partly: (Home)
Well, my mom when she was a just a country girl.

Here's two pictures of my mom with her friend, Judy, a neighbor from across the way. My mom has the bob and Judy is the blonde.

This one is a few years earlier. She is standing on the steps up to her porch with Jerry, Judy's brother.

Here she is with the whole neighboring clan, she's on the right, holding hands with Judy.

I completely adore this picture. It must have been taken in the mid-1950s. It's not your typical picture of kids growing up in the 50's, certainly different than the media/TV images that you get. These were farm kids. They worked in the fields, they drove the tractors and took care of the animals. They were tough and capable, and the picture shows that.

Here she is with a calf that she raised.

It's a damn cute picture and, to this day, Brown Swiss are her favorite cows. Easy to see why, with those big brown eyes. They're good cows, too. Gentle, good milkers. A while after this was taken, their entire herd was diagnosed with Bangs Disease and all but two animals had to be shipped off to be put down. My mom tells of how she rode along when the herd was shipped off and how the calf (by then a cow) was scared and stayed by her the entire time. She still tears up when she talks about it. They lost their entire livelihood with that diagnosis. More than that, when you raise animals it hurts when you lose them, even if they're not pets. It's not easy, being a farmer.

Anyhow, I thought I'd share the pictures. I did a similar post for my dad a while back, you can see it here if you're interested.
partly: (IMNSHO)
My mom was telling me of a discussion that she had with a good friend of hers and, as things tend to do with this friend, the conversation drifted into politics, specifically Sarah Palin. And, as also always happens when Sarah Palin is mentioned, the commentary became much more personal than political. The conversation ended with discussion on how Sarah Palin went hunting and killed a caribou. “Anyone who can enjoy killing an animal like that,” said this friend of my mothers, “is a really horrible person.”

At which point my mother – a farmer, hunter and outdoorswoman all her life – looked at her friend and said, “Well, it’s nice to know what you really think of me.”

It hurt my mother, I know, that this friend of hers said that, felt that way. I also know that insulting my mother was not the intention. People get wound up and entitled and say things that can’t be unsaid. There were apologies and changes of conversation, but that realization can’t be removed. It’s always there, that little bit of truth of what people think of you. I know that it lingers in my mom’s mind.

It’s a situation I run into online. People’s journals are private, personal things. I know this. It’s true even if the journal is called a blog and is posted for all the world to see. Because of this, they are full of the overstatement and hyperbole that comes from that freedom of private catharsis. There’s also a tendency for bloggers to assume that those they interact with are just like them. There’s logic behind it “If you like X, Y and Z, as I do, then you must also agree with A, B, and C”.

Most of the time the commentary isn’t even specific, they don’t mean any particular person. They just write in the general “Us v. Them” form: “People who do/think/believe/are WHATEVER are evil”. “People” not a specific individual. No. They would never actually insult a friend of theirs. It’s other “people” who are that way. It’s like that line in Men in Black “A person is smart. People are dumb”. It sounds really good until you realize that every one of those “people” is a person and that the “them” you are talking about may actually be one of the “us”.

The fact is I’m often the “them” on these rants. We don’t even have to get into the big stuff like politics or religion or how organic is the food you eat. Nope. You can throw a dart at fandom and hit an unpopular opinion that I hold.

Usually it’s not a problem. I can skip over posts that are blatantly hostile and have a bit discussion with those who aren’t. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve and I don’t tend to wield my opinions like a sledgehammer (despite what the icon shows). I understand the harshness and exclusivity of such posts may come from the medium rather than the intent of the author. As a rational, logical, thinking person, I can do that. Usually.

But still, sometimes when I read what’s been written, I can’t help think, “So this is what they really think of me”. It’s kind like finding out you’re the enemy when all along you’ve been treated as a friend. And I never know quite what to do with that.
partly: (Be Evil)
*eyes shift* I'm back from vacation. Had a great time. Yay, family. Lots to talk about, really. Pretty sure I won't do that soon. I know. I fail at getting back into the swing of things, I acknowledge that. I'm not sure that will ever change. I apologize to all those who'd like to know more about my life.

I have been doing some things. I wrote some short fic for the land comms I'm on. The pieces are not polished yet, but I plan on posting them by the weekend. They aren't really complete stories, but they're fun.. I like the land comms, they are getting me writing, even if it's small. More than that, Land comms are all about the love, baby.

However, my team on [ profile] xoverland needs serious help and I'd appreciate it if you would lend a hand. Go here and write "I support Team Day" as your comment.

If you need an incentive... How 'bout this -- once you've posted "I support Team Day" over there, come back here and I will write a crossover drabble/very short fic for you. Just tell me what shows/who you want your crossover drabble/very short fic about and I will write it for you. It's not bribery, it's a thank you! (Since it's a crossover comm, I think I should write crossovers. Besides, I love them.)

Feel free to pass this along to anyone who you'd think would like a fic. The other teams are way ahead. In all honesty, Team Day is a little... lax on these things. We'll get points for coming in last, but I really think we need more than one comment. Thanks!

Besides, I feel like writing fic, so this will be good.
partly: (Perk)
Well, actually not. But I've friended some new people as of late and thought I could do a little "get to know me post". However, since I'm incredibly lazy about such things, I'm really just going to end up linking to posts that let you know about me.

I updated my Bio at my User Profile page not to long ago and I really think that it's the best summary of who I am. So, if you haven't already, start there.

For more detail I did a list of "100 things about me" many years ago. They are still all true, more or less. You can read it in parts one and two.

Things that may help understand my current state of mind.

  • I'm currently unemployed. I have been since January 1st. Life is squeezing me very hard, right now. My more recent posts illustrate the frayedness I'm feeling. I'm a positive person, though. So we'll see how it goes.

  • My daughter, Myr, is currently a junior is high school. She is still the coolest person I know. I think teenagers are awesome. She is handling this incredibly stressful time of life really, really well. I don't brag about her enough, and I'm not sure if that is possible. She's an artist, a musician, and a scholar. She is kind, thoughtful and self-aware. I love her more than a little and like her more than a lot.

  • My husband, Wil, is also very cool. We'll be married 21 years this October. He currently works at Sears, which is wonderful. What's not so wonderful is that he is an artist and while he's good at his job, it's not what he'd love to be doing. He sacrifices, though, especially with me being out of a job. Life is tough all over, right? We do alright.

  • I like to fancy myself a writer. Not sure I can do that. I've written more in the past week than I have for months and I'm happy with that.

  • I'd love to find a way to earn money at home. While I'm sure that everyone's dream, bringing in a few extra dollars right now would ease the stress. Yes. The not working thing is eating my brain! I am, however, looking at starting an etsy account. I'm rather crafty, my daughter even more so. We'll see how it goes. I'll let you all know when the account is set up.

That's more than enough useless info about me.
partly: (Battle)
The day is turning out okay. I should start there.

It's one of those good news/bad news intros. Kinda like when you call someone and the first thing you say to them is "Just know we're all okay". That's the good news, you see. After you share that bit of info, you go back and fill in all the problems/bad news that happened.

The bad news. )
partly: (AllThat)
Well, meet my dad circa 1942 or 43. That was right in the swing of WWII and shortly after they had moved to Michigan. Check out the cherry ride in the background.

He's another pic of him a couple years later.

Notice that he graduated to a real gun. Not really a surprise that he becomes a Marine sharpshooter, is it?
partly: (Not a Turkey)
This evening I went out to my mom's to help with prep for the Thanksgiving meal tomorrow. We made the lettuce salad, the coleslaw and the stuffing. The potatoes, carrots and squash are peeled. The turkey is thawed, seasoned and sitting in the Nesco waiting to be cooked. The same with the ham. Everything is in the fridge (or in the cold porch) waiting to be cooked and devoured tomorrow. While my immediate family is small, out extended family gets a bit larger.

The best thing we made tonight was Kuchen. Kuchen, if memory serves, is German for bread. For us it is a potato based sweet yeast bread from a recipe that is found in the Women's Alliance Cookbook published in 1924. It is beyond awesome. First of all, any recipe for the 1920's is always fun to use. You almost have to be psychic to figure out the recipe and then there's the fact that the recipe has built in flexibility for possible lack of ingredients. I'll get an exact copy of it and post it sometime. Second of all, it's something that we've made for as long as I can remember -- first with my grandmother and now with my mother. Third, it's the the most delicious bread you will ever get to eat -- flavorful, light and as close to ambrosia as you will ever get this side of Mt. Olympus.

To make the evening complete, we listened to Christmas music the entire time. This sunday is the start of Advent, so Christmas will be here sooner than later. Besides I completely adore Christmas music and we have so much of it that if we don't start listening to it now, we'll never get through it all.
partly: (Home)
Busy Weekend!

I've already had a busy weekend and it's only 1:00 on Saturday!

Myria is a 4-H Ambassador and helps out with the two after school 4-H clubs that we have here in town. She (and the other ambassadors) had this opportunity to take part in a two day After-school conference, the extension had a grant to pay for the registration and room fees. The kicker was that it was going to be held in the Wisconsin Dells at the Wilderness Resort Park Indoor Waterpark. Teenagers + conference + waterpark = YES.

Unfortunately, two weeks after agreeing to go, Myr found out that the District Forensics finals were going to be held on that same Saturday. That meant two of the kids who agreed to do the two-conference couldn't go. Myr was disappointed so I offered to drive down and pick her up bring her back for her meet. Then, because there was money for another registration and because it meant spending time with Myr, my Mom agreed to go along.

So yesterday I got got up early to get Myr and Gran to the van take off point by 6 am then headed to work. I got off at 1:30 and drove the 2 1/4 hour drive down to the Dells, I got there just as the conference itself was ending, so I joined everyone at the "Meet and Greet" at Monks. Gran and Myr won door prizes, we ate a dinner of nachos and mini-hamburgers, then headed to the water park. We ordered pizza at 9:30, and packed up and hit the hay at 10:30.

At 4:30 we got up, packed that car and Myr and I headed home. Gran stayed for todays sessions. Myr slept on the way up, and we got back just in time to buy her breakfast at McDonald's and drop her off at the school for the bus to leave at 8.

I got home at 8:30, talked to Wil, cleaned the kitchen up and still have a whole weekend to go!

ETA: I wrote this at 1:00, but forgot to post it, something that happens more often than I care to admit.

ETA 2: Myr did well and she is going to state! Yay!
partly: (Home)
It's my parent's 45th wedding anniversary today.

It's been a tough year, all around and it's good to know that we all made it through to be together and celebrating. Just the family is going out to celebrate tomorrow. Tonight there was a party. It was party that was only partly in their honor, they had to share the spot light with four other people who happen to have birthdays this same week.

Five celebrations makes for a very big crowd. There was way too much food. There were games for the kids -- the extended family has a ton of kids under 10 even if our immediate family is less populated. The was a DJ and dancing... mostly old Wisconsin/German stuff like waltzes and polkas and the Bunny Hop. The dance floor (and I use that term loosely because it was just the open section of the town hall the party was being held in) usually was crowded with kids ages 2 - 8. It made polkaing very tricky.

There was lots of talking, some drinking, surprisingly little smoking. It was very loud but it was fun. There's a certain wonderful continuity to such gatherings. Outside of the fact that 35 or so years ago (when I was a child) the music would have been provided by a band (probably polka with a accordion and all) rather than a DJ with a high-tech Mac, not that much has changed. The older folks still sat clustered around tables play cards (Rook, in this case), the kids had free rein with everyone keeping an eye out on them and everyone else just talking and mingling and dancing.

As I grow older, I've come to appreciate the connection that such a gathering gives to people. It's the place where you truly learn the meaning of family. Where you talk to the cousin who's just a little to weird to usually associate with. Where you see the next generation and where they see just what family is about. The time when the most reserved of people still get out and do the "Chicken Dance" because it's a party and, damn it, it's fun.

Toward the end, just after the DJ switched from old country music/50's tunes to the dance tunes of the 80's and just before we had to leave, the DJ played Ray Price's "Anniversary Song" and my Mom and Dad got out to do a dance. Now, my dad didn't dance even before he had his stroke. He may be doing terrific but he still has a noticeable weakness in his left side. It was great to see them on the dance floor.

Here's what 45 years of marriage looks like:

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!
partly: (Goodfight)
considering how bad it could have been.

Last week Monday I got a call from my mom who said I should stop by after work because she needed to "talk" to me. There is nothing in this world as frightening as those words, especially when she adds "don't bring Myria". I managed to finish work and head over there.

The news: The doctor's office called. They needed to see my dad and run some more blood tests because some recent tests indicated cancer, most likely bone cancer. Now, this call was to my dad and filtered through him and he is slightly more reticent than I am when it comes to discussing things, so we were shy on details. However, this much was sure: This wasn't a test to see what could be wrong, it was a test to see how bad it was. One added detail -- this cancer usually struck the young, especially children. Which led me to think of leukemia, because that's the only cancer that I associate primarily with children.

The additional tests and consultation with the doctor was today.

Result: It is leukemia, specifically Adult Chronic Leukemia. However at this stage it is not life threatening. In fact, at this stage it isn't affecting him at all and it is only something that needs to be monitored.

The doctor asked how he was feeling. My dad said he felt fine. His appetite is fine. He isn't in pain. He did say he tired easily, to which the doctor replied "You had a stroke five months ago, you should be tired all the time. This is normal." I don't believe that my dad told the doc that he is also tired after he does things like go out into the forest and cut wood. As my brother said, we are so used to his progress since the stroke that we don't realize how amazing that progress is. In fact, I believe that the only reason the leukemia was caught at all at this stage was because of his stroke. With all the tests that they are doing monitoring that, it would be natural to notice this abnormality.

Anyhow, back to the leukemia. His white blood cell count is slightly elevated but nothing to be concerned about. I do know that prior to his stroke he did have a blood test with an elevated count and they gave him antibiotics thinking that he had a infection of some sort. The next blood test was good and that was it. They are going to run a bunch of tests to create baseline from which to make future comparisons. However, as long as he feels good, they are looking at testing once a year.

As my dad said: when you go in thinking that they could tell you you have until Christmas, its amazing to hear them talk in terms of doing further tests in years.

There's no telling how long he's had this, nor how fast it will progress. It says on the site that Chronic Leukemia can't be cured but it can be controlled and that's what the doctor said too. My folks and my brother (who could go with them to the consultation today) were very impressed with the doctor.

So. My dad is just supposed to go on recovering from the stroke and living his life. If he starts to feel sick, he goes in for a check up. If there is something wrong, they will do something.

Sounds like the way most of us live.

And that, that's okay.
partly: (Smile)
Well, Dad went back to the hospital this morning. It seems that the TIA weren’t as transient as we would have liked and he is having some longer lasting effects. Which means it wasn’t a TIA, it was a stroke -- but not really a stroke because he showed sporadic improvement. This is usual for my family in that the problem isn’t as simple or straightforward as one would hope. They can’t locate the source of the problem and therefore they can’t rule out another stroke. At the same time, his marked improvements and coming-and-going indicators have everyone slightly puzzled.

His speech see-saws between very clear and slurred and his control over his left arm is tenuous at best. That’s the part that bothers him the most. He can walk just fine for a while, then nothing works. They have him scheduled for an MRI and physical therapy. He’s pretty sure he’s going to be out of the hospital tomorrow, I think he’ll be there for a couple of day. At least I hope they keep him there for that long.

The good news is that he is in very good spirits and even told my mom that “if this is all it is, there is no problem.” When I talked to him last night he said: “If I survive the night, I’ll live for another 40 years. But I don’t think I’ll survive the night.” My dad is something of a fatalist and I think that, since he did survive the night, he now is confident that he will live. He also told the physical therapist, when she assured him that he would get control back over his arm, “I know I will. Just tell me what I have to do and it will work.” She promptly told him that he needed to rest, too.

He’s that kind of a person. In between the first TIA yesterday (before we knew what they were) and going to the hospital in the evening he plowed and dragged the garden and made some wood. If he can keep his spirits he will be fine. If not… well, he can be his own worst enemy.

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers.
partly: (Myria)
Soon I'm off to chaperon a middle school dance. Why, you may ask, are you voluntarily going to spend three hours with 500 eleven-, twelve- and thirteen-year-olds?

Simple. My daughter asked me.

In an age when most twelve-year-old kids can't wait to ditch their parents, mine wants me to go with her.

So I go. A small thing to make my daughter happy.

Also note:

I'm missing my Firefly tapes. It's all [ profile] finabair's fault. You better be watching them, JennJenn!

Good Day..

Dec. 12th, 2004 09:09 pm
partly: (Myria)
No. Didn't have any time to write. But that's okay.

After the church thing, I went out and had brunch at my folks, then headed out to Neenah (south of Green Bay) to do the "Niece graduating for modeling school" thing. It's a three hour drive, especially in this weather of heavy wind and sleety snow. The roads were fine but the wind was killer.

Managed to get my mom's iPod hooked up the the iTrip and playing through the radio so we listened to Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" on the way there. So totally love that story.

On the way back we did the random Christmas song thing (she has over a day's worth of Christmas music on her iPod). It was great fun. We (Mom, Myr and Me) all sang along to them.

Merry Christmas!

Now I will try to do some writing.
partly: (Dayslikethis)
I am evil. And I am foisting my evilness off on others.

My husband is watching the first episode of SG1.

Obviously my (and my daughter's) obsessive obsessing over it has rubbed off.


Yep. My work is done.

Oh... I also made an icon for a contest in the [ profile] sg1_showdown community I belong too. Mind you, I have only seen one ep with Jonas, I just wanted to play around a bit.


Nov. 2nd, 2001 09:50 am
partly: (Prayer)
Dad went in for some tests today. Went in at 7:30. Should be out by now.

No ones home.


I'm trying not to worry, but its a worrisome world as of late.


partly: (Default)

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