Tag Archives: sick

Some days are tougher than others……….

I often start these posts by saying how hard it is to really explain life here – but it really, really is. No really – it really is. It sounds exotic and privileged and fascinating and it is absolutely all of those things. But life here can be difficult to manage. I miss the conveniences and the independence. Never mind family and friends because that is another blog post entirely.

This week Flower has been pretty sick. She just got over chicken pox and jumped right into some unknown something or other that nobody can really seem to pinpoint. When your kids are sick in a third world country and you cannot exactly define what is going on, the adventure becomes a tad less appealing. I want to be clear that I have never felt she was in any danger (that is for the grandparents who read this blog) but it has been frustrating. Flower just really doesn’t get sick – so to see her really unable to get out of bed just stinks. And to have everyone just sort of shrug their shoulders with a “oh, this is normal, come back in a few days” attitude is just not what I am looking for in medical care.

Flower had her appendix out when she was 7. She was very close to it rupturing. In the emergency room, the doctor practically stood on her stomach. She had no reaction at all. He was walking out of the room, convinced that she was going to be just fine because there was absolutely no way that a child with appendicitis would not react to that kind of pressure, when the CT scan came back. We were in the operating room 10 minutes later – it appeared she did in fact have a very infected appendix.

She just doesn’t get knocked out. So to hear the doctor(s) say – she looks listless, but she just isn’t that sick – augh. I want to jump through my mommy skin and send them back to medical school. Isn’t the first thing they learn to trust the mother’s instinct? If it isn’t, it should be. Something is going on with her.

And of course, if we were home, I wouldn’t be so worried because the chances of getting Dengue Fever, Malaria, Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Encephalitis, and all those other scary things are just a wee bit less.

Then if you add having staff working for you it gets so flippin complicated.

My cook knows just what is wrong with her. He has not even been to culinary school, much less medical school but he knows just what is wrong.

Francis: She has a fever?
Me: Yes
Francis: This will take a week – maybe 5 days
Me: Okay
Francis: But don’t worry ma’am – last night I prayed for her
Me: thank you, that was very thoughtful of you
Francis: Jesus will take care of it.
Me: I believe that
Francis: Jesus will make her better

Now, I want to be clear that I am very glad Jesus is on it. And I didn’t realize that Francis had such tight connections. But I am not leaving it to prayer – I have been doing that myself too – but we can also take some a.c.t.i.o.n.

One of the really nice things in India is that I do have the cell phone number of our doctor. So, I called her directly and made an appointment (yes that is crazy). She was able to make an appointment for us in half an hour (also insane). That means we need to leave right away.

However, our driver had gone out to get mosquito nets for our beds because Bear is getting eaten alive when he sleeps (and, yep, we have taken many precautions so that mosquitoes don’t enter our house – but they are persistent little buggers). He went to the market near us and felt that the nets were too expensive – so he decided to drive to a market that was quite a distance from our house to save us about 200 rupees (that would be $4). Nope, he did not ask first – just decided that would be the thing to do. So now he cannot get back quickly to get our daughter to her doctor appointment and the doctor is leaving shortly. Yes, I am frustrated. While I really appreciate the fact that he was trying to save us money – getting our daughter to the doctor is a m.u.c.h. bigger priority. M_U_C_H  B_I_G_G_E_R.

We ultimately figured it out. Hubby took Flower in another car with another driver and I met them at the doctor’s office. On my way, I got to hear all about the cost savings and the available colors of mosquito nets and all about traffic and how this vendor did this and that vendor did this and holy four dollars, batman. I was polite – but really – not caring so much about the whole story. Just. want. to. get. to. the. doctor. yesterday.

The doctor looked her over and really felt we needed to wait a couple of days to do any testing. See how Flower does. Keep her in a cool room. No school. Lots of liquids. You know the drill.

So Hubby took Flower home and I went to buy Gatorade. This involved 3 phone calls. You just cannot assume anything – in the U.S., I could tell you 18 places that sell Gatorade within walking distance of my house. Here – you better check first. So, I found out where I believed the Gatorade would  be. Went there. And they had it – yeah! And they also had the Starbucks coffee drinks that Hubby loves.

I thought I would get him a few. So I asked if they had the “coffee-flavored” coffee drinks.

Me: Do you have the “coffee-flavored” coffee drinks?
Him: Yes, how many do you want?
Me: I see Mocha, Vanilla, and Caramel – but not Coffee – do you have that?
Him: Yes, how many do you want?
Me: I want the “coffee” flavor – you have Vanilla, Mocha, and Caramel – see right here on the label (picture me pointing to the label) – I want the one that says “coffee” – I can see why it is confusing because they all say “coffee” but there are different flavors.
Him: How many
Me: I looked at all of the boxes here – I don’t see “Coffee”. Do you have “coffee”.
Him: Yes, how many do you want?

Just a note here – Indians don’t seem to make 15 varieties of the same product – so I want to be fair that it is not their fault that Starbucks has complicated the simpleness of a coffee drink. But even in this land of “oh sure, they all speak English” sometimes it is very, very difficult to get your point across. Finally, after he took all the boxes off the shelf (and yep, he watched me do the exact same thing just moments before) and realized there wasn’t actually a coffee drink called “coffee”.

He disappeared around the corner and – wahlah – and after (quite) a few minutes – came back with 8 “coffee-flavored” coffee drinks. I am not sure when the understanding of what I was trying to say kicked in but hubby is glad it did. At least the guy did not promise me the drinks “tomorrow” or compliment me on being the “first customer of the day”.

Hubby also asked me to pick up a pizza. I was weary of this because the pizza joint he wanted pizza from is a more of a “by the slice” kind of place. But I thought I would give it a shot.

I went up to the window and there was a whole cheese pizza sitting in the display case. I think I actually let out a sigh – this is not going to be as complicated as I thought. Yahoo for me.

Me: I would like a pizza
Her: That will be 75 rupees (that is $1.50)
Me: Really, for a whole pizza?
Her: Oh, you want the whole pizza?
Me: Yes
Her: That is eight slices (with a completely confused look on her face)
Me: Yes it is – that’s what I would like
Her: But that is eight slices
Me: Got it – I would like a whole pizza puhleassssseeee – in fact this one in the window will do nicely
Her: No, we’ll make you a fresh one – it will take 3 minutes.
(Just another note – if you are thinking, “that is amazing – they can make a pizza in 3 minutes” – my dear friend, I have a lovely bridge I would like you to consider buying – you are my first customer of the day and I will give you my very best price – tomorrow.)
Me: Honestly, this one is good
Her: You don’t want a fresh one?
Me: Nope – pretty sure this one that is already done is just great
Her: We’ll add cheese to it
Me: It has cheese on it – can I really please just take this one – as it is – now?
Her: Do you want it in one big box or each slice in its own box

Here is where I faltered. I was thinking about all the trash that eight slice boxes would be. So, I opted for the big box. But that changes what they normally do – it threw them for a little bit of a loop. The guy working there climbed up a ladder and went into a very small ceiling compartment. He did bring down a box. A very, very dirty box. It was dusty and greasy – I’ll spare you the details – but let’s just say you probably wouldn’t spit your gum out in it much less use it for a pizza that you actually planned to eat – and feed to your already sick child.

Me: Yeah, that box is kind of dirty
Her: You don’t want this box
Me: I am thinking hell no not exactly – is there another one up there?
Her: Okay – we’ll get another one

And they did get another box. It was better. But I am not kidding when I say they spent 5 minutes trying to put it together. It was apparently a broken box – still better than a dirty box – but broken nonetheless. So they performed box surgery and taped it 18 different ways. All of which came loose before I got all the way to the car.

The bottom line in this is that it took me 15 minutes to get the pizza that was already cooked and ready to go. Of course, it was worse because I really just wanted to get the Gatorade to Flower. But sometimes it is difficult to accomplish simple things here. And it is hard to understand why it is so complicated.

I finally got home and now Bear’s mosquito net is up over his bed. My first thought was – great, now we live in a Tarzan movie.

We ended the day by taking Flower to another doctor just to make sure we should not be concerned about anything scary. He had a completely different impression of what was wrong than doctor number 1. And no, I did not pick up a pizza on the way home.

It was a long day of  complications. So, most of the time I am jumping right in and enjoying our experiences here, some days are tougher than others.

Today…………

Today I wish I could sit on the sidelines at the soccer field or in the bleachers at the swimming pool and see those friends I only got to see when my kids had practice. I want to drive myself to the grocery store – down a road where nobody honks and everyone stays in their own lane – and  I want to buy too many cucumbers and tomatoes with the best of intentions of eating them all. I want to be able to eat them without rinsing them in a bleach solution first. I want a loaf of Wonder bread that is so fresh the aroma assaults you when you open the bag. Today I want to go to Target and get 6 errands accomplished in one place and pay prices that are written on the things I want to buy. I want to know that the President and your grandmother and I all pay the same price for the same thing. I want to rush through a fast food drive-thru and eat food that is horrible for me but tastes so yummy. I want to sit on the front porch and use cheeseburger wrappers as a plate and watch ants gravitate toward the ketchup I am sure to spill on the ground. I want to drink a glass of wine out of a plastic cup and watch all the neighbors walk by with dogs that chase the squirrels and bark too loud.  I want to watch my husband reading the newspaper on the porch in his pajamas. I want to see 15 kids running through my yard playing flashlight tag. I want to watch the leaves blowing in the wind and I want to watch my kids make a big pile to jump in. I want to hear the leaves crinkle under my feet when I walk. I want to walk up to the shopping center and get an ice cream for dessert. Maybe I want a banana split with whip cream that tastes like whip cream. And I want to have 31 flavors and 16 toppings to choose from. I want to plan a Thanksgiving meal and invite our families over. I want to figure out a way to make it different and familiar all at the same time. Today, I want to be home.

Swine Flu…………

I am not big on writing about the “topic of the day” but Swine Flu is here and it is taking prisoners like a madman. Twenty-one people in India have died so far this season and many of them were children. Two of them were doctors. Yikes. That grabs your attention. Schools are closing and businesses are shutting down. Who is to say if it is over-reaction or simply caution. At any rate, I am (very) glad I am not the one to make the call on what to close and what to leave open.

This weekend Indians will celebrate Independence Day. That means lots of people celebrating very close together at parties and parades. So it is a good time for a Swine Flu prevention article to appear in the paper. And so…..

This article appeared today in the Times of India, a national newspaper. The very first bit of advice is very good. There is no need to panic. It is a flu and those more susceptible to illness are going to struggle more with it. The article goes on to list several homeopathic remedies to employ to avoid getting sick.

I am not a doctor – I am not recommending you follow or not follow any of these treatments. Please do not sue me if you choke on the 5 leaves of basil the article recommends you consider eating every day. Some of the suggestions sound more like isolation tactics than preventative measures – eat two cloves of garlic daily. That will ensure that no one who is sick comes around you, thus immediately reducing your exposure risk. It should also ensure that vampires with swine flu keep their distance. Or you can  take five tablets of Pyrogenium 200 and Inflenzium 200 three times a day. I don’t know what those are or what they do, but that sounds like a lot.

I am immediately taking “mix tumeric with warm milk” off of the list of things I am even willing to consider doing. Ick.

For me, I am taking my vitamins everyday (starting today – so wish me luck with remembering to do that) and following number 10. Wash hands frequently.

Here’s hoping you and yours remain safe from the swine flu and any other illnesses.

10 home remedies to avoid swine flu

Are the rising swine flu casualties giving you jitters? Not sure how you can avoid falling prey to the growing epidemic? First and foremost,

there is absolutely no need to panic.

Watching television to keep tabs on the progress of H1N1, particularly in the badly affected areas like Pune, is all right. But don’t let the hysterical anchors get under your skin and start wearing a mask each time you step out of the house, unless you are visiting a very crowded area. Then too, the mask will protect you only for a specified period.

Without giving in to the swine flu panic and creating a stockpile of Tamiflu and N-95 masks at home and enriching pharma companies, there are a number of other measures you can take to ensure that the virus is not able to get you, irrespective of which part of the world you are in.

It is essential to remember that all kinds of viruses and bacteria can attack you when your immune system is weak, or they can weaken it easily. Hence, building your own defences would be a better, more practical, long-lasting and much more economical idea.

Here are some easy steps you can take to tackle a flu virus of any kind, including swine flu. It is not necessary to follow all the steps at once. You can pick and choose a combination of remedies that suit you best. However, if you are already suffering from flu, these measures can help only up to an extent. And, if you have been infected by H1N1, visiting a hospital and staying in solitary confinement is a must.

1. Have five duly washed leaves of Tulsi (known as Basil in English; medicinal name Ocimum sanctum) everyday in the morning. Tulsi has a large number of therapeutic properties. It keeps throat and lungs clear and helps in infections by way of strengthening your immunity.

2. Giloi (medicinal name Tinospora cordifolia) is a commonly available plant in many areas. Take a one-foot long branch of giloi, add five to six leaves of Tulsi and boil in water for 15-20 minutes or long enough to allow the water to extract its properties. Add black pepper and sendha (salt used during religious fasts), rock or black salt, or Misri (crystalised sugar like lumps to make it sweet) according to taste. Let it cool a bit and drink this kadha (concoction) while still warm. It will work wonders for your immunity. If giloi plant is not available, get processed giloi powder from Hamdard or others, and concoct a similar drink once a day.

3. A small piece of camphor (kapoor) approximately the size of a tablet should be taken once or twice a month. It can be swallowed with water by adults while children can take it along with mashed potatoes or banana because they will find it difficult to have it without any aides. Please remember camphor is not to be taken everyday, but only once each season, or once a month.

4. Those who can take garlic, must have two pods of raw garlic first thing in the morning. To be swallowed daily with lukewarm water. Garlic too strengthens immunity like the earlier measures mentioned.

5. Those not allergic to milk, must take a glass of hot or lukewarm milk every night with a small measure of haldi (turmeric).

6. Aloe vera (gwarpatha) too is a commonly available plant. Its thick and long, cactus-like leaves have an odourless gel. A teaspoon gel taken with water daily can work wonders for not only your skin and joint pains, but also boost immunity.

7. Take homeopathic medicines — Pyrogenium 200 and Inflenzium 200 in particular — five tablets three times a day, or two-three drops three times a day. While these are not specifically targeted at H1N1 either, these work well as preventive against common flu virus.

8. Do Pranayam daily (preferably under guidance if you are already not initiated into it) and go for morning jog/walk regularly to keep your throat and lungs in good condition and body in fine fettle. Even in small measures, it will work wonders for your body’s resistance against all such diseases which attack the nose, throat and lungs, besides keeping you fit.

9. Have citrus fruits, particularly Vitamin C rich Amla (Indian gooseberry) juice. Since fresh Amla is not yet available in the market (not for another three to four months), it is not a bad idea to buy packaged Amla juice which is commonly available nowadays.

10. Last but not the least, wash your hands frequently every day with soap and warm water for 15-20 seconds; especially before meals, or each time after touching a surface that you suspect could be contaminated with flu virus such as a door handle or a knob/handle, especially if you have returned from a public place or used public transport. Alcohol-based hand cleaners should be kept handy at all times and used until you can get soap and warm water.

(The author is an avid reader and follower of alternative therapies including spiritual healing, ayurveda, yoga and homeopathy)

Amoeba please…………..

When  you visit a country like India, you are bound to bring back some kind of intestinal souvenir. Call mine an Amoeba. The last month and a half that I was in Delhi, I spent a great deal of time with the god of porcelain. He is not a kind god. He kept me very busy.

I finally acknowledged that going to the doctor might not be the worst option. Dr. Chawla was highly recommended and I can see why. She is great.

There were two problems going on – I have told you that I can multi-task my illnesses and I was not kidding. I had lots of intestinal woes and a pretty significant pain on my left side. They seemed unrelated. So bring on the tests.

I ended up with lots of specimen cultures (yeah, sorry it was as gross as it sounds) and an ultrasound and a CTscan. Dr. Chawla initially  started treating me for an amoeba – I am not going to get all the medical terms exactly right – I was in no condition to actually pay attention to everything she was saying. You have a pill for that? I will gladly take it. And then we discovered e coli. Yippeee. Yeah, I was pretty sick.

My kidneys were also swollen and I have/had calcification spots on my kidney and spleen. Whatever.

I know, I know – I should have just brought back the elephant blanket.

Antibiotics have now become my BFF.

I feel much, much better.

And I lost about 10 pounds. So there you go.

ToRN BeTWeeN TWo DauGHTeRs……………

If you have more than one child, more than one parent, more than one boss, more than one friend, more than one sibling, more than one pet, more than one plant, more than one pair of earrings – let’s just say that, if you are breathing, there has to have been at least one time in your life when you felt torn about who to choose.

Especially as a parent, this kind of choice can rip you apart. It’s super – duper – extraordinarily tough. Friday, I had just such a choice. Yippee Skippee.

Flower had colonial day at school (a big deal where all the kids/teachers/parents don colonial garb and have an old-fashioned day). Angel woke up not feeling 100 percent. Number one hubby is not even on the continent – yeah,  that equals a big fat no help there.

Here is the gist of the initial conversation:

Flower: are you coming
Angel: are you staying
Me: …………….
Number One Hubby (via phone with honest-to-goodness sympathy):
sometimes you just can’t get a break, can you?
What are going to do?
Me: …………………

I realize that some situations just will not solve themselves.

First things first – it all started at 6:45am – I need to have myself dressed all colonial-like and all my chilrins in the school by 8am to help set up. There is a lot to do in 75 minutes. The clock starts ……… now – I am off to assess the situation and make adult-like, parental decisions. It’s also way too early for this kind of thoughtful action.

Angel had no fever – but a pretty hacky cough. You know the kind that you simply cannot fake. She also went to bed later than normal the night before- so throw some really tired grumpiness into that mix. Just what the mix needed. Great. She got glass of water, some cough medicine, a blanket, another blanket, and the tv turned on – her pick this time.

Bear had a typed assignment due – you guessed it – the same day as colonial day. Okay – he is in 6th grade – his projects are all supposed to be typed – but he has not been given a typing class. Guess who needed to type it? Let’s say it together now – Moi? I know he could do it himself – but it would take him longer to type one paragraph than it would for him to solve pi. Ain’t gonna happen. And really, not necessary. He wrote it in time for me to type it up the night before, but I went to bed early – being exhausted and all.

Next, Flower’s lunch needed to be authentic for colonial day. So, she was hoping for banana bread – something I could have also done the night before – but remember, I was exhausted – went to bed early – brilliant. That was proving to be a really good decision. So, I needed to make banana bread. And wrap everything in paper towels tied with ribbons. Apparently aluminum foil, juice boxes, saran wrap, and individually wrapped snacks are fairly recent inventions. Really, is that true? Those poor women. How did they manage without uncrustables? Spreading that peanut butter all the way the to the edge of the bread is exhausting work.

Number one hubby likes to talk to the kids on Skype on the computer every morning. They love it too. This particular morning my computer was celebrating colonial day too. Apparently, there were no microphones in the days of colonial. He could not hear a thing. Crap. The colonists probably just yelled to each other really loudly from across the colony. But the better half of my colony is now in India – yelling was not going to work. And I did not have enough string, empty cans, or (any) time to make an old-fashioned tin can telephone.

Meanwhile, Flower, Angel, and Bear are asking me what I am going to do – over and over and over and over and over again. Did you get that? They KEPT asking. Thanks guys, that was really helpful. Bear was coming up with some really good – completely impossible solutions. Which was very sweet of him – since he normally could give a rat’s arse what Angel is doing. Thanks honey, hugs and kisses.

What would you do? Flower was in tears because she wants to me to be at colonial day. I know there will be days when she doesn’t want me anywhere near her – so I certainly do not want to miss out on this little – I love my mommy – moment.

Angel was in tears because she wanted to stay home – with me. But,Angel had no fever and had stopped coughing – well at least for the most part.

I figured I was going to be at the school. If Angel needed me, I would be right there.

Colonial Day was great. Lots of fun! I am glad that I could participate. Very glad. Even if I did have to wear this. (I look pregnant in the picture – I can assure you that is not the case – the apron was really long and I had to wear it really high up. The poofs are in just the right place. This is what we do for our kids.)

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Angel survived another day in first grade. Well, it turned out to be just half a day. The guilt got the best of me – immediately after the parent volunteering part of colonial day was over, I went to Angel’s class and brought her home. Her teacher said she seemed fine  – she did not say it but I could tell she was surprised I was there. I did not have it in me to explain that I was the one who was not fine. I was torn between two daughters and I did not want either daughter to feel less important than the other. So, I wanted to take her home and let her feel the mommy love – even if she was no longer sick.

Things I learned today……

If you miss the white elephant gift exchange at your book club because your son is throwing up and you have to leave early, your friends will not pick the best gift for you out of sympathy. They will take it as an opportunity to get rid of share the gift that nobody wanted with you. Even if they pretend they are really sad when you leave early and promise to take care of you and your white elephant needs. At least I didn’t get my own gift back. Whew. (thanks Jill)

You could get a pretty nice set of ornaments though. And your daughter will steal them to put on the kids tree. There is no justice in this world sometimes.

Michele makes delicious Christmas candy and I can apparently eat an entire bag in one sitting all by my lonesome. Some things are better left unshared. Yum!

When my son is sick, he likes to be waited on hand and foot.

I do not miss being a waitress. Not even a little.

You should never open a bottle of Sprite that your seven-year-old hands you. No matter how cute her smile is. Never ever.

Sprite is sticky when it dries.

There are a lot of great writers out there in the world of blog.

I would like to visit Japan.

Envelopes with silver foil on the inside don’t feed through the printer so well  – at least not my printer – and I just happen to know my way around printing envelopes. And it did not matter how many different ways I tried it. Really.

My printer has a printer cartridge latch – I did not know that – now I do – and it must be shut. I am going to have to devote some time to figuring out what this is, where it is, and how to close it. I might be breaking up with my printer.

I am glad I did not try to make my Christmas cards this year. I can barely handle printing the envelopes. You’ll see.

Costco only gave me half the envelopes I ordered – even including the ones I totally demolished. That kind of stinks.

I really miss the people who are not on my list this year. I was very sad to delete the addresses for my Grandmother and my Great Aunt. RIP.

They both passed away before Christmas last year – but apparently I did not have it in me to delete them from the list just yet. I was not super close to either one of them but I miss the possibility of getting to know them better. My grandmother was very funny and I miss that  sense of humor of hers. A lot. She was funny, sometimes cranky, and always old. It’s a great combination (especially if you don’t live too close).

A lot of my friends moved this year.

I send out way too many Christmas cards.

My family really likes staying at home in our pjs on a very cold and very windy day with nothing to do but being waited on hand and foot.

Apparently my children have no problem whatsoever sitting in front of the tv for several hours – hours upon hours – that is, as long as food and drink are brought to them at regular intervals and placed directly in line with their peripheral vision – within reaching distance.

My cats do not like to go outside on very cold and very windy days. They are purrfectly intelligent little furballs.

The cats use the litter box more when they don’t go outside. Oh goody.

A nap would have been nice today. It did not happen.

I am no where near done with my Christmas shopping, but I do have a good handle on it.

My son’s stomach still hurts. Do you think it had anything to do with the chips and dip I let him have for dinner? Maybe that wasn’t a good idea. Hmmmmmm.

I think I really am going to have to reschedule that MothER of the Year ceremony. Bummer.

My tummy hurts……………

That is what Bear said to me this morning.

And, just by the way and fyi, this is the morning that I am going to get all of my Christmas shopping done. Yep – all of it. I even have a list and coupons.

If you are a parent or ever had a parent, you might already know that these are words that most parents dread – really all parents dread these words whether they are working for a pay check or just working for the love of the job – especially on a school day – and even more so on a school day right before Christmas.

Now, Flower had her appendix out at 7 – it was an emergency – it was scary. So, I tend not to ignore tummy aches. They make me an intsy bit NERVOUS. Beyond my family’s history with tummy aches – there’s the whole throwing up thing – which isn’t so bad for the person who is just doing the hand holding – but then it has to be cleaned up – I know – GROSS! And the other option really isn’t any better.

But – TODAY – honey, really? How bad does it hurt? I dunno.

Bear crawled in bed with me – now, I have to say that was nice. He let me rub his back and his tummy and he actually snuggled – isn’t he good to me! Don’t forget he is a 6th grader so these moments are rare – and I will take them absolutely any way I can get them – even if he has to suffer a little.

We tried all the tricks – go to the bathroom – a glass of water – go to the bathroom – take some medicine – go back to the bathroom. Then he asked if he could turn on the t.v. – progress. He feels well enough to hold his head up to watch t.v. This could be okay.

Yep – then he asked if he could take a shower – he felt well enough to walk. Yippee. (Totally unrelated – It was funny that while he was in the shower he asked me if he should wash his hair. Kids ask the funniest questions – well, let’s see – it’s already wet, the shampoo is right there, you could have washed it in the time you asked if you should wash it – I’d go with yes, go ahead and wash your hair.) Then he was able to get dressed and he asked for breakfast – watch out school bus, here we come.

He never had a fever and never got sick. He just woke up on the wrong side of feeling good. But a shower, a bagel, and a couple little trips to the bathroom made everything better. He knows my cell number – I will never be more than 10 minutes away from his school – he can call me anytime and he knows that. So, later spater – I am off to play Santa.

And, one more by the way, it’s raining like crazy today – this should be fun.

Now I lay me down to sleep….

Many nights, I will be honest, not every night, but many nights I say a prayer before I go to sleep. It’s always silently and it’s always while I am laying down with my eyes closed. And it usually while I am trying to get warm.

Somewhere along the way, I must have been taught that prayer time was really meant to be a time to be thankful.  I remember when I was younger (even up until high school, and probably even college), I would thank God for all the animals I ever owned. I could still recite you the list. I won’t bore you with it – but I could.

Even the goldfish that I won at the fair – who sadly did not live to see his first birthday – was included in that list for decades. You probably know that game that you play by tossing the ping pong ball into the field of glass bowls – if yours landed in a bowl with a fish – wah lah – you have a new pet. It is the stuff that Dr. Suess books are made of  – one fish, two fish. Anyway, I named mine Fred. And, I thanked God for him for many, many years.

Now, when I pray, I am not so worried about the pets. But I do pray for anyone traveling, anyone alone, anyone scared, anyone ill, and anyone who is not with us anymore. It is a weird combination of things. But it is my little mix of concerns for the world. A reminder to myself that I am not the only one with issues and that, really, my issues ain’t so bad.

This mantra of mine started when my husband started traveling more for work. I am not a big fan of flying (yeah – good thing I am moving to India) but I am even less of a fan of Number One Hubby flying. So when he started flying pretty frequently, I started praying more.

I am not Catholic – so I am not sure why I felt guilty about praying just for him – but it felt selfish. So, I started including anyone who was traveling – not just my hubby. Then my father-in-law got cancer and I started including anyone who was sick, not just my father-in-law. You can see my neurosis at work.

So, this Thanksgiving my night-time prayer will once again include many well wishes for those with concerns in this world and an extra thanks for all of my blessings.

Yesterday, my clever little Bear came home and showed me something he learned at school. He held up a glass with slurpee in it and said, “is this glass half-full or half-empty.” Bear, my dear, it is very much half-full – and it tastes yummy too – see how lucky I am.

I am off to count my blessings and to say a prayer that you have many blessings too. Happy Turkey Day – gobble gobble.