Monday, August 31, 2009


It was funny, trust me.
(only because it wasn't ME)
My husband calls me from work.
His voice is pained.
I ask him what is wrong.
There's been "an incident" he tells me.
(he's a police officer - could be serious)

"I was sitting in my office when all of a sudden I hear this HISSING sound. I look down and realize that my OC (pepper spray) can has a hole punctured in it. It had been leaking ALL over my pants. My leg is BURNING!"

He's home a few minutes later.
In he runs, stripping his clothes at the door.
(can't get them off fast enough)
I'm trying not to laugh...really I am.
But it's kind of hard when you witness
a grown man dancing the JIG!
Not much you can do to soothe the burn.
His whole thigh was saturated.
Don't you worry your pretty little heads though...
He's taking it like a MAN! ;)

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I present to you:
The Orton Family in their acting debut...

(courtesy of my brother Ben...from our family reunion)

Friday, August 28, 2009


There are MUCH cuter people to chat about.
Like THIS child of mine.
She LOVES her dad,
and she LOVES helping him out even more.
She's a bonafide working girl.
Check out these pictures.
...holding 'er steady...
Trying a few on her own...
Dad threw her up top...
to reach the hard spots.
A few instructions from the papa bear...
and she's an instant PRO!
Look at her go! :)
ps: she's not for hire...

Thursday, August 27, 2009


It's a SAD day when your teenager is more devestated over missing a church activity than having her mom admitted to the hospital. True story. Tuesday evening...when I didn't come home, Steve called the kids to make sure things were okay. They wanted to know where mom was. He told them I had been rushed to the emergency room. Kayla starts sobbing into the phone...Steve tells her not to worry, mom's going to be okay. Come to find out, she wasn't crying for me, she was sobbing because she knew that she was going to have to miss her church activities.
(and a certain crush)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Yesterday I had an interesting experience.
I was at my doctor's for a rountine appointment.
I mentioned in my last post about a condition called:
"Interstitial Cystitis"
It is VERY painful.
There isn't much you can do for it either.
My doctor told me I could
try some "lidocaine" in my bladder.
Sometimes that eases the pain temporarily.
I decided to try it, couldn't hurt, right?
She inserted a catheter into my bladder,
and pushed in some lidocaine.
It burned at first...but after a few minutes,
all my bladder pain was gone.
I felt better.
The doctor left the room and I got dressed.
As I was gathering my things...
I remember feeling kind of wierd.
I just shrugged it off and went on my way.
After getting into my car, I couldn't help but wonder
why I was feeling a little fuzzy.
Half way to Walmart I was telling myself:
"I don't think I should be driving."
But I didn't know why?
I made it to Walmart and parked.
At that point, I couldn't even lift my head off the steering wheel.
I was LOOPY!
I called my doctor.
She wanted me back at the office,
but I told her I couldn't drive...
that I could barely lift my head at that point.
My words were slurred.
She told me to call 911.
I called the police department instead.
(Steve was on duty)
His Sargeant came to find me.
By that time I was nearly passed out.
She barely got me to her cruiser and off we went.
By the time we got to the ER...I was OUT!
They carried me in.
All I remember were the voices and lights.
I couldn't open my eyes or do anything they told me to do.
Steve said they were treating me like an overdose victim
until my doctor arrived and let them know what had happened.
I had "lidocaine toxicity".
I absorbed more than the average person.
(leave it to me, right?)
It bought me 24 hours in the hospital
and landed me with a serious migrane.
I was mostly recovered by today,
just had a few issues to resolve.
BUT I'm finally home,
wondering where the last 24 hours went?
It got me thinking
about how quickly life can change...
In the blink of an eye.
My experience wasn't life altering.
But some are.
I was so grateful to walk out of the hospital tonight,
knowing that I had recovered.
Some are not so lucky.

Monday, August 24, 2009

THIS IS GOOD (part 2)

Last week in the midst of all this "lice-ness" I was talking to my sister Jenny. She's been through this experience a LOT. When I complained to her that Stevie had it, SHE kept saying...
"This is good".
(it's a line from a story my dad likes to share, I'll have to share it with YOU one of these days)
I asked her..."Jen, how can THIS be good? What GOOD can come out of this?" She thought for a moment and replied..."Well, maybe some day I'll be able to help somebody else out. You see...I'm a professional nit picker. I know what to look for." Well...guess what? That "somebody" ended up being me. (who knew???)
Thank you Jenny!
(and now my head is RID...rid of those nits)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

THIS IS GOOD! was one of THOSE days.
I was overwhelmed.
I should have been really happy,
after husband and daughter
had JUST returned from their trip to Utah.
And Ben showed up on my doorstep soon after.
The family was ALL together again.
I was overwhelmed,
and I'll tell you why.
First off, I'm still in week 3 of my recovery.
It's been a really painful process.
On top of that recovery I thought I had a UTI.
Easy fix for a very painful problem, right?
Turns out I didn't have a UTI,
instead I have a condition called
"Interstitial Cystitis".
It's like having a UTI
Have you ever had one?
They are PAINFUL.
Think about ulcers in the bladder...
that about sums it up.
Oh, and there's no treatment.
Throw in a yeast infection.
How about insomnia?
I have that too.
Meanwhile, I am still dealing with Stevie's LICE.
Everyday for two hours I pick through her hair.
It's a TEDIOUS process.
My back and neck hurt from bending over.
My fingers are sore from picking.
And it produces a LOT of daily laundry.
Then all of a sudden I have mounds
of vacation laundry from the Utah trip.
A heaping pile of it.
The door bell rings at 8am,
it's the REHAB guy dropping off a lift system
for Ben to make lifting easier during my recovery.
It's a massive piece of equipment.
(in my humble little home)
He's trying to explain how to work it when
Uncle Roger and his son show up
to help us fix an electrical problem.
Meanwhile, Ben's PT walks in the door,
but Ben hasn't arrived yet.
He finally shows up with all of HIS stuff.
My house is CHAOTIC,
stuff is everywhere.
People are everywhere.
I can hardly breathe.
I sit with Ben during his session of PT
and try to ignore everything else around me.
Stevie sits down at my feet for her daily hair check.
I pick through her hair for an hour and only find 4 nits.
I'm making serious ground - it used to be 50.
The end is in sight.
Just as I finished combing through the last part...
in walks Kayla fresh from her shower.
"My head is really itchy" she tells me.
"Can you PLEASE check my head?" she asks
I roll my eyes thinking she does NOT have lice.
But I sit her down anyway.
I look down at her curly mop.
All of a sudden my heart sinks.
Now MY head is itchy!
I want to vomit.
Her head...
it's COVERED in nits.
I throw her outside.
I can't even think straight.
My head's turning in circles.
I call for Steve
(who's knee deep in house projects with U. Roger)
"What's going on?" he asks
Steve's in shock...HE starts itching.
"I'm OVERWHELMED" I yell again
"I'M OVERWHELMED TOO" he yells back
"REALLY?" I ask
"Are YOU gonna sit here and pick out nits with me?" I reply
"" he whimpers
"Now go get me some RID!
Oh...and don't forget to call Utah
to let the whole state know
that they've been contaminated
by YOUR daughter!" I remind him
Off I go to strip, bag and spray their room.
More laundry.
Oh...and the clean laundry that made it home from UTAH?
Kayla's contaminated brush was in that bag.
More laundry.
In the middle of the electrical work,
U. Roger discovers our front door has problems.
(we sort of knew that)
Termite and carpenter ant rot.
All of a sudden, my front door is ripped out....
along with the frame.
(because apparently we didn't have enough chaos)
It was a HUGE mess, made worse by the rain.
My head was itching,
and spinning,
and hurting.
I escape up to my bathroom,
I stare in the mirror.
That's when I saw it.
I'm contaminated.
I start crying.
"Who's gonna comb through MY hair?" I whine
Off to my bedroom I go.
More bagging and stripping and spraying.
More laundry.
Meanwhile U. Roger kept telling me
With a BIG smile on his face,
he'd repeat over and over again...
I needed to hear that.
Because really?
Life is good,
and I know that.

(Termite and Carpenter Ant damage)

(Door frame rot...)


In the midst of the chaos...
I snuck away to watch some of this:
(it's a clip from our family reunion)
It made me giggle.
It reminded me of all the things
that I have to be grateful for.
One of them being LAUGHTER.

I LOVE my sister-n-law Rachael.
We love to LAUGH.
That's all we do when we're together.
I was feeling better already.
So I called my lice infested girls up to the bathroom.
"Come join me!" I excitedly tell them
"And BRING SOME plastic BAGS!"
"We're gonna have some FUN!"
"We WILL be victorious!" I proclaim.
The girls do their victory dances.
I joined in.

Then I lathered us all up in Listerine,
threw the bags over our heads...
kissed them all soundly
and put them to bed.
As I layed in mine,
I thought about all of my many blessings.
(too numerous to list them all)
I thought about Uncle Roger and his son
who gave up a day to spend working at our house.
I thought about how he got my dishwasher working again
after 3 years of not being able to use it.
I thought about how my family was safe from their travels
and that we're all together again.
And how lucky we are to have a home to live in,
even though it has some issues.
I thought about how I could finally fall asleep
knowing that everything will be okay.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


2 weeks in Utah has come and gone...
(oh...and welcome home)

Monday, August 17, 2009


Ben came to visit last week.
He's never been to my home in NH.
I made him come see it.
I promised him a trip to our WATER HOLE!
I knew that would entice him.
This secret place lies about 1/8 of a mile away.
It's practically in our back yard.

The kids LOVE to come here when it's hot.
Right where the water fall is,
there's a 10 foot deep swimming area.
It doesn't look it, but the water is clear.

He was happy to have gone.
He wishes that he had one in HIS back yard.
I told him he could have one if he moved back.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


We made plans today...
to sit on the beach.
Found out my beach is closed.
(due to high bacteria levels)
I happened to run into
Steve's best friend (and wife) at the store.
They invited us to THEIR beach instead.
We're not picky.
So we joined them.
How lovely is THIS?
I LOVE the Lakes Region.
So many lakes and beaches to choose from.
It was 90 degrees today.
The lake felt refreshing.

We are so grateful to live in such a beautiful area.
(that costs us little or nothing to enjoy)

Friday, August 14, 2009


Everything is GOOD in the world.
My homeless child is HOME for good.
He slept on everyone's couches.
(and slept well apparently)
My brother Rich brought me THIS...
(told you there's good in this world)
Would you think I was crazy for
eating this monster all in one sitting?
Well I DID! :)
And my garden was completely WEED FREE
when I returned home today.
This is JUST what my tired body needed to see.
Did I mention that my fridge is clean as well?
All I had to do is PICK the produce.
How fun is that?

Thanks to such great friends.
I feel as if I am being watched over.
(no...not by the lice)
So many blessings, more than I can count.
I am grateful...I am blessed.
(last two children returning next week)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Stevie came back to me today.
(I mentioned that earlier)
She came back with some friends.
I'm totally thrilled.
Okay, no I'm not.
Apparently I haven't had enough to deal with,
so now I have THIS...
This is an example of what I have been picking out of Stevie's hair tonight. (are you itching yet?) I think I stopped somewhere around 50. They are NITS! Thankfully I haven't found any live bugs. I've already treated her hair twice with listerine and bagged it up. Tonight she's sleeping with a really thick coat of coconut oil conditioner under another bag.
If you can't beat 'em...Join 'em!
(I'm paranoid)
A big thanks to EP who ran
and got me some supplies to fight this battle.


Stevie's been with Aunt Jenny.
I've missed her.

Tomorrow it's back to NH.
Back to (semi) normal life.
I'm ready.
Ready to put ALL of this behind me.
There isn't much summer left...
but SO much to do.

(I'll be good - no worries)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


I'm back with my parents.
Probably a good thing.
Too many temptations to clean at MY house.
I think I may have over done it while I was home.
(I'm a type "A" personality, can't help it)
I've had lots of intense pain since.
(along with some other issues)
I'll be here for a few more days,
then back to good ole' NH.
Until that can find me on the couch. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Happy Birthday Kadee Lynne!
I can't believe it's already been a year.
Stevie and I celebrated HER
by making a cake.
I know that if she could choose,
it would've been CHOCOLATE.
Poor Stevie was throwing-up
(you can see it in her eyes)
so she did not partake of the cake.

But that's okay,
I ate plenty for all of us.

Friday, August 7, 2009


I'm not gonna lie...
this process has been painful,
in many ways.
Nights are particularly hard
because I'm alone with my thoughts.
I think about how surreal this all feels.
I'm still in shock.
I think about the past year and all my body has been through.
I think about the scars that are left behind,
and how everytime I see them in the mirror
they remind me of what is not to be.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I feel SO lucky to be here.
Many times a day
Stevie and I take a slow,
leisurely walk to the temple.
It's very healing in many ways to spend time here.
I love being able to share it with my daughter.
We walk and talk and sit.
She's always so good to make me take a break.
That's when the camera comes out.
Either that or she's off dancing
in the flower beds, through the grass and on the walls.
(because heaven knows she's not shy)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Today Stevie and I took a SLOW walk by the temple. She was so careful to support my arm as we were walking because she knows that I am still so tender and sore. We sat up by the temple and had a really nice conversation. On our way back we took a walk through some woods and Stevie's great eyes spotted some blackberry bushes that were ready to be picked. She left me there and RAN back to the house as fast as her legs would carry her. She came back with a couple of dishes for us to collect them in so that we could make some fresh blackberry jam. YUM!

(Cell phones have been nice to catch moments like these since carrying my big camera around all the time isn't possible. The quality of the pictures aren't so great, but the memories are.)

Here is our LOOT! We probably could have picked twice as much but my body was tired, achy and HOT from our walk so I threw up the white flag first.

(won't Mimi and Grampy be SO happy for some freezer jam?)