Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Trying To Be Still

So yes, I decided to go ahead with my plans to take a solo trip to the Pacific Northwest. Time will tell if that was a good decision or not. There have been a few rough moments, but I keep reminding myself that I can go back early if needed. For now, all is well on the homefront. Julian is stable but the doctors still don't know what kind of blood infection he is suffering. He is doing a little bit better today and they plan to resume feeding tomorrow if his condition is improved. I just talked to the doctor and while they can't rule it out yet, they don't think it is NEC, but if it is, he's on the correct antibiotic for that as well. Mama and DiDa (grandpa) were in good spirits after their visit with him this afternoon. Scary stuff, this preemie business. The nurses in the NICU really amaze me. And I think my job is stressful!

While it has been more difficult to relax and have a good time knowing that times are not so relaxing and fun back home, I am trying to set a daily goal of doing something productive each day while trying not to push myself so hard that it becomes work. The weather has been wonderfully cooperative...bright blue skies with a few large puffy white clouds and 70 degrees. So far, my itinerary has been as follows:

Saturday: Arrived at 10:00 am, drove up to the Pike Market to buy a flower bokay for the boat. As luck would have it, there was a Bed, Bath and Beyond right next to the Market. So I decided to take care of buying all the new linens/blankets/pillows/towels while I was there. After loading up the trunk of my economy rental car with much goose down, I headed over to the market where I bought a BIG gorgeous bokay of two-toned peach and yellow peonies, calla lilies and some sort of white bonnet shaped flower for only $15. I hauled all of this back to Tacoma where the boat rests and made several trips to unload it all. Every time I lifted a bag up to put it on the boat, I feared I might drop something in the water. So Day 1, I made the beds.

Sunday: I spent most of the morning on the phone with my family and on the internet researching preemie medical conditions. Then I made a thorough search of the internets for real estate in the area. We've started to think that we need a place on dry land to store all of our crap, and we might as well invest in the market while it's down instead of paying rent on a storage unit. But mostly, this was an exercise in futility given that we don't have enough money to buy a piece of property and quit my job without first selling our existing home and we're not ready to do that yet. But it was also good to scout out the various neighborhoods in the region so that when we're in Kansas City, we'll know how to narrow our searches. In the process, I did a lot of driving, and crossed a lot of the houses/neighborhoods off the list as undesirable (what we can afford tends to be in the seediest parts of town and/or in the most remote rural areas). I did find three properties of interest, all very different, which I'll stick in a file for future reference: one 1910 Craftsman bungalow in Old Town Tacoma, a lovely neighborhood of similar bungalow style homes (if there is a single style that I absolutely love, it is the American Bungalow); one Lincoln Log cabin in the woods on 1.5 acres; and 1 small house and 1 acre on an island . Day 2-I drove around.

Monday: After a wonderful breakfast at the Renaissance Cafe (a wonderfully non-franchise sort of place that whips their perfectly scrambled eggs with an espresso machine steamer), I set out to clean the boat's interior. It amazes me that boat brokers, if not the owners who wish to sell their boats, don't do a better job of cleaning them up before putting them on the market. In our 2 year search, we looked at a lot of boats and nearly every one of them was dirty and messy with personal items that could easily have been thrown in the garbage to improve the "curb appeal" dramatically. But they don't, so I did. I went through with reckless abandon and if it was old and grungy (who wants to sleep under some stranger's filthy old blanket?) or if I didn't know what it was, or if I didn't want it (who wants an old stunt kite with broken parts or a 7th ratty life vest when 6 brand new ones will do?), it went in the garbage. I also scrubbed every bathroom and kitchen surface and swiffered to my heart's content. When all was done, I felt a real sense of accomplishment. I celebrated by going to the laundry mat, to wash the new towels and a couple of the old blankets worth salvaging. I also stopped in at the Big Lots store, not sure what I might find there. I ended up stocking up the medicine cabinet and the snack cupboard (with mixed nuts and other snack foods). One never knows what one may find at Big Lots! Day 3, I cleaned.

Tuesday (so far): Day 4-While I waited anxiously for the phone call re: Julian, I sat in the cockpit of the boat, listening to Croatian music on the stereo, reading an Anne Perry novel, enjoying the pleasant breeze and a parade of Canadian geese while drinking an entire pot of coffee all myself (well, 6 cups was all I made). Later, after finally getting the call and learning that Julian was at least no worse and my family was in good spirits, I drove down to the waterfront for a long walk, ordered fish and chips on the pier and drove again through a beautiful park that I "discovered" on Sunday. I may still do some exterior clean-up on the boat...the next project involves scrubbing/washing the exterior of the boat and then sanding down the woodwork for revarnishing. Real work. But it's 5:30 pm already and I haven't started that yet. :-) Day 4, I rested.

I feel like it's been a productive and mostly relaxing trip so far, at least as productive and relaxing as it is meant to be. I'm spending a lot more of it just trying to be still...and quiet, listening and praying.

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At 9:25 PM, June 24, 2008, Blogger Lynellen said...

WOW you've been a busy girl. But a nice mix of business and pleasure. You and your family are being prayed for. Keep breathing and taking one step at a time.

At 6:47 AM, June 25, 2008, Blogger beth said...

The arts and crafts bungalow makes me want to pack up and move. I dream of living in something like that some day.

If you move there...prepare for visitors! :)

At 7:56 AM, June 25, 2008, Blogger Sisiggy said...

I don't envy you, trying to carry out the whole relaxing thing with everything else going on. But I know it's necessary. Still praying for all and sundry.

At 9:00 AM, June 25, 2008, Blogger Janie said...

Praying for the munchkin. Enjoy your trip - God's got your back.

At 4:19 PM, June 25, 2008, Blogger Library girl said...

Glad you are managing to get some relaxing it and I hope you are having a great quiet time with God despite things going on in your life...

At 9:41 PM, June 26, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Lynellen, thank you for your encouragement!

Beth, you and me both. That one has already been sold (and has 5 backup offers). Darn! But you're still welcome to visit. :-)

Sisiggy, thank you for your sundry prayers...I thought of your Gnew Gnome when I was at the Big Lots stocking up on almost outdated medicine chest supplies. I wasn't able to uncover any treasures nearly so priceless as him. ;-)

Janie, I can feel it! Once again, God has shown me who's in charge. ;-)

Library girl, I am! Thank you. :-)

At 9:45 AM, June 27, 2008, Blogger DarkoV said...

Must be the moist drizzly conditions out west..... Some of those "bungalows" you linked to are hugemungous! Maybe all that wetness helps the little bungalows to grow up to be Gigantor ones.

At 12:08 AM, June 28, 2008, Blogger Gwynne said...

Darko, only one of the links was to a "bungalow." The other two are grown ups, but I still prefer the bungalows. The price tag on all of them is still a lot more than we want to pay though.


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