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Thank You

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I am too tired to write much this evening, but I do want to take the time to thank my Spark Friends who have been so kind responding to my loss of Syd. He was a good man and I will miss him.

My son, Jesse, IS a warm and generous human being, so thank you for commenting on that. He has had a hard time, too, with the loss of three grandparents in as many years. Jesse was a wonderful travel companion on my trips to help out through my father's chemo, and a help with his other grandparents as well.

While it is tough to be with someone when they die, it is also, an a very deep way, an honor to be with someone you love as they make their journey beyond this world. I know this was hard on Jesse, but I also know that he would have regretted not being there for his grandfather when he needed him most.

Again, thank you for your prayers, warm words, and kindness.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SILVERWITCH59 1/31/2010 10:08PM

    you are very welcomed emoticon

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MARY1313 1/30/2010 10:48PM

    you are so welcome my friend!


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Feeling So Sad - and Angry

Friday, January 29, 2010

My son called me in tears yesterday. His grandfather, my ex-father-in-law, died yesterday morning. I am feeling very sad about this and am worried about my ex-mother-in-law. While I divorced their son, I never divorced them and they have remained part of my family. Syd, who just had his 91st birthday, was diagnosed with lymphoma 2 weeks ago, and last Wednesday, he started his first chemo treatment. It was harder on him than the oncologist anticipated, so they broke the treatment into two parts. half on Wed. and half on Thurs. He seemed tired after that, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Yesterday morning, Bette called my son because Syd had fallen and she couldn't help him. When Jesse arrived, Syd was still lucid, but Jesse couldn't help him up. They called the squad and were told that the squad couldn't get there right away. Next they called the Senior Center, who sent someone right over. Shortly after that, the squad arrived, but it was too late. His heart had already stopped and they could not revive him

In a way, having seen my father through rounds of chemo and radiation, which were both so hard on his aging body, followed by Hospice and death, I think this was not such a horrible thing for Syd. The chemo had already been hard on him, and that was only the first round. Subsequent rounds are even tougher. When he passed away, he was with his wife and grandson, in his own home, with no tubes, respirators, etc. Still, it is sad to have him gone. I wanted to tell my parents so badly, and ended up sobbing and talking to their spirits in the car on my way home after visiting with Bette.

I am worried about Bette; she is so frail and has been dependent on Syd for many things. When my dad died, my mother followed just a couple of weeks later. I found myself going through Bette's house, finding tripping hazards, night lights that needed to be replaced, etc. Before returning home, I went out and bought her a new non-skid bath mat, new bathroom lights and new night lights. It was a fall that killed my mother, and I am so worried about Bette living alone and falling. Jesse is staying with her temporarily. Right now, it is a good thing he is a victim of the jobless rate.

Now my vent:

My ex and his wife are on vacation in Florida, and Jesse has been taking care of their house and business while they are gone. I cannot understand why they didn't come right back when Syd was diagnosed with lymphoma. Overlooking that, I cannot understand why they didn't return for his chemo treatment. But what is stunning, is that they have not even cut their vacation short after Syd died. Jesse and I are there to help Bette, but darn it - it infuriates me that their son is not! I calm myself some by knowing that Bette is in good care with Jesse and try to appreciate the gift my ex has given me of once more reminding me why my decision to extricate myself from that marriage was a good one.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUNNYSPAL 1/30/2010 11:46PM

    I am sorry to hear you lost someone who seemed to be more a part of your family than than his own sons'. I don't understand some people. You can never get back those few precious hours before someone parts from this earth. Although painful, your son will remember and feel good about being their for his grandfather. Take care.

P.S. I use oil paints and I have posted a picture of my newest painting. My daughter wanted a fall painting for Christmas. She didn't say what year though.

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KDRCHURCH 1/30/2010 5:48PM

    I am true believer of what comes around goes around. So take comfort in knowing that you have done the right thing and I am sure Bette is super appreciative. I am sorry for your and your sons loss. Your ex will regret his decisions, but not your problem. Hang in there!

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ELLENS2525 1/30/2010 4:36PM

    I will add my sympathy and agree that ex's somehow still manage to make us misreable! Your in-laws sound like wonderful. You and your son were lucky to have them in your lives.

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    I am sorry for your loss and very pleased that YOU raised a caring, thoughtful son. Your ex sounds like he is completely selfish and self-centered. Therefore, you and your son are better off for your leaving.

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SLIMMERKIWI 1/30/2010 4:33PM

    My condolences for your loss. You obviously realise that this was a much better way to go than the long drawn-out process. You are quite right to be proud of yourself and your son for your compassion and the help you are giving your ex - Mother-in-law. That is something that will stay with you forever - that you and your son were there at a time of need. It is something that IF your ex. ever gets to think about, he will regret his NOT being there. He will have to live with that for the rest of his life. Your Father in Law had people he loved with him at his time of passing and to me, that is the most important thing a person can do for someone. I was with my Mother in Law when she died (in our own home) and with my Father-in-law in a Psycho-Geriatric Hospital.

Take care,

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RUSTYSHAW1 1/30/2010 3:58PM

    Condolences for your loss. You can be proud of YOUR son and the actions he took for his grandparent's welfare and safety.

It is difficult to understand what goes on in others heads especially with grief visits us first hand. But as did other SP members respond, you know why you left your ex.

I have an ex who continually reminds me what I left him because of his actions to our two grown daughters (26 and 28) who could still use a helping hand once in a while. For me, I will be fine, I left him. But it breaks my heart when they express the hurt he inflicts every so often because of his thoughtlessness and being self-centered.

You raised your son well and should be proud that in a time of need, he was there. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LRRSNDRS 1/30/2010 11:48AM

    I'm very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family.

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NOELEPHANTS 1/30/2010 11:34AM

    I am very sorry for your loss and appalled at the actions of your ex. Thankfully you have a wonderful caring son.

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PARROTWOMAN 1/30/2010 8:47AM

    I am so sorry for your loss, and it sounds like you have a wonderful son. You and he are taking good care of Bette.

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IN2BHEALTHY 1/29/2010 11:32PM

    My prayers are with you and your family at this time. May God grant you comfort and strength as you deal with your loss and your anger.

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MARY1313 1/29/2010 11:22PM

    OMG he didn't even stop his vacation when his father died! Yes my dear, you are well rid of him. I suppose he has found someone just like him too.

So sorry about your ex fatherinlaw. I know it's hard on your son. My prayers are with all three of you.


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AQUAJANE 1/29/2010 11:12PM

    emoticonSo sorry for your loss. I don't know how I'd feel about my son being there--glad his grandfather didn't die alone or sad to experience that loss first hand and helpless. Again emoticon

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LN7777 1/29/2010 8:49PM

    Sorry for your lost. My prayers are with you and your son.
emoticon Ellen

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SILVERWITCH59 1/29/2010 7:54PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. So many older bonded couple go together, Be happy that they had a lifetime together if it should happen.
On A high note isn't it great to look at your X and know that getting a divorce was a positive move??? I get that sigh of relief every time I run into mine LOL BTW sound like you have a wonderful son,And you sound like a very caring xDIL

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KKLENNERT809 1/29/2010 7:40PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss, it's never easy. I say, at this point in time, don't let anger consume you. Focus on the important things and YOU be there! It will make you feel better about yourself and others.

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PATTYSH 1/29/2010 5:43PM

    First I am so sorry that you have lost a family member who you so obviously cared deeply for. I have to admit, though, as I read this, I was thinking "So where is thier son?" I couldn't believe the answer! On vacation! Yes, even without knowing him and your situation, you did the right thing divorcing him.

Again, I'm so sorry for the difficult time, and those to come.

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LMB-ESQ 1/29/2010 3:39PM

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I am glad your son is there to help; at least she doesn't have to be alone. A lot of your story could be mine.... I can sure empathize. emoticon

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FIREDNCR85 1/29/2010 3:22PM

  My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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DRAGONFLY_RUN 1/29/2010 3:15PM

    You have raised a great son. You should be very proud.

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Promised Photos - Stella's Party

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I remembered to bring the camera home today to download the photos.

These are some of the vegan cupcakes I made the other evening, plus the less than vegan dog food cupcake I made for Stella.

Her adoring fans emoticon

Everyone had to wait until Stella had her first bite - our birthday rules. Sometimes the birthday child likes to 'torture' their classmates by taking a while before taking a bite. Stella, did not leave them waiting.

A boy made her a lovely feather crown, and a girl knit her a new collar.

My girl really needs a trim!

emoticon I ate one of those cupcakes yesterday, then discovered how many calories. Today, I only ate half of the ones my activities group decorated.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUNNYSPAL 1/30/2010 11:39PM

    Great party. Aren't poodles wonderful. I have two mini's, Jorja Mae and Sofie. Jorja is black and close to being a toy and Sofie is white and a real clown.

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RUSTYSHAW1 1/30/2010 3:46PM

    Oh my! These are pictures that ought to be placed in a special 'scrapbook' for Stella's mommy, YOU! I liked these pictures so much, they brought tears of happiness to my eyes.

The story you provided behind the scenes is the "icing" on the cake so to speak.

Hugs, Rusty Shaw,

I want to hug your sweet Stella so bad, since I couldn't I just went and woke up my Penny dog with a hug of love and a snuggle, She asked what was that all about and turned over and went back to finish her afternoon nap.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/30/2010 3:52:15 PM

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MARY1313 1/29/2010 11:23PM

    Awwwww! this is great!


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DEBBEV 1/29/2010 9:16PM

    She looks so tired after the big days activities. So pretty in her new crown & collar. Hope you had a good one Stella.

Deb & BooBoo

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STARLASUE 1/29/2010 8:01AM


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KKLENNERT809 1/28/2010 9:30PM

    She's a pretty girl! Happy Birthday.

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Cupcake Day!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

It was fun leading the cupcake decorating activity this afternoon, and oh my, what a lot of work! I spent the morning making and coloring the frosting, and putting it into the decorating bags with a variety of tips.

The children had an absolutely wonderful time, and did a great job. But they generally didn't get the hang of holding the top folded over, so I was constantly squeezing the frosting back into the bag. I had to replace 2 bags because some of the children had such a death grip on the bags that 2 popped open.

They worked together very sweetly and were delighted with the results.

So were the rest of the children in the school when the cupcake group passed them out. Food as art - one of my favorites!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 1/30/2010 6:17PM

    LOL Rusty! I definitely know the opening line of Oliver! I have directed student performances of Oliver! twice in my 30 year career.

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RUSTYSHAW1 1/30/2010 3:41PM

    Simply wonderful!

Food, glorious food! In this case, Cake, glorious cake....
(opening line of sing in the musical "Oliver)

This had to have been a magnificent event. The children might not realize how much preparation went into this activity. But you know, and any of us who has ever orchestrated a similar event can relive that time through yours.

The colors are vivid in your pictures. I chuckled, actually LOL over the "death grip" incident. I can picture it in my mind.

Even though I am not one of the parents, I thank you for providing these youngsters for a wonderful time. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 1/28/2010 7:05PM

    Reading this was a smile day

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I am very happy to report that there was something new in the sky - first a pinky red sunrise, then a blue, blue sky. I haven't seen THAT in a while! It was a very cold morning, but it felt wonderful to see the sun again. emoticon

Today was a good day for my step counter feedback. I went for my usual 3 mile walk this morning, but it was for work that the feedback was interesting. Once a month, we like to have multiage activities for the children of the school. The teachers each choose an activity to lead and put up a sign-up sheet for the children so we each do a multiage activity with 1/4 of the children in the school (70 children).

This month, I signed up to do a cupcake decorating activity with the children tomorrow, so cupcakes had to be baked....

No problem -

Great vegan cupcake recipe. emoticon

24 excited cooks

Cupcakes for everyone in the school

Yikes! What was I thinking emoticon!

My students love to cook, but oh my! Here's where I added the steps on, gathering the materials, setting up the kitchen for cooking, making sure hands were washed and nails were clean, going back and forth between groups, monitoring the measuring and blending, and making sure the children washed the dishes when the cooking was complete. By the end of that venture, we had 70 beautiful cupcakes on trays in the refrigerator, and I had 14000 steps on my step meter.

I have to tell you, there is no place on the cardio tracker for baking 70 cupcakes with 24 preteens. I checked. Not there.

So... my sign-up sheet:

3 kindergarten children
3 1st graders
2 third graders
2 5th graders
2 6th graders

Tomorrow's decorating activity should be, well - active!

We had fun with Stella's birthday party today, but I forgot to bring my camera home; no photos to post today. Maybe tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 1/28/2010 5:35PM

    Jane, my class of 24 (4th - 6th grade) made 70 cupcakes for all of the children in the school. Children from kindergarten, the 1st-3rd grade class, and my class singed up for one of 4 different activities. Today was activity day, and my activity was the cupcake decorating. Each of the teachers had an activity with children from the whole school, not just their own classes.

Yes, I teach at a private school - it is a fabulous school!

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IN2BHEALTHY 1/28/2010 3:56PM

    Sounds like fun! I know you burned a ton!

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AQUAJANE 1/28/2010 7:38AM

    Glad the birthday party went well. Sounds like that activity day was almost a one-room schoolhouse for the five grades. Not to be a party pooper, but you listed 12 kids and said the class was 24--I get the cupcakes were for all 70 at the presumably private school.

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LMB-ESQ 1/28/2010 7:09AM

    I'm curious what kind of school you work in that allows you to bring your dogs. I taught for eight years and never once would it ever be allowed to bring dogs. Even for a child to bring a dog for show and tell, you had to jump through so many hoops with administration it almost wasn't worth the bother.

I would love to be able to bring my dogs to work! In fact, that's my goal... finish school, spend a couple of years working in small/medium firms, then hang out my own shingle, where I get to call all the shots, including bringing dogs to work!

Sounds like fun, BTW, making all those cupcakes with all those kids! At least you had a few bigger ones... I did it once with a class of 15 preschoolers. Can't remember what we made, by OMG... never again!

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