"What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us." – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

When I Was 21 - - - - - A Distressful Post

In 1960 I gave birth to my first born - a precious baby boy.  

            Yes, I am a lot more transparent than any time in my seven years of blogging - for various reasons. One, is that I prefer to have the documentation and also the  "the insight"  may provide some useful information.

It was a wonderful time, happily married to a loving nicely employed man, schooling finished for the time being --- and pregnant. And what an easy and healthy pregnancy it was, without a minute of morning sickness or any prenatal complications.   When the word "Glow" is used to describe some pregnant women,   THAT was ME.  I was so happy, happy, happy!

Even though we were temporarily living an hour drive away from our "stomping grounds", we decided to have our baby at the hospital where I completed my RN Nursing Program.   Being a petite lady weighing a little over 100 pounds (before pregnancy) I was what some call   "All Baby".   When my due date came about on December 5,    no signs of a baby about to be born. I was so very ready emotionally and everything was prepared for the joyous event. Unfortunately, it was two weeks more before my water broke at 3 AM and we were on our way to the hospital. It was lovely to be greeted by a familiar smiling face at the hospital. That face belonged to one of my nursing classmates. They got me settled and LABOR was on it's way.

The contractions were getting harder and harder but it seemed like it was taking forever for the dilation numbers to move along to a higher number. There were many, many hours of fierce pain. Whatever they were doing for me in regards to pain management was NOT working. The pain was so very harsh and unbearable. Eventually, medication was administered that put me out. And, I didn't remember anything until my baby was brought to me in my room all bundled up and crying. My baby was a very unhappy baby. Not the least bit interested in nursing or being held. I was very lethargic and felt worse in ALL WAYS than I had ever felt in my life. I don't believe I can put it into words just how horrendous the experience was for me.

Now it is time for a CAVEAT. The following  information may contain TMI. You may want to shift your mind to reading this as if it is a medical informational post. Remember, this took place years ago. Procedures and philosophies have changed drastically since that time.

Unfortunately, VERY unfortunately, obstetrical forceps were used to (pull out) deliver my 8 pound, 6 ounce baby boy. My body was severely damaged and required an extensive episiotomy (a surgical cut in the muscular area between the vagina and the anus made just before delivery to enlarge the vaginal opening). Many sutures were placed and the discomfort and pain was nearly insufferable post anesthesia. There was very little helpful medical guidance. Complete relief from the stressful physical situation took more than 6 months.

I gave birth on December 20th and was discharged from the hospital on December 24th with my baby boy who seemed to be very unhappy and seemed to never stop crying. Allegedly, he was physically healthy and did not suffer any abnormalities.  My mother was with me for a week but made it very clear to us that she did not plan on being a babysitter! And, she meant it!

With trying to be as succinct as I can in telling you what my son's childhood was like, I will say. From day one, every new life experience for him was traumatic and there were hours and hours and hours of crying. He seemed to have fear of everything. Yes, of course, all available medical care was summoned to no avail. To me as a parent it seemed as though the medical professionals considered him to be "just a bad kid".  There never was baby/mother bonding.   And, life was super challenging for our little family. To this day, his behaviors, I would say, continues to be borderline in interpersonal relationships. Nothing seems to come easy for him, but he manages to get by in the margins of life.
Now, let's flash forward many years to when I was in my early 50's. I started noticing some rectal incontinence. It started around the same time as my serious back injury. So a lot was going on with me and my body. The first question was whether or not there was an association with the back surgery. Many invasive and may I say disgusting medical tests were completed at Stanford University Hospital. Some nerve evaluations along with practically every test (for down there) that you can imagine were completed during a three hour session while I was awake. That was one of the most horrible medical testing that I have ever experienced but ,   not even close to the distress of childbirth. When it was completed and I returned to the waiting room the first thing out of my mouth to my waiting friend was "I Need A Drink".   And, I hardly ever drink!

The results of the testing was a referral to a Neurological Proctologist.

Studies show that a large baby , a mother with small pelvic bones , a prolonged labor , a baby whose head is in the wrong position during labor , or the use of forceps can be associated with the development of incontinence.  Rectal Incontinence being the most difficult to manage.

But, let's try to move along regarding the difficult life my son has experienced.  Throughout his life, I have felt so very helpless.  And, he was certainly misunderstood.  After studying medical literature, speaking with many doctors and feeling profoundly happy about advancing medical science I believe that my son experienced   BRAIN INJURY   at the time of his birth. It is my thought that my presence triggers a psychological and visceral response of PAIN AND DANGER for my son! So - so tragic !!  Additionally, during his childhood he experienced a couple concussions, one when he fell from a height during playtime with friends at a very young age and he was hospitalized for two days. The other time was when he was "beat up" at school.   Terrible ! ! !


On a positive note, just think of all the football players with the current attention about concussions and blunt force to the head.  Thankfully, there is a lot more information about Brain Health!

Painfully, I tell you that many years have gone by periodically without contact with my son. Additionally, he was on foreign land many years of his military deployment. At one time I made all the arrangements to visit him in Korea.  At the last moment he "shut me out" and I cancelled the trip. Additionally, when he came to visit for my daughter's wedding, he left town the day before the event.    But the time may have come - - - along with some medical and professional psychological guidance that relationships and health for my little family may be improved before I am gone.

I pray that with knowledge, medical evaluations/treatment, new coping skills and gentle guidance that the remaining years of life for my adult children will be flowered with comfort, understanding, peace, forgiveness and excitement.

What a beautiful day we are having here in Northern California. The temperatures are very pleasant but reported to be rising to the high 90"s by the end of the week.

Happy Day To You.

Mary

Saturday, July 1, 2017

There Is Going To Be A Wedding And More

In March 2018

And, this is the happy Bride-To-Be, my Granddaughter on a day recently when she shopped and found her wedding gown. I have seen a photo of her wearing the gown and it is beautiful.

And, I will show you some of their Engagement Photos.   At least, that is my understanding of what they call them even though they were officially engaged in June, 2014 in San Francisco.   So, first let's look at the 2014 photos.
And these are the recent photos next.
There lives have been so busy during the past three years and it has not been easy. Sometimes I think my Granddaughter is a  "Wonder Women".  She worked part-time, finished her education (two years) for her Bachelor's Degree and gave birth to two children and they are not twins! Because of education financing issues they waited for completion of her studies and graduation prior to marriage. She is a Stay-At-Home-Mom and they are wonderful parents. Would you say I may be a bit prejudice?  Nah!

The mechanics of living life are so very different than when I was young.  I do not know a better way to phrase those thoughts. I have quickly learned to "just roll" with the new ways and enjoy the ride. I am thrilled to be a party to any activities that my family will share with me.

As I have mentioned, I have been working with a Psychologist with a focus on repairing the  relationships with my two adult children before my journey on this earth ends. I telephoned my son's wife (daughter-in-law) and as I expected, it was good. My son has had issues since birth and hopefully todays science may be of help! His wife and I will be talking again the beginning of next week.  He is the father of my Granddaughter who is getting married.

Trust me, it is all so painful and complicated. Just like so many families. But, at least we are on our way to trying to heal. God willing and the outcome will be worth the effort. 

Over the weekend I am hoping to try to contact my daughter who in time past before her current marriage was very close to me. She may shut me down (which I fully expect), however I strongly believe her husband is the controller. The last time I saw them, he stood over me, Yelling and Screaming at me (on Thanksgiving day 3 years ago when My Special Friend was on his death bed) telling me what a terrible person he thinks I am and has always thought.  Talk about HURTFUL.  And, no one (like my daughter) came to comfort and protect me!

I parented my two preschool children as a single parent with very little support of any kind. My daughter is a Master's Degree candidate. Unfortunately, she never wrote her thesis!  And, my son is a twenty year Air Force Veteran and continues to work at an Air Force base as a civilian.

There is absolutely no contact between family members.  I'll just leave it at that!  I feel fortunate to feel strong enough to be working with what I consider to be an excellent Psychologist on this very challenging situation for me and my adult children.

Two more Daylily plants have started to bloom.
Lovely!
That's it for today.

Hope your July 4th weekend is starting with happy preparations.

Mary

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Gladiolus Serviving The Heat Wave And Gushing Water Valve

Loveliness rules! In spite of the horrendous heat wave  I have been able to save the Gladiolus with the aid of a little sun protection.
It looks like there will be at least 12 long stems of White Gladiolus this year. When I bought the bulbs the package showed white flowers with a deep red center.
But, it looks like they are going to be all white and that is just fine. The bulbs were from Van Bloem Gardens and named Flevo Eyes. I don't see any red in the flower throat! This is the first time that something like this has happened in all the time I have been gardening. Probably packaged incorrectly. Little surprises! ! !
 They look so tall and majestic - - - don't they?

Gosh, I sure love my garden. It gives me so much comfort. The year has been so very difficult for me in many ways and I am so grateful for the pleasure my garden gives me

Yesterday I was able to buy some more planting mix, garden soil and peat moss so I can work in some more flower beds that need some invigorating.  The clay and rocky soil is so difficult to work with. For optimum results the garden needs a lot more amendments.
As I previously mentioned, the Fig Tree is huge. We can't even see the Angel Statuary at the base of the tree in this photo. It has really grown a lot since last year. And it looks like there will be a lot of fruit. I noticed the Blue Jay birds showing more interest in the tree lately. It is time for me to put up some silver reflective tape to deter their interest.

All the rains this past year have certainly given a pleasant dimension to the garden this year.  Everything is looking healthier and more abundant. So nice!

😟  Lately, it seems like each day I am faced with a new challenge. Today was no different. About mid-day I heard what sounded like water running forcefully. I quickly went outside to the main water valve on the side of the house to find lots of water gushing from a PVC water pipe valve next to the main valve. It is the valve pictured at the bottom of the next photo where you can see the red lever. It was installed years ago for the sprinkler system. 

This is the opening where the water was gushing from. This black pug was forced out and landed on the sidewalk. It looked like it had been glued in with PVC cement.
So, at this point, I am without water until a new valve is installed!  Stay tuned ! ! !

I'm tired and going to bed!

Mary

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fireworks Plants Coming To Life And More Daylilies

Yes, Really ! Take a look - - -


That means that only two more plants have to show growth and we will be on our way.

This is the way they looked last fall before I cut them back before the winter.   What was I thinking! 
I wonder how long before I see something like this.     If ever !

A few more Daylilies are opening and showing their beautiful colors.
Today I was able to get my car serviced and all went well.  However, the air conditioning will have to be checked out by a Service Provider that can work on computer diagnostics.

Thank goodness the weather was a little cooler today.  Especially, since I had to walk from and back to the local Auto Shop. Only a few blocks away.  But, if it had been like the last few days there is no way I could have walked.

I hope your week is off to a Good Start.

Mary

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Elephant Onion

Would you like to see some more of my garden? Let's do it. First, let me tell you how much I am enjoying all the bumblebees, hummingbirds, butterflies and birds that have been visiting me in my garden.
Now, what is this? It is a fun plant that I have told you about in the past. This is something that I picked up at a local farmer's market several years ago. It is called Egyptian Walking Onion. These perennials are interesting in that they produce clusters of reddish hazelnut-sized bulblets that form at the top of each seed stalk. The name 'walking onion' comes from the fact that if left untended, the onion stalks will bend down to the ground and take root all by themselves. The bulbs at the base of the plant can be used in cooking and the bulblets can be replanted.

Several weeks ago this is how it looked. You can see all the little new onions along side of the mother plant and the bulblets forming at the top of the stalks.
And now it is showing it's artistic and entertaining curly tops loaded with new bulblets!
 Isn't nature wonderful?  It's just another fun conversation piece. Kind of like my curly Dragon Lady plant in the next photo that I have previously blogged about !

Well Now - - - After eight consecutive days with temperatures over three digits I am very hopeful that cooler temperatures will prevail.
It is hard on the garden when the weather gets this hot. I have had to cover my gladiolas with shade cloth because the new blooms were shrivelling from the heat on the tender new growth. I hope they survive!

It's been a lot easier to keep up with blogging when it is too hot to be in the garden. Priorities - priorities!

Please stay cool and well and enjoy the weekend. OK.

Mary

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What Happened To The Gomphrena "Fireworks" Plants

Well, last fall when I was working on the Front Flower Beds and revitalizing the Iris by dividing the creeping old rhizomes of the large variety of different colors and  species I ordered some perennials through mail order for the opposite side of the garden pathway.
Wow, such great healthy looking plants.
Because the soil in the flower bed had to be reconditioned before planting, I eventually had to transplant the new plants into larger pots.

Long story short - with all my fussing about - they were planted very late in the season and I trimmed them way back to give energy/strength to the roots!

Today, ONE of the six plants are showing promise. My tenaciousness persists and I am hopeful the others will catch up.
Each plant shows some hope - but, it looks like it is going to be slow going.  And, with the intense heat spell that we are in, frequent watering is a must.
There is so much to look at in the garden these days. This morning the Dayliles made their first appearance and that is always fun. There are a lot of varieties in my garden that are getting ready to "show us their stuff"!  Fun,  Fun, Fun.


Next time I try to take some photos I will take one of the Fig Tree. It has grown so large. Looks like double the size of last year.  And  -  it has just started to set fruit! I am just having loads of FUN.

With this day after day of intense heat it is very difficult to get much done in the house or outside except for hand watering.
This is what the thermometer at my front and back doors say most of the time and sometimes higher. I hope everyone is staying safe and continues to be mindful of the dangers of excessive elevated temperatures.

I think it is a good time to make some Iced Tea. Wish you could join me for "a little sit down".

Mary

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Heat Wave Is On It's Way And A Garden Visitor

The next few days are reported to be the hottest this year. By hot, I mean over 100 degrees. Everything in the garden continues to grow nicely. It is taking some additional watering but that is OK. I have been doing some nasty dirty yard work and filling lots of yard waste barrels. My property is bordered on the outside of my fence with Red Oleander Shrubs that are blooming and growing vigorously. I planted the Oleander shortly after I moved here 20 plus years ago and they have needed some clean-up at their base. You know, weeds and some trimming. This photo was taken by Google Mapping a few years ago. The Oleander has given nice privacy and a deer deterrent.
The Hydrangea plant is starting to bloom.
They are nestled in front of the Star Jasmine that covers the fence. On the left the Gladiolas are getting ready to bloom. And, some Rosemary herbs are nearby.

That little Hydrangea Plant has come a long way since last year.
So seldom do I mention anything about Mother Nature's "Bambi", THE DEER coming into my garden looking for their dinner plate.

Well, I just noticed that I referenced deer deterrent in my first paragraph of this post that I started yesterday.   How funny is that?  Because, last evening I walked outside to be surprised by a fellow who looked similar to the next photo having dinner at the flower bed (buffet table) outside my living room window. I was so surprised and wondered how he got in. Then I remembered that the wire fence opening down by the seasonal creek was still open after the heavy rains. Sure enough, that is where he went to exit my garden by bending down to get through the opening.  And, then he had the nerve to stand on the other side and stare at me while I talked to him.  I guess my garden was just too much to resist!
Recently, I had noticed what I thought I was seeing in my garden as tell-tale signs of deer nibbling on many of my plants, especially the roses, along the one side of my garden. Sooooooooooo! Now I know why ! ! !

There really are a lot of deer that wander around my neighborhood every day, especially in the early evening. And, I still tend to get a little excited when I see them. I think they are so beautiful with their graceful gliding movements and their curiosity.

The Oleander are in full force!
And, the Pink Alstroemeria are starting to bloom. They are so delicate and the markings are exquisite.

That's all for today. Have a Good Weekend.

Mary

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