The World Keeps Turning

Despite my lack of blogging, yes, the world does go on. Surprise! Okay, not so much.

Let’s see… where do we stand today?

My eldest daughter was to move out to her own apartment next Saturday, but possibly now has to wait until later next week as she’s having landlord issues (things not being ready yet). Fingers are crossed it all works out for her. I’m sure she will be happier to be in her own space again and not have me looking over her shoulder. She can then also eat however she wants (oooo… snap!). If you are reading this, daughter, I just know it has been hard for you to eat more of a ‘restricted’ diet than you are used to. I’m sure being able to choose your own meals all the time will be easier for you.

Having brought up the subject, diet is still going well although plateau is still in effect. I am still losing inches…and have recently purchased my first ever size SIX jeans. First ever since I was probably a teenager. I promised Hubs I wouldn’t be in anything smaller, ’cause, well, I’m a tall girl and I just can’t see that my hips can get any narrower without bone surgery. I mean, I have had four kids after all. Some things just are as they are. However, I’m fine with that. I’m thrilled, as a matter of fact. I would still like to lose more weight, however, specifically my tummy and my arms still need it – and, yes, I have been notified you can’t ‘target’ certain areas, so I’ve basically got to just keep trying to lose it all over. I’m just waiting for the magic day when I can say “done”!

This week I’ve gotten myself to ten miles. Walking. Ten miles. Yup. That wasn’t a typo. I remember when, in February, I thought a half a mile was gonna kill me. Now ten. I stun myself. No running, however, as with my back surgeries and all I don’t want to risk any higher impact stuff that may screw up back or knees or hips or any other of my ‘old’ parts… but walking? Walking I can do. Yeah, it takes me awhile, but what difference does it make if I’m walking on the treadmill or laying in bed watching TV? Except one is making me healthier. I’m also doing at least 300 sit ups a day trying to get the gut down, but again… not a whole lot of progress there yet. Yes, I said YET. I’ve not give up the ghost of having a trim tummy one day…

So, that’s the update on the body.

The mind? I still have one. My mom is still managing to give me pause from time to time, however. She managed to fall on her face about six weeks ago while walking the dog. Cut her head, cheek and hand and had to have an ambulance come get her and then had stitches. Ended up with the most horrid black and blue eye which then spread all over her face and down into her neck. She claimed it never did hurt, however. I got a little girl in the neighborhood to walk the dog while she was laid up but mom ‘fired’ her (well, let her go) after the little girl wasn’t going for as long as mom thought she should be. Mom felt she could do a better job herself… so, okay, fine. Let’s see how long it takes before you fall down again and do some more damage. Don’t get me wrong… I’m glad mom has the dog as she is great company for her and mom says the dog won’t eat unless she does, so I know she’ll at least eat once a day. However, I wasn’t crazy about mom walking the dog in the ice and snow and now she’s proven she’s not real reliable on sunny dry days either. But she’s too cheap to give the little neighbor girl a couple of bucks to take the dog out. *sigh* Frustration doesn’t begin to cover it.

What else…

Younger daughter graduated with her second college degree. That’s the good news. Bad news is she hasn’t found a job in her field yet. I have confidence the jobs are out there, just not sure if she’s going to be able to stay around here to get one. She wants to… and of course we’d love her to… but the economy? Maybe not so cooperative. Still, I’m keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed.

Youngest son is still racing and doing well. He actually won a couple of weeks ago despite some motor issues. I’ve gone to a few of the races, but the weather isn’t really cooperating yet. It’s been dropping down into the 30’s and 40’s on race nights and that, my friends, is just too damn cold for me. Now when it starts staying in the 60’s or 70’s that will be more like it. Looking forward to those days.

Last, but not least, eldest son and his wife have been doing the ‘homeowner’ thing… they bought a new house last summer and this spring have started doing some landscaping. Having doing that all myself I know how much work that can be. My sympathy goes out to their sore muscles.

So… that’s about it in my world. Things keep going and I guess I just come by from time to time to make sure the old blog is still here and hopefully to touch base with a few of you who still come by as well. Feel free to say “hi” if you do… I’d love to hear from you.

Picking Up My Jaw Off the Floor

I didn’t (and still don’t) intend on this blog becoming a health and diet journal, but honestly people… I have to tell you this stuff or I’ll explode. Bear with me.

The last post? The update? Well, those jeans were a size 12. I analyzed the way they fit and wondered, “can I get into a size smaller?”… because, frankly, I could pull the waistband out at least an inch. First I asked my younger daughter who is my height and I know smaller than I am if I could try on a pair of her jeans. She let me and again, they fit. Size 12. Okay. Now I was feeling brave. I am fitting into “regular” jeans. Not “fat girl” jeans. I know you women understand that statement… Men, if you don’t understand, as a female friend.

So, feeling buoyed up by the whole thing I talked daughter into going shopping with me for jeans. At a real store. Not a “fat girl” store. Risking it, I took some size 10’s into the dressing room at daughter’s encouragement. I put them on and my daughter started laughing at me from the next room as the expletives came out of my mouth. I was stunned. I didn’t have to lay on the floor… and I could breath… AND I felt like I just might be able to go to another size smaller.

You heard me. I did. I put on a size 8. A size EIGHT. These are not baggie jeans. I did not have to lay down to put them on. I could still breathe. I could sit down without cutting off my circulation. I could move. Stunned is not the word for how I felt. I have gone from a size 18 “fat girl”… to size 8 “real girl” jeans.

Do you know how long it has been since I could get into a size EIGHT? Years. Years and years. Before my kids were born. AND… the most bizarre thing is, I haven’t even gotten to what the charts and the doctors call my “ideal” healthy weight. I may have lost all I need to off my butt and legs, but my gut and arms still need more, so am hoping that’s where the rest comes off. To that effect, I have started lifting weights for my arms and doing sit-ups for my gut.

I gave all my other jeans away. I don’t want to go back. I’m actually having fun looking at this “new” body. Now if I can just keep working on the inside so I don’t sabotage myself, I have a great chance of making it stick. In the past when I have even made a start on a weight loss program, it seems like as soon as I start getting some off and I may be drawing a little bit of attention, then I panic and bulk right back up again – throwing myself back into my protective cocoon. This time? I feel much more confident in myself. I feel there is going to be a lasting change because I did it the right way and for the right reasons.

I’m looking forward to the next phase… and, yeah, I’m kinda proud of myself. That sounds conceited and all braggy (is that even a word?)… but damnit, I deserve it. Let the cheering commence!

New Year’s 2010

I remember being a kid watching “2001 A Space Odyssey” and thinking how far away that was in the future. Now we’ve gone far beyond and are entering a new decade. I look back and the past year and so many things have happened that changed the course of my life. My father dying, my daughter having more ECT treatments… then separating from her husband and she and her son moving in with us. It has been a busy year that flew by so fast and I barely have any blog posts to show for it. That disturbs me more than it should.

I’ve decided to set myself some goals this year. Call them resolutions, if you must. I find that a bit overwhelming. Just the fact that resolution has such a bad connotation to it… I mean, seriously, how many people really keep their resolutions? Whereas if you refer to them as goals, it sounds much more obtainable. Perhaps that is all in my own mind, but that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

So I’ve heard the best way to keep goals is to make them public. To share them with family and friends. Guess what? If you’re reading this, you probably qualify. Here goes:
– I’m going to take better care of my health, specifically my diabetes.
– Directly related to the above, I’m going to eat healthier.
– I’m going to exercise more. No, I’m not going to be unrealistic and say something silly like “daily”… because, well, you’d just know I’d be lying. However, when you are as much of a couch potato as I am, “more” isn’t too hard to do.
– I’m going to try and clean out some of my “nests”. I am by no means a hoarder. Watching that show has made me cringe, however, and realize that it wouldn’t be fun for my family to have to clean out some areas of my home were I to be unable to do it. They’ll thank me later.
– I’m going to write. Daily. Yes. You heard it here. Daily. There, I said it again. Doesn’t mean I’m going to be blogging daily, but if I’m ever going to meet my goal of writing a book someday before I die, I’d better get busy. Soon.
– I’m going to start my Christmas shopping early. This does not mean December 1. (Although that would beat this year…) I would like to have it done before we get busy with the harvest. This includes wrapping. Okay, family… stop laughing. Now.
– I would like to re-connect with some of my friends. Real life friends. I’ve been a bad friend and know it. I only hope it isn’t too late.
– I would like to refrain from cutting my hair off every time I get a wild hair… no pun intended. It is never going to grow out if I keep doing that. I know that.
– I am not going to wait until the last minute to have the bookwork caught up for the tax man. Bad Sue. Causes stress that is totally unnecessary. Totally.
– I’m going to take a little time to be grateful for all I have. I would like to think I’ve gotten better at this through the years, but I never want to forget it. I have it good. I have much good fortune that many people do not. I don’t want take those things for granted.

Okay… on that note, keep in mind… I never intend to even start most of these goals until Monday. That would be next Monday.

Happy New Year!

Blogiversary

I've been pretty scarce around here to the point where I was wondering if I was ever going to come back here myself. The past few posts have been so depressing and gloomy that I wouldn't expect many people to come along and check out what I wrote the next few times because of the predictable taste of what is coming out of these pages.

I realized that we are almost to the end of August and it is my blogiversary. I started this way back in 2004 and I'm still, although barely, here. I have to make a decision. I either start doing this a little more regularily again, or I walk away. I hate to walk away… from anything.

So here I am, begging your forgiveness for being absent. Wanting to come back and purge the thoughts that stuff my head day in and day out. Hope you'll be along for the ride. If only to let me know that you, too, are still here.

Thank you to all who gave me condolences on the dogs. I know some people just think they are animals… but to those of us who have them and love them, they are family. Just the furry kind.

I'm back. See you soon.

Still Here…Sorta

My gosh, time is just getting away from me! Despite rumors to the contrary, I'm still around. Just been busier than, well… you fill in the blank. You've all heard the jokes. Here's a quick, or not-so-quick, update.

  • First off, my eldest daughter is back to having ECT treatments. She started three weeks ago and is still undergoing them on an out-patient basis. She seems a bit muddled, but over all seems to be handling it better than last year. I'm not sure how many more they are saying she needs to have, I know they were thinking they were going to start with about 11, then gradually wean her down to where she would have one a month as a type of maintenance. I haven't heard any differently, so am thinking that's still the plan.
  • My grandson, eldest daughters son, has been staying with us this week. He's 11 and going into sixth grade. He's a good kid, but I'm TIRED. Besides which, my OCS hasn't been fed this week and I'm starting to suffer for it… as is my hubs. If I don't get enough "alone" or "me" time, I tend to get a bit tense and snappish. So far, I think I've been good about not taking it out on the kid, but I get the feeling Hubs is feeling the crunch. I rather snapped at him on Tuesday night and these days it is extremely rare for us to have arguments of any kind… so, yes, I'll chalk it all up to my fault. There, I've said it. Publically and everything.
  • This week has been a whirlwind of activity surrounding grandson. We went fishing Monday (hot, no bites), Tuesday we did something but I can't remember! Huh. Wednesday we went to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha (about a 3 hr drive from home) and spent the day. Yesterday we fished again and I think grandson was ticked off at me… I got 12 fish, he got one. They were little sunfish and bluegills and where we fish it is all catch-and-release, but still he was ticked. It was cloudy, breezy and perfect fishing weather. Then we went to an Iowa Cubs baseball game last night. They even won! Tonight we are going to youngest son's races and tomorrow morning he goes home. I'll probaby be recovered enough to do it all again next summer, but man, am I out of practice!
  • Last Sunday was Hubs' and my 29th wedding anniversary. We were "unofficially" together for a year previously, though, so we usually count that… so, 30 years together with the same partner. I'll be honest, and he'd agree, it hasn't always been fun and sweetness and light… but we've worked at it and I think I can honestly say for both of us, we are more in love with each other than ever. Kinda nuts in this day and age of quickie divorces and instant gratification… that you really can be with the same person and after all these years not only love the person but like them and enjoy their company. I chalk it up to his great patience and tolerance of my OCS. He's good at giving me space without feeling hurt. Of cousre, space usually means being in the next room. Not like I'm in another state! LOL. Nonetheless, he's still here and so am I… the old "for better or worse, sickness or in health, richer or poorer"… still very much holds true for us. Now the obey? Hm… not so much. That's okay. He doesn't tell me what to do and I don't tell him what to do, so it is all good.
  • One of these days I'll be back to catching up (again) with you all. I may even get more regular with my blogging! *gasp*  Or maybe not. Guess we'll both have to wait and see, huh? Hope you are all having a good summer. If I've missed anything big, please let me know in the comments. (Amy? Babies here yet?)…  Catch you all later. Thanks for coming by.

Father’s Day

Today is my first Father's Day… without a father. I've been trying to figure out how I feel about that.

My dad and I had a rocky relationship. In the beginning I remember my dad being the biggest thing in my life – literally. He was 6'5” tall and one of my first memories is riding on my father's shoulders walking down the hall in a hospital going to visit my mother in an iron lung. A recent newspaper article I read about her said she was one of the last people admitted to the hospital with polio from the big epidemic in the 1950's. I was born in 1956. I was three when she died… or almost three.

Before she ever died I was sent to live with my paternal grandparents. My grandparents were surrogate parents for a couple of years until my father remarried. I honestly don't know how much he loved my mother – my stepmother – but she tells me he was really concerned about wanting to marry someone who would take care of me.

I remember brief visits when he would come to my grandparents house on a weekend… remember him reading the sunday paper. Beyond that, I don't remember much until I was a bit older and he'd been remarried. For several years in my early childhood things seemed good. Then something … wasn't.

I can't put my finger on the moment when it all went wrong. Like many lives I think it was a slow process. Block on block brought down my parents into the dark layers of unhappiness. Looking back as an adult I can see money issues, major control issues (my dad), jealousy, and resentment (my mom). Money became a problem, but my dad would not let my mom go back to work (she'd been a working single woman when he married her). I think he was from that old school that said the man should bring home the bacon and the woman should fry it up and serve it. He always said someone should be home with me, too. Her unhappiness led to chemical addictions, his to alcohol. Eventually they would both become alcoholics – although what is generally referred to as “functioning” alcoholics.

The man that I once loved and admired and thought was my whole world became my jailor and my tormentor and my … enemy. A harsh word for a father, but it fits.

I have a husband who is a strict father. To a point. When the kids were small, I was more the disciplinarian than he was. His philosophy was, when the kids wanted to do things… “is it going to hurt them? If not, then why not?” I was raised totally opposite. “Why?” He also yelled and could have a temper with the best of them. But… as the kids will tell you now and joke about… they would just wait about fifteen minutes and here he'd be, tromping up the stairs to their bedrooms to apologize for losing his temper and talking to them in a quiet tone and trying to explain why he got angry and what he was trying to say. He is a man who has said “I'm sorry” more times than I can count. He is a man who says “I love you” to his kids and his family and who loves to give hugs and pats on the back. Doesn't mean he doesn't still yell… oh, yes, he can still yell… but we all know he is like the cowardly lion. He's making a lot of noise, but there is no malice behind it. None.

I wish I'd had a dad like that. I wish my dad would have made me feel safe and loved and told me once that he loved me and that he was sorry for all the evil things he'd done. I wish there were do-overs and history when re-written was really the way they wanted it to be… instead of the way it really was and the way I will always remember it. I refuse to re-write history. Even if it means I can't feel for my dad the way I'm supposed to feel today.

I'm sorry, dad. I love you… I loved you… but I didn't like you. I can't change that. I'm not going to be dishonest to my heart because I want the past to be okay.

On this father's day I am blessed to have a wonderful father for my children. That's good enough for me. 

Lethargic

Where has the time gone? It seems to be flying by, but nothing is really consuming my time in an all-encompassing manner. Hrm…

Spring has kinda sprung. Hubs has been planting corn up until a few days ago when some rain brought things to a short halt. Now he's back at it again, until it rains again possibly today or tomorrow. I've got my new veggie garden area staked out and have nuked the grass growing there. Waiting for the death of said grass before I can rototill up the plot and get is all planted. I also nuked some weeds in the flower beds. Taking the easy road. Sooner or later I'm going to have to actually go out there and get down on my knees and do some digging and pulling.

Work is sporadic, depending on the weather. I have just enough to keep me busy… oh… for about half a day. Then I'm off to do other things. You know, like contemplate my garden. Contemplate being the operative word.

My mother has been doing well. She's started going to the local senior center and is doing exercises there and eating  a nice lunch two or three times a week. She's still befuddled by her finances, but I try and go down to see here every week or so and help out. We finally went to a lawyer to try and figure out what is going on with the life insurance company. They're being assholes. I do not say that lightly. They tried to pay off on my dad's policy, but didn't pay the accidental death portion. No clue why. It states on the death certificate that it was caused by a 'ground level fall'… and as Hubs has said, "He didn't throw himself down on the garage floor on purpose." The bad thing is, they won't TELL us why they won't pay. So, we bring in the lawyer and see where that gets us.

My daughter isn't doing as well. They've been changing her meds again and starting this week she's on another new one. She's not been hospitalized again, but has been home for a couple of months and says although she's not actively thinking of suicide she's been having dreams of it. Her husband has been home with her and keeping a close eye on her. She tells me they're trying this other medicine for a month and if no improvement then they'll be considering the ECT treatments again as well as continuing a maintenace plan of ECT treatments. As well as they worked for her, I'm really disappointed they didn't help her for very long.

Everyone else in the family is well and I'm very glad of that. My 'baby' turned 26 on Sunday and we took a cake to the racetrack on Saturday night to share with all his race buddies. Sunday the kids and their spouses came over and we had dinner and a nice visit. It was warm enough to sit out on the deck and *surprise* the neighbor was not shooting his guns. Is hard to believe the youngest one of the family is so old. I mean, I'm not getting any older… right?

Today I've got an appointment with a dermatologist. I've never ever seen one, but guess there are always firsts. I'm extremely fair skinned and over the years have had my share of bad sunburns. Especially as a kid. A few years ago I had a spot taken off my back that they then said was "pre-cancerous"… and although I have lots of freckles and a few moles, their fairly light. Well, I have had a mole on my arm that seems to want to be a bigger odd-shaped thing and has decided to grow. I figure it is worth it to get it checked out. The worst it will be is a false alarm, but don't want to risk it. I want to be around a long time. I'll let you know what I find.

So… that's about the wrap up for now. Anything new in your world I should know about?