Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever has hit our household full force. I miss going to the Y, and I even miss sandbagging. although I'm so thankful that the river has crested for the time being. I was stricken with the stomach flu yesterday, so all of the household tasks I wanted to accomplish were put on hold. With all of our belongings on the main floor, 3 large dogs, a cat and a baby, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I can't complain though - this too shall pass. There are worst things in life. At least we are healthy and safe in our home.

Flynn had to have a tracheotomy tube put in yesterday. This was not great news, as she is unable to speak. Our hope is that this will solve her lung troubles so that she can move to Denver very soon. It hurts to not be with them.

Despite the zoo in our home, our temporary addition, Millie (the Murray's dog) has been a joy. She is such a good girl and love to cuddle, and of course, rough house with Rudy, which he desperately needs. He's an active dog, where Nala is not (can't blame her - she's 10 years old), so this extra activity is welcomed. We are more than happy to keep her as long as necessary. They are the best of friends. We've had quite a few laughs with her around.

Murray is teething again (upper molars this time), so we've had a few sleepless nights. Craig finally put the futon in Murray's room last night and slept near him so that we could all rest. It's very uncomfortable - no wonder Casey retreated to his own home! :)

Craig is out snow blowing, since the snow has finally taken a break. I think we're supposed to get more tonight, but as least some of it will be cleared.

I think I'll start a puzzle. I'm bored to tears. Stay warm and dry.

Good News, Bad News

It has been a long, trying, and discouraging week for all of us in the region. It seems as though as I type this entry, most of us are either protected or have moved to higher ground. In our situation, we sit and wait. We moved all important documents and items near and dear to our hearts to the upper level last night. This morning I'm packing bags so that if we need to move quickly, we'll be ready. We pray that we are able to stay in our home and open it to those in need.

With the situation as dire as it is, I'm amazed that our communities are still banding together. Tension runs high, but the commitment to saving our homes and cities is even higher.

I just spoke with Casey and received an update on Flynn. She had a very good day yesterday, using her arms and wrists to sit up, and even took a ride in a wheel chair, visiting the babies. This is awesome news, considering the diagnosis. Unfortunately, she did not sleep well last night due to coughing. Today will be a day of very hard work for her, so we are hoping she will be rested up in time to leave for Denver on Monday. Casey is on flood patrol at his own home, and my hope is, getting some much needed rest as well. My prayers continue to be with them.

My sister and brother- in -law had to make the difficult decision to put their beloved dog, Sammie, down yesterday. It may seem trivial to some during these times of crisis, but he was very special to them and will be greatly missed. He was one of a kind.

I'm off to do some housework and pack a few things. I'm feeling a pull to nest - I'm quite sure I'm not the only one to feel this way right now. God Bless, stay safe.

Raising the Roof (or the Dikes, in This Instance)

I could not move this morning, and my eyes refused to open - literally. I almost collapsed yesterday (much to my embarrassment), so had to call it quits with flood patrol. I just pushed myself too hard and my body was telling me to rest. I finally was able to move again this afternoon, and after hearing that we needed to raise the dikes another foot, went to help again today. Craig made me promise not to do any sandbagging and help in the house. So that's what we did. We cleaned, organized and helped with food. We want Jim and Lisa to have less to worry about, and when you have hundreds of people traipising through your home, it gets messy, which is an understatement. If your home is semi-clean and your bed made when you need to collapse into it, it helps tremendously. Please, don't take this as patting myself on the back -I'm not. I was feeling guilty for not being outside today, but it helped to be in the house, busy. We also moved everything up from the basement to the safety of the main floor. Hopefully, this will be safe too.

Casey is home today and as soon as they returned from the long, treacherous journey, went to a neighbor's home, along with my aunt, uncle and grandpa to help sand bag. They are amazing.

Check out the latest on Flynn's caring bridge site - her beloved dog, Layla, was able to visit her in the hospital. Her smile is incredible.

God Bless.

A Few More Notes

Before I type anymore text, I would like to let readers know that this is not a solicitation. This post is simply to provide information. There is a trust fund for Flynn Murray set up at any of the State Bank and Trust locations. There are several - Fargo, Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Wahpeton, Pelican Rapids, and Fergus Falls. In these very difficult economical times, the Murray family will understand if you are unable to send a donation. Prayers are just as much if not more, welcome than money. I just thought it would be nice to get the word out. I do hope I haven't offended anyone or overstepped my boundaries.

On another note, the flood situation here is still dire. I will be sandbagging again tomorrow and hope that all volunteers stay safe and keep positive attitudes.

Here's to not floating away -or, as my friend Danny says: "Mother Nature is not getting a mother's day card this year". I laughed so hard at this comment that I almost cried. It's good to be humorous in times of fear and tragedy.
Love to all,

Stuck in the Mud

This is going to be a quick post as I am exhausted. I'm sure thousands of other community members are feeling the same. We sandbagged for hours and hours today and it is probably the most rewarding work I've ever experienced besides child birth. It has been a trying day and spirits are still strong, though we were all getting a bit cranky toward the end. Our "crews" from the colleges didn't arrive until around lunch time (which was not their fault - they had to wait 2 hours for a bus), and we cheered for all of them when they arrived. The students amaze me. I didn't hear one complaint (except from myself) from any of them and they worked tirelessly with great attitudes. They continually thanked anyone who would listen for the food and bathrooms. How cool is that? They were a load of fun to work with. Maggie brought a crew as well, and by the time I finally had to give in, we had protected about 4 homes at 42 feet.

I'm going to rest. Tomorrow brings another harrowing, yet positive day. The community support is awesome - I met some amazing people today.

God bless all of you who are helping in any way possible to protect our communities. May you stay warm, dry, and safe.

Thank You

First, I would like to say a huge thank you for everyone's prayers. Flynn has a challenging road ahead of her, but with her strength and tenacity, I have no doubt that she will exceed all expectations. Because I want to keep her dignity and rehabilitaion private for her, I have chosen not to post the Caringbridge site. I will however, post small updates on her recovery.

Flynn will be transferred to a world renowned Spinal Rehabilition Institute on Tuesday. She will likely be there for 3-6 months. I am very, very proud of her and her family for their strength during this most devasting time. I believe in miracles, and we sure need one right now. Thank you again for your continued thoughts and prayers for our family.

On another note, since Moorhead is now considered code red, I'm off in a bit to help sand bag for a close friend of mine. No need for the Y today - I'll get my workout sandbagging. Murray will be with G & G B.

Murray is awake, so I need to pack him up. I will post more later. Again keep sending positive thoughts and prayers to Flynn and her family - they are greatly appreciated.

In Support of the Murray's

I'm in need of prayers today. Last night, my dear cousins (who are from Moorhead, but living in Montana) were in a serious car accident. C is okay, but F suffered injuries to her spinal cord and has been diagnosed as a quadraplegic. They were on their way home from a beautiful day of skiing when the accident happened. Please, pray for our family as we work through another tragedy. I can't even write anymore - I am at a loss for words.

An Update on Parenting

Things I never thought I would discuss or ask:
1. To DH (dear husband): Would you please examine the contents of this soiled diaper? I'm not sure if the remnants are demonstrating signs of a healthy baby.

2. To Baby: Please stop eating out of the dog's dish.

3. To DH: The baby and I are napping. If you wake either one of us, you can count on certain death.

4. To Ask A Nurse: What is a normal color for baby vomit?

5. To work: I can't come in today - the baby has periorbital cellulitis and loose stools.

6. To Pediatrician: Why won't the baby sleep through the night?

7. Repeat number 6.

8. Discussion with DH: We are out of food - AGAIN. Baby is eating us out of house and home.

9. To Baby: We do not eat plants, tip them over, take a bath in the dog's water dish, or use our new teeth to bite mama and daddy.

10. To DH: Could you please hold the baby down while I extract the mucous from his nose?

11. To Baby: The dogs are NOT horses and we do not ride them. Nor do we pull their hair, yank their ears, stick fingers in their nostrils, or poke their eyes. Same goes for the cat.

Our discussions are certainly not this "proper", but I thought it would be inappropriate or offensive to use our actual dialogue. Thus far, the journey has been scary, exciting fun, and confusing. Oh, and very messy. Despite the challenges, I wouldn't change a thing. The phrase "never say never" has NEVER been so true.

Random Monday Ramblings

Another beautiful weekend, and we're off to a great start to the week, weather wise. Sunshine and warm temps always improve my mood.

Yesterday we attended church for the first time in several months. I have avoided going to Mass because I'm struggling with my faith, and I don't always agree with Monsignor and the practices of our church. I've decided to put those aside and concentrate on God instead of politics. My soul breathed a sigh of relief as we entered the church and took our places in the pew, and I remembered to be grateful for all that God has blessed me with.

I took the dogs on a walk yesterday. Nala did well for about 3 blocks, and then huffed and puffed and trudged along behind Rudy and I. We slowed our pace considerably, and shortened the walk. I didn't even put her leash on; I knew she wasn't going to take off on me. She's just getting too old and her hips are giving out. It's heartbreaking. Sometimes I drop her off at home and continue with Rudy, but she whines and is very sad if she isn't allowed to go. She turns 11 years old this month and I fear she won't last another winter. The ultimate decision will be Craig's, as they have been companions since she was six weeks old. I don't bring it up. I'm sure he will tell me when it's time.

On a happier note, I'm heading to Las Vegas in May. I am so excited. This will be my very first trip on my own (Craig and Murray are staying behind), as I am meeting some girlfriends that I graduated from high school with. Craig booked my ticket yesterday and even used miles to upgrade my seat to first class. WOO HOO! It will be so much fun to connect. One of our friends can't make it due to her upcoming wedding, so we're a bit bummed, but she will be in our thoughts.

I was really looking forward to my water workouts this week, but I just received an email from the Y stating the the pools will be closed until at least Thursday. Sigh. I guess I'll just have to up my cardio time (I hate cardio) until I can get back in the pool.

My stomach is growling - I'm off to heat up lunch.

The Snow Patrol

It took Craig and our neighbor (who I have dubbed "the snow patrol") a little over 2 hours to remove the snow from the driveways and sidewalks in front of our homes. Murray was mesmerized - he watched them for almost 30 minutes. I was just grateful to be cozy in the house.

I refuse to let this weather get me down. We're in the second week of March, and it should be nice this weekend. Although we'll probably have flooding to deal with, I'll cross that bridge (if it's not under water) when I come to it.

I'm afraid I'm not feeling very insighful today. I think it's the weather. I imagine there are others who are feeling similar. I'm not feeling blue, just blah. The storm through a loop into getting back to routine; now that it's Thursday already, we'll have to start all over on Monday. Murray was not happy to be at daycare today, but he'll readjust in no time. It doesn't help that he's teething like crazy

We plan to watch the Moorhead Spuds tonight on tv - they are at state tournaments in MPLS. Go Spuds! Other than that, we're looking forward to an uneventful weekend.

Mahalo, Hawai'i

Above Right: Haunama Bay, where Craig and I snorkeled and saw some spectacular species of fish and other marine life (The Fink's took the "Big Kahuna Island Tour" that day with Murray and Mary.) Below: The four of us after our respective "dates". Above Left: The Big Kahuna Himself, and my wonderful mother in law.

Left: The four of us after our respective "dates" enjoying a nightcap in The Barefoot Bar. Below: the Chimp that hated my presence and karate chopped the plexi glass right after I snapped this shot.

Below: "My Two Dad's" getting ready to boogie board at Bellow's. The shot is blurry, but you get the idea.

We are home. After flying all night long last night, and a three hour layover in MSP this morning, as hard as it was to leave, we are glad to be home. We flew into Fargo at about 10:00 am CST, which was 6:00 am PST. Murray was so much better on the plane home vs. the trip to HI. Neither Craig nor I slept, but it's impossible to sleep on the plane. I did catch a snooze in the MSP airport this morning on the airport chairs. They have never felt so comfortable, even though they were disgustingly dirty and hard. I crashed, despite my germ-o-phobia.

The pictures above really don't describe how much fun we had. I have decided that Murray is not going back to Hawai'i until he's 25. Even though he eventually ended up loving the sand, and everything Hawaiian, it's just too long of a trip to take a child of his age on. Not to mention that it took him until about 3 days before we left the island to adjust. Next year, we'll either vacation without him, or take him with and go somewhere a bit closer (my guess is we'll leave him here). :)

One of the many funny incidents that I just have to write about happened on Tuesday night. Troy wasn't feeling well, so Stef and I went to the PX to load up on "feel better" sundries. It was so hot and humid that night and our air conditioners weren't working very well. We discovered the cooler in the PX, where the sign says: "Walk right in". So we did. It was awesome. Not only was it fun to see the back side of a cooler, but it was stocked with everything from mango juice to Budweiser. We contemplated sleeping in the cooler, but decided we were better off taking care of the three boys.
PS If this post has a lot of spelling and grammatical errors, I'm blaming it on jet lag. It might not even make sense, but here it is.

Pictures from Paradise


Top left: All of us at Bellow's. This is a military base that we can rent cabins at, and the waves are fantastic for boogie boarding. Top Right: The three of us at Bellow's. Bottom: The sunset from our lanai at Hale Koa.

PS - Stef is finally down from a 55 SPF to an 8 SPF. Go sun god!