Meet turkey number one..

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This is Tom. According to Kinsley (as she explained to Sophie) this turkey is “a tiny baby, who was just living with his mama and papa – but now we are going to eat him, because babies are usually the best kinds of animals to eat.”

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And this is the heart of the baby turkey, apparently. Sophie insists that the baby turkey has been waving at her from the counter where he was draining. As I injected him with the marinade, Kinsley explained to Sophie that “this is how we give shots to baby turkeys.” It’s all very graphic.

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Kinsley asked to pet him. Then she pronounced him “so so slimy!”

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Kinsley keeps saying that she “can’t wait till we get to eat the baby turkey!”

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plans

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(The random picture above was taken by Caleb. It was supposed to demonstrate how Sophie and I look alike, but Sophie wasn’t too into the idea of sitting still…)

So today my plans are as follows:

Clean the bathroom (done)
Clean the dining room (done)
Clean the playroom (done)
Wash all windows and mirrors
Thaw and brine turkey #1 (partly done)
Make sweet potatoes (done)
Clean potty seat
Clean kitchen

Just have to post this so that I can keep myself moving right along…

life goes on…

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We’ve been taking advantage of Caleb’s impromptu visit while we wait for news about Grandpa’s recovery…

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We’ve played several rounds of poker and bluff, and Caleb introduced up to Cranium…

Sleep has been a little hard to come by lately, so we all grab it when and where we can.

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The upcoming week promises to be as busy and hectic as the proceeding ones.

Will be having a mini-Thanksgiving dinner with Caleb and my family on Tuesday evening before he leaves on Wednesday morning. I hope to visit Grandpa in the hospital again on Wednesday, depending on who is taking Caleb back to the airport.

We’re celebrating Thanksgiving with the my family, my sister and her family, Dan’s brother and his family and my aunt and her family at our house on Thursday.

On Friday, we are eagerly anticipating the arrival of Dan’s niece, Rachel, along with her husband and their roly-poly son, Teddy.

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(isn’t he a handsome fella?)

We expect to celebrate Thanksgiving (and Life in general) with them on Saturday, along with another young couple from our church, and the Lonesome Hill gang.

Grandpa should be out of the hospital on Friday, and I’m anxious to have them back. It seems strange to know that they’re not just down the road…

Waiting with hope

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Well, it’s finally the end of a really long and tiring day. Before I drop into bed, I wanted to say “thank you” to all of you have expressed your love and concern for my family, through comments, emails and phone calls…

We were able to see Grandpa very early this morning, before his surgery. Even Kinsley was able to see him, though we all had to be suited up and visit his nook of the ICU in pairs, at most. Grandpa seemed tired, but in good spirits overall, and still his feisty old self. Once, when I noticed his bare feet sticking out from the thin hospital blankets – thinking of how cold-natured Grandpa is – I reached to pull the covers over his toes, asking him if his feet were cold.

“Now don’t you be messin’ with stuff, y’hear?” he snapped. It was oddly comforting.

Kinsley was able to show him several drawings she lovingly prepared over the previous days, and Grandpa complemented them lavishly.

We had been instructed not to touch Grandpa, so when Grandma and I took our turn at his bedside, Grandma told him

“They say I caint kiss ya Jim. I caint touch you, even… but this is me kissing you” – and she blew a kiss as a tear slid down her cheek.

“Caint kiss me, Wanda Lee? Mmmm, that’s too bad…” was Grandpa’s weak response.

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At 6:30 am, they began the prep for the surgery, an open heart affair which lasted for five hours. During this time, we had a regular old family reunion in the waiting room, with four generations being represented, including several relatives who haven’t been together in a long while. Caleb arrived about an hour late (his plane was detained due to snow and ice in Cleveland).

Around 12:30, we received that anxiously awaited phone call – Grandpa had come through what turned out to be a double bypass surgery, and had done very well.

Though the surgery went as well as could possibly be expected, his prognosis is still very uncertain, due to all the other underlying conditions. The doctors have concluded that he actually suffered three heart-attacks since Wednesday, and warn us that Grandpa’s heart is very weak and swollen, and still functioning on a very limited basis, even with this surgery helping it along.

At this point, he’s still under the effects of the anesthesia, and may not wake fully until tomorrow morning, and he’s still on a ventilator.

Grandma has agreed to come home and sleep tonight, which I think she badly needed. This ordeal has taken quite a toll on her, I’m afraid. She looked as if she’s already lost weight, and seemed to not notice things like hunger, insisting that she’s just fine. Once my aunt made her sit down with a plate of food, Grandma actually ate a good bit… I think that it may have been the first meal she’d consumed in a couple of days.

For now, we are grateful that Grandpa is temporarily relieved of some pain, and continue to wait. We are hopeful that no matter what the outcome, this day will have been beneficial in every possible way.

Morning Coffee

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There are probably hundreds of posts on this blog entitled “Morning Coffee” but what can I say? It’s something that happens daily, and is often photogenic…

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Sophie calls it “Hoffee”…

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For those of you who are concerned about the sanity of an already tired Mama who would give her two toddlers coffee in the morning, just relax. Yes, I know that were they to consume my normal coffee, it would put hair on their chests, peach fuzz on their palms, curl their toes, and give me gray hair – but this is mostly just a cup of warm milk with (as Kinsley says) a “tiniest tad” of coffee, and whipped cream on top.

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On the other hand, maybe the “tiniest tad” explains that picture…

Confessions

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To start off a post which is entitled confessions, I should admit that the photo above is not mine. It actually belongs to bastet in the sky with diamonds, but I like it very much, and it sort of sums up how I feel right now – a little gloomy but still cozy…

Many of the posts over the last week or so have been pre-scheduled posts, written in moments when I have time to crank out a post or two. Usually they contain few, if any words, which is actually why using the term “written” in this context is a bit of a stretch.

November has been incredibly busy, with many stresses and concerns…

My brother Zion had been experiencing some health problems, and was diagnosed with postconcussive syndrome. He’s doing well, it’s just that it’s causing him to re-evaluate what is actually important right now, and he’s having to leave football behind him, at least for now.

My brother Jared is getting ready to leave for college, and that’s definitely a bitter sweet thing for me at this time. I’m happy that he’s going into this particular school, but I hate changes, and I hate to have another brother leave home.

The poor economy has taken it’s toll on our family businesses, and while we have yet to be in need, it’s sometimes stressful to think about the times to come.

My grandpa has been in very poor health for much of this month, and the last few months. He has been fighting pneumonia, congestive heart failure, and a yeast infection in his lungs… he recently was told that he has small spots of cancer on his lungs, and is losing blood very consistently, though his doctors are uncertain as to what is causing this.

A few years back, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, and had several feet of colon taken out. Now he’s experiencing the same symptoms again, and the doctors suspect more colon cancer. He was scheduled for a colonoscopy yesterday, but woke with angina pains and was taken to the hospital by ambulance…

Grandpa has suffered two heart attacks since being taken to the hospital early Wednesday morning, and is now scheduled for emergency bypass surgery in the morning. His heart is so weak that there’s only a slim chance that he will come out of the surgery. In fact, Grandpa’s regular heart doctor refused to do it, and only one doctor at Missouri Baptist in Saint Louis would agree to perform the surgery.

Grandpa’s body is too weak for the colonoscopy now, and for the moment the hospital is mostly focusing on making him comfortable.

My brother Caleb is flying in from Maryland tomorrow morning, and my parents, along with Jared and Zion, and Dan and I and the girls are leaving at 4am tomorrow in order to get to the hospital and see Grandpa before his surgery.

I spoke to Grandma this afternoon, and it nearly broke my heart to hear her sobbing on the phone. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose someone who has been, for so long, nearly your entire life. Even with all this going on, Grandma is worried about what we’re going to do for Thanksgiving (it’s always at their house) and assures me that she will cook everything, but thinks that maybe it would be best if everyone ate Thanksgiving dinner at my house. It’s so like her to be concerned that we all stay well fed and carry on with the usual traditions, and not be bothered with little details like the fact that Grandpa is quite likely on his deathbed.

So, back to the confessions part… I sometimes find that life is just a little too complicated to attempt to write about. While I post pictures of the girls doing fun and cozy things, there’s been a lot going on behind the scenes here, and not much sign that things are going to slow down just yet. I think that life may overwhelm us for a while, and I can’t promise that I’m going to be posting all that frequently for a week or so, though I hope to keep up with my clusters of scheduled posts as much as I am able.

Now I’m rambling again. As Kinsley says, “Perhaps I am done”.

Shadows

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I got up early this morning (actually, I was driven out of bed by the two lanky gazelles who took over my bed during the night), and the house downstairs was amazingly quiet…and cold! As I started the first load of laundry this morning, I noticed the amazing shadows on the wall. It reminded me of Psalm 91:1:

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Tuning the Piano

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We decided to get our old Wurlitzer tuned, in honor of our 5th anniversary.

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The piano has been in my family for about 15 years now, and after being moved three times, it was long overdue for a tuning.

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First he tuned…

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Then he took out each of the keys and cleaned them, vacuuming the 55+ years of accumulated dust from underneath…

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Then he found a broken key…

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Which he repaired…

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Then, he adjusted the capstans…

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and then tuned some more…

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played a bit…

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sipped some coffee…

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And tuned some more…

Then, he tightened the wobbly leg on the piano, and put it all back together.

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I thought it was interesting to learn that the piano was built in August of 1953 – which means that while this piano was being lovingly and carefully constructed in Illinois, this house was also being designed and built. It’s strange that they were destined to end up together, all these years later.