April 20, 2019

Weekend Update

I think our house is cursed buy a refrigerator demon. I mean, that's the only possible explanation, right? Also, I don't understand why it takes so long to get a technician to come and fix it. We are basically doing a pantry challenge, because the fridge in the basement is small, and is barely big enough to hold all the condiments and salad dressings, let alone fresh foods that need to be cool. AND because the fridge and freezer broke, this whole week has consisted of me cooking all the perishable items. I ended up making 8 quarts of beef stew, 8 quarts of taco soup, 20 pints of chili, and I can't even remember the rest. It's just been real exciting in the kitchen.

Meanwhile, Thaddeus got to go back to work finally. He was so mad at the doctor when they took his stitches out. He was on the schedule to work THAT DAY, but after the doctor realized he was a LIFEGUARD, which is a job where you get wet, he shut that down. Just because stitches are out doesn't mean the would is healed. So that was exciting.

We also had an Eagle project pow-wow thing with the boys in our troop and their parents. My boys are going to have quite a busy summer, because they will definitely be Eagle scouts come autumn. The best little tidbit I learned was that there is not an hourly requirement! I remember helping my friends get their Eagle, because they had to meticulously count everybody's hours, and it was a HUGE time suck. Not anymore! Hooray!

Also, we had our first lawn mow of the season. And I've been busy prepping the garden spaces. Our asparagus looks so cute. And the grapes that I propagated look amazing. They totally rooted and are ready to go in the ground. I also discovered cherry BUSHES. I guess technically, they're dwarf trees, but the point is, Troy has wanted cherry trees, but I don't have room for two more big trees, unless he's willing to let me turn some of the grassy area into an orchard. SO. I got two cherry bushes, a Romeo variety, and a Juliet.  And I planted two boysenberry bushes, and pruned the blackberry vines. AND I thought that my blueberry bushes from last year were a total bust, BUT! There seems to be little baby branches popping out of the ground, so I'm going to cross my fingers, and hope that we get a fun blueberry surprise later this summer.

Tomorrow, we're going to be planting the lettuce and spinach beds, along with some flowers, and onions, and herbs. I just love being in the garden, and it is so incredible to be able to grow our own food. Even with the fridge mishap, when I started making the chili and soup and all that, every ingredient came from my garden. I used so many jars of tomatoes and tomato paste, and peppers, and tomatillos... I was annoyed and happy at the same time.

Another fun thing happening tomorrow is my apple tree grafting class! In my yard right now, I have three apple trees, and I have a spot for a fourth. The three trees I have now ripen early, mid, and late. This is amazing, because I cannot have big ole apple trees ripening at once. I just don't have enough time to do all those apples at once! I'll be very interested in what varieties are available at the class. I would LIKE to get a green or golden apple, but I want to learn about what varieties work best for what, and I need to be able to gauge the size. One of my apple trees, the Gravenstein, is going to be a BEAST of a tree, at 20-30' high and wide. The other trees, which are twisted around each other and oh so cute, are Gala and Braeburn, and they only grow to be 12-15' high. So I'm definitely in the market for another fifteen footer.

GAH! Can you tell how much I love working in the dirt? It really is my happy place.

I'm also thinking that we will get our summer day camps going here in Utah. It'll give the kids something to do, and honestly, we have a pretty good set-up for hosting hordes of grade-schoolers. Of course, I have to discuss with the kids first, because while I am happy to supervise and such, it really is a team effort. And I have to look at all the schedules, because teenagers are stinking busy! Work, scout camp, girls camp, zion camp, band camp.... it's enough to drive a person crazy!

We're also sort of car shopping. After Troy's mom passed away, we bought her car, because the transmission went out on our Yukon. And while it's been nice to have a car, it's a little bit cramped for 6 full grown people. And now that Troy's dad has remarried, he would like to buy it back for his wife to use. Which is fine by me! Anywho, I would prefer a VAN because they are a little more MS friendly than a SUV, not to mention the very big price difference. I just can't jump up in to a car like I used to. Actually, I think we might go looking at cars this weekend, after all the yard work stuff is done. JUST LOOKING though. 

April 11, 2019

Spring Broken

So we had Spring Break.

Thaddeus kicked it off by accidentally almost cutting his finger off with a machete. Yes, you read that right. WITH A MACHETE. So we got to head to the urgent care, where he received 8 stitches AFTER an x-ray to make sure he didn't chip his bone. (He didn't.) He also had to do a fun exam to make sure that there wasn't any nerve damage.(There isn't.)

And we got to have a super full house for spring break. Blayne came up with my parents, and we had some friends from VIRGINIA!!! come to visit as well. Kaela and Blayne got to be silly together for the first time in, gosh, five years? It was pretty exciting. Kaela was accompanied by her parents, so the rest of us got to have some fun too. We just love their whole family.

The kids all went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. I stayed home because I have MS, and it was being a real *ss that day. We also had a movie night, and a game night, and a couple sit-around-and-chat nights. Basically, it was a low key spring break with some of our favorite people. WIN.

And now everyone has gone back to their respective homes, and school has started again, and I'm back to my regularly scheduled days of..... well, whatever I want really. Actually, I just have a mental list and I go down that list one by one, asking myself , " Self: do you have enough energy to do this?" And most of the time, the answer is not really. It's quite obnoxious. Like, I KNOW I can't clean my whole bathroom. But I'm pretty sure I could clean the toilet, and probably the sink. It's just how it is these days.

I also managed to have 3 mini MS attacks. Those are always fun. Have I ever told you about an MS hug? They hurt. Real bad. Like, I can't move or breathe or anything besides lay in the fetal position and cry.  The "hug" feels like a vice, gripped just under your breast and around the ribs, slowly tightening so hard that you feel like your body is going to be snapped in two. The worst part is the beginning, when it first grabs hold. I took a few pain pills, because I KNEW what was going to happen next, but pills take 20-30 minutes to work. And I didn't make it to my bed in time, so I literally collapsed beside my bed. As the pressure increased, so did the pain. It felt as though my ribs were breaking, and the sharp, jagged edges were slowly puncturing my organs. I could do nothing to stop the torment as waves of pain began to travel down my spine. As I lay sobbing on the floor, I kept telling myself to breathe, in through the nose, out through the mouth; one, two, three, four, five. I called for Troy as I exhaled, hoping he heard my cries. He put me into bed, then hurried to the basement for the ice packs, because my body temperature was on the rise. My fever broke four hours later, as did the excruciating crush of the hug.

There is something that happens to your mind when instances of agony have become commonplace. It is a disconnect, as though your spirit leaves the body, hovering from above, so that you don't feel the enormity of the pain. It is a weird, yet wonderful feeling, because then *I* am not hurting, that other Caroline is.

I had three of these hugs during spring break. Thankfully, they were less debilitating the second and third times.

And now, today, people are back at school, and I am still in my pajamas, because I am not yet fully recovered. This is also why I can't possibly clean the whole bathroom at the same time. Isn't life grand? 

March 20, 2019

Brain-less

My body straight up QUIT on me last week. I was trying to describe it, and really, the only other time I've had such painful muscle spasms was during CHILDBIRTH... specifically, when I was experiencing back labor. So I got to use my handy dandy walker to get places, and my fun kids got to fetch my pills and help me get from my bed to the bathroom and back again. Thankfully, it only lasted about two days, but I think I need to start getting spinal injections. I'm also really thankful for TV, which helps keep me distracted from the searing, white hot pangs of death.

I have also had feedback from my children that they would like better descriptions of my state of health beyond my usual "I don't feel good". According to them, I never feel good, so if I feel worse than usual, they would like specifics. I guess I can accommodate.

Meanwhile, I am busy trying to get the relief society ministering interviews scheduled. I usually only have two districts to worry about, but since it's the last month of the quarter, I am trying to get in touch with anybody that hasn't had their interview yet. And I hate the word interview in this case, because it's so formal. I mean, it technically IS an interview, but it's also not? I don't know. I just have feelings about the verbiage is all. Plus I have to call people ON THE PHONE. Ugh. Phone calls are the dumbest and give me anxiety.

Also, the last term of the school year started! I have a love/hate relationship with school. Actually, I have a love/hate relationship with most things, and I think most people do. There are very few things that I love all the time, and there are very few things that I hate all the time. Mostly, I'm wishy-washy about the vast majority of things, and I have completely forgotten what I was going to say, because tangents are just the right amount of distraction. I have no idea what I was getting on about. Even the first sentence of this paragraph isn't helpful enough, because I can see that I have ended the sentence with an exclamation point, and now that I'm thinking about it, what is so exciting about a new school term? That means we are one step closer to summer, yes, but it also means we are one step closer to having kids home all day, every day, which means I need to start planning NOW, because the children are coming! My goodness, I can write a mean run-on sentence.

Now I'm off to do something, though I can't remember what that something is. Fingers crossed I figure it out soon.