Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Womb Mates

Thirty years ago today, I went to the hospital to be induced.  The nurses all wanted to watch because many had never seen twins born.  I could have sold tickets. 

We started with x-rays to make sure the boys were in a good position.  They were both head down, snuggled together with their arms wrapped around each other.  Since everything looked perfect, it was full steam ahead.
I won’t go into the epidural, because it wasn’t pretty.  Most women love epidurals, but I think if you are short it can be difficult. 
A short time later, Dustin slipped out easily, but things got complicated for Devin.  He had a larger head and just kept bumping up against a wall.   The birth canal had begun to close.  I had a nurse on one side and an anesthesiologist on the other.  Both pushed on my abdomen with every contraction.
The doctor was using suction.  His voice got very quiet.  All those nurses suddenly got very busy preparing for a possible caesarean delivery.  Devin’s heart rate was monitored for signs of stress.
“How long will it take to get her under?” the doctor asked. 
“Ten minutes,” said the anesthesiologist.
“We can’t wait that long,” said the doctor.
And thus my second delivery that day came by caesarean section.  Devin was born about an hour after Dustin, screaming furiously and with a large purple bump on his forehead.  That bump was the first of many forehead bumps, for Devin. 
Thus began a grand adventure.  I loved having twins, and I feel that it would be wonderful if every last baby could be a twin.  They never lacked for companions.  We never lacked for entertainment.
Of course it was overwhelming at times.  I'm no supermom.  If they were both crying, sometimes I cried too.  I was thankful for five older children who were willing to help.  They were my heroes.  They still are.
The boys were as different as two boys can be, yet they have always been close and still look out for each other.  They don’t look alike, but they both have red hair.  
They weighed 7 pounds 4 ounces, and 7 pounds 5 ounces at birth.  There was half an inch difference in their lengths.  Even though they weighed almost the same and were almost the same length, they were built differently, had different shaped heads and different body structure. 
There were so many adventures.  While Devin was acquiring forehead bumps, Dustin was collecting stitches.  Both boys played soccer, both played the violin. 
Though these boys were raised in the same home at the same time, and shared many of the same experiences, they don’t think alike and don’t have the same dreams or interests.  They were a great reminder to me that it’s okay to be different. 
They changed our family forever.  Since they were number 6 and 7, we needed a bigger car, a bigger home, and bigger hearts.  We kept the home, but eventually we added on.
My children have always been my greatest teachers, and these boys have been no exception.  I thank them for the lessons, though I haven’t always been a willing pupil.
I love my boys and wish them a happy birthday.
Linda Garner

Saturday, June 21, 2014

If You're Ever in a Jam...

Our little strawberry patch has been mostly ornamental until this year.  We grew a few token strawberries to taste and probably shared some with the birds.  This year we've had an impressive little bucketful once or twice a week.

I saw a recipe for no-cook strawberry jam that featured honey and chia seeds.  I'm sure I saved it, but could I find it last night when the berries were calling to me?  No surprise. 

I think that's what google is for.  I found a couple of recipes but they were for large amounts, and they called for cooking.  I only had a few cups and I didn't want to cook my jam. 

I decided to do a brave thing with my berries.  Experiment.  I mashed the berries (about 4 generous cups), added honey (raw local honey of course) to taste (about 1/4 cup) and tossed in some chia seeds (about 1/2 cup).

To be honest, I was on the phone with my sister and I may or may not have remembered the proportions accurately. 

The jam, however, is perfectly lovely and tastes delish.  I wasn't sure how much chia to use, and it was still pretty runny when I put it in the fridge, but an hour or so later the chia magic was complete.

So...if you're ever in a jam...

Linda Garner

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Am I Conscientious?

Am I conscientious?

I always thought so.  I am a responsible sort of person.  If you know me, I think you would consider me dependable. 

Yesterday I read a post that has me wondering.

It seems there have been a lot of studies done on conscientiousness.  These are popular studies for employers.  You can see why.  Think of the time and money they could save by only hiring those who are conscientious. 

Boy that’s a hard word to spell.  Tough to pronounce, too.  Who ever thought of it? 

Well anyway, there is a certain behavior that predicts more than any other behavior if a person is conscientious.  It’s something we do or do not do on a daily basis.  What could it be?  Any guesses.

I couldn’t figure it out either. 

It turns out that the behavior that predicts your conscientiousness is ….(wait for it)…making your bed.  That’s it.  Making your bed.   Well, not just making your bed, but making your bed every single day.

Making your bed?  Are you kidding me?  Making your bed?  What’s up with that?  Who makes their bed? I don’t.  I haven’t made my bed since February.   Yeah, February.    I had this spurt of energy around the 12 or so, and I made me bed every single day for about two consecutive days.

Well that’s it.  I’m not conscientious.  Never have been.  Never will be.  I can’t spell it.  I can’t say it.  I certainly can’t be it.

Excuse me.  I’m off to make my bed.

Linda Garner




Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Ya Gotta Start Somewhere

We went to the Theater last night.  No, not Hale Center.  No, not Pioneer Memorial either. 

We went to the theater housed in the auditorium/gym of our granddaughters’ elementary school.  They are fifth graders and yes, they are twins.  Their daring teacher helped them create a fabulous production of The Wizard of Oz.
I say “helped them create” because I think the kids had a hand in some of the decisions.  They made the sets and came up with a lot of the costumes and (I’m willing to bet) some  of the lines.  Fifth graders can be very creative and they have a strong sense of humor.
Though our two girls look nothing alike they played similar parts.  One was Miss Gulch and the other was the Wicked Witch of the West.  The teacher apologized to the family for demonizing the two girls, but we weren’t upset.  It was great fun.
The story was simplified but completely recognizable.   There were some fun surprises.  Like the flying monkeys.  Stuffed monkeys were launched across the stage, and the kids shouted ”Look!  It’s flying monkeys.
Another surprise was a character with a yellow cape and a yellow brick on his head.  He turned out to be the Yellow Brick Road.  Whenever anyone needed to “follow the Yellow Brick Road” he led them around the gym.
The Winkies usually chant something like “Oh-EE-OH,” but I could swear they were chanting “Oreos, Doritos.  Oreos. Doritos.”  Has a nice ring to it.
There was some action away from the stage, and the wicked witch interacted with the audience.  I think she was hoping to have a wicked conversation with her Dad, but  he had the good sense not to sit on the center aisle.
Miss Gulch was terrifying.  She wore Grandpa’s wicked witch shoes, which made her tower above Dorothy.  (Yes, they really were Grandpa’s wicked witch shoes.)
The Witch was just as scary in her green glory  (white shoe polish with green food coloring),  the  wicked green fingers and a wicked nose she borrowed from Grandpa.  (Yes, Grandpa.  You read it right.  That’s a story for another day.)  She was almost unrecognizable.
These girls warmed up for their acting career by doing Sunday night plays in our Living Room/Theater with their cousins.  I guess you could say we gave them their start.  
Ya gotta start somewhere.
Linda Garner