Pretty blah around here at the moment. Just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Work should be in full swing by now,but because of the late harvest and an inch of rain we got on Sunday night, there is nothing going on. We're all sitting around twiddling our thumbs looking at each other and mocking the people who are coming in to fill out applications.

Everyone is a bit in shock at the stock market plunge yesterday. Most don't know what it is going to mean, but don't like what it looks like. Me? Call me Pollyanna, but I think it's all going to be okay.

Physical therapy went okay. My PT was a bit surprised to see me back, but when he heard the diagnoses he just nodded and said we had some work ahead of us. He was pleased at the improvement I had made on my own since I'd seen him last (even tho' the doctor thought I wasn't doing very well, the PT had actual measurements to go on). Sadly, the cortizone shots have done nothing. This bums me out more than you know. I was so hoping that it would relieve the pain and figured it would help me push myself harder through the PT. I'm a strange duck. A friend was commenting that he could tolerate a lot of pain, but that he was very sensitive to the medications and they could make him quite loopy. Me? I'm the opposite. I can't tolerate much pain and I appear to be immune to all pain meds. Grrrr. Not fair! You hear me? NOT FAIR. I worked hard yesterday and someone had suggested massage therapy? Well, my PT used some of that as well – really digging into the muscles and trying to loosen them up. He said they actually had been trained by a massage therapist to use the techniques in cases like mine. So much for having to pay someone else! I'm not looking forward to this again, but you gotta do what ya gotta do.


Strange Fall

First, an update on the shoulders. Oh, wait. There is no update. It is now Friday and not a darn thing has changed. I still haven't given up hope that the shots will eventually "kick in"… but with my record of medication resistance, I'm not going to hold my breath. Physical therapy starts again next week and I'm just keeping my fingers crossed it kicks in before the PT starts workin' on me. A girl can hope, right?

This has been the strangest fall. Because of the late planting season and the cooler and wetter than normal spring and summer, the crops are just now barely beginning to be ready to harvest. That's just a very few of the early soybeans. The corn is still a couple of weeks away! Many years we are half-way done harvesting by now! Even the trees are confused. Most haven't started turning at all, then you'll see one that is brilliant red or yellow – turned totally into the clothes of fall.

It has seemed odd because my son is still racing, as well. Normally he has sold his car off by now and doesn't have any more races this time of year. There are always these late fall "special" races, though… he just never goes. It has been one about every weekend since the regular season finished and there are still a couple more to go.

To top things off, this time of year we are generally gearing up at work for the big push. I've mentioned before that I work for a farm chemical and fertilizer company. Our busiest time of year is the fall – usually as soon as the combines roll in the fields we start hopping. Instead, we've been caught in limbo, waiting for the big push. While we wait, three people have quit. Three. First my "roomate"… then I came to work yesterday and found out another guy, who just got married on Saturday, is quitting to move out of town to live with his new in-laws. His last day is today. Finally, today, when our boss went out to ask for his keys another guy turned his in as well. They knew he'd been looking around – I guess he's notorious for only being at one place about two years and his two were up, but they didn't know he'd found one. Well, the boss teasingly asked him for his keys because we were all pretty sure he'd taken the job and just hadn't gotten up the balls to say anything yet. Sure enough, he acted all dumb at first… "Uh, I didn't know when my last day would be"… and the boss just said, "Why don't we make it the end of the month to make it easy". They agreed and the keys were turned in. So, just when we are gearing up to need the most people, and people who are already trained, they're disappearing. This could be a wilder than normal season when it finally gets going.

At home, Hubs and son shuffle around and work on equipment – which is already in pretty good ready-to-go shape. They ride the bikes. (Glad they got them to keep distracted or Hubs would be going stir-crazy!) I mean, remember… it was my husband who suggested we go see my folks. That, my friends, is a bored man. They visit with their other farm friends who are doing the same things. They may help out one who is just starting to combine his beans… but that's not set in stone yet.

I know one of these days all hell is going to break loose. For now? I'm just waiting for the next surprise.

Picking Up Where We Left Off

After we got home from camping, we both had a good night's sleep – well, as good as I ever get. The critters seemed happy to see us and, as I think happens to most of us, when you come home from any kind of a trip you look around your home with fresh eyes and appreciate what you have right in front of you a bit more. Or maybe that is just me. I'm always such a homebody, but don't always take the time to really feel the appreciation I should.

Saturday night son raced. I decided not to go – still basking in the glow of being home. I also was still a bit sore from our bike ride. He won his heat, but then got a blown-out tire in the main race, so didn't finish. He was disappointed, but that's racing!

Sunday I again spent catching up with what laundry we generated while out camping and cleaning out the camper to ready it for the next adventure.

Monday morning bright and early I was at the orthopedic doctor for x-rays and evaluation of my shoulders. The verdict? The x-rays look perfect. The shoulders are still suffering from what they call "frozen shoulder". When I was having trouble before, during and after my back/neck surgery, the muscles of my shoulders locked up and restricted my motion. I went to physical therapy for several months, and have continued the exercises at home ever since. I was pretty proud that my mobility and range have gotten better. Until the ortho doc looked at me and said, "your range of motion sucks". He said it must have been REALLY bad if this was the best I could do… At least he said it with a smile!

He looked through my medical info and asked me about treatments. I told him about the medication not working… and he looked at me and said, "you were taking these all at the same time?" Uh. Gee, doc… I'm not THAT stupid. He seemed surprised they hadn't worked, but I'm getting used to that. He explained he would give me some cortizone shots in my shoulders, then he recommended I resume physical therapy – and told me to have the therapist really beat on me and push me hard. I go back to see what progress I've made in 8 weeks. He tells me that sometimes if this doesn't work he'll have to go in and surgically "break" the muscle… but he doesn't like to do that, claiming sometimes he actually breaks a bone when he does that!! Yikes.

I don't know if any of you have had these shots before, but damn! They hurt! Big ol' needles! Luckily, he injected me in the back where I couldn't see what he was doing. They told me to go home and ice up, but I had a meeting at work first, so just went home from work early and tried the ice. I'm writing this the next morning and still am pretty sore and achy, but my nurse-dil informs me that I may hurt for a few days to a week until it actually starts working. I'll let you know. In the mean time, I set up my physcial therapy appointments. Starting next week. I'm bracing myself for a world of hurt.

Camping Day 2 – Property of the Kingdom of God


Up early, Hubs had made his coffee, watched his morning TV and eaten breakfast. I woke to the sound of the dump trucks hauling rock in for the handicapped pier they were building across the driveway from the RV.

Showered, breakfast eaten, we decided to go ride the bike. I was wanting a leather coat for riding and we thought we'd make it a day trip of about 200 miles to a Harley dealership Hubs knew of in the northern part of the state. It was a beautiful day.

We started off, then detoured after about 20 miles and visited with some friends from the racing community that also happened to be farmers. A couple of hours sitting around their shop talking and we were ready to move on. Further up the road we had lunch, then rode on to the dealership.

I found a coat, on sale, and some gloves – you can't believe how cold your hands can get just riding along! We loaded up and headed back. Taking our time, we stopped for fuel and beverages and took a stretch break. By now my butt wasn't really bothering me, but my lower back was beginning to give out.

About 10 miles from the campsite I asked Hubs to pull over on a gravel road. I decided later it must have been a low blood sugar attack, but I felt dizzy, weak and light-headed and thought I was either going to pass out or throw up. I had some regular soda with me, so had a few swallows and lay on the grass for a bit until I felt better, then we pushed on the last little ways to the RV.

As we pulled in, we notice more campers all around us. They'd been coming in for the weekend. Hubs said "hi" to one couple and chatted with them a few minutes. Mr. "I-can-talk-to-anyone". He came back over and we were sitting outside having a beer and discussing what we were going to have for supper. Hubs tell me the people around us were from some church group and they were all wearing shirts that said "Property of the Kingdom of God". Um.. okay…

As we sat and visited, the noise level got louder and more campers continued to invade our space. People were walking past us to join up with the original group right next door. They had about twenty people gathered when we just looked at each other.

"Why are we sitting in a campground with more noise and people than we ever have at home?"

 "Good question"

"You know neither of us slept worth a damn last night and tonight isn't going to be any better – especially with this group of noisy people right next door."


"You know we are both missing our critters."


"You know we talked about going home tomorrow… but we could be home by our own firepit, cooking in our own backyard and have more privacy and quiet than we have here, right now."


'We could be home before dark."


We were on our way home with the bike five minutes later and came back to get the RV 30 minutes after that. It took us about 10 minutes to pack up the RV for travel and we were home by 8 p.m.

Happily home.

Where we proceeded to sit out on the deck, overhanging the creek, in the woods, surrounded by our critters and listening to the locusts and the frogs and the woodland creatures. Period. We lit the grill, cooked and ate our supper, and happily crawled into our cozy comfortable bed.

Going away  – alone – was fun. But coming home? Priceless.

Camping Day 1 – Night Knight

Thursday night

I don't sleep well. I haven't for months, since last summer when I started having trouble with my arms, then shoulders, leading up to my back/neck surgery. Following the surgery, some of my pain was aleviated, but the pain and lack of motion continued in my shoulders. I went to physical therapy for months and it helped some with the mobility, but not with the pain.

We already went through the whole laundry list of medications I'm evidently immune to – vicodin, oxycotin, fentynl, to name a few.

I've continued the exercises from physical therapy and my flexibility and mobility is better, but the pain has not improved at all. So, I am restless at night. I toss and turn, trying to get comfortable. Many times I am up in the middle of the night to put on an ice pack or heat pad for awhile. Also, the recent doctor appointment ended up in him putting me on a diuretic for my blood pressure. This means I also get up three or four times to pee.

The point of this is when we are at home he have a bed that doesn't cause the other person to feel every little movement. The RV bed transfers every little wiggle. The RV itself moves as you walk through it because the jacks decided to be stubborn this trip and stop working. Then, the toilet makes an obnoxious noise when you flush it because of the water pump kicking in.

All this brings me to the title of this post. Typically ever since I've known him my husband is not good about being awakened at night. It makes him grumpy and cranky and I've always tried not to do that. Tonight? He was awake. He was wide awake. A lot. He wasn't grumpy or grouchy once….and wasn't the next day either! He was sweet and kind – even trying at one time to rub my shoulders, saying he never realized how much I was up every night.

He was my knight once more – my knight in shining armor. Just having him say "I understand" – now he knows why I am so tired all the time. My "night knight".

I hope the orthopedic doc I'm seeing on monday has some grand idea how to help with this. It is getting old fast. Thank goodness we don't have to spend every night in the RV! (Well, there was much said at the doc's on Monday… will post on Thursday when I finish up my camping notes.)

Camping Day 1 – WTF?

Thursday. (I'm posting these late, obviously.) So here we are, actually camping by ourselves! I can't believe it. After all the preparation, we are finally here. I'm in the RV, doing a little light housekeeping – things have gotten so dusty and a few items still need to be put away.

Hubs pokes his head in the door,

"I called Mom and told her she could come for a visit."


He repeats.

"Please tell me you are kidding… this is a joke, right?"

"What can I say? I feel guilty."

An hour later she appears. She sits around with us for about three hours, then finally leaves when neither of us offer to have her stay for supper and it is getting pretty dark. I told Hubs I would bet anything she had her suitcase in her trunk in case we changed our mind about having her stay.

I'm still in a bit of shock.

Camping Day 1 – Prologue

I have awakened early with the critters, but unlike many mornings today I won't go back to bed. Today is Camping Day.

I had things to do in preparation. Hubs had brought the RV to the house so I could pack it and he had gone to work – he had some grain to haul before we could leave. I had a few "personal maintenance" items to take care of first think… aka coloring my hair. I was pretty organized as far as packing goes. I'd done a load of laundry the night before and only had one other to do.

I'd made the rounds of the critter stations being sure food and water dishes were full. Even though daughter was coming to let the canine variety outside, I  didn't need to have her forced into doing my chores.

I had a laundry basket with all of our clothing and sundry items. I was working on another basket to go to the RV with food and kitchen things that weren't already there. I hate leaving dirty dishes or garbage in the house when we're going to be gone, so I'd just gotten the dishwasher started when I stepped out to the garage with a bag of garbage. (Hubs and I have a deal – I take it out of the house, he takes it the rest of the way to the dumpster.)

I mis-spoke. I didn't "step out" to the garage, I fell out. How? No clue. I know I took one step and found my left ankle twisted and caught on the edge of the bottom step. There were only two steps…. TWO.

I rush, okay, I hobbled, into the house and went straight for the ice pack where I nursed my poor leg for an hour. I managed to finish my chores, but at a considerable slower speed than originally intended.

At least it didn't stop the weekend from going forward. It is wrapped (I should have stock in ace bandages) and although still throbbing and tender it is functional. Good thing no foot races are required this weekend!

Only Child Syndrome and the Broken Friendship Trail

Sizzle had a post recently that got me thinking about friends.

I can count my true friends on one hand. No, I take that back… it wouldn't even take up one hand. I'm not counting my family – Hubs and the kids – because they are on another level of friendship altogether. I'm talking about people I have actually interacted with in my lifetime who are physical beings, not blogosphere entities. Yes, I know you are my friends, but you, too, are on another level.

As a kid I always envied the group who gathered at the end of the senior year for pictures as the kids who had been together since kindergarten. My Hubs could be in a picture like that. My own kids could be in a picture like that. Me? No. We moved between kindergarten and first grade, between second and third, and near the end of fifth. I struggled in a new city with the tag-end of fifth grade (most of which I spent in the hospital getting my tonsils out) and sixth grade was a total bitch. I was always a good student, but was depressed by that move and finding myself thrown from small-town to big city school system where suddenly it was changing rooms for every class and new people in every group. I did have a couple of girls I played with, one who was a neighbor, in the third through fifth grade period. It was a constant whirl of girly-ness what with one girl of the trio always being "out" of the favor of the other two. Still? It was the first time I'd had anyone of my own age nearby who I could see practically on a daily basis… before my parents became "weird" and overprotective. That was my favorite place on earth and it was no wonder I was depressed after the move.

After we moved, I was introduced to a girl who was in our church and who I started going to youth church meetings with. Luckily, she was a very nice girl who took me under her wing and we became fast friends. Still? She already had a "best friend" that she, too, had grown up with since kindergarten, so I was really a third wheel once more. They tolerated me and we were friends, but I never got that bond with her that they had with each other. She ended up marrying, then divorcing, my ex-husband's best high school buddy (I introduced them)… then remarried and we exchange christmas cards. When I'm sending them. (Didn't do so well with that last year). Still? I haven't spoken to her in person for about 25 years. Seeing as she knew me through most of my parent's bizarre and abusive stages, she mainly sat back and thanked her lucky stars that she had her parents, not mine.

As an adult, I've not made many friends. The phase of my life where I went more "public"… aka "going out" … could be contributed to running into a girlfriend that I'd known back in that small town where I was happy. As adults, we connected and through her I met a couple of other women. One would become my maid of honor in my second marriage. The other would destroy the friendship I had with my maid of honor.

In my mid-adult life I met people through my work. Three of them became very close to me. Two of them ended up moving out of state, and although I tried to keep in touch with one of them, time and distance has made us both mute. The other… well, some things were said and things were done that could not be forgiven and there has been a wall between us ever since. The last still comes by to offer support and encouragement and although I love her very much we've lost the core of what bonded us together. She has best friends and a life in another part of the state that goes on without me and I feel awkward when we are together, so I go into avoidance mode (a blog friend once told me that I was not anti-social, just avoidant.)

I have one other adult friend who has patience beyond belief. We used to talk daily. Email, usually, but once a day if not more. She and I seem to connect. We both have farmer husbands and so both understand the life and the involved stresses. Although we don't see or talk to each other nearly as much as we used to, when we do… it is as though I saw her yesterday. She makes it easy. She doesn't mince words, she tells you how it is, and she has been through things in her life that give her great insight into the world around us. However, I don't see her often and wonder about that.

I am an only child, but I now have a large family. I have surrounded myself with the things that I enjoy. My Hubs, my family, my critters. I have more interests than I have time to do it all. I read, I play WoW, I cross-stitch, I knit, I crochet, I do rubber stamping, I paint, I garden, I write, I blog, I take pictures, I enjoy movies, music, and many varying television shows. I have an imagination and am not afraid to use it. I am often alone, but am not lonely.

I feel sometimes that I've left this trail of broken friendships down the path of my life. It wasn't intentional, it just sort of happened that way. I envy those who have the close friendships. Yet? I don't feel an emptiness in my soul where those bodies should be. Sometimes I feel guilty about that. For a little bit. Just a bit.

Experiences You’d Just as Soon Not Have No.2

I briefly mentioned this yesterday so decided to let it all out here. As most of you know, I was raised a town kid. I had parents who, however, liked to camp. My grandparents on my fathers' side of the family were great out-doors-people, even though they, too, were townies. My grandfather had a nice boat – big enough to water ski behind. He loved to fish and when I was very small they owned a cabin on one of the Iowa Great Lakes. (To those of you who don't know, that's what we call the Big Spirit Lake, Little Spirit Lake, Lake Okoboji complex.) Later in life, when I was a teenager, my grandparents retired and actually bought a resort on one of the lakes and had cabins, rooms, and a bait / tackle / snack shop – right on the lake's edge. It was fabulous fun.

As I was growing up, my parents would try various camping adventures. We did the Grand Tetons in Wyoming… in our station wagon. Every night we would empty all the camping supplies from the back of the car, pile them up under a tarp (like that was gonna stop a bear) and I would stretch out across the front seat and my parents would sleep in the back – closing themselves off with the curtains my mother made.

One year we rented a fold-out camper. That was fun. Every night was an adventure wondering if dad was going to remember how to put it up.

One year my grandparents loaned us their pull-along camper. They even loaned us the pickup to pull it. That was okay, except the truck only had room in the front seat for my parents. It makes me wonder what kind of safety rules we would be breaking now to know that I was in the back of the pickup, under a topper, with no air circulation, in the heat, on a rubber pad… basically, rolling around back there like a pinball. When I wanted to go to the bathroom, I would have to beat on the window in-between as hard as I could, then motion with my hands as the window in the topper didn't slide open, as some do. Fun times, I tell ya.

When I was old enough I became a Bluebird. The early stages of becoming a Camp Fire Girl. Then we moved and the area didn't have Camp Fire Girls, only Girl Scouts. So I became a Girl Scout. Part of being a GS was camping. We tried at least once every summer to go on a camping trip. I only went on one, but it was memorable. We camped in tents, on a slope near a creek in the woods of a lovely state park. It was great until about 1 a.m. when the skies opened and I remember waking to a torrent of water washing everything out of our tent and down to the creek… including all of us scouts! Some girls had rubber air mattresses to sleep on, and they were literally being floated out of their tents. For some reason we were all camping with our tents going up and down the slope, so the rain was running down the slope and right through all of our tents. Lots of screaming ensued. Looking back at it, I'm amazed the leaders were able to be as calm as they were.

Some girls went up and spent part of the night in the concrete public restroom. I started out there, then a few of us ended up in the leaders' cars. It was a long, cold, wet night. The next day the sun shone brightly as if nothing had happened, but the destruction around the campsite was obvious. Nothing like trying to haul home wet tents and sleeping bags and clothes. Ugh. The trip was cut short and we were dumped on our parents' doorsteps… not a bunch of happy campers.

We're going to try it again next weekend. Hubs, the RV, the motorcycle and me. Son is racing on Saturday night. We're going to try and camp out Friday and Saturday. It appears the critter-babysitter (youngest daughter) is going to be out of town Saturday night, so Hubs devised a plan where we will ride the motorcycle home on Saturday night to take care of them. Once again, we're going to try and go without the MIL. It isn't supposed to rain and is supposed to be fairly nice and warm. Keep your fingers crossed!

Ma Nature Can Be a Real Bitch

Looks like Ike got on a roll and didn't let up. I've been offline a few days and hadn't watched the news so didn't realize the destruction until I got a text message last night from a fellow blogger who had his town ravaged by the remnants. As far away as Kentucky and they'd gotten 70 mph winds! Hubs had already told me of reports in central Illinois of 8-12" of rain – both of us being grateful that our crops didn't have to withstand either of those.

I saw some of the pictures this morning of the destruction. Once more a part of our country has been beaten and battered by Ma Nature. I love her, but she's a hard taskmaster.

In updated news, there was no camping trip. I figured you didn't see the cloud go up over Iowa, so you might have known. Again, Ma Nature was to blame. The races got cancelled… and although we did discuss going anyway and just camping to get away, it became not just rain warnings, but flood warnings and I really didn't want to risk floating away in our RV. I'm pretty sure I've had a similar experience while in Girl Scouts that I will recount one day.

So, next weekend there is another race in another place in the state. Once again we're talking about going camping. There is a chance of rain, but not until Sunday. Keep your fingers crossed!

Take care of yourself, all you who have been battered by Ma Nature this weekend. I'm thinking of you.