The Busy Blogger

What a weekend this has been! Whew!

Dad went home from the hospital on Friday afternoon. After zillions of tests, no idea what happened. They say they can’t even find evidence of a stroke. Great. Now we’re supposed to think it’s all in his head? They want him to stop drinking. (Good luck with that!) and they want him to use a cane. Riiiggghhht. Mom said the therapist couldn’t even get him to try it in the hospital, so what do you think the chances are he’s going to use one? Exactly. I checked up on him yesterday and he was in bed mid-afternoon. He’s not doing well. Neck still hurts (which they’ve never figured out the cause of) and his wrist still hurts from his fall three weeks ago. Today they both have physicals and the wrist will be looked at. Don’t know if they are going to be able to change Dad’s medications to a different anti-depressant that might not make him so tired, but that would be nice. He’s just not enjoying life anymore. They didn’t change his stroke meds at all. Nothing more to be done on that front but wait.

Friday night Hubs, Em and I went to a Cubs baseball game. This would be the “farm team” that resides in our nearby largest city. It was fun. I’m not a huge sports fan, okay, I admit it … I’m not any kind of a sports fan… but I was there with two of my favorite people so it made it okay. We were guests of our seed corn representative, so had a nice sky-box and free food and beverages. Nice night for a game – and they won!

Saturday was the event we’ve been waiting for … for weeks! I can now tell you it was Darrell from Murmurs who was visiting! He and his 13-yr old son stopped through for a few days on their way site-seeing across the country. He came in on Thursday, and have been entertained and fed by Amanda and her family. Her son and Darrell’s son have been getting along famously (as kids will do) and their days have been full of swimming, doing some local site-seeing, firefly catching, and other boy-stuff. Saturday night was my turn to meet them.

They came out to my house for a cookout Saturday night. Paranoid as always, I’d spent the day cleaning and polishing and trying to put my best foot forward. I really didn’t need to do that tho’… once we met I felt quite comfortable and it didn’t hurt a bit. My one regret was that Hubs had to leave to go to son’s race before they got there and they never got to meet.

We had a nice dinner, good visiting, and later on made a campfire and ate s’mores (some of us did…not me, honest!). The boys were busy catching fireflies (they don’t have them in California – go figure!) and chasing around the yard. I was impressed by how bright D’s son is – he just sparkles – and is full of energy and curiosity. They were hoping to see the stars that night with their telescope, but mother nature wasn’t agreeable. It was okay, as they’d gone star-gazing the night before at our old house where my youngest son lives – and met him as well at that time. Stargazing is another thing it’s difficult to do where they live unless they get far enough out of town. Here, you just have to go out in the yard.

D was pretty much exactly what I expected. Articulate and knowlegable about many subjects, he’s got lots of stories to relate. I’m surprised more things don’t make it onto his blog, but that’s how those things go, they are very personal. We laughed in that my “extended” family don’t know about my blog and we were having to be careful not to mention it in case my mother-in-law happened to still be there when they came (she goes to the races with my hubs). Also, D’s not shared his blog with his family – including his son – so the whole time he was here we had to walk on egg-shells where that subject was concerned. I felt it hampered the conversation a little, but we managed. He’s got a quick smile and even quicker wit and seemed to actually be happy. He says he loves it here and he’s not felt this good in months. That’s incredible. I hope it works out for him so he can find the peace he wants.

Last, but not least, I was intrigued to hear that I was not what he expected. Hmmm… now my curiousity is in full swing. Guess I’ll have to wait until he gets home and blogs to figure out what he meant by that.

To round up the weekend all the kids came over for Father’s Day last night. Eldest son had decided Mother’s Day was just toooo boring (I was sick, we did nothing) so he gathered his siblings and their spouses/significant others and decided we must celebrate. This, as usual, included lots of food and laughter. We are a bit of a noisy group when we get together. Fun times had by all.

This morning? Hubs figured his blood sugar would be high due to his “badness” last night. I mean, a big chunk of ice-cream cake isn’t exactly on the recommended list. Me? I had a little teeny sliver. Seriously, it was so thin you could see light through it. You know how this ends, right? He was right on target. I was high. Guess that must mean it’s Monday.

Family Secrets

We all have secrets. Some are pretty harmless (yes, I’m the one who gets the extra roll of tp out of the closet at work when it gets low) and some are more serious. We keep secrets from our parents (no, I do not want them to know about my blog, thankyouverymuch) and sometimes even secrets from our spouses (I just HAD to have that Hershey bar, honey!).

I’ve kept the secret from you of who is visiting this weekend. Some of you have figured it out, some of you know… it will be revealed soon, I promise.

Some secrets just piss me off. Why? Because the people who are keeping the secrets are the same people who have to know everything about everyone. I do mean everything. I’m talking about my in-laws. Specifically, my brother-in-law and his wife. My immediate family can barely take a shit without those people wanting to know how long it took, how much tp we used, what did it smell like, what color and texture. You get the idea. (Pardon the graphic picture I just put in your head)

My sister-in-law in particular thinks she knows it all. Mention any name in a 60-mile radius and she will know all about them, their family, and how much they make – down to the color of their undies on Sunday. Oh, and don’t forget – they’re her friends. *cough* Although, ironically, if you mention her name to any of them you get the same blank and/or disgusted look and they get the flight or fight panic gleam in their eyes.

Now, my sister-in-law has worked for a company since she graduated from high school and she’s 40-something. Pretty decent job. Her husband even got a job at the same company after they married and it worked out well – she worked in the office and he would never see his paycheck. She’d just take it and run… giving him his “allowance”. She had loads of seniority, good benefits, and 5 weeks paid vacation. Pretty nice job if you can get it.

A few months ago she quit the company (to everyone’s shock!) and took a job in a neighboring town. It was a real nifty-cool thing if you ask them. Lots of hoopla! Got a big notice that her e-mail changed to, of course, big company’s name. Big advancement for her, we were told. Ooooo… impressed? I was slightly underwhelmed.

Hubs found out today in the grapevine that she’s no longer at the premium job. She’s working at a bank. A. Bank. Now, don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends have worked at banks. I know for a fact that she wouldn’t be an officer, so that pretty much leaves clerk or teller, neither of which pay what she was making at job one.

He also found out she tried to get her old job back. Uh uh. No. Sorry Charlie. (D’ya feel a tear comin’ on?)

Have we heard about this from mother-in-law? Not a word. Did brother-in-law mention it in his 30-minute fun-filled phone call to Hubs yesterday? Nope. It’s okay to be all hush-hush. It’s them

Guess I’ve “outed” them, huh? But then, they don’t know that, do they?…. it’s a secret…

A Bump in the Road

My mother called last night as I was coming inside from watering the gardens. Yesterday morning my father had another stroke. What they are now calling “a significant event”. He lost all feeling on his left side. It didn’t last long – maybe fifteen minutes – but it was enough to put a scare into them both. He was over it by the time the ambulance got there, even with a very fast response time.

The rest of the day was spent with tests and doctors. They kept him in the hospital. He seems fine. I went down today with my mother early and caught him just finishing breakfast and being examined by another neurologist. They had more tests. Three hours of tests.

Back to his room, he said he was very tired – he’d not slept much the night before. My mother said she hadn’t either. Then she remembered about 4 a.m. that she hadn’t taken her night-time medicine, one of which helps her to sleep.

“Don’t tell your father” , she said. “He doesn’t think I can take care of myself without him.”

The rest of the day was spent watching him sleep, visiting with my mom and going to the cafeteria for a crappy burger. Dad’s lunch looked excellent. Too bad the cafeteria couldn’t say the same…

He kept telling everyone all day that he was going home. He wouldn’t fill out his menu choices for the next day “because I won’t be here”. Uh huh. My mother wanted to go home for awhile and take care of the dog. I came home. She’s supposed to call when they hear something. It’s 8:30 p.m. Guess what? I’m pretty darn sure he’s spending another night there.

It sure would be nice if they could figure out what’s causing this. Of course, my ever-cheerful mother (read sarcasm) remembered this was how her mother died… a bunch of little strokes leading to a big one. Yeah. I needed to be reminded of that. Thanks, Mom.

Probably going to work tomorrow. There isn’t much I can do right now. Oh, and the visiting friend got to town today safely. I haven’t seen them yet but still planning on getting together Saturday night… as long as Dad is doing okay. Keep good thoughts, ‘kay?

It’s Monday and It’s COLD

First off, where did the weekend go? I want it back!

I worked Saturday morning for awhile, but it got to spitting rain and wind so we closed the office and went home. Well, some of us went home. I went to the grocery store, then to the plant place to pick up yet another tomato plant. Of course, I couldn’t walk out with just one tomato plant, but I kept myself in check nicely. Only a few sale plants came home with me.

Home, and I immediately turned off the air conditioner – that hadn’t run in a couple of days – and when Hubs got home mid-afternoon we turned on the fireplace. Yes, It’s been that cool. Doesn’t really feel like June at the moment. Managed to get some laundry and cleaning done and feel as though a little got accomplished. Have a bit more to do, but should get it done after work today.

In talking to Hubs, I found out that son’s race last week never even got through hot-laps, so it wasn’t considered a race to make up. Therefore, Saturday nights’ race was to just be a single-feature. However, they got rained out before they ever got started. I don’t think Hubs was too disappointed not to have to sit in the wind and the cold. Unfortunately, whatever rain they got up north that made the race get cancelled never really made it to our area. We still need rain badly.

Sunday I spent most of the day in bed. Something funky was going on with my ears… I was getting that annoying ringing that you get when you take too much asperin – only I hadn’t taken any. Felt as though my head was full, but not really stuffy. All in all, just weirdness. (I hear you out there… “what else is new?”…) So, got some reading done, some WoW in, and a lot of sleep. Maybe that’s what I really needed. Feeling fine today. Except that feeling that the weekend flew by…

This coming weekend is the first of the internet people visits. It should be fun… it’s a fellow blogger and now WoW player who has become a good friend to myself and my daughters. His first time to Iowa, too. Hope he’s not expecting a parade, we’re fresh out… but we may manage to grill the fatted calf and hopefully have some warmer weather by then to sit outside and enjoy each other’s company and get to talk face to face. Will be an interesting time… I know I’VE never done this before. I’m going by all of your good experiences … don’t let me down!

Happy Monday everyone…let’s have a good week. (Now excuse me while I crank up the space heater under my desk.)

Friday Ramblings.. Okay, It’s Saturday, Sue Me!

Just rounding up some random thoughts:

I appreciate all the wonderful comments on meeting internet people in the “real world”. It does help. Now if I can only convince my husband that they aren’t all serial killers, we’ll be fine.

Youngest son came in second place in last nights’ car race. Tonight there will be another double-feature because of a rain-out last weekend. Unless it gets rained out again this week. I wonder what they do then? Have a triple-feature next weekend? Hmmm…

I’ve been working on the gardens. Extended some around the edge of the lawn, weeding and watering and planting. The mound of mulch is waiting to be addressed, but I have to a.) find the time and b.) get my garden tractor back. I’ve also been weeding and watering the main flower beds and have already had to replace one – no, make that two – tomato plants. Not sure what’s getting them. Rabbits? Racoons? Suicide? Unless I have a spy camera set up I’ll probably never know. Despite the lack of much-needed rain I’ve kept things watered daily and all is still doing okay. Me? My hands are cut and bleeding from weeding without gloves. (What was I thinking?) My lower back is just now beginning to itch from getting sunburned where I leaned over and my shirt rode up and my pants rode down (no, no butt crack, but thanks for asking). It takes me about 5 minutes of sun exposure to burn. Yes, I’m THAT WHITE. Deal with it. Last, but not least, my arms, shoulders and legs hurt from actually doing something besides sitting at my computer. I really have taken pictures, too. Just not the time or the energy to load ’em up. Something else to put on my “to do” list.

Another note on the yard front. I’ve had birds that I’ve never had before! The indigo bunting is back. We have the usual grosbeeks, chickadees, blue jays, cardinals, goldfinches, purple finches, junco, nuthatch, and three different kinds of woodpeckers. This year we’ve had a baltimore oriole and recently a hummingbird has been spotted. The cats are highly entertained. (Before you go calling the ASPCA, the cats don’t leave the house and the birds stay on the outside of the glass).

I was exposed to my first-ever Thai food last night by my daughters. I like it! Always interesting to try something new and not have a clue what it’s possibly going to taste like. Different than anything I’d had before… and yet? Good. Was it “legal” on my diet? No, of course not. Nothing I like is! Sometimes you just gotta break the rules to try something new, though. At least I didn’t eat the whole thing!

My lovely eldest daughter and her husband had their 4 year wedding anniversary this week. In typical fashion her hubs likes to quip – “It’s been the best 2 years of my life”. I think I know him well enough to say… he’s a smartass. But we love him. Congratulations, kids, on a great marriage.

I am soooo excited and happy for this guy. A new house. A new adventure.It couldn’t happen to a nicer family. I’ve been down this road and it’s a fun one, but it’s a little nerve-racking. For a long time hubs and I felt we were living in someone elses’ house. It is sad to leave the old one with all the memories. We were lucky in that our youngest son still lives in our old house and we can visit whenever we want! The board is still in the kitchen doorway with all the hash-marks of our children’s growing up stages. Is this just an old-fashioned thing to do or do you all still do it? Marking your childrens’ height on the doorjam just seems it’s been in my family for generations. If we ever really let that house “go”, I’m taking that board. It’s history.

I’m also extremely excited for this family. It was a helluva surprise when baby came early, but knowing Amy she’s taking it all in stride quite well. She’s got to be one of the – if not THE -happiest woman alive to be a mom. She takes that title quite seriously and finds it to be her calling. I love her attitude toward her kids. They make her truly happy. Most of us love to be moms, but she takes it to a new level.

Keep holding good thoughts for Ms. Sizzle. She has a lot on her plate these days what with moving to a new state, a new city, finding a new job. It takes a lot of guts and a heart of gold, but she’s got both. I know she’s tormented by the thought of leaving the city she’s grown to know every nook and cranny of. I know she’s tossing and turning and worrying about the friends she’s leaving behind and the “good” people she works with. She has dreams and goals and a future as big as… her heart. She’s gonna be okay… she just needs to hear it. A lot.

I’m tired. Really, really tired. Wish I could take a nap.

Anti-Social Is My Middle Name

Okay, not really, but it should be.

What is wrong with me? I enjoy reading your blogs and hearing about your lives. I love seeing pictures of your children, pets, friends, houses, yards, gardens, and events. I find amusement in your tales of travel and work and relationships. I chat endlessly with other WoW players on the computer and know lots of things about their lives, families and favorite flavors. I see people in my life that I know many intimate things about – sometimes too much. I have co-workers that confide in me and people who inspire me or drive me to rage.

In reality, there are only a handful of people I really love and can tolerate. My husband. How he puts up with me is a mystery that no one will figure out until the end of days. My kids. They are the best people on earth. Yes, I’m probably biased. No, I don’t care if you think so. These are the people who I can truly relax with and be myself. If I walk out of the bedroom without showering, putting on makeup or combing my hair (for three days), they will still hug me and tell me they love me. They make me laugh. They sometimes make me cry. They make me think. They expose my limited world to new possibilities and give me hope for the future.

What can I say? The rest of the world is a problem. I can function. I can speak when spoken to. I can sometimes even start up the conversation. I can be curious to meet someone I’ve never met before. I can find interest in their life. But am I having fun? Not really. I’m nervous. I’m stressed. My outward appearance may be calm, but my inner self is in turmoil. My stomach is roiling with the acids of fear. My brain is going a million miles a minute bouncing from one topic to another trying each of them out in “practice” questions that never make it past my lips. I people watch, but try not to let them catch me watching. I’m the queen of the short answer. “Fine” … “Good”… “Doing well”… without elaboration. The medications? Not helping as far as I can tell. Is this something new? God, no. I’ve been this way since I can remember.

It’s a wonder I have any contact with human beings at all.

Life Interference

Don’t you hate it when life interferes with your blogging? Me too! This time of year is generally not-so-busy at work. This year? Busy. Home, when I’m there, is full of puppies and gardening and laundry and dishes and cooking and running errands, and when I can fit it in, cleaning. There are birdfeeders to fill, critters to care for, and gardens to water morning and night – (we need rain, if anyone’s listening!)

Somewhere in the midst of all this I have company to get ready for. I think there will be new internet friends to meet this summer, and we’re going to try and have my office people over for a going away party for my co-worker.

I need about 6 more hours to each day…

I may not get over to all of you, or if I do I may be in for a quick lurk and not leave a note… I’ve not forgotten a one of you, though, so don’t be discouraged. All good thoughts to you all and lots of catching up to do when “life” slows down!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

A few things have been changing the I’ve not mentioned. Until now.

My youngest, the race car driver, has changed vehicles and classes. He is the owner (or at least Hubs is the owner) of a stock car. The new race season started about a month ago and he’s had a rough year. After being track champion last year in his class, he’s had nothing but trouble this year. A new engine brought with it problems. Five laps into a race and something would blow. Scrambling to get it fixed for the next week, confident it had been fixed, and five laps into the next race something would blow again! This is not a good thing. It leads to lots of stress and money and major frustration.

Enter a new player. A car owner in a higher level class, Modifieds. He’s asked my son to drive his car for him. His driver was incapacitated for some reason that I can’t remember right now – sick or injured – or something. Not sure. At any rate, this owner has been in the racing game for 20-some years and has won very few races. He’s been watching my son and wanted to approach him before, but didn’t think he would be interested since he had his own car and was doing so well with it. Now, with all the troubles, this man decided the time was right to approach my son. It’s a good deal for my son and my husband. They don’t have to worry so much about the money end of things, and he still gets to drive and have a great deal of input on the mechanical end of things. Plus, it’s faster

About three weeks ago was the first time son ever got in the car. He came in second. Second place in a race in a class in a car he’d never driven before. The owner is estatic. He can’t believe this kid. What can I say? Son is a natural.

Friday night he started in last place (because he had no points at the track they were racing at) and came in third. Last night they ended up getting rained out. It’s all good… I’m so proud of this kid… this “man”…

The other change is at work. The guy who shares my office space (I teasingly call him my ‘roomate’, but Hubs hates that) is leaving. July 1 he starts a new job in Missouri. He’s going to be missed very much. He’s the fellow who lost his mother and his brother this year – and he’s moving back home to be closer to his family. He wants to be there for his nephew, who is just a baby, but is his brother’s son. He feels a great responsibility to be there for him. He wants to be close to his dad and his other family members. I respect him a great deal for that. It’s going to be hard not to see his easy smile and his laid back manner each day. His wife is a lovely young thing with a gloriously bright smile and the sweetest disposition. She, too, will be missed. I know whoever gets hired to replace him will never be able to meet the bar he’s set. We wish him every good thing in the future.