Things are officially back to business as usual around here. Hubby got home from deployment on the afternoon of Sat. June 15th. He went back to work the next day and worked 2 days and had to take a sick day. He had been nursing a cold for a few weeks. The environment he was in was like a petrie dish and everyone there was sick on and off. He spent that Tuesday in bed and slept 17 hours. He went back to work on Wed. and then had off Thurs., Fri. and Sat. He wasn’t feeling well most of the weekend and I had caught the cold on Thurs. My illness lasted about a week and his lingered even longer. We are both finally well. It helped that after hubby worked another week, he was informed that he had earned “3 admin days off” for being gone so long. He was told to use them as soon as he could after coming home. Too bad they didn’t tell him 2 weeks earlier. He put in for the 3 days of the July 4th week and with the holiday that gave him a full 10 days off. He didn’t even mention going away. He wanted to just relax and get used to being home again.

We had a wonderful Staycation. We’re not staycation people. When time off allows, we like to get away. We’ve stayed home a few times in the past and it always felt like a waste of vacation. Being home makes you feel like you weren’t on vacation. However, when the time off is “extra”, it’s a whole different ballgame. We had wanted to go to a Chicago Dogs (minor league baseball) game in Rosemont, IL like we did last year. We didn’t go because it was too hot for our taste. The entire time until 4 pm yesterday, the temperatures were in the 90’s with high humidity!! I couldn’t believe it. We had weather you’d see in mid-August. I finally shut the a/c off after running it for 2 weeks straight. We prefer to do without a/c and have the windows open but when it’s that hot, you’re just sitting in a puddle of sweat. We had all kinds of plans to do yard work and didn’t do any until July 4th. I cut the grass and Greg did some trimming. 
We did some treasure hunting, went to the casino a few times, ate out a few times, read books, etc. We had gone to an estate sale of Ken Nordine who had died at age 98 in Feb. He was the creator of a style of “audio storytelling” he called “word jazz”. The house had no a/c and the book room was literally a sauna. We both tore into it and found about 30 books that are so odd and eclectic, I can’t wait to read them! He was into a lot of science fiction. I found a 1961 copy of “The Man In The High Castle” (also a tv series) that Greg is currently reading. I’m reading a sf novel “The Two Clocks” now which is interesting. I would say that science fiction was always one of my least favorite reads. One of my closest male friends in jr. high and h.s. was a huge sf fan. He gave me a copy of science fiction and the family short stories (not exact title). It was drew me in but I still wasn’t a big fan. Now after finding these books, I think I just may become one! It actually gives me ideas about writing my own science fiction story.
The casino we went to is in Rosemont so it’s 5 minutes away. “Rivers Casino” opened about 8 years ago so my mom was just starting to lose her marbles when it came to be. We went a few times but it was a very tight casino. We always had better luck at any other place. It had been years since we’d gone and they sent us a few free meals and now we’re going again. We play mostly video poker but sometimes get drawn to the other one armed bandits. It was a nice cool place to be and we managed to stay even with our money the first 3 times we went there. Then we lost the next 2 times. Now I suppose we won’t go back for awhile.
We went to an estate sale on Friday in downtown Chicago. We don’t go down there often but had the most glorious drive along the lake. I took a ton of photos with my old iPhone 6+ and they turned out great. We had gone to the AT&T store last Monday. We found they can’t do anything there anymore. We needed to call the phone number to get the credit for the Mexico calls and to get the $10 a month for the iPad taken off the bill. Hubby did this and they said they’d take care of it but I’ll believe it when I see it. The person we dealt with at the AT&T store basically told us to wait until the newest iPhone comes out in Sept. before getting the iPhone10. I’ve got to say I was disappointed. My phone will be 5 years old in Nov. I feel like the redheaded stepchild having to be behind everyone else in technology. But I’ll wait….
May 31st I had gone for a mammogram after almost 4 years. Our doctor had died and our current doctor does not care about women’s health. I had all my previous mammograms done at Gottlieb hospital and knew all the techs and the setup and was comfortable with it. My current doctor insisted on me going to Resurrection where his office is. They were trying to get my records from Gottlieb but sent me a letter saying they had no luck?! They said they think things look ok… Then I got a phone call from Lauren who wants me to go over my risk factors for breast cancer with her. Because my mother’s sister had it, I am “borderline” at risk. I know as much as I feel I need to about selfceare and risk factors. She wants to justify her existence. I basically told her she could help me get my records and then I’d see if I could make time for her.
That’s it for today. We are going to grill out hamburgers tonight since they were on sale and the weather is finally conducive to it. I hope everyone had a nice holiday week! 

So hubby’s been gone 5 weeks today. I haven’t felt like checking in with the blog but figure I should anyway. Only a week and a half to go! The time has gone surprisingly fast. I knew it would because as my dad used to say, “Time waits for no man”. At first I had all kinds of ideas of things I wanted to get done while he was gone. That pretty much went out the window right away. I gave myself permission to just get through it, day by day. At first I was really fearful to be alone and not happy about it. After about 2 weeks, I relaxed into it and by 4 weeks, I no longer minded being alone! It’s funny because at the 4 week mark when I was getting comfortable with hubby being gone, he started getting homesick. Each day it gets harder for him and easier for me! It’s weird to have us on different pages at the same time.

The first few weeks, it was like I was missing a limb. I’ve learned I’m stronger than I think and if I had to, I could manage alone indefinitely. I’ve only had minor problems so far like with Netflix having to be reset (which sounds like NBD but it is with the way we have it set up) and the pond filter getting shut off from a storm which caused it to fill with mud and then pump out half the water in the pond. I had to take the filter apart and clean it twice and then fill the pond and it’s been working ever since. Our neighbor from kitty corner across the street (we’re 3 houses from the corner) jumped me one day while I was walking the dogs to get some of our koi fish. We have two GIANT koi that had tons of babies (all sizes) and hubby had offered Brian some (free) in the spring. Brian has a pond but zero fish. He wanted to wait then and so this was about at the 2 week mark. I had just cleaned the filter and the water was all stirred up and muddy. He brought 2 nets and a bucket and came over and we tried to catch the fish. It was like a 3 stooges or Laurel & Hardy routine with the 2 of us working at it. Finally he left and left his supplies and said he’d be back in a week or so. The other day he just rapped at the door (we have no doorbell because the place for it is too narrow and the wire too short and the last one we had got burned out from someone pushing it and it stuck) and scared me and the dogs half to death. I had given him my cellphone number and we had texted previously so I don’t know why he didn’t text first. Anyway, he came in the backyard and tried again. I fed the fish (but I had done it earlier that day so they weren’t as hungry as if it was the first time). Brian was able to catch ONE fish. He left and said he may try again. I told him he could always wait until my husband came home. 
I did have a spell between week 2 and week 4 of being down in the dumps. The worst was Memorial Day weekend. It probably had a lot had to do with the weather. We had nothing but RAIN the entire month of May. In fact, it broke a record for the wettest May EVER! So far I’ve cut the grass 5 times since he’s been gone and will probably get in 2 more times before he gets back. The last week or two I’ve been getting in a lot of reading so I can get another book sale going soon. I also cut some rhubarb and made rhubarb cake once. I haven’t gone to many estate sales. I went to one last weekend and bought nothing. I skipped going the 2nd weekend entirely. Other weekends I went to one or two. My only finds besides books were a flemish pyrographed box from 1909 and an antique tennis racket made into a mirror. I don’t have any plans to go to any sales this weekend since nothing looks good. Besides, it’s just not fun going alone. It’s like going to the movies alone. I did that once in college to see Xanadu since none of my friends wanted to go and I wanted to see it badly. The movie wasn’t good and I was paranoid about being seen out by myself like a leper. 
Last Friday I went to the ATM to get cash and went to the drive-up one instead of the one inside. Wouldn’t you know that it didn’t give me any money or a receipt but I got a notice on my phone that it took the money out?! I was pulled in too close to get out of the vehicle and there were several cars behind me. I didn’t know what to do so called the branch and told them. I got a nice guy named Joe who came out and told me he’d call it in for me. I asked him if this had ever happened before and he said “Yes, machines make mistakes, too”. Today I was trying to pay my hubby’s government credit card that had his flight and one week of hotel stay on it and it would’t go through. I was doing this online through the Chase app. It kept coming up with an error saying it couldn’t be done from that account, pick another one. I tried several times and then called the bank. I kept getting a message from the bank that “all bank representatives are busy, please call back later”.  I tried at least 4 times and then tried the 1-800 number for online banking. You have to enter your account number, last 4 digits of your social and push a bunch of buttons for options. I was getting connected to a live person and then click, I was disconnected! That did it. I decided to drive over to the bank and see if I could get help in person. There were a lot of cars there but several reps were idle. 2 of them took me into a cubicle and helped me. I had to log in on their desktop and finally got it straightened out. Right now I am fed up with Chase bank AND AT&T.
So hubby has been right at the border dealing with the detainees or as he calls it, “Doing the Lord’s work”. He came down with either the flu or food poisoning after a few weeks. He was able to get over it on his day off and slowly recover. Now it sounds like everyone he works with has a cold there. He says it’s allergies but I wonder. He can’t take any pictures inside the facility he is working at but was able to take some at the top of the hill next to his building. We have our cellphone bill automatically paid which I was always against but they were supposed to give us a deal and they just hosed up everything.  Last month his iPhone 7 was finally paid off (2 years at $30+ a month). This month our bill was supposed to go down $30+ but instead it went up $30+. Looking at the bill that came in the mail (the bill comes AFTER it is paid), there is a charge for data transfers on May 6th for $61.19! We have unlimited talk and text and 6 GB data which we almost never use. Looking closer at the bill, it shows that it is roaming charges FROM MEXICO. Oh please! He hasn’t gone to Mexico at all and didn’t even bring his passport. Now trying to get this money back from AT&T will be like pulling teeth. We are ready to go to a different cellphone company. We’ve always been loyal to AT&T but at some point, enough is enough. What co. are you with? Have you had good luck? What companies have you heard good things about? Besides customer service being atrocious, cellphone service is terrible with AT&T. When we travel we often don’t get service and the calls aren’t clear. We’ll have to take a day when hubby comes home and go to the AT&T store and get it cleared up. 
I went to the doctor on Friday May 25th. The doctor gave me a prescription for a liquid thyroid medicine that you put under your tongue once a day in the morning. He had me wait to find out test results the following Tues. My levels are now in the normal range so then I went to get the scrip filled. It was a huge hassle with CVS. They had to order it and I had to go get it the next day. First I had to call and make sure it had come in. The doctor was telling me that the generic pill I was taking doesn’t work as well as the name brand liquid. That the liquid gives you the same amount every day and the pills fluctuate. I’d never heard that about generics. I’ve felt slightly better since I started taking it 6 days ago. 
As for life, I’m handling it like a boss…

I’m happy to report that I survived the first week alone. Time has been passing incredibly quickly. I keep to a routine which helps. Last Thursday it rained all day so I stayed home and did housework. Friday, I ventured out to 3 estate sales by myself! This is the first time I’ve ever gone to an estate sale alone! It went so well that I went to 3! None of them were nearby so I had to drive my husband’s Jeep. It was so easy to navigate, I didn’t have to worry about getting lost or parking. Now I can see the appeal of the newer vehicles. I took some of the major highways in different directions and things went like a charm. I already felt more confident. Saturday I went to the library book sale which our local library hadn’t had for a year since they were remodeling. The pickings were very slim but I got a few vintage books. Then I went to 2 estate sales. I got more books at one of them and nothing at the other. I don’t know if I’ll venture out on a Saturday again since the traffic was horrible and parking was ridiculous. I found nothing earth shattering at any sales all weekend. I did find a pink and blue carnival monkey to keep me company while hubby is gone. I’m glad I went but it sure isn’t as fun as going together. I can’t fully relax when I’m on my own like I can when I know someone has my back.

Sunday I cut the grass for the first time in years. I used to do it all the time when hubby traveled for work. Now it’s one of his chores. The mower we have now is self-propelled and impossible to push without using that. It is set so fast that I can hardly run behind it. We had always used a Lawn Boy when I cut the grass. It is a delicate, well-tuned machine that is almost like cutting the grass was an art. This Honda is a beast, rough and tough and like pushing a tank. At least it started right away and I was able to get both the front and back yard done. I should only have to do it another 6 times before he comes home.
Aside from walking the dogs, I’ve stayed home the past 3 days. The weather has been cold and ugly. May is usually in the upper 60’s, not the mid 40’s temperature wise. I’ve cooked a couple times and realized that anything I make I have to eat 4 days in row to eat up before it goes bad. By then I’m sick of it. My milk has gone sour and I’ll have to buy something smaller than a gallon when I go to the store again. I’m thinking of baking some bars just because I want to run the oven. Also I’m dying for something sweet. I’ve been playing Candy Crush and have now reached level 709. I’m not one for playing games as it always seemed like a waste of time. Now here I am.
Sunday (Mother’s Day) is a year since my dogs were attacked by the 2 big dogs. There was another attack by a Golden Retriever a few months after that that punctured Elvis’ neck. The woman was standing in front of her house talking to a neighbor. She had a bag of treats open in her hands and her dog wasn’t on a leash. She said he must’ve felt possessive of the treats. Hubby and I were walking together that time. The owner then actually apologized (which the previous owners DID NOT) but she kept saying “I’m sorry. Here—take these treats” like that would make up for it. I’m sorry, I don’t want your treats! I want your dog to be on a leash. I’m able to hold mine as if my life depended on it, no matter what. We are all still shell-shocked from the original attack. A few weeks ago, hubby and I were watching a dog show and seeing the Newfoundland brought up all the bad memories. My dogs still get along with any dogs they meet but are afraid of bigger dogs now. Especially Ivy (Basenji) who was the friendliest originally. Now she hangs back when a large dog approaches. The hair goes up on her back and she growls. She will even snap at them if they get close. I hate that the experience has changed them for the worse. I heard the 2 big dogs from a year ago have passed away. I know it’s the owners fault but I was still glad to hear they are dead!! What’s upsetting now is that the owners have gotten another dog! People like that don’t deserve to have a dog!!! They don’t socialize it or teach it and can’t hold the leash. The new dog is a bit smaller than their others but looks mean. 
I’ve looked up estate sales for the upcoming weekend and have found none that interest me. I guess I’ll start writing those letters I’ve been putting off. I also started reading Edgar Allen Poe’s Book Of Short Stories. I’ve been watching tv at night but nothing worth mentioning. All I know is life without my husband is mighty dull.
As far as how hubby is making out, it is interesting to say the least. They put him in one hotel the first night and then switched everyone to another for the duration. He was put in a room with 2 queen beds and he unpacked everything and settled in. Then they asked if he would move to a different room with a king size bed instead. He said yes and they’ve been treating him extra nice ever since. He is in an area that has a shopping center and many stores and restaurants. They have him working 10 pm until 7:30 am. Similar to my old postal hours. They also gave him Sunday off. I feel totally misled. They told him he’d be working 7 days a week, 12-14 hours a day. He works 10 hour days when at home, plus Sundays. He can handle it. To have time off away from home and not get paid for it seems like a waste. I know he can rest and he does but… Maybe in the past when coworkers went it was with FEMA who doesn’t mind working long hours and Customs & Border Patrol work only 50 hours a week? The area he is in has 16 sectors and he is working at one for the entire time. He’ll be on nights 2 weeks, then switching to days, then afternoons and then back to nights. He is paired up with someone from Los Angeles who goes home every weekend. He is tasked with doing whatever is needed to free up those who carry guns to go catch illegals and criminals. He has gotten a tour of the border and the situation is much worse than portrayed by the media. Anyone who says that it’s not a crisis is ignorant. So Greg has been heating up burritos, handing out food, space age blankets, documenting possessions at intake, going to the pharmacy 16 miles away for medicine, getting supplies from other buildings, shuttling legal paperwork up to lawyers, etc. They are already asking people to extend their stay another 30 days. I believe they need help but I can’t see doing beyond the 45 days unless things were different. Like I could go along or he could work longer hours and weekends. Even if the latter was true, I don’t know if it’s worth being apart any longer. We are ready to go on our first vacation of the year!


Bye, Bye, Love

So many months have passed since I posted or even looked at my blog. Most of that time I didn’t even think of it or if I did, I quickly put it to the side. I just haven’t been in a writing mood. We had computer problems in early November. Our old beloved computer died and we replaced it with a more recent version of the same. I had never used our old computer much and neither had my husband. We use our iPhones or iPads. The old computer had been my mother’s lifeline. She went on it every day after breakfast until lunch. Sometimes after lunch until dinner. Occasionally even in the evenings. She played casino games and they kept her occupied and entertained. I hate change more than the average person. I didn’t want a new computer but sometimes there’s no other choice. To think this new computer was never touched by her hands or seen by her eyes or heard by her ears is weird. I still feel like I’m dealing with her loss every day. I don’t dwell on it but she was such a big part of my life for my entire life. I hadn’t been alone as long as she was alive. In the 2 1/2 years since she’s passed, I’ve been spending my days alone while my husband is at work. I’ve gotten used to it but can’t say I enjoy being alone.

Today at 2 pm, I came home from taking my hubby to the airport. He is being deployed to work at the border helping Customs with the illegal aliens. He is expected to work 12 hour days at least 6 days a week. For the past 2 weeks, he’s known there would be a chance he’d be sent but also no guarantee that he would. They had sent 2 people from his office and a 3rd was supposed to go but had a job interview. We found out Monday afternoon that he would be going today. He was supposed to go next week on May 8th. A week to get ready would have been fine. A day and a half?! Not so much. We were both kind of freaking out. Sunday we had gone grocery shopping and shopped like he’d be at home. I had been trying to decide when to have my book sale. I announced it on Sat. Night for Monday night. If I had known, I would’ve done it sooner. Despite the short notice, we were able to prepare pretty well. In a day and a half, Greg: put down fertilizer and Grubex on the grass, cleaned out the bottom of my vacuum, cut the dogs’ nails, showed me how to start the lawnmower (he got a new one last summer that I’d never used), showed me how to drive his car (I’d only drove it ONCE since he got it and it was a month after he got it), showed me how to unplug Netflix if it won’t load, showed me how to change the ink in the printer (we got a new one in Dec.), helped me wrap and send out 10 packages after my book sale, told me how to clean the filter on our koi pond, etc. The list goes on and on. We also went to the bank, PO and pharmacy. I won’t hide how heavily I rely on him but it’s mutual. We each have our own chores around the house and it makes us a great team. I do the bills and handle the checking account, I wash our clothes, load and unload the dishwasher (& hand wash whatever else), I do the cleaning, I feed the dogs and walk them daily (on weekends we do it together), and so much more. When we both do our parts, it runs like a well-oiled machine. 
Greg didn’t find out where he was going until late yesterday morning. His 2 coworkers were sent to Texas, the Brownsville area. He’s very happy that he’ll be in the San Diego vicinity. I so wish I could go with him! The 3 dogs make it hard, if not impossible. If he has to do another stint, he will make sure he can bring our RV, me and the dogs. 45 days is a long time to be gone! He was gone for 6 weeks in March-April of 2010 and it just about broke me. I had mom with me for company which helped a lot. We stayed home most of the time which we were both fine with. 45 days alone is another story. I will have no problem keeping busy doing things around the house. Maybe I can finally get organized. I also have no end of books to read which will be a treat. A lot of women would jump for joy having time away from their spouse. I am just the opposite. We do everything we can together and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. We have so much fun! I don’t really want to know how it feels to be a widow or a single person. I will be lost without him. Praying nothing terrible goes wrong for either of us.
We went to the doctor last Thurs. and we both had blood work. Monday night the nurse called with our results. She told Greg to get a measles/mumps/rubella booster shot since his immunity for it is down. Especially since he’ll be at the border with the unwashed masses. Of course, the doctor’s office didn’t have any on hand. Hopefully, he can get one when he gets to CA. Last week the doctor put me on antibiotics for a sinus infection. Now the nurse tells me my thyroid is underactive and I need medicine. I didn’t see this coming. Maybe that’s why I’ve been so tired, I fall asleep like I have narcolepsy. I used to be able to be on the go every second and now I get winded and have to rest. I just thought it was the difference of someone whose in their 50’s versus their 30’s or 40’s. We’ll see if this does the trick. I know I’ll be getting out of the house at least once since the doc wants to see me before a month is up.
I am thrilled that Greg is going to have this experience. It is something he will remember and talk about for the rest of his life. I just wish I could share it! I am going to try to post more to social media. I have such an aversion to posting, I don’t know why. If it’s fear of judgement or just insecurity in general. I haven’t posted more than a few photos all year. I used to love to post. I’m also going to write some letters which I also used to love to do but haven’t done for half a year. Plus blogging, if only for myself. The main thing is I have to keep my spirits up. Not go down a deep, dark rabbit hole. Hopefully reconnecting on here will help!

It’s been a busy few weeks. To make a long story a bit shorter, on July 11th hubby went back to the oncologist and found out he DOESN’T have cancer! I have a feeling the doctor doesn’t give that news very often. The tests that were run showed he doesn’t have the JAK2 gene that is the marker for Polycythemia Vera. His blood was in acceptable ranges so he didn’t need to have blood taken out. His C/T scans came back normal. All organs are of normal size with no tumors. Greg was pretty much convinced he had blood cancer. So was the doctor. I never really believed it. I thought it was denial but really it was faith. I can’t even imagine a life without my husband. It was happy news but also almost anti-climatic. After many SNAFUS with Merit, Greg finally went in for his sleep study on July 19th. The results go directly to his doctor so he’ll have to make an appt. to see Dr. Z again.


The next day Greg wanted to call his mother and tell her what had transpired. He hadn’t told any of his family because he didn’t want to worry them. His father had died of cancer and his eldest sister had 2 bouts with cancer. He knew his mother especially would take it hard. Right away on the phone, his mother sounded like she wasn’t as sharp as she had been. We hadn’t talked to her since Spring so it was more noticeable to us since we don’t see her every day. She’s 83, so I guess that’s bound to happen. After talking to her, Greg’s eldest sister calls us and says that she wants to make sure Greg’s ok. His mother had called her and scared her half to death with only part of the information. So after reassuring her, Greg felt the need to call his other sister and one of his brothers (Dan) to clear things up. On July 6th, his brother Dan had texted him and invited him to go to the oldies car show up in Iola, WI on Friday the 13th. He said yes even though at that time he didn’t know if he had cancer or not. It was to be a day with all 3 of his brothers. He was to get up at 3 am and drive up to his oldest brother’s in WI. Then he would drive the 2 of them up to Dan’s (who lives across from their mother) and then they’d stop in Green Bay and pick up Brian and head to the car show. I didn’t know how Greg could do it since he was so stressed out and he’d been training 2 people at work for the last few weeks, working extra hours.
Part of his reason to call his brother Dan on the 12th was to tell him he couldn’t go. That day our 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee (that he got in 2003) got a crack in the radiator while we were in rush hour traffic (4 pm) in Chicago. It had been overheating anytime we were stopped in traffic with the a/c on. It’d been in the 90’s which wasn’t helping. We’d been talking about getting a new vehicle for awhile but then decided to try to make this one last. Greg had put $4000 into it in the past few months: new brakes, new tires, new oil pan, new front end alignment, new floor mats, I can’t even think of it all. We took his vehicle to our local mechanic and he had to replace the entire radiator. That cost us $587 when we picked it up Sat. 
Friday while it was in the shop, we took my car (after getting a new battery) and went Jeep shopping. There are like 5 dealerships in the general vicinity. We went to Fields in Glenview first. It was an impressive dealership. There’s a waiting area with tv and couches like most have. Then there’s an area where there’s retro tables and a food court. They have a popcorn machine, coffee bar, soda in a cooler and they also serve ice cream and soft serve. I’m told there’s pizza there at times. We though it was nice but if it cost several thousand more for it, would it be worth it?! We found the vehicle we liked which is a 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee “Sterling Edition” in a granite crystal metallic with a lighter two tone interior. The only thing I didn’t care for was that it was a DEMO with 5,387 miles on it. The salesman told us that model was rare and they only had one other and it was a DEMO too. I didn’t believe him, I thought he was just saying that to sell us. We couldn’t agree on price and he let us leave without trying to keep us. A lot has changed in 15 years since we bought a vehicle! The salesmen used to keep you there at all costs and would ask all kinds of personal questions to find out about your life. That way they could sell you on different features of the car. This salesman asked us nothing. Now everything is done online. We researched online and the other dealers either admitted they didn’t have a Sterling Edition or they lied. We went to Sherman Jeep because the person on the phone told us up and down that they had that model. When we get there, they didn’t know what we were talking about. The place was so ghetto. It was dirty inside and just looked sketchy. The saleswoman we had could barely speak English and didn’t know her product. She went and got another guy and he knew even less. They said they’d find out what they did have and get back to us in a few minutes. We waited 20 minutes and no one ever came back so we left. We had an appt. to go up to Antioch, IL to look at a Sterling Edition on Sat. but then thought about it and wondered if it would be worth the hour drive to find out they lied and didn’t really have one. Just then, the salesman from Fields called and wanted us to come back in. We picked up our old Jeep and cleaned it out and then took it over there. With the trade in value, it brought the price to what we were willing to pay so we decided to go for it.
Putting out that kind of money makes me very nervous. I even said we’re a lot like the Clampetts (from the Beverly Hillbillies) with having such a fancy vehicle. We jumped like 3 generations of technology since we purchased a vehicle last. Everything is different starting with how to open the door. The auto feature on the fob to Greg’s old Jeep hadn’t worked in years and he had to unlock his side with the key and flip the lock button to open for me or the tailgate. The new one has keyless entry, keyless start (!!), satellite radio, no cd player (??), separate air conditioning controls for each side, the list goes on and on. 
We haven’t figured out how to do everything yet. The salesman (JW) seemed to rush us once he knew he had the money. He was supposed to wait in the car while we set up U-Connect. We had to call by pushing the button on the back of the rearview mirror. As soon as they answered, he left us. The operator was walking us through the registration but then came to the part where you go to your email and click on the link. Well, there was no email. I went inside the dealership looking for JW and couldn’t find him anywhere! I came back to the car and finally took his card out and texted him to come and help us! He finally showed up and then he said he had typed in our email address wrong. It’s 6 letters and he had added an extra b. He said he would take care of it “right away” but it would take a few days for the email to come. Well, we waited 8 days and finally on Sunday we went and sat in our driveway and called U-Connect again. They told Greg to go to Mopar.com and register from there. Then me and my big mouth (which comes in handy quite often) mentions that we called a week ago and were still waiting on the email. The operator confirmed that the email was wrong in their system and they had received nothing telling them to correct it. Within 18 hours they had sent a new email and by 24 hours later, Greg was signed up. I am more than a little irritated at JW but we have to go over there and deal with him again so don’t know if I want to lay into him or not. He was supposed to put a sticker on the windshield for “free carwashes for the life of the vehicle” at any Fields but of course, he didn’t. We also need him to show us some features like the parking assist, how to set the windshield wipers to be automatic when it starts to rain and how to turn off the radio! We’re stoked about the sunroof though. I think we’ll have fun figuring it out.
I pretty much ask myself every day, “Why does everything have to be so hard?”. THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.

Waiting For Answers

phleubotomy1I’ve always heard that things can change in a heartbeat. I’m sure I’ve noticed that to be true over the years. Never more than right now though. On Thursday June 14th, Greg went for a checkup and routine blood tests at our primary care doctor. I went with him. The results weren’t going to be in for a few days and the doctor was going to be gone until Tues. He said he would call with results then. Finally at 3 pm, the doctor called and said his red blood cell count was abnormally high. The doctor asked if he could get to the hospital in the next half hour. He works an hour away and it was rush hour so he said no. The doctor gave him the number of an oncologist and told him to call immediately for an appt. the next day.

He got an appt. for Wed. June 20th at 10:30 am. It was the day before our anniversary. Even though I was sick with a bad cold (when am I ever not sick?!), I went with him. There was no way I was going to let him go alone. I had to wear a mask in the hospital which made me feel like I was suffocating since I already couldn’t breathe. They did some more blood tests and then he saw the hematologist specialist. The doctor said he was running tests and would know more down the line. He said it could be blood cancer but to wait and see what the tests showed. With the increased red blood cells, the blood is thicker so he’s not getting enough oxygen. If not kept in check, there’s a chance of stroke or heart attack. The only way to reduce the red blood cell count is to have blood drawn (phlebotomy). He said 500 cc’s to start (16.9 oz). It would be replaced with saline. It took an hour for that part but we were there a total of 3 hours. Everyone was very nice but it is weird to be in a room with several other people, most getting cancer treatments. It really makes you realize how prevalent cancer is. 

The doctor ordered a CT scan, with and without contrast to see if his spleen, liver or kidneys are affected. The appt. for that is Wed. June 27th at 6:30 pm. He has to drink 2 bottles of solution, one 3 hours before the appt. and one an hour before. Then they’ll be injecting him with some dye for more xrays. His next appt. with the specialist is Wed. July 11th. The doctor won’t be around the week of the holiday so we have to wait a bit longer. At that time we should finally get some answers. Until then, we’ve been keeping positive and just handling it like we do everything else—together. 

Due to the weather, circumstances and how I’ve been feeling, I haven’t been in the mood to blog for MONTHS. In fact, I was to the point where I was seriously wondering if I would ever return to it. It felt foreign, unnecessary and ridiculous for me to blog anymore. Yes, I can’t believe it myself. I’m the one who always said, “No matter who quits blogging, I will always be here. You can count on it. I’ll be doing this as long as I live, hopefully into old age.” In a world where EVERYTHING is being shared on social media, I don’t feel like sharing ANYTHING. Mostly because I’m convinced no one cares. The blogs I followed and left feedback on (aka: the people I felt I was “friends with”), would cease to exist, often without any fanfare. They would just be gone one day. Either the blogger never returned or more likely, they wiped every trace of a blog that they had religiously wrote on for many years. They didn’t give a second thought to their readers or even said goodbye.

I have pretty much disconnected from everyone I’ve ever known. I had a few remnants of friendship from my postal job which I have discarded. My so-called distant relatives have scurried into the dark crevices, my husband’s family we seldom hear from, the list goes on. My husband is able to cut through the crap and figure things out in a quick manner. He immediately knows why we don’t hear from people— BECAUSE THEY DON’T NEED ANYTHING FROM US. As soon as they do, they will waste no time getting ahold of us. Who wants that kind of relationship where there is no mutual admiration or enjoyment of being together, it’s all about WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME?! Sigh.
I feel the same thing happening on Instagram. Unless you have a lot of followers, people don’t want to bother with you. Unless you can be shelling out constant compliments and attention their way, they have no use for you. A friend I had from slams recently gave up the Internet. She’s no longer online and doesn’t have a cellphone. She’s older (65) and doesn’t seem to miss it. I thought long and hard and realized I could easily go back to being without both (except for selling online). I don’t feel I get that much out of it and it keeps me from experiencing what’s going on right under my nose. My husband would never go along with it so I may as well keep it.
I’ve always been terrible at “following through” with things. As a child, if I started a diary, I would lose interest and it would end up mostly blank. The same goes for “journaling” as a young adult. Maybe one or two entries and I would “forget” or just no longer feel I had time for it. This is one reason I never got into “planners”. They’re a current fad that is extremely attractive to me. I love anything to do with paper and creativity. However, I would bet everything I own that I could not stick to it. Apparently, this is a fatal character flaw. 
So I wrote this post up to this point a month ago. I didn’t publish it, I published about the dog attack instead. I let this sit and see if It still held true. It does. Also I have to say how everything seems like too much effort for me anymore: writing emails, blog posts, commenting on Instagram posts, answering the phone, taking pictures, posting to Instagram, cooking, etc. These are all things I LOVED. Now it’s like pulling teeth to do any of them. I’m back in a funk. Or maybe I never left. This is the first year we haven’t had a garden. I couldn’t get excited about even going to pick out the plants (which was always my favorite part), let alone planting them in the ground and watering them. EFFORT. Not sure how to get out of this. Maybe the solution is to force myself to do things. Fake it ’til you make it type of thing. I’m not a good faker though. Never was. I guess it’s something to aspire to…