My People

My People
My People - Cosette, Austin, Oliver, Cody, me & Ryan. Just think, had I not lived, these people wouldn't be on the planet. They are my whole heart!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

cough it up!

Audience participation time!

Since I have about a hundred of you daily lurkers out there… I’m interested in some feedback.

Blogging was KEY in my initial weight loss success because of the support it brought… and the information I gained.

I’m mulling over some healthy habits that I want to incorporate into my lifestyle. I’ve been compiling a list of healthy foods that I love… some easy things to do to increase F&V (fruit and veggie) intake (such as adding chopped kale to a low cal, low salt canned soup)… and I am EXCITED about grocery shopping for non-guilt food!

What are your favorite no-guilt foods? I’m not a great cook but I can stir fry and I can throw stuff in the crockpot… and I can chop veggies. There are some easy swaps I can make – a boiled egg and yogurt instead of a sausage biscuit in the morning, for instance – and I have no doubt that it is cheaper to buy food in advance than to do fast food.

Most of my long time readers are long time dieters as well and I know you have a wealth of knowledge you can share… cough it up, y’all!

Has anyone heard of the drive-thru diet? It’s a real thing. Taco Bell has commercials about it. It's based on the same premise as the Subway diet. I think any diet that relies on eating the same small group of foods is destined to fail. Jared is fat now.

My plan is to share this journey with you as I shared before… maybe without the actual NUMBERS, at least at first… the numbers really seem to overwhelm me and discourage me… I’m an ostrich like that. Also… there are a lot of “real life” readers now where five years ago I was almost completely anonymous.

I want to have a definite difference in how things fit and how I feel and I will absolutely share those details. Maybe share where the numbers go down, including measurements… and when we have some real progress to share, I’ll give you the ugly truth.

In the meantime… don’t be shy… share your healthy habits and tips!

thankful Thursday

We had snow last night! It actually accumulated a little bit and was sooo pretty on my drive to work!
Well, about halfway to work. It was raining pretty hard and obviously the temperature had risen so by the time I was halfway to work there were only little patches of snow.
I took pictures at home before I left this morning.
I got a bit of nesting syndrome this morning and I think if I hadn’t had to go to work that I might actually have gotten my house clean.
I sooooo did not want to go to work this morning! Especially with the snow on the ground. White stuff outside = stay inside in my psyche.
I remembered to bring my new calendar in this morning… pictures of Jamie and Sarabeth! They’re so sweet! And… it will definitely inspire me in my weight loss efforts… those “before” pictures … that are my “now” pictures… are… sad.
I’m ready for a serious weight loss effort… lifestyle change… re-empowerment (if that’s a word… and, well, even if it isn’t!)
Austin’s two packages arrived yesterday. He ordered a Wii game with the Amazon gift card that Bryan and Candice gave him … and some kind of Wii attachment or enhancement or whatever with the Walmart gift card that Jim and Angie gave him… so… thanks, again, y’all! He’ll be home on Saturday and I know he’ll be logging some serious Wii hours.
The cold rain we have this morning is ushering in a week of cool temperatures ahead. Maybe not to some of you… but cold for us. We’ll be having lows in the teens and twenties and highs in the low 40’s.
I really need a new coat. The one I bought when I lost weight doesn’t fit. Go figure. The only thing is… I am so hesitant to buy any fat clothes because I don’t want to be comfortable at this size. I’ve picked up a few things here and there but my wardrobe is really sad right now.
I thought about starting my weekend countdown but then I’d have to think about all those long hours left ahead of me today and I don’t want to think about it. At all. I want to blink today away. But I know… it will drag. It will be a good day to get some marketing going to start the money train up for next year. I’ve got to make more in commissions than what I’ve been making. I’m weary of the constant struggle to keep the lights on and the car paid and the rent up and Austin fed. Of course, there are only a few more car payments… and I increased my health insurance deductible so I’ll make more on my paycheck… but I’m going to have to shoulder some medical costs. My PLAN is to greatly reduce the need for medical care in the next year, be more herbal, more organic, less pharmaceutically dependant. I think it’s going to take some adjustment but I know I can do it.
I’d like to find a good detox program to wean off of sugar and flour and caffeine and so forth…
When the clock strikes midnight… I want to instantly be transformed into a girl with healthy habits.
Except when me and Angie go to Outback on New Year’s Day.
I think I should make a hardcore produce run today. Stock the house. Be prepared with the good stuff so there’s no need for the bad stuff. I avoided the bakery yesterday after work, although my initial plan was to go there and pick up some munchies for the long weekend… cheese straws, maybe a pound cake or a pie, some whoopie pies, maybe a homemade chicken pot pie… and then I decided that both from a financial and caloric standpoint that NO GOOD could come of such a purchase. And so I didn’t. I did go to the Cottage House for dinner… picked up bbq chicken, squash casserole, fried okra and cornbread. The chicken was amazing! I can’t believe I hadn’t bought that before… much better than their fried chicken. And then… the squash and the okra were so salty that I just couldn’t. I left the plate out in the kitchen to go back to later and… I just didn’t.
One thing is for certain- if I can get back into the veggie/fruit habit I’ll save a ton of money on meals. Our fridge is always on empty so I’m always scurrying around for easy/cheap when we’re hungry. Just taking my lunch to work every day would save me $100 a month! Even factoring in the cost of ingredients… that’s a great addition to my budget.
One of my favorite songs is on the radio… I’ve blogged this several times… “so often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key”…
Definitely need to do some list making and menu planning…
Ok… the clock has started at work… time to get focused and get stuff done… this might just be my last post of 2009! Hope you have a happy, healthy New Year!
God bless!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

next-to-the-last-day-of-the-year

I'm blogging during my lunch. I'm taking a shorter lunch today and leaving early. Got some things to attend to after work... and I'm tired.

I've spent the bulk of my morning quoting a farm policy, which I've never done. I took a little training course on it yesterday so I semi-sorta know what I'm doing but... mercy! It's so detailed! I had to meet with the farmer guy to get all the details about his inventory and what he grows and what he stores and how many employees he has and all that stuff. His current insurance carrier specializes in farms but they had never taken the time to go over coverages with him as specifically as I had. That's why I'm so good at what I do *wink* - I'm great at educating my customers. Which... honestly... is worth the time because if they have a claim and they don't know what coverages they do and don't have then people tend to get angry if things don't pay out like they thought. If they know what they've got... they're more likely to remain satisfied customers. So much about the insurance industry is myth and heresay - "My neighbor had this happen and her company paid it". Maybe. Maybe not.

anyways... why am I talking about work on my lunch break?

I bought some apple slices from McDonalds and they smell funny... like they're a little past prime. I'm afraid to risk some kind of food poisoning... I'm going to just be happy and full off of my fruit and yogurt parfait. And the caramel that the apples were supposed to go into.

Speaking to the farmer this morning got me hungry for some fresh veggies. He has 75 acres that he farms - all fruit and vegetables! He even grows asparagus. I have never had farm fresh asparagus... I've bought it in the grocery store but that's not the same. He's going to bring me some turnip greens. He also grows beets... talked about roasting beets with olive oil... mmm! I think if I can get a bunch more fresh fruits and veggies into my diet, I'll feel a lot better and lose some weight, even. I'm inspired! I'm totally craving beets, asparagus and turnip greens now!

I'm trying to think of any other interesting things to share and there's nothing. Austin's still hanging out with his brothers. It's still cold here. I haven't ended up with the sniffles that I thought were coming in... maybe they'll stay away... I'm enjoying having the house to myself. Stubby has figured out how to take off his fancy Christmas cape... although he drags it around with him and grooms it like it's part of him. I've got lots of New Year's Day plans ... girls day out with Angie, girls night in with Stasha... Jamie's birthday party on Saturday... and my doodle bug will be back home.

Lunch break is over. Happy Wednesday! Love and hugs!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ten Years Ago...

Ten Years Ago…

I was 31 years old. I had a 5 year old, a 9 year old and a 13 year old. We lived in a rented house on Fielding Drive in Riverdale, Georgia… it was a fairly large house with four bedrooms and a HUGE garage. The owner was a racecar driver. Not a major Dale Earnhart kinda race driver, but big enough that they had a big garage. Which I had filled with stuff.

We had moved out of our first home that June… a home we had bought in 1989. We sold it right before foreclosure. It was a sad time but it was a symptom of a greater disease…

It was the end of my first marriage. We knew it. We took a “save our marriage” trip to Gatlinburg that fall. It didn’t work. It’s hard to be the only grown up in a marriage… and in some ways, I was the only grown up. In others… he was. Either way, we certainly weren’t working together at anything. In some ways, I think that’s why I allowed M to have so much control over my life – in my mind control = concern. I thought that I could love anyone who paid such close attention to details. Wish I’d known then what I know now!

Back at the end of 1999, our friend Scott was going thru a divorce with his second wife and staying with us part of the time. A lot of the stuff in the garage was Scott’s. Scott and I remained friends until I started dating Michael. We still are, I guess, I just haven’t seen him in almost 4 years. Scott saw me through a lot of stuff… fixed things when they broke… gave me the “male common sense” point of view. He got engaged in May of 2000. His 3rd wife. They’re still married. I guess for some folks the third time is a charm…

That Christmas my boys all got their own tv. One of those tvs is still with us – Austin uses it for his Wii.

Our church was freaked out about Y2K. I was only mildly concerned but didn’t have the big stockpile of stuff because… well… we spent all of our money on three tvs for Christmas! Not really. I mean, we just weren’t hugely concerned about it.

Back then… I drove a 1994 Pontiac Sunbird. Red. 4 doors. We called it “Old Red”. My kids went to Kilpatrick Elementary. Ryan was homeschooling. Yes, I once homeschooled, believe it or not! I didn’t work full time then… I sold Avon and got paid to keep kids and kept score at the ballfield… odds and ends jobs… Austin was in kindergarten and he was a handful. He was in trouble constantly at school. Thank God for my friend Kelli who worked as an aide in his class!

I was about the same size then that I am now, give or take a few pounds.

In 2000… I started working full time in the freight forwarding industry. On May 8th, the kids’ dad moved out. In June… I moved in with my parents and then in September bought the trailer.
In 2001… 9/11 happened. I met Purple Michael while my kids were in a local production of the Nutcracker.
In 2002… My first divorce was final. I started working with Purple Michael in theatre… and then with Joey… I got laid off… I spent the summer scrubbing toilets and doing odd jobs to survive. Sarabeth was born. I started working for State Farm.
In 2003… I worked at State Farm and took any theatre job I could find – paying or not paying – I spent a lot of time at the ballfield and the theatre and I can’t remember how we survived. But we did.
In 2004 I bought my car and my nephew Caleb and niece Jamie were born.
In 2005 I started my weight loss journey – losing 85 pounds and feeling better than I’d felt in years. I got my first digital camera.
In 2006 my New Year’s Resolution was to travel… and I did! New York, Boston, San Francisco, Miami… despite the TSA restrictions on lip gloss! I moved in with Michael thinking that my struggles were over. Boy was I wrong!
In 2007 I married Michael and moved to Jacksonville. Some people are slow learners.
In 2008 I came back to Georgia. Scarlett can’t be far from the red clay of Tara.

Ten years went by just like that. My parents’ hair turned grey and my brother’s hair turned grey and I have a few sneaking in on me. Our family grew and our family divided. My children grew and became handsome, smart, charming young men. It took a village to raise my children – in my case it was the Village People. My faith has grown stronger. My vision is clearer – if not in the literal sense, at least figuratively.

Thanks to the magic of facebook… there are people in my life now that I have known for 30 years or more… so I hope and believe that my community – both in real life and online – will only continue to grow over the next decade. I believe I’ll be smarter. I believe I’ll be stronger. I believe that there are good times still to come!

Happy New Year, y’all!

whiny Wednesday one day early as usual

I’m getting sick and I’m not happy about it. Another upper respiratory thing – sneezy, congested, coughing... It makes me mad. I have gone from one ailment to another for so long. It’s all minor but irritating. Makes it harder to do everything – work, sleep, keep house (or not keep house, as the case would be). Even a stinking load of laundry becomes a big obstacle when you don’t feel good. And don’t get me started about the trash. Austin couldn’t take it out before he left because the dumpsters were overflowing with Christmas trash. It’s not that FAR to the dumpster but I’m not tall/strong enough to swing a full trash bag into it. I always end up with a mess.

The happy thing is that the urologist started me on an anti-biotic yesterday so anything brewing or growing should be knocked out. The unhappy thing is that I’m on antibiotics again. I ordered refills of all the refillable meds I have so I can get them filled before the new year and new deductible start. The meds I picked up last night were $100 before insurance… $6 after insurance. I’m going to miss that. There are six more that I’m refilling today… most of them are just in case medicines like inhalers and stuff.

2008 was the year of getting stuff fixed from not having insurance for several years.
2009 was the year of discovering / diagnosing things.
2010 will be the year of conquering and managing and improving via healthy living instead of pharmaceuticals.

My sweet niece Jamie was born five years ago today! It was five years ago that I launched my original blog and my original (successful) weight loss. There’s no reason that I can’t do it again… I know sooo much more now! Even though I’m over 40 now – or maybe BECAUSE I’m over 40. My motivation is different now… then it was more about looking good than feeling good. Now it’s really that I want to be able to enjoy life and be better at more things than Farmville. Nothing beats the feeling of just heading out to walk in the woods and enjoying the world God made. There are a lot of pretty places to wander nearby and I want to take advantage of living here.

Jamie’s birthday party will be on Saturday and it’s going to be bone chilling cold… not sure if we’ll be outdoors or indoors. This will be a ladybug party, I think.

We’re one person short again today but it’s not been nearly as hectic as yesterday, which is good because I’m not firing on all cylinders today. I was working on quoting a farm policy which is a pain in the rear… you have to know so many specifics… down to how many cows and horses and hay bales and so on. The client is a super sweet old farmer man and I don’t mind working with him at all. But… it definitely takes more brain power than I have available today.

Gonna spend some time in careful thought and consideration about how I want my blog to evolve over the new year and what lifestyle adjustments I want to make to get things going. I wish it was just as simple as gastric bypass but it’s not covered under my insurance… and of course, I can’t afford the time away from work or risk complications. I’m gonna have to do this the old fashioned way… so I want to do it in a way that will be fun and keep my interest and keep me on track. The good news is that my appetite is pretty much non-existent lately. I heated my dinner last night and forgot about it… I ended up eating cheese and crackers at 10pm. Of course, that’s the big part of the problem – improvisation. I have to work at preparation… knowing what I’m going to eat and having healthy stuff on hand that’s as easy to grab as a microwave chicken pot pie (which was last night’s missed dinner).

Gosh, I’m sleepy. Is it too early for the weekend countdown? Fifty five hours and 22 minutes until my 3-day weekend! I'm having lunch with Stasha and maybe even Angie and Jim and the girls. Jamie wanted to go to Waffle House for her birthday dinner. She is SOOOOO my niece!

Have a good Tuesday... love and hugs!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

random end of Christmas vacation...

My head hurts. It started about two hours ago. I've taken the last of my migraine meds and it's still so bad that I can't stand to move my head. Ugh. Will be going to bed early tonight.

Thirteen more hours of my Christmas vacation. *sigh* I was really bummed about today being the last day until I realized that the upcoming work week is only a four day week. Woohoo!

Stubby the 3legged Wondercat finally figured out how to unhook his Christmas cape but the weird thing is... he's treating the cape like a part of his body... he keeps dragging it around with him, grooming it... it's kinda funny.

My boys came up yesterday and we hung out for a bit and opened presents... then went to El Campesino in Cleveland for a late lunch/early dinner. Austin went back to my parents with them... brother bonding time... mommy gets a break.

It reminds me of those rare weekends when their dad would get them... I would go to the library and stock up on books, go to the grocery store and stock up on easy fix/snack food and would just revel in the time alone. That's what I've been doing for the past 24 hours.

Overheard: "My Farmville Christmas was way better than my real one". I relate.

It was a good Christmas... I mean, people were so generous to me and I feel blessed. It's still weird to be on my own on Christmas. I think next year I'm going to take a vacation somewhere and not tell anyone where I'm going. My Christmas present to everyone will be a trip for myself. Except the fact that holiday travel is so hectic and expensive. Maybe a road trip.

A few minutes ago, while eating a ham sandwich, I bit my lower lip and it's swollen now...

Stubby decided it was time to take down our tree... at 3am this morning... I heard a crash... I woke up enough to decide that if it was someone breaking in... that there was nothing I could do to stop them at that point and my best bet would be to fake sleep... while faking sleep, I actually fell asleep. When I got up to make coffee this morning, I saw the tree on the floor... I left it there most of the day. It made me glad that I had only put a dozen or so ornaments on it...

Why don't widows wear veils any more? Brides still do. It seems like if there was any time that you would want to shield your face... well, anyways...

My head really hurts... going to bed soon... good nite y'all! God bless!

Friday, December 25, 2009

my quiet Christmas

I don't know if I've gotten over it or stopped caring. I'm not sure if I'm just resigned that things typically don't go in real life like I've assumed they will go or if I've evolved to the point that I don't let disappointments cripple me any more... and I'm not sure if that's sad or empowering.

It's sort of like this conversation me and Stasha keep having about Farmville. In two weeks I passed her in Farmville points when she's been playing for months... so obviously... I'm spending a lot of time on Farmville. That's kind of sad... or maybe I'm just instinctively good at these sort of games.

We had a really good Christmas Eve. Really... this last week has been so bizarre... God has just blessed me in such a way... I ended up with about $600 more than I thought I would have... and it enabled me to buy presents, which I didn't think I would be able to do... and I'm glad... because my family was really generous with me this year... got lots of great stuff... and I opened it all yesterday at Jim and Angie's. Last year I tried to hold on to everything to unwrap it on Christmas morning -because in my head, that's when you unwrap, right? But then it was just me and Ryan and Austin and not much for any of us and it was sort of sad... so this year, I thought, I'll just enjoy opening gifts while my family is gathered together. I'm glad I did. I even let Austin come home and open his presents.

I thought Ryan was going to come home and spend Christmas Eve with us... but he went with Cody and Marquee to spend Christmas Eve with her family. I know this is what happens when your kids grow up... and it was ok... I was really in a lot of pain yesterday afternoon and evening and wanted to do nothing but nest anyways. I wasn't up for entertaining. Austin had new Wii games... I wanted to be able to take something for pain... I loved being tucked into our nest. I was really uncomfortable yesterday afternoon and I kept putting off taking anything because I wanted to be able to go to the Christmas Eve service at church... it just got too bad. I was really miserable... so it was good to be home.

We slept late this morning on purpose. My family was getting together at my aunt's and I had planned to go down (south of Atlanta) to be with them... but my brother David and his family were going to be there. I'm dying to see David and his kids - especially the two new babies I haven't met yet - but my mom said she didn't know if that was a good idea. There was an issue/accusation a few years ago by David's step-daughter against Austin. I haven't seen them since. I've asked to see them. I've tried to do it in whatever way makes them comfortable. But... it just hasn't happened. I got a card from them. But... whatever.

So... my family got together today without me and Austin. And... it's sad. It's - in my heart, anyways - it's wrong for me to be excluded in that way. But honestly... I didn't want to drive down there... be uncomfortable... drive back... That's a lot of driving in one day. It was easier to just hang out here and eat our Christmas munchies... rest... chill... peace on earth...

I mean... your family, they're always there for you, right? And I've been working really hard at letting my parents know how things are going in my life and letting them in more and letting the past be the past and not holding grudges and trusting again, opening my heart again, trying to be part of my family again. I don't know many people, though, whose family says to them, "don't come for Christmas" ... and it's not something you just blink away, although I have been trying for the past day and a half to do just that.

I had a good time last night. I enjoyed sleeping in this morning. Austin made a great breakfast for us this morning. I had a very relaxing day. I took a great nap. It's been a PJ day all the way! I made rice krispy treats. I cooked a small ham. I played Farmville. The cat has been snoring at my feet all day. I was glad not to have to drive all day... but I would have done it.

The boys are coming up tomorrow to open their presents and probably take Austin back with them for a few days. We'll have some time together... Christmas happens when it happens and I'm at peace with all of it. I've been so blessed... there are so many people in my life who love me and have done so much for me over the last year. Last Christmas we were so broke that Austin and I had to split a meal at the only Chinese restaurant we could find open on the way home from Atlanta. Today... we ate shrimp and ham and all kinds of good stuff.

One time... when I was really struggling with Michael and feeling hurt and confused by the things he was saying to me... we went to see Purple Michael perform at a Christmas program at Stone Mountain Park. It was the first time PM had heard Michael say something unkind to me and he was mad... but he offered this advice, "However bad you think it is, or however good you think it is... that's what it will be". Perception is everything.

I wouldn't want to stand in the way of Cody and Marquee being together on Christmas Eve. I'm so glad that Cody thought enough to include Ryan in his holiday. They don't get nearly enough time together. Their love for each other is a blessing for me. I'm so glad my parents got to spend some time with David's family because most Christmases - they're gone to visit her parents. I don't want to stand in the way of anyone's happiness. And... I've decided that today, I was exactly where I was supposed to be and I'm grateful that God has provided for me in the way He has.

I don't know about anyone else... but there's Peace on Earth tonight in my heart.
Love y'all. Merry Christmas. God bless!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

celebrating in my own way

I am still determined.
Actually… I accomplished a lot yesterday and that made me really happy.
I haven’t wrapped and I haven’t finished decorating the tree and I haven’t made the first Christmas-y thing to eat and it’s all ok.
I’ll wrap what has to be wrapped tonight or tomorrow morning and make a crazy dash to the Walmart for whatever munchies and treats we need to eat… either tonight or early tomorrow…
And we’ll be at Jim and Angie’s by eleven to celebrate with the fam. And at church tomorrow night and wherever our family is gathering on Christmas day and we’ll have done whatever is done and whatever is not done won’t matter.
I will not be stressed, only blessed.
I love traditions but every Christmas is unique in the things that don’t happen the way you planned or hoped or expected… and every Christmas is still wonderful in its own way.
I seriously refuse to stress or rush or fret over the fact that I didn’t have a 9 foot Leyland cypress cut down at our favorite Christmas tree farm complete with hay ride and hot cider. Or that I didn’t spend hours addressing Christmas cards. Or that there’s no fudge or Russian tea mix or… sausage balls…
Resources have been limited… time… energy… money…
I’m celebrating pushing myself enough to work these two days and still function enough to do anything else.
I’m celebrating God’s amazing blessings in my life over the past week… how He provides above and beyond what I expect or deserve.
I’m celebrating being with people I love and I’m even celebrating loving people I can’t be with… I would much rather have a life full of wonderful friends and family – even if I can’t spend as much time with them all as I would like – than be alone and lonely.
I’m celebrating release from bondage, freedom from captivity, victory over evil…
All that sort of stuff.
I had a year that was physically trying but emotionally freeing.
For everything I’ve lost, God has given me something better.
For every tear I’ve shed in sadness, I’ve shared five more in joy or relief.
A long time ago there was a baby in a manger who changed the world.
I’m just a girl in a duplex in Cleveland, Georgia trying to make my own little impact on my own little corner of the world.
Appreciating what is without mourning what isn’t.
Merry Christmas, y’all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

determination

I am determined to hang tough today and accomplish EVERYTHING that I need to do. Everything.
I’m going to Walmart on lunch to finish shopping. If I can’t get it there, we don’t need it.
I’m going to work a full day today… no matter what. Even if I’m slumped over in my chair… even if I have to swallow a whole bottle of ibuprofen (I won’t)… I’m going to work a full day.
I’m determined to get my clean laundry hung up and my dirty laundry washed.
I’m determined to make sure Austin gets the kitchen clean.
I’m determined to feel good… and if I don’t feel good… I’m determined to push through it.
I’m determined to have a positive, kind and loving attitude to everyone in my path today. Even while shopping. I’m determined.
I brought my crocs to change into for maximum comfort. I’m wearing my elf green sweater. Stasha is coming to help me shop. The kids’ dad called to say he was wiring child support. A nice man from church said he had an envelope for me that he’s dropping off this afternoon. Ryan is arriving in Atlanta this afternoon. Cody is tiling mom’s new house (which I refer to as “the guest house”).
There are good things, very good things happening in my life and I am determined to be
Humbly grateful NOT
Grumbly Hateful.
I can do this.
So can you.
Merry Christmas and God bless!

Monday, December 21, 2009

random observations, confessions and ramblings

I think Anthony Bourdain is way cool. I don't really have a crush on him, not like I do with Max the TMZ guy... I just want to hang out with Tony and visit the cool places he does but maybe not eat all the weird stuff he eats.

Day 356 of feeling bad in 2009. Not really. I exaggerate. I've been passing kidney stones... itty bitty grit sized stones, thank the Lord - instead of big old stones - that make me feel horrible and ripped apart from stem to stern but... thankfully, not what most people deal with kidney stone-wise. I just keep having sharp pains... waves of nausea... dizziness... but I managed to work four hours today and that felt somewhat normal. If I wasn't watching for an exhibition worthy of the discomfort I've been feeling, I wouldn't have even noticed these tiny little things. Hardly worthy of the trouble they've caused.

My resolution for 2010 is to be healthy... even if it kills me.

I think I would be able to stand the pain if the nausea would just go away. I have no desire to eat anything. Every now and then I think I want something and after two bites... I'm disgusted with it.

My friend Amy who works for my uncle emailed me when I was out of work last week to tell me that my uncle is retiring at the end of the year. I'm certain that they'll split his agency... there's no way an agency as large as his would all go to one agent. That leaves all those folks who work for him facing a bit of uncertainty. Typically... when an agent retires... the agent who assumes the book of business will extend a job offer to the existing staff. Not necessarily at the same salary and definitely not with the same business plan or bonus structure. Every agent has their own way of doing things.

I'm wondering if I would have rather stayed exactly where I was three years ago and faced this change now? And I know... without a doubt... that God had a plan for me... although the journey was at times unpleasant... I'm so grateful to be where I am now and to have some measure of security. Life can change in a breath... but I feel settled. I like that.

Stubby the 3 legged Wondercat has decided that when I get home from (wherever I've been) that I have to kiss him hello. He meows like a banshee until I bend over and let him touch his little nose to mine. It's sorta sweet. A living being who is happy or relieved to see me come home. Maybe that's how people become pet people? I have never really understood before... but I am attached to this mangy looking cat... who sleeps beside me on the pillow and wakes me up at 5:58am and who demands that I fill his food bowl before I fix my coffee in the morning. He's a bit of a control freak but I'm used to that.

Bryan and Candice (my brother and sister-out-law) are getting me a CD course to learn Italian for Christmas! I'm so excited! Candice used this course to learn French before their trip to Paris last year... I told her that once I finished my course she'd have to go to Italy with me... and she agreed as long as I promised not to wear my snuggie in Italy.

I don't have a snuggie yet but it was on my wish list. Since I've been feeling icky, I've been staying curled up under a blanket. I'm always cold. Of course, I keep the thermostat super low because I can't stand to breathe hot air (and because I'm cheap)....

Anyways... back when I started losing weight 5 years ago (and I know that it was 5 years ago because it was right after my niece Jamie was born and she'll be five in a week!) I had some motivation... dreams... aspirations... hopes... and I've sorta let go of all that in my quest for mere survival over the past few years. I need to regain some focus... and I think having a goal will help. Besides... learning a new language at MY age has to be good for me, right?

I still wish Bryan and Candice were coming for Christmas but I'm so excited about my gift that I can almost forgive them for not coming! Actually... if it were me... I would want to spend Christmas in New York too...

That's enough random for today... hope you're having a beautiful Monday!
God bless!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Austin helping decorate the tree


another report from sick bay

What a week!
Disclaimer: I am blogging under the influence... but I feel perfectly lucid.
I'm watching Meet Me In St. Louis... I love Judy Garland. *sigh*
I still think I sorta look like her. When I'm thinner.
Yesterday I took a panicked trip to Walmart, fearful that I wouldn't be up to it post-procedure and since Christmas was only a week away, I had to get a tree up. Just had to.
I bought a pink one. It's about 3 feet tall, pre-lit with white lights and a pretty, pale pink.
Austin didn't mind. We put a few ornaments on it and he decorated the little pedastal I put it on with blue lights... We're quite festive.
I also bought Austin's "Santa" gifts.
And a new digital camera for me... I just couldn't stand the thought of not having a camera over Christmas. I got a great deal on a camera very similar to the one I had.
The new camera and the pink tree made me very happy.
It's already a better Christmas than last, even though I'm not feeling great.
Ok... on to the daily medical report... I had a cystoscopy twenty years ago under general anesthesia so I was a tad bit nervous about having one with just local anesthetic. They gave me a shot of some kind of loopy stuff and numbed me a little bit but I still felt quite a bit... it was over in less than two minutes though so it was just a matter of doing some deep breathing and a lot of praying and it was done.
There is a place inside my bladder that is inflamed... and it could be the cause of the bleeding... and the inflammation could be caused by a stone that has passed recently and that could have caused the bleeding, or a recent infection could have caused it or it could be a pre-cancerous spot. They tested my *specimen* for cancer cells and there weren't any, so Dr. Pee really doesn't think it's an issue... but because of the inflammation and the bleeding I will need to have another cystoscopy in three months. Good times. He said it's just one of those things that you don't ignore. So much for my plan to completely avoid modern medicine in 2010.
In the meantime... if the pain continues I'm supposed to call. At this point it's more uncomfortable to try to eliminate issues/diagnose than it is to just see if it resolves on it's own. We've eliminated all the critical possibilities like growths and stones and infection and other scary things.
So I'm chilled out with the laptop, the remote control and a pile of pillows.
I was soooo blessed to have Stasha available to go with me. She's 21 - one of my adopted nieces - and has a true gift for being willing, agreeable, calm and positive. She walked in the pouring rain from the tail end of the Walmart parking lot to pick up the prescription they had called in for me. She sat with me last night until I fell asleep. She ordered dinner for us... just did everything that needed to be done. She even harvested my crops in Farmville... not if that's not a servant's heart, I don't know what is!
Austin has been helpful as well.... keeping my water glass filled... checking on me... he cooked breakfast this morning... just been a sweet kid.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend... I'm jealous of those who have snow but I hope that the snow clears enough for BooBoo to come home when he plans...
Love and hugs, y'all!
God bless!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas miracles

I haven't left the nest since I got home Wednesday evening. I'm nauseous, dizzy, weak and in pain. Every time I decide that I'm going to mentally power through it and get up to do something, I get hit with a wave of pain that sets me over the edge. So I've been sitting as still as possible with the pepto bismol colored recliner laid back as far as it will go... with my trusty alarm cat at my feet.

There is this odd thing happening with Stubby... every morning at exactly 5:58 he starts trying to wake me up. My alarm goes off at 6:00am. He is exactly two minutes ahead of the alarm every day. And when I say... tries to wake me up... I mean... he takes his little clawless front paws and starts touching my closed eyelids to make them open. It's so bizarre!

Christmas miracles abound... I got a precious photo card of my brother David's four children in the mail yesterday. They are so sweet! I just want to smooch them to pieces!

My "Secret Santa" sent me a Walmart gift card for $200... I was so excited! I told Austin that I would use that to buy things he needs/wants for Christmas. He needs shoes... a decent jacket... sleep pants... he wants a new wii game, new wii controller... he got on the walmart website last night and picked out a few things for him and picked out a new digital camera for me. Half of the amount I was going to use for him... he was going to give back to me. So it was a double blessing for me... for one that there is someone in my life who cares enough about me to give me such a generous gift - anonymously, at that... and two, that my son was willing to give up half of his Christmas for me.

It totally made me cry.

Austin only had school half a day today and caught a ride home with cousin Devin. I'm going to attempt to go out and get a tree with him... minimal walking... in and out as quickly as possible... just a little fake prelit tree, that's what I'm looking for...

Then Stasha is getting off work early to go to the doctor with me... so relieved to have someone who can go with me, especially doing this all last minute! Hopefully they will figure out what's causing me to be so uncomfortable and hopefully it will be something super easy to fix and not painful.

I'll update when I can... hope you guys have a great Friday!

Love and hugs!
God bless!
Thanks Secret Santa!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

my dr visit today - warning, tmi ahead!

I feel like 2009 has been one medical crisis after another. Maybe I'm getting it all out of my system and I'm going to be ten feet tall and bullet proof when I'm old.

The following includes what some might consider TMI... so if you're a real life friend and it would make you feel icky to know that there's microscopic blood in my pee... stop reading before this sentence. Ha! The medical term is hematuria - which sounds much better, don't you think?

I mentioned earlier in the year when I had a particularly uncomfortable procedure done at the ENT... that I couldn't help but wonder what would make a person specialize in snot. I had those same thoughts today... but the urologist is really nice, left-handed (which matters to me - I judge people based on that) and funny! His entire office staff was fun, lighthearted and super kind. I guess if you spend your day dealing with pee...

The CT scan from last week showed "no visable stones" which means that there could be stones, small ones, which is why I'm having pain that gets worse and gets better and isn't the usual horrific kidney stone pain (thank the good Lord!). There is no infection, which is awesome because usually those infections stay with me forever and this went away quickly. There are no masses or deformities, which is great. There's just blood.

So we go through and eliminate the different things that could cause hematuria. The biggest concern is always cancer and he DOES NOT think that is the problem but he has to eliminate it as an issue... so since we've already done the least invasive thing already (a CT scan) without determining a cause of HEMATURIA... he wants to do a cystoscopy. It's not a huge deal, it's an office procedure, the recovery time is minimal but... you can't drive after you've had it done.

I'm thinking... crap... I just raised my deductible... so I asked, "can we do this THIS year so I'm not paying out of pocket?" and would you believe they were able to get me scheduled for THIS Friday (as in, day after tomorrow) at 4pm which is the absolute best time possible to do it since that will allow me to work most of the day Friday and have the weekend to recover! And since I have my handy dandy State Farm Hospital Indemnity Policy... I'll be reimbursed $100 for having that outpatient procedure. Best insurance policy I've ever bought! Seriously! Ask your agent for one - or if you're in Georgia, ask me about it.

The problem is that I have to have someone drive me. Not sure how that will work yet... Angie and Jim are going out of town for their anniversary so they won't be able to help. She's trying to find someone from the church who can help OR... my good old dad will take me.

I'm finding that I am absolutely fine with being single until something like this comes up and then it totally bums me out. I had a minor meltdown after I left the doctor's office when I realized that I would need to get anything done that needed to be done this weekend between today and tomorrow... and we have our office Christmas party tomorrow night... AND... Miss Totally Unstressed About Christmas has done absolutely nothing to get ready for Christmas so I have no tree, no presents, no baking done... and... well, I might just not get those things done. And if I don't... Christmas will still happen and we will survive.

Just in case, I did go and buy stocking stuffers on my way home. My kids might get cash tied up with a ribbon. Or... without ribbon as I don't have any... and everybody else might get... well, I don't know... I bought groceries since we had been living off the bounty of the pantry for the past week and I think if Austin had grilled cheese or hot dogs one more time this week he might just leave home.

And... speaking of which... I have not eaten a single meal today. I had an apple and crackers for breakfast/lunch. I had a handful of pistacios and a piece of pumpkin pie when I got home. Healthy eating, right? I must be sick. I'm not hungry.

So that's the big haps for today. This too shall pass. Merry Merry Merry Christmas!
God bless!

living and dying by the sword

I was in a really bloggy state of mind this morning and had a lot to say… that moment seems to have passed.
I’ve been on the phone this morning with the Duval County Courts – or rather, their voice mail system. I have a case manager assigned to my divorce case but they are no longer in the voice mail system. I called a different case manager and got a “phone calls may take up to fifteen business days for a response”. Never mind. It will be on the court website before then.
Of course… the decent thing would have been for Michael to call or email me with the outcome… and of course, that has not happened.
I emailed him this morning about that... and to ask that he update his creditors of his current location - which is not my house - and to tell him about the court case pending against him.
People who live by the sword, die by the sword.
I called the judge in White County to see what obligation or responsibility I have toward extending the information about the court case filed against Michael here to him. No response yet – I imagine it won’t take 15 days for a response here, though. It looks like all that happens is that by not appearing he forfeits his rights to dispute whatever amount they say he owes.
Honestly, if he had responded to my initial text about the matter I might feel more inclined to add this to my stress list. As it is… let his chips fall where they may.
Gosh. What a difference a little time can make!
Two Christmases ago we were preparing to come to Georgia for Christmas and I was on the edge of a breakdown. I had received email pictures from the kids’ dad of the boys’ car filled with beer cans – and who knows if the kids actually drank that beer or if their dad did? They were disappointing either way… embarrassing to me… Michael had gotten hold of that email and printed out color copies that he planned to pass out at my family Christmas gathering. I didn’t know up until the time we left that gathering - after my allotted one hour – on Christmas day whether or not he was going to follow through on his threat. Things were already strained with me and the boys and my family just isn’t the sort that airs dirty laundry – ever – especially not on Christmas. I got to spend a short amount of time with Jim and Angie and the girls… a short amount of time with Purple Michael (and I got the “times up” announcement during both). I was so stressed! It’s the only time in my life that I haven’t woken up in my own bed on Christmas morning… it was just a miserable time in my life.
Last year I was really still feeling the after effects of the move and the instability and frustration and disappointment of it all. It was a hard Christmas for me…
This year… there’s peace in my heart. I don’t feel depressed or stressed. We will have what we have and we won’t have what we can’t afford and there is nobody in my life who has the power to control my emotions or steal my joy.
I was just thinking how grateful I am that we don’t have a phone extension in the bathroom here at work and wouldn’t you know it… I came out of the bathroom and there was a call holding for me???

Oh! I did get a response from Michael about the court date via email just now… he said, “I have nothing to say to you”. Mature. Definitely, in light of what he’s cost me over the past three years he could at least let me know what happened in court. But… there you go…
Much to do… hope you guys have a great day!
God bless!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

just a little whiny Wednesday a day early

I didn’t think I was gonna make it through today… I’m seriously uncomfortable.
I keep NOT using the word “pain” because it’s more of a crampy – pulling feeling on my back that sort of radiates around…. And then at times feels like a hot poker.
I’m running a fever today and feeling more pain but I’m hell bent for leather that I’m finishing today – since today is the end of the pay period.
And… well, worst case scenario… I’m closer to the hospital here at work than I would be at home – by 30 minutes or so – so if it became a crisis situation I would be closer to the hospital and not alone AND still on the clock.
I spoke with the nurse at my doctors office this morning and she gave me some “head to the hospital” symptoms to watch for. And I am. Watching.
And they have me scheduled to see a urologist tomorrow afternoon. I would much rather see someone in a non-emergency situation than go to the ER, especially since I’ve already had a CT scan and they didn’t see any stones. If there were stones then I would be more concerned.
And we are short by two people this afternoon… so I’m hanging in there like a hair in a biscuit!

Hmmm… what else is there to talk about?
Office Christmas party on Thursday night. You know how I love being home in my nest before dark… which lately around here means prior to 5:30… and the office party is near the office which will mean driving home and back to the office if I take Austin. I’m seriously thinking about not taking Austin. But he really wants to go. Last year it was just really dark and stressful making the drive home and right back. I hate driving after dark because of the deer… so many people get hit by deer around here… and they move more at dusk and right when it gets dark.
There were seven in the field across the street this morning…. Bold little fellows.
I don’t know… Austin needs to get out more…

I’m sick of Christmas music. Some songs are ok but the fifteen different arrangements of Silent Night… it gets old fast. This is why they shouldn’t start playing it in October. Keep it special.

Gotta focus… less than three hours to go….

Monday, December 14, 2009

i may be a free woman...

Lord willing...
My divorce is going before a judge this morning. We're on the calendar at 9am.
Obviously, I'm not there. Don't have to be, don't want to be.
Don't worry. I destroyed the credit card. Just yanking his chain.
This could finally be the end of this ugly chapter of my life...
God is good.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

rainy Sunday

I don't want to move.
It's so cold outside! And wet... just about as cold as it can be and the stuff falling from the sky still be liquid, not frozen.
I'm glad that I had a definite reading on the CT scan Friday, otherwise I'd be certain I have a kidney stone because the pain in my back is ungodly. Sort of a burning pain, if that makes sense.
I have pain meds but they make me feel worse...
So I'm chilled in my nest.
Lately Stubby has wanted to sleep on a pile of pillows. He's either getting spoiled or lazy.
He has his own nest.
He tries to sleep on the footrest of my recliner but he's gotten too fat... he has fallen off a few times... so he prefers the bed.
Something interesting came in the mail yesterday... Michael has a summons to court in White County for a case with Palisades Collections. I don't know who they are or what he owes them. I sent him a text to let him know that I received the paperwork and got no response.
I'm going to wager a bet that he's hanging with Dirty Jersey this weekend since he had to be in Jacksonville for our divorce case tomorrow and is reluctant for her to know the shell game he plays with creditors. She'll figure out soon enough.
Here's what I think I should do... take the credit card that came in the mail for him and use it to pay whatever debt he's being sued for... if I've got to have all his business filter through MY address... then I'll handle it my way. What do you think?
My friend Mark can't respond fast enough... "leave the cat alone"... am I right?
I just have this theory that he is perfectly ok with his creditors sending stuff to my address and not his... calling my phone and harassing me instead of him... and subsequently, they've filed suit against him here. And honestly... I don't think it should be my responsibility to serve as his personal Mailboxes, Etc. I don't want to know that he's not paying his bills... him and his unpaid bills are no longer MY problem.
Well, once our case goes before the judge tomorrow.
If he would take responsibility with ... oh, I don't know... say, the U.S. Postal Service... and send an address correction in... then perhaps I wouldn't have to know about his business... and therefore wouldn't be compelled to share it.
Karma is a boomerang. Perhaps he shouldn't have been so delighted about Dean being taken to court for being $340 behind on child support.
My favorite coffee mug, the tinkerbell one that Michael gave me for my birthday in our first month together cracked yesterday. On Thanksgiving the camera broke. The laptop broke earlier this year... item by item, the relics of our life are falling apart.
I think it's sort of symbolic.
When I found the cracked mug... I laughed... couldn't miss the irony.
I do intend to contact the White County courthouse tomorrow to let them know that Michael does not, never has and never will live at my address.
I'm so glad to have a day off.
Next week will be busy... have to squeeze in the church Christmas dinner, office Christmas party and a visit to a urologist into my schedule... and Ginger is scheduled to be out at least 2 1/2 days next week, which means I'll be busier at work...
So I'm resting up... being lazy...
And trying to decide if I should put up a Christmas tree at all.
I really love my nativity set. What if I did a small tree on a table with the nativity set?
Hope you're having a great Sunday...
God bless.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday

What do you do on Saturday when there is no college football to watch?
I mean, other than the Army/Navy game.

It's freezing outside. I'm heading into the office for a few hours. Not feeling up to it but... I have two people that are supposed to come by so I need to be there. Ugh.

My last entry shows an article about my friend Jess and her weight loss journey that began with a visit to the Dr. Oz show. Jess has a journal www.thefatjournals.com and I know she would appreciate your support.

I met Jess through blogging and she is one of the few "J-land friends" that I've actually been able to meet in real life. When Michael took me to Boston during the Cinderella stage of our relationship we were able to meet Jess and her daughter Liz. She is a beautiful person and soooo incredibly strong. I'm proud of her, proud that she has the courage to keep fighting. This is definitely a marathon, not a sprint.

My sweet sister-out-law, Candice, sent me some encouraging words yesterday about getting back on track in my journey. I'm blessed to have two sisters who come from very different perspectives but both love me as I am and yet encourage me to be the best I can be.

The referral nurse from my doctors office called me late yesterday afternoon and basically said... we can't ignore the "hematuria". She said it's always a sign of something wrong... and the fact that it wasn't something simple to diagnose like a kidney stone mean that we definitely need to investigate further. I consulted Dr. Google with "causes of hematuria" and was sufficiently freaked out enough to agree to a consultation with a urologist. Especially since I've met my deductible for this year and raised my deductible for next year.

And I'm still in pain. Last night and today it's worse. Aggravating.

Ok... gonna throw on a pair of jeans and a little mascara and head to the office.

Have a great Saturday.

God bless!

Fall River resident gets health 'wake-up call' from Dr. Oz - Fall River, MA - The Herald News

Fall River resident gets health 'wake-up call' from Dr. Oz - Fall River, MA - The Herald News

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Weekend countdown / complaint list

Ready to play good news/bad news?
The good news is that my CT scan didn’t show any kidney stones.
The bad news is that there is no easily recognizable reason for me to have blood in my urine.
So the next step is to figure out why.
Here’s the thing – I’m so done with doctors and specialists and being probed and microwaved and examined.
I’m mildly uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s more than mild. It’s lingered for a week or so.
But I’m gonna let this one go unless it gets worse.
I’m gonna work harder at exercise, eat better and just let it go.
I can’t go through another round of doctors this year. I can’t.
I’m obviously not in any grave danger because there was nothing ugly or scary in the CT scan.
In the past year I’ve been scanned from head to toe and what we’ve learned is that I have globs of scar tissue in my lungs that won’t hurt me – unless I get sick.
I’ve got a cyst in my sinuses that won’t hurt me unless it gets bigger.
I’m oozing blood in places that shouldn’t be bleeding.
And… well. That’s just how it’s gonna have to be.
I am not missing any more work or spending any more money on guessing games or diagnostic dominos or pharmaceutical patty cake. Done. Over it. Through.
I’ll live or I’ll die.
Trying to feel better has only made me feel worse.
End of subject.
I went to have lunch with Sarabeth today. She has been the line leader this week which is a HUGE deal when you’re in first grade and I promised to have lunch with her while she was line leader. This was the first day I could actually take lunch. She was soooo excited to see me!
Michael had this really crass joke he used to make about how mentally handicapped people and dogs are always glad to see you. He used to say that he wanted to keep those on hand so he’d always be welcomed home.
I’m thinking maybe if he wasn’t such a jerk he’d be welcomed home.
Anyways.
My nieces are the smartest kids I know and they’re always glad to see me.
I had to pry Sarabeth away when it was time to go.
We had a great time. I let her drink my tea so she felt special.
The kids in her class call me “Aunt Heather”. That makes me feel special.
Good times.
I’m so relieved knowing that I don’t have a rock in my gut that’s fixing to cut loose.
I haven’t talked much about Tiger Woods but I will say this: successful men (in my experience) tend to think they are ten feet tall and bullet proof and live under a different set of rules from the rest of the world. That’s called narcissism.
I don’t feel bad for them when something happens to make them more… mortal.
In fact, I kinda like it.
I still have that credit card in my possession… and no, I won’t use it… but it’s fun thinking of things to use it for…
A vet visit for the cat…
To help Dean catch up on his child support so he doesn’t have to spend Christmas in jail…
A lot of Starbucks gift cards…
Repairing the trunk of my car where Michael intentionally rammed into it causing it to allow rain to leak in a give my car a constant musty smell…
I don’t know… any of the things I think he has cost me.
Just thinking about doing it makes me feel vindicated.
That greedy heifer (Dean’s ex-wife and the woman who alienated my husband’s affection aka Dirty Jersey) had over $7000 in her checking account and was suing her husband because he was behind by $340 and some random camp fees.
I’m owed over $30,000 and have nothing in my checking account and I have too much concern for the well-being and future of my childrens’ father to throw him in jail.
Guess that’s the difference between me and Dirty Jersey.
I have a conscience.
Dear Elin: find a good doctor and have yourself tested for herposyphogonoritis and anything else you might have been exposed to by your cheating husband. And sue the golf clubs off of him if you have anything!
At least for me it was just one.
That I know of.
And really… how do these super smart men leave such a stupid electronic trail? Do they WANT to get caught or do they just think they’re above it?
Or, like mine… do they just not care?
When he called the other day to make sure I was ok with our upcoming court proceedings – and I answered, “no, that this is not what I wanted”… he answered that “nobody wants to be divorced”.
Well. That sort of misses the point. Nobody wants to be cheated on.
I guess as a Catholic that the divorce is the bigger disgrace for him.
Did you know that Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn never married because he would never divorce his first wife because he was Catholic?
I guess there’s a spiritual disconnect for me there… ok to commit adultery but not ok to divorce?
Anyways… the Friday countdown is on… Less than 5 hours to go.
I think we’re gonna make it.
I am planning to work tomorrow to make up some hours, long as I’m able.
Sorry if this is a little more bitter than usual toward my very soon to be ex-husband and his mistress.
Just a little raw with those upcoming proceedings and with all the Tiger Woods stuff in the media.
I hate cheating men and the women who cheat with them. It’s an epidemic that is destroying the fabric of our society and it is soooo not worth it.
And when I think about it… I get aggravated.
However, from the other side of my personality… I’m very happy because I closed a car loan yesterday which brings me a nice bonus to help make up for some of the time I’ve missed from work.
And now… I need to get focused on what I’m s’posed to be doing.
Have a great Friday and a great weekend, y’all.
God bless.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

thankful Thursday. really.

Well… I’ll just say that God is good.
He is always right on time.
God blesses the people in my life and they, in turn, bless me.
My mom and dad got the satellite, phone and internet back up and running for me… so I’m still on line!
And I didn’t have to use Michael’s credit card.
I really wouldn’t.
Honest.
Thanks Mawmaw and Pop!
So this morning I went back to the doctor and it looks like the infection is clearing up.
There’s still a lot of blood so she sent me for a CT scan.
I tried to think of something witty about Stubby scanning me this morning but it fell flat so I’ll spare you.
I’ve had that same pain in the same place for a week so she’s thinking kidney stone.
I thought that kidney stones resulted in agony.
I’m only mildly uncomfortable and a little dizzy/nauseous.
Doctor thinks it’s still floating and that it won’t cause much pain until it starts to pass.
But it will cause bleeding.
The CT scan was an inconvenience and made me later for work than I expected to be.
But it was non invasive. No dye, IV or anything like that.
The tech said, “go ahead and start drinking a lot of water”.
Don’t know if he saw something…
He couldn’t really say.
So I’m working and waiting for the doctor to call or …
For whatever happens next.
Trying to get the hours in here at work… working through lunch…
And that’s the whole sordid tale.
It’s Thursday and I’m thankful. In the words of the immortal Tim Tebow, “God bless.”

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

seriously bummed

I hate to whine and be unpleasant...
I know that everything.
EV-UR-REEEE-THING...
that I have faced in the past year has made me stronger.
I know that God has used everything for His glory and my good.
I know.
I believe.
Really, I do.
I'm just frustrated.
The phone and satellite are out because... the bill I thought I had paid back in November...
not so much.
Check bounced.
My bank showed that it cleared, but no.
And I "wasted" my paycheck at the beginning of the month catching up everything else.
Well. Most of the other stuff.
A lot of stuff.
I paid ahead on my insurance and my water bill.
That would have been enough for the durn phone and satellite.
Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
And, just to show you what an honest person I am...
I got a credit card in the mail today.
In Michael's name. Just needs to be activated. And i know his social and other relevant information.
But I wouldn't. Couldn't. Shouldn't.
Tempting.
My internet and tv keep me sane.
And when I get paid - which will not be a lot since I've been out sick - that money needs to go toward my car payment. And... well, Christmas presents.
I called Robert to ask when child support will be here and he hemmed and hawed and "I'll try to get something in the mail on Saturday".
Great. Whatever.
In the scheme of things, this is not a tragedy, relatively speaking.
It's just...
another great big...
"it sucks to be broke and single".
End of whine.
God bless.

Winds-day

It's really windy outside.
Extremely windy.
No snow. It would actually be pleasant if the wind wasn't blowing.
But the wind is blowing at ridiculous strength.
I drive a small car.
No fun.
This is gonna be quick - my lunch is almost over.
I'm back at work after missing two days.
I'm feeling much better... not dizzy and nauseated like I was on Monday and Tuesday.
Still have the sharp pain in my back.
Left side.
Waist high.
Four inches from my spine.
Same place it's been since last Friday or so.
Off topic - there's a new cardamom gum out and I really like it.
At my uncle's office yesterday afternoon they heard gunshots...
turns out the man next door was being robbed and he FIRED BACK!
Don't mess with an old guy with a .357 magnum.
Ha!
What cracked me up... they heard gunshots so Matt, one of my uncle's long time employees ran out to get his gun.
Sorry... I would be hiding under a desk.
A girl I went to high school with - she was homecoming queen my junior year - had heart surgery yesterday. At the same time... her college age daughter's body was found in an apartment near Georgia Southern college. Murdered.
They had to wait until my friend's heart was more stable before they could tell her.
It's heartbreaking. Literally.
Still no desire to put up a Christmas tree. Maybe this weekend.
I watched Julie and Julia yesterday - made me hungry.
It was a cute movie.
I have a follow up appointment with the doctor tomorrow. They called this morning and wanted to change me back to the original antibiotic... you know, the one I had an allergic reaction to?
I either need to find a new doctor or abandon modern medicine.
Don't these people keep records?
The winds are so strong that the flowers are being blown off the graves at the nearby cemetary. The nearby embankment was littered with plastic flowers. Kinda creepy.
Back to work.
Hugs!

Monday, December 7, 2009

my scary morning

Still on kidney infection vs. kidney stone watch.
I thought I was doing ok... went on in to work... sat through the staff meeting... talked with a client and then...
My world started spinning. I really thought I was going to pass out.
I went to the bathroom and it got worse.
I walked back down the hallway to my desk and announced to my co-workers that I was going to pass out.
I grabbed the nearest chair and ...
blank.
No, I didn't pass out.
My view of the world got really narrow.
I got clammy.
Duane was in the room saying, "should we call 9-1-1"
Theresa got ice.
Shirley got some almonds and some hard candy for me.
Somebody grabbed my ice water.
In about two minutes, the feeling eased up and they said the color started coming back into my face.
I don't know what caused it.
I just know it freaked me out.
I sat really still for about ten minutes and then gathered my wits about me... and my things...
and went home.
I am not sure that was a great idea but all I knew was that I wanted to be home.
I actually felt pretty steady until the last mile or so.
I don't know how I got from the car to the bed - thanking God once again that I don't have the three flights of stairs between parking place and front door like we did in Jacksonville.
I have three steps.
They were very big steps today.
I laid down and turned on TCM and dozed off and on for five hours.
There was a series of films created by the War Department in 1943 explaining WWII. I learned more about World War II in my dizzy stupor today than in all of high school.
I woke up around 3pm, at a bowl of sugar crisp and went back to sleep.
I finally climbed out of bed around 5pm.
I'm not ready to run a marathon but I'm not feeling as icky as I did earlier.
I almost feel steady enough to drive to Sonic for a cranberry juice slushie BUT...
I am pushing water... trying to flush out whatever poisons were in my system today.
When I got really sick with the kidney infection back in April 2008... I had that kind of dizzy-sick feeling for days and I thought it was the antibiotic that did it.
Now I'm thinking that it was the infection.
And I'm thinking that's what made me sick today.
But now I've screwed myself out of two days of work in this last paycheck before Christmas which means that it's gonna be a lean Christmas. It would have been anyways, but it really will now.
Fixing to watch my friend Jess on Dr. Oz. It originally aired on Friday but it was at 3pm so I didn't see it. They re-run Dr. Oz on the next weekday at 6.
So... gonna go watch that.
Hope you have a great evening!
Love and hugs!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

a little whine on Sunday


received this morning from Ryan's house in Pennsylvania... *sigh*
No snow here in Georgia. Just a cold, hard frost.
I'm feeling awful this morning. Not just because Florida lost last night. *sob*
I have a sharp pain in my back - not sure if it's infection or a stone. It started on Friday and eased up until during the night last night. I'm nauseous... and it's uncomfortable... but it's not the horrible type of pain that I would think a kidney stone would bring. So I'm curled up in my nest, missing the Christmas musical at church, waiting to either feel better or feel bad enough to do something different. I'm on an antibiotic already so unless I started running a fever or was in *much worse pain* there's not really anything different that needs to be done.
Meanwhile, I've watched two good old movies on TCM, am avoiding SportsCenter (can't stand seeing Tim Tebow so upset)... and plan to spend today resolving whatever this is since once again tomorrow at work we will be shorthanded, at least by one. Kevin is on "paternity leave" until Tuesday. Tomorrow baby Raleigh has his first pediatrician visit. Theresa went down with a migraine on Friday and Ginger was out all week... so whatever I have has to be better by tomorrow.
The pain is moving... guess that's good news?
Have a great Sunday, forgive me for whining! Love and hugs!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Stubby the 3 Legged Wondercat

It's cold outside. They are predicting snow - just a dusting - but I'm safely tucked in my nest with groceries in the fridge.

I was out late last night... had to pick Austin up from his field trip to the hockey game with the Future Farmers of America. He said his pick up time was 11pm. I was there at ten minutes before 11. They actually didn't get there until 11:40. I kept having to turn the car on to run the heat because it was so cold.

Therefore... it was about 1am before I was asleep. And Stubby... the 3 Legged Alarm Clock... freaked out when the dawn started coming and I was still asleep. I promise you, he did everything short of holding a mirror in front of my mouth to see if I was breathing. He took his little paw and tried to pry open my eyelids. This cat sleeps 23 and a half hours a day but he wants to make sure I'm up before the sun.

And I obeyed.

Actually... we were down to condiments in the fridge... so I had to make a grocery run sometime today. Univ. of Kentucky is playing basketball at noon. The SEC Championship game is at 4. There's Sportscenter and College Gameday and a few episodes of The Office and a few good movies programmed into my tv today... and I figured there will be a rush of folks if a single flake falls... so I went ahead and made a quick Ingles run. I was pretty much the only one in the store (good thing as I'm on third day hair and wore no makeup) and I was in and out in twenty minutes and back home in my nest in less than half an hour.

Cinnamon rolls are in the oven! Yum!

I opened the blinds in my bedroom for a snow watch... and Stubby the 3Legged King of the World complained. Apparently I'm supposed to keep it dark so he can get his beauty sleep.

Remember that pig that Austin wanted to raise for Future Farmers of America? As I was feeding the greedy cat this morning before fixing my own coffee... I said (loud enough for Austin to hear) "Glad I don't have to go feed a pig this morning". BoooYa!

I'm planning to make some kind of casserole today that we can eat on for a few days... hamburger and noodles and whatever I can come up with in the bounty of the pantry. I got to the grocery store early enough that I got the marked down ground beef! Woohoo! Just have to cook it today.

Time to go ice the cinnamon rolls.

Happy Saturday! Go Gators!

Friday, December 4, 2009

snow?


Last time it snowed... it snowed all around us. Some people had six inches... we had NOT ONE FLAKE. And I was mad. Living in the mountains... if nothing else, you should get snow. Here is the latest weather map showing anticipated precipitation. We are in the top northeast corner of Georgia, two counties from the eastern border, two counties from the northern border. I leave in the west side of the county... and once again, there is a big bullet hole of nothing at all over where we live. And if that happens.... I'm gonna be sooooo mad!
Oh wait... on second glance... it looks like we're smack dab in the pink area... I was one county too far to the west. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Especially on a Saturday!

friday funnies

Back at work.
Not itching.
Still uncomfortable.
On new antibiotic.
Down to only two people out of six today.
*sigh*
It's insanely busy.
I'm on lunch now, but I'm at the office.
Just in case.
Didn't want it to get overwhelming for Shirley.
Poor thing, she's been here all week while the rest of us have faded in and out.
Theresa went down with a migraine this morning... she tried to hang... but couldn't.
I shared my story of my journey here with a newspaper person.
It felt good. I'm getting to the point of being matter of fact about it.
It's not emotional for me. It just is.
I don't feel obligated to hide the facts.
I don't feel the need to use it for vengeance.
It just is what it is.
They're covering the travesty of justice in Dean's case that I described yesterday.
Giving a man only one option of when to come to court... when he lives in another state and works three days a week. And then finding him in contempt.
Travesty.
What I wouldn't give for my kids' dad to be only $340 in arrears.
Greed.
Austin is going to a hockey game tonight - Gwinnett Gladiators.
He knows nothing about hockey. Nothing. He probably doesn't even know that they play with a puck.
Daddy used to take me and Jim to see the Atlanta Flames back in the day. I loved it.
My sister-out-law, Candice, is a HUGE hockey fan. Detroit Redwings.
Counting down to the SEC Championship game tomorrow...
I don't know that Florida will win. It could easily go either way. It will be exciting either way.
I know it will be stressful for me.
There's a lady in the office right now who was really ugly with me on the phone earlier. I'm letting Shirley deal with her.
I've got no time for hate.
She was mad at me because the person she talked to before didn't record her VIN number. I. had. nothing. to. do. with. what the person you talked to before did.
Be-otch. I'm trying to help you.
I gave her the nice little apology that we were a little shorthanded and that I'd be glad to pick up from where Theresa left off and we would just fill in the blanks.
She didn't want that.
She didn't want to wait until Theresa was back.
Some people just need victims. Like... they feel powerful being unkind to others. As if people are going to be more willing to help them if they're nasty.
I help everyone all the same. Best of my ability. Every single person. Naughty or nice.
Lunch is over.
Four and a half more hours of sprinting.
None of this was funny. Sorry.
Hope you have a great Friday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

crazy.

You can't make this stuff up.
And if you could - you wouldn't want to.
**disclaimer**
I am not sad or depressed. I am just old fashioned frustrated. Eeyore style.
And I am high on benadryl.
Here's the story:

Yesterday I went to the doctor and confirmed what I had suspected - I have a kidney infection.
The medicine wasn't ready when I went by the pharmacy yesterday. I was going to wait (I know, crazy) to pick it up after work today. But... I was really uncomfortable last night... to the point of being woken up from a dead (ambien) sleep. Since we're shorthanded at work (and because I need the money) it was not feasible to take a day off... so I waited for the pharmacy to open, picked up my meds and went in to work about 45 minutes late.

I got to work... took the meds... started working and... about twenty minutes later, I was talking to Theresa and she said, "there is this red dot on your forehead... it looks like a welt"... I went to the bathroom... and noticed that welt... and one starting on my shoulder... and in about ten minutes... I had welts all over my chest and tummy...

I called the doctor. Their first concern was, "are you having trouble breathing?" No. She said, "you need to take benadryl immediately"... um. Ok. Immediate is relative. Because... #1 - I didn't have any with me. #2 - benadryl knocks me out. #3 - I needed to be at work. I asked what would happen if I just rode it out... the nurse said, "you've got to reverse the effects... you need to get benadryl NOW".

So... I made my apologies to the skeleton crew at the office... and drove the twenty minutes from Demorest to Cleveland... itching like crazy... down my legs and arms... with red spreading around my face... very attractive... and went to the Ingles to get benadry. Why Ingles? Because I knew the benadryl would knock me out and we are out of toilet paper. And cat litter. And sugar. Yes, I made an emergency grocery run BEFORE taking the benadryl. And stopped by the pharmacy to see if the replacement meds were in - they aren't. Which means I've got to wait until the benadryl is out of my system before trying to pick them up again. Which takes me back to where I was at 8am this morning.

Good times.

So far the benadryl is NOT working but I'm still hopeful. I am starting to get a little foggy though... so it should start working.

In the 45 minutes I was at work... I had an email from my boss in Jacksonville - Kathy. We have been catching up via email this week. I had to send an email to my uncle's office about a problem on my mom's homeowners application for their new house. I had an email from my old buddy, Dean, about the ongoing drama between him and my husband's other's woman (Dean's ex-wife).

I've been pretty resolute about not allowing Michael's drama to overflow into my life. I throw away the bills that come here. I haven't talked about him much lately. I'm done. Healed. Over it. But just as a single mom who has fought for child support for ten years... and is owed over $30,000 in back child support and whose children's father STOOD UP HIS KID for Thanksgiving this year... I am LIVID at what is going on with Dean right now.

This woman who relieved me of my husband is suing the loving father of her children for $340 of back child support. Now... he LIVES in Louisville, Kentucky and his kids live in Jacksonville, Florida so he has to travel (by air, mostly) back and forth every other weekend to see them. And he does. Court was scheduled for a Monday. He works Saturday, Sunday and Monday. That's it. 13 hour shifts. He made two requests via his attorney to move the court date to any day other than Monday. Both were denied... and then... since he was at work on Monday, working to be able to pay the ridiculous percentage of child support he's required to pay to his adulterous ex-wife... the judge issued a warrant for his arrest for failure to appear or notify the court of the reason for his absense.

I've seen all the court documents. They're public record. She should be ashamed of herself. That judge needs to be brought up on disciplinary action.

And... well, I didn't mention it but... I talked to Michael yesterday. He called to make sure I was ok with the upcoming court proceedings. My answer, "no. I'm not ok with it... my intention was to stay married." But I'm glad it's almost over. Michael asked if I had talked to Dean - and I hadn't at that point. Michael said, "Your buddy is about to end up in jail." I'm not saying it was gloating. But it was gloating. He should be ashamed of himself. Especially as a father who has diligently tried to remain involved in his childrens' lives financially and physically and has himself faced unfair retribution at times. Including being jailed at his grandfather's funeral for kidnapping... he knows...

At times I feel so different... so removed from that situation... that I forget how ridiculous it all is. Dean has to pay over $3000 in the next 20 days between court fees and her attorney fees and back child support. It makes me angry. It breaks my heart for Dean. And it makes me wonder what Michael - as a father who has been through the baby mama drama - sees in a woman who is that vengeful. Maybe that is what he was looking for. Maybe I wasn't mean enough.

We will all face a greater judge one day. And though, without a doubt, there are things that I've done in my past that I'm not proud of... they are in my past. I work every day to be a better human being than I was the day before. I haven't taken my baby daddy to court... because although he owes me quite a bit of money... I have compassion for him. He is a human being. I see him still as the man who was with me on the three most special days of my life - when my children were born. I see him as the man who taught my boys to play ball... and shave... and drive... and although he hasn't been what I would have hoped him to be as a father... I don't think my children would be better off if their father was in jail. Even if he isn't involved in their lives.

Ok. On full on benadryl high now... settled in and chilled out and ready to rest. Love and hugs, y'all!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

a perfect destination

Hmmm. Closure.

At the beginning of this year my co-worker and his wife miscarried a child. They had lost several before and had been trying to have a baby for awhile. His heart was broken. They believed that it was never going to happen for them.

Yesterday, she gave birth to 6lb, 13 oz Raleigh… a beautiful baby boy with chubby cheeks and juicy lips. Finally, at 46 and 42, they are parents.

I started this year with so much hurt and anger. Last year’s Christmas was uncomfortable and sad for me.

Since then, the final shreds of connection to Michael were one by one broken. It was a process.

Our divorce goes before the court on the 14th and I am. I am… at peace.

The journey was miserable but the destination is perfect for me.

Yesterday Angie had a last minute change of plans that prevented her from picking Sarabeth up from school on time. She called me. I went. I was there in five minutes and was rewarded by a huge hug and a joyful countenance and got to share in those precious right after school moments.
Yes. The destination is perfect.

My wandering gypsy children who seemed to be without focus a year and a half ago are both in a better place and experiencing success.

It was hard. SOOO hard to be a single mom. But now… I have these grown men who are responsible and independent and smart and charming and kind…

And Austin… God love him, he’s trying. My itty bitty boy is now 175 pounds worth of transition from little kid to independent teenager.

He’s working in the barns at the Agricultural Science Center every day and learning things about plants and animals that he would have never learned from his “indoorsy” mom.

He has a gaggle of buddies in the neighborhood. He loves this place.

The destination is perfect.

I’ve gone through seasons of sadness and have spent time with worry and fear and concern for the future. There are days I don’t feel sure of myself. There are days I feel alone.

Then I dry my eyes and look around and realize how carefully and perfectly God has surrounded me with sisters and friends and daughters and adopted nieces and real nieces and brothers and cousins and aunts and parents and even a grandparent who love me and take care of me.

In the silence, I have heard His voice.
In the stillness, I have found rest.
In the fire, I have been refined.
In the heartache, I have learned how to comfort others.

I have learned more about who I am, what I’m made of, what I believe in and my life’s purpose than could have ever happened.

Driving home last Friday my sweet grandmother said that she believed there was someone out there for me… “you never know, sweetie”… and I shrugged and said, “maybe… but if there isn’t, I’m ok with that.”

And I meant it.

I went through so many years where I felt I was defined by who I was aligned with.

That people would judge me for being single.

Now I see my singleness as courageous. Strong. Independent. I like who I am all by myself.

I’m so grateful for this destination.

One last thing. While I was writing this an elderly lady came in to my office. She had some questions about her bill. She explained that she’s got the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and she has trouble understanding. She asked if would explain things carefully and slowly. I did. She said that she didn’t know how long she’d be able to handle her own business but she wanted to as long as she can. She said that she’d probably be in a “home” by this time next year. She said, “I just hope that every now and then someone comes by with a sausage biscuit for me”.

I hope so too.

People have been good to me.

And that makes this destination perfect for me.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

tuesday

Only a few minutes before time to start work.
I realized I haven't posted since Saturday and I know how y'all worry.
I'm doing great.
Great (period) not great (exclamation point).
But still, great is great.
Yesterday was the Mother of all Mondays... we're always crazy busy after a long weekend but we also (predictably) had one person out sick all day, one person gone half the day and another person dealing with computer problems half the day.
It was stressful.
I went home and played with my three legged cat and stared at the television and the computer for five hours and then went to bed.
I slept well.
I think I have a bladder infection - I'm uncomfortable. But I've got to see whether or not we're staffed well enough for me to leave for a doctor visit. Yesterday we weren't.
I have a stack of stuff on my desk that I didn't get to yesterday.
Two paper apps to write, which are a pain. Most everything we do is computerized. Not everything. Some things we do the old fashioned way, with a calculator and a carbon app.
I'm not sure when I'm going to put up a tree.
Honestly, it seems like more trouble than it's worth since Austin is hardly ever home and the other two boys won't be around much to enjoy it. And there won't be a lot under it. And I don't have a truck to bring a live one home. I think it may be time for an artificial tree. A small one. On a little table.
I think I'm at that stage of life now.
Well, time to clock in and start the day. We're missing three people so far.
Pray for me!
Good times!