My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Just a Little One

I'm trying to blog daily, at least to keep track of my symptoms. It is probably tedious for you guys and I'm sorry. I do want to blog in a way that keeps my desired audience returning as I desperately need and wholeheartedly appreciate your concern and encouragement. But the truth of the matter is that my best entries seem to come when I just speak from the heart and don't try to put out some great literary work.

Incidentally, I didn't mention this before but my amazing daughter-in-law won second place in an essay contest at her college. She's a fabulous writer. My paternal grandmother was a great writer. My dad is a great writer. My maternal grandfather was an amazing writer. My brothers... also amazing... I figure when you add Marquee's talent in with the talent from my gene pool that Cody and Marquee's baby (whenever they decide to have one) will be a literary genius. I'm counting on it.

Anyways... left work about 45 minutes early yesterday because I reached the level of pain that makes it impossible for me to do my job properly... mostly muscle spasms and also some unpleasantness that is resulting from some of the meds I'm on. I'll spare you the details. I was having trouble sitting up, the muscle spasms were so bad. Weird because yesterday started with the searing spinal pain. This is why I'm tracking this stuff because I want to try to figure out a pattern. Today is mostly headache, shoulder pain and the piriformis syndrome - where my right butt cheek is tightened up and it's unbearable to sit. And drive. Which I have to do in approximately five minutes. Maybe I should retitle this blog "tightening the butt cheek"? No?

My friend Amy is supposed to stop by the office today. I can't wait to see her! It's been a long time. Too long.

I'm stopping by Starbucks for a treat on my way to work. I've earned it.

That's why this entry is short.

Have a great day, y'all.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Truth About Tuesday & Wednesday

Today's greatest source of pain is the L5& L6 part of my spine... the place with the extra vertebrae (because I'm an overachiever that way)... providing me with a hot searing pain there... a stabbing pain in my right butt cheek courtesy of the piriformis syndrome, muscle spasms, fatigue and anxiety over sitting up all day. Anxiety is sort of a new one for me to own up to but I realize now that it's been a huge part of things all along. After all, it's anxiety that keeps me from putting myself in potentially painful situations.

My other pain is 2 animals who must constantly be attached to me...Oscar the dog and Little Trouble Kitty. I literally took a bath with three animals supervising  me (the addition of Eddie the cat who uses the bathroom sink for a bed, it's a zoo here, I tell ya!) Oscar snapped at me yesterday, he didn't really connect for a decent bite but he wanted to... and immediately felt guilty because he loves his Heather... so he spent the day attached to me to reassure himself that I would let him... which made Trouble feel ignored so he would come and sit across my chest.

I felt really rotten yesterday so I curled up in bed and took a long midday nap (I was off work). Oscar slept under the blanket curled up with me... Trouble slept on top of me... Stubby slept on the pillow beside me... Eddie slept at my feet. When I started to get up, my granddoggie Sammy climbed up beside me too. I literally had to call my mom to help get the animals out of the way so I could get up.

I never quite got woke up and oriented yesterday. I feel like a cold is coming on... my nose is drippy and my ears are clogged and I've got some crackles in my chest but... what can you do? I don't feel as full of green slime as I did yesterday. Maybe it was allergies?

I tried to watch Celebrity Wife Swap last night - Kate Gosselin and Kendra Wilkinson changed places. It was too cliche and scripted and made Kate look like a shrew and Kendra look like a party girl and I kept feeling that the truth was somewhere in the middle. I gave up and started watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother.

For some reason, on Monday night, the new episode of How I Met Your Mother lost the sound in the last ten minutes. It wasn't my tv - every other channel had sound- and I was really bummed.

I spent longer in the bath this morning than I should but the hot water felt really good on my aching bones.

I need to add the pain in my left foot to my list of things that hurt today. It never goes away but gets stronger when I'm walking... and it's connected to a point in my back because when I step with my left foot, it delivers a strong pain to my back. Consequently, I find myself dragging my left foot rather than have  that impact

Mama cooked dinner last night. She never ever ever cooks, other than to warm up soup for her lunch. Her last day of work is March 8th, though, so she intends to start cooking. Her last day was supposed to be the 1st but then one of the other crossing guards' husbands' died so she is needed one more week. She has been trying to quit since last school year.

I'm out of time. No time to edit this so please ignore any errors.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday's Here Again

It's late on Sunday evening and I'm awake. Remember when I used to be asleep by 8pm every night? That ship has sailed. I'm tired but not sleepy...

and this sweet little kitty cat who must be petted by BOTH hands is making it hard for me to do anything other than make him happy. He makes me happy. It's a fair trade.

I'm watching the Oscars. I meant to just watch the Red Carpet and then the show started. I meant to just watch the show until I got bored and it's been semi-interesting. Very musical theater oriented, which I particularly enjoy. Sort of a Tony/Oscar.

I know I blog excessively about my miseries and I don't mean to be a whiny drag but this little journal serves as my personal medical record, my "dear diary" and a way for me to keep dates and pains straight. I forget stuff more easily lately and it bothers me. Even though I blog too much about aches and pains, I need to note that I have had a miserable headache all day and that nothing, not even the really strong meds has been able to break it. Well, more accurately, the strong meds make it go away for a little bit but then it returns, right back to the same spot. I need to remember to tell my regular doctor about this, especially since my blood pressure is back to the "too high even with meds" numbers again.

Remember that really good blood pressure reading I had that one day? Yeah. That was awesome. It hasn't happened since. There is a part of this that is pain related but a lot of it is diet. Bad diet.

Last week was a particularly rough week pain wise. Adding a round-trip to the mountains in the middle of  a work week is a really bad idea. I knew it would be. I'm  also finding that I'm more and more strongly affected by weather and have learned exactly which pains are arthritis related since we've had so much rainy cold weather lately. So... making extra demands on my spine in a wet week is pretty much going to have to go on the "things to avoid to avoid pain" list which is constantly growing.

I'm a bit wound up, stress wise, because of the pain. I'm so afraid of hitting the end of the road where productivity is concerned. Last week those 20 hours I worked were too much. I judge my workdays based on whether or not I cry on the way home. Two out of four kleenex days on my way home last week. I worry that I'm forgetting things when I'm distracted by pain. I worry that my tone isn't pleasant enough or that an unpleasant interaction will take me to tears when I'm already sort of at my limit of dealing with things.

Those soggy after work moments come in part because of what the pain means, more than just because I'm uncomfortable. I mean, the pain at times is enough to cause tears but the thought that my limit of how long I can work may be closer than I want... the fear for the drought that will come, money wise, in between my last time of working and how quickly I can get approved for disability. Not because I will starve. I won't. Or be put on the street. But because there are things that require money - things like medication and car insurance and just being able to have an iced green tea periodically at Starbucks - that I won't be able to put on hold while I'm crossing that bridge and I don't want to be a burden on anyone for those things. I also don't want to be less than my best at work, ever.

The tears also come because it's just not fair. I know there are people who have it way worse with far less support than I have. I know I'm beyond blessed to have a safety net at home and a incredibly supportive work place and a doctor who listens to me (most of the time) and to finally have medication to take the edge off when things get really flared up. I know that from that perspective I have so much more than many who have chronic conditions. But you know... I worked so hard to keep our lives together as a single working mom... and I spent so many years being pulled between being a good mom and a good employee (and many of you know what I'm talking about)... and THIS should be my golden worker years... no more mommy obligations... years of experience in my field... a great work environment and... now I'm in a struggle between surviving the pain and being a good employee.

This is why I don't blog at night. I get too whiny and tearful. However, sometimes I think it's good to gain a little transparency... although not as much as Anne Hathaway's Oscar dress... get that woman a full sized mirror or a better stylist...

Where was I?

You guys are so good to encourage me and share your opinions and I appreciate that so much. Sometimes my pain is so loud that I can't hear my own thoughts. But I'm starting the work week with a good deal of anxiety about whether or not this will be a four tissue week... or a no tissue week... and there's rain in the forecast which doesn't improve my odds... and I know that there is a point where I will have to dial back a bit and I just don't want that day to come.

More in the morning... I'm sleepy now


And now it's morning... Monday morning... I'm dressed, made up, coiffed, fed... curled up beside a  little dachshund and watching Good Morning America and ready to hit the road in about twenty minutes.... coughing up green slime... with a crazy mottled burgundy rash across my back where the heating pad normally rests (I'm thinking that can't be good)... exhausted... in pain... ready to burst into tears at any moment but really determined to be all that I can be today.

My Reason to Love Monday? Just one: it's here. It showed up. Life has gone on. Another Monday in my life, another chance to be the best me I can be.

I hope you, too, are waking up to Monday and I hope you find reasons of your own to love it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fungus Photo Finish Friday

This is what I should feel like today... "I'm the King of the World"... it being a Friday and the end of a long, long, long week. Yabba Dabba Dooo is just 8 short hours away.

This is also a great example of my chaotic bedroom decor. Remember, the rule in this room is that  you can only ADD to it, you can't take anything down... so I have a poster painted by my brother Michael ... Mickey Mouse... which is ironic since Michael and his family are at Disney World RIGHT NOW... Michael hasn't lived at home since, I don't know, maybe 1996? That's when he and Mechelle got married... and there's a World Series poster that Cody and/or Ryan added at some time, no idea when... and the photo of my grandparents on their wedding day that always adorns my home... I love the way they look in that photo... Grandma in her stylish cloche hat, Grandaddy looking so much like my Ryan... anyways... so this is what I should look like, a cat at the highest perch in the room, with control over the dog treats...

But this is closer to how I feel....

Like the "fungus among us" growing on a piece of wood in my brother's front yard, surrounded by damp soil, growing moss (you know, from lack of movement and limited sunshine)... just laying here, serving no apparent purpose...

I'm working from 11:30 to 4:30 today and I'm having a really hard time imagining that 4:30 hour getting here. I'm not just in pain, I'm exhausted to the marrow of my bones. Literally, I get what people mean when they say, "bone tired" because my bones ache.  Seriously, even my big toes ache.

Oscar, the dog who must have body heat or he will die, is sleeping deeply beside me. I need to go to the bathroom and really want to eat breakfast but he's so peaceful. I don't have the heart to interrupt that sort of rest. I covet that ability. Even with all the meds I'm on, I can't seem to get a good night's sleep lately. I just can't stay comfortable long enough. And, of course, last night with the noisy thunderstorms that blew through, and my "King of the World" kitty who needed my undivided AWAKE attention - so he kept tapping me on the face with his soft little paw - which, honestly is precious to see and funny to me, that a cat has adapted such a human like mannerism - but there came a point last night that I begged, "Little Kitty, mommy needs to sleep!"... and another point at 6:56 this morning where I exclaimed, "Lily... you don't REALLY need to go out"... but she did... and then I remembered that I needed to refill 6 prescriptions today so I needed to go ahead and call them in to the pharmacy with the hope that they would be ready for me to pick up BEFORE work, with the anticipation that I will not be functioning to the point of being able to pick them up AFTER work. The pharmacy automated phone system said that my prescriptions would be ready by 9:15 but I'm not holding my breath. They text me when my prescriptions are ready and I know not to bother going up there before I get my texts. While I was in the middle of the process of typing in all those dad-blamed prescription numbers, my alarm went off and I had to make a mad dash from the living room to the bedroom to turn off the alarm, for what reason I don't know... it was only me and the zoo home... and I was trying to keep from losing my place in what I was typing in so that got my adrenaline flowing in one swift gush and after that there was no chance of going back to sleep, even though I really could use a couple extra hours.. or a couple of hours period, don't think you can call them "extra" when they're just about all you're getting.

ANYways.. that gush of adrenaline woke me up but it sure didn't last long. And now it's late enough that going to sleep would just make me feel icky and sluggish all day and I can't afford that. I have to be quick witted to do well at work. I also have to get gas before work which cuts into my morning time and I really need a lot of morning this morning if I'm going to accomplish the things I need to in my afternoon.

Remember yesterday when I said that I love my life? I don't feel the same way today. I hate feeling this way. I would call in to work but there's really a lot that I want to do there today. I want to be there. I just want it not to hurt or require energy that I don't have.

So that's my Friday. Yabba dabba whatever.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I've been to London to visit the Queen.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you there?
I frightened a little mouse under it's chair.

I haven't blogged for a week so I thought I might get you caught up on all the fabulousity of Heather's Life.


So, there you have it. My fabulous week.

I'm kidding.

There were some good things.

Saturday morning my brother Michael and his wife Mechelle and my nephews Cory and Matthew stopped by on their way to Disney World. It was their first trip to Disney so I was very excited for the boys. They are 15 and 13. We don't see them often and I love them dearly so it was a real treat to visit with them.

Saturday night we went out to eat - something I rarely do because frankly, it hurts to sit long enough for a dinner out. Yes, it hurts to sit for just an hour. It's not as bad at work because there is a more cushy chair and I get up and down frequently but restaurants, especially ones with stiff seats, hurt like the dickens. This is the part of my life that stinks. However, we were going to O'Charley's (which I enjoy) and we were going to have dinner with Mom, Pop, Cody, Marquee and my Aunt Ginger and Uncle Carl to celebrate Valentines Day/Singles Awareness Day. The company was great. The food was good. The pain was unreal. I reach a point where I am no longer capable of polite social interaction because all I can think about is the pain. When the pain is bad I can't make things work right to go potty and I really had to go so I sat in the restaurant bathroom for too long and had everyone concerned back at the table. They were drawing straws to determine who would check on me. I was ok. Just frustrated.

I got my first order in the mail. Love, love, love the prices and products on! Hate, hate, hate walking through stores. If you order from, I get a $20 credit so if you see something there that you like, let me send you an email invite. Don't buy there just for that reason but if you see something that you like that you think is a good price and want to get, I'd love $20 of fun money.

Sunday I didn't do anything. Nothing I can remember, anyways.

I can't remember if I mentioned my aggravation last week with my back dr who said I had to come in to get a prescription of the stronger pain medicine after they have told me for the past three months that I didn't have to come in every month and every month I've ended up having to go in.

I agreed to a Tuesday appointment which was a big old hairy inconvenience because it meant that I had to drive up Monday after work (to avoid driving in the rain roundtrip on Tuesday) and spend the night at the mountain house.

It turned out to be a good thing, however, because mom and Oscar went with me and we had a nice peaceful quiet night with a nice fire and watched movies and slept great and got to see Austin and then we got up Tuesday morning and had a thin layer of ice everywhere... and when that thawed a tiny bit we ran a few errands in town and on our way in to Helen there was SNOW! Not a lot of snow but enough snow to be fun to look at.

The doctors appointment was ok. There was a misunderstanding with the other doctor that I saw last time who isn't my normal doctor and he should have given me more pills or a separate prescription and he didn't which was a big hairy inconvenience for me, of course, but they gave me about $500 worth of samples of meds so that made it better.

Driving home after the appointment in semi-bad afternoon traffic that was messed up with a multiple car accident was not fun.

But we had a good time, me and mama. Moving here has been the best thing that happened to our relationship in forty years and I love spending time with her. What I love best is that we can co-exist and do our own thing but we know that we are not alone. We both, due to the whole chronic pain thing, have spent a lot of time alone over the past few years.

Anyways... I was worried that the road trip in the middle of a work week was going to make me feel really bad for the back half of the work week. I consoled myself yesterday with the new Vanilla Spice Latte that Starbucks has and a morning bun. Work was not bad at all yesterday, in that I didn't immediately burst into tears when I got in the car, which I do some days, because of the pain. I love my job. I love the people I work with. It's a beautifully supportive, non-toxic work place and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work there.

I say that every week but it's truer and truer every week. Going over the schedule for the next two months yesterday, which is a huge task but is done pleasantly by our office manager with consideration for the needs of every single employee, which shows me how much they value their employees and their quality of life. And even with that, there is the understanding that there are days that even though I very much want to be there, my body won't cooperate. Knowing that it's understood takes a huge burden off of me.

And now it's Thursday and I'm about to get a shower and glam and head into work again today and the pain is a bit stronger today with the weather front coming our way. My hands hurt so bad and my feet ache with every step and there's a nerve that's being pressed from the spinal arthritis because my toes are numb on my left foot but...

I've got a sweet puppy on my right... a sweet kitty on my left... a good cup of coffee beside me and I'm excited about going to work.

I just really love my life.

Pain and all, I love my life.

Happy Thursday folks.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Trash or Treasure

Pajama Friday! Wooohooo! Me and mama are both off today so we slept until nearly 8am. It meant that I missed part of my early morning tv watching but I'm really ok with that. Small sacrifice.

I used to watch the Today Show but when they squeezed Ann Curry out in such an ugly way, I couldn't help but take it personally, having been there myself... you know... the "ratings" are bad... find someone to blame it on, something similar to that... now when I see the Today Show I see a toxic workplace. Nobody wants to start their day watching a toxic workplace. Good Morning America and Fox and Friends are both much more loving, fun, easy environments to watch. I particularly appreciate the way that Good Morning America has supported Robin Roberts during her illness. They didn't just toss her out because she wasn't physically as strong as she once was.

It reminds me that one man's trash is another man's treasure. We really do have to keep the perspective that just because one relationship doesn't work out, it doesn't mean that you're banned from all future similar situations. When you feel like trash... you start to see yourself as worthless, it's easy to give up and just wait to be disposed of. You aren't inspired to find a new situation because you buy into one man's (person's, organizations, whatever) perspective of your value.  In a situation where you're seen as a treasure instead of trash, you are inspired to raise up to their perspective of you. You have the courage to be who you really are, you have the freedom to do bigger and better things.

There are about thirty eleven situations that I've followed on Facebook of people who found love again after years and years of a wrong relationship - or a series of wrong relationships. Watching people go into relationships with the knowledge and experience of failed relationships - not carrying the old stuff as baggage but treating it as an education,  as preparation for their happily ever after - I think it's just beautiful.

It's no secret that I don't have any warm fuzzy feelings leftover for my boys' dad... I just basically, to be very blunt, don't have any use for him. He didn't do what I needed him to do as a partner and I just figured out other ways to fill those gaps. All that ended years and years ago. But now he's in a relationship with a girl that I grew up with, a girl that in any other relationship I would be giving her high fives and celebrating with her that she is in a happy relationship - because they are, or at least appear to be - happy. It's sort of awkward. But you know what? Just because he wasn't who *I* needed him to be doesn't mean he's not who she's needs him to be.

And the good part... the other day I was thinking about the future, when I finally get to be a grandma (not that I'm rushing anyone, don't get me wrong, I want my kids to become parents when they're ready to be good parents and not a single day before) but I realized that if my friend continues to be with my kids' dad, she will be a step-grandmama to my grandbabies and it really made me feel good to know that she and I would share a mutual interest in the lives of my future grandbabies.

And I'll add a disclaimer that I would have been happy with the lady he was previously in a long term relationship being a step-granny to my babies too... but for an equation that I have zero input in, it's sort of nice to know that someone I have such a long history with - and her family that my family has such a long relationship with - will be a part of Ryan Jr or Cody Jr or Austin Jr's life.

My wardrobe is another great example of turning trash to treasure. I get a lot of compliments on my work outfits. About 90% of my work stuff is hand-me-downs or thrift store finds. Just because someone else didn't see a way for it to work doesn't mean I won't.

I love antiques... and old houses for the same reason. Just knowing that these things have a history, a back story, a time where they were once treasured possessions that brought some measure of purpose into someone's life.

I love ancestors... even the ones that are long since dead and gone leave a legacy just waiting to be discovered. Learning the "begats" are nice but it's so much sweeter to learn an anecdote or interesting fact about someone who came before me.

I guess the trick is having the imagination to believe great things, to see beyond the obvious, to let go of the "trash" in your life with good wishes and the best intentions for it and to learn to recognize the treasures around you.. Just because you don't want it doesn't mean that it can't be rehabilitated. And if you're the trash in someone's life, it doesn't mean you can't be rehabilitated too.

I'll close this blog entry by wishing you a very happy Half Priced Chocolate Day. I made a trip to Rite Aid this morning and stocked up on Lindt Truffles, Hershey's Kisses and Hershey's Kisses with Almonds. Oh. And a big stuffed teddy bear at half off... because he was meant to be somebody's sweet little Valentine's gift and I wanted him to be able to fulfill his destiny by being mine.

Love and hugs, y'all.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Things I Love

Happy Singles Awareness Day!
I first heard that from my friend Natalie and you know what? She's getting married! I love that she's in love.
Another friend that I have literally prayed for for years... he was so desperate to have a wife and family... he's engaged, too! I love that.
All three of my boys have significant others. They make good partners, my boys. I raised them well. I love that they are happy.
I love and I love that I have an order on the way with gifts for Cody, Ryan and baby Scarlett, my friend Whitney's baby who is due any time now!
I love that Whitney's having a baby. She's one of those friends who was only in my life for a season but she was definitely a bright spot in a very dark time for me. I love her happily ever after life.
I love watching little Shannon, the baby girl with the long hair that I used to french braid, I love watching her as a mommy with two girls, one with special needs. I love how God chooses special people to care for His delicate children.
I love being one of those mommies.
I love that Oscar needs to cuddle with me when my mom is not home.
I love that my Trouble kitty waits outside the bathroom door for me and reaches for me to pick him up when I come out. I've never had a cat who wanted to be held and carried and I love it.
I love my nest. It's cozy and really, truly, the only painfree place in the world for me right now.
I love my co-workers. They're such kind, loving people.
I love having a job, having a place to go, a purpose. I love that I do my job well and I even love that I'm willing to brag about it.
I love that I don't have a long commute.
I love Starbucks.
I love that my friend Beth has a handbag line designed for her and I love that those handbags cost more than most people's mortgage payments. I love watching Beth's fabulous adventures.
I love that my friend Christy who suffered through a really bad marriage for far too long has remarried to a man who loves and cherishes and spoils her and gives her the life she deserves.
In a strange way, it gives me hope.
I love that my mother hen Linda writes me long emails and checks up on me. She's not the only one, there are many like her who have cared about me when they didn't have to and it warms my heart so much that it makes my eyes leak.
I love my sweet sister-in-law Angie and am so grateful that she's not just my sister, she's my friend. She's such a great example - and even though she's younger than me, when I grow up I want to be just like her.
I love being an aunt. I love how amazing my nieces and nephews are... sweet, gorgeous, smart, courageous.
I love pinterest.
I love curbed. It's a real estate blog and it's so fun to see lots of fabulous places.
I love the Daily Mail online. I get better info from across the pond than I do from our government sponsored media.
I love my friend Lisa, who I only kind of knew a little bit in school. She's this really incredible fascinating person and she facebooks all kind of things that interest me. And some that don't. But she represents for me a second chance to get to know the folks that I never got around to getting to know in high school.
The truth is, I just love getting to know people through Facebook, the ones I never knew, the ones I knew well that have drifted away, it's a great place for people like me who aren't that mobile to reach out into the world.
I love the guys who fell in love with me, even the ones I couldn't really love back in the way they wanted me to.
And I love the guys I fell in love with who couldn't love me back the way I wanted to.
One day I'll find the courage to tell the stories of all the men I've loved. It's insane and a bit embarrassing at times. The things I've done for love... crazy.
I love spending time with my parents and I'm glad that this less-ability has resulted in an opportunity to know them better and to spend quality time with them.
I love and am soooo proud of my brothers. I could write a long blog entry on each of them. They are amazing people and I love that no matter who else they have in their lives, I will always be their only sister.
I love that time is fleeting and even though there are so many things I'd like to mention... it's time to start the glam routine. I'm treating myself to something special on the way to work today.
I love that it's my Friday. Praise God for a three day break. I need it.
I love you all, even the ones I don't know. Thank you for your interest in my life.
I love that tomorrow is half price chocolate day.
Love and hugs y'all.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Truthful Tuesday Kind of Evolved Into A Whiny Wednesday

Truthful Tuesday / Whiny Wednesday combo.
Because, you know, since I didn't work yesterday I didn't have time to blog.
Well, TRUTHFULLY, if I had blogged yesterday it would not have been pleasant or positive.
I was hurting really bad.
Sick to my stomach and worn out from the pain.
And scared.
I used to have "flares" where the pain would be bad and I would have a few days where I nested and didn't move and would recover, at least back to my last normal.
I've worked two days in February. Seriously. Two. Today will be work day number 3.
So I've had lotsa lotsa rest and I'm still in so much pain that I can't even string together a few sentences for a blog entry when that's the only thing in the world I have to do.
If this is a glimpse of my future, I'm not happy about it.
Yesterday my big project was washing the dishes. Wore me out.
At one point I was in so much pain that I was tearful... and I thought, "ok, this is the point where I have to take meds" and so I did and after a time, I was ok.
But just ok.
Not good. Not normal. Just ok.
And Castleville isn't working for me lately. My usual mindless occupation.
I know that seems petty but it is a big deal for me.
I'm afraid that this IS my new normal.
It makes even my very, very minimal work schedule very, very hard.
They trust me there and they count on me and believe in me and they have been incredibly supportive to me and I want to be the best employee I can possibly be. I feel so invested in that agency.
I'm just afraid I may not be able to work much longer.
That's the truth from Tuesday.
Now for the whine from Wednesday: I'm in a lot of pain again.
I'm going to work. I'm hoping it will be an escape for me.
I brewed a really strong pot of coffee and need to go water it down so that when my parents reheat it for their tomorrow coffee, it won't burn a hole through their mugs.
It was my necessary, my kick in the rear for the day.
So that's the bad stuff. Let's look at some good stuff.
My dad made a pot of coffee for me yesterday, he tried to get it stronger. I appreciate the thought.
My parents went to a church meeting thing yesterday and my dad was the entertainment - he sang. They brought me a Chickfila sandwich back. Oscar ate the pickles. I ate about half of it and Lily at the rest. And the bag in came in.
Pop took my great-aunt Bette to see grandma yesterday. Hospice has been called in for grandma. Her heart is not working right. She doesn't want surgery. Hospice doesn't mean she'll be gone soon, it just means she needs a little more medical support while she's here. It was good for the Steel Magnolias to spend some time together.
We had Taco Bell for dinner. Again, I couldn't eat it all.
You would think I'd be losing weight.
I'm so blessed to be here with my parents. Otherwise I'd probably be living on Hershey's Kisses.
Bummer for those folks stranded on the cruise ship.
You'll never get me on one of those. No freaking way.
My plan for now is to go to the mountains on Friday, stay until Sunday.
Not a hundred percent sure, but that's the plan for now.
I have to check my mail and make sure Austin's ok ... however... Pop is going Monday and he could do those things for me.
And although the change of scenery would be good, I'm afraid to take on any new tasks right now.
The two hundred miles round trip and the packing and all that stuff is just a lot of extra pain that I'm not sure I can absorb right now.
Although I do have to make a trip to the doctor to get my new prescription, which they only give a month at a time but I don't think I can get that before Tuesday.
This is probably the least positive blog I've written in a long time.
I usually try not to write unless I can make it happy.
And I don't know how to make this make sense but minus the pain (and being bummed about Castleville)
I am really, very happy.
It's like God removed all the other things that were hanging on my worry tree so that I could just deal with this one issue, the pain thing.
Gotta hit "publish" and grab a shower and make myself presentable.
God bless you all on this Ash Wednesday. May He strengthen our hearts and continue to give us all strength for our journey throughout this season of Lent.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Quick Reasons to Love Monday Post

The Pope is resigning and I don't feel so good myself.
It's no fun getting old but it beats the alternative.
Grandma's having some heart problems... causes us worry and makes us realize she's not immortal.
Mom still keeps trying to resign her crossing guard post but they can't/haven't/won't find a replacement.
She worries about the kids who cross, doesn't want them to be left to fend for themselves.
Single's Awareness Day is Thursday.
It's pouring rain.
My head is pounding and my body is aching and I'm going to work.
And that's why we need to find Reasons To Love Monday.
Here goes.

1. I have a job.
2. I have clothes to wear. Appropriate clothes.
3. I have food to eat before I leave.
4. I have a nice cup of hot coffee.
5. I have a car with 3/4 tank of gas.
6. I don't have to work in the rain (poor mom!)
7. I don't have a long commute (poor Pop!)
8. I have a short work day.
9. It will hurt but I can do this. I can. I can. I can.
10. There is no red carpet at work where I can be judged for my outfit and such.
11. I slept great last night - 10pm to 2am in the bed, 2am to 6am in the chair.
12. Instead of depending on an alarm, I can depend on a little doggie to climb in beside me and wake me up.
13. Even though I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day - I bought some little gifts for the fam and that felt nice.
14. I made tabbouleh yesterday and that will make a nice lunch after work.
15. Since it's raining there's no point in investing in a long glam routine - it's ponytail for me today.
16. No snow to shovel.
17. No ice on the roads.

And that's it for today... time to grab a shower and get myself to work. I've been gone a week... no telling how much has piled up for me. It will be a five hour + sprint today when I'm still feeling like I'm crawling but I'll get through it. I will. Prayers welcome.

Love and hugs, y'all.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Photo Finish Friday

This is pretty much what I'm doing again today. I'm energetic... well, about as energetic as you can be while under the influence of pharmaceuticals. I mean, I wouldn't drive or anything. I'm moving pretty slow - or as little as possible - but my mind is still sharp. Don't put me out to pasture yet even though my social circle this week has tended to include more four legged folks than two legged.
This is Eddie, aka "Ginger Cat" who is partly feral but learning to enjoy the perks of indoor living such as electric blankets.

The news channels in Atlanta are apparently bored as well. When did rain - not accompanied by thunderstorms, tornadoes or flash floods - become breaking news? Seriously... not that I want to see Whoopi and Joy Behar up close and personal. I was only watching because I wanted to see Kendall and Kylie Jenner on there. Which, come to think of it, is more embarrassing than admitting that I would stoop so low to watch The View.

Oscar spent the past few days glued to my left leg in "his spot" either under his special blankie that I keep in my room for him or under my pink snuggie. Here he is molded to the nest. Bless his heart. Today he's cuddling Mawmaw who is home feeling icky too. We don't do bad weather well. I think that my pain this week is also directly related to the fact that we started weaning me off the neurontin that I've been taking for the past two years. This particular medication helps block the nerve receptors - and my doctor hoped that now that I'm on "real" pain meds, I could maybe get away from the neurontin which has some unpleasant side effects (weight gain, for example) and in the form I'm taking is outside of my budget - costs about $250 a month. Fortunately my dr has been giving me samples but that is not a practical long term solution. However... looks like it's going to remain part of my pharmaceutical reality.

 These pictures crack me up because it shows a rare waking moment for my two boys... and they are each guarding a window. You will note the lovely paneling (sarcasm) and the lovely paint by number pictures (serious) that my mom did at some time. My mom has always been really crafty... whether it was crocheting or painting or doing plastic canvas or cross stitch. She has always been a little Norma Stewart. She's not really able to do those kind of things any more since her vision has gotten bad.

Anyways... this room that I'm in is sort of a museum of our family history. The rule is that you can't take anything off the wall. That's why... there is an almost 30 year old rainbow hanging above my bed... one that I made in childcare class in high school to go on a bulletin board with Ziggy holding the rainbow.

And there are several Chinese restaurant calendars hanging up from 2002, 2008, etc. Bryan's drama masks. Michael's piano. Cody's graduation gown. A Young Jeezy poster. Whoever that is.

And, of course, the Chat Noir picture that I dearly love since I have a couple of chat noirs of my own. I have a very limited grasp on French but I do know that chat means cat and noir means black. I'm not sure how the plural is supposed to go but... we have 'em... .and now they're looking at the same window. This is the one with the bird's nest that I mentioned the other day.. And how boring must my life be for me to talk about a bird's nest twice in one week? Oy vey. Which is Yiddish, I think, and not French.

The Chat Noir picture followed Ryan here. It used to hang in my living room at the Cardboard Castle (my double wide trailer - for those of you who weren't around for that fascinating chapter in my life's story.)

The only picture that I've contributed to the room is a photo of my grandparents on their wedding day - my maternal grandparents. I love it because in it my grandfather reminds me of my oldest son and my grandma is wearing the coolest cloche hat. Cloche, by the way, is French for bell.

How sweet are these boys? They absolutely love that white comforter, especially since I stopped putting the duvet cover on it. I fold it up for them in the morning and it makes a nice, cushy bed for them. And at night...

when I cover up with it... they just lay right on top of it, on top of me. Or... their favorite position is on the left side of me - my bed is pushed up against the wall on the right side (because I'm not sharing it with anyone other than cats) - so when they are on the left side of me and I have to go to the bathroom during the night - I have to wake them both up to get up. And usually, it's hard enough for me to get up, just because of the arthritis and how stiff I get when I'm sleeping - but moving those two dead weights is not fun. I've mentioned before.. Little Kitty either goes with me to the bathroom or waits outside the door for me, wanting me to pick him up and carry him like a baby propped up on my shoulder (imagine burping a baby) back to my room. He rarely meows but if I forget to pick him up, he makes an indignant little peep. Lately he has started reaching up for other people to pick him up. He started at Christmas when my brother Bryan was here... and then he started doing it with Cody. Little Kitty absolutely adores Cody! He watches in the window every morning for him to leave for work. Yesterday he reached up for my mom to pick him up (Little Trouble Kitty, not Cody). He's just such a precious little cuddler.

Anyways... so that's my Photo Finish Friday. No Yabba Dabbo Doo here this week as I've barely worked all week. Praying for strength to get back on track next week, especially to feel strong enough to go to the mountain house next weekend to check up on Austin and collect my mail and all that stuff. Hope you have a great weekend... I'm praying for all of you who are in the path of Nemo (even though I think it's ridiculous to name snowstorms)... and praying for a friend who is really struggling. Two friends. No... wait... now that I think about it... I've got three friends who are having a hard time right now. Praying for 'em all. Love and hugs, y'all. \

(added by Stubby when he decided to walk across my laptop)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday - Finding Balance

For the second day in a row, I've had to make the Call of Shame to work. 

It's one of those episodes where I'm just in too much pain to sit up, stand up, walk, drive, be lucid enough to advise people about their insurance and financial services. 
I have muscle spasms in places that shouldn't spasm. 
You know how you get those muscle spasms in your calf that point your toes like a ballet dancer and wake you out of a sound sleep?

Imagine that in your butt cheek. 
Or the small of your back. 
Not fun. 
I've got constant pain in my left foot and numbness in my right. 
Aching in my right wrist, elbow and shoulder, numbness in my right fingers.
It's insane.
I'm pretty much worthless for much other than human heat source for a needy dachshund. 
It's discouraging. 
It's frustrating. 
When these things happen I can't help but wonder if it's just a short term deal or my new normal. 
All my doctors agree that this stuff is degenerative but nobody has really laid it out for me as far as what will happen and when.
So until I know otherwise, we'll just assume that it's the weather (which has been bad)...
And that I'll be back to my usual level of pain soon.

In the meantime... it's Thankful Thursday and since I have wasted seventeen sentences complaining, I have to undo that attitude with seventeen things for which I'm grateful.

1. Needy dachshunds. It's nice to know that even when I'm doing nothing at all, I'm good company for dogs.

2. And cats. Oddly enough, this seemed to begin on Tuesday with nausea and dizziness and extreme fatigue. Honestly, it felt like I was getting the flu again. I curled up in the bed at still-daylight-thirty and woke at dusk with our unsociable ginger cat, Eddie, curled up beside me. Maybe I need to start a pet cuddling business? I'm able to calm the wildest beasts!
3. My internet connection. It would be a sad, lonely world for me if I couldn't connect with the outside world on an interactive basis.

4. Good/bad tv. Yesterday I watched a lot of that scandalous trial of the girl who slashed her bootie call to bits. They said stuff that I didn't think you could say on tv. I changed the channel when my mother was in the room so as not to expose her to that kind of stuff. I also watched a lot of HGTV and every episode of The Big Bang Theory that was on. I'm not really expanding my horizons but at least I'm entertained.

5. My heating pad. Thank you Cody and Marquee for giving me my fabulous heating pad for Christmas! It's my best friend. Oscar likes it too.

6. Tuna salad. I've wanted some since last week so Pop made that for my dinner last night. It was awesome. Even better than his pimento cheese. I even had a late night snack of it. And how spoiled am I to be able to "order" my dinner? 

7. Good company. Besides the fur babies, my mom was in and out yesterday, checking on her dog (who usually cuddles her but cuddled me all day instead), doing laundry and so forth. I would lose my mind really quickly if I was not interacting with other hooooomuns. Not that Oscar isn't good company... every time I ask "who's my favorite dog?" he yawns or makes this sweet little howling noise. 

8. Hot baths. I started my day soaking in the tub, hoping that would unkink me. Not so much. But it does feel good to have clean hair, even if it is going to frizz to the moon and back since I didn't dry it or style it this morning. 

9. My nest. From East to West my nest is best. It's ugly. The foot rest doesn't come down without a lot of effort so I leave it up but it's the least painful place in my little world and I'm grateful for it.

10. Burt's Bees lip balm. I'm a lip balm addict and this stuff is better than the vaseline I normally use.

11. Crystal light, apple juice and other beverages that keep me hydrated in my vegetative state. I've got a tiny bottle of wine that I'm tempted to down. Heck, at this point, I'd do just about anything to ease the pain. I'd even smoke those funny little cigarettes if it wasn't illegal. When/if they do become legal, watch out world, I'm gonna Cheech and Chong the pain away. I might even grow my own. 

12. Pain meds. They are not eliminating the pain but they are taking the edge off. 

13. Good friends. I got a facebook message yesterday from a lady who has MS and knows what it's like to be cooped up due to less-ability (instead of disability) and honestly, it really made my day to get that sort of support from a kindred spirit. I got a few other comments and good wishes and validation and it helps me feel like less of a waste of flesh. 

14. Great lounge wear. I've mentioned that my Pajama Love has spread to the other members of our household... and I think it's going to become my signature go-to gift. Maybe I should design my own line? Hmmm.... 

15. Good humor. I'm not moping, I promise. I'm moving slow. I groan a bit here and there but for the most part, I'm pleasant. It would be easy to get bitter but what purpose does that serve? If the only contribution I make to the world is a giggle and a smile and a good attitude, then I've at least done more than just exist. Life is funny, even life in the nest. My intention is to color my world with love. (isn't that cheesy?)

16. Piles of pillows and bunches of blankets... my nest is cozy and I can prop what needs propping and cushion what needs cushioning. I'm as comfy as you can be in this condition. 

17. As bad as it hurts right now... I've had worse pain. Childbirth, three times, two thirds of that natural. Hemorrhoid surgery. Wisdom teeth removed. Nobody knows the troubles I've seen... I'm not ready to run a marathon but I can make it to the kitchen and the potty and I'm not screaming or writhing (much).

and one more for good measure...

18. I'm thankful for a small house with short distances to the necessities (kitchen and bathroom). If I was at the mountain house, I'd really struggle to manage the stairs. No stairs here! Just one little tiny step up to the rest of the house from my converted carport bedroom.

19. One more thing that I want to share that I'm not even sure if I'm supposed to share... my Uncle Carl had a little cardiac scare two weeks ago and since then, both he and my Aunt Ginger have stopped smoking. They have smoked for as long as I have known them. It's a huge big deal and I'm so proud of them! Praying they will be successful so that they will be around for a long, long time. 

Okay. That's my Thankful Thursday and if I can do it, you can do it... today, for every negative thing you say... balance it out with something good. What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Truth Day Tuesday

Been hiding a quirky habit and want to come clean about it?
Done something that made you look around to see if anyone is watching?
Got a confession you need to make?
Here's your chance! It's Truth Day Tuesday!

Last night I couldn't sleep and I came up with a lot of random things to share but by the time I woke up this morning, I had forgotten most of them. Should have posted them but I try to avoid blogging under the influence of ambien. And ultram. And flexiril. And the half dozen other meds that I have to take to be able to move.

Here's one: I'm addicted to Hershey's kisses. It started over Christmas while we were at the mountain house and we had bowls of Christmas candy sitting around the house. I ate and ate and ate. Then they went on sale so I stocked up and ate a lot more. Then the Valentines kisses came out. Who can resist chocolate wrapped in cute little pink foil wrapping? It's out of control, people. I took one of my teapots that I use for decoration and filled it with kisses. My mom added some more chocolate for me. I added some little butterfinger hearts but I find myself digging through the pot to find the kisses. It's kisses. All kisses. I've been through three bags since last Friday. One was a supersize bag. I just can't wait for Valentine's to get here so that I can enjoy the day after - Half Price Chocolate Day.

There's something else I need to share. My daughter-in-law left a pair of jeans over here for my mom to sew up for her. I am embarrassed to admit that I peeked at the size. It was a 2. Just a two. Not like mine that have a 2 with a 0 beside it. A two. My daughter-in-law wears a two. AND and I'm a nosy mother-in-law.

I used to secretly love Anderson Cooper but now I secretly dislike him. I'm glad his show is going off the air. He has gotten too political. I didn't expect him to be a Conservative but when he was so out and out boldly Democratic... I automatically change the channel if he comes on. I also dislike his pairing with Kathy Griffin. She's pure trash.

I have replaced him with Jim Parsons. I love him as Sheldon and I love him as him, at least as the him he portrays on talk shows and red-carpet interviews. I search you-tube for videos of him. I can do those sort of things since I don't do much except work.

Sometimes I look at my friends' facebook pages and get jealous. I don't mean to. I've always felt like it was important not to covet. I've always tried to be the kind of friend who could just be happy living vicariously through others, who would celebrate the triumphs of others and I am... and I do... but sometimes I do get a little green. Whenever I'm feeling envious of what others have, I try to remind myself that there are many who would love to have what I have and I am ashamed of myself. But it's true. This is something I do.

I have to confess that I enjoy reading a mean girls blog. I rarely hardly ever contribute and if I do, it's under an alias. It's about a blogger that has misled her readers and misappropriated funds and to be truthful, I want her to get knocked square between the eyes with a big old helping of karma. She's done devious things but I still kinda feel sorry for her. What if there was a hater blog about my blog? :shiver:

I'm also addicted to window shopping on I mentioned this yesterday. I've only ordered twice... once because they had just the perfect baby gift that I needed for a friend... and the second time because ordering the first time gave me free shipping for the next two days. I can't afford to become a shop-a-holic but if I shop, I prefer to do it online.

I'm walking less and when I do, it hurts more. I try to avoid situations where I have to walk. Or sit on hard surfaces or at a 90 degree angle because that is the point of the most intense pressure on my jelly-donut-discs.

My meds give me a dry mouth.
My skin is super dry and I forget lotion about 90 percent of the time.
I always exaggerate whenever I give numbers.
I probably only forget lotion about 75 percent of the time but I increased it for dramatic effect.
I wear the same pajama pants and sweatshirt two or three days in a row.
I'm just sitting and I wear deodorant, it's not like I get dirty.
I started two books in January and haven't finished them yet.
I haven't finished my genealogy project and I've gotten lax about working on it.
Burned out.
I have turned my parents into pajama wearers.
They have discovered the warm fuzzy feeling of wearing warm fuzzy pjs while lounging around the house.
My mom and I spend 90 percent of our time in pajamas.
(That percentage is falsely inflated.)
I prefer tub baths to showers.
It makes it harder to wash my hair but it feels good on my lower back.
Somebody peed on the corner of my comforter while I was sleeping last night.
It had to be last night because I fold it up every morning to make a big comfy little pallet for Stubby.
When I folded yesterday morning it was fine.
When I unfolded to go to bed last night it was fine.
Durn night time pee bandits!
I have a headache. I'm having them more often since my blood pressure is high again.
I made a fresh pot of coffee when I got up this morning.
I get up and touch the side of the pot and if it's still warm from when Pop made his, I'll drink it.
It's weak but I drink.
If he doesn't make coffee and there's any left in the pot my mom will drink it - you know, heat it in the microwave.
I'm a fresh brewed girl myself. Not to be wasteful but I think we can still afford coffee.
Especially since the Prodigal is out sowing his wild oats again. He's a big drain on resources.
I miss him, though.
I miss my oldest, too. I haven't heard from him since Christmas day.
He's not mad at us, I don't think. I think he's just busy.
I want one of those ear wax vacuums.
I started the day with muscle spasms yesterday, couldn't stand up straight for a bit.
I used that time to blow dry my hair - it was the perfect position.
By the time I finished, things had eased up. I didn't think I'd make it all day at work but I did.
I have taken on a new job duty and it takes up about 30 percent of my work day.
That estimate was accurate, not exaggerated.
Someone must have peed on the linoleum floor leading to the laundry room because Trouble is frantically trying to "scratch it up" like in a litter box.
He's such a helper cat. He's my little shadow. We should have named him that but Trouble fits well, too.
I'm wearing mismatched fuzzy socks. I think that's a sign of not caring.
Oddly... as I've admitted before... my underwear must match my outerwear but I couldn't care less if my socks don't match.
I'm having trouble putting on socks lately. Have to sit down and it's hard to bend that way.
I'm also having trouble putting on pants. I can't stand on one leg and pull one leg up.
Makes getting out of the shower a real adrenaline rush. I would be HUUUUU-miliated if I fell in the bathroom and had to be rescued.
You know what's sad? I would make more money on disability and other benefits.
I would make more not working.
But there's something inside of me that refuses to be *that person*.
It's like... I know that once I make that transition that it's like giving up.
Even when it hurts... I still want to be part of the world that has a place to go where they feel productive.
But when I take on new job duties - and when I do things well - it makes me sad knowing that I won't be able to do that for years and years and years to come.
It makes me appreciate every day, every policy I write, every person I help, every single phone call I make.
Because I still can.
I appreciate this blog because I CAN do it for years and years and years to come. This is my happily ever after.
Time to put the laundry in the dryer.
It's your turn: what do you need to 'fess up to today?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Reasons to Love Monday

I slept too long today to have much bloggy time but I know how desperately we all need to get the right perspective to start the week and I don't want to let y'all down... so here's a hurried, unedited Reasons To Love Monday.

1. I didn't watch the Super Bowl and (as my friend Cyndi said) it was LIBERATING! I enjoy sports. I just found myself disconnected from the game - I don't care for Beyonce (and I hear that her performance shocked and embarrassed my 8 year old niece - it's definitely no longer a family friendly event) and I don't care for either team that was playing and it's just me watching my tv and I said, "you know what? I'd rather watch reruns on OWN than watch the game." And so I did.

2. Today is my daughter-in-law's 23rd birthday! She's beautiful and smart and a good mommy to my granddoggie and such a great match for Cody. I am so grateful for what she has brought to our lives. She and Cody celebrated yesterday by going to the Zoo. It's what she wanted to do.

3. Austin is still in the mountains. It turns out that he is shacking up with Lulu the Lesbian (who isn't really a lesbian, that's the lie Austin told me so that I wouldn't object to her staying with us). They've dated off and on and it's been a really weird relationship (but aren't they all at that age?) and now they're both living with Fat Pat. I know it's shameful and immoral and all that but can I tell you that I'm truly worried less about his well being knowing that he has a significant other keeping a close eye on him? He needs someone to filter him and give him a reality check for the things that he doesn't quite get. His first excursion of leaving the nest definitely helped him mature so that is my prayer for this living arrangement. It's not what I want for him but it is what it is.

4. It snowed in the mountains over the weekend and I could have been there... I had a three day weekend... but honestly, I'm ok with it. I've struggled with pain so much over the past.. however long... but definitely.. going to the mountains by myself wouldn't have helped my back at all. At least when I'm hurting this week I will know that I've done what I could to make it better.

5. makes me happy. I bought a baby gift off of there on Friday and that gave me free shipping through yesterday so I picked up a few gifts for my boys and my sister-in-law. Everything on there is highly discounted and it's fun to shop. Check it out. I feel so matronly having purchased gifts ahead of holidays/events!

6. I've also discovered - it's interesting.

7. I also spend a lot of time reading the It's more of a National Enquirer type news media but it's still better to me than the obviously biased American news media sources.

8. It's been crisp and cold and I like that kind of weather.

9. Mom is finally well enough to go back to work today. I've had those kind of dental experiences and people have acted like I was a big baby about it but honestly... dental surgery mega-sucks. Last year my dentist removed a tooth and it took several stitches to pull me back together. I missed two days of work (maybe one?) and it was incredibly painful and I was by myself and Austin was in one of his less than cooperative moods and... ugh... anyways... I had a frame of reference for what she was going through because I had been there myself.

10. I'm just so grateful to not be living alone right now. I really am not able to do much without pain. I wash the dishes but not the heavy ones and I do my own laundry and keep my own space tidy and I cook once or twice a week but for the most part, my parents do the bulk of the household chores, shopping and vacuuming and things that I can't do without pain. It's a huge blessing.

11. I know y'all are sick of hearing this but I have to say it again... days like today (weeks like last week, a month like the past month) it is really hard to "buck up buttercup" and bother with hair and makeup and going to work... and stay there for five hours in a good bit of discomfort. It's hard. And if it was a place that made me feel unwanted or less than valuable because I am "differently abled" or "less abled" ... I don't know that I could do it. I really think at some point working full-time I would have snapped. There were days that I just wanted to drive my car off the side of the road to avoid going to work - not because I wanted to get hurt but because I just couldn't keep going with that much pain. But now I look forward to going to work, even when it hurts. I love being there. I love the environment. I feel encouraged and appreciated. I feel validated. I don't feel any guilt about working fewer hours than some - I still work longer hours than some. It's just such a positive work environment and I know that the only way I could be successful in this stage of life is if I had that kind of supportive environment.

Anyways... my time is up... must start the glam routine... it's not easy but we've got this, me and God. We can make it through this day and, barring any schedule changes, I'm off tomorrow! SOOOO... whatever Monday throws at us, just know that Tuesday is gonna be here before you know it! Happy Monday, y'all!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Trouble Earns His Name

It's the third day of a three day weekend and I haven't recovered from my measly little four day work week in the way that I had hoped. I spent most of last night tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable. I finally got up at 4am and sat in the recliner which, for some reason, is more comfortable than the bed.

Since I've been hibernating all weekend... other than two trips to Rite-Aid for some essentials (chocolate and my daughter-in-law's birthday card & present)... the only pictures I've taken are animal pictures.

I've mentioned before... we have three cats- two are mine and one is my parents'- and three dogs, the two "old girls" who are both around 12 years and Oscar the spoiled rotten dog who will die without body heat. My granddoggie Sammy stays with us while his mommy goes to school. We're not at the level of animal hoarding that would rate being in the news or on a show on Animal Planet.... and my mom is diligent at keeping the litter boxes clean and the fur vacuumed up... but to spend much time here you must. love. pets.

Anyways... here are some pictures that show how Trouble got his name:

Trying to tunnel through under the a/c unit. I'm in a converted garage (hence the fabulous paneling and lack of central heat/air) and there are some "characteristics" of this space that are fun for a curious little kitty. There is a bird's nest on the other side of the a/c unit. I am not sure if the mother bird was just that stupid or if she really couldn't hear cats on the other side. Little Kitty (Trouble) has the softest, sweetest, most innocent little meow so the birdies wouldn't have heard him over the hum of the a/c. I doubt there are birds in the nest, it being Winter and all but Trouble is determined to find out. Several times a day he tries to find a new way to get to the nest.

My mom has been hibernating all week, too, recovering from having a tooth pulled and the complications of excess bleeding and infection and all that happy stuff. She must be stir crazy because she decided to rearrange the spices on the counter. Trouble was kind enough to help.

Isn't he a sweet helper? The problem is...when he gets embedded like this is that nobody other than myself can lure him away. He's quite the ... um, ... persistent little fella. He kept trying to claw Mawmaw when she would reach for him... when I reached for him he popped my hand but without claws. He hardly ever claws me, you know, since I'm his "mommy" and carry him around like a baby and cuddle with him at night. He's not mean... he's just a little stubborn.

All that hard work rearranging the spices wore poor Trouble out... he had to come relax on his  - I mean MY - electric blanket with my parents' cat,  Eddie. Too bad Eddie's face was in the way. What I really love is the nonchalant way he props his foot on Eddie's face. He
knew he was there... Eddie was hissing and meowing and caterwauling but Little Trouble Kitty was unimpressed.

Trouble isn't the only rotten fur baby in our house by far. This is what it looks like when I eat... three dogs to the left... (note that Oscar is "sitting pretty")....

Two or three cats to the right. The dogs stare at my plate... the cats stare at the dogs. Every now and then Trouble has to be an instigator and he sits on the foot rest of my chair.. right beside where Lily (the biggest dog) sits. Lily is a sweetheart of a dog - unless food is involved. Food turns her into a greedy little monster. Trouble thinks it's fun to play Whack a Mole with Lily while she's focused on my plate. Usually Lily doesn't even respond... she has such a laser focus on her prospective scraps. But every now and then... Lily has to claim dibs on my plate and...


Anyways... I've got a headache... I didn't sleep well last night... I haven't been able to get ahead of the pain for days, despite resting and doing virtually nothing and I missed a decent snowfall at the mountain house this weekend. I had NO idea there was a possibility of snow or I would have gone up there... curled up in the nest and maybe even had a fire in the fireplace. This weekend rates about a 2 on a scale of 1-10.

At least I'm not lonely...

Happy Sunday, y'all!