Thursday, October 25, 2012

Development, Desire and Diligence - looking into 2013

Oh, blogging...I left you behind in what feels like the distant's time to rejoin the blogosphere.

In a way, I am adding these last 2(ish) months of 2012 to my 2013 Journey.  My Focus for the next 14 months can be summed up in 3 D words: 
Development, Desire, and Diligence. 

I dub 2013 my 3D Year!

Weight Loss 

I have decided to be totally transparent about it to the world - a terrifying concept.  On Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 - my fabulous OB/Gyn made it very clear that I should lose 60 pounds before getting pregnant again - She'll take 30, but 60 is the goal.  Understanding that I'm nearly 44 and seriously considering having a second child means I have to take my weight and health seriously.

The journey will be well documented on Facebook...and I will most likely Journal about my successes and failures here.  I am taking a great deal of strength from the fact that in the past 5 days, I have had two people indicate to me that they are using my posts as inspiration to start their own journey into health.  I love the idea of being inspirational to people and this kind of support means that not only is my success more likely, but I am more likely to succeed because people are looking to me as some kind of touchstone.

Jewish Conversion

The light at the end of the tunnel for this 5 year journey is shining brightly.  I'm hoping sometime in the first few months of the year that Audrey and I will dip in the Mikvah.  Striving for a Jewish home, it is my hope and desire that Sid (my husband) embrace these roots and walk this journey with us.  He is supportive and amazing.  He knows I will always ask and never nag, but that participating in Temple activities and Shabbat at home, that we will enrich our own lives.  A daily prayer.  If he never does, that's fine with me as I know he respects my journey into this faith that speaks to me so clearly.

Campfire Films

Wow.  What a great year for Campfire-2013 promises to be better.  This is a start up that I am working on with a friend and new producing partner.  She is an amazing woman.  We have a strong group of projects, in a niche that is under-served.  I look forward to continuing this journey and getting the company off the ground.  As always, it's about selling projects, raising money and creating a brand.  For me, this is combined with the journey back to seeking my bliss.  I miss producing terribly and am so confident that Campfire is the way home for me.


The conversation for Tiny Hammond #2 has begun, but will be on the back burner until weight loss is achieved.  In the meantime, our Tiny Human is thriving and flourishing.  She is a wonder to behold and at once is sweet and challenging.  She is kind and stubborn; beautiful and willful.  I would have her no other way.  Our progress as a family is also challenging and full of blessings.  Sid and I are very different people and very different parents.  My ever hope is that Audrey gets ALL the best of the both of us.  If she does, her future is bright and her success inevitable.

Today 10/25 begins 3D!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A profound event that changed my life

On June 6, 2010 at 1:52pm I became someone's mother. Her name is Audrey Helen Hammond and she came out perfect. 6 lbs 12 oz and 18 inches long. Red hair, for the moment her blue eyes -- just perfect.

I am 42 years old, married to a wonderful man...and now I am a mother. Even after 8 months, the word is so foreign to me that I have not yet been able to incorporate it into my existence -- into my psyche -- into my soul. Before I get into the absolute change in my consciousness, I should back track to the few days before I became a mother.

My due date was June 26th. On June 4th, I went into the OB for my normal weekly appointment (in the last month of pregnancy, they request that you come in weekly). The doctor checked me and I was 80% effaced and 3 cm dilated. So all the contractions that I had been feeling over the weeks prior were not for nothing...I had progressed.

I said, "Oh, so I probably shouldn't go back to work, because it's going to be any minute now..."

My doctor says "Well, you could go back to work"

I say, "I work an hour drive away from the hospital."

My doctor says, "Okay, I'll write your more work for you...we should see you in the hospital Monday or Tuesday...get to walking."

I had two other doctors' appointments that day, a meeting with the pediatrician and then a final "how big is this baby ultrasound" appt. due to my gestational diabetes. They were a pound off of her birth weight - the thought she was 5 lbs 11 oz.

On Saturday, June 5th, I started to have fairly regular contractions. My dear husband had been working all day on a commercial shoot somewhere a few miles from where God lost his shoes in the desert. He had taken a bus there from another meet up location, so getting him home would've been difficult. I had a chat with Audrey that she had to wait until Daddy got home. A good and dutiful daughter, she complied.

My friend Julie was around helping me bake cookies for the maternity ward nurses and generally being supportive. She was supposed to leave, so I called the doula. At this point, my contractions were about 7-8 minutes apart and intense (well, I thought so at that point).

Sid arrived home around 6pm, the doula arrived shortly thereafter, Julie left.

At around 8pm, I called my mother to tell her what was going on and that my contractions were about three minutes apart. She said to me, well, you should probably go to the hospital. In recent years, I have learned that listening to one's mother is usually a good idea. In this case, I'll give it 50/50 that I should've listened.

So, off to the hospital we went. We arrived, checked in (delivered the cookies) and waited.

Several hours later, and after about a 1/2 gallon of water and ice. I was exhausted, angry and ready to go home. Nothing was happening. My contractions were further apart and it was hard to move around. Audrey's arrival was no longer imminent. I cried and told Sid that I wanted to go home. He went to the nurse and at 2:30am implored her to call my doctor and have me released. Much to our nurse's surprise, my doctor agreed.

Most likely the contractions were brought on by dehydration. To this day, my husband refers to it as false labor; a phrase I despise.

We packed up and went home. I slept, I ate. My contractions continued to come intermittently and were not particularly intense.

I woke up, walked the dogs, ate breakfast and then at about 5 minutes before 11am on Sunday, June 6, 2010 -- my water broke...while it is an uncommon occurrence to happen the way that it did with me, I can tell you -- it was like in a movie.

Sid, being well practiced from the night before asked me some questions. Brought me dry clothes (Which weren't dry for long). Then there were the contractions....the real live, holy crap, I'm going to die contractions.

I have rarely been brought to my knees by pain...this pain brought me to my knees, literally!

The memory is academic,. My body does not hold the pain memory the same way that it does for my torn ACL or the kidney stones I once had.

So, after several attempts to get the doula on the phone (Thankfully the car was packed from the night before) and one major contraction that brought me to the floor of the bathroom. I said to Sid, "we should probably go to the hospital".

On the way to the hospital (15 minutes away) - I had four contractions. we arrived, and I could not walk. They wheeled me up (if you are squeamish, skip the next sentence)... Amniotic fluid pouring out of my lady bits the the entire time - I do not envy the orderly who had to clean up that mess.

Sid parked the car and joined me in a dimly lit room. The hep lock in the back of my hand. I leaned back in the bed.

Natalie, our delivery nurse, encouraged me to bring the the bed up to a 90% angle, turn around and kneel facing the back of the bed. when I finally acquiesced, I knew I should've done it as soon as I came in the room (note to self, next time!).

The pain was intense, but I was determined to keep painkillers out of my system.

I screamed and yelled and begged to push (only 6CM dilated, no pushing here). My eyes were closed (I can close my eyes now and recall the sensations of the room, Sid's presence next to me).

If I couldn't push, I was going to scream - and I did. The sound that came out of me was one I doubt I could repeat if someone paid me too. (The next day, Sid ran into one of the other Dad's in the nursery when Audrey was getting checked for something, apparently, he and his wife came in around the same time. They heard me.)

My will to go all natural began to wane...Through teared cheeks and tightly closed eyes, I said to Sid, "I don't know if I can do this without drugs" -- He leaned in and whispered in my ear, "Anything you introduce now will simply slow this process down."

The perfect words in the perfect time. I let out a holler and exhaled through my gritted teeth.

Several minutes later, I asked to be checked. I had dilated from 6 to 9cm in less than 20 minutes.

The doula was there, and all I heard was that she would get me a cool towel for my forehead.

I was in the zone at that moment and I knew if she touched me or my body temperature changed, I would throw I, not so politely, decline the offer. Our wonderful blessing of a doula stepped back and watched the next several minutes.

It was time to push. No doctor. Natalie grabbed one leg and Sid grabbed the other. I pushed against their hips and the counter pressure helped me push my little Audrey into this world.

I remember clearly, Sid saying "she's almost here - one more push" and Natalie saying "There's a bunch of curly blond hair coming out" (and of course the two things that my conscious mind thought, blond? curly? not a chance!)

I pushed, her head delivered...I pushed again and her shoulders were out. The pain was over...literally... gone and forgotten. It was 1:52pm - Almost exactly three hours from the moment my water broke.

She was placed on my chest, her umbilical cord still pulsing. Sid cut the cord, they took her across the room to clean her up. I remember "This is Us" playing on the ipod.

My doctor proclaimed my Gestational diabetes cured and told me that if everyone had a birth experience like mine, the world would have an even worse over population problem.

There I was, with my perfect birth experience, my perfect husband, my perfect baby --- I was someone's mother.

When we were transferred to our private room, the first movie that Audrey was exposed to was JJ Abrams Star Trek - a fitting first film for our daughter.

We spent two blissful days mostly isolated, getting to know one another. Sleeping, cuddling, eating. Sid visited intermittently, somehow, intuitively knowing, that for Audrey and I this time was sacred.

She had arrived, my daughter...and we started our journey together as mother and daughter, on our terms and in our own way.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Time Flies--my thoughts and musings on friday afternoon...

How is it possible that I've not posted in 10 months!

Blogging is something that I enjoy doing, but don't seem to have the proper time set aside to do it. It's like journaling. I always feel better when I do it, but I don't do it.

When I got pregnant, with a gift card from my fabulous friend, Nellie Thompson, I bought a beautiful leather bound journal to keep track of all the day to day things that would happen during my pregnancy. Instead, I've kept notes from doula interviews and for doctor visits in it. It's a start, i guess, but I've only written one journal entry.

I am now, thankfully, 6 mos. pregnant. Happy as a clam about it, although being pregnant is truly a miserable experience. I know it's for a good cause, but i can't push myself the way I did before being pregnant because it catches up to me far too quickly.

Also, picture taking. I think we have exactly three pictures of the pregnant belly and none of my wonderful hubby, Sid, and I together. I will have to fix that!

I have been convinced by my friend Belinda that I should write the crane story. I'm terrified of creative writing. It seems so, well, so very very lonely.

Since I last wrote, so much has happened. the pregnancy, two movies that I produced have been released, we got another dog, so we now have two furry children.

I'm pleased that some kind of health insurance reform has passed. Although, I must say, I HATE that people call it healthcare reform, it's not. It's a bill that deals with health insurance, not true health care! I don't think the bill passes is the greatest bill, but it's a first step in a long road to figuring out what's right.

Sid and I will be (thanks to Sid's diligence) on a show during sweeps week. It's called THE DOCTORS. He had to wear a empathy pregnant belly. It was awesome! I'll let you know when the show airs.

I'm still upset at the Supreme Court for basically handing over elections to Corporate entities. I printed out and started reading teh 183 page opinion. Had to put it down and haven't gone back to it yet, but I will. There will probably be some blogs about that once I get through it.

So, my goal here is to post a blog once a week...when I sloughed off last time, Mr. Hanner reminded me that I was a slacker. I am emploring you all to do the same.

much to catch up on, many things to muse about and many thoughts to have. If there is a particular topic that you think I should blog on, let me know.

Friday, May 15, 2009

over a

How is that possible? I enjoy blogging so much, I can't believe it's been over a month.

So much has happened...and while, this is a quite a public place to air something that was excrutiatingly difficult, it's sort of a must must for me. I won't journal about it, so posting here will be the best.

First off, I must say to, I am now fine. For the past month, Sid and I have had the biggest roller coaster of our realtionship so far. On April 23, we found out that I was pregnant. Since it'd really only been a couple of months that we'd started trying and I'm old...I couldn't believe it.

We waited a couple of weeks and went to the doctor. Who confirmed that I was pregnant. They took some blood. She called the next day and I knew something was terribly wrong. Seems my progesterone levels were too low to sustain a pregnancy...

"So, I'm not pregnant", I asked.

"No, she said, you are pregnant, but this is a sign that something is wrong. You should come in tomorrow and have another test. If your progesterone hasn't doubled, then you'll miscarry."

I hung up the phone, in shock. Disappointed and terrified.

So, over Mother's Day weekend, I had an early term miscarriage (I was almost 6 weeks pregnant). The universe sometimes has a cruel and unusual sense of humor.

I will spare you all the ins and outs of making the choice not to have a D&C and allow my body to do it's work.....I am recovering physically and emotionally from the trauma, but this has taught me some valuable lessons and reminded me of some things that I some times take for granted.

1) I am not, in fact, invincible.

2) My husband is the most wonderful man I have ever known in my entire life. He has been so generous, kind and patient ... it's been a very serious roller coaster ride of emotions for me! He has handled the whole thing with grace and love. Putting my needs and comfort ahead of his own ... His grief and frustration and feelings of helplessness were apparent, but he gutted through them in order to make sure that I had everything I could need or want.

3) I have the best friends and family a person could possibly ever want.

4) The journey through this has taught me how common it is ... so many stories have come through to me about people they know who've been through this exact same thing...

5) Chocolate does really help heal a broken heart! (and so does Pizza)

Ultimately, what I know more now than I did before is that I am blessed. I am truly truly grateful for all the love and support I have received during this time.

So, onward and upward...We will try again and all I ask is for your prayers and good thoughts that sometime in 2010 Sid and I are able to bring a beautiful, healthy, perfect little Hammond into the world.

Thanks for listening..and thanks for letting me share. It means the world to me that you all pay even the remotest bit of attention to my musings and wandering thoughts.

much love...

(For our bestest friends who didn't know, I aplogize in advance that we didn't tell you...the past week has been just too hard...I will call you soon.)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Most of my friends know that I have a morbid fascination, almost a desire for the apocolypse to come...and really, recently, I've renamed it to the "downfall".

I have, as crazy as this sounds, an unyielding belief that in my lifetime, society will collapse to a point where we will all be growing our own food and surviving much the same way our ancestors did eons ago.

Once, as a joke during my first Thanksgiving with this great community of friends that are our (mine and my husband's) chosen family, I made comment that if the apocolypse came, I was going to Matt Hanner's house. In the last three and half years, this idea has grown and morphed into a psuedo plan of action for when the downfall comes.

How will we keep the motorcylces running?
How will we eat?
What will we eat?
Who will come with us?
Where will we meet to go to the place I now reference in my head as Hannerville?

Most of my friends think I'm nuts to be so concerned about the downfall..they're nice and humor me...I laugh at myself knowing that the possibility of downfall is truly slim...but on another level, I year for simplicity. I have designed a life that is complicated and overwhelmingly busy...
(And yes, I know, living without Emergency Rooms and indoor plumbing will actually be BRUTAL, I can romantize it! I'm allowed....) ;-)

So my musings about Hannerville, really are in some ways wishful thinking.

I have decided to create a virtual Hannerville, and like with the crane story, have started developing ideas for either another blog, or a book or who knows what.....perhaps just a really nice short story.

My husband asked me the other day, why Hannerville and not Hammond which I could only answer, "because it has to be".....

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thoughts and wonderment of Speakmans past.....

Since i know very little about the extended side of my Speakman Family. Periodically I do google searches of their names. A few years ago I found the following two obituaries ...

This was my great uncle

Union City Times-Gazette, Wednesday, October 25, 1939
Winchester cyclist killed as machine collides with truck. - Donald Speakman is dead; companion badly injured.

Donald Speakman, 22, of Winchester, was killed and Frank Mannn, 19, also of Winchester, was badly injured in a motorcycle truck crash on state road 32 west of Parker last evening about 5:30 o'clock.

Speakman died just as the Perry ambulance from Parker arrived at Ball hospital in Muncie. Mann, thought not critically injured, was confined to the hospital.

Investigating officers said that Speakman, operating the machine, and Mann were enroute west to Muncie where they were to begin work on the night shift at Ball Brothers factory.

The cycle collided with an Eavey truck from Richmond, going east, operated by Ralph Green, 1516 North E street, Richmond, the machine striking the truck in rear of the cab. The accident occurred about one and a half miles east of Parker in front of the Joe Reed home.

The truck driver told Sheriff Lester Mann and Deputy Sheriff Kora E. Davis that Speakman and his companion were lighting a cigarette and that sensing an accident he swerved his truck to the side of the highway. The crash came, the truck was overturned and the motorcycle was thrown into a side ditch, a mass of wreckage.

Speakman's leg was torn off as was part of the pelvic bone. His body was on the blacktop highway, his severed leg in the ditch when aid arrived.

Speakman was born September 10, 1917 and was married but had no children. His wife, Mary Louise, is an employee of the Anchor Hocking Glass corporation. Parents are Jerad and Mattie Speakman of Winchester. Lawrence Speakman of Winchester is a brother.

The deceased lived in an apartment above Mary's dress shop on the west side of the courthouse square and just last week had purchased a property on Orange street in Winchester.

The body was prepared for burial at the Perry funeral home in Parker. Funeral arrangement will be completed this morning.

(The funeral was conducted Friday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the home, 137 East Orange street, Winchester, in charge of Rev. Jacob Frazier. The interment place was not named.)

And THIS was my grandfather

Union City Times-Gazette, Monday, December 18, 1939

Funeral to be this afternoon. - Lawrence Speakman, 29, claimed by death Saturday morning.
Funeral services for Lawrence Speakman, 29, who died at his home, Union and Short streets, in Winchester, Saturday morning, will be conducted this afternoon at 1 o'clock at the residence in charge of Rev. Jacob Frazier. Burial will be made at Upland.

Surviving are the wife, Lucy, three children, Jeanette May, Myrtle Louise and Preston Randolph, all at home, and the parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jared Speakman, of Winchester.

The deceased was a brother of Donald Speakman, who was killed October 24, near Parker, in a motorcycle-truck accident.

The body has been returned to the residence from the Fraze funeral home. Friends are invited to call.

The police docket shows the report that Speakman "died after drinking medicine left for his nerves."


I have a lot of questions that will probably never be grandmother Lucy, was pregnant with their 4th child when this incident happened. Was it suicide? or truly an accident? if suicide, why would a man of only 29 with a wife, three kids and one on the way abanadon them in this way? My father never really spoke of it with me, and I never really asked....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

a little bit of fiction for a thursday afternoon...

I'm working out some issues with this, i started writing sort of a twitter/blog for one of the characters...

Would love some honest feedback on the writing and the idea. Some of you might know what this is...i've been talking about this story for a few years. Since I first heard it. more to come...

Day 1

I’m calling this Day 1, because it’s the first day after the accident…

I woke up in this really strange place…humans seemingly everywhere. Strange lights. I was sore and tired. We were inside. I couldn’t smell the water. I’d been hit by a boy on a bicycle once …but this time when I saw the lights, I knew that Felicia and I had been in bigger trouble than ever before….now here I am…I can feel that my back is against something cold…my feet are not on the ground. Wow, I am so tired.

I’ve been near humans before. When that boy hit me on his bicycle, he was so gentle. He brought me into his home and gave me some water. I was only stunned. I was just a young bird at the time. That was before I met Felicia…Felicia..where is she? I can’t move my head.

Oh, this sucks.

Maybe if I take a nap…I’ll remember something…

Day 5
Wh….whaaa….Whaaaat happened?

I still don’t know where I am. Humans are everywhere. I can hear some other cranes, but can only see the walls. I can’t smell the water. I miss the smell of the water.

I’m finally standing, instead of being on my back, which is nice. Cranes aren’t supposed to be on their backs, you know. The creator didn’t design us that way.

Let me see if I can stretch…Ouch! Okay, maybe I’m not quite ready for that…

I’m behind a fence. The floor is cold and the food their giving me looks like raccoon poop, but it tastes okay.

What do I remember…let me think.

We were flying toward our winter place. I think we were off track, the wind didn’t smell or feel right. Felicia was really scared. – Felicia where are you? Why aren’t you here with me. I hope they didn’t hurt you.


The humans are looking at me. I must’ve made some kind of noise.

Felicia’s dead…I remember now..when they found me, I had my wing covering her head. She had been breathing right after the accident. I thought if I could keep her head covered she might okay. There was blood everywhere. She rubbed my beak with hers…that was the last thing …

It’s getting dark in here again. I’m so tired.

Day 6
How am I going to live without her..cranes mate for life, you know…this is just terrible. They should’ve left me with her, I can’t live.
I’m so angry. These humans can take their food. I’m not eating anymore..

Day 15
It’s been days since I ate anything and the humans have started to force feed me. It’s a rather undignified experience, I must say.

The put a huge syringe of food down my throat. I wish I could just die.

Day 21
They let me out in the sun today. It was nice to smell the water.

I finally decided that dying is probably not the best thing for me. I miss Felicia, but she’d be mad at me if she knew what I was trying to starve . I miss her.

She’s screeching and hollering from wherever she is that I just need to get up and get a move on. . She was a force, that one. I'll never find another like her...I'm probably too old to find another anyway....

It’s winter where we’re from and I’ve got to find the other cranes..they are probably all at the salt by now. I need to find them, to be near them. You know, even it is just to help my cousins and brothers figure out how to raise their own young. Be an "elder" ... that would be nice..Teach the boys the art of the dance.

Oh, Felicia could dance. It was so beautiful when we were courting. She picked me over Theo because I was a better dancer. He is for sure a better provider and nester than I could ever hope to be, but she liked the way I dance. Amy ended up with him. I wonder if they made it to the salt this year.

We’re close to salt where we are. I can smell it. I hear the other cranes, but can’t see them.
There’s a sparrow here named Jake. Nice enough guy, but he talks so much. I wish he would just leave me alone.

He keeps telling me that the cranes I heard inside weren’t real cranes but that the real cranes aren’t far away and if I could get my flight back, he’d take me to see them.

Uh, oh..there’s a group of green humans coming toware me….I wonder what they want.

They’ve got a HUGE fence with them. Oh no, they are trying to grab me.

Oh, crap. Here we go again.

Day 27.

The humans have locked me in a cage. And they are taking me somewhere. If they let me go on my own, I’ll probably be okay. I just need to find the other cranes.It’s so frustrating not being able to be on your own..waiting for the humans to take care of me..