Archive for the ‘Pa’ Category

I Vote for “Biscuit Brownie Town”

November 4, 2012

You guys, I know it’s only day 4 of NaBloPoMo and I’ve already missed a day but sadly, I’ve got a good excuse. The first half of yesterday went pretty well. My new mattress was delivered and set up without a hitch and although I wanted to faceplant into it and sleep all day, I pressed onward to vote early. When I arrived at the early polling place for my county, it was sunny out but sleeting, which was strange but I managed to find a parking spot & make my way into the building. Once inside, I found a reeeeeally long line that snaked all the way around the building and back. At the time, I didn’t realize just how long the line was or I might’ve given up and tried again later. Once I knew how long I’d have to wait, I had already invested enough time that it felt silly to leave. I ended up standing in line for more than 2-1/2 hours! I was not wearing appropriate footwear so my tootsies were hurtin’ but I’m so glad to have cast my ballot and grateful to live in a country that offers me that freedom.

Next up, I decided to visit my Dad at the facility where he’s been convalescing and found him in HORRIBLE mental condition. He was confused and could barely put a sentence together or accomplish basic tasks. I took him to the ER and he was re-admitted to the hospital. It was a long, hard night and I hated for him to have to go back into the hospital but it’s where he needs to be for now. I made it home around 1 a.m. and immediately crashed onto my new mattress for a night of fitful sleep.

It’s been really hard for me to focus at work lately because I get calls and emails about my Dad’s care all day long. I’m realizing that helping him is going to require my full attention, at least until things get better, so I’ll probably be using some FMLA time to get off work.

And now for my favorite text of the week → I was telling my friend (whom the tabloids refer to as Maxine Dangerous) how dumb it is that the place at the hospital where you go for mental health emergencies is called “Crisis.” Her response?

Okay, suggestions for rebranding “Crisis”: The Bahamas, Unicorn Happy Town, Lollipop Land, Monopoly City, Biscuit Brownie Town

LOLz!! 🙂

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Updates

October 17, 2012

When last we met, things were pretty shitty. Happily, there’ve been some improvements. I was super stressed about finding a new-to-me car and determined not to have a car payment. Luckily, a Honda dealer not a mile from my place happened to have my exact car, only a year newer. I looked around but it seemed like my best option. I had a mechanic look at it, haggled, and snapped up that sucker as quickly as I could. I hope I made the right decision. Big adult purchases always make me nervous. I’m terrified I’ll somehow blow it and forever regret my horrible decision. It’s been about a month and so far, my new hoopty is doing well. I haven’t managed to come up with a name that suits her though. She has a few more bells and whistles (steering-wheel radio controls & a sunroof) than the Goose but beyond that, is the exact same car – model and color! I’ve been so grateful to not have to adjust to a new ride on top of everything else.

My shin seems to have healed and only hurts a teensy bit toward the end of my walks. This injury made me realize how much I’d come to need the relief and release I get from walking. Turning on my iPod, turning off my brain, & hittin’ the road is so cathartic and meditative, with the added bonus of making me feel connected to nature since I’m outside. I’m hoping that winter won’t force me indoors. Since it gets dark so much earlier these days, I bought an obnoxious neon vest to wear for safety during my walks. The humiliation is far outweighed by my desire to avoid the drudgery of the treadmill.

Sadly, my Dad is not better. He improved enough to be released from the hospital but a few days later, ran into trouble again. He’d been sleeping in my bed and I was sleeping on an air mattress. One morning, I went into the bedroom and found him sitting on the edge of the bed. When he saw me, he stood up, and Frankenstein walked toward me, mumbling for help, followed by crashing to the floor on poor, unsuspecting Abby. He was completely incoherent and I was scared to death. I tried to get him up but could not, no matter what I tried, and was so afraid he’d break a hip or worse, so I had to call 911. At the ER, they ran lots of tests and found that one of his medicines caused his sodium to plummet to a dangerous level, which made him, quite literally, delirious. (The doctor said we were lucky he didn’t have a seizure.) He stayed in the hospital for a few days and was then released to a longer-term care facility. Since then, his mental condition has deteriorated even more because he was taken off a lot of medicine while he was in the hospital. At this point, his doctors aren’t sure he’ll even be well enough for assisted-living, which is heartbreaking. I do have hope he’ll get better, but I know it’s going to take a while. I’ve never seen him like this, but I’m trying to stay positive.

One day last week, I reeeeeally needed some downtime, so I followed Cakies’ lead and made some black cat & ghost lights for my kitchen windowsill. It was so relaxing and restorative, I promised myself I’d make more time for crafting in the midst of all this craziness. I’m hoping to be back soon with pictures of a new fall wreath and knitting projects.

Trifecta

September 29, 2012

My grandmother used to portend that bad things happened in threes, which was all my anxiety-prone mind needed to commence fretting when something unfavorable arose. Despite this, when what turned out to be the first of 3 bad things happened to me recently, it didn’t even occur to me to worry that 2 more awful things were to follow.

I

A few weeks ago, I was heading home at lunch to take Abby out since I had to teach in the evening and wouldn’t be home until late. I was following a curve in the road when I saw a 4 x 4 barreling toward me. The driver, who was yakking on his cell phone when he hit me, later told me that the look on my face was one of abject horror, probably because I couldn’t believe I was getting into another car accident. This one, however, was decidedly not my fault. He plowed into the driver’s side of The Goose, ripping the side mirror off, tearing up the doors, and shattering the windows. “I just couldn’t stop,” he offered in disbelief. It had just started raining so he might’ve hydroplaned but I more suspect inexperience was the culprit; he’s very young and this was his first accident. On the scene, he told the police he had insurance. My car wasn’t drivable so he gave me a ride back to my office, as he happened to work nearby. During the short drive, he apologized several times and told me he’d been listening to Christian music at the time of the accident. It’s possible he was trying to butter me up but I thought he was being sincere. We exchanged phone numbers and I assured him that the most important thing was that no one was hurt. It didn’t take long for my insurance to uncover the icky truth – that he was uninsured. That meant my insurance would cover me and then go after him. Unfortunately, the cost of the repairs was enough that they opted to make my vehicle a total loss and give me its value. They compensated me well but finding a new-to-me car in good condition when I only had a paid-for rental car for 5 days seemed impossible. Plus I love The Goose and was not ready to give her up. *sad commiserative honk* 😦

II

I’ve been concerned about my Dad for some time. He’s bi-polar and has always struggled to keep his medicines regulated. I hadn’t actually seen him face-to-face for several years, not on purpose but because things kept coming up that made visiting difficult. But my brother and I could tell from talking to him on the phone that he was in bad shape and rapidly deteriorating. We tried intervening from afar but it was clear he needed an on-scene advocate so he flew to Indianapolis. I was wholly unprepared for the terrible state he was in when he arrived. I’ve never seen him in such awful condition and I’ve seen him in a number of bad states. He was a mere whisper of himself – a complete wreck. Ultimately, he had to be hospitalized for several weeks, which was scary and difficult but absolutely the right thing to do. I visited him almost every day before realizing how heavily it was weighing on my own mental health. It’s so sad to see someone go downhill and feel totally helpless. Thankfully he’s doing better but can no longer live by himself so it’s up to my brother and I to arrange assisted living, sell his apartment, make sure he’s being well taken care of, and OH, not have a nervous breakdown during the process. Overwhelmed doesn’t even being to describe how I feel. Double 😦 😦

III

Because I know better than to prove my grandmother wrong, I fell in my office, tripping over nothing but falling summarily on my knee and turning my ankle. Other than searing mortification, I didn’t feel much right away but a few days later, had terrible pain & swelling in my shin. I could barely put any weight on that leg so I went to the doctor. Luckily nothing is broken; my doctor thinks I tore a ligament. For my exercise for the last few months, I’d been swimming 2 days/week and walking 3 days/week so I was really nervous about this injury derailing my momentum, which caused me to spiral into panic that I would gain back a ton of weight (160 pounds lost at last check!!) and die alone, with rabid, feral dogs feasting on my bloated corpse. I was determined not to let that happen so I kept exercising but was in a ton of pain, even swimming laps, forcing me to relent. I’m in the midst of a week off, which seems to be helping but it’s clearly going to take several weeks to heal. This injury has highlighted a bizarre fear I have when I’m in the midst of any ailment, physical or mental – I’m seized by the awful thought that I’ll never be well again. I know it’s not rational but it sure is a bitch to counteract!

So there you have it – my triumvirate of suck. I’m in full-on one-day-at-a-time mode and trying to take good care of myself in the meantime. In the past, I would’ve just used food to deal with my feelings about all of this but I’m hellbent on keeping that nonsense at bay. That means using all the tools I’ve learned about over the last few years – therapy, support groups, exercise, journaling, meditating, mindfulness, and reaching out, to name a few. It’s really putting me to the test so I sure would appreciate some positive vibes directed my way.

Rough Weekend

April 3, 2012

You know what’s annoying? How it seems like there are certain shirts I absolutely cannot wear more than once without spilling something on them. And it’s always a shirt I like a lot. Like for example, this green number:

Green Shirt

I just splattered butter chicken all over it!

P.S. That butter chicken recipe is soooo yum & easy-to-make. I used chicken tenders so I didn’t bother marinating them and I opted for curry instead of the spice combo the recipe suggests. It also freezes beautifully, if you don’t gobble it up first. 🙂

Post surgery, I’ve found that I crave spicier, umami-er foods than I did before. I only get a few bites so I prefer tasty ones! Also I’m mostly eating vegetables, as they seem to be what my body wants. For breakfast, I’m loving MorningStar’s Veggie Sausage links with mustard. That may sound revolting but it hits the spot.

Let’s refocus on what brought me here in the first place – my need to vent about a tough weekend. My Dad had to be hospitalized for the first time in several years. I cannot imagine how demoralizing that would be, so my heart aches for him, even though some of his behavior has been extremely frustrating and counter-productive. I’m so worried about his deteriorating mental health and feel overwhelmed and unprepared for how to best care for him from a distance. Adulthood = hard. 😦

After a particularly sad conversation with my dad, I came home to find poor Abby stuck, sprawled out on the kitchen floor. She’d apparently fallen and accidentally pushed away the mat I have in place to help her get traction. She’s fine on carpet but just flails and struggles on slicker surfaces. It was clear she’d been stuck awhile, which absolutely gutted me. I felt awful for not having come home earlier and for not thinking to move her kibble & water to a carpeted room. Even when I helped her get up, she could barely stand or move. I’m guessing with her arthritis, she was staved up and sore from being in such an uncomfortable position for several hours. *bawl* My poor senior girl! We took a looong, slow walk and by the end of it, she was getting around a little better. Once we got back, she plopped down at my feet, heaved a big ol’ sigh, and sawed logs until morning. In the days since then, we’ve taken lots of walks and she seems back to her usual self but I’m ever-more aware that our time is limited.

The next afternoon, I was headed to meet B for lunch when I realized I’d lost my keys. After searching high & low, I found them outside next to a fresh pile of some random dog’s poo. I’d apparently dropped them the night before when I was clearing up Abby’s deposit. What a weekend!

I’ve been spinning my wheels lately working on a blog pitch to chronicle my post-surgery life. (As of last check, I’ve lost 85 pounds!) I have Friday off so I’m hoping to stop being a perfectionist & stop beating up on myself for taking so long and finish the damn thing then. I’ll keep you posted about what happens & hopefully in the meantime will be back here soon. Oh and one more thing: if you have the same kind of crazy as I do & suffer with perfectionism, check out Amber Adrian’s awesome, normalizing, solution-oriented Recovering Perfectionist essays & consider signing up for her equally-awesome newsletter. Today’s edition was especially helpful. Let me know if you’d like me to forward it to you.

On Point

August 5, 2010

I’m having trouble finding a blogging rhythm lately (#firstworldproblems). Thankfully I can always count on the tried and true bullet point format to help me out of a lurch.

  • Thanks for all the chair feedback. I ended up returning the red ones. While they would’ve been great in some other iteration of my life, they didn’t quite suit the current one. Now onto fixing up the white chairs, which starts with cleaning and sanding them. Anyone have any DIY advice for this project? Can I just use sandpaper or do I need some über-sander?
  • I’ve been reading this Manifesto of Encouragement every day when I first sit down at my desk. Keeping all that positivity in mind is a great way to start my day.
  • My Dad and I are two peas in a pod:
    • Me: I rammed the curb and took a big chunk out of my tire
    • Pa: ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my God u continue in my odd tradition
    • Me: I need to take my tire in to have it looked at. I hope it doesn’t burst
    • Pa: if it were going to burst it would have done so on the spot
    • Pa: trust me i know
    • Pa: my previous multitude of smashages
    • Me: it was such a mortification but it was at night and i thought it was time to turn but it was the sidewalk
    • Pa: it is a mortification….God knows i know that feeling
    • Pa: i don’t want to rejoice prematurely…….but i have only done it 1 or 2 times in months
    • Pa: this is a great miracle
    • Pa: for years i regularly burst tires
  • When I first went veg, I made a promise to myself to try one new recipe each week. I did well for awhile but then got busy and ended up in a food rut. In an effort to get back in gear, I tried a simple recipe this week: a cold salad of asparagus and edamame dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, and a sprinkling of Parm. I never would’ve thought of that combination but it was delicious. Next up? Spanakopita, which I love but have never made from scratch.
  • Did I tell you about the blackberry patch Abby found on the edge of the woods by my apartment? Now there’s a bun who hangs out there regularly, making the scene so picturesque, I can’t help but hum My Favorite Things every time I see it.
  • Moxy’s birthday was yesterday and mine is Saturday so we’re celebrating tonight at The Melting Pot. None of us has been before, so we’re all excited about fondue fun. What’s the standard punishment for the first person who drops their bread in the cheese?
    • I knitted and sewed Moxy’s birthday present and will post pictures tomorrow.

“Eyes Like Potatoes”

May 21, 2010

Last night at water aerobics, I heard a blast from the past, La Isla Bonita, on the radio. It reminded me that when I was younger, I thought the lyrics “A young girl with eyes like the desert” (:36) were instead “A young girl with eyes like potatoes.” It never made sense to me but it didn’t matter because I loved Madonna and if she wanted to sing about tubers, by God she could.

The class was fun and I was soooo happy to be back in the water. Next time I’m bringing my goggles so I can swim laps. I have two pair and strangely enough, B & I used them recently for a very juvenile non-water prank. Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep our composure and pretty much ruined the joke, except for the hilarity involved with us wearing goggles at a restaurant.

This afternoon over IM, I tried to teach my Dad how to type a tilde (~). My instructions were so confusing, I nearly peed my pants from laughing. Finally he just said, “I had better stick with my more limited keys.” Ha!

“All That Butter on Movie Popcorn is TOO Rich!”

December 30, 2008

Last night for a holiday splurge after months of no sugar, I had some chocolate-covered cherries. They were delicious but this morning I feel like complete and utter shite. I had forgotten how absolutely horrible sugar makes me feel. I guess I’m one of “those” people now. You know the type. “I’m stuffed from half a PowerBar” and “I’ve been so busy, I forgot to eat lunch.”

Growing up, My Dad thought it was funny to occasionally put very odd things in my brother’s and my lunches and book bags. There was a potato once and my brother fondly remembers finding a smooth stone. All that silliness flooded my mind this morning when I got to work and found a whisk in my purse. Thanks Pappy!

I’m pretty sure the Comcast representative I chatted with online today thinks I’m a perv. I had a question about my new cable modem and he asked for my account number. I had to look it up and meant to type “one sec” but instead typed “one sex.” Oops. Sorry John 26905. It wasn’t a come-on, I promise…even though you asked about my cookies.

In closing, Lean Cuisine Chicken Ranch Club? FAIL.

The Poo Report

December 17, 2008

A pet sitter helped take care of Abbs the last time I went to Florida. She was very thorough and even left me notes about each of her encounters with Abby, including a log of Abby’s BMs. Having a sense of humor at the level of a third grader, these diaries amused me greatly. I saved them (for my Christmas card newsletter) and recently shared them with my Dad. He suspected the pet sitter had ulterior motives for chronicling Abby’s poos, like some sort of fecal documentation fetish. I assured him that some pet owners would insist on knowing that information, so the pet sitter was just being detailed.

This morning, at my apartment with Abbs, my Dad sent me this e-mail:

Subject: Poopage report

This is an update on Abby’s bowel action. Around noon today, she went forth with glee into the frozen tundra area surrounding her domicile. After a quick pee and a number of sniffages, she pranced about in the area looking for a spot to release her business. Once her said business was complete, she told me she wanted to move back into her comfortable zone. No report will be given as to size, shape, or other characteristics of her bowel movement.

I Am _SO_ My Father’s Daughter

December 10, 2008

If I haven’t already said, my Dad’s staying in town to help me move at the end of the month. Right now, we’re in that phase of moving when all you can think about are boxes. We’re obsessed! Big boxes, little boxes, sturdy boxes, boxes with lids. Where are they? Who can get some for us? What about packing tape?? And don’t get me started on those cutters that come on tape dispensers. Those things never work!

Ahem.

So a friend of mine at work saved a bunch of boxes for me and my Dad picked them up this morning. Since he just had back surgery, my coworker insisted Pappy not load any of the boxes. Instead he just chatted with another coworker of mine who happened to be in the area. I’m a little fuzzy on the details, so in the manner of Seinfeld I’ll simply offer, yada yada yada HIS PANTS FELL DOWN. It’s just that most of his pants are too big now because he lost weight after his surgery. Today’s incident shines an unforgiving light on the necessity that he BUY SMALLER PANTS IMMEDIATELY. I’m sharing this with you in the hopes it will help you better understand that my tendency to end up in embarrassing predicaments is genetic. Making a fool of yourself simply runs in my family. (For a recap of the time my pants fell down in public, click here.)

In other news, I’m pretty much ready to throw in the towel on Twitter. I’ve tried but I just don’t think anyone cares about the minutia of my life. I understand its utility and I love to see the different ways it’s being used but I’m pretty convinced no one is chomping at the bit to get real time updates about what kind of toilet paper I’m buying.

No One Can Resist the Lure of the Abby-Dogg

December 3, 2008

AbbyThis morning I heard my Dad talking all sweet to Abbs when he didn’t know I was listening. It was ADORABLE. He cooed, “Did you sleep well? Did you dream about other puppies?” Of course I talk to Abbs all the time too. I’m certain she often longs for me to shut my pie hole.

My Dad denies being under Abby’s spell but let’s face it – we’re all slaves to her Royal Fluffiness. In fact, since he arrived, Abby stopped eating her kibble. And why would she when she gets a constant stream of delicious morsels from him? He’s since had to nix the people-food overload and Abby’s reluctantly returned to the dregs of her kib. Poor dear.

I think my piece-of-shit camera has officially bitten the dust. Last night I couldn’t get it to upload photos, despite my fervent protests. It’s time for me to invest in a better one. I would love one of these babies but can’t justify spending so much, especially when I can’t remember a thing from the mandatory photography class I had to take for my Journalism degree. I vaguely recall the Rule of Thirds but beyond that, don’t know an F-stop from a flux capacitor.

I accidentally left my credit card at a restaurant a few nights ago. After frantic searching, I realized what I’d done and went to pick it up. I didn’t have any pockets so I put it in my bra and thought, “I won’t lose it now.” Naturally within 10 minutes, I’d misplaced it again. For awhile I thought the heat of my heaving bosoms might have caused the flimsy plastic to disintegrate but fortunately soon remembered I’d put it in my purse. Phew!