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Preview: My View of the River

My View of the River

Birth, Babies, Faith and Family. Thoughts from the youngest grandmother in town.

Updated: 2014-02-02T20:11:56.455-06:00



I deleted my rant on celebrities. it just wasn't very Christian.


"In the back with the stuff"

That's what Abby calls what her daddy did in the Army. He was maintenance for eight years. The saying is actually "In the Rear with the Gear" because they ride at the end of the line to back up all the others and make sure all the machines and vehicles run properly. Maintenance keeps everyone moving along.

I know that I would have been terribly upset over any of our men and women being captured, but when I heard they were maintenance, I cried for a long while. A few years ago, Michael told me about a particularly hairy wrong turn his crew made in Desert Storm, and said that with the terrain, it was an honest mistake. And although my husband can shoot a freckle off a squirrel, a maintenance crew is not trained for combat like other soldiers. They are there to keep us moving.

I pray this war will end soon.


The Senate just passed a bill banning partial birth abortion!!! I had to call my sister who has worked so hard with the Tennessee Right to Life. When I called, she said "I was just thinking about you." When i told her, she started yelling and jumping up and down, and she hung up on me!


Last weekend, at the Catholic Youth Convention in Memphis, Zane had some kind of "episode". Now we are testing for seziure disorder, diabetes, etc, etc, etc. I told the doctor to quit telling me what it could be, and let's find out what it IS. He seems fine now, but this was the 4th time in 3 months he has blacked out and gotten weak and disoriented. Please pray for him.


The dedication of our new church was yesterday, Our dear Bishop Steib was there for the ground breaking ceremony. He gave a great homily about our individual gifts and how we can all use them in different ways. Then we had a potluck dinner. It was great!


Yesterday, I had a student tell me of her sister in law having her first baby. I don't think the baby was overdue more than a couple of days. Labor was induced, an epidural given, she had arrested progress, and ended up with an emergency c-section. UGGGGHHH!

Typical for a hospital with more than a 1 in 4 c-section rate. The same hospital I went toe to toe with about not giving my sister Cytotec to induce labor for her sixth child.

What's funny is when I told Michael about it, he said, "You are just asking for trouble when you mess around with the birth process, And what's the deal with the epidural given at 5 cm? Way too soon! No wonder she had arrested labor and a section!" Spoken like a spouse of a midwife!


More about Elliot....
Yesterday, my Eli received his acceptance packet from UT Knoxville! He is so excited! He was in the best mood I've seen him in since puberty. UT sent a very nice certificate of acceptance, and of course, we are going to frame it. We took it by his dad's house so Eli could show it to him. My mother and sister just beamed. Micheal and I are so blessed with smart, happy, healthy, good kids.
(Of course, Zane is counting the days until Elliot goes to college, because he will be the only kid at home except when we have Abby in the summer and school holidays. He knows this can only work to his benefit!)


We are supposed to be preparing for war. I am not ready. I don't want to get ready. I do not want war. I do not want my loved ones hurt by war.

I just want Peace.

And for my loved ones who will be fighting...
My goddaughter Sarah who is in the Navy, my student Tremaine who is in the reserves and my husband's cousin Kevin who is in the Air Force...

I want them safe.

Thanks for fighting for our safety.


I was sitting with my family at Mass yesterday, and everytime I glanced at Elliot, my eyes would tear up and my heart would feel light and heavy at the same time. Then as he acted as Eucharistic Minister, I just couldn't hold it in any longer. I was just so proud of him. I flashed back to his cousin Alyssa's baptism when he saw the altar boys, and said, "That is so cool. I want to do that!" Not many months after that we started going to Mass. Elliot and Zane studied and had their First Communion. They became altar boys, got involved in the youth group, went to youth conventions, babysat the preschoolers. I turned around and they had their Confirmation. Elliot started teaching CCD. Time passes. Time. Passes.

I was looking at our youth, who took part in all parts of the Mass, and I remembered them when they were small, and now some of them are Seniors, and the others aren't far behind. One of the nice things about a small parish is that the children belong to everyone, spiritually. You celebrate and worry and laugh and grieve along with their parents and other family. You buy all the crap from their school fundraisers. I noticed the new kids in Youth Group who will take their place and thought about how quickly time passes. At the announcements, Diana said she didn't know if the kids knew just how proud their parents were of them, and I heard the catch in her voice, I knew she felt it too... Her daughter Danielle is to graduate soon.

I really didn't mean to be inattentive.

I haven't been worth much since I filled out Elliot's application to UT Knoxville. It's such a big school, and it's so far away... 8 hours. I think "This time next year, Eli will be at Mass in Knoxville" or "This is the last time we will do so and so." Empty Nest, anyone???


icky, nasty weather. gas is too high. i have a sinus headache. war looms on the horizon.

Lord, thank you for giving me a nice, warm, comfortable home to stay out of the weather. Thank you for my nice car to put the expensive gasoline in and the great job I have that pays for that gas. Thank you for my family and our health. Oh Lord, I pray for peace. The weather and the gas and my sinuses... they really don't matter.


I have been looking for information an African American designers and architects so I can make a presentation for my class. I have read about Architects, Norbert Rillieux, The Shotgun House, George Washington Smith, Julian Abele, and Lewis Latimer ... and I'm still reading!


4 MONTHS! My how time flies.

I have a beautiful granddaughter named Alayna Starr. She looks a lot like her dad, and to tell the truth, she is kinda grumpy when she first wakes up, which she gets from her daddy, who gets it from me. (Her poor mama!) She had a beautiful (albeit, long) birthing and I had the privilege of watching my son become a daddy. They have such a nice little family. So much love. I am blessed.

My best friend just became a grandmother as well. Her beautiful Sarah gave birth to little Alexis Marie. Carla got to listen to the birth on the phone since she was a few hundred miles away and couldn't make it in time. Sarah had the best first time birth I have ever heard of.


Happy Birthday to my nephew Nathan. He will be 3 on the 6th, and we are having his party tomorrow. I got him a very obnoxious dancing chicken. Poor Nate is the only boy, but his 5 sisters think he is the best thing since sliced bread. (He is awfully cute.) His mom is my baby sister, Michelle. You'd never look at her and think mother of 7 kids. (One is in heaven.)

I mean look at her... and she's even making a stupid face here. (L to R: Michael (hubby), Daniel (brother-in-law), Michelle, and Lisa (sister-in-law) Lisa has a beautiful chunk of a baby girl named Ashley Michelle. (That's Michael standing there with her. He still has his Bear Trace uniform on. He came straight from work because Elliot was playing with his band.)

She can't really help it though, look at my beautiful mom and two gorgeous nieces. (Jessica, Mom, Chelsea. Yes, they're twins.)


Half of my class didn't show up. Of course, we had a MONSOON. Actually, I am not complaining at all. It could have been a lot worse, and poor Louisiana has really been pummeled. It took me two hours to get here this morning (instead of my usual hour and a half) because of the drenching rain and straight line wind. My cool new young chick grandma car (98 Dodge Avenger) handles really well in the rain, but I was still pretty scared when I saw the trees bending so far over.


I was looking for a recipe for Grilled Pizza when I found the blog, Eat, drink, and be married. (which makes me think of a line from an old Dave Matthews song... one of the boys thought that's what he was singing.) The author, Suzanne, is a food writer, and she has recipes posted on her blog. I am going to try the Chicken Pot Pie and the Grilled Pizza this weekend. She discusses being newly married along with cooking. I like her honesty.


The Mysteries of the Rosary

The Joyful Mysteries
1. The Annunciation (the angel announces to Mary she is to be the Mother of God)
2. The Visitation (Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth)
3. The Nativity (Jesus is born at Bethlehem)
4. The Presentation of the Infant Jesus at the Temple
5. The Finding of the Boy Jesus in the Temple

Sorrowful Mysteries
1. The Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. The Crowning with Thorns
4. Jesus Carries His Cross
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus

Glorious Mysteries
1. The Resurrection of Our Lord from the Dead
2. The Ascension of Our Lord into Heaven
3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles
4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven
5. The Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven


If you have a thyroid disorder, let me encourage you to check out Mary Shoman's About Thyroid site. I suffer from Hashimoto's disease, which is a form of Hypothyroidism, and Mary's website has been a Godsend. The following was taken directly from her site:

The symptoms of hypothyroidism depend on how hypothyroid you are, your age, your general level of health, and how hypothyroidism affects you uniquely. You may have some or all of the following symptoms, in varying severity:

You feel tired, exhausted, and like you can't get enough sleep, or want to take daytime naps You feel depressed, down, or sad
You feel cold when others do not, particularly in hands and feet
You've gained weight inappropriately, or you are finding it difficult to lose weight, despite proper diet and exercise
You're losing hair, particularly from the outer part of your eyebrow, or your hair is getting dry, or tangly
Your nails are breaking and splitting and become brittle
You have muscle and joint pains and aches, or you've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia
You've been diagnosed as having chronic fatigue syndrome
You have carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis in arms and legs
You have swelling and puffiness in the eyes, face, arms or legs
You have a low low sex drive
You have heart palpitations or a diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse
You're suffering from unexplained infertility, or have had recurrent miscarriages with no obvious explanation
You have had a heart attack or have clogged arteries
You have high cholesterol levels, particularly the type that is unresponsive to diet and medication
You have a heavier than normal menstrual period, or your period is longer than it used to be, or comes more frequently
You're going through menopause, and are having troublesome symptoms
You have worsening allergies, itching, prickly hot skin, rashes, hives, urticaria, chronic yeast infections, oral fungus or thrush, or stomach and abdominal bloating
You have anemia, or an excess of iron known as hemachromatosis
You find it difficult to concentrate, your memory is not as good as it should be, you feel like your thinking is "slow"
You are constipated, sometimes severely so
You have a feeling of fullness, or an obvious swelling in your neck area


I found this on the Web, and felt I had to plug it. If you are looking to buy any Catholic merchandise (Bibles, books, prints, rosaries, etc.) you may want to look at Just Catholic. 25% of the profits from your purchase go back to your parish. Last year they sent checks for over 700 Parishes! There is a place to look upi your Church's ID number. I looked, and sure enough, our little church was there. I bet yours is too.


I had a scare last night. My emotions were pretty high, considering the day. I went by to see Brandy and Matt and to tell her Happy Birthday. She looked a little swollen in the face to me, and she said she was tired. I kissed her belly, and she made the comment that her belly was tight. I palpated a bit and offhandedly asked if the baby was moving around a lot. She said, "no, he really hasn't moved today." I said, "Oh well, he's probably tired from growing so much and kicking his daddy at night." Well, I went home and got out my books to try to reassure myself and finally, 15 minutes before we had to leave to go to Mass for a rosary and September 11 service, I told Michael we had to leave right now. I wanted to listen to the baby with my fetascope.

Ok, so we race to their apartment, and I go in, all nonchalantly... casually ask if she has my fetascope. (I know that she does... this is a ploy) We go back in the bedroom, and she hands it to me, and I say, "Hey, let me listen to my baby for a minute." She says ok, and I feel around, and realize her belly is tight, but not hard... big difference. I ask her if it hurts when I touch her belly, and she laughs and says "no". I put my fetascope to her belly, and hear something. I move it down further, and there it is, the strong, reassuring whuu, whuuu, whuu of my grandbaby's heart. Brandy laughed at me because she knew I had a freakout moment and was trying to hide it from her. I put kisses all on her belly, and told her not to wipe off the lipstick... they are grandma kisses. I felt really foolish, because I know that pregnancy is normal, she and the baby are healthy, and I tend to freak when I am tired or upset.

We drove on in to Savannah for the Mass, and got there in plenty of time to pray the rosary before Mass. I was starting to kneel, when who should appear dressed as altar boys, but my two youngest sons. I had been looking around for them, knowing they were there because Elliot's car was in the parking lot when we pulled in. I thought it was wonderful they were serving, especially Zane, because he feels he has outgrown it. (He's taller than Father Kirk.) I knew Father must have asked him, because Zane wouldn't refuse him.

Thank you Lord, for my sweet life.


From Donald Rumsfeld's address this morning...

Many Americans ask: what can we do to help? The answer is: You have helped. You have prayed, you have volunteered, and you have given your sons and daughters to defend our freedom. Your spirit is defeating the terrorists.

We will win this war on terror. We will win no matter how long, or hard, or difficult or costly it is. We will win because our liberty and our way of life depend on it.

One day, this war will end. And our grandchildren will look back on this time, and ask — how was the war on terror won? And we will tell them about the heroes — the brave men and women who gave their lives, so that we could live in freedom.

We remember those heroes today. And to the families, many of whom are here — know that we have not forgotten.

But let us do more than remember. The greatest honor we can bestow on them, the best memorial we can fashion for them, is to protect our liberty, and secure it for the generations to come.

That is our charge.

May God bless our nation in the struggle ahead.

To read the complete text, click here.


My son, Elliot... Super kid, high school senior, altar boy, young catholic apologist, smart guy, smart aleck, musician extraordinaire, High School Student Council Representative, Freshman at UT Knoxville NEXT YEAR... NOT YET is the one in the white T-shirt. There is a great picture of my mom and 2 of my nieces as well as pictures of my husband with our fat baby niece Shell, my sister Michelle, her husband, my sister in law, and our town. (I also snuck one in of my youngest son shirt....walking clue I took the picture)


Yeech! I haven't posted anything since July. Ya know, July and August were really hard for me, and I had a month long pity party. Uncle Timmy's sudden death was a big shock. He was my hero in a childhood that was lacking of knights in shining armor. He was the coolest man I ever knew.

Tim was a Vietnam veteran. A Marine. He served his country well, and after he got out of the military, Uncle Tim made a series of public service announcements about Agent Orange so the GI's would know to go get checked out.

One of my favorite memories of him was in 1977 when he was taking me to the airport in Denver to go back home after summer vacation. We were riding in his Porche down the highway, and he had on his chunky silver and torquoise jewelry, both of our blonde hair flying in the wind. I was 12, and he was the king of the world.

At the funeral, I told his eldest daughter that story, and she laughed and said he also was the coolest man she ever knew.

There was displayed a picture of uncle Timmy and I in my kitchen. This was the night he made his famous spaghetti and introduced my (then new) husband to the best music in the world... blues.

Uncle Tim had a full Catholic funeral. The priest was disabled, and had a motorized wheelchair. He was zipping around on it, and I thought, "Man, Uncle Tim would love this." A teenage kid with a blue mohawk wheeled Father down the hill to the burial site. It was touching to see this big kid with his bluish/purple hair and various earrings and eyebrow rings taking such good care of the priest.

Tim's best friend from the war never left his side and stayed until the last bit of dirt covered the grave.


First it was server trouble, then vacation. There have been so many things happen in a month, and I haven't had the heart to write.

Uncle Timmy, you were my hero and my prince. Rest in peace.



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