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by Rhyssa
Rated: NPL · Book · Personal · #2150723
a journal
Blog City image small

This book is intended as a place to blog about my life and things I'm interested in and answers to prompts from various blog prompt sites here on WDC, including "30-Day Blogging Challenge ON HIATUS and "Blog City ~ Every Blogger's Paradise

I'm not sure yet what it'll turn into, but I'm going to have fun figuring it out.
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March 11, 2020 at 9:44pm
March 11, 2020 at 9:44pm
Write about a headline that you would love to read in tomorrow's paper.

I think I'd most love to see a headline that says "Corona Virus Cured." But that's just because it makes me feel ill to think of all the people who are being terrorized by it. Right now, people are running into stores and buying any necessary items. It's not very bad yet where I live, but I can tell that it's already starting here. The thing is, I'm not terribly conscious of current news. But I can't avoid that.

Ah well. I'm so tired. I should sleep more.

I spent most of the day binding off a shawl. I'm about to block it, and that will be fun to do as well.
March 4, 2020 at 9:35pm
March 4, 2020 at 9:35pm
What was the last movie you seen? Write about it in your Blog entry today.

The last movie that I watched in the cinema was the latest Star Wars. I liked it a lot--there's something about watching space battles on a big screen. Of course, I've watched random things on Netflix and on DVD and on YouTube since them. In fact, right now, Emma (the 1997 one) is on in the house. And I'm listening to a random documentary about criminal justice and murder, which is always fun.

Last month was good because I had a birthday. And so did my father, three of my sisters, and one of my nephews. So, busy.

And then there was some good news, just at the end of last month. Laurel, the twin who has the physical difficulties that we thought would lead to open heart surgery at six months, now the cardiologist says that she's doing well enough that we can put of the surgery until she is a full year old.
January 8, 2020 at 11:14pm
January 8, 2020 at 11:14pm
"A good painting to me has been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires." Hedy Lamarr Do you feel this way about a good painting?

I am actually confused by this statement, mostly because I don't find that paintings (or any artwork) keep me company. I am fairly surrounded by artwork--two of my sisters studied art extensively. Joyce as a ceramicist and Rose as a painter. I have spent time in the studio helping ink stones for printmaking or turning clay on a wheel. I paint (not well), I doodle, I sketch, and even with all of that, the final product doesn't keep me company. I am comforted and inspired by them.

But if I want to have good company I don't rely on a painting that I can just look on and become mired in my own thoughts. Which means getting out my writing because I can't just sit and think and not do anything else. I nearly always have something in my hands. Instead, I go to a book or to human companionship.

That's not to say I don't have good memories of paintings. As I sit, there are six different paintings in my view, two prints (of a painting and of a drawing) and three photos. And I am comforted by their memories. I have used them as inspiration. But they do not talk to me. They do not make me feel less lonely when I'm alone. When I'm alone with them, I still turn on some noise so that the room feels warmer. So, I guess my answer is more that a painting is not like a friend. But it is important and holds the past inside it where I can visit when I need to.
December 4, 2019 at 10:54pm
December 4, 2019 at 10:54pm
If a butterfly lands on you, do you think it is a message from someone who has passed?

I've heard of this particular superstition, but I have never really considered it. I've never had a butterfly land on me. So, I've never thought about it one way or another. However, I do believe that those who have gone before us have us in their thoughts and that sometimes they are very close on the other side of death.

My sister, who lost a baby at five days, (she's the same one who has the twins I've been helping with for the past seven weeks) talks to him in her dreams--long conversations. That's a blessing that I've never needed.

So, I wouldn't say it couldn't be, but I think that the dead choose the message that would best touch the one they want to communicate with, and that sometimes we don't hear because our hearts aren't quiet and listening enough.
November 26, 2019 at 12:26am
November 26, 2019 at 12:26am
“Respect was invented to cover the empty place where love should be.”
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
This quote makes me come up with the question ‘which kind of love?’ and the thought, ‘I’d rather have respect instead of some kinds of love.’
What kind of ideas do you get from this quote and what do you think the quote really means?

I think I understand what it's trying to say--however, I'm not sure I agree. First off, I think what he's trying to say is that in some relationships--and here I think Tolstoy was talking family more than less intimate friendships--when the relationship is more formal, respect is given instead of a more emotional connection. However, I'm not sure that respect should be considered as separate from love.

My father has spent a lot of time thinking about what love is--I think he started with what Plato said about the differences between brotherly love and romantic love and companionable love (I don't remember--are there seven different kinds of love--including jealous love which doesn't feel like love at all to me) and concluded that if you brake love down to what it is at heart, his definition is love is helping someone or something complete its purpose. And respect is a part of that.

So, I think for the kind of love that I believe in, that builds and makes people into the most they can be, respect is an integral part of the equation. After all, I couldn't say that because I love someone that I cannot respect them. That makes no sense. And so I fight against the implied definition I see Tolstoy using for both terms.

And on a related note, I've been thinking a lot about love and family recently. On Friday, my sister's second twin (Laurel--Lily has been home since about day 4) finally came home. She was in the NICU for over a month--but when she was first born, they thought she might be there for three months to a year, so we're doing well to have her home at just over a month. And it's been an exciting weekend, full of changing a colostomy bag (it was Rachel's second time ever, first time unsupervised) three times so far (I think we're averaging a day and a half--they theoretically last 2 to 5 days when an experienced hand is doing the changing, although I think that infants might be a special case that might be more wiggly and difficult) and teaching the kids how to hold her. We were hoping she'd be home by Thanksgiving, so this is a good thing. Today she had the first of a good many appointments that will take up the next bits of her life.

So, what is love? It's a big sister who is willing to hold the baby in the afternoon when in the morning the sight of the colostomy made her faint. It's a big brother at six who wraps the string of a balloon on her car seat so she can see it when she wakes up, and another brother who leaves it there even though he is three years old and has wanted to have both balloons ever since the nine (ten the day after Thanksgiving) year old's party on Saturday. It's tired faces and obsessive cleaning. It's friends bringing meals for the past month so that we still have leftovers that we're slowly eating--we have a lot of salad to go through. It's the lady who ran us down in the church parking lot with a casserole yesterday, because she had been thinking about us and wanted to make sure we were fed. It's looking down into Laurel's perfect eyes and smile--and remembering her less than perfect body and holding her so carefully that my arm cramps.

And a tired auntie writing this after the noise quiets in the other room and I set my alarm for tomorrow.
November 14, 2019 at 12:00am
November 14, 2019 at 12:00am
Clarity. Hope. Intelligence. Use these words any way you want in a Blog entry.

Well, the babies are three weeks old--four weeks tomorrow--and today, Laurel, Baby B, had her fourth surgery. Our poor baby. I met her last week for the first time, and while she slept through most of it, I saw some of the stubborn strength that has surprised the NICU.

As I write, I'm holding sister Lily. It's slow typing left handed and one fingered. She's mostly sleeping. and Rachel (my sister) needed a break. There's a dull roar from the next room where older sister and brothers sleep.

But, how does this fit the prompt? How can't it?

I've spent most of the past month finding clarity of what is important and what is not. And first for me is family.

As Laurel has continued to thrive. At first, her doctors were predicting three to twelve months in the NICU. Now theyre saying things like Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is hope. Miracles do happen.

And intelligence--well, that one is less direct, but I consider all the caregivers we've met and the care and the wisdom . . .

I'm just looking forward to what new miracles await.

And I get to hold the baby. She's sleeping on me right now. I keep on pausing to listen to her breathe.
October 21, 2019 at 12:18am
October 21, 2019 at 12:18am
Life has gotten a bit complicated. I'm at my sister's house, helping with the kids. The twins were born last Thursday. One little girl--I just met her today. Baby B (who remains unnamed) is more complicated than they thought in utero. Two operations so far and another one scheduled for the morning. Before the birth, the doctors were saying 1-4 weeks in the hospital, now they're saying 3-12 months. The prognosis is good, however, there keep on being problems that could kill the poor child. And I've been here at home with the rest of the kids, doing the homeschool thing and trying to keep them on track.

They're good kids. That's the good thing. But half of my mind and heart is off with B. Now that Rachel and A are home, I'm also acting as Mother's helper. Today, that meant helping her wash and disinfect her new breast pump. She's so small--born at 5lb 8oz--B was 4lb (I don't have the exact weight) but she already has a personality and definite opinions.

But I should get to sleep. After all, tomorrow, I'm going to have to repeatedly remind a three year old that his Mama is feeling delicate and can't pick him up.
October 5, 2019 at 10:38pm
October 5, 2019 at 10:38pm
Happy World Smile Day! Share a list of ten things that make you smile.

1. Finishing a project
2. Talking to a sibling--can this count for 5? I mean, talking to Maddie is more smiley than just about anything I know, except maybe talking to Joyce or Rachel or Rose or Lorenzo. Right now, they're all so far away, although I'm going to see Rachel fairly soon. And Rose is coming home at the beginning of next month. That's a smile right there.
3. Nieces--I have four and a half right now.
4. Nephews--I have eleven and a half. So they should count for more smiles . . . maybe . . .
5. My sister is having twins. Potentially any day now (we're pretty sure at this point that one is a girl but the other is only probably a boy)
6. Mama has this sly sense of humor that means she seldom laughs. We have made it a mission to trick her into laughing. Maddie is the best at it, of course.
7. Dad is terribly punny. But I smile at him anyway.
8. Lawn ducks. Yes, there's a story here. Joyce and I were wandering through ebay a while ago, and managed to end up on a group of listings for clothes for lawn ducks. Not the lawn ducks themselves, but clothes to dress the lawn ducks as they were sitting on the lawn . . . we seriously laughed for ages.
9. Being warm--not hot, just warm. We don't go by whether Rhyssa is cold.
10. Painting my toenails gold.
October 1, 2019 at 9:05pm
October 1, 2019 at 9:05pm
Is there anything you can think of that hasn’t been yet invented but you would really like it to have been invented? What kind of a thing or machine or even a law could that be?

I think, personally and practically, the thing I'm most interested in is an artificial pancreas. Something that would kick out insulin without my having to input anything or do any calculations. If it was internal, that would be a bonus. People have worked on it in the past and have come up with some really interesting things in the ninety years since insulin has been processed for human consumption (in contrast, diabetes was known to the ancient Egyptians, according to texts--four thousand years of a disease and the only treatment less than a hundred years old) including constant glucose monitoring systems and insulin pumps, but there is still a need for human input. And that means, eating involves mathematical computations.

People should be able to just eat without having to do maths.

There are probably other things I'm also interested in, but none come to mind at the moment. I'll have to think some more.
August 26, 2019 at 9:33pm
August 26, 2019 at 9:33pm
Write about water rising, overflowing or flooding such as a creek, the River Seine or any other river, the ocean, a swimming pool, a bathtub, water in a glass...any water.

One of my recurring nightmares is about flash floods. I'm in a car--backseat with someone else driving--and the water is rising so fast that the road is becoming a river and we're floating down a hill that's becoming a waterfall and I'm waking up . . .

Needless to say, a disturbing thing.

I know where it comes from. I live in a town with an older storm sewer system that flash floods in torrential rain. Which happens at least once a year in our area. So, when the storms come, the streets flood, sometimes to the point that they're impassible. We generally try to be home when it happens, but we've been out sometimes.

One time, Dad had come home early from church because he had to go in to work (he could walk) and parked the car on the street so that Mama could back in the van when the rest of us came home. Massive rain happened, and when we got home, our house was in a small lake that came up to our walkway (the house was probably five feet above the street, the walkway only two) and the car was standing in water up to its windows. We waited an hour or so until the water went down, rented a shop vac, but the water had come up to the dashboard (the cupholders were full) and that was an automatic total. We'd only had the car for about two months at the time.

Another memorable day, we were going to lunch (Mama, Dad, and I) through the back roads because Mama likes them). We were on a street that was a straight line from the major we'd been on to the major we wanted, but there was standing water. People were stopping before it, and the brave were driving forward, with wakes of water breaking away from their tails. We made it through the first one no problem, but there was a car a little bigger than ours stalled out in the next intersection. We backed up and went to a different restaurant.

The water rises worst in the intersections and on the edges of the road, were the dips are. There's a road (the major just north of our house) that actually feels like waves as you drive along past each intersection as the road humps up and back down--it makes me sea sick, sometimes. And when it rains, that's a bad one. One day we were driving home along it and finally cut south so that another car wouldn't drown.

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