Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More State Street memories . . .

John asked for me to share some more memories of the old State Street area. So here goes . . .

My favorite part of State St is gone. I LOVED Aroma Pizza. I can remember going there almost everytime we went to my grandma's house and got grinders. The BEST grinders around. They also had wonderful sausage rolls. They had an old coke machine that had a door and you pulled the bottles out a hole. I literally cried when they closed. (and I was in college then)

Then there was the donuts at Scott Bakery. The HUGE cinnamon twists and the Fort Wayne Cruellers, which were like dunkin sticks. My mom loved the cinnamon twists and I would take her one to work when I was in trouble and it would right all wrongs. When I got married, I HAD to have my wedding cake from there. As a little girl we would stop in there and get the big Sesame Street cookies that were as big as your head, like cookie monster that would dye you tongue blue for hours. I loved the window down the back hall where you could watch them decorating the cakes in the back room. The morning I walked in there to get donuts a couple years ago and they told me that they were no longer making donuts I sat in the lot behind the place and cried.

I can also remember the OLD Candlelite and of course the tenderloins at the Acme. My grandma would take me there for lunch at one or the other and then we would head to Buschbaum's Drugstore which is now the parking lot of the library. Next to the library was a Roger's Market I think, then it was an IGA and finally a liquor store before becoming the library addition.

Most of my memories are about food. What is it with me and food. Says A LOT huh?

We'd always walk past the firestation and we would stop at Pio's Meat Market once in a while or stop into Fort Wayne National Bank on the corner of Crescent to do some banking. We would inevitably see the blind man who lived on Crescent near the flower shop. I used to see him every now and then but haven't seen him in the past couple years. I wonder if he is still around. He'd have to be pretty old. He never had a dog, just a red tipped cane. I would watch him cross the street as a small child and I was amazed.

My grandfather was in charge to hanging the Christmas decorations down the State Street Corridor up to Anthony Boulevard I think. The decorations mostly adorned the light posts.

About a year ago I saw a story on the news that talked about beautifying the stretch of East State from Kentucky to Florida. The exact area I am talking about. I was so excited. Not much has changed yet. But I guess the funds are there. The original plan had a couple of arches that spanned the road on the entrance to this area. I would live to see the plan come to fruition.

all photos courtesy of Allen County Album - rights of ACPL

Monday, November 27, 2006

A forgotten memory . . .

John over at Fort Wayne Left posted a picture of an old map he has of our fair city. He made specific mention to the residential facilty for mentally handicapped youth over on State Street. On the map it is referred to as "Indiana School for Feeble Minded Youths". We called it the old State School. This jogged my memory significantly. . .

You see, my grandparents lived directly across a very lightly traveled road from the State School. My grandmother babysat for children for as long as I can remember. She was always home during the day while my grandfather worked since she was very epileptic. I have heard her tell numerous stories about coming into the living room and finding one of those "feeble minded youth" sitting on their screened-in porch on the glider or sitting in the recliner in the front room watching television.

I can even remember my grandparents had the phone number to the State School taped to the inside of the cabinet next to the phone on a yellow piece of lined paper. (There was also a pig shaped cutting board that hung on he wall next to that phone. Who didn't have one of those back then?) They would simply call the school and someone would come and retireve the patient and walk them back to the facility. That is, after my grandmother would feed them some of her famous banana bread. I'll bet that's why they always found their way back to her porch. It never rattled my grandmother. She would say, "Well, at least they're coming somewhere safe."

Back to the grindstone . . .

Both kids are back to daycare today. McCartney has been out for nearly 2 weeks and Harrison was out all last week. He is tons better! Thanks for all the warm thoughts and prayers sent his way. The high fever was quite scary. Harrison did however pass along a wonderful protion of his illness to me. I have a miserable eye infection. I have never had pink-eye like this before. it is scratchy, red, swollen and hurts likes the dickens. Thanks buddy, I love you too.

They were miserable going back to school this morning. With a little crying, prodding, bribing and finally pulling they went into their rooms. They are fine now and enjoying being back with their friends.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Families . . .

I used to think that my mother's family was close. We had holidays together, they came together for birthdays, and we spoke on the phone. My grandmother passed away about 12 years ago She was a wonderfully witty, ornery and loving woman. I didn't realize until a few years ago that she was the glue that held our family together. After she passed, we started having separate holidays. One of my mother's twin brothers completely withdrew from the family. They began having their won celebrations. His wife, my favorite aunt, became a distant part of my "old" life. She didn't even see my children until Harrison was about 2 and I'm not really sure if she's even met McCartney. My grandfather with whom I spent HUGE amounts of my childhood with became distant as well. You see, my grandma and grandpa pretty much "raised" me. I lived with my parents, but I was ALWAYS at their house. They took me out to eat several times a week, I went camping with them almost every weekend, and even as an adult I spent a lot of time at their house. I was the eldest and the only granddaughter and when my grandmother was sick for the last 2 years of her life, I was obligated to visit and eat dinner there at least once a week maybe more. My grandparents were a large part of my life.

My grandfather spent about 5 years mourning my grandmother. Spending each and every day at he grave site "visiting" her. Then . . . he found a girlfriend. I only see him on Christmas and he doesn't even know my children's names. He always calls Harrison the wrong name . . . Benjamin. Oddly enough he tells stories about "Betty's" great grandchildren's escapades including names and ages. I tried to keep close, I'd call and visit, but he never reciprocated. Remarkably phones work both ways, he could call me as well, but he doesn't give me the time. It makes me sad and bitter.

My father's family hasn't been much better since he passed away. They don't call even when my grandmother was hospitalized with a heart condition yet they harp on me for not keeping in touch. They must have those same one-way phones that only ring , what are the odds? They don't call on birthdays, holidays and didn't even visit when my kids were born. I try to keep in touch, but I have 2 small children and a special needs child. Still, I call more often than they do. My aunts and uncles on that side are not exactly classy. I attended my great aunt's funeral a few months ago with my mother. My aunts and uncle were rude which didn't surprise me, but what did surprise me is that my grandmother was nasty as well. What exactly did I do wrong?

On a positive side, my mother was remarried 9 years ago. She married into a wonderfully close-knit family. They have excepted my brother and I into the family as if we always belonged. I went to my step-brother's house for Thanksgiving. The whole family was there. They are wonderfully kind, generous, loving people. I think of them as my own family. Thank God for people who still value family. They know me better than my own families. They send my kids cards on their birthday, visited me right after I had the babies, pray for us nightly, and call to see how we are all doing. They treat us like families should.

I am still wondering how to deal with my dad's side of the family this Christmas. I don't really want to go to their smokey, trashy Christmas after they treated me the way they did at the funeral. I don't want my kids to have to spend their Christmas with people they don't know and people who don't care to be a part of their life. My dad would understand that. I think I'm going to have to write a letter to my grandmother explaining my choices. I don't think I could make it worse.

Wow, what a lengthy kvetch. I will hold the memories of my family close. I will miss them and maybe we will come together again. For the mean time. I truly am thankful to be welcomed into a family that values one another. I am blessed.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Memories . . .

Harrison had to return to the pediatrician's office today. The doctor is thinking this is a virus but he is concerned that it could be a percursor to Kawasaki Syndrome which is a blood infection that affects the heart. If they determine this could be the case, he would have to go into the hospital and have some intravenous gamma globulin. They will not label it Kawasaki until he has the fever for over 5 days. We are only on day four.

When we left for the doctor's office he was running a 102 fever. While there he was actually under 98.6 degrees. About an hour later he was up to 104 again. This is going to make me crazy.

Well, since we weren;t gonna be able to go to Kentucky fro Thanksgiving, I decided that McCartney and I would go downtown and attend the annual festivities of holiday lighting. Fort Wayne has this wonderful 155 foot long Santa and sleigh that is on a downtown bank building. It has been there for as long as I remember. I can rememebr going dowtown with my parents and brother and watching them light the Santa. I can remember there being about 20 cars in the parking lot and about 50-100 people to watch the lighting. We would then travel down the block and eat at Coney Island Weiner Stand, a Fort Wayne icon.

Fast forward to today. McCartney and I headed downtown about 5:40pm to see the lighting at 6:15. Wow. People everywhere! We had to park a few blocks away and shuffle around until we got close enough for McCartney to see the Santa. We found a nice spot on the median on the road they closed off in front of the building. After about, oh I don't know, 3 minutes, she proclaims, "Mommy I have to potty." You have to be kidding me. I could not find a building that had a bathroom that was open, so we tromped back to the car and I did lots of convincing her to squat behind the van. The whole time she was saying "I have to pee in a potty!" quite loudly.

We then ran quickly back to the festivities, shuffled back through the crowd to yells from McCartney of "This is NOT our spot." Thankfully we got close enough to where we were to appease her. The Santa was lit and McCartney was thrilled. We then shuffled like a herd of cattle down the street to the lighting of the Christmas tree. By this time she was exhausted. I had her on my shoudlers when she starting getting heavier and heavier. A gentleman next to me said, "You should probably take her down she is nodding off" Apparently her head was bobbing around like and old man trying to stay awake in church. She refused to walk and my back was killing me so as I sat her down she collapsed on the ground in protest refusing to walk. Like the good mother I am, I took pictures of my child laying on the sidewalk. I knew daddy had to see this one. . .

Girls night out!

The big red guy

Before the meltdown

Fort Wayne's tradition

Oh the drama!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Bored and waiting for next medication dose . . .

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Thanks Claudia!

No Thanksgiving for us . . .

Well, I came home from therapy with Dustin this evening after a short trip to the grocery. I came home to Harrison sleeping on the kid's couch. He looked pretty blissful, about 2 hours earlier he was awake, alert and relatively non-fevering. After I had been home about 20 minutes I came over to feel his forehead and he was burning up. I took his temperature and it was 105.1 ! After a quick call to the after hours doctor and we were off to the hospital.

By the time he was seen at the hospital, he had a temp of 105.6 and was very lethargic. His eyes were red and swollen and he was barely able to stay awake. I was quite frightened. In all my years of daycare, had never heard of a fever so high before. I was so concerned that he was going to have a febrile seizure. Luckily, with more medication his fever did finally subside after about and hour and a half at the hospital. They think it is simply a viral infection or possibly Kawasaki Syndrome which can be quite severe. We have to really keep an eye on this fever and with any symptoms that he may develop in the next few days. I'm certain that we will be off to the doctor again tomorrow.

Keep my little sugar in your thoughts and prayers. Right now he is sleeping behind me, snoring away. His beautiful blond hair is wet with sweat as his fever hasn't quite subsided all the way. I am truly blessed with the ornery little thing, and I simply want him to feel better soon. Sorry Granny Wanda, Kentucky will have to wait.

Lysol bomb . . .

I think I need a lysol bomb in my house. Acutally yesterday I wiped everything down with bleach, walls, door knobs, light switches, and drawer handles. Our family cannot get better. Right now the two little kids are horribly sick. McCartney came down with it on Thursday: high fever, lethargic and very irritable. She went to the doctor and got medicine on Friday, but ran a 103 fever all weekend. Harrison was okay until Saturday when his eye starting getting goopy. I thought it was pink eye, but it kept swelling and spread to the other eye. I took him to the doctor on Monday, and our pediatrician was very concerned. He had a sever sinus infection which had effected his eyes as well and the doc was quite worried, treating it aggressively with a shot and hefty anitbiotics. I was in shock, McCartney was presenting much sicker than he was. Well, that is until about 9:00 pm. I came over to the kids couch and felt Harrison's head, he was ON FIRE. I temp-ed him and it was 104.8 degrees. YIKES!

I freaked out. I called the doctor's after-hours service - I got his partner, who is a fabulous doctor but has the personality of a potato. He acted like I was crazy for over-reacting. Over-reacting? My child's brain is cooking. I gave him a huge dose of Ibuprofen and it finally broke and starting going down in about an hour. Today, the shot is definately taking effect, he is doing much better and I think we may actually get to go to Kentucky for the holiday. Crazy how kids can bounce back from illness.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

A public service announcement . . .

I became a certified American Red Cross instructor about 3 years ago. Due to my job and the fact that I train all new employees as they come into our facility, we decided hat it would be more cost efective to have a trainer on site. It was a a lengthy process of classes and tests and was quite pricey, but I'm so glad that I did it. I have had to take CPR and First Aid for the past 16 years due to my profession, however I feel as though I really know the material for the first time.

I always have staff tell me that they don't know if they will know what to do in an emergency situation, I always encourage them that the skills will come back and you will remember them. Each age group used to be was diferent counts, different depths of compressions, different speeds etc. This past year the Red Cross and the American Heart Association revamped the CPR skills and make it far simpler. All the skills are generalized and pretty much the same for each age group, adult, infant and children. It is wonderful! It has given people the confidence to give CPR and it is still as effective as before. I am always very cautious to tell my students that you are not trying to resart the heart, the goal of CPR is to simply circulate the blood through the body until advanced medical care arrives.

Learn CPR. Your family is worth the time and effort.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Give me a break . . .

I just received a call from my son's school. Apparently he had punched a child in the "privates". The administrator called me because she was concerned that it may be sexually motivated. Bull-oney! He is a 5 year old in an 11 year old body. He thought it was funny! I understand he cannot hit, but hitting in the "privates" is not significant other than that. I spoke to him, gave him what-for and assured her that he would be punished and that he was not acting sexually, he simply does not function on that level. Her last statement was that she would "speak to him about how that could be construed as sexual harassment".

Whatever. She just doesn't get it.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The way kids heads work . . .

Today I was painting all day. The kids finally left me alone and got involved in playing a game in the computer room. Harrison was jumping on the daybed wearing a football helmet. He was playing "football" and making plays. Pretty much he was saying "hut-hut" a lot. Anyway, he was telling his sister that he was number 88 Marvin Harrison.

McCartney goes "Yeah, you're Marvin Harrison and I'm Marvin McCartney!"

I thought that was a pretty good grasp of our language, and darn funny too.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Blue Moon of Kentucky keep on shinin' . . .

The Rouse's will be venturing to Kentucky to see family later this month to celebrate the Turkey Holiday. I am oh-so thrilled to be traveling for 7 hours in a car with my three children. But, I suppose that I must have a pre-cursor to the 20+ hour drive we will be making in March when we travel to Florida.

We haven't been to the state of bourbon and spelunking for well over a year and a half. (speaking of spelunking that reminds me of a long 4 hour trip through Mammoth Cave 5 months pregnant and asthmatic UGH) The kids love to visit Granny Wanda and see the cows on her farm, so they will be thrilled. Mccartney will truly appreciate it this time as she is older and much more independant than she was the last time. Hopefully we will have good weather. This picture was taken the last time we were in the great state of Kentucky. It was not taken on the family farm, but I thought it was hysterical. Used Cows? Funny!

On a side note, it is always odd to join another families holiday celebrations. I am very much a creature of habit and when you change my traditions it screws with me. The weirdest thing is the difference in the food. I think my family's food is the best when it comes to holidays. Robert's family makes wonderful food, it's just different dishes and different ways to prepare them. It's weird for me. I miss my "traditional" Crozier family dishes, but after 9 years I have come to appreciate and enjoy their Thanksgiving as well.

So . . . watch out Granny Wanda, we're comin' . . .

Here's a picture af a very young Harrison on the farm

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Scary stuff . . .

Anyone that has child involved in special education knows that IEP can be a scary thing. I had an IEP conference today to amend Dustin's IEP with a new behavior plan. I have been dreading it all week. I knew that I would have to bring up some issues that I thought the school was falling short in. Well, slap me face and call me spanky . . . they had already made adjustments to their programs and had included all my concerns into the behavior plan already. I made very few suggestions and they were all very minimal. I knew that this staff was pretty amazing and worked hard together, but I was dumbfounded.

It was a very positive experience and that is rare when it comes to FAS kids, IEPs and behavior plans. The administrator that was there was kind, encouraging and helpful as well. I was totally impressed.

Another scary thought . . . Tina Taviano lost her race for sheriff. Scary? Yes. We now have a good old boy running a multi-million dollar budget on a high school diploma. . . yikes. Congrats Tina on all the hard work and effort and heart you put into your campaign. You are a true hero in my book!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Funny stuff . . .

I was reading one of my daily reads and Claudia did this. I thought I'd give it a try and it is some funny stuff. All I did was google, "Sheri is a". Thanks for the idea Claudia! Here's what I found . . .
Sheri is a dedicated professional who takes great pride in her ability to transform an average head of hair into a work of art (if only I could do my own hair so that it looked presentable)

Sheri is a sweetheart, but don't think that means she won't speak her mind! ( you got that right sister!)

Sheri is a mother to three daughters (oh heavens, thankfully no)

Sheri is a kewl chick (Sheri hates when people spell cool KEWL)

Sheri is a certified pet dog trainer through the Certification Council for Pet Dogs (have you met my dogs? Definitely not obedient)

Sheri is a wise, wonderful and vivacious Teacher and Counselor of Wholistic Sexuality for Men & Women (uh, yeah)

Sheri is a Registered Master Level Reiki Teacher and Practitioner, a Certified Arch Healing Practitioner and a Birth Doula with a Spiritual Birthing (apparently you weren't within a 2 mile radius when I gave birth, or you would've heard me screaming profanities mixed with prayers for the end)

Sheri is a saint by my definition and you can't go wrong supporting this project! (oh well, that's right)

Sheri is a straight-talking woman (once again, nailed it on the head)

Sheri is a cozy "comfort sweater" that has all the appeal of your favorite polar fleece (way too hot blooded for fleece)

Sheri is a morals advocate by day, and an exotic dancer by night to help ends meet (this one just cracks me up!)

I could've done this all night. Very funny!

VOTE, VOTE, VOTE, and by the way, VOTE . . .

I woke this morning by rolling over and putting my hand into something wet. I waz thinking that Harrison, who had joined us sometime in the night, had pee'd in my bed (eeeew) so I lifted him out of my bed and sent him to the potty. I went to the bathroom and told him to change his undies when he said, "But mommy, they're not wet." I walked back into the room and realized he had "yacked" all over my bed. Then I realized that I had put my arm in it. Gross! You must realize that I was awoken yesterday to my daughter telling me at 4 in he morning that "Mommy I choked" and was covered in puke. Robert has been working at headquarters, so I had to stay home. Yesterday and apparently today as well. I better not get it next! I'm loading up on my herbs so that maybe I'll ward it off.

I decided to get up and go vote early. It was a wreck. There were no signs on the street or in the complex where we vote. And no signs near the door of the building where we vote. This voting place is new and changed just before he primary, so many people haven't used it. I was told I had to sign in on a legal pad. When I asked why, they said it was for the volunteers. I asked who, and they couldn't give me a reason. After about 3 more questions I was told it was voluntary, but it was not made to seem that way. I still don't know what it was for, I did however, not sign it. I waited in a long line and did my civic duty. I took great pleasure in NOT pressing the button for Mark Edward Souder for the 7th time. That is a personal record!

Got out and vote. And by the way . . . don't let your son crawl in bed with you after your daughter has been sick. . . it's yucky!

Friday, November 03, 2006

I give up . . .

I'm done. The strep is back. I have given up on traditional medication and I will try herbal remedies. My sister in law is a staunch advocate of herbal remedies and I have also resorted to them in the past. I have had strep 3 times since the beginning of August. Obviously the medicine is not cutting the infection. It is still laying dormant in my body.

I am off the slay the strep with lots and lots of Echinacea, Golden Seal, Vitamin C and an immune booster that I can't spell. . .