Blog Archive

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Jane Levie Update: Hospitalized For Liver Problem

I just sent another email update about my mom and am posting it here, too.

Hello friends and family,

I wanted to give you an update on my mom.  

It appears that her liver now has cancer and it is causing her some trouble with her digestive tract. Earlier this week she had a procedure done to help return it to normal function again.  Once that happens, the goal is for her to resume chemotherapy treatments to help with the liver tumor. Let's hope that it works as well this time as it did back in 2008-2009.  Last time she was very lucky and did not suffer many of the common chemo discomforts.

Good thoughts and prayers for my mom are much appreciated.  However, she would prefer not to be inundated with phone calls, cards, and letters at this point.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Settling into Gualala

Pictures speak words so here you go.
Last Monday I started working at the water company as an administrative assistant.  Soon I'll migrate more into assisting (maybe leading) projects but for now I'm learning accounting and the ins and outs of water service.
On my second day I got to use a type writer. The office manager rolled her eyes and me when I told her she'd have to show me how to use it.  
We have gotten two Oz Farm CSA boxes so far and both have been stellar.  The variety is amazing.  One night we had a salad bar of CSA goodies, to which I added non-CSA chicken, tomatoes, and dressing, along with some of Papa's apricots. 
The window replacement that was SUPPOSED to be done before we moved up here is obviously not done yet. It didn't even start until after our move and it's getting more and more extensive because of the discovery of extensive water and termite damage. It's been said that houses that are not lived in just die.  It's true.  I'm so glad John has decided to get this work done...I just wish it were already done.  This picture is the first room Dave and I started out in.
And this is a picture of the second room we were in (having had to move out of the first one). We finally retreated to the office since it was done years ago and won't be touched this time around.  Rooms that are not being renovated are being used for storage--remember this house was already furnished and we moved all OUR stuff here, too.  YIKES is right.
Dave was gone for 4 days to work on some final things at the Davis house. So I got to deal with a lot of this in the mornings and evenings.
I have canned, dried, jammed, and frozen so many gallons of apricots that I've nearly lost count. This weekend I branched out and made a birthday apricot pie for Papa John.  
Long days at daycare take their toll on Eddie Pie sometimes.  He sure loves his new daycare, though!
I took the dogs on a walk for our morning errands and got to pass by the Gualala Nursery's fun dino statues.
You can hardly see the Point Arena Pier through the fog in this picture.  I went down there after yoga this morning because I heard that there was a place to drop off non-redemption recycling stuff.  Indeed there is one and they even take cardboard--thank goodness because we have a teetering mountain of if it in our laundry area.
I have started doing yoga 3-4 times a week and I love it.  Honestly, I had no idea it was so much work.  Ouf.  It's deceptively calm looking but it's just the mind that is calm; the rest of the body is really working hard.  I'm also running a few times a week to replace the cardio I've lost from my Davis bike commute.  Running more than a mile at a time is still torture for me, but I'm hoping to increase it bit by bit, especially since Edward, Jennifer, Dave, and I registered for the Gualala River Run in October.

We've settled into the Gualala lifestyle quite nicely I think.  Besides the chaos that is the house situation, most other aspects have been sorted out, at least temporarily.  So far I'm 100% in charge of making all meals and driving Eddie to/from daycare.  Hopefully the commuting part will be shared with Dave in the future.  It's clear that I'm able to settle into my new routine and surroundings much more quickly than Dave is able to accommodate our presence; it makes sense since nothing much in his life has changed in terms of scheduling and stuff.  So my expectation that my life would not be easier up here, just more complete is manifesting itself so far, which is fine (just exhausting).

I've made a bit of progress on my first chapter and I aim to send it off to my professor by the end of this week.  Then I'll have to plunge into data analysis (the WORST PART of research in my opinion) for the next chapter.

Until next time...!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Daycare Graduation

Well, July 3 was Eddie's last day at Double Decker Day School. It was called Kidaro Playcare when he started, back in January 2010 at the tender age of 4.5 months. 

Remember the agony I went through back then?  Hiring a nanny, her quitting, us scrambling to find the right daycare for him, my anxiety about balancing single motherhood/student life, AND babysitting other babies to balance the budget?  HOLY CRAP that was an insane time.  And then...we found Cassie and everything worked out just fine.  She helped me and Dave navigate single parenthood strategies and became a good friend to us and a second mother to Eddie.

Eddie had his first of many sleepovers at her house. She got to see him develop from a helpless baby to a sitter, crawler, walker, runner, talker, potty trainer, narrator, triker, biker. We all love her.
Eddie and Daddy in January 2010.
She planned a pizza party for him that day and we brought frozen yogurt pops (Gogurts) and some Hello Kitty popsicles to share during the afternoon heat.  Miss Amanda said she let Eddie choose some of the activities in the afternoon, no doubt it had something to do with finding "treasures" (rocks and sequins). I'll donate a gift certificate to an online art supply store as our parting gift to the school.
Eddie grinning when we found allllllllllll the treasures at the bottom of his cubby, things he's collected diligently over the last couple of years.  Sequins, rocks, sticks, trash.

Eddie goofing around with Miss Amanda.
Apparently, no one slept much that day during nap time because there was just too much excitement for Eddie's last day honors. When I picked him up, he was shirtless and exhausted.  He cleaned out his cubby and then we went inside to have a popsicle with Cassie and Leila...and of course I got to hold baby Kiera.
Cassie, Leila, Eddie, and Amanda

Leila was looking down at the floor where her baby sister was lying.

Mmmm pops while visiting with Cassie.
My heart aches that we had to leave Cassie's care and Davis in general. But it was time for us to move on and for Eddie to start school preparations. I'm sure we'll encounter some regression (or even aggression) when the reality of a new permanent daycare sets in. Wish us luck with this transition!
Eddie in June 2013.
On Monday, July 8 Eddie started attending the day care up in Point Arena, where he's gone a few times already when we were up there for week-long visits. Dave attended the same daycare 20-something years ago and had the same head teacher, too. Then in the fall, Eddie will be a preschooler at Arena Elementary and he'll go to daycare in the afternoons.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Gualalans at Last

Don't worry, blog reader(s)!  I'm still there.  Except now I'm here--in GUALALA!  We made the move on Sunday. Of course, we'll still visit this coming weekend for a party and then at the end of the month for a wedding. But the only items remaining in the house are mattresses on the floor, patio furniture, and some workshop stuff that Dave needs for some final projects.  The tenants will get the keys August 1.

Our next door neighbors, a lovely family with two kids who Eddie has befriended over the last few years, will be moving into our house.  We trust them, like them, and are thrilled that they will live in our beloved house. I feel a tinsy bit guilty that we're "stealing" the tenants from the woman who owns the house they are currently in...but only a tinsy bit. Our house will be a better fit for them--we have an extra living room and nicer amenities.  They agreed to keep our chickens, which is a HUGE relief since we don't yet have a raptor/coon-proof pen for chickens up here on the coast yet. The neighbor kids know how to take care of the birds so I doubt it'll be an issue. Plus it's nice for the hens to not have to move and be penned up all the time. As it is, they're used to roaming the neighborhood.

The last two weeks in Davis were soooooooooooo hot. It was 100+ for about 10 straight days. Thank goodness for air conditioning!  I was not sad that I couldn't cook toward the end of our move.
My mom spent a few days with us over the last few weeks in Davis. Good thing she was there to enjoy the AC and hangout with us--if relaxing was on her agenda she must've been sorely disappointed because her grandsons don't take "no" for an answer!
Eddie and I spent a lot of time in the city pools in the afternoons (and twice at my aunt/uncle's house), eating fast food for dinner every night while watching cartoons on my laptop. I can't believe I had resorted to us eating Taco Bell, McDonald's (breakfast only, I can't stomach dinner foods), Panda Express, Jack in the Box, and pizza delivery.  I felt like I'd joined the Davis counter culture, eating fast food every day. BLEH. The only way I could stand it was by eating a giant salad every day at school. We'd do cereal and eggs each morning.
Swimming at Manor Pool with Dadda on July 4.
Swimming with Mama on July 5 at Uncle Bill and Aunt Bev's house.
So, we've been in Gualala this whole week and I've jumped head first into my usual home cooking and food preservation; after all, it's summer. And summer means fruit is ready to be picked and processed and the garden is just starting to yield meal-worthy produce. Today I'm making 10 batches of plum jam and will freeze apricot halves for pies and fruit leather later on.

Eddie's been going to daycare everyday up in Point Arena while I've been unpacking, organizing, dealing with moving stuff (changing addresses, new banking, etc.), exercising, and setting up my workspace at the water company office. I'll begin working as an administrative assistant there two days a week starting next Monday.  Can you believe that I now spend 80 minutes a DAY driving to/from Point Arena for Eddie's childcare?  Quite different from our 30 minutes of biking a day in Davis.  So now I have to make a point of exercising rather than having it folded into my commute, further shortening my daily availability to get dissertation work done. But since we JUST got here and are still figuring out our daily routine and summer fruit ripening waits for no one, I'm foregoing the major school work in favor of getting some jam made while Eddie's at daycare.

I'll try to get back on here soon with a slew up happenings from the last couple of months. We've been busy!