Last night my sister, sister-in-law, girlfriend-in-law and I left the guys to fend for themselves and went to Archivers for Scrap Mania.

Yep, it's an exciting life we lead. But, seriously, you can make some great pages with an entire store to pick & choose from. And with no children to disrtact you pages actually get completed! I am actually caught up!

Amanda (GIL) and I have done this before and had a great time; my sis and SIL weren't so sure... but I think we've convinced them. I think one of them actually suggested that we do this once a month. HA! My evil plan worked!

Since I am caught up my next project will be invitations for Brenna's first birthday. I may not be so crafty as Merrit but I have my moments...


So Busy

>> Friday, August 19, 2005

I've missed all the games this week... My mind has been elsewhere.

The house we wanted sold this week. Cash down, no contingencies. I am happy for the sellers, they were coming up to closing on their townhouse and we had no offers on our home. That means more looking...

Doug is going to try to set up a few interviews with consulting agencies while we are in Ireland. It has always been a dream of ours (together and separately) to live in the British Isles. I know that most of my family thinks that is crazy...but, honestly, I think they have always felt that I am a bit off-kilter, anyway.

The window guys are coming today to finish putting in our new windows. Yep, the house is for sale & we're replacing windows. Honestly, they needed replaced. You would think that a 9-year-old house wouldn't need new windows- buy you would be wrong. Damn new builds.

Brenna is saying "Dada" and "Mama" with regularity... and even to us once in a while. I think she is also trying to say "book".

Since it is fresh produce season we have been indulging ourselves. Her new favorites are cantelope and purple plums. Yummy!

All frozen "back-up" milk is gone; whole milk all the way. I buy our milk directly from a dairy (pasture fed cows, pasturized, but no hormones) and when I opened the half gallon the cream was so thick on the top that I had to puncture it. You don't get that from the grocery.

Ah, well, enough of this chatter, I suppose. It sounds like Brenna is waking from her nap and, lord knows, I have much to do!

I will leave you with a photo from my last trip to Ireland. (Heh, I have enough of these to post one every day until I go again.)

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

I took this picture as I was driving around the Dingle Peninsula in south-west Ireland. I was stuck in "traffic". See their fuzzy behinds on the right? Yep, I drove myself... "Keep left, keep left".


In Dublin's Fair City

>> Thursday, August 18, 2005

I am about to book a trip to celebrate
A) Doug's Birthday
B) Our 2nd Anniversary
C) Brenna's 1st Birthday
D) My Birthday

All these events fall within a one month window: October 6-November 7. And, just in case you didn't get the hint in the title, we're going to Ireland. Arriving in Shannon, departing from Dublin.

I am so excited! I visited Ireland, alone, just after Doug & I began dating. When we go back it will have been 3 years, almost exactly since my trip.

Am I the luckiest woman in the world?


State Fair- Part 2

>> Wednesday, August 17, 2005

So much fun to be had... so many things to see... too many photos for this page. So I have congregated them HERE. It may take a while to fully load if you are on a dial-up connection.

What's there? Large farm animals. Tiger Woods in butter. Things on sticks. Brenna (of course!).

Just go, already. Have some midwestern-type fun.


She's Not Spoiled!

>> Monday, August 15, 2005

This just seemed like a really good idea considering all the "helping" she wants to do on our laptops. Yesterday, as Doug was looking at job possibilities in Ireland, she crawled over -leaving me with her toys- and, in two keystrokes, shut down his computer.

Yes, folks, that is the B-Bright Barbie Laptop which, I might add, I paid less for at Target (along with a few closeout summer clothes for Brenna).

I know she is technically too young for this toy, but she has figured out how to change the games already and she likes to hit the keys and have Barbi talk to her.

Besides, it costs much less than replacing one of our computers!

For other fun Kid Stuff click your way over to Prochein Amy's for this week'a Karnival of Kidz!.

And for more info on KOK click here!


Adult Beverage Time

>> Sunday, August 14, 2005

Ahhh, now that Brenna is nursing only early in the day and drinking whole milk the rest of the time I can kick back with a Woodchuck. Glorious.

We took a quick bike ride to my sister's house to see my BIL's parents, put Brenna down to nap when we got home and are now sitting on the back deck watching people watch our robomower. I am looking up IT jobs available in Ireland and passing them on to Doug. I think a short duration contract would be wonderful. Of course you could all come visit...

A couple of bicyclists just rode past the house... turned back... stopped to see the mower...commented on how hard we were working... TeeHee


Our State Fair is a Great State Fair

Now, I know that if Lars sees that title he will break out in song. Yep, America's Favorite Fair kicked off a few days ago.

We set off yesterday afternoon for our first fair experience of the year. We had plans to meet some people Doug used to work with at 5 and, knowing that Brenna wouldn't last too long past that, we got there about 2:30.

You have to love the families around the fairgrounds... The family whose yard we parked in probably had a turnover of 200 cars a day (they had a a couple of acres) at $5 each. Let's see, $1000/day for 13 days... That's a decent back-to-school-clothing fund.

After entering the fair our first stop was for slow-roasted beef sandwiches. Followed by a quick visit to the "old-time" soda fountian. Brenna was so excited... chatting up everyone around us and enjoying ice cream.

After filling our tummies we wandered around, trying to avoid the tractor-pulled trollies and the people who didn't seem to see the huge freakin' stroller I was pushing.

We wandered in to the Varied Industries building and in between all the booths selling spas, promoting colleges and demonstrating all those "As Seen on TV" products was the Iowa Republican Party. Doug did a lot of volunteer work with the Republicans last year so he knew quite a few of the people there. And they had a "special guest".

Doug bought a copy of his new book, the conclusion of a Civil War trilogy. Doug had him sign it to Brenna.

We wandered around some more; got out of the noisy buildings so Brenna could nap. We maneuvered our way through some barns, careful to avoid any "packages" the animals may have left. The sidewalks were safer:

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

And what would the fair be without a corndog? Brenna & I shared one while Doug purchased a bucket of fresh-made, deep-fried potato chips. I did take string cheese, milk & a banana along for Brenna, as well. Can't fill her with crap, you know. Not for a couple of years, anyway.

We will return to the fair Tuesday to join my brothers and possibly my sister's family. I'll try to get more photos of some uniquely midwest sights... I'll even take requests... Iowa's largest boar, anyone? Or the biggest bull? Tractor trollies? What would you like to see?


No More!

>> Saturday, August 13, 2005

Pumping, that is. Yep, I decided just this morning to do away with the expressing of milk.

This has to do mostly with the very sad returns from last evening. One ounce... barely. How depressing. I felt almost inadequate. I keep flashing back to the days when I could easily fill a 4 oz bottle from one breast.

They say that your body only makes what is needed, and Brenna has been losing interest in nursing. No more laying on the bed and cuddling while Mommy tries to catnap. She's cutting the apron strings. sob

For the past couple of weeks she has had whole milk mixed with mommy's milk. Yesterday she had whole milk all by itself with no ill effects. So, while she will still nurse once or twice a day for, maybe, 5 minutes at a time, the rest of our milk drinking will be from the cow... dispensing from a sippy cup.

How did this happen? Where did my baby go? Tissues, I need tissues.


Wet, Slippery Baby

>> Friday, August 12, 2005

So, I didn't get to take my relaxing bath yesterday and Brenna refused to nap this morning and I had things to do today that really required bathing, so... I had to shower while Brenna watched Baby Crack, er...excuse me, Baby Einstein.

Well, that was the plan.

I'm trying to rush through my shower and still get everything clean. When suddenly the shower curtain moves to the side and a little head pops through. I tried- a few times- to close the curtain and finish. But no, Brenna is having none of it. She is trying to figure out where the water is coming from. And is reaching, reaching, reaching... Almost launching herself in fully dressed, head-first.

So I do what any other mommy would do. Right?

I reach out, undress her and drag her in to the shower. Which wasn't really what she wanted. She just wanted me.

So, there I am , showering, baby clinging to me like a monkey, trying to get soap out of my hair and wondering just how I am going to shave.

After rinsing the soap out of my hair I wrapped us in a fluffy robe. And did the shaving outside of the shower. Just in case you were wondering.


So today Brenna & I visited the Coffee Family. Photographic evidence can be found here.

Our visit was short because Doug and I were invited to a neighborhood cookout tonight. Which would have been great fun... except Brenna didn't nap today. She was pretty good at Merrit's; she played with Peanut and cuddled up with Little Guy.

She lasted almost an hour at the cookout. So... here I am. Home. I had planned to have a couple of adult beverages tonight. sigh

Blog surfing may be on the agenda...


Cartoon Politics

From the City Journal - a very interesting article on conservative cartoonists.


SPF- Relaxing? What is that?

After just dumping Brenna into her crib, wide awake, for a much needed nap I realized it is Self Portrait Friday. YIKES! Where did my week go? The lovely Katy says today is about relaxing.

Relaxing? I have no idea what that means! We tried to relax yesterday...until a Realtor called and shot my plans all to hell. Here we are vegging out to Sesame Street:

Otherwise, my relaxing is done about 10pm. I call it sleep. LOL

And now I am off to do some laundry, make a 4-layer Mexican dip for a party tonight, pick up toys, prepare Brenna's pictures for mailing... and then I get to go see Merrit & the CoffeeKids. They really just want to see Brenna... I'm just the driver. LOL


Me too, me too!

>> Thursday, August 11, 2005

How well do you know me?

I made a quiz, too! Inspired by the Coffee Queen!


The Best Laid Plans

get shot to hell when a Realtor calls and says she wants to show your house this afternoon.

No relaxing bath.
No PJs all day.
No playing on the floor.

Just dusting.

Maybe I should plan to spend the day in my PJs every day... it seems to make things happen!


Lazy Day

My plans for today go something like this: Lay on couch and watch Sesame Street with Brenna. Play on floor with Brenna. Feed Brenna lunch. Put Brenna down for nap, take relaxing bath. Snack time when Brenna wakes. More playing on floor. Make dinner when Doug comes home. Maybe take some computer time to review necessary information for work visas in the UK & Ireland. And, if I feel really ambitious, I may cruise through some blogs.

And I plan to do it all in the comfort of my pajamas. Well, all except bathe. But the PJs go right back on when I'm done with that.

It's an overcast, drizzly day here and I don't have to leave the house for anything. That doesn't happen often- so I am taking advantage!

Have a great day!


What not to see next summer

Take a look at some of the films in the concept stage right now.

This is the best they can do? Made up stories with a limited relationship to reality make great sci-fi, but there are so many compelling stories coming from the events of the last 4 years that picking up a storyline should be easy.

What would you pay to see in the war film genre? There are hundreds of thousands of stories available merely interviewing Iraq War veterans. I suggest telling a few.


Profiling CAIR

>> Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Someone in the media grows a pair. It takes guts to speak out on such media darlings...

Be sure to check out the this post from July.


For the Ladies...

>> Monday, August 08, 2005


Inside every older lady is a younger lady -- wondering what the hell happened.

-Cora Harvey Armstrong-

Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out. But I can usually shut her up with cookies.

The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.

-Helen Hayes (at 73)-

I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as stray eyebrows.

-Janette Barber-

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.

-Lily Tomlin-

A male gynecologist is like an auto mechanic who never owned a car.

-Carrie Snow-

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry with your girlfriends.

-Laurie Kuslansky-

My second favorite household chore is ironing. My first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint.

-Erma Bombeck-

Old age ain't no place for sissies.

-Bette Davis-

A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do what he can't.

-Rhonda Hansome-

The phrase "working mother"! is redundant.

-Jane Sellman-

Every time I close the door on reality, it comes in through the windows.

-Jennifer Unlimited-

Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.

-Charlotte Whitton-

Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart.

-Caryn Leschen-

I try to take one day at a time -- but sometimes several days attack me at once.

-Jennifer Unlimited-

If you can't be a good example -- then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.


When I was young, I was put in a school for retarded kids for two years before they realized I actually had a hearing loss. And they called ME slow!

-Kathy Buckley-

I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb -- and I'm also not blonde.

-Dolly Parton-

If high heels were so wonderful, men would still be wearing them.

-Sue Grafton-

I'm not going to vacuum 'til Sears makes one you can ride on.

-Roseanne Barr-

When women are depressed they either eat or go shopping. Men invade another countries..

-Elayne Boosler-

Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.

-Maryon Pearson-

In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.

-Margaret Thatcher-

I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine marriage and a career.

-Gloria Steinem-

I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I keep his house.

-Zsa Gabor-

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.

-Eleanor Roosevelt-


Like A Burr...

In my ass. Brenna is a bit clingy today; probably due to all the commotion this past week. I just got her settled down in front of Baby Beethoven so I could enjoy a cup of tea and write you all a quick note. Maybe later today I will get through "My Favorites" and visit everyone!

I heard from E this morning. She is at the clinic in Mpls and sounds more like herself.

We had another open house yesterday; the realtor said that we had 4 "lookers". One guy who stopped said that he really wanted a 3-stall garage. So why did he stop? Our house has a two-car garage; it's obvious just looking at it from a distance. Moron. Another was looking at houses for her mother who is moving up from Arkansas. Now that would be nice- no "I'll buy it if my house sells" crap. The realtor said that all the comments were positive... we'll see what transpires.

Loads of laundry to be done today. But no house cleaning! Must go to the grocery store... ugh.


My Part is Finished- Mostly

>> Saturday, August 06, 2005

I took E and her husband to the methadone clinic this morning. He was able to call a clinic in Minneapolis and get her set up to begin a program there on Monday, 6am. We were able to get her dose for today and a take-home dose for tomorrow; and we were out of there. Which was a relief. There were a couple of people in there who were a little freaky.

They headed back home this afternoon. My part is mostly over. I'll be checking in on a daily basis for a while. But I am sure E's husband will take very good care of her. Doug spent more time talking with him than I did, but we both think that he is very good for her and we like him quite a bit.

I have to admit that I am relieved that he was able to get her into a program that quickly. I love her dearly, but I left Minnesota to get away from that drama. Having it here for a few days really reminded me of what I left- and how glad I am to have left it.

So it is back to normal here. Brenna is in bed, following an afternoon of mom & dad cleaning the house, ice cream from the Marble Slab in the mid-afternoon & cheese tortillini for dinner. We have an open house again tomorrow. Hopefully we get some traffic through here...

And now I am off to have some "me" time. A bath with some bubbles sounds about right...


Where Did My Day Go?

>> Friday, August 05, 2005

My mom spent the night, taking care of Brenna while Doug & I took E to the hospital. I was up every 2-3 hours giving E meds and making sure she was OK. She was sleeping every time I went to check on her. Which was a relief.

Mom brought Brenna downstairs about 6am. She didn't realize that I was on the couch. It made more sense for me to be on the couch as I didn't want to wake Doug every couple of hours. He had a meeting early this morning. I cuddled Brenna to me and nursed her- mostly to get a little more sleep. Not that I mind cuddling my baby girl.

I called the methadone clinic this morning and spoke with a nurse there. Finally! I felt like someone actually knew what needed to be done! So, instead of following Dr's orders and taking E to the treatment facility at the hospital I took her to the methadone clinic.

We spent the entire morning there. (Doug came & got Brenna after his meeting.) But I feel like E will be able to get the help she needs. They will also be able to transfer her to a clinic in Minneapolis. If we can find one with an opening. I won't send her back without someplace to go. It shocks me just how difficult it is to get help. No wonder so many people can't get off the stuff.

She has been resting since we came home. She has been able to eat & drink & keep it all down.

E's husband came down today. He had thought that she was still clean (she was when they got married). Heroin is a strange drug. You can't tell when people are high. After a while you need it to remain "stable". And E's arms are completely tattooed- you can't see tracks; I looked. He knew she was here for a visit, he just didn't know why.

This is the first time I have met him. I actually just found out that she was married last night. Fucking drugs. Anyway, I like him. He seems to really care for her and want her well. I think he will do whatever it takes- including relocate, if it is best.

We have to be back at the clinic bright & early tomorrow. Then the day will be devoted to cleaning top to bottom for another open house on Sunday. Whew!


Home for Now

>> Thursday, August 04, 2005

It's almost midnight. After pumping fluids back in to E and giving her morphine and lorazepam (for anxiety) through IV she has been released for the evening. We made a visit to the pharmacy for prescriptions of vicadin & lorazepam to hold her through until we can get in to see the guy at the treatment center tomorrow. She is sleeping. A small relief.

This is possibly the most heartbreaking thing to see. As she shook with cold and was sweating... begging for more blankets that wouldn't help because the cold was inside... watching her eyes roll back in her head... seeing what appeared to be siezures... I just can't begin to describe this in any sort of vivid reality.

Before we took her to the hospital this evening I was calling all over Des Moines about treatment. It is almost impossible to get help. All these places were telling me that we needed to come in for evaluations- could we set an appointment for next week? No wonder so many addicts never get clean. It is easier to get the drugs than to get off them. sigh

Ah, well, things to get done before I can give E a done of painkillers and catch a bit of sleep before the next round. Thank you all for your kind words.


This is Bad

We are taking E to the hospital. She hasn't kept food, fluids or meds down for 15+ hours. She is begging to die. This sucks.


One Day Down

E arrived early yesterday morning. She called after I made my post to let me know that she had left home later than planned and was stopping to sleep. Before you say how rude that is, I knew she would be arriving in the middle of the night and was expecting a call. Which is why I was up.

When I met E she was 18. And, even though you wouldn't guess it to look at her- and all her tattoos and piercings- she didn't drink, smoke or do drugs. She became like a little sister to me; asking advice about buying a car (she wanted a Mustang convertible like mine), coming to me when she needed a shoulder.

We remained close after I moved. She was my only friend to visit from Minnesota when Brenna was born. And after that I heard from her only sporadically.

A week ago I found out why. She went to New York for a modeling opportunity (she is beautiful, even covered with ink. Actually, she was chosen because of the tattoos) and ended up with the "wrong" people. And I guess she was weak. And she began using heroin.

What a drug to begin with, huh? She went in to treatment a couple of months ago but it didn't work. She said they were more interested in her $10K than helping her get well. So she is here to detox. God, she's so thin. It's heartbreaking.

With the help of a sedative, prescribed for this purpose, she slept most of yesterday. Last night she was beginning to feel the effects of the drug wearing off. Today will be incredibly painful for her. I hope she can sleep through much of today, as well.

Update: 10 am Sweats, shakes and stomach cramping have set in. She can't keep the sedatives down. She is kind of worried because Day 2 has been worse for her in the past when she has tried to quit. We are hoping the medications she was given are helping with the pain and that Day 3 won't be absolute torture.

I did tell her that if it got too bad I would put her in the hospital- and they would probably put her in the psyche ward. She is actually OK with that. I also told her that I wanted her to have an appointment with a psychiatrist set for when she got home. She is OK with that, too. Those are good signs, I think.


Way back to September 6, 1997

>> Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Here you go. Ours was a traditional wedding. Jody and my best friend from high school were my bridesmaids. Doug (the Iowa Geek, himself) & Jason (hubby's brother) were his groomsmen. HMMMM, anyone else notice that 6 years later Doug & Jody tied the knot?

In about a month, we'll celebrate our 8th anniversary. But we've been together 10 years this month, and we have known each other for about 29 years.



Yes, it is 3:50am. E should have been here long before now. She is coming to escape some demons.

I am terrified for her. The next few days will feel like they are ripping her apart. I really don't know if I am prepared for it. And I don't know what to do. She asked for my help; to turn her away would have been condemning her to, well, hell. She is already there.

I am really not being overly dramatic.

Are there better places for her? Probably. Can I give her the help she needs? I hope so. Am I scared? Hell, yes.


Way Back Wednesday

The Kept Woman insists that we travel back in time and share with you wedding memories.

Doug & I kind of eloped. I say kind of because everyone knew that we were getting married and my sister & her husband were there to sign things and take photos. Otherwise, it was just us, the minister and the chapel owners.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

We got married at a wonderful little chapel in Dallas Center, Iowa. The owners have become friends of ours. It was exactly what I wanted: intimate and special.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Well, Baby

>> Monday, August 01, 2005

Today was Brenna's 9-month Well Baby visit. All went well. She was pronounced healthy. Stats: 17lb 11oz, 27 3/4 inches. She is now "average" in height and at the 25th percentile in weight. Which is kind of funny as she seems to be eating all the time...

No, I didn't mention that I am planning to start her on whole milk soon. The Dr did ask if I was still nursing (yes) and how much (about 16 ounces a day) and if she was using any formula (no). He knows that she is eating only "real" food and did mention that she shouldn't use whole milk until at least age 1 to make sure she gets enough iron. I nodded and smiled and thought that we would begin in a couple of weeks.

Also: today's Karnival of Kidz is being hosted by "bad uncle" Harvey. Lots of tips and tricks for the young ones... and an offer to babysit. If you trust him after this!

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