Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Hospital Food and Update on Mom

At Altru, the Prairie Winds Cafe provides a convenient place for staff and families to have a quick meal without leaving the hospital.  On Sunday, the hot food line offered Cheesy Potatoes...ummm...not exactly health food.  Emily's theory...Comfort Food.  Yes, indeed.  We each ordered a portion...And it was enough for two meals.  We each took a To-Go Box.
While all foods can be a part of a healthy diet, I believe that moderation is the key. For yesterday's lunch, I appreciated the sandwich station where you can request whole grain breads and vegetables.  We all know that so many people have health problems related to poor lifestyle habits.

So many have expressed concern for mom.  Thank you for all of your calls and emails.
Her surgery was successful, and her doctors are satisfied with her progress so far.  Considering she is 89 and has a heart condition, they say she is doing as well as can be expected.
This is her 4th day in the Critical Care Unit.  She is here because her heart rate was too high, and blood pressure too low, but medications are being adjusted to stabilize this.

She wondered if I was watching TV up over her left shoulder...so I took a pic to show her the 'TV' that is displaying her 'numbers'.  She also wondered what that clicking noise was to her right...so I will show her this elaborate tower that holds her IV lines.

We visit in short spurts, between naps.  She wanted to talk about lefsa.  She says she can't find it in the store.  I reminded her that no 'store-bought' lefsa is as good as the lefsa we make ourselves.  This year, she peeled all the potatoes.  We made a double batch.
She likes to watch over us as we roll and turn them on the griddle.
She is so pleased that the next generation will carry this family tradition forward.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pretty Sure We Saw An Angel

My Mom has a strong faith. She always went to church on Sunday.  When she could no longer drive, she started to listen to church on the radio. Because she is in the hospital this year, I knew she would be missing the Palm Sunday service so, on Saturday, I requested a visit from the hospital chaplin.
On Sunday, her 6th day in the hospital, she took a turn for the worse. She was so weak and was becoming non-responsive.  The doctors worked fast to determine what was in the best interest of their patient. Surgery was considered very high risk, but it was even a greater risk to wait. The medical team moved very quickly. 

Then, came the visit from the chaplin. Emily and I sat on one side of mom's bed, as he got down beside her across from us.  His interaction with her was so personal.  Within a few minutes we learned that at one time he served in a little country church that was a half a mile from our farm.  His good friend was Benny Thompson, one of my mom's high school classmates.  This was more than just coincidence.

He asked mom, "What is your favorite hymn?"
I knew what she was going to say...
He invited her to sing along if she remembers the words...
Of course she remembers the words, but she says she lost her singing voice years ago.
The chaplin started to sing in a beautiful, rich, strong voice.

I had closed my eyes to listen...
And from somewhere inside, my mom found a voice and started to sing too...
Much higher than her tenor/alto voice from years ago...but perfectly in tune.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilage to carry
Ev'rything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Ev'rything to God in prayer!

All I know is, there was someone way more powerful than you and I in that room.
The tears came...I could not sing.
But I knew I must dry my eyes and be strong for my mom.
We received communion, three generations together.

And somehow, Emily and I found the strength...
and our voices...to pray together,
The Lord's Prayer.
with mom and the chaplin...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Staying with the Ambassador

The Bison Ambassador, that is.  This group of students is selected to represent the university to prospective students, alumni groups and the community.  They attended training on Saturday morning, so we went back to stay at her place. 

The ambassador gave up her bed for me and slept on the floor.  She is so thoughtful.

Mom asked about her bike...remember this summer? 
She had not just one...but two bike stolen from the bike rack outside her apartment.
Mom said "Did you get your bikes back?"
Emily said "No, but I bought another."
"Aren't you afraid for that bike, too?"
"No, because I keep it in my kitchen!"

This confused Emily's grammy even more, so we took some pics to show her.
Doesn't everyone eat breakfast with their bicycle?!!

Meanwhile, at the hospital.  Mom remains much the same.  Thank you, again, for all you kind words of support.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Say Something Nice...Make Someone's Day

I got to school early to set up yesterday...lots of teachers go in early...
Several asked about my mom and expressed warm wishes and kind thoughts.
Mr. K, one of our young social studies teachers said,
"Well, if she's anything like you...she's a tough old cookie!"

Old?
I still took it as a compliment.

'Tough old cookie', she is.  Emily and I spent the day at the hospital yesterday.  She has tubes and wires everywhere...but still told us a joke.  She asked about Emily's spring break trip and her studies.  She wants to hear all about Amy too...her spring break trip and her schooling.

She thinks she needs some more long sleeve shirts for spring and she needs to remember that it's not this month...but next month that she volunteered to bake a cake for the Senior meeting.  Ok...we can do that.

Thank you to everyone that has sent hugs and support.
 I appreciate all of your kind comments.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

International Guests and Only One Mom

Line's best friend from Mandal is here to visit...
...within the first 10 minutes, I could tell they are soul mates...
We enjoyed her company this evening.

Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and prayed for my mom.  She was transfered by ambulance from Devils Lake to Grand Forks hospital today. 
I have secured a substitute teacher; will go early tomorrow to set up;
and will travel to Grand Forks to be with her. 
Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

Like my friend Karren said,
"This comes first...
...you've only got one mom!"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Say a Little Prayer

My mom is in the hospital.  Remember how independent she is?
She went in yesterday and didn't call me until this evening. 
She feels like she doesn't want to bother anyone. 
Here she is on her 89th birthday with her new flat screen tv...in her little townhouse.
She has had several heart procedures and we pray that she is strong enough
to get better and return to her home again soon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Tribute to Sarah

This story breaks my heart.  It is about a young woman named Sarah...a friend of our Emily.  She showed kindness and compassion to all of those around her. 

A junior in college, Sarah decided to spend spring break on a community service tour....A project called "Pay It Forward".  She and 41 other students arrived Tuesday in Pensacola...the fifth stop on the tour. The group traveled there to work at a local church.

But the stop there turned tragic Tuesday night when Sarah went jogging with two other students in the Ensley community and was killed when she was hit by a Jeep sport utility vehicle.

"She obviously had a passion for people and service," said Najla Amundson, spokeswoman at North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D. "Otherwise she wouldn't have been spending her spring break on a project like this."


A native of Minot, N.D., Sarah Martinsen was in Florida as part of a service trip involving the NDSU chapter of Students Today Leaders Forever. The group, which included 40 members from NDSU and two from Minnesota State University Moorhead, was in Pensacola, Fla., a stop on a six-city “Pay It Forward Tour.” During the tours, students participate in service and leadership activities, learn about social issues, build relationships and make a commitment to continued action when they return home.

Earlier during the day of the accident, the students were in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where Martinsen worked with children with learning disabilities, cleaned the facility and participated in a dance party. A friend said Martinsen had called the experience the best day of her life.

“Sarah was such a great role model,” said Megan Piper, a first-year student majoring in family and consumer sciences education from Casselton, who met Martinsen on the trip. “I want to live my life the way she lived hers. She inspired me from the very first time I spoke to her to the last time I saw her.

In Martinsen’s honor, the group cleaned a church in Pensacola the morning after her death. The group also decided to continue on to New Orleans, the last stop of the tour, where they were scheduled to meet six other Pay It Forward Tour buses to participate in a joint service project and celebration.

Martinsen was membership chair of the Phi Eta Sigma national honor society and a member of NDSU Sociology Club.  Read more about her here.  Please read her obituary here.

“Our heart goes out to family and friends of Sarah Martinsen, she was a model student and clearly a person who cared about others as evidenced by her participation in this program. Our university has suffered a great loss,” said NDSU university spokeswoman, Najla Amundson.

"They (the other student on the tour) asked themselves 'What would Sarah want?' " said Greg Tehven, co-founder of Students Today Leaders Forever. "They answered that she should would want them to continue serving, so they did their project."  The students worked at Circle Baptist Church on New Warrington Road between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Wednesday. They sealed cracks near windows, cleaned windows, picked up trash and limbs and pulled weeds.  Sarah would have been proud of their accomplishments.
 
My sympathies go out to all of Sarah's family and friends.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Friday, March 19, 2010

TGIF & The Little Things that Make Me Happy

So, the kitchen is my most favorite room in the house...
This is where our family has come together...
to eat..
to work on homework...
to create...
to visit...
So it makes sense that I start here, to show you a few of my favorite things!
My Pepper Mill...
My Pineapple Candle...
My Olive Oil Cruet,
that was my grandmother's...
...over one hundred years old.
My Apple Cookie Jar,
 a wedding gift to my parents...
...over sixty years old
My Nutmeg Grinder...
The nutmeg grinder...
a Christmas gift from Amy and Seth.

It can make the most ordinaryfoods
taste absolutely fabulous!
 
My coffee station...
Would you like a closer look?
the sweet Coffee Scoop...
...Mother's Day gift from Emily.


And...Does anyone else think
that the cat on this tin
looks like our Callie?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Girls on Spring Break

Our girls and I are all on spring break...
Not necessarily in the same place.
One of our daughters is here.
One of our daughters is here.
Line will be spending time with her friends.
and I am here.
Now, before you start to feel sorry for me...
I finished calculating these grades
and uploaded them before 4 o'clock yesterday.
I am looking forward to getting some things accomplished around the house.
The sun is shining and temperatures are above freezing.
Spring is just around the corner.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dark Mornings, Spring Break, Family, Flood, and Good Food

Like for everyone else, it was dark in the mornings when we went to school and work this week.  Monday was the start of our 4th and final term.  I am now teaching Fitness for Life and Personal Development.  I love teaching these two courses...the topics are so relevent for our young adults today.
It was Spring Break-Part I...our district believes in gender equality...so we have two short spring breaks, rather than one long...part over the Girls BB State Tourney...and part over the Boys BB State Tourney...
I enjoyed time at home...I de-winterized as much as possible...the tablescape...the dishes...the snowmen...the sweaters...

The deep snow is melting from our deck...


And hubby did his best to help it along!
We enjoyed time with family.  Our cousin's son, Corey and his wife, Kelly, had their sweet baby, Lily, baptized on Saturday.  
Her heirloom baptismal gown was over 100 years old.
Here are the proud great-grandmas in attendance.
This is the creek behind my mother-in-law's place.  See how the ice is melting and the water is rising...
There is a dike, however, there is talk of sand-bagging...
Today's news reported that High Schools in Fargo were released so that students could fill sandbags there.

And tonight's dinner?  Since the sun was shining...and the snow is off the deck...
...Grilling is a must...
This product in our market advertises that it is a Product of Norway.
 Line says that it looks nothing like the salmon in Norway! 
 But after all...this is South Dakota...it's the best we have...
We are going to try this recipe

Saturday, March 13, 2010

You've Come A Long Way, Baby

Today, It is a Very Special Birthday for you, Dear Emily. 
You are 21, You are officially an adult.  It is your 'legal birthday'...as Grammy would say!
Our celebrations were often simple, but were filled with love,
surrounded by family and friends.
At age one, you drank your milk from a sippy cup,
and your gifts were bigger than you were!
When you are two, I guess it is acceptable to be mad about something...was it the Big Bird cake?
You girls always sat it the Birthday Chair to open your presents...
And since you were the second born child you were always lucky to have the assistance of your big sister, Amy.
A chocolate layer cake was mandatory. 
And we had some fun with your friends too...    ...The OMTiffany girls...
Even when you were in high school...and busy with homework, swim team, track, dance and teaching at the YMCA...We found time to celebrate.
Where has the time gone?
You have grown from this sweet little baby,
Into the beautiful, young woman you are today.
Best Wishes and Much Love to You as you Celebrate this Special Day.

Where the Weekend Went ~Good Food, Great Music, and Special Friends ~A Sweet Reunion, Indeed

It was a Saturday to cure our Winter Doldrums. There’s nothing better than spending an evening with good friends. …and there’s not much bett...