Category: MacDougal (Page 2 of 6)

Still Sort Of MIA (and there is a lot of action, trust me)

A quick moment of time, I give to you, my dear readers a quick synopsis and (more importantly) pictures of the beloved newcomer. First aside, I must warn you. Do not neglect your blog for more than one day at a time. Otherwise you may find yourself with 533 spam comments to wade through. Which also means you people don’t comment enough. Could you imagine if I got 533 real comments every two days?!?!

As you all know (or maybe not) RolyPoly made his debut a week ago today at 1:23PM. All 9 lbs. 5 ozs. He was just a roly-poly-ing along right up until the eviction.  I am sure he would have stayed in residence longer if given the choice. He came out gripping one of Funsize’s ribs in his hand, screaming about the rude interruption. Considering Funsize is half Chinese, tiny boned, stands barely 5 foot and normally 95 pounds dripping wet, I have no idea where she was storing RolyPoly or how she managed to take a breath. The proud father, MacD, was 9 lbs. 14 oz. at birth, but I am much larger than Funsize and an OB once held his fist up to my pubic bone and pronounced that I “was built to handle even a 10 lb. baby” which he retracted after MacDs birth.

My mom and Pop are here (arrived Friday) and my Dad arrives on Tuesday, so I don’t hold out much hope for a coherent post until at least Friday. Someone, in fact, called me today in a panic because I didn’t answer an email within a few hours…..that is how rare it is to find me at least not checking the internet! Here are some pics of the handsome dude to hold you over and because Sara at Red Pine Mountain demanded them and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her (or Lesley or Marlee).

Side note again: All pictures are totally, completely and shamelessly stolen from NannyGoat as I am unable to take any pictures due to the fact I must keep my hands free at all the times to FIGHT FOR BABY HOLDING TIME with Bear, Nanny, Lloyd, Fishboy, Ladybug, Butterball, Mr. Vixen and my parents. Oh. And the actual parental units of the future football star also. (also I would like to apologize publicly to Sparkles for the other night when I slammed you across the room while jumping that chair when MacD said “who wants a turn?” and I needed to get to there first)

Aside to aside. RolyPoly already lifts and holds his head up. He has been accepted at several colleges to start next week, but we are just exploring our options for now. Here is the full Flickr set of his birth day, you get to see me cry alot. These are from after his homecoming (another story to come).


The Roly Poly Debut

At approximately 1:23, the not so little boy made his grand entry weighing in at 9 lbs. 5 oz and 19-1/2″

He is doing well. Had a little trouble acclimating from the water to air, but with a little suction and a nurse who harrassed him into screaming (which requires sucking in air first) he is fine. Glucose a little low, so the fed him a little formula. He is the spitting image of his father. (CLICK ON THE PICTURES FOR BIGGER!)

Yea, Yea Roly Poly

I hope you enjoy this as much as I do…….a little entertainment while I am off working to get real RolyPoly pics. I hope I will be back in the afternoon with the grand arrival details. And I will be twittering through the entire thing, but I won’t get your well-wishes or questions unless you DM me. So DM me! ha ha

WW~2009 Had Beer Goggles, Car Bombs and Step Dancing

I am sure 2010 will be very similar and just as fun. Gotta run, I have A LOT of cooking to do. Enjoy!

Fad saol agat.

(Long life to you.)



St. Paddy Collage

A Tale Of Two

When Chelsea King went missing, we (as I am sure all area residents did) felt dismay and concern. Bear and I (as well as MacD, Nannygoat and Mr. Vixen) were hit especially close to home. That is our field. That is our place. Yes it’s a community field, but it was our community field. My children grew up there. Learned to fly kites there, played softball there, hiked the trails with our dogs there, Gram and Gramps took Ladybug to the park there every Saturday morning for years, we celebrated birthday parties there. My first time trying roller blades was there, as was my first big fall off roller blades. The boys had epic paint ball competitions there. Lloyd proposed marriage to Nannygoat on the trails near the waterfall. This was a place of many years of joy and activities for us.

Between Bear and I, Bear was absolutely convinced Chelsea had fallen on the trails and was hurt. We know the trails and it can be rough terrain in areas. Falling into a culvert, being unable to get out seemed like the obvious and only scenario to Bear. Being young, healthy, full of faith and innocence; she was so sure. I was hopeful this was the case, but not certain. A sick feeling in my stomach, mother’s intuition maybe, or just a sense of foreboding.

When they called for volunteers on Saturday morning, despite the pouring rain, Bear and I suited up in our best hiking gear, purchased two rain ponchos and headed off. By this time, my brain was entertaining the thought that she hadn’t fallen. That she wasn’t lying somewhere hurt and waiting to be found. Bear’s faith, however, remained untouched by the length of time and the fact that 100s of deputies had been searching for days and not found her. As we fought the traffic jam near the search HQ for nearly an hour, we noticed volunteers beginning to walk away from the area instead of towards the check in point. We asked several of them what was going on. It turned out too many people had shown up for the search. All volunteers were being turned away for now. We were asked to come back the next day.

Then someone was arrested in connection to her disappearance. Details were sketchy, but for certain they had found an article of her clothing and DNA linking to convicted sex offender. My heart sank, as reality set in. Bear would not give up hope that Chelsea was out there somewhere still. Possibly hurt by this man, but fighting on and just waiting to be found. She had to work the next two days, so we were unable to join the search. But during those two days, our lives were rocked by more revelations.

That Saturday night, they released some details about the man being held in connection with the case. His picture was all over the TV. As was the address at which he was living. This wasn’t just our park, this was our neighborhood. That home was just two blocks from our home of ten years. Fishboy’s mother lives a scant few houses away, as does his aunt’s family. Nannygoat walked past there on a daily basis during the years surrounding his first conviction and she was 14 years old at the time; the same age as his victims. Less than a block from Bear’s elementary school, where she walked to and from 2nd-6th grade. On Sunday morning, Sparkles came by to help with a shed Mr. Vixen is building. He also had news. Apparently when his pregnant girlfriend had watched the news the night before, she had recognized the man being held. Her sister called her and confirmed it. She allowed me to read some of her court papers. You see, she was one of the girls who testified at his preliminary hearing 10 years ago. She was one of his victims. Thank God, not one of the victims who were so badly beaten that resulted in the crimes he was actually charged with. She was one of the “lucky” victims, if there is such a thing, who got away. Still, she was wounded emotionally and the fear of testifying during that time still haunts her to this day. So haunted, that she had never shared with anyone but her family. You see, we know her because she lived in our neighborhood. These are our kids who were hurt. It could have been my daughter, they are nearly the same age. Sadly, during those two days, one last revelation was revealed: that the suspect had lived not far from the high school where Amber Dubois had disappeared during the time she went missing nearly 13 months ago. I felt this was too much coincidence. We had just moved into this city when Amber had gone missing and I had tried to join in that search also.

The day of our search efforts dawned chilly, but clear. Bear was now certain we were looking for a body. Certain of this myself, I wondered what they would have us do? Certainly they didn’t want a bunch of volunteers tromping through possible crime scenes? We were assigned to a group, given a leader and our leader was handed a grid map of the area we were assigned to. It wasn’t any where near the park or the trails. It was actually near where Amber Dubois had disappeared some 13 months ago. Turns out we were not searching for a missing 17-year-old girl on this assignment, but for the possible remains of a 13-year-old girl who had been missing for over a year. We were instructed on what to look for (bones, clothing, shallow graves and such) and what to do when we found something. I listened with stunned disbelief. What am I doing? Can I do this? What if we find bones or a grave? Could I handle it? Could Bear handle it? Our group gathered. Leaving no stone unturned, no holes uninvestigated, and tromping down every inch of vegetation on the overgrown hillside; we searched. Fingertip to fingertip, lined in neat rows, step by slow step for three hours. At times calling to the police officer who was our leader when we found something suspicious. The officer would check what we found. If it warranted further investigation, we tied an orange flag at the area. Bear and I had used up all six of our flags. And then someone’s phone rang. And then another. They had found Chelsea’s body. It was unconfirmed, but we were headed back to search HQ. As hundreds of volunteers milled around, drinking donated water and eating donated food, we waited for word. After a time, quietly, a lead volunteer went from small group to small group. He laid his hands lightly on our backs and stated it was confirmed. We held each other and wept. For her parents, for Chelsea and for our community. We were interviewed by the news. Bear was asked if she knew Chelsea and said no. And then she told him why we had come: That we had to come and that if she was missing she knew her parents would need help. Later that evening, when we saw our snippets played out on the news about how close-knit our community is (me) and Bear’s statements about being there for a stranger’s family who needed help, we cried again.

During the week we watched as our community reeled from the discovery. As news crews filmed in front of our old neighbor’s homes and in front of trail heads where we walked daily. One particularly enraged neighbor was filmed angrily screaming at two boys who painted over some graffiti that was painted on the suspect’s parent’s home. Although I understood his rage (fueled by fear for his children, I am sure); I commended those boys for what they did. No child in the area needed to see that kind of stuff. Parent’s were probably having a hard enough time explaining what was going on to their children. When they replayed that newscast later when everyone was home from work, I found out that the angry, screaming man is Fishboy’s uncle. The threads of this community are inexorably tied into my family.

This past Sunday, as we were decorating for RolyPoly’s baby shower breaking news came on. As we switched to the news channel they announced the remains of Amber Dubois had been found. Bear and I sat on the couch, arms around each other praying out loud that we honestly hoped it wasn’t in the area we had searched. Where we had hung our orange flags. Neither of us thought we could handle that. It wasn’t, but we held each other again. Bear whispered in my ear as I cried for the parents, that she was still here. And I thanked God for that, but as I looked in her eyes I saw it. The loss of her innocence. Gone was that youthful naivete, replaced with a dawning knowledge that her world was not the place she had believed it was.

I am not, in any way, trying to take attention away from the actual victims here: those girls who were abused and beaten; the two girls who’s young lives were taken from them too soon; those families whose lives are forever altered by the loss of a loved one in such a horrific and tragic way. But whoever did this, didn’t just victimize them. They victimized an entire community. They victimized my family too. Our hearts were abused and beaten by the death of these girls. Our memories of a place we considered safe and filled with joy, are now tarnished forever with the stains of the blood of innocence. Our grief and pain is not as great as theirs, but it exists just the same. And after the rage subsides, we will find a way to change things. Change something or anything. Some how, some way we will find a way to help those leading us to make a change that might save lives some day. That is our promise to Chelsea and Amber. And to our community.

“Once you have mastered time, you will understand how true it is that most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a year – and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade!”

Tomorrow begins the end of a decade. It seems to me, upon reflection, this has been one of my most amazing decades. Both good and bad, it has been a decade of change.

We rang in this decade at Great’s cabin. All the family together as we hadn’t been in years and haven’t been since. Aunts uncles, nieces, nephews, grandparents, greats altogether just in case the world came crashing down (Y2K) gathered in that tiny cabin in the woods. The world didn’t end, but we had a great party and a wonderful time visiting.

This decade has seen all three of my children age into adulthood; three graduations, three 18th birthdays and three beautiful, successful children become adults. This decade two of them started their own families, separate lives with their special someone. Two beautiful weddings; each unique and perfect for their own participants. And now at the end of this decade, I am the mother of all adults. No longer children, beginning to count their own decades.

This decade brought an end to our time in our home on Honey Water, the home never occupied by anyone but our family since 1998 and burned in the great fires of October 2007. Nothing left but a bit of shell, visited by us and mourned by us. A decade in which, Mr. Vixen underwent a life changing (and yet still undiagnosed) illness and the beginning of my learning to live my life with another person with depressive bi-polar disorder. The beginning of panic attacks and knee surguries and loss of jobs. A once productive and hard working soul, stuck in a body denying him what he wanted to do (support his family) and thus creating a demon in his head he cannot shake.

A decade in which we celebrated our landmark 25th wedding anniversary. And a decade in which we went from making the most money we had ever made in our lives together to the lowest position we have ever found ourselves. From helping our kids, to begging for help for ourselves. Losing our home, being evicted, and learning the ins and outs of the social welfare system. A time of many wonderful pool parties and hot tub get togethers and a time of food stamps and no health care. During this decade I have gone from working two full time jobs at the same time, to being unemployed or disabled.

This past decade has brought me the joys of grandchildren and the sorrows of loss. Joy and blessings in the births of  Ladybug and Butterball. Grief and heartache attending the funeral of my grandson and after Ladybugs strokes and subsequent seizures. From healthy kids and miracle recoveries; to necrotizing fasciitis and begging a child to keep fighting and live. Ten years of wonderful work with some terrific people and the end of that era with a financial catastrophe across our nation.

With this decade, I have finally let go of toxic relationships that dragged me down for years; but found a new community which has lifted me up in its arms with support, love and compassion of a depth I haven’t known since childhood.

Alas, this decade has also brought the ages of time for me and just as my body doesn’t respond as quickly as it used to, my mind may not be as keen as it was (although I will not admit that again). So I am sure my children will have much to add in this reminiscence and chide me for some important event forgotten. That is okay, I like it that way!

It is my wish that each and every one of you celebrate safely and happily; that 2010 brings you more joy and happiness; and that the next decade be kind to all of us.

2010 will bring about a new twist for ApronFrenzy, thanks to the help of a friend, and the expectation of another addition (RolyPoly) in the grandchild column in April. Both pretty exciting if you ask me!

I hope you will continue to share my journey with me, as I chase life down the rabbit hole.

#Tweetsgiving Day One

I was inspired by Carissa so here goes:

what is tweetsgiving

John explains it on YouTube. And here’s the official TweetsGiving.org Site. Join us? For two days tweet with the tag: #TweetsGiving and donate $10 to help build a school in Tanzania!

I am most thankful for my family. This has been a tough year for all of us, but our love can overcome all. As many of you know my son (MacDougal) and his wife (Funsize), lost a baby a little over a year ago. After that there were several early miscarriages. Then, 19 weeks ago, they got pregnant again. I haven’t talked much about it because??? Well, maybe because I was am a little scared. Collin was born at 33 weeks and we still didn’t get to bring him home, so we still have time to worry. A few weeks ago the OB did an ultrasound and said he “saw” something. Could be the cord, but he was 80% sure this little one is a boy. Today I tagged along to see if this could be verified. Today the little one was not cooperating. He/she would neither confirm nor deny a he or she status. In fact, as the OB said “he/she was all over the place.” So my temporary nickname for this little gift is RolyPoly.

And today I am thankful for this view and this sound:

Today’s Muttering Brought To You By MacDougal

mutteringsblue120x60

  1. Hairbrush :: hair
  2. Sneak :: shannon
  3. Hole :: black
  4. Horror :: movie
  5. Standard :: living
  6. Mailbox :: puppy
  7. Attachment :: oso
  8. Type :: bad
  9. Nails :: dad
  10. Storage :: shed

I See The Storm Gathering

I see the storm approaching this time. No surprises, I think. Before we were unprepared, we didn’t even know what had hit us at first. We were blind sided and knocked out cold. But now, the skies have cleared a bit and I can see the storm coming. Relentlessly, it bears down upon me and I watch as it hits the rickety repairs we have made around our hearts. I stand, transfixed, as it rips at the foundation we have laid in the last year. I want to run and hide. I want to find a shelter where it cannot touch us. I want to be like the eagle, I really do.

Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks? The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm.

Old grief, new grief. Grief that never left for some. New scars, old scars. Wounds ripped open and new ones being created. I want to fly above it all, yet I want to be there. In the middle of the storm. Passing sandbags to shore up weak hearts. Boarding up the windows on our souls. Mopping up the torrential downpour so no one slips and falls into the abyss. Collecting blankets to keep us warm during the flood of pain. Handing out first aid supplies to stave of infections of the heart. Building shelters to minimize destruction of our psyches.

Or just…..

Turning back time, so it never came.

Endlessly, it seems, the storm crashes over us. I cannot see where we are headed, but I know if we just hang on we may find the light on the other side of the clouds. I’ll just keep them moving along with me. After all, the storm will blow itself out eventually…..

I hope.

And Collin, I know you are in heaven watching us fumble along through this and I love you.

Vay-cay-shun

We are out and about in the big scary world. We drove up half the length of California in the heat with no AC, two toddlers and a trailer full over motorcycles. It is a melancholy trip, slightly dampened by the goings on with Funsize and MacD.

We left home at the unseemly hour of 3:46am. The next 11.5 hours (yes, what should have been 7 hours 47 mins took us 11.5 hours) were spent mostly doing stuff like this:

IMG_2992 IMG_2996 IMG_2997 IMG_2998

It was long and it was hot and we had to stop a million and one times. (Note to self: buy a motorhome with a toilet in it).

We got to my dad’s and just laid around trying to get over the trauma.

Yesterday, we went down to visit the lovely, wonderful, sweet and extremely loveable Julia. The kids saw the horses, the chickens and played on the toys. And I got to meet a wonderful friend in the flesh. I also met the infamous rooster, Mr. D; but he didn’t attack me, so I was a bit disappointed.

IMG_3010 IMG_3011 Today the some of the kids are heading up to the city by the bay to visit the Wharf and Alcatraz. One of the parentals of my grandchildren (Lloyd) is spending some quality time in the dentist’s chair (it wouldn’t be my family vacation if someone didn’t need some kind of emergency care, right?). Mr. Vixen and I are going to spend the day with Ladybug and Butterball right here in/around this:

IMG_3012

My dad has the sweetest pool, hot tub and waterfall combo in the world. So life is good today.

Tomorrow we’ll all head on up to Great Grama’s cabin. She has internet, so I may update you all some!

Hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend. Many, many thanks to those of you who purchased aprons. This trip would not have been possible without your support. God bless you.

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