Friday, September 30, 2011

Balancing Act

My secret to happiness lies in the balance of the good and bad things in my life. I write to demonstrate some of the wondrous things that we experience with Maggie. It is a positive view of a life filled with joy and love.  Obviously there are very difficult things that happen everyday and, while I don’t want to dwell on them, I write about those too.  The challenges Maggie faces and how we handle those is the interesting part of our lives. While they do not define us, the challenges certainly shape us. Neither the joy nor the problems are interesting on their own. It is finding the joy in the mist of those difficulties that makes our life interesting.

We find our balance, but it is not easy. We walk a tight rope every single day. There is no net, but we are high up on that rope inching forward all the time. We get to the other side, turn around and come back again. We are not doing it to impress anyone; it is not for show. It is just our life.  Most people don’t even know we are up there because they are busy with their own lives on the ground where maintaining balance is a little easier.    

We can stay on that tightrope only with the balance.  It is a delicate matter of finding joy in the dark, of grabbing those couple of great minutes after hours of dealing with a problem. Perhaps I can appreciate those wonderful few minutes only because of the hard hours that preceded them.  The lows are low and the highs are high, we need both to maintain balance.  I do not expect anyone to completely understand that, but I certainly appreciate it when people respect it, which almost everyone does.

Yesterday I encountered someone whose philosophy does not acknowledge the tightrope or the balance.  She “teaches happiness” and says we can all be happy by simply deciding to be and if we all made that decision problems would disappear, there would be no sadness in the world and the roads would be paved with lollipops.  That is simply not true. I make the best of my situation every single day. I have a positive attitude and consider myself a very happy person, but I cannot make Maggie’s problems go away. That makes me sad and the sadness is valid.  It is not that I am happy DESPITE the sadness, I think I am happy in part BECAUSE OF the sadness. I am proud of that.  I was deeply offended by her simplistic outlook, which ignored the proudest parts of our lives and the hard work we do.

 She knew I was not buying in to her philosophy and wanted to know why. As I tried to express my concerns and frustrations my voice cracked.  That surprised me. It hit me much harder than I realized. I knew then I was going to lose it and I just got out of there. I’m generally the first one to stand and fight, but It was “fight or flight” and I flew.  

 It’s back to the tightrope for me. There is a possibility that a person who leaves a "Happiness Class" in tears may be slightly out of balance. Or maybe I was providing the balance.  Who knows?

 I would take a bow, but I might fall over. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Shouldering the Responsibility

It may surprise you to learn that I have developed significant upper body strength. Maggie weighs just under 80 lbs of constantly moving parts and I lift her at least a dozen times a day. When she is in her 105 lb wheelchair with an additional 30 lbs of equipment, I am constantly wrestling it into place, pushing it up hills, ramps etc. It is a constant workout, but the benefit is limited.   I am out of shape, overweight and strong as a horse.

I do not even realize it until I spend time with someone who marvels at my strength. My friend Grace Young, aka my favorite Chinese Cookbook author or the wok evangelist, (check out her books here) did just that the other day.  

Maggie and I accompanied Grace to the huge Alemany Farmers Market on Saturday morning.  Grace always posts the most beautiful pictures of fresh food on her facebook page and I told her next time she came to San Francisco we had to make a trip there. Maggie loves going there too. There is a trendier and fancier farmers market at the Ferry Building, but it cannot compare to this one.  It is a huge farmers market with an unbelievable selection and absolutely no frills.

One “frill” that I would love to see there are curb cuts for the wheelchair. You don’t know how much easier those little ramps make life for wheelchair users and the people who push them.  A low curb is not too difficult. I just use geometry and physics; tilt, push, and the lift is minimal.  When a curb is too high for this it becomes more problematic. The bolt that secures the chair into the van sticks out from the middle of the bottom of the chair. I cannot tilt that chair back far enough to clear bolt on the high curbs. I have to dead lift twice, first the front and then the back. There were several like that at the farmers market. At the worst one, I could not do it by myself. Grace kindly offered to help.

She took the back of the chair as I manually lifted the front. That was perfect There has to be someone back there so that the chair does not tip over backwards.  I secured the front of the chair, raced to the back, and lifted the 200 lbs the necessary 7 or 8 inches. Grace was amazed. Apparently, she had been trying to do just that and could not even budge it.  Grace, though a heavyweight in the world of food and wok cooking, is a 98 lb weakling. (Here she is trying to convert Maggie to the Magic of wok cooking.)

I just laughed and told her this came from years of practice but that at our advanced age (we went to high school together so we are the same age) it comes at a price. My shoulders are shot. In fact, after several months of increasing pain in my right shoulder I was heading to the orthopedist.

In March 2010, I had surgery on my left shoulder for damage directly attributable to all the lifting I do. That is now doing fine, but my RIGHT shoulder has become increasingly uncomfortable over the past several months. I stopped reaching for things with that hand and tried exercises, but I needed something else. I went to the doctor yesterday and confirmed what I already knew; it is the exact problem I had on the left side.  As he gave me cortisone shot in my shoulder (OW!) he told me I could take comfort in knowing my body was symmetrical.

I could not be happier. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011


My ancestors emigrated to the United States from Ireland some 130 years ago. My great grandfather Michael Casey settled in San Francisco and rose to power in the labor movement of the early 1900's. He was a rabble rouser and bettered the lives of many people with his work.  His seven children, my grandfather and his siblings, were powerful city officials in their day, but less controversial then their powerful father. They were born in San Francisco, not Ireland. Perhaps they didn't have the same need to fight. Perhaps they didn't have to because of their father's success at fighting.  Perhaps the inclinations is always there but the fight changes. Perhaps it skips a few generations.

Maggie seems to have it. Her whole life is a fight and she battles every day with a giant smile on her face. Like Michael Casey, she betters the life of many many people. She has the Irish charm and the fighting spirit.

Recently our friend Kelly traveled to Ireland to visit her family. She came back with a gift for Maggie, a t shirt from County Cork, the rebel county. Though my family is not from County Cork, I do believe Maggie qualifies as a rebel. Maggie was delighted with the shirt and wears it proudly.

Maggie's rebel status may explain the official letter/notice  I received on Saturday. Maggie is now an official Truant from the San Francisco Unified school district. It is curious, of course because Maggie goes to school every single day. Or at least she gets on the bus. For all I know she is leading an uprising on that bus every morning. Her great great grandfather would be so proud.

Despite the street cred this gives Maggie, I was less than pleased with this official notice and emailed the principal and the teacher on Saturday afternoon (as soon as the notice arrived) letting them know I thought this was ridiculous and asking for it to be remedied.  I told them it felt a bit like someone was turning the knife. I received a response from the principal in less than an hour.That impressed me.  He agreed it was ridiculous and promised to put a stop to it.

Maggie, of course would rather I left this alone. She would prefer to maintain her rebel status.

Friday, September 23, 2011


I woke up to a strange buzzing sound this morning and it took me a minute to realize what it was because I haven't heard it in several weeks. The alarm clock! That means I actually slept all night. It's been a crazy month around here and sleep has been fleeting at best.

Wednesday night Maggie pulled out her feeding tube, the other night it was her trach tube. My injured shoulder kept me up for several nights as did listening for my father in law while he stayed with us for a few weeks. But last night all was quiet. Steve is backpacking, no one is in the spare room, all Maggie's tubes and appliances stayed where they were supposed to, the nurse didn't need any help and the motrin I took before bed kept the shoulder from throbbing. A recipe for a  quiet night's sleep. If I can repeat that for another week or so I might catch up. But Steve will be back Sunday with two extra people who are staying here, so I have to make the most of this weekend.

Someone did call my cell phone at 12:30AM to cancel an appointment we had for today (Really?) but I didn't hear it. Good thing I charge my cell phone in the kitchen while I sleep upstairs. I can't be responsible for what I would have said if I rushed downstairs to answer that.

Just before I went to bed I received this picture in an email. A friend took this of Maggie the other day with a fancy camera. I stared at it for a long time because it is an excellent picture of Maggie. It really captures her - especially her joie de vivre.  I put it on facebook with the question "Is there anyone in the world as happy as this girl?"

The consensus is No.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Finally a decent school picture! It was bound to happen sooner or later!

What a teenager. (She looks like she's wearing makeup)

You should know that there have been years that I sent the pictures back with the question "why would you even print this?"

Monday, September 19, 2011

Satruday at Spreckels

A weekend of sun in San Francisco! Our summer arrived right on schedule, mid September. It will last until about the 6th of October. That was  always so frustrating as a kid. We'd be in the fog all summer and as soon as school started the weather wold be perfect. But I'm not in school anymore. hehehhehehe

Saturday morning we went down to Spreckles Lake in Golden Gate park. There is a model boat club that uses Speckles lake for remote controlled racing, fishing, sailing and even tug  boats. They are very elaborate and beautiful and it's nice to watch them. I prefer the quieter ones to the racing boats, but those tings really zip around. Generally the morning is for the power boats and the sail boats start around noon. We were there late morning and got to see both.

 My father in law is visiting, and this was a great place to walk with him and with Maggie. It's flat and paved  - our favorite combination! We walked slowly around the lake enjoying the boats.


It's been a long time since we spent a morning down there. We used to go with the boys all the time when they were little, but somehow got out of the habit. Now that we've done it again, we will return more often.

On Saturday night I left Maggie with the boys, Steve Grandpa, Tim and my nephew Matt. they all had dinner together and I went with my sisters and my mom to see Diana Ross. I will tell you that lady still has it. A 90 minute show with 5 different dresses, each one more fabulous than the one before and songs from every era of my life. It was a great show.

Just because I'm nice, I'm adding a video from 1979 of Ain't No Mountain High Enough.  That's 32 years ago. She sang it the other night with just as much energy. Amazing!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Language Cop Rant

I went to the movies last night. Shocking, I know. I had a wild night out - but was home before 10. My girlfriend suggested Contagion and something else heavy and I gave both the thumbs down. I don't get to go to the movies very often and I want to either see an excellent drama or escape completely. I didn't get either.

She had already seen the movies I was most interested in and we settled on My Idiot Brother.  I love Paul Rudd and the SF Chronicle actually gave it a good review. (That should have been my first clue.) Allow me to assist you here. Save yourself the time and money.It's a forgettable piece of junk. The movie should have been called "I'm a nice guy with three sisters who lead screwed up lives and blame me for their problems." I do still love Paul Rudd, though. In this movie his character is kind and so trusting that he's socially clueless. He speaks the truth but won't hurt anybody. There is no disability here at all, he's just sort of a true hippie out of time.

Whey then would I bother you with any information about this movie.

Because a Hollywood movie made in 2011 used the word "R" word at least twice. Really? Still?  Because of his innocence and social cluelessness other characters refer to him as "retarded." At one point he smiles and nods and says "I get that a lot."   I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I searched through my giant bag to see if by chance I had and tomatoes I could throw at the screen but all I could find were feeding tubes.

If anyone still needs a lecture, here you go. Think before you speak folks. Think about the words that are coming out of your mouth and what effect they have on others. If you have to call somebody names, at least use words that make sense.For additional ranting by me on this subject, click on the Language Cop tab at the end of this post. Or for an official viewpoint join Spread the Word to End the Word

The R word is pejorative and hurtful. Don't use it. Correct other who use it. It is a slam against people with intellectual disabilities and puts up another wall that society has been trying to break down for many years.  People who use it as a synonym for "stupid" sound ridiculous, childish and idiotic.  

Because I am sounding so preachy I am just going to re post the link to Stephen Colbert's interview with Tim Shriver, the head of Special Olympics. The two of them say it so well. (I tried to embed the video, but I can't figure out how. There is a short ad first, but this is worthwhile watching. )

Other than that, though. it was a lovely evening.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wait here.

I wonder how much of my day is spent waiting for some body or something. I wait for Maggie to wake up so I can do the last push to get her out the door in the morning. I wait for the verrry slow elevator to take us downstairs, I wait for the school bus, I'm on hold with doctors offices, supply companies, agencies, insurance companies and everything else. We wait for appointments with doctors and therapists, we wait for the night nurse to arrive, and for the meds to be ready at the pharmacy. We wait for deliveries of diapers and food and other supplies. It's time lost. I can't really do anything else but busy work because I know I will be interrupted.

I live in "The waiting place." Dr. Seuss cautioned against it in the wonderful book "Oh the Places You'll Go"

You can get so confused that you’ll start in
to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
 and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, 
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Waiting Place…for people just waiting.

Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, 
or a plane to go or the mail to come, 
or the rain to go or the phone to ring, 
or the snow to snow 
or waiting around for a Yes or No 
or waiting for their hair to grow. 

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
 or waiting for wind to fly a kite 
or waiting around for Friday night 
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake 
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, 
or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, 
or Another Chance. 

Everyone is just waiting.

I'm in that "useless place" right now. Waiting. And it's particularly frustrating when I have to wait for something Maggie related suring the school day while she's not even with me.  I had my jacket on all ready I'm ready to go out but couldn't. I'm in a holding pattern.  The oxygen guy called at 10AM and said he would be here between 11-2. Hmm. Should I run out quickly and come back or wait. I can't miss him,. the tank needs to be filled. I asked him "Do you think that's closer to 11 or closer to 2." He said between 11-12. OK. I'll wait here first. I did my banking on line, started another load of wash and folded the three loads that had piled up on top of the dryer. I cleaned the kitchen and started the dishwasher. It's only 11:45.

Tap tap tap.

I could clean out my dresser or my closet, but let's not be ridiculous about this whole thing.

ahh-- doorbell.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just Dance!

A voice yelling my name at 4AM is a difficult way to start the day. Miss Maggie decided to yank out her tracheostomy tube in the middle of the night. I heard the yell and instantly bounded down the stairs, or so I thought. When I arrived I learned that the nurse had been yelling for 10 minutes. (why she didn't use the extra telephone line, I don't know).  She did get the old one back in. so Maggie was safe, but she could not get the supplies she needed to replace it and tie it around her neck. I did that in about 10 minutes and went back upstairs to bed. It was hard to go back to sleep with the adrenaline pumping like that.

This is not an unusual occurrence, in fact if you've read these posts for any amount of time, you've seen the same story before. Unusual or not, it's jarring and not something you get used to. This incident and so many others are examples of Maggie's fragility and tenuous grip on health. Even when the adrenaline slows down after an incident like this, the reality of Maggie's situation creeps back into my mind.

No one in this house lives life half way, including Maggie. You have to LIVE your life. Yes, Maggie has numerous life threatening conditions, but she lives her life to its fullest potential all the time. Sometimes folks are afraid of Maggie's health issues and we try to set minds at east as much as possible without denying the reality of her situation. 

 Recently one of the professionals working with her expressed concern about Maggie's rapid change in status. She's right to be concerned, and we have to be wise, but I don't want fear to prevent Maggie from living her life. I turned to her and said kindly and simply, "She's dancing on the edge of a cliff. Let her dance."

I don't know where it came from, but that image has stuck with me ever since. The cliff is always there, we can't ignore it and we have to respect it, but we really can't do anything about it either. I like the image a lot. In fact as I lay awake this morning and some of that fear and dread started creeping in, the image comforted me.

 Forget that hackneyed "Glass half full" analogy. I'm sticking with this one. Maggie  is dancing away and we can either watch the dance or watch the edge. I'll take the dance, thank you.

I have to add this picture because after I wrote this I remembered this picture of Steve at the top of Half Dome Last year. I think this may be where I got that image. Maggie gets her dancing ability form her dad. My wildest activity is typing fast.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Truant! (I think.)

Maggie is classified as  "technology dependent." for some of the programs she is on.  That is a reference to the machines she needs to stay alive. I cannot argue with that; she is technology dependent, but so am I and so is everyone I know. Granted the technology I depend upon doesn't keep me alive, but it certainly adds to my quality of life.  Computers, smart phones, cable television even the washer and dryer are very helpful. When all of these things work as they should, it is a great thing. When they don't work it it frustrating and inconvenient.

The best way to have everything work as is should is to keep some human intellect in the mix. When technology works on its own with no one THINKING about it it can be scary. and very annoying. Stocks automatically set to sell at a certain point sent the financial world into a tizzy a few years ago. No one could stop it. If that same program had a "kill switch" that someone could throw to halt the destruction, a lot of grief would have been avoided. Circumstances are fluid and reactions cannot always be automatic.

Maggie's school uses automatic telephone calls to relay information to parents. Sometimes these calls are for everyone (e.g PTA meeting tomorrows) and sometimes they are specific to an individual student. We have been getting calls about a problem with Maggie for a few days now. I suppose that would be fine if the problem really existed. The calls I have been getting say this:

 We are calling to advise that your child ...MARY... was marked absent from one or more classes today. If this is not an excused absence you will be contacted by a truancy officer."

I ignored the first one figuring it must be an error, but then I received another one today. I looked at Maggie in her wheelchair that she cannot push on her own and said, "Listen, Missy, you better not be cutting classes. Are you hanging out in the Mission District sneaking cigarettes?" Maggie thought that was hilarious. We had to turn on some of the technology she is so dependent on just to keep her breathing

Perhaps the tiniest bit of human intervention is required here. Maggie arrives in the morning in her wheelchair.. She needs adults to do everything for her. She could not cut class if she wanted. to. Nonetheless, there is a possibility of a truancy officer knocking on my door. It's hard to imagine they even HAVE truancy officers in this time of huge budget crises, but that's the threat. All I can say is I pity THAT guy if that actually happens. He will try to question Maggie and she will tell him jokes on her dynavox.

Apparently this is happening because Maggie is enrolled in a P.E. class that starts before her bus arrives at school. Technically speaking, she is missing a class. But in the world of living, breathing THINKING human beings, it all makes sense. It's just difficult to explain that to the robotic phone voice.  They are working to fix that today and the phone calls should stop.

I know it's not fair. I want Maggie to be treated just like everybody else when she can, but to have her circumstances acknowledged when it's necessary. That's a fine line that can be difficult for people. It's not that hard, it requires just a little common sense and some good old fashioned human intellect.

All I know for sure is this. She cuts ONE MORE CLASS and she is grounded for life.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Grandpa Frank

In my father's retirement years he was "discovered" by a talent agent while walking through a mall with my mom. He started an acting carer which consisted of occasional commercials and several "extra" roles in movies. Generally he was in the background somewhere and you never really saw him unless you knew were to look (which we ALWAYS did). There was one movie, Angels in the Outfield  where he had a real role, though no speaking lines. He played the third base coach in that movie. He was visible numerous times and actually had one frame with just his face. I can tell you it is very strange to see your dad's face on a movie screen that's as big as a house.

The movie came out in 1994 (the year Maggie was born) and was filmed in The Oakland Coliseum. I remember going over there after a court appearance all dressed up like a lawyer and watching the filming for a while. It was fun for everyone, but no one more than my dad.When the movie came out on video the boys used to watch it over and over shouting "There's Grandpa" whenever his face was on the screen. They knew when it was coming and each tried to beat the other by yelling it first.

Eddie recently happened upon the movie on DVD and bought it. He watched it last night, while wearing the very same  hat Grandpa wore in the movie. He kept texting me lines from the movie. I was sitting at the Giants game with Tim and Steve and we were all laughing at the lines which were especially ridiculous out of context. .

Then he must have stopped his movie to take a picture of the one shot featuring my dad's face. which he sent to my phone. The message that accompanied this picture from his television screen. 

"Miss him. But he sure does look Gangster in that hat." 

I laughed out loud. My dad was many things, but "gangster" was not one of them.

My dad was told to look shocked as a runner is bearing down on him. After raising seven kids, nothing really shocked him, but he pulled it off. He was a natural

Eddie said he stilled yelled "THERE'S
GRANDPA!" every time he came on and wondered if that was weird. Not to me, but I know his girlfriend was a bit confused. 

Eddie said in a later text that seeing Grandpa (who died in 2007) moving around on the big screen kind of bummed him out - but I told him he completely make my night. . 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Timmy's pitching

Maggie does not watch television. She cannot see it very well and cannot process all the moving parts. Tonight she was right next to the tv and was fascinated by the Giants game. I shot this short video  because she wouldn't take her eyes from the game. Once she realized I had the camera, though, it was a different story. (Ham). We did put in her "yes" and "no" signs at the beginning so people would understand what she is saying.

Right now the Giants are down 2-1 in the bottom of the 9th. So I can't tell you for sure if her prediction came true

Going Up?

This is one of those situations that is sort of embarrassing to complain about. But you know that won't stop me.

We are very fortunate to have equipment that allows us to get Maggie into and out of the house and the van. Without our outdoor lift or van adapted for her wheelchair, we would very likely not be able to keep her at home. Every day I thank my lucky stars that we put in that lift and that the van is in our lives. We press buttons and control these magic machines that give some quality to Maggie's life and ours.  Sometimes, though, the magic machines control us. Today is one of those days. Really, it's been one of those weeks.

As I write this the guy is here doing the semi annual maintenance to the lift. It actually works great and has been very dependable since we got it about 5 years ago. Lately the lift seems to groan as we ascend and I had to nudge the company to get out here and check it out. It's getting old. I can relate. I groan as I ascend too.  We made this appointment last week and I expect he will be done within the hour. That's a good thing, because the lift on the van is broken and I have to get it back to Berkeley as soon as this guy is done.

The van lift was acting strangely for the past month of so, but it was manageable. Once the lift fell to the ground hitting me in the back of the legs I decided we had to get it fixed, but I wanted to wait for Maggie to go back to school. I cannot be without the car when she's home all the time. As soon as she went back I called for an appointment to find out what was wrong. On my first trip they determined it needed a new motor, which came at a very hefty price (of course).They had to order the part so another trip was required. I asked that they fix the companion seat at the same time because they installed it  far too low. Whoever sits in that seat cannot even see out the window. It is also terribly uncomfortable because the seat is so low your knees are up around your ears. I scheduled another appointment for the work and brought it in Tuesday.

Taking a car across the bay for repairs is a pain in the rear. I drove it over there, left it, walked 1.5 miles to the BART station, came back to the city and hopped on a bus to get home. The schlep on public transit, including the walk to the station is about 90 minutes. I called Wednesday at noon to see if it was ready. Indeed it was. I had some stuff to do and had to make the long trek back and arrived there around three.  Motor is changed, seat has not been touched. One cannot help but wonder why they told me it was ready three hours earlier?

The guy removes the seat, gives me some excuse for why it wasn't done (they clearly forgot) and tells me they will call when it's ready. I am less than pleased. I drive home with my van minus one seat. Now I have to go back again to get it. As it turns out, however, another trip was going to be needed anyway. They did indeed put a new motor in, but apparently neglected to reattach the lift to one side of the mount. As I pressed the button today I noticed it was coming down at a very strange angle and reached the car in time prevent it from getting jammed into the door and wrestled it back into place. We were headed out to an appointment so I raised and lowered the lift manually to load, unload, load and unload Maggie. Let me tell you, that is one heavy sucker. My shoulder is killing me.

So I will finish this tome and head east over the San Francisco Bay Bridge, back to the flats of Berkeley and deal with all of this again for the third time this week. This time I'm not coming back into the City. I will forego the long walk to the train, the ride under the Bay and into the city and the lurching bus ride home. In stead I will sit in their greasy little waiting room with my book and make sure it is all done correctly.

At this point I feel like I am something of an elevator expert, but I really just want to get back to the place where I push a button and the magic machines do what they are supposed to do.. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back to Reality, whatever that is

Good morning. It's already Wednesday! We survived our long weekend, but just barely. It was a whirlwind.

It was great to see Eddie and Grace again. Maggie was beside herself, She just kept saying "Eddie Eddie Eddie" on her talker. He would occasionally answer with WHAT?!?! and she would laugh her head off. Maggie would then say "Eddie,  I am happy," to which he would reply/shout "Prove it!" and that would start her laughing all over again.

Dinner on Sunday turned out to be a 15 person soiree. We had to bring up a folding table from the basement to accommodate everyone. Food was delicious and company even better. There were in laws, cousins from both sides my mom and Steve's dad.   The conversation is always lively and loud punctuated with lots of laughter. On top of all that, Maggie needed suctioning almost constantly, so I would be up and down form the table suctioning her, but not missing a beat with the conversation.

 My niece brought her friend who had never met any of us. I could see she was trying to make sense of who everyone was, how they were connected and what was going on. She may be writing her own blog right about now.

While juggling all these balls in the air, I neglected to do the one thing I planned, which was to get a picture with all three of my kids. That didn't happen. Oh well. Eddie will be back in November. We'll try then.
 I did get Eddie, Tim and Grace along with Eddie's friend John just as they were heading out for a night on the town.

Everybody but my father in law was gone by Monday morning, so Maggie and I decided to take a walk in the park. As we started through the pedestrian tunnel we saw all these guys coming and I had to grab a photo.

I should be sued to seeing these segways, but when they come through in a line like that it still cracks me up. I feel like we have slipped into a cartoon or something.

 OK. Labor Day is behind us. Even though school started three weeks ago, now it's for real. In fact today is picture day and Maggie was dressed like a member of the French resistance with her black and white striped shirt and scarf around her neck. I hope they don't put a cigarette in her hand to complete the look.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Long Weekend

Long weekend looms! My son Eddie is coming home with his girlfriend Grace. That will be great.  I haven't seen him in a couple of months and Maggie hasn't seen him in about 6 months. . He was here one night during the summer on his way home from a road trip. He arrived late at night after Maggie went to sleep and she was gone to school before he woke up. By the time she got home he was GONE. I haven't seen Grace since April and Maggie hasn't seen her since Christmas.  Maggie will be delighted. Mom will too. My father in law is also coming for the weekend, so we will have a houseful, which is fine with me.  We are having a big dinner with my mom and other extended family members on Sunday. 

In other news, my shoulder is killing me. I had surgery last year on the left shoulder which is now fine. For the past few months the RIGHT one has been giving me the same problems. Arrgh. I don't want to have surgery again and I'm trying to stop lifting so much, which is all but impossible with my lovely Maggie. The other night she was in bed and wanted to get out, but I just couldn't do it. To keep her amused I climbed in bed with her. Her bed is high - mayebe four feet off the ground, so when I say I CLIMBED, I mean it. One foot on that brown chair and then up!

Maggie has a single bed that is enclosed on all four sides like a giant crib. Steve custom made the bed for her because she falls off of anything else. There was not a lot of room for the two of us but we snuggled together.  She thought that was hilarious. When Steve came back downstairs he grabbed a photo.  I am literally hanging off the edge of the bed here, but Maggie is entertained.

Have a great long weekend everyone!