"It's Nasty Weather Out There" (From the Mouths of Babes)

As I write this, we are in the midst of the worst blizzard that I've witnessed since the winter of 1997.  There's a one-hundred car pile-up on I94 and visibility in the city is approximately 50 yards. 

We are all home and safe, and I hope that all of you and yours are as well. 

I looked out the window this morning and thought that the local meteorologists were confused about the forecast.  I wasn't concerned about the weather, so I loaded up Murray, drove to daycare and arrived home with no trouble; despite the temps and wind.  I ran some errands, and only an hour later, I walked to my car to find that the conditions were worse than I expected.  I finished my stops and landed in a tired heap on the couch.  At one-thirty, I looked outside and realized that I had better pick up Murray before the worst hit. Thirty minutes, blowing snow, and icy roads later, we arrived at home safely (seven miles round trip).

Some things I think about blizzards and the people who live here:
1:  We are hearty people, and should be used to horrible conditions.  I beg you, SLOW DOWN AND STOP TEXTING!  If this is impossible, than please stay home.

2:  If you are an employer and haven't let your staff leave, I find that absurd.  Even the regional Law Enforcement is pleading for people to stay put; they can't respond to emergencies without risking their own lives.

3:  For those of you who don't have a choice but to travel:  Please, please drive with caution.  The conditions are horrible and I would hate to hear of another accident. 

As Murray said today, "It's nasty weather out there!"
Stay safe, warm, and alive,

Not a Partridge in a Pear Tree, But Even Better

The following is just a a TINY sample of things I'm grateful for.  Merry Christmas!
1:  Einstein loves me (but that could be because I have been filling in as the food provider).
2:  Both hounds like to wear the traditional red ribbon but were not excited about the candy cane headbands.
3:  New windshield wipers are most awesome.
5:  Christmas can still be exceptional, even if you are sad.
6:  Kirby does not appreciate Christmas bows (insert hissing, growling and a major fit that was so not worth it).
7:  Midnight Mass is fabulous (my first MM - we usually go Christmas morning).
8:  Murray is blessed, but we can't fit his Christmas presents in our house.  If you see a lot of debris on our street, it's because our house is bursting at the seams (that happens when you have 2 one-hundred pound dogs, a 20 pound cat and a three-year-old person).
9:  Our home is my castle and it doesn't matter how large or small it is (but if you want to hire me a cleaning person, no objections here;  I have the number of a great lady).
10: I bought three more dog beds so that Rudy, Nala, Kirby and Murray (yep, Murray too)  would all have a warm, soft place to sleep (better on our floor than in the the bed kicking our heads).
11:  I had no idea that Craig was so particular about his socks (eight years together, but it took a fall off the roof for me to discover this silly fact).
12:  I am incredibly blessed;  I have a roof over my head, food to eat, animals to love, and the best part?  My family.  Thank you, Craig, Mags, Dad, Murray and ALL OF YOU for making my life what it is. 
God Bless, Ree

Lazy Days

I'm having a lazy Saturday morning.  I know that I MUST get this house in order before the end of the day, but I'm using the excuse that I can't use my hands for a few hours because I just had a manicure (but typing is obviously okay).  Besides, Craig is resting, Murray is with the Grandparents, so that leaves me to some quiet time.   I also have this ridiculous addiction to Edgemont, which airs on CW every Saturday.  Ahhh....the beauty of "me" time.

Our shopping is nearly finished except for a few items to pick up tomorrow. As much as I dreaded black Friday (my first), it turned out to be worth it.  The rest of the gifts have been purchased online, so I don't have to battle the crowds more than once.  And believe me, once was enough.

My new Rumor Touch arrived yesterday.  I had been using my sister's Blackberry, but I discovered that I am not, and never will be a fan of them.  My new phone isn't as fancy, but it's user-friendly for someone like me, who is not tech-savvy.

So, a rather boring post today, but I just felt like writing.  We continue to do well and are adjusting to our "new normal".  Blessing for a very Merry CHRISTmas.

Clark W.: An Update

We just returned from Craig's 2-week follow up appointment.  He went in feeling confident that he would be back to work at least part-time.  I had my doubts, but went with it.

The CT Scan showed no change in his injury.  It was interesting to finally see the slides and disheartening to realize how serious this injury is.  The good news is that he will recover.  The bad news is that he is not allowed to go back to work until March 21 (at least), surgery is still a possibility, and his mobility will remain the same for the next 12-16 weeks.  We are both disappointed but are grateful that this is not worse.  We are well aware of how devastating spinal cord injuries can be and thank God every day that he'll be okay.

So it's time to break out the big guns.  Instant Netflix, a purchase of an upgraded lap top that he'll be able to play Civilization on, and probably some different furniture/devices that will aid in his recovery.  He just exclaimed, "This is horse crap, sweetie.  I am never going on the roof again."  I'm in complete agreement.  The highlights of his day right now are watching "Let's Make a Deal", "Judge Joe Brown", and if he's really lucky, someone takes him out for lunch.

So, we're facing a slight road bump, but it's not a mountain or even a hill, and we'll get through this!  Craig is resting after a long morning, and then I'll take him to see his boss and our human resources guru (God bless Ilene).  Thanks for your support and prayers! 

Oh - and by the way, Wade, Jon and Troy, get ready to take Murray to hockey on Thursday nights!
This message was officially approved by Craig Beckerleg, A.K.A. Clark W. Griswold.

I've Had it, and It's Only December

I can't help it.  I'm miserable.  I hate winter, I loathe snow, and I don't understand the "hearty Midwest attitude".  I would rather suffer through Chinese torture than have to put up with this weather.  If I hear one more comment about how beautiful the snow is, I might be sick.  I did not choose to live here, but I did choose my family (which is much more important than my misery) and so I will make an effort to be positive (after this post). 

That said, I ventured out today to take Murray to see Santa (thank goodness for Astro-Start).  It took all of fifteen minutes and we were back in the truck and on our way home.  The whole experience was worth it only because Murray loved sitting on Santa's lap.  A fuzzy picture and five dollars later we headed home to show Daddy.

Anyway, if we don't find jobs somewhere warm, I just might lose my mind.  For those of you who think I've already lost it, you're right; I live in Minnesota.  "Grumpy Old Men" makes this weather look fun.  But that's Hollywood for you.  Everything is perfect.  The only great part about our state is lake season, but I can find water anywhere.

So hear I am, complaining about the weather, when most people that I know and love have many tragedies happening at the moment.  I'm blessed with the health of my family and friends and for that, I'm grateful.  Spring will come eventually and until then, you won't recognize me because I will be completely covered in blankets, hats, mittens, and scarves in triple layers with Astrro-Start at the ready.

Seasons Greetings!

The World is My. . . Crab

I've been a bit crabby lately.  It's no one's fault, just a simple matter of running in several directions at once.  I  have to calm down and take life one day at a time; eventually Craig will heal and I will sleep again. Mornings in our house have gone from routine to complete chaos.  Take today, for instance.   By the time I had us clean, dressed, the car warm, and out the door, I realized that the car seat needed to re-installed.  It happens every time we need to have someone else pick up/drop off Murray at daycare.  I don't know why I can't remember to take care of it the night before.

Craig is hanging in there, but  the pain and boredom are wearing on him.  He did four loads of laundry today(leaving him exhausted and in pain).  Since he can't lift, I brought the clean baskets to him and he did the folding.  I'm getting a pretty good laundry deal out of this mess.

Murray is, well, Murray.   I miss him with these long hours, but I manage to find special moments with him in the morning and the evening.  Things will settle down work-wise when the students go on break, so it won't be so many late nights until after Christmas break.  I know it's for the best, and the best is all I can do.

On a final note, H family and YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, Craig almost fell off the couch and broke another vertebrae when he received your "Get Better Sioux" card.  That said, I laughed, and I laughed, and then I laughed some more.  I'm framing the card.  Murray hasn't opened his present yet, but you will be hearing from him when he does.  Lastly, H family (because I know MH, you are reading), we love your card, we love you, and we wish you the very best in the weeks ahead.  Thanks for the super picture.  You are in our prayers.

That's all I have for now.  My couch is calling (because my bed is hosting an injured, snoring man).  Until next time. . .

No Shirt, No Work

On the ride home this evening, Murray pointed out where Craig works and the following discussion ensued:

Murray:     "Mama, Dad not at work?"
Me:          "No, Dad got hurt, remember?"
Murray:    "Oh, he fall off roof.  He can't go to work 'cause he no shirt to put on." (insert silent laughter here). 
Me:          "Why doesn't daddy have a shirt?"
Murray:    "Because he fell off the roof, MOM!"

 After a lengthy discussion about getting hurt and getting dressed, we walked in the door and Murray cried, "DAD, you don't have a shirt but you can do dishes!"  Oh, be still my heart.  My son gets it. 

I do my best to make sure that my husband is clothed, but he gets extremely hot while wearing his brace, so he wears a cotton tank underneath that the prosthetics company provided, and nothing over the brace.  

For Heaven's sake.  The boy is three years old.  Where does he come up with his chatter? Peace Garden Mama has precious stories about her son's hysterical dialog and points out that we will miss these words and ideas before we know it.

Embrace the innocence!
P.S.  Craig biggest concern is that he can't take Murray to open skate, as he starts MYH Tots in January.  Volunteers needed!  I'll be on the ice too, but I'm afraid my figure skating isn't up to teaching a three-year-old.

"They Keep Moving the Cheese"

I'd like to begin by stating our utmost love and respect for the "F" family, you know that you are and will continue to be in our prayers.  We're with you all the way.

The title to this post is taken from a an excerpt in the book, "Who Moved My Cheese?", an inspirational and phenomenal look at change in the workplace.

Today was my first day at the Foundation.  Kim (whose job I will assume) is an amazing woman and an excellent trainer.  I met some of the students that I will be supervising and am looking forward to meeting the others on Wednesday evening.  I spoke with my soon-to-be boss today, and she and I will work on my job description as the month progresses.  My initial responsibilities include coordinating the annual Phone-A-Thon and the Campus Campaign.  Event planning is in the near future and I'm thrilled already at my new position.  The staff at the Foundation is fantastic and I'm thrilled to be a part of the team.  That said, I will miss my bosses and supervisors in the President's Office, but this is an amazing opportunity.  The chips landed in such a way that I just know that God is with me (not to mention all of those who went to bat for me).

Craig had his first outing today.  I drove Miss Daisy to his office and to Human Resources to complete some paperwork.  I think he had fun getting out, but I know he was pretty sore and tired when I deposited him back at home.  I feel so helpless; I'd rather it was me than him.

I didn't get to spend more than ten minutes with Murray tonight, but every second was precious.  When I walked in the door tonight, he shouted, "Mama, you came back!  You done with work?  I missed you!"  Words can't describe how my heart swelled.  I am an incredibly lucky woman.

Thanks to Jon and Troy for providing food and company for Murray and Craig tonight while I was away.   Everyone who has volunteered to help us out means a great deal, and don't be surprised if we take you up on your offers.  The meals and help with Murray are a real blessing, especially with my work transition.

Many, many thanks to all.
P.S. Did you know that I despise, detest, and loathe winter?


It's Sunday afternoon, and Craig and I are watching the Vikings; finally a fun game to watch.

Craig is hanging in there, but I fear what boredom will do to him.  Last night he couldn't sleep, so he sent me to the couch.  It apparently didn't help, because he's tired today.  He's also getting a tad ornery, but I can't blame him.  It must be terrible to be stuck on the couch or in bed all day for this long (and he still has at least another week).  He told me today that his goal was to have his brace off by January 9th, because that's when Murray's first hockey season begins.  I wanted to tell him that even if his brace is off by then, he won't be taking to the ice any time soon.  I just didn't want to dash his hopes; anything is possible.

In the mean time, I'm attempting to keep up with the housework, but hit I a road bump on Thursday night.  For some reason strange reason, my right calf spasmed and I could hardly walk for two days.  It's better now, though a little sore, but at least I'm functional again.  I'm thinking it was probably nerves.  So it seems that with every step forward, I take two back.  My sister walked in the door yesterday and said, "What happened to your house?  You write about cleaning all the time!"  I've gotten to the point of realizing that our home isn't going to be perfect any time soon, or maybe ever.  It's sanitary, but there is just "stuff" everywhere.  So, if you come over for a visit, I'm apologizing in advance now.

Anyway, we're going to finish watching the Vikings and then it's off to a family dinner, which I'm looking forward to.  Craig hasn't been out of the house since the accident, and though he would love to join us, he's home bound.  Thanks to the H family in advance for bringing dinner tonight.

Tomorrow is my first day of training at what will become my new job in January.  I'm very excited!

Happy Sunday, Monday will be here before we know it.

Downs and Ups


Have you had a day when you just know, without a doubt, that God is with you?

I spent the morning at home with Craig to observe his independence level.  Craig isn't allowed to shower without an adult in the house because it's one of the two instances that he can remove his brace.  This scares me silly.  Clark G. (a.k.a. Craig) requested a BLT for lunch, so this morning I cooked the bacon and then realized that I needed to move the remaining ingredients to the top shelf of the fridge.  He can't bend, so I have to think ahead, but I'm working on making life a bit easier.  Today, his first day alone without nurses or me, he managed pretty well.

This is where it gets crazy. 

Last Tuesday, I was gently (and tearfully) informed by President Edna that due to the economy, my temporary job would end on January 4th, 2010.  She offered references, help finding a job, and letters of recommendation.  What a compliment!  I was devastated, but I do understand what the budget crisis in Minnesota is doing to the MnSCU institutions.
 I hesitated to say anything to anyone. I needed to process and think things through.  I completely forgot about the situation when Craig got hurt; obviously, work was the least of my concern.

I walked into work at 11:30 a.m today and was greeted with smiles, welcome backs, and many "how is Craig?"  It was so worth it; beautiful to realize how much human nature is kind, compassionate and caring.

About 30 minutes later, I was asked  to see the VP for the Alumni Foundation.  After she closed the door, she explained that one of her best employees was leaving, and asked if I would be interested in taking a modge podge of responsibilities.  I accepted.   I will be mainly handling events and some fund raising (the Phone-A-Thon) and whatever else they send my way.  I'm thrilled, excited and eager to learn.  I will do what is needed and beyond; I'm tickled!. 

It's been a roller coaster of a week.  My goal for the weekend is to finish the housework (I did get the floors scrubbed, dusted, and the cleaned the bathroom, but the bedrooms are another story).  I also hope to make several dishes that can be frozen into small portions for Craig (and me for work).  Recipes welcome!

Craig is healing slowly, but surely adapting.  He is bored to tears, and I can't blame him.  When he looks forward to laundry, I know without a doubt that I have to get creative.

Miracles DO happen

I'm not quite ready to share my news, but when I am you'll find it here,

Until then,