That is the question I have had to ask myself quite a bit lately. You see, my life is full of random, yet important beeps. Kajsa is the primary reason for most of these unusual noises. All of her machines beep when you turn them on. They beep when you turn them off. They beep if there is an occluded line, or if she simply turns her body to a position that doesn’t allow for efficient fills and drains. I sleep fitfully at best most nights, waiting for some tiny crisis to occur. I am the night nurse. Fortunately, all machines beep on a slightly different frequency, so I’ve gotten to the point where I can fix any alarm without ever fully awakening.
This computer is another source of random noises. Since we live waaay out in the desert on top of a mountain, there isn’t even a glimmer of hope that we will soon be zooming through cyber-space on a high speed connection. Therefore, I frequently enjoy the lovely sound of my computer dialing-up. I then need to know when another actual living, breathing human being is trying to contact me by way of this antiquated device they call a telephone. So I use CallWave. Whenever somebody calls me, my computer does what everything in my life does. It beeps. I then can choose whether or not to answer the phone. It’s pretty handy...as far as day to day alarms go.
I have my email set up to chime, too. At any time I could hear trio of poorly combined notes, and then look down just in time to see that I have been approved (to apply) for a Capital One card, or a new home equity loan.
Lately, Maya’s become a prolific instant messenger. I always know when her friends are skipping school or simply bored. I can be sitting here trying to compose some thoughtful and witty blog entry (and we all know how that can be), when suddenly my interaction is being summoned by “I am the most annoying person ever” or “And I’ve bundled up all these fears inside, and I’ve bottled up all of this pain. And no one or nothing can take it away.” At least her friends aren’t dramatic. I have often been scoffed at when I tell them to go to bed because it’s midnight on a school night. Of all the noises in my life, these teen-age girls are by far the hardest to shut off.
But so far, all the noises have been logical. Medical equipment, email programs, even IMing flibbertigibbets. So when I heard a new noise yesterday I became, well, alarmed. It sounded like eeehh eeehh clickclick... eeehh eeehh clickclick - and it was coming from the kitchen. Nothing in there beeps. (Well, maybe the microwave when I actually use the dusty old thing.) Scanning the counter I noticed a blinking red light. Yikes! All my time in the hospital has set my entire system up for a basic Pavlovian response to blinking red lights. I pounced. And then I realized...this is my coffee maker!?! I stood there looking at the light blink for a moment (All the while listening to the strange eeehh eeehh clickclick...eeehh eeehh clickclick noise) before I thought to unplug the machine.
This has definitely never happened to me before. It is a simple machine. You add coffee and water, then press the go button. It has a timed start function, but has never in six years made any sort of a sound. Nor has it blinked. It was a simple blink. No SOS signal for help. Perhaps it is dying and wanted to say goodbye before it passed. I don’t know. It’s always been one of the items that I don’t have to worry about. Just feed and wash it regularly, and make sure it has enough water. Kind of like the dog.
So I have begun to search for a new coffee maker. I’m torn as to what style to get. I love the simplicity of a French Press. But, the coffee always tastes like you made it in a fire pit. And let’s face it, that only tastes good when you’re camping. So I started looking around for some fancy new machines. I found products that grind your beans. I even found some that roast the darn things. But I set a tight budget when replacing things, so I quickly realized that I would need to tone it down a bit. Still, it would be fun to get a new unit with some of the bells and whistles. ‘Cause, you know, I could use a new sound – or two.
As seen on Ariel Gore’s site.
New law will require marriage as a legal condition of motherhood
By Laura McPhee
Republican lawmakers are drafting new legislation that will make marriage a requirement for motherhood in the state of Indiana, including specific criminal penalties for unmarried women who do become pregnant "by means other than sexual intercourse."
According to a draft of the recommended change in state law, every woman in Indiana seeking to become a mother through assisted reproduction therapy such as in vitro fertilization, sperm donation, and egg donation, must first file for a "petition for parentage" in their local county probate court.
Only women who are married will be considered for the "gestational certificate" that must be presented to any doctor who facilitates the pregnancy. Further, the "gestational certificate" will only be given to married couples that successfully complete the same screening process currently required by law of adoptive parents.
As it the draft of the new law reads now, an intended parent "who knowingly or willingly participates in an artificial reproduction procedure" without court approval, "commits unauthorized reproduction, a Class B misdemeanor." The criminal charges will be the same for physicians who commit "unauthorized practice of artificial reproduction."
The change in Indiana law to require marriage as a condition for motherhood and criminalizing "unauthorized reproduction" was introduced at a summer meeting of the Indiana General Assembly's Health Finance Commission on September 29 and a final version of the bill will come up for a vote at the next meeting at the end of this month.
Republican Senator Patricia Miller is
both the Health Finance Commission Chair and the sponsor of the bill. She
believes the new law will protect children in the state of Indiana
and make parenting laws more explicit.
According to Sen. Miller, the laws
prohibiting surrogacy in the state of Indiana
are currently too vague and unenforceable, and that is the purpose of the new
"But it's not just surrogacy," Miller told NUVO. "The law is vague on all types of extraordinary types of infertility treatment, and we wanted to address that as well."
"Ordinary treatment would be the mother's egg and the father's sperm. But now there are a lot of extraordinary things that raise issues of who has legal rights as parents," she explained when asked what she considers "extraordinary" infertility treatment.
Sen. Miller believes the requirement of marriage for parenting is for the benefit of the children that result from infertility treatments.
"We did want to address the issue of whether or not the law should allow single people to be parents. Studies have shown that a child raised by both parents--a mother and a father--do better. So, we do want to have laws that protect the children," she explained.
When asked specifically if she believes marriage should be a requirement for motherhood, and if that is part of the bill's intention, Sen. Miller responded, "Yes. Yes, I do."
I don’t know if you remember, but a while ago I was talking about a friend of mine, Yvonne, and our time spent together while she dealt with chemo and radiation therapies. She was the one who hoped that her hair would grow back in bouncy red curls. I spoke of how I’d lost touch with her and hoped that she was doing well.
Tonight I found Yvonne’s obituary while looking for another old friend. She was already gone by the time I wrote that post. I sure wish I’d found her sooner. I wish I’d made more of an effort.
Of course this got me thinking...It made me think about all the people I’ve lost touch with; and all the reasons why. Some were from real or imagined differences. Some I drifted from via a lack of geographic convenience. Others, I felt like they might be disappointed in my life in some way, so why bother.
I think a
combination of these may have been part of the cause for my distance from
Yvonne. You see, Yvonne and I knew each
other for several years before she was diagnosed. We taught together at Ashmead College of Massage. We shared an office at a fantastic studio where we enjoyed learning from
one another’s experiences, both professionally and in the more general aspects
of our lives.
She went on to study Feldenkrais when I wanted to. I always said that someday I’d take the workshops too. And then we could share in this, as well. She was happy for me when I changed my mind and decided that I wanted to go back to school for midwifery. She wanted me to be her doula if she ever had a baby.
Years later, when my business began to go under, I withdrew from a lot of my friends I’d made through the massage community. It was embarrassing for me to admit failure. I thought I’d be able to reestablish contact after I’d gotten my feet on the ground. (I’m still working on that.)
Then I became pregnant with Kajsa. How could I call my friend who’d always wanted children, and was now sterile due to cancer, to tell her that I was expecting a blessed surprise some time in the spring?
Time passed and the thought of picking up the phone became more and more awkward. So I didn’t do it. I simply didn’t do it.
And I wish so badly that I had. I am always going to miss Yvonne. And it’s my own fault that I never got to tell her so. I could have tried harder. But I thought I had plenty of time.
This makes me so sad. But what saddens me further is that I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had a personal experience with cancer or some other long term illness. Whether its family or friend, you know when you love them. And if you don’t tell them, you might not get to.
So please pick up the phone, write a letter, a postcard, or an email. Find some way to honor your loved ones. Let them know how much you care and that they matter in your life.
As seen on Running2Ks site. Another Meme...
1. What is your occupation? Mama, Online Shopkeeper, Massage Therapist,
2. What color is your underwear right now? Orange with hot pink stars ala Fred Meyer
3. What are you listening to right now? Kajsa telling us a story about a horsy as she prances it across the floor.
4. What was the last thing you ate? An artichoke heart!
5. Do you wish on stars? Don’t you?
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Burnt Sienna
7. How is the weather right now? Cold cloudless night
8. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Kajsa’s Dialysis Nurse, Joanne
9. How old are you today? 35
10. Favorite drink? alcoholic? beer. - otherwise: Emperor’s Choice tea by Celestial Seasonings over ice
11. Favorite sport to watch? Anything with children running willy-nilly in packs.
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes
13. Do you wear contacts or glasses? Glasses, when I can find them.
14. Pets? Thor – the bog ole dog, Kingsford – the Oscar, Zisou – the Jack Dempsey, Leopold – the Plachostymous, October – the Beta, Pagan – the goat
15. Favorite month? April
16. Favorite food? Palak Paneer
17. What was the last movie you watched? Sea Biscuit (for the first time)
18. Favorite Day of Year? Winter Solstice
19. What do you do to vent anger? Yell or eat
20. What was your favorite toy as a child? not a toy–books
21. Fall or Spring? Spring
22. Hugs or kisses? Hugs
23. Cherry or Blueberry? Cherry
24. Living arrangements? Converted chicken coop.
25. When was the last time you cried? Day before yesterday.
26. What is on the floor of your closet? Dialysate boxes and suitcases.
27. Who is the friend you have had the longest? Gem
28. What did you do last night? Caught up on my blog reading and commenting. It had been a while since I had time to just sit and peruse. I also made a scrumptious meal, did a bunch of dishes and danced in the kitchen to Kate Bush and flickering candlelight.
29. Favorite smell? Rain on the sidewalk when it’s been dry for a really long time
30. What or who inspires you? My children, nature
31. What are you afraid of? People who honestly feel that selfishness is both noble and honorable
32. Plain, cheese or spicy burgers? Never plain. The more yummy stuff the better
33. Favorite car? Pius!!!
34. Favorite dog breed? Golden Rot...but only if it can be an exact clone of Thor.
35. Number of keys on your key ring? 5 But I don’t know what 2 of them are for.
36. How many states have you lived in? Ten if you count Arizona twice.
Running2Ks has a post called Thankful Thursday.
In the past, I've tried to remember to do this. I am; however, a little bit better at the moment by moment gratitude. (That whole wanna-be Zen thing.) I do think, though, that it is well worthwhile to look back over the week and think about all the blessings for which I am grateful.
So here we go...
This week I am thankful that Maya has done so well in school, that she has been invited into a select club, which has its own privileges. Among them are getting out of school five minutes early on Fridays, and discounts at some restaurants, as well as, the local bowling alley. Chris calls it her secret club and teases her about running the world - ala the Illuminati. (Encouraging, eh?)
As an addendum, I am grateful that this will provide increased desire to continue her scholastic excellence.
I am thankful
that Lynne found a house and was able to pack and move her entire household
within 12 days of spying her new home. It was also a great blessing for Chris to be able to go up to Seattle to help his mother, and to say a
farewell to his boyhood home.
I am thankful that I found a special something to do with Lynne when she comes to visit for Thanksgiving. I’d tell you what it is, but she pops over here to read sometimes. So you’ll all just have to be patient. :)
I am immensely thankful that there are no more pre-transplant tests for Kajsa. It has been challenging for all of us. Now it is out of our hands, which is in its own strange way comforting.
And finally, I wanted to extend a big thank you to all of you who have come by in the past week to extend your well wishes. They are not only welcome, but truly uplifting. I know that many of you found your way over via Running2Ks blog. Isn’t she great? What a kind thing for her to do. Thank you, too, Lady. Bless you and yours.
|You Are 70% Weird|
But you wig out even the biggest of circus freaks!
Civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks dies
Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:56 AM ET
By Tom Brown
DETROIT (Reuters) - Rosa Parks, the black seamstress whose refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white man sparked a revolution in American race relations, died on Monday. The U.S. civil rights pioneer was 92.
Shirley Kaigler, Parks' lawyer, said she died while taking a nap early on Monday evening surrounded by a small group of friends and family members.
"She just fell asleep and didn't wake up," Kaigler said.
The cause of death was not immediately known. Medical records released earlier this year, as part of a long-running legal dispute over the use of Parks' name in a song by the hip-hop group OutKast, revealed the she was suffering from progressive dementia. She rarely appeared in public in recent years.
Kaigler said Parks was at home in an apartment complex overlooking the Detroit River and the border with Ontario, Canada, when she died.
"She lived in the neighborhood that I grew up in," Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick said of Parks, who lived in the predominantly black city for decades and had a major thoroughfare named after her.
"Everybody knew where her house was. Everybody would walk past and point her out," said Kilpatrick. "She was an amazing individual."
Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in a statement: "The nation lost a courageous woman and a true American hero. A half century ago, Rosa Parks stood up not only for herself, but for generations upon generations of Americans."
CIVIL RIGHTS ICON
"We are saddened by the passing of Rosa Parks. We rejoice in her legacy, which will never die. In many ways, history is marked as before, and after, Rosa Parks," said civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.
"She sat down in order that we all might stand up, and the walls of segregation came down."
Parks was a 42-year-old seamstress for a Montgomery department store when she caught a bus in downtown Montgomery on December 1, 1955.
Three stops after she got on, a white man boarded and had to stand. To make room for him to sit alone, as the rules required, driver James Blake told Parks and three other black riders, "You all better make it light on yourselves and let me have those seats."
The other riders complied but Parks did not.
"No. I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen," she told Blake. Blake called police, who asked Parks why she didn't move: "I didn't think I should have to. I paid my fare like everybody else."
Parks was not the first black Montgomery bus rider to be arrested for failing to give up a seat, but she was the first to challenge the law. For years before her arrest, Parks and her husband had been active with local civil rights groups, which were looking for a test case to fight the city's segregation laws.
Four days later, she was convicted of breaking the law and fined $10, along with $4 in court costs. That same day, black residents began a boycott of the bus system, led by a then-unknown Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
The boycott lasted 381 days, and the legal challenges led to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that forced Montgomery to desegregate its bus system and put an end to "Jim Crow" laws separating blacks and whites at public facilities throughout the South.
Parks and her husband, Raymond, moved to Detroit in 1957, after she lost her job and received numerous death threats in Alabama. From 1965 to 1988, she worked as an aide to U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Michigan Democrat and founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
"For a long time people were a little bit afraid of Rosa Parks because she had created this whole new modern civil rights movement," Conyers told Detroit radio late on Monday. "They didn't know what to expect, and they certainly didn't expect someone that quiet. She sought no limelight; you'd never hear her talking about her own civil rights activities and all the things that she had been in," he said.
"She has saint-like qualities," Conyers added.
Parks' husband died in 1977. The couple had no children and Parks' closest living relatives are her brother's 13 sons and daughters.
Parks received the highest U.S. civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1996 and Congressional Gold Medal of Honor in 1999. Recommending the medal for Parks that year, the U.S. Senate described her as "a living icon for freedom in America."
Today we met with Dr. Fabrega. He was extremely knowledgeable and even somewhat personable. We discussed pros and cons of transplant surgery. This is a necessary part of the process. Everyone wants to make sure that we realize that a lifetime of immunosuppressants isn’t a walk in the park. But, of course, it beats dialysis hands down.
We talked about the differences between live and cadaveric donation, and how much more significant that is than whether or not an organ is a good “match”. Everyone keeps pushing the choice of a live donor on us...as though we have some control over this. Such things are out of my hands. About the only criteria that we have for Kajsa’s kidney is that it be type O and healthy. And, of course, the younger - the better. I learned that a good kidney can last a lifetime if one is careful.
We talked about half-life. This is a concept that I didn’t really understand before. I’d only heard it in the context of, oh say, uranium and Twinkies. The formula behind half-life is quite simple really. If 100 people get a kidney, they measure how much time passes before there is a failure in half (or 50) of the people. Now, this can be attributed to anything from a person discontinuing meds to patient mortality for any reason. It turns out that the average half-life of a kidney is 15 to 20 years. This is different information than we’d remembered receiving, and very encouraging. Considering that Kajsa will be under our care for the next many years, and is starting out young...we can hope for a much higher retention than the average.
So after our uplifting conversation with Dr. Fabrega, Chris, Kajsa and I went back to the HLA lab to perform her final blood draw. This is the batch that will test her DNA etc.
Now we wait. I’ve performed all my tasks. I am not very good at NOT being somehow in control of this part of our lives. Kajsa’s health care is my full time job. It’s a bit frightening to know that someday, when I least expect it, we will get a call...and then everything will change, again.