Undeserved blessings…

Twenty-six years ago, I released a child for adoption. I trusted faithfully that my choice was the right one, and my faith was not in vain.

As you are all aware, this daughter found me last summer and we have stepped forward together on a new path ever since.

This daughter sent me a lovely email for Thanksgiving and I would like to share this excerpt with you all:

“It’s the night before Thanksgiving and I was really wondering what you were going to be doing and hoped that you and your kids will be having a great holiday. I wanted to let you know what I am thankful for since I won’t be with you to tell you. I am thankful for God and the beautiful family that he gave me, for my health, and the health of those I love. Also for helping me find you it has been a long time coming and I am very thankful for that.”

I can tell you simply and truly, Gentle Reader, I am humbled by her beautiful words and can only tell you that I am so undeserving of them. The blessings that this child has poured upon me are sweet and most incredible.

On top of that, Frick and I have struggled in our relationship for some time now, and yesterday I spent time with her and it felt like old times between us – so much so when I called her by her nickname, her face lit up and she crawled in my lap. There was no way to stop the tears from leaking from my eyes as I sat holding her.

When you least expect it, your children do things that you never hoped for nor imagined would ever happen.

It is the unexpected blessings that I am most thankful for…

Also, I need to give a shout out to our two contest winners!!  Congratulations to Biddy and Beverly!!

Just close your eyes and count backwards from ten…

TEN things you wish you could say to TEN different people right now:

1. Make the call!

2. Grow up.

3. You’ve said that already

4. If you don’t watch it The Crazy Lady is going to show up…

5. I really love you!

6. I have missed you horribly.

7. Wait, I have to write that down!

8. Don’t make me say it again!

9. Smile!!

10. Absolutely, I would love to!

NINE things about yourself:

1. I wake up in a good mood, and that won’t change – many have tried and failed!

2. I love to laugh and do so every chance I get!.

3.  I use foul language far too often, damn it all!

4.  If I get upset, my voice gets louder.

5.  I don’t yell, I get loud, remember that!

6.  I am a Stephen Minister.

7.  I love children, but do not want anymore nor do I want grandchildren anytime soon!

8. I love to cook – and I really mean it!

9.  I love to sing, and do so with wild abandon and no shame.

EIGHT ways to win your heart:

1.  In all things, be honest.

2. Kiss my neck right there…

3.  Hold my hand and don’t let go.

4.  Smile with your entire being.

5. Make me laugh.

6. Engage me in intelligent conversation that expands my mind, teaches me something new, or widens my horizons.

7. Hug me like you mean it.

8. Bring me flowers for absolutely no reason.

SEVEN things that cross your mind a lot:

1. You have to be kidding me.

2. Isn’t it five o’clock somewhere?

3. I could be knitting…

4. What the hell did I walk in this room for…

5. Do I work tomorrow?

6. Do I have clean clothes for work tomorrow…

7. What day is it?

SIX things you do before you fall asleep:

1. Put the dogs out one last time

2. Brush my teeth

3. Get a glass of water

4. Say good night to Plurk

5. Read or knit.

6. Say my prayers.

FIVE people you couldn’t live without:

1. Frick

2. Frack

3. Paddywhack

4. SC

5. my “other” daughters

FOUR things you’re wearing right now:

1. Jeans

2. Tee-shirt

3. Earrings

4. A Smile

THREE songs that fit your life perfectly:

Wailin’ Jennys “Glory Bound”

Diana Krall “Popsicle Toes”

TWO things you want to do before you die:

1. Love completely and without reservations.

2. Be loved completely and without reservations.

ONE confession:

1. I am deathly afraid of roller coasters.

Little things done well are worth doing

The patients that come to my unit are healthy and have elected surgery to replace their worn out knees and hips, or back surgeries that make patients in pain again realize life that is pain free or relatively so. Unfortunately, not everyone who comes to a hospital is going to get better and go home to his or her family and friends.

Yesterday, in the small details of the day as I was frustrated with myself for the feelings of “not knowing all instantly” a beautiful thing occurred.

Clear and sweetly, suddenly a chorus of voices broke out in song – the mixture of voices was hauntingly beautiful as they sang the hymn.

One by one, I watched my co-workers grow silent as we all listened to the beauty of the song, flowing with love from this family as they raised their voices in a not so perfect harmony.

It the midst of the frenetic pace of the day – this family reminded me of what is most important.

In life, it is the little things done well that are most worth doing.

Do not forget the contest, go visit my other blogging friends and leave them some comment love.

I challenge you today to go out and do the little things well, Gentle Reader – they are well worth doing!

Up and at ’em!

Early to work today, umm, make that extra early to work!

But I wanted to stop by and remind you about our ongoing contest that runs through Wednesday, so don’t forget!!

Here are the rules again:

Now, the rules.  You can enter once per participating blog per day.  Entries are simple… just comment on our post for the day.  If you blog and would like to post about our contest, doing so will get you 5 extra entries.  There will be 2 winners.  Each winner will need to give us a mini bio of your family.  (Ages, genders, wants, needs, likes) and we will buy prizes accordingly.  Prizes will be wrapped for under the tree and sent post haste! Comments and posts from Sunday November 23 through November 26th will be taken as entries.  Black Friday we will announce the winners!!!!

If you mention this contest in your blog, email me at kachrist37 (at) gmail (dot) com. Of course remember to replace the at with (@) and the dot with (.) Don’t forget to stop by the other blogs as well – their links are in the sidebar for your convenience!

Have an awesome Monday all!

A Working Contest…

I have survived my first days back at work, with restrictions, learning a new job.

It is a bit of a challenge though, sitting at a computer all day when all around me are patients needing care. Now, do not get me wrong – my co-workers are doing an admirable job in their care for them… I am not casting aspersions on them in the least, far from it!

What is the pain in my heart is that I am not caring for them.

This will be the challenge for me in the coming weeks and will give me an even better incentive to allow Olga the Barbarian to push me harder each time I see her!

I want to be back on the other side of the desk, spending the day – or night, as the case may, with the patients.

However, I do have a new appreciation for the job the Unit Secretary does – I mean think about this, this is the person who deciphers physicians illegible handwriting, stops what they are doing at the drop of a hat to do something necessary for a nurse. They answer call lights, telephones, updates and inputs orders… all while being highly accurate and not loosing their cool under all this pressure!

How quickly can I get back to patient care!!! This I find immeasurably easier and far more rewarding. However, it is good for me because I am using my arm in ways that are good for me without “pushing, pulling, or lifting”! It is also so good to be back with all my co-workers, I have missed them! In a few short weeks, I will be back on nights and then my life will be almost back to normal!

I am participating in a fun little Holiday Blog Contest along with some other friends from Plurk! Starting today and for the next 3 days, you can leave a comment here and at these, other blogs and we will enter your name into a drawing for our Holiday Give Away! Yes, we are giving you, Gentle Reader, something – we want to help cushion the cost of the Holiday for you and your family! You can enter on each blog once per day, beginning today, and ending on Wednesday. We will select a winner from all the entries on “Black Friday”! When we have randomly selected a name, if it is you, you will need to supply us with some pertinent information about you so we can “gift you accordingly”!

So, get out there and visit!

The links are here and, as you can see, in my sidebar under “Contest Blogs”!

Not A Mean Girl

Alana’s Passion

The PQ Nation

Middle Aged Suburban Diva

Popping Bubbles

Sucomments

Random Ramblings of a Stay at home Mom

I Read Banned Books

Daily Douz

Puntiglio

Three Ring “Surf”ace

Andrea Daigle


Me, Myself, and I

The following post has been brought to you by the following blogs who brilliantly posted this earlier in the week, if you are not  reading them – you really should be!

Poppingbubbles Weblog

Confessions of a Middle-aged Suburban Diva

1. When showering, do you start the water and then get in, or get in then start the water?
I, of course, start the water and while waiting for it to reach the perfect steamy temperature, I disrobe and brush my teeth – yes naked – you know you were dying to know…

2. Do you read the labels on your shampoo bottle?
Wait a minute; there are directions on a shampoo bottle?

3. Do you moan in the shower like the people on the Herbal Essences commercial?
It depends on who is in the shower with me, or whom I am thinking about at the time – however, my moaning, if indeed there is moaning, is not the “Meg Ryan When Harry Met Sally” version, just sayin’.

4. Have you ever showered with someone of the opposite sex?
Absolutely I have.

5. Have you ever been forced to shower with one of your siblings?
No, but I was forced to share a bedroom with my sibling, and in fact we shared a double bed. You can only imagine the horror this did to my tender psyche for all those years! However, I countered this affront to my person by convincing her that there was a horrific monster in the closet that moved under the bed when the lights went out, she lived in fear of being eaten by this monster. Now, aren’t you glad you are not my sibling?

6. Have you ever brushed your teeth in the shower?
See #1, I brush my teeth before I get in the shower!

7. Have you ever dropped your soap on your foot?
Yes, I have – you have heard of slippery when wet, right?

8. How old do you look?
Now there is a heck of a question! My darling daughter tells me daily that I am “stinkin’ old” however; I do not think I look my age, but maybe that is because of question #9…

9. How old do you act?
Now this is really a great question!! I have been told frequently that I have perfected sophomoric behavior, so that puts me about 15 correct. Seriously, I believe that all of us, myself included, tend to take ourselves much to seriously – I subscribe to the “Laugh, and laugh often” style of living – especially when you can laugh at yourself!

10. What’s the last song you sang?
This one:

11. Have you recently become a member of anything?
I have not recently signed up for anything however, like the Michigan weather, just wait a few minutes and that could change. I will keep the Inquiring Mind’s notified if it does!

12. What are your plans for the weekend?
To celebrate my victorious return to the workforce, which happens on Friday and replays on Saturday, Sunday I will be found on the sofa recovering.

13. Do you kiss with your eyes open or closed?
Another good question, generally closed – but sometimes open, it makes it hotter, don’t you know!

14. What’s the sexiest thing about Condoleeza Rice?
The fact that she will soon no longer be the Secretary of State, nuf said.

15. Does anything on your body itch right now?
Ummmm, no. But, this is one of those questions that once asked, suddenly everything itches. Just sayin’.

16. Who’s the sexiest famous woman alive?
Hmmm, good question. There are a few that come to mind, however I am going to steer away from the “Hollywood” types and toss Lesley Stahl into the ring for your perusal. She is intelligent, good looking, and, in my humble opinion, one hot mamma!

17. Who’s the sexiest famous man alive?
Boy, Sean Connery has been sexy for so long, how can I not select him. Like a fine wine, he has improved with age. Add to that the fact he is Scottish and, quite simply, the man makes me moist!

18. Does every family have a crazy uncle?
Only if they do not have crazy parents – and since I was blessed with crazy parents my Uncles and Aunts all appear normal…it’s all in the perspective, you know?

19. Have you ever smuggled something through customs?
I honestly do not think so…

20. Does playing the guitar make a guy more attractive?
Musical talent most certainly makes a guy more attractive, and if they can sing…

21. Do you live in a city with a good sports team?
I live in a town that is home to the “Fighting Dutchmen”, what the hell do you think!?!

22. Have you ever finished off the popcorn and ate the junk from the bottom of the bag?
What are you talking about, that is the best part!!

23. Have you ever had sex in a tent?
If you think the Holiday Inn camping, as I do, then yes I have. Otherwise, the answer is no.

24. What about in a boat?
Oh yes, with all this water around me – you betcha!

25. Have you ever dated a Goth?
No, I have not.

26. Would you rather receive amazing oral sex or have amazing sex?
Now wait a minute… you mean you cannot receive both? I had no clue, seriously.

27. Can you fix your own car?
Fix my own car? Do I look like a mechanic?

Thirteen on Thursday!

I very rarely follow the blog world agenda for what to do on my blog on any given day, but today it seemed most fitting to tell you all about thirteen things for which I am most thankful!

It hardly seems possible that 6 weeks ago, I had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and very early tomorrow morning I will be heading back to work, not 100% recovered but well on the road to that goal.

  1. I am most thankful to MetroHealth Hospital that I have a job in a time when many are facing loss of work and wages. My joy will be overflowing at my return to work in the morning!
  2. I am thankful for my boss, who made weekly phone calls to ask about how I was doing, and knowing that she truly cared what my answer was!
  3. Dr. Kevin Howard, who in my not so humble opinion is the best surgeon on staff at my hospital, his expertise has repaired my shoulder!
  4. I am thankful that I will not have to think about work attire at 0400, but will mindlessly put a uniform on and head out the door!
  5. It is a given that I am thankful for Frack and Paddywhack, but I need to acknowledge their love and support during the last six weeks.
  6. Knitting! Lest you all forget why I started this blog, knitting is something for which I am more than thankful! My determination to pick up my pointy sticks and turn yarn into an object you can wear has driven my recovery from the first day home when I persevered to knit just a few stitches and each day is succession, this act alone kept my sanity from departing forever.
  7. Plurk and all my Plurk friends! I have wasted entirely too much spent my recovery with all of you and I loved it and all of you! I am grateful for your help and support!
  8. The 12-Step Recovery Program that I will start tomorrow when I begin to have Plurk withdrawals! Hello, my name is Kat and it has been 15 minutes since I Plurked…
  9. I am thankful for planetKnit and her unwavering support; she has called me daily and regaled me with stories of the real world.
  10. I am thankful for having gone through this surgery and recovery process, I believe it will help me be more understanding and empathetic with my patients and my interactions with others.
  11. I am thankful for the pain that was worse and is now better and being able to see the difference!
  12. I am thankful that through out this journey I did not lose my sense of humor or my ability to laugh at myself!
  13. In addition, last but certainly not least, I also need to acknowledge one very special friend without whom these six weeks would indeed been long. He was and is a bright point to my day, brings a smile to my face, and love and laughter to my soul. Friends like this do not come along every day, and it is a blessing to have him in my life.

Gentle Reader, I promise to make a valiant effort to stay in touch with you on a regular schedule, but trust that you will forgive me lapses as I return to the work force.

Have a phenomenal Thursday all!

Old friends…

As many of you know, I live in the town in which I grew up. A lovely city nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Macatawa, where everything looks beautiful.

Looks can be deceiving though, and pretty outside is not always pretty inside.

I ran into an old friend the other day, one I had not seen for years – in fact, I had not seen her for over a decade, which sounds incredibly long when you consider that Holland is not a large city.

This friend and I were in a Bible Study together and when I filed for divorce, the group dropped me like a hot potato. It was a very painful but excellent life lesson for me; people will not always make the choices you think they will.

I was at BN stopping to get a book and spend a few minutes browsing with a cup of hot tea, I turned, and there she was. I am not sure who was more surprised, her or I and watching her face as she recognized me was very interesting. What happened next was even more interesting, I expected her to be polite, say hello, and move on. However, what transpired was an interesting experience and one I thought I might share with you all.

After a 10 plus year void, there was a bit of catching up to do, as you might expect and after the pleasantries of catching up on each others children, imagine my surprise in finding out that she and her husband were divorced. This saddened me greatly; they always appeared a most solid, unified, and loving couple. But, when she went on to talk about loosing her support system, the very same friends, of whom she was one of, who did this to me a decade before, and all of a sudden it was as if a light came on for her. We both began to cry, no uncontrollable sobbing, but tears that escape unwillingly from your eyes; mine for the ache that I knew was filling her heart at the loss of a husband of 35 years and friends that sadly have not changed in a decade. We have walked the same path, it seems.

After sharing a truly wonderful conversation, I am happy to inform you that we exchanged phone numbers and have arranged to meet for coffee next week.

The one thing I have learned in life is not to hold grudges and that things happen for a reason. It is nice that our paths have crossed again; I hope that we each bring joy to the other’s journey.

Teach Your Children Well?

It has been quite a weekend here at Casa Del KatKnits, Gentle Readers and Monday dawned with great promise – or at least the thrill of knowing the weekend was over and something different was on the horizon, right?

Alas, not so – the best laid plans of Kat and life jumped off the track.

First off, I need to take a few moments to honor a woman that, while she was not great, she was an awesome grandmother to my three kidlets and she shared with me a vexation for the ineptitude of her only son. Yes, my mother-in-law passed on to her well-earned rest on Saturday. The first time I met Marjorie was for the Christensen Thanksgiving Extravaganza. God rest her soul, my poor mother-in-law could not cook to save her life, and save for The Most Amazing and Incredible Sloppy Joe’s I have evah tasted! She loved me dearly and I got the recipe! This was truly a blessing; it made my home the favored place for all my kids’ friends to come whenever I made them!

However, I digress, the Thanksgiving Extravaganza was something my then significant other begged and pleaded with me to go. On bended knee he wooed me away from the bosom of my family on this most eaterly of holidays and I swear, my brain must have been oxygen deprived or maybe it was the stupidity insertions, anyway – I agreed.

I was met at the door by The Great Gordone and Tiny But Mighty Marge with open arms and the remainder of the holiday was spent with Marge begging me to deter her son from going out and cavorting with all his friends and staying home a night or two with them. In an effort to appease both the Dimwit and Marge, I put the two of them together in a room, shut the door, and left. Yeah, it was not wildly successful – but at least Marge stopped putting me in the middle!

Therefore, I begin offering my assistance for any prep work for the Extravaganza, right. I mean, at my family the cooking begins a week in advance and the day before there was always a flurry of activity in my Dear and Sainted Nana’s kitchen. I was no slouch and wanted to help where I could! It was at this point I learned that there was nothing to get ready – the meal consisted of instant potatoes, Stove Top Stuffing (not even in the bird), canned Ocean Spray Cranberry gelatinous substance – the gravy would be prepared after the Turkey Incineration had happened. If you could have heard my stomach shriek, if you could have felt my soul shrivel up and die knowing it was going to miss the Nirvana of Feasts (all home prepared, no box anything at my Nana’s house). I thought for sure that I would have to be hospitalized because of the shock! The meal was truly the worst tasting thing I had ever had. I should have ditched now, but as stupidity was my strong suit, I did not fold the hand and played it out. One of the blessings of that union, besides Frick, Frack, and Paddywhack was Marjorie. I remember the day she and Gordon asked me to call them mom and dad, it was an incredible moment. I remember the Engagement Party to End All Engagement Parties when she told me that she would be a model Mother-In-Law and she would wear beige and keep her mouth shut. I found her adorable, she was 4’11” and never kept her mouth shut – nor was beige her color; she was so much larger than life!

The Great Gordone and Marge the Mighty were married for 68 years and Gordon went on to Valhalla twelve short weeks ago. Missing her Gordon terribly – she joined him in perfect rest on Saturday. I shall miss her greatly as will her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Therefore, that brings me, and you, to Monday and my not so brilliant thought that the mourning of the weekend was over and that a new morning had begun.

That was my first mistake, oh boy! One thing that Gordon and Marge did was to fill a void that my parents had left unfilled. Fortunately, I had two terrific grandfathers and one hell of a Nana. They are all long gone now and I am left with my parents, such as they are. I love them dearly but only in small doses. In addition, I got a good dose of my father today – he called to ask about his “all perfect, incredibly intelligent, and amazing grandchildren” and the conversation started out on a little catch up on all that is Frick, Frack, and Paddywhack. Which then progressed into how our nation was going to ‘hell in a hand basket’? I have plenty of practice biting my tongue with my dad, and bite it I did today! Then came THE question, how is Ex #2 – do you ever talk to him, how is he doing, gosh I miss him. To which I replied, no dad, Ex #2 has not called in several weeks now – he has a new girlfriend and I think he is doing just great.

I was not quick enough to change the subject because he immediately launched into where was boyfriend #who knows what but that last one you had. I tell my dad, I have no clue, but I am sure I could find his number if you want to call and ask him.

I know, I should have just said he was great right. Okay, remember that stupidity thing from a few paragraphs up… yeah, Stupidity Strikes occasionally – even when you try to avoid it!

Then, the REAL reason for the call began – I am a Loser Magnet, yes – you read that here first!! My Not So Sainted Father began to tell me I should Get Me to a Nunnery and Run, Woman. I am that much of a loser, however not being Roman Catholic, I am not sure they will take me even if I wanted to go!  It is a miracle that I managed to produce three such charming children!

Being blessed with an abundance of moxie and the ability to laugh in the face of even your dad telling you what a loser you are – Dad, it is a good thing I did not need you to be in a good mood today! In addition, in perfect Dadness, he did not get it at all.

After he hung up on me, I laughed all the way home, one large smile on my face and thoughts of Marge in my heart.

Rest In Peace Mom.

Rising to Meet Current Challenges as One Nation

Several weeks ago a new reader commented on one of my posts. She ws so eloquent and spoke so directly to my heart, I emailed her and asked her if she would not mind writing a post for my blog.  I am humbled that she agreed, and so proud to present her to you now.

First, a bit of information about her:

Her name is Sharon McMillan and she blogs at New Urban Mom and she is also on Plurk, again as New Urban Mom. I would encourage you to add her blog to your blog reader, and friend her on Plurk.

And, without further adieu, I give you her brilliant thoughts:

I know “photo ops” are part of the political process and we really shouldn’t read too much into them, but I was really encouraged to see President Bush welcoming President-elect Obama into the White House during a visit this past week.

Beyond the historical significance, I couldn’t help but to feel I’m living in a new and promising age as I heard President Bush expressing his support for President-elect Obama.  The global financial crisis and its pinch on the U.S. economy would have a lot to do with the “spirit of cooperation” in Washington and around the world, but nonetheless it’s refreshing to see…and feel.

Yesterday I listened to President-elect Obama speak about the need for a new spirit of service and sacrifice among Americans during his first weekly online address and I thought I’ve got to do my part–now.  Our leaders are attempting to show such a degree of cooperation and clear sighted dedication to dealing with this problem that I think we can with confidence follow their suit.

Like many of you, I have family and friends that will be affected by a collapse in the auto sector – in fact we’ll likely all be affected if that happens. I worry about the impact that a uncertain economy will have on our schools – especially in those communities that can least afford any more cuts in education.

So instead of holding my head in panic, I decided that we need to do something.  My particular focus is in helping to keep communities vital and attractive to new residents and businesses—primarily because I’m a strong school advocate and schools need revenues that our businesses and residents can bring. Here’s what our family is doing:

  • Investing in our community – and that includes everything from choosing colleges close to home to vacationing and shopping locally.
  • Instead of buying clothing or gadgets that our kids don’t really need for Christmas, we’re going to support a home-grown, community resource that brings joy to residents and attracts business and support for the struggling city of Cleveland – we’re going to purchase Cleveland Orchestra tickets and take our family there for a Christmas gift we’ll enjoy in so many ways.
  • We’re purchasing regionally manufactured clothing, toys and as many food items as we can for a local family in need (something we do every Holiday Season).

There is probably so many other things that we can do to help our communities through this period. If you have ideas about helping local economies across the country, please share.