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.

A Little Further On *UPDATED*

Here we are, a little further on. Actually has been only half a month. Better, huh? Oh, shaddup all you daily posters…

So, now as my Facebook buddies have noted, I am at a plateau. Ugh. I hate those. The walks have gotten to 5 miles a day (I actually went 6 today, but don’t know if I’ll sustain that… just trying to jump-start and get over the hump.) I am officially 25 lbs lighter than when I started. I have gone from a size 18 to a size 14 (and not the stretchy ones) jeans. I ordered a size smaller which are to come any day now just to tease myself and see how close I really was to getting into them, but they are more for an inspiration that actually fit, I’m thinking, at this point in time. I only have one pair of the 14 non-stretchy-real-jeans and I am wearing them sparingly. I do a little weight lifting, but not too much yet and have cut out mostly all of the diet soda, sweets, white foods, etc… and am trying to eat better and drinking tons of water. I even got registered for my first “official” run (in my case, walk). It is only a baby one – a 5K (a little over 3 miles) but there was no way I was going to be able to do the big one the same day that is a half-marathon. It is the first week in June and I’ll not be anywhere near that by then… plus? I’m not sure I really want to go for that kind of a goal. I’m not one to be needing to actually run anywhere and I don’t need to be adding to my already fussy back problems by getting knee or other joint problems. I ache enough from the walking thank-you-very-much. (Yes, I do have good shoes.) I go back to the doctor the third week in April and we’ll see what he thinks of my blood sugar numbers and my blood pressure numbers and I’m going to be keeping my fingers crossed that all this hard work has paid off and I get a pass on the insulin threat and the blood pressure medication suggestion.


Now that I’ve bored you silly with all that health and wellness stuff… I can’t believe this weather! Yesterday was 80 degrees and beautiful. Today is to be as well, but windy (I can do without the wind). Unfortunately, work has picked up with the fields drying out and now I’m stuck in the office and can’t enjoy it as much as I’d like. I should be out doing something in my garden or walking outside instead of still on the treadmill. Guess it isn’t that warm at 4:30 a.m. when I’m walking anyway (and it is still dark), so the walking will stay inside for the time being. Still it would be fun to try it outside one of these days. Typical Iowa weather, it is going to change. Tomorrow. Temps dropping and a big rainstorm coming. Oh, well. I think we’ll all be ready for a break by then. Only bad thing is, son is supposed to start his official race season tomorrow night and it isn’t looking good… probably be rained out.

New developments in the family (again… still?). Now it appears as if daughter’s divorce is going through… after a brief month of “dating” and trying to see if they could work it out. Things blew up earlier this week so they called off the counseling session scheduled for tonight. I know this roller-coaster hasn’t been fun and I’m sure it has been even harder on her. Hope things level out now that a final decision has been made.

I think we’re all caught up now… again. Catch you in a bit.

*UPDATE* I can’t believe it!!! I ordered some new jeans in a smaller size and they came today. They FIT. I didn’t even have to lay on the bed to put them on! I am over the moon stunned. Seriously stunned. Whoo! That is 4 sizes, people. FOUR. YES!!! Okay, back to what you were doing…


I am tired of winter. Never thought I’d ever hear myself say that one.

Winter, specifically this time of the year, has become my favorite over the past ten years or so. Since I started working in a farm-related business who has their busiest season in the fall, just like our family farm. Then we get into multiple birthdays around Christmas and New Years, the holidays themselves, and it all translates into stress. The farm has year-end book-keeping to do, and tax stuff has to be compiled and given to the preparer in January, early February, because farmers don’t have until April 15th to file taxes. Ours are due March 1.

I generally hold my breath until after mid-February and let out a big sigh when the bookwork is done, the holidays are done, the birthdays are done, and there are no outside tasks with a yard or garden – except to make sure the bird feeders are full and occasionally the sidewalk and porch gets a swipe with the shovel or broom. It becomes my down time. My time to curl in front of the fireplace and settle in with some intense World of Warcraft playing or messing around with some Facebook games. It is notoriously a time to cook up a pot of vegetable stew or chicken and noodles and get a pan of brownies in the oven and some bread baking in the machine. The smells and homey warmth of winter.

This winter my patterns have been shifted and I am unsteady and unsettled. I am not sleeping well. I am dreaming like the moon is full… and the moon hasn’t been full for quite some time. I am making a super-human attempt to be good about my diabetes and as such have adjusted my diet to be ‘healthy’… so the heavy starches and sugars and general yumminess of the typical winter fare has been given up. The snow has been oppressive. In winters past I looked forward to huge storms and not needing to go anywhere. I could sit at home by the fireplace, cozy in the knowledge that all the kids lived where they could get where they needed to be and if I really, really had to go somewhere that Hubs’ and the snowplow truck would be able to get me there.

This winter I worry about my mother, forty miles away and yet it seems like a million… the snow and ice prohibiting trips through the countryside where the winds are blowing the almost every few days snowstorms into drifts and black-ice patches that I am not equipped to handle. She’s doing fine… neighbor kids are walking the dog and scooping the walk and she’s still able to make short trips for groceries and to get to the senior center for some socialization. I worry about my daughters. One of who has to go into school and work and the other who has to not only get herself to work, but her son to and from school in another town. She wants to keep things as constant for him as she can, so she’s been driving him daily… and putting up with her ex-husband’s phobias about not being able to drive him to school now after he has had three car accidents this winter. So she has extra driving to go get her son from her ex’s when he spends the night there, several nights a week, then drive him to school and reverse the process after work.

The shop where my Hubs’ works on his equipment which is located at his mom’s had enough of the winter snows too. The roof caved in. In early December the roof started sagging so badly that Hubs wasn’t even able to open the large doors to get in and out and they were propping up what they could as best they could. Insurance covered it, but it just recently was repaired and it was a couple of months that the shop couldn’t be used. Not a good situation. Every day they predicted snow or ice the question was raised if this was going to be the final straw that was going to bring the roof down all-together.

The eastern coast has been hit with 3 foot snows… and the west coast has been hit with major rains causing mudslides. Here in the midwest we have had ice storms, snow, high winds causing white-outs and blizzard conditions. Power lines have come down making for outages – in some cases, for days. We’ve been lucky so far. When our power went out it was only for a day and we have a generator that ran the essentials. I feel for those who lost power and didn’t have such amenities. Right now we have about 18″ on the ground and just had a 10″ snow come through on Monday. The snow piles on the side of the gravel road are three times the height of my car… and we have another 5″ storm expected this weekend. The latest long-term forecast I heard said we are in a pattern that is going to continue for a few more weeks. A few more weeks.

I’m done. I give. If that’s what Old Man Winter was waiting for? He won.

He Could Break a Stainless Steel Ball with a Glass Hammer*

Yesterday was not a good day in my husbands' world. As most of you know we farm. The weather has been very uncooperative this fall getting the harvest done and yesterday was one of the few nice days they've had to work on it. This week and for a couple more, my brother-in-law has taken vacation to come out and help.

He managed… how, we have yet to figure out… to drive off the edge of a drive-over auger with a fully loaded semi-truck and somehow he tore a drive-tire and ripped off part of a fender. The kicker? He's a professional semi-truck driver.

We're looking at $500 tires, who-knows-how-much for the fender repair, plus the time and labor put into the repairs. It took hours yesterday just to get the tire off and a temporary replacement put on – just to get the truck unloaded! Today it is raining, so they'll hopefully have time to get the tired replaced the right way, but the fender has been patched back together and it will probably be a much lengthier process to get it fixed when harvest is over.

Part of it is that my hubs is very particular about his vehicles. He is one of the rare farmers who wants his equipment clean and looking good and he takes a lot of pride in being noticed for having nice equipment when he pulls into the grain elevator. So this has him really bothered. Not just for the expense (which, BIL may find missing from his final paycheck) but the esthetics of it all. Plus, they really did not have the time to be messing with that yesterday when conditions were right for harvesting.

Oh, and then the last thing Hubs found out about last night? The combine has been running for two days without a fuel cap. Who was the last person to fuel it up? Guess.

*This is a line my father-in-law used to use when talking about his youngest boy, said brother-in-law.

I’d Like to Lodge a Complaint

Surprised? Yeah, me neither.

I'm sick of this fall. This is the stupidest damn fall we've had in years. I mean, really…  First we had to put up with a wet, cool spring that made it hard to get the crops in and growing. Then we had a colder-than-normal-ever summer (global warming, my ass!) that kept things just barely going. Now we have a fall where it is cool to cold and every couple of days it spits just enough rain or snow to keep the harvest from proceeding and the crops from drying down.

I mean, really? C'mon…

Still Here

Yeah, I'm still here. Lucky to get a post a week out, but hate to just give up the ghost and say "on hiatus"… or, even worse, "quitting the blog"…   sooooo I am posting just to let you know that neither of those are happening. Happy?

Been getting back in the swing of working, at least half days. The time change still has me messed up – more so than other times when it has changed. I'm not sure why. When I was at my mom's for that couple of months, my Hubs and daughter managed to get the puppies so they sleep later in the morning. That's part of it. I don't get awakened by quiet woofs at five a.m., so it is easier to sleep later. I suspect as things get busier at work and when the guys get in the field, then I will finally get back on my more normal schedule, but right now I feel like a lazy sack of shit.

Also been working with my mom on my dad's memorial service – or whatever you call it. We are going to have it in mid-April on his birthday. It happens to fall on a Sunday, so it will work out pretty well. We're just keeping it small, about 30 people, just mainly immediate family. I have a cousin who is a minister who is going to say a few words and one of my aunts has been putting together a DVD of pictures that were my grandparents. It should be neat. There is a chance of snow every day this week… hopefully by mid-April the weather will straighten itself out.

I've been (as always) struggling with my weight. I go up and down with the stress and lost about 10 lbs when I had that bad cold. Amazing how little you can eat when you can't taste anything. I've always said I'd be really thin if I hated food! At any rate, I am buying my son and daughter-in-law's treadmill off of them and hopefully will be getting into the swing of things soon. I'm hoping that helps, just to get moving. I'm such a couch potato. I like being outside, but I am challenged by cold-weather asthma if I try to walk in the cold, and a klutz gene which causes me to find any and all rough dips, holes, and other numerous places to fall or turn or sprain ankles when walking on anything but a perfectly smooth surface. So I'm thinking, treadmill is the key. 

If you are still here… thanks for dropping by. One of these days I may actually get back in the swing of things!

A Long Winter

I was under the mis-conception that last winter was a long one. Last winter went on and on into the spring with rain and cold and gloomy gray clouds that sucked the life out of everything and everyone. It took a toll on my eldest daughter, sinking her depression to lows that none of us thought could ever be. Not her. No way.

Then this winter came and it became a bit darker than the one before. Economic hard times have hit many families in so many ways. We've been lucky in that regard. We know it.

This winter snow became ice more often that snow. Ice that was slick and deceptive in patches. One thing led to another and friends were lost, family lost, injuries sustained. Then news filtered down about friends in the blogosphere losing loved ones, pets and human… children, parents. It seemed to go on and on. 

My daughter is back to struggling. Again. The ECT helped, but not, it seems, for very long. For a little while she was her old self again. Joyful, even. Now she has dark days which, although she's not had to be hospitalized yet again, lead me to fear it could be returning. The darkness that swallowed her once. Her doctor is changing her medications and she's been staying home from work… I'm hopeful that this will be a solution and not just a brief interlude. I love her so much… I don't want her to have these dark times. I want to take it away, to make it all better. Isn't that what mom's are supposed to do? 

The sun is out today, but the temperature is hovering barely above zero. It is deceptive… everything looks okay, but it isn't. I want this long winter to be over, in so very many ways. 

Hoping Winter Is Over

I've had enough winter. Decided to change my theme to reflect that. Snow, ice, cold. Blech. Used to be it didn't bother me as long as I didn't have to go out in it. I still don't mind having a good snowstorm, but ice? Nope. you can keep it. Ice has been one cold hard bitch this winter. Bring on spring… any time now.

Christmas Eve

Here's hoping you all have a good Christmas!

Sounds like we aren't the only ones who have seen a whole bunch of lousy weather. It is winter, I know, but did it have to be this bad this winter? Guess we don't have much say in it.

Dad still has not regained conciousness. They put in a trachostomy (sp?) tube in his neck a few days ago and also put a feeding plug into his stomach, so they were able to take the feeding tube out of his nose and the ventilator tubes out of his mouth and throat. The past couple of days they've been 'weaning' him off the ventilator. They keep some air flow going, but it is very little – just enough pressure so he doesn't have to work as hard to take a breath. Mostly he is breathing on his own, however. That's the good news. The bad news is, no sign of improvement. My mother keeps grasping at straws and gets her hopes up everytime he barely opens his eyes as they are moving him around, but the doctor still seems to think that is reflex. They did a new CAT scan yesterday with the newest neurosurgeon (they are on a rotation basis at this hospital and we're on our third guy)… he says there has been no change.

A few days ago they also started physical therapy with him, so that's also good. Keep him moving around. They did some tests and right now the only things he responds to (smell, sound, touch, pain)… is pain. Better than nothing, but not great. They've also had him on antibiotics for about four days but he still seems to be spiking fevers, even though they can't really find any infection. Say it just may be his "wiring" all screwed up.

I'm trying to stay optimistic, but isn't easy… especially if I have to be the voice of reason.

The weather has kept me home off an on. Is kind of lousy this morning, but am going to try and go down tonight. My mother-in-law is having her normal Christmas Eve plans tonight, then tomorrow a  couple of my kids are coming for Christmas dinner. Friday night the rest of them are coming for a belated gift -opening and pizza for all the kids who had to go somewhere else on Christmas. I'm hoping the weather allows them all to make it. I realize it could be so much worse – could be one of those people stranded in an airport right now. Ugh.

Didn't want to bum you all out… just keeping you up to date. On a last, happier note. I got a package in the mail night before last. I had just ended a particularily frustrating day with my mother (more later on that) and got home to see this package on the front bench. I looked at the return address, as I do, and saw it was from my friend in Northern California… the pie man. Well, seeing as I had already gotten my pie I couldn't imagine what he was sending. Opening it, I laughed  – first at the "man-wrapping". Wrapping paper taped together with packing tape. I know, I know, it wasn't duct tape, still… it is obvious to any woman that THAT was a man-wrap.  Opening it, I found to my glee a World of Warcraft stuffed talking murloc!! Most of you don't know what that is, but for any WoW person out there, you know. I would link, but am too lazy. You can google it if you want to know. They are creatures that in the game are troublemakers and in my case, kill my character. A lot. We joke on the game that if anything goes wrong in the real world, it must be the murlocs! It made my day. I now have my own personal murloc to torment when things go wrong. What a thoughtful… and fun…. gift. One I will treasure for the laugh it brought on that gloomy day.

On that note, I once again wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you and yours are warm, safe, in good health, and happy!