Click HERE to view more political dissembling, compliments of my dad.
I posted a while ago that I was to begin a physical education class at the local community college four days a week.. Well, I began yesterday. And I must admit that I am currently both exhausted and sore. I will be heading over to the bathtub (complete with lavender Epsom salts) in a few minutes.
I’m currently not certain which is winning -- my spirit’s sense of pride or the loud protestations of my pecs, abs and triceps. But it will be worth it to be able to play easily with Kajsa, to wear the clothing that I truly enjoy, and to live a nice long life.
Here’s to doing things we loathe in order to improve ourselves.
Sometimes people ask me why I blog. Well I don’t always have a good answer ready. But if I could, I would memorize the entire book - The Big Rumpus, by Ayun Halliday. I just started this paperback (50’ish pages in). But so far, it is fantastic. Ayun, who has been called “a new generation’s Erma Bombeck”, writes of the isolation associated with being a stay at home mom. She addresses much of what so many do not dare mention...everything from feeling like you are always pulling your grain before the horde of flies arrives – to never getting to do the activities you had previously taken for granted – such as peeing alone.
I whole heartedly recommend this book.
In the interest of enticing all of you, I offer the following excerpt with great hope that I will not be sued by the fantastic Ms. Halliday for plagiarism.
...We might not see eye to eye on the best place to raise our children, but we are all in the same boat.
I used to think that this expression meant that we all shared one boat, that your paddles are made lighter by the presence of others. That’s not what it means. Even on a good day, my paddles feel like they’re filled with buckshot. I’m willing to bet that every other mother’s do too. Shortly after you give birth, most of the activities that defined your identity are suspended to let you make apple juice, deal with somebody else’s snot and develop a lot of highfalututin ideas about television. You’re not being paranoid or melodramatic if you feel like you’re the only grown-up in your boat. The kids never leave the boat either, but what help are they with the paddles? Their arms are hardly bigger than celery stalks. Also, as delightfully surreal and repeatable as their beginning syntax might be, their conversation cannot sustain you through the tedious stretches. If it weren’t for those little kids waiting for you to harpoon a fish so that they can tell they don’t like fish, you’d go right over the gunwales. You can’t leave them to fend for themselves, even though they are the ones who got you into this mess. You’re stuck choking down soggy peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in that leaky skiff.
The inviting blast of an ocean liner taunts you as it glides by, its portholes twinkling like a string of white Christmas lights. Damn the passenger list of merrymakers in bias-cut gowns and party hats. It’s always New Years Eve nineteen-thirty-something on the ocean liner. Too bad you’re missing it. Then in the middle of some dark night, when you’re up, dog tired, struggling to keep your sleeping children out of the bilge water, you notice another crappy little boat a few yards out. And another. And another. The ocean is fairly crawling with boats as crappy and little as yours. Each one holds a mother tethered to a baby, a sleeping toddler or a jacked-up-three-year-old still gibbering from an ill-advised late-afternoon sugar fix. We’re all in the same boat, all right. It smells like mildewed life preservers. There are millions of these boats in the sea. We shout to each other across the waves. Nobody will get offended if you have to interrupt her midsentence to seize your daughter by the ankle before she dives after a birthday party favor she dropped overboard, possibly on purpose.
So, yeah. I don’t always have a good answer for why I blog. But I think it might have something to do with waving out to the next little boat.
My great thanks go out to Ayun Halliday for writing this refreshing book.
If anyone would like more info about The Big Rumpus, A Mother’s Tale from the Trenches. I have added a link in the nightstand section of my sidebar.
Where do they get these things?
Here's Kajsa's newest shtick. She will come up to one of us and slap on a super sloppy kiss. This is immediately followed by her wiping her own mouth with the back of her hand as she squeels, "Ewwwww!!!"
After the laughter dies down, she's right back here begging for another sloppy smackaroo.
I’m so excited!
Maya has been accepted into Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy which is opening its doors next fall in Prescott. This should be a great experience for her. The school only allows 100 students for each grade, so she’ll have a lot of personal attention. It is also very focused upon college preparation as well as, of course, experiential learning.
If you don’t know what that means, the website explains it much better than I could. But basically it has to do with taking learning “expeditions” that include several subjects at once.
For instance if
she were to study, say, Seattle’s
Seafair with her classmates:
After all the learning expeditions had been investigated, then each student (or student crew) would present their findings. Now mind you, that’s just one example that I came up with off of the top of my head.
But all in all, it sounds really great to me.
As I said, I’m very excited.
Now, I originally saw this idea over at Jake Silver’s and I have no clue as to whether this is a structured meme with codes and rules and all of that stuff. But it just seemed to be a good idea. So, if you regularly write about Humpday Heroes, or are the ORIGINATOR OF THE IDEA, please let me know – in the kindest of ways, if you please. That said, today’s hero is also today’s feminist. And on the eve of her birthday I wanted to take a moment to recognize a few of the lifelong achievements of Angela Davis.
Angela Davis was born in Birmingham, Alabama on the 26th of January, 1944 to a school teacher and an automobile
mechanic. Because of the large number of
African American homes bombed by the Ku Klux Klan, the area where the family lived became known as
Dynamite Hill. Her mother was a civil rights campaigner and had
been active in the NAACP before the organization was outlawed in Birmingham.
In 1961 Davis went to Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts to study French. Her course included a year at
the Sorbonne in Paris. Soon after arriving back in the United States she was reminded of the civil rights struggle that was
taking place in Birmingham when four girls that she knew were killed in the Baptist Church Bombing in September, 1963.
After graduating from Brandeis University she spent two years at the faculty of philosophy at Johann Wolfgang von Goethe University in Frankfurt, West Germany before studying under Herbert Marcuse at the University of California. Davis was greatly influenced by Marcuse, especially his idea that it was the duty of the individual to rebel against the system.
Davis began working as a lecturer of philosophy at the University of California in Los Angeles. When the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1970 informed her employers, the California Board of Regents, that Davis was a member of the American Communist Party, they terminated her contract.
Davis was active in the campaign to improve prison conditions. She became particularly interested in the case of George Jackson and W. L. Nolen, two African Americans who had established a chapter of the Black Panthers in California's Soledad Prison. While in California's Soledad Prison Jackson and W. L. Nolen, established a chapter of the Black Panthers. On the 13th of January 1970, Nolan and two other black prisoners were killed by a prison guard. A few days later the Monterey County Grand Jury ruled that the guard had committed "justifiable homicide."
When a guard
was later found murdered, Jackson and two other prisoners, John Cluchette and
Fleeta Drumgo, were indicted for his murder. It was claimed that Jackson
On 7th August, 1970, George Jackson's
seventeen year old brother, Jonathan, burst into a Marin County courtroom with
a machine-gun and after taking Judge Harold Haley as a hostage, demanded that
George Jackson, John Cluchette and Fleeta Drumgo, be released from prison.
Jonathan Jackson was shot and killed while he was driving away from the
Over the next few months
Daviswent on the run and the Federal Bureau of Investigation named her as one of its
"most wanted criminals". She was arrested two months later in a
Davis worked as a lecturer of African American studies at Claremont College (1975-77) before becoming a lecturer in women's and ethnic studies at San Francisco State University. In 1979 Davis visited the Soviet Union where she was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize and made an honorary professor at Moscow State University. In 1980 and 1984 Davis was the Communist Party's vice-presidential candidate.
"Progressive art can assist people to learn not only about the objective forces at work in the society in which they live, but also about the intensely social character of their interior lives. Ultimately, it can propel people toward social emancipation."
Thank you Ms. Davis for helping us find new ways to propel ourselves forward.
We bloggers all start out for different reasons. When I began keeping a web log, I had never heard of blogging. If I had, I probably would have thought it to be a weird bunch of narcissistic crap. And maybe in some cases it is. I know that I’ve posted about such mundane topics as “My houseplant looks like a Star Trek alien” or “if I was ethnic food, what kind would I be?”
I’ve also talked about death & dying, abortion, politics and many other topics which are not so light and airy. It’s my blog and I enjoy the fact that I have the ability to ramble about my every thought. Sometimes I receive comments that make my head swell. At other times I can practically feel you all out there rolling your eyes. Oh, well.
But today for Monday Memories I wanted to continue in the thread I began last week. In that post I covered Kajsa’s diagnosis with Kidney Failure. While this was a difficult piece for me to write, I’m glad that it did. Doing so forced me to sit down and really examine just how far we’ve come.
When I started out, my online journal was simply a way to keep friends and family abreast of Kajsa’s current condition. I had no idea how beneficial the simple act of writing would prove to be
Sunday, July 27, 2003
this page to keep people informed of Kajsa's condition. Currently she is doing
quite well, although the past couple of weeks have been a real adjustment.
Her disease is called by a couple of names:
Wednesday, July 30, 2003
We had another
appointment on Monday. There were no labs done as we're currently waiting for
all the insurance issues to get resolved. We did; however, check all the other
vitals. All good! Monday at Nephrology she weighed 7-12 and yesterday at the
pediatricians 7-14. This is probably due
to a minor difference in scale calibration, but either weight is fantastic. She
gained 28 grams per day over 10 days. This is fine with the Neph. Team, but I'm
striving for more. We go tomorrow to have her labs done. So I'll enter those
here later. On another note, she had her first set of boosters yesterday. She
spiked a fever (which made her throw up her meds) & was cranky, but
otherwise; came through relatively unscathed --
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
It’s not been
the best week around here. On Monday I was informed by Theresa (case worker
& head nephrology nurse) that Kajsa’s weight gain was insufficient. Our
goal is for her to gain between 20 & 30 grams per day. Last week she
averaged 15.7. If Kajsa doesn’t gain at least 25 grams/day by next Monday, she
is scheduled to have a G-tube placed later in the week.
Tuesday, August 19, 2003
It’s been a much better week around here. We went in for Kajsa’s weight
check & labs yesterday. As you may recall, she had to gain at least 25
grams per day to be able to avoid the G-tube. Chris & I had kind of
resigned ourselves to having it placed on Thursday. But, between my marvelous
mammary glands & her fantastic drive to thrive; she gained on average 30
grams per day! (For those of you out there who may be non-metric, that’s an
ounce a day.) Pretty good work for such a little person. We’ve managed to stave
off further medical procedures for at least a little longer! I never thought
that I’d count my life by the week, but here I am. So, with that out of the
way, we’re all breathing a bit easier right now.
Monday, August 25, 2003
So, this week
we went in to clinic expecting to see a nice gain like we did last Monday.
Unfortunately, that was not to be. Last week Kajsa weighed 410 kilograms (8
& 3/4 pounds), today 401 kilograms. She actually lost weight this week
despite steady healthy nursing. So, we've scheduled a G-tube for next week.
Tuesday, September 2, 2003
O.K., so we're
going in for the g-tube on Wednesday September 10th. The procedure will be done
at 11:00 am in the pediatric radiology department.
After that we'll be staying overnight for observation. I'll go on line to give
people the security code so that you can call our room. Without it you can't
even be told if we're in the hospital. I never mind phone calls. Hospitals are
very boring & lonely places.
Thursday, September 18, 2003
So, here’s the
latest. Kajsa is going in on Monday, September 29th for her surgery. I met with
the surgeon this past Monday to discuss the details. We will be checking in at
12:00 pm with the surgery scheduled for 2:00 pm.
Thursday, September 30, 2003
Here I am at
MaryBridge once again. First of all, I want to say that Kajsa is doing very
well. The surgery went off about how I anticipated. We arrived at noon yesterday with a very hungry girl who was understandably irate. After
waiting about 2.5 hours, the surgeon, Dr. Holland, came in to let us know that
we were next in the line. We took that opportunity to discuss some of the
possibilities & confirm our consent. Dr. Holland is a rather cautious surgeon;
& let us know that if he had any doubt of a clear pathway, he would open
her up & move organs manually. Chris & I agreed with him wholeheartedly
that safety ALWAYS outweighs vanity. Therefore, when we got a call about 15
minutes after settling into the waiting room; we weren't at all surprised to
hear that it was to be an open surgery. I have the picture. Her colon lies
directly superficial to her little stomach. She has a scar now that's about the
length of my thumb.
Wednesday, October 8, 2003
Well, as you
probably know, Kajsa got her G-tube put in last week. We let it rest and heal
for a bit & Monday night we began night time feedings. Two days down &
no real problems. It’s truly a bizarre sight & I’ll have to get used to the
noise of the pump, but it’s not bad.
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
been a while since I last updated this site. I’ve been quite busy! As you know,
Kajsa had her mic KEY put in on September 29th. We let that rest for a week
before beginning her night time feedings.
Monday, November 3, 2003
As many of you may have heard, Kajsa is
probably going to be receiving a dialysis catheter by the end of the year. For
the last month or so her levels have been fluctuating wildly. Well maybe not
that wildly since there is a definite trend. Unfortunately, it is an upward one
for most of the numbers that need to remain stable.
Monday, December 15, 2003
Saturday, February 21, 2004
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
been too long. Mostly that's because things are going well.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Friday, January 28, 2005
so I know that it’s been a really looong time since I last updated Kajsa’s web
page. So here are the latest (and some of the not so latest) updates.
to what you probably checked in for. Kajsa’s doing great! Her labs have been
fantastic lately. In fact, they’re good enough that she’s down to only 4 daily
oral meds (!) and a couple of shots. Her dialysis therapy has been modified to
a very mild treatment.
Friday, February 25, 2005
Please be forewarned: This is a goodbye letter, and gets rather sappy...
So here we are, just 3 days away from our flight to Arizona and I think we are about
as ready as we could be. Kajsa’s doing very well, physically. In fact, the
other day, she stood up on her own and walked across the room. She has since
been practicing a lot.
I am going to really miss all the folks in WA who’ve been so helpful. We had our last visits with both Kajsa’s Nephrologist and Physical Therapy team this week.
There will be a few changes with physical therapy. Here, we have gone to
Children’s Therapy Center of Kent. They cover all her therapies, have
playgroups for children of varying physical abilities and even made her
orthotic shoes. In Arizona (at least the rural areas), the therapists come to our home. I don’t
know whether or not there are any play groups. I hope so. If not, I’ve talked
with Cheryl, who was Kajsa’s teacher at CTC. She told me that she would be
happy to help me format a group if needed. How kind! We’ll miss Stella, Jenn
and Gayloyd who have helped Kajsa to come so far.
With regards to Nephrology, we cannot fully express the gratitude felt. I’m placing a photo of our last visit with Dr. Becker onto our photo page. She has seen us through so much. Today, when I spoke with her on the phone, she said that I had taught her a lot…especially about the perseverance of the human spirit. This was very special to me. I do have to say that I could never have stuck through much of the past year and a half without the emotional and informational support provided by Dr.’s Becker and Holleman and (of course) the unbelievable font of knowledge and empathy that is Teresa Simek, our nurse/case manager. I wish you all well. I remember the first time I met each of you. If I’d known then how much you’d mean to me, I would have given you a big hug right then and there. As it was, I cried a lot and resisted everything you suggested. Thank you for your patience while I learned. You have made me a better person than I knew I could be.
In Phoenix our Nephrologist will be Dr. Morgenstern. I hear he’s incredibly
qualified. Hopefully he can handle headstrong mommies with as much humor and
kindness as we’ve been privy to thus far. The department social worker, Sandra,
has been quite helpful already. She explained some tricks for navigating the AZ
insurance system. I look forward to meeting her in person.
Our dialysis clinic will be through the Nephrology Department at PCH. This should prove convenient. As you may know, we’ve been coordinating dialysis and nephrology at 2 different hospitals in 2 different cities. This was by our own choosing. We had developed such a feeling of trust with the MaryBridge team that we didn’t want to fully transfer. Dialysis; however, allowed us to meet and work with still more great people. Nancy, our dialysis nurse, has been a truly terrific resource and friend, always adding comic relief just when I needed it. Thank you! And Lorrie (nutrition) and Kristin (social work)…both of you, in your own ways, have increased the light in our lives.
Now for the hardest part: I am going to miss my Bupp family so much. There are so darn many of you. It’s next to impossible to ever feel alone or unsupported. I have been quite fortunate to be surrounded by a web of love and caring. Erick who completely lights up my baby’s face, and always takes the time to say “hi” back. Katie, I’ll miss sharing stories and yummy treats. I know that Maya will truly miss her special times with the 2 of you. Elisabeth, we’ll have to come back just so Kajsa can climb your apple tree. Steve who tells me my kids are great - and is always ready to lend a hand. And Lynne…I’ll miss knowing that you’re right there, to hold each others hand when times are tough, to tell Kajsa stories about her dad, or just to pop in on & shoot the breeze. I love you.
April 29, 2005
Well that’s it. A few short weeks after I wrote that last entry, I began my first blog. And the rest is (my/our personal) history.
If your or someone you know is experiencing a time of great health changes and wishes to reach out to others or simply (as I did) keep in touch, CaringBridge is a wonderful resource.
Some of my first memories as a child involve being “dragged” off to various rallies. I was raised to believe that certain rights are ours naturally. Period. And in the late 70s and early 80s there were plenty of these rights still available. So, most of the rallies were about equal pay, abolishing nuclear armamentation, and yes, peace. As the 90s approached, I as a young adult, picked up the signs and marched, danced and cried out for the environment.
Now here we are in the year 2006 and while those issues still exist, the one that seems to be a persistent thorn beneath everyone’s thumb is that of choice. Rarely will we see people so polarized as we do with the abortion issue. Everyone feels that they are so right...or should I say correct?
I am amazed that there are folks out there who will blow up clinics in the name of life. I am amazed that people will spend their weekends murdering deer, while feeling the need to save a cluster of cells. I am amazed that a bunch of old men have the legal ability to control not only the bodies, but the rest of a woman’s life with the stroke of a pen. I am amazed that education about birth control is being squelched at the same time that a woman’s right to choose is at such great risk.
The fact is that there is nothing I can say here that hasn’t already been said. I’m not likely to change anyone’s mind. I know damn well that no one is going to change mine. But in this political climate, I think it is important to write how I feel, think & believe. Because if I don’t I am one of the culpable.
It would be easy for me to sit back and quietly play it safe. To know that just because abortion is not – at this time – a personal issue for me, I have nothing to fear. But it isn’t just about me. It is about the (any) woman who knows, for whatever reason, that bearing a child is the wrong decision. This is such a difficult decision for a person to make & I don’t think that one woman’s reason is any better or worse than another’s. I don’t have that right...to judge, that is. The right that I do have is the ability to make decisions regarding my own body. And I am here to say that I for one do not support any legislation to remove that right.
First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.
by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945
Special thanks go to ccw, who alerted me to this opportunity. I hope that some of you will join in.
Some who have: