Friday, June 26, 2015

Getting back to it

I cannot believe it has been two and a half years since my last blog post. Life is crazy for all of us. Some lives are crazier than others. Many days I think my life is the craziest. Living between 2 states, being a 24/7 caregiver of an adult child, working part time, wife, mother, gardener, chauffeur, nurse, housekeeper, book keeper, keeper of the schedule, volunteer, long haul driver, God's servant. Yup, that pretty much sums it up. Any free time I have you may catch me planning and training to walk Camino de Santiago or curled up listening to a novel. I would say reading a great novel but my eyesight isn't what it used to be. It is much easier to just listen to a great novel than muddle through the reading of it.

I bet you are thinking...walk Camino de Santiago? What the heck! Yes, it has been a long since dream of mine to walk this trail in Spain. Over 500 miles of walking for no other reason than to do it.

Oh, maybe there are a few reasons.

1. Alone, quiet time
2. Mind clearing
3. Can I walk 500 miles? I don't know, we"ll see.
4. Somewhere deep inside me is me. Some days I am not sure where me is anymore. I hope I find her on the trail.
5. I have strength but I know there is an inner strength that is there. I need it to come out.
6. No one knows what can be accomplished until put to the test.
7. Testing...1...2...3...
8. Beautiful scenery
9. Faith promoting. Faith promoting? you say. I say YES! FAITH PROMOTING!!!

I guess that wraps up my short list of reasons.

If you could do something, anything, what would it be? Maybe skydive or river raft down the Amazon. Maybe drive cross country or scuba dive. Maybe just have an uninterrupted nap or even an ice cream cone you could call your own. We all want, need and even crave something to savor. A memory to pull from the deepest part of our mind when things are tough, sad, mind boggling and that one thing is what we can hold onto that NO ONE can take away.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 4 of a much needed break

Cozumel...Just the name is intriguing.

Cozumel is an island in the Caribbean sea off the coast of Mexico. The scenery is breathe taking. The waters are an unimaginable color of blue. The water is so clear you can see forever into the depths of the ocean.

There is much to do here. Scuba diving, Snorkeling, Caving, Kite surfing and there are 2 Dolphinariums, one of which we visited today.

The place sits right in the ocean. There are several areas where the dolphins swim. They have trainers also and we did an encounter with 2 trainers. All 8 of us participated in this amazing adventure.

First, we climbed down into the ocean area where the dolphins were swimming. We lined up on this steel deck that was underwater. The trainers gave us instructions of the do's and don'ts while in the cove. The very first thing the dolphins did was swim very close to us so we could all feel its slippery skin. Next, by twos we swam out and a dolphin swam to us and we could hold it in the water. That was awesome. (BTW, I may say awesome 100 times in this post because everything was awesome).

Have you ever kissed a dolphin or had one kiss you? Well I know can say I have. What a sweet experience. 

By twos we swam out further but not close to each other and one dolphin came up behind us and either pulled us while we held onto their dorsal fin or with our legs locked they pushed us with their noses on our feet so fast that we actually came up out of the water. Now that was AWESOME!

At one point one of the make dolphins swam into our area for a little nooky. We had to stay on the platform as they can get very aggressive and they swim by so fast while this is occurring they didn't want anyone to get hurt, That was crazy,

Near the end of our encounter one of our trainers had Christian and Amanda play a game with the Dolphins. She had these floating rings that she had them throw out and the dolphins hooked them on the noses to bring them back. Well, Christian's didn't do her job but Amanda's did and brought hers back to her. Hooked to Amanda's was a cup with a lid and the trainer ask Amanda to open the cup up and take out the contents. She struggled with it for a few minutes but it finally opened. She thought it was going to be a treat for the dolphin but instead it was a treat for her. Inside was an engagement ring. Christian proposed with us all there looking on. It was wonderful.

Trying to get this proposal all arranged was quite the feat. Little secret meetings with the purser and then meeting with our tour guide and handing over the ring to someone we didn't know. Meeting with security at the encounter so we could get them our movie camera to film the proposal. All things that caused Amanda strife and anxiety and wondering why Christian was disappearing several times. But in the end it was all worth it.

She said YES!!!

Upon arriving back to our state rooms the room steward had decorated their room with things we had brought with us. Hearts, balloons, streamers and confetti. Still on a high from the proposal this just added to it. With a  happy engagement cake Nicole made arrangements to be brought to dinner to help us all celebrate, this couldn't have ended up any better. Welcome to the family Amanda.
We LOVE you.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 3 of a break much needed

Today is the day I have been waiting for for several years. John, McKensie and I are going to Chichen Itza!
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. A few years ago John and I went to Tulum and loved it so much we wanted to see Chichen Itza also.
Christian, Amanda, Nicole, Sherry and Paul all went to a resort to lay on the beach, play beach games and water play also. I'm sure they will have fun but it cannot compare to Mayan Ruins.

WOW! Totally exceeded my expectations. The history of Mayans is fascinating to me. I am amazed at the buildings, agriculture, textiles and art. Our tour guide gave us a great initial run down of the area we were traveling into as well as the culture.

Now for a little history lesson....
Chichen Iza means: At the mouth of the well at Itza. It is one of the largest Maya cities. There are many styles of architecture which suggests the people who occupied this area came from many other areas. It is suggested that no one person was a ruler there but more like a council through elite ruling lineage although in recent years some have called into question this theory. It is not clear if the inhabitants left the area of their own accord or if they were conquered. Spain did come in the early 1500's. They did lay claim to much of the land but after a few years the Maya's revolted and ran them out. By the Late 1500's Spain had once again layed hold on the area and established a large working cattle ranch.

In the mid to late 1800's there were books written on this area and an influx of people from all over the world came to see for themselves this beautiful land. In the early 1900's the United States worked in tandom with the state of Yucatan to conduct archeological digs and fact finding.

El Castillo
At the North Platform of Chichen Itza is the Temple of Kukulkan (a Maya feathered serpent diety similar to the Aztec Quetzalcoatl, This step pyramid stands about 98 ft high and has 9 square terraces. The 4 faces of the pyramid have protruding stairways. At the bottom of the Northeastern staircase there are carved serpent heads. periodically Mesoamerican cultures superimposed other structures of already built ones. They did this with El Castillo. There is another Temple buried under this one. They found inside the temple chamber a Chac Mool statue and a throne in the shape of Jaguar, painted red and with spots made of inlaid jade.

On the Spring and Autumn equinoxes, in the late afternoon, the northwest corner of the pyramid casts a series of triangular shadows against the western balustrade on the north side that evokes the appearance of a serpent wriggling down the staircase. Some have suggested the effect was an intentional design by the Maya builders to represent the feathered-serpent god Kukulcan. Archaeologists have found no evidence to support such an assertion.(This picture is not my own. It depicts better then mine of the serpent like area coming down the pyramid.)

The Great Ball Court
On each side of the great ball court there are Temples. One Temple is in ruins. The other 3 are wonderful. The Temple of the Jaguar had been open to the public until 2006. Patrons could go into the throne room and see not only the throne but also the large mural that depicts a battle scene.

The very large area is where they played a game with a ball that weighed approx 5 lbs. They were only allowed to touch the ball with their shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. The object was to get the ball into the hoop that is hooked to the stone wall. There are players and a captain although the captain is the only person that can put the ball into the hoop. Once the ball is in the hoop that team wins. The winner captain is also beheaded by the looser captain. They felt as though this was the greatest reward because they could go to the great beyond where they would have greater glory. 

There is so much more I could tell you of this area but it may take all day to read if I did. This area is rich in history and I hope that you one day will be able to see if first hand.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Day 2 of a much needed break

Dancing on the deck, much needed sunshine, and of course the lemon-aide with the obligatory umbrella.

There is nothing I don't like about cruising. Okay, maybe one thing....the day they end. Several years ago John and I went on our first cruise and we haven't looked back.

A day at sea is a day for lounging in the sunshine with nothing else to do but bask. John doesn't much care for basking. He finds other things to do like taking classes at the gym, going to the art auction, taking more classes and eating all the wonderful concoctions they come up with.

My idea of a day at sea is nothing. I want to lay in the sun, nap, dance on deck and listen to an audio book on my iPod. All of which I did.

Nicole and I did a fun thing but I cannot mention it yet. I don't want to spoil the surprise. More to come on that in a few days.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Much needed break

Yesterday Nicole's friend McKenzie flew into Wichita to spend a week in the sun with us. Nicole picked her up and the immediately went for some girl time....Tips and Toes. Mani / Pedi is a great way to kick of a fun vacation.
We love McKensie. She has been Nicole's friend for about 2 and a half years. McKensie was assigned to Nicole as her buddy at Special Needs Mutual. Even though she was only Nicole's buddy one year they have remained friends and periodically do things together.
We left after work last night to drive to New Orleans to meet up with Christian, Amanda and Amanda's parents, Sherry and Paul. We are all going on a cruise together. They actually flew in last Wednesday and enjoy Mardi Gras before hand and we are going to enjoy it after the cruise as well as THE SUPER BOWL!!!. Of course, John and I are happy about the Super Bowl this year as our favorite team is playing...49ers baby! They will play the Ravens. It will be a great match up. I hope we prevail.
The drive was seriously stupid. The first time Mapquest has let us down. We followed the directions exactly but instead of it taking us 8 hrs it took us 15 hrs and we were seriously frantic about whether or not we would miss the boat. Well, we didn't but we didn't have too much time to spare. When we return we will drive over to Dallas and head North. It can't be any longer and we can see some familiar terrain.
Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Our New Years Eve

I have not really kept up with how Nicole has been and her progress the past couple of years. I guess in light of last night this is as good a time as any.
While John and I were packing up to drive to KS, Nicole's leg looked more swollen and was more painful. I had taken her into the Burn Unit for a check on her leg a few weeks ago as it was very swollen, red, hot and painful. The nurse practitioner said all was well even though it looked like cellulitis to me. (No, I am not a Dr. but I am the mom and I have very good intuition.) John and I agreed I should take her to the U and have it looked at.
The ER Dr confirmed that it was cellulitis and immediately started her on IV antibiotics. Cellulitis can be a dangerous thing. I wanted to rant and scream about the nurse practitioner but I didn't although when they asked me why I hadn't brought her in to have it looked at I told them what happened with the nurse practitioner and I had felt at the time it was cellulitis but was dismissed. This Dr. was so nice. Listened to all I had to say and in the end said "Mothers know best". Yup. I whole heartedly agree!
Well, 3 IV bags of antibiotics as well as being sent home with oral antibiotics and hopefully this will get under control without too much more to do. She will need to be seen every few days to make sure we are on the up and not sliding back again.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

I am so lame!

I WANT to keep my blog up but it seems as though I can't seem to do it. I don't know what my problem is. I have made goals, let my self notes, set my alarm but to no avail it doesn't happen. I guess I will just make some blog posts now, try to do some catching up and hopefully be able to keep it going.