I committed to a Blog-Through-The-Bible project; so though I've kept up reading diligently (Michelle), I haven't written anything about what I'm learning thus far. And I'm really loving the reading! (even if I can't pronounce all the names).

This is one reason I'm thinking of creating an entirely new blog. This one was created for "this and that". And it was created under my OLD sign-in name; which I'm not crazy about and don't particularly want to use anymore. And of course google won't let me sign in with my new name and gmail address to Observations from the Ether....Yes, of course it would be easiest to just change the sign-in name/email etc, on the My Account page of this, well, this Account. But Google won't let me. Or you for that matter. :)  So I guess it's not a huge deal to start a new one, except it takes energy I don't seem to have. [And I HAVE found reading those chapters of the Word are the ONLY way to start the day].

I don't know! I know nobody reads this one. But am thinking if I do my Bible blogging here, and do it halfway decently, maybe I'll have some regular readers by the end of the year.

Or is it one of those, "I'll do it as soon as I finish________________." I do have a couple of huge, future-affecting projects to get done; along with the minutia that is day-to-day life.

OH, and did I mention that 7 months ago my husband was involved in a life-changing motorcycle vs car accident that left him in the severe-range of the traumatic brain injured???  And did I mention he needs a rigid structure to get thru even an hour of his days? And did I mention our only on-going therapy is the weekly call from our neuro-psychologist we had to leave in Denver?
Unless you think I'm feeling sorry for myself, I'm definitely NOT. I'm just SO flippin' busy; and I'm trying to take some time for what "they" call "self-care". 
PART of self-care is doing something strictly for yourself. Which seems selfish, or did to me, until I started crying throughout the days for no apparent reasons. Then I thought, "OH! THAT'S what they are talking about!"

So, this blog or a new blog? What to do? I really don't like the nenya71 login at all; and want to switch everything to amymfy@gmail.com - except business stuff, which stays at afry@.....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

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For those of you who may have happened on Observations From the Ether in the last 10 weeks or so, I've been a bit busy.

Observations From the Ether has temporarily moved to www.caringbridge.org/visit/richardfry

My wonderful husband Richard was hit by a car while riding his custom Harley on July 10, 2010 at 4:38pm on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon.

Last night, September 17th, was the FIRST NIGHT he's spent out of a hospital in 10 weeks.  He's been at the Denver VA In-Patient Rehab Unit since August 6th; and is now on a weekend pass for the first time, and should transfer to official Out-Patient status on Monday, September 20, 2010, after he's done with all his therapies for the day.

He and I will live at Fisher House (sort of a Ronald McDonald House for VA families), for perhaps the next month. Might be longer if he continues to grow and learn. When he plateaus in his ability, they will discharge us.  I've been staying at this wonderful house since August 9th. (I had to hotel it for 3 nights until a room opened up here).

So, YES, this blog is still up and running.  I may actually have things to say that don't pertain (exactly) TO the accident, but maybe stuff God has taught me THROUGH the accident! And now I will be to the hospital only 3 hours a day, 4 days a week instead of 7, I may actually have time to put some of those thoughts down here! Whooo Hooo.

In case you're interested, and haven't been to the caring bridge site, please go and skim over the journey we've been on since the 10th of July.


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He came on the first day of Spring.  Saturday, March 20, 2010.  He sat up in this tree next door to our house, right in town, for two+ hours that I know of. We spotted him at about 8:30am and I took pictures until 10:45.  I have no idea how long he'd been there before we saw him. He was completely unconcerned with cars driving down the street, dogs barking, or the nutty woman from next door, clicking away while walking toward him, under him, behind him, across from him.  A main, two-lane highway is 2 blocks from our street, as the eagle flies, and I think he'd been eating road-kill, then simply flew to a nearby tree to rest and digest for a while.  We see a lot of American Bald Eagles in our area all year-round but not too often right in town and not for over 2 hours.  It was a glorious gift from God on a beautiful spring day.
Nikon D60;  f/8;   1/250 sec; (Aperture Priority);  ISO 100;  Focal length 155mm
Amy    April 11, 2010

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Today, as we celebrate His triumphal entry, we know, as He knew, what lay in store for Him in the coming week.

I'd like to say Thank You, Jesus. Thank You for loving Your Father, and me, enough to do His will, and to hang on that cross for me. I am awed. I am humbled. I am undeserving.

I look forward to next Sunday when we rise to celebrate Your Victory over the grave. Praise You Jesus.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

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If you're a daughter or a dad with a daughter, you're gonna cry...no matter how old said daughter is.

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As Little League season is getting ready to begin in April here in Montana, I am reminded of the hours (DAYS) I spent at various fields cheering for my oldest son and his team as they became, 'the boys of summer'.

Josh began T-Ball the very first year it was possible for him to join. We were living in Flagstaff, AZ at the time, and he was going to turn 5 at the end of April, and he loved nothing more than going to the practice field, no matter how cold, or hot it was to play his favorite sport. We moved to Montana the January before he turned 10, so when ball season rolled around, he was in "real" Little League, not junior Little League. He'd been through good coaches, mediocre coaches, and one truly bad coach. He was not a "natural". He really had to work at it. He had ADD and while it hindered him in school, he concentrated fiercely at practice and games. He spent years in the no-man's land of right field. He was undaunted by ALL the negatives. It was his team, and this was his game. He LOVED baseball. His hero was Ozzie Smith. I figure going to a game between his beloved St. Louis Cardinals and the LA Dodgers while pregnant with him probably had something to do with it. :)

Here in MT, as in Flagstaff, due to the unpredictable weather in the spring as well as the distances between other teams, baseball was not a school sport. There were no school rules about keeping grades above a certain GPA in order to play on a Little League team. School had an "F" rule. If you were receiving a failing grade in a class, you were not allowed on the team until you brought it up to at least a D. In our home, we had a "D" rule. If you were receiving a D or below in a class, you were not allowed on the team, or to do anything else, until the grade came up to a C. As hard as Josh had to work with his ADD, we knew he was capable of 'C' work without THAT much extra effort.

Little League ends here for these boys when they turn 16. The summer they're 15 is the final summer they're allowed to play regular Little League. Josh's last 2 years of Little League were on what Montanans refer to as the Babe Ruth League. The mound and bases are regulation, major-league distances apart, and of course the entire field is bigger. While each small town may have 4 regular Little League fields in their baseball "complex", each only had one Babe Ruth field.

The first year on Babe Ruth, he again began as a right-fielder, but his new Coach decided to try him in the infield. On first base. The Coach and Josh never looked back. He looked like he'd grown there! He was an amazing first baseman! I think, in two years on first base, ONE ball got past him. One. He'd come into his own, and it was good.

His final year playing ball, teams formed and practice started soon after the last 9 weeks of school began. As usual, at the 4 /12 week mark, Progress Reports came in the mail. And life as he/we knew it came to a halt. He was getting a "D" in math.

When he got home from school that day, I informed him there would be no more baseball practice until the grade came up. He was speechless. And that didn't happen often!. Then he cried, he screamed, he said things like "Mom, you CAN'T, you WON'T! PLEEEASSE MOM!!!" I really tried to remain calm because this was killing me too. This was the ONLY sport this kid played/lived/breathed/LOVED! And it was his LAST year!!! I told him I would talk to his math teacher and arrange for a twice-a-week report to come home to see how the homework, quizzes, and tests were going. As soon as Mr. D. said Josh's grade was a C, he could rejoin his team. Then I went with him to the ball field to tell the Coach what I was doing. Josh sat in the car while I spoke to the Coach. He was mortified. I was too, but was also a Mom, determined to stick to the rule we'd set out for his own good. The Coach agreed to work around Josh for a week or two while he got his grade up. I went to the math teacher the next day and he totally agreed to help me out with reports, even phone calls if my son had done exceptionally well, or exceptionally not well. He also suggested he work with my son a bit more closely to see if he truly "got it" or if he was just being lazy.

My son ended up missing about 7 days of practices and NOT ONE, ZERO, ZIP, actual games. He was back on first base at the end of the following week. And he finished his sophomore year of high school with a solid C in math.

Was it difficult as a parent to follow through with that one? One of the hardest yet! Did he learn something? Yes, he did. Did I learn something? You bet. HE learned Mom and Dad's rules are there for a reason and while he may not like them, Mom and Dad were NOT going to blow off the rules, even for something as important as baseball. (See, we believed education was a bit more important than baseball, as much as we love it). And me? I learned there ARE rewards for being a "tough-guy" parent. For paying close attention to what my kid is up to, both at school and out. That rule-enforcement episode still crops up in conversation once in a while, and he'll still tell me he thought I was the meanest Mom in the world, BUT now that he's a parent, he understands a lot better why the rule was in place to begin with. Hearing that made it worth everything!
Amy 3/15/2010

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My Lord.
The Love for My Family.
My Husband.
Good Coffee.
Mountains Outside My Windows.
Birds Singing.
Pine Tree Smells.
Fields of Alfalfa Blooming their Beautiful, if brief, Blooms.
Open Roads to Travel in My Car, Singing At the Top of My Lungs.
Working in my Rather Pathetic West-facing Flower Garden.
Smell of Peonies (East side).
Good Friends, Old and New.
A Productive Day's Work.
Hugging Grandchildren.
Uncountable Stars on a Clear Night.
Celebrating Christ's Resurrection.
Fireworks on the 4th of July.
Reminiscing with My Mother.
Praising My Lord.
Riding Horses.
Cloud-Shapes in the Montana Skies.
SPF 80 Sunblock.

March, 9, 2010

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When a loved one dies, we are sad. Whether a sudden death from a stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, car accident, or from a lingering illness, there is sadness. And there is a grieving process: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. FINALLY, there will be Acceptance. Because, when a loved one dies from one of these things, whether sudden or drawn-out, there is a REASON! A reason we can point to and say "This is why my brother died" or "This is why my uncle died". Those of us left alive will know the reason the other was taken.

However in the case of suicide, most times there are no answers to the why questions. I personally have found the Denial stage passes rather quickly, or goes right into Disbelief. The Anger comes quickly upon it's heels.

It's been almost 3 years since my brother left us in this manner. And yes, I'm still angry. I'm angry because he gave up; he took "the easy way", for him. And no, I don't know what his relationship with the Lord truly was. He told me what he knew I wanted to hear. I mourn the loss of what I never had: An adult relationship with my only brother.

And now, this past Sunday, another much-loved brother, uncle, brother-in-law, friend, did the same. His family is in tatters. And again I'm angry for them, while my heart goes out to the victim and the pain he must have been in and tried for so long to hide.

They will never know why. And that is one of the catches about the Acceptance part of the grief process, I think. You not only have to accept they are gone, you have to ACCEPT you will Never, EVER, truly know WHY. And that's the hardest part.

May His Blessings be New Every Morning,
Amy February 17, 2010

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Twenty Two Days and counting. On Friday, January 22, my daughter-in-law began early labor. She was 7 weeks early but with no neonatal care unit at their hospital, it was crucial she be quiet and rest as much as possible to keep our new granddaughter inside for at least 3 more weeks. My son called that afternoon and asked if I could come. 8 hours east, by train or car; into western North Dakota.
Thankfully, I was able to come. I had to give up going to AZ with my husband for my mother-in-law's funeral, for which he was going to perform the service. That made me sad.
So, on Monday the 25th of Jan., he drove me to the train, kissed me goodbye, and eastward bound I went. (By the way, the train kept breaking down and the trip took 11 1/2 hours; but as I had an entire car to myself the whole trip, it was truly no big deal!)
In 1998, when my father was dying, down in Tucson, AZ, I was away from my husband and children for 20 days.
Today marks 22 days I've been away from my husband. The longest time period apart in 28 years. Yes, I'm with one of my kids; and his 21 month old, and his 4 & 6 yr old step-kids, but I miss my partner. I miss my husband. I miss my man.
Of course, now it's safe for baby girl to come out and meet us, all signs of labor have stopped, even tho things were 3 minutes apart on Sunday night/Monday morning and we truly thought Feb 15 would be baby-day.
I am truly blessed to have been able to come and to stay for as long as I have and may still have to. Not every grandma would be able to just pick up and go like I was able to.
Blessings are hidden in the most mundane, most chaotic, most exhausted moments in the unusual days I've been having. And they are beautiful. Thank You, Jesus. For this opportunity.
Amy - February 16, 2010

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"No, we can't watch that show." I said to the 4 yr-old. "It's not for kids."
"Why?" she asked me seriously.
"Because, it's not for KIDS."
"But WHY?" a bit more forcefully this time.
"Because it's NOT for KIDS and YOU are a KID!" - ok, I was a bit more forceful too.
"Well, then is it for FIVE kids?" she asked me.

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I've recently discovered something. I mean, I thought I knew it, but I didn't know it down deep until now.
God worked it out so younger people should have and take care of babies/toddlers/school-aged children!
OK, so I had my second child at age 36. However, his older brother was 7 years older so it was sort of like having two only children. I had a LOT of time with the first one and a LOT of time with the second one. Well, maybe I didn't fill out #2's baby book as completely as I did with #1, but you get the idea.
I am currently in a home with two mid-twenties parents, a 6 yr.-old, a 4 yr.-old, and a 21 month old. And a 1 1/2 year-old Boxer. The oldest child is a boy. The others are so not boys. Meaning MAJOR drama!
The mother of these darlings is 36 weeks pregnant with child #4, for her, and this new one is trying to come early and has been for 2 1/2 weeks. Hence, the reason I am here. She's supposed to stay off her feet, but she's pretty stubborn, and she's a whirlwind, so if she's feeling good, it's difficult to get her to sit down. She saw the doctor today for her regular appointment and she said this young mom is in the early, early stages of labor, and now, if this baby wants to come, it's ok. Her husband keeps telling her to get up and move around. He's impatient.
I love this young family with all that I have in me. The husband here keeps asking me if I'm ok, if anything is wrong. I tell him no, nothing is wrong. He sat me down the other night and said, "OK, we have to have a serious conversation. Are you sorry you came?" I told him that of course I'm not sorry I came! I'm blessed to have been asked, and to have been able to make the time to be here with them. To bond closer with the young mother and all three children! To be here to greet #4 when she arrives!!
I'm just not used to the busyness of 3 young children and a large house dog. I'm not used to the mountains of laundry, the never-ending dishes, the "binky" that gets tossed then lost, causing an adult to yell, "WHERE'S THE BINKY?" every 10 minutes or so. I'm not used to putting on my Down coat at 7:50 in the mornings in -10 degree weather and taking a child across town to school, then coming home for 20 minutes and hauling the next one to pre-school, only to have to leave again in two hours to pick her up. Though in counting my blessings, the one-on-one time in the car with the oldest is some great talk-time with some deep thoughts from him, and while the pre-schooler's commute is a lot shorter, alone in the car, she can be counted on for a steady stream of priceless comments. It just occurred to me I can also praise the Lord that it's not Minus THIRTY degree weather. I've been here when that has happened as well!
As a empty-nester for the past year, (and I didn't want him to move out), I've grown used to routine. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. I've always been pretty spontaneous, certainly a great deal more spontaneous than my dear husband. But usually my days are fairly predictable, even with a lot of things to do to keep me very busy.
I think it's simply a matter of ENERGY. As in, I don't have as much as I used to! And, in the interest of having some tomorrow, I think I'll turn in now. Good night!
February 4, 2010

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This is a beautiful song, and a beautiful video.
Kudos to Carrie for writing about the Important Things

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