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…

Today is Mother’s Day. I don’t have children or a mother (anymore) but I do have 3 dogs that are my world. My husband is working today so I took the dogs for a walk this morning like I do every single day. Something so traumatic happened, I’m still in shock. On the way back, less than a block from home, my dogs were attacked by 2 giant dogs. One was a Newfoundland and the other was just as big but yellow and short haired. Mine weigh 75 lbs. combined. These 2 were probably 100 to 125 lbs. each. An older man and woman had them on retractable leashes. They saw us about the time I saw them. They had just made it to the corner (passing some bushes and come into view) and I was just past the door of the corner house.

It was like in slow motion. Their dogs saw us and started pulling towards us. I saw the one leash in each of their hands. The dogs were getting closer and closer but I assumed they would pull them back while still a few feet away. I stood still as if frozen. The dogs kept coming and I saw the husband and wife “let go” of each of the leashes and the dogs charged us. It was frightening. I just screamed in a high pitch for what felt like 5 minutes but was probably 1minute until they had regained control of their dogs. I didn’t know what to do. Amber. my Shiba Inu, was laying on the ground to my side and the Newfoundland had his jaws over her back. He could almost fit her in his mouth. Ivy and Elvis were behind me and on the other side of me. I couldn’t watch it all or see what all was happening. I was holding tight to their leashes.

If I hadn’t had 3 dogs, I would’ve picked up one of the dogs and held them out of harms way. If the owners hadn’t been there, I would’ve kicked the attacking dogs away. When they finally pulled their dogs back, I lit into them. First I wanted to know their name and address in case there was some injury to the dogs. They only told me their house address, no name. I said, “I don’t know how you could let go of BOTH leashes. I’ve never had that happen before where we were charged by 2 dogs.”  Our neighborhood is FULL of dogs, everybody has at least one, two or three. Once when we were walking, a rottweiler came charging up to us but it just growled and the owner came racing up to get it. This time there was no growling, they just came to fight. I told the couple that our dogs get along well with all the other dogs. This couple never apologized once and all the woman would say was, “I understand” like 6 times to what I had said. She was obviously trying to placate me. When their dog released Amber, she cried out like 3 times in pain which she never does. I could see in her fur where the teeth had been. My other 2 gave as good as they got. Elvis had drool hanging from his mouth which I’ve never seen before. Then he started wagging his tail and growling. I told the woman that I was most afraid of the bad experience of being charged affecting them in the future when they meet dogs. “I understand.” Their big yellow dog had a bite mark on his front leg and she was carrying on about it. I didn’t apologize because, “My dogs were just defending themselves.” “I understand.” Finally we left.

I came home and called Greg to let him know what happened. I checked over the dogs and so far so good. I have been shook up all day. Now I will have to alter our walks so we don’t go anywhere near those 2 vicious dogs. Although we were closer to our home than theirs. They look like big lumbering giants but no dog likes to be run up on in an aggressive manner. I just hope the dogs don’t get mentally scarred by the event.

Now I’ve got to run to the grocery store for a special Mother’s Day sale. I’m going to get my first copy of Flea Market Style. I mean Dog Bite Monthly. Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂

A week ago we found out that our doctor of 20 years passed away. This is who I referred to on my blog as Dr. J but I guess I can just call him Dr. James now. My husband had gone to Dr. Z (who was a friend of Dr. James) on Thurs. Jan. 24th. He had been put on Farxiga and the doctor wanted him to call him on Monday and let him know how he felt. Dr. Z had told him on that Thurs. that Dr. James wasn’t doing well. That he’d gotten pneumonia on top of all his other health problems and tried to treat it at home. He ended up in the hospital and was intubated. I told Greg when he called Dr. Z to find out which hospital Dr. James was at so we could go visit him.

We never made it that far because we found out he had already died on Sat. Jan. 26th. Greg texted me and the only obituary I could find was on his wife’s Facebook page. We decided to go to the visitation on Wed. Jan. 30th. Just to honor him and his life. I made a card on the computer, wrote a letter to his wife about what he meant to us, included a poem and an antique rosary. It was pretty awkward at the funeral home but we were able to pay our respects, sign the registry and leave the card. I will never get used to seeing anyone in a coffin. I don’t care how good the makeup is, they never look the same as they did when alive. Usually the makeup is on so thick and they look dead. I find the whole business of funerals upsetting and unnecessary. If you treat people right when they alive, you don’t need to glorify them when deceased. They say funerals are for the living, not the dead. I guess that’s true.
Dr. James was a big part of our lives and a part of our family. We knew a lot about him and his life because he socialized FOR HOURS with his patients. He was from Scranton, PA, had 2 sons from his first marriage. Raised Belgian Tervuren dogs and competed in dog shows. Met his last wife who is also a doctor when he started at Gottlieb hospital. He played the guitar and owned an RV. We will miss him terribly. I haven’t been able to get him off my mind or the fact that he was so young. Only 61 years old! He would’ve turned 62 at the end of this month. He was forced into retirement from ill health but never got to enjoy retirement. He’s only 5 years older than Greg and 6 1/2 year older than me. To think that one of us could be dead in such a short time is unthinkable. To work all your life, saving up for retirement, only to never reap the benefits.
So as I said last post, I haven’t been in a mood all year. Not a good mood either. This didn’t help it. We went out to estate sales this past weekend and they were TERRIBLE. Saturday was the worst. Went to 4 sales and spent a total of $1. I know part of it is the time of year but it just makes me out of sorts. On Friday, at one of the sales, Greg overheard that someone we know who runs an estate sale company had died. He didn’t think it was true. I looked it up online and sure enough, Kathy Petricca had passed SUDDENLY on Jan. 13th. It was really shocking since she was only 69 years old. She seemed in good health. I know she’d had her knees replaced and her hip too but was doing well. I knew Kathy because she always gave us good deals when we bought from her. She was from Wisconsin like us and she had a mother the same age as mine. I found this out when I bought a big bag of clothes from her for Mom and she charged me $1 per piece. Her mother had dementia too and passed away one year before mine. She had told me the story of her mom’s passing and when mine passed, she was one of the first people I told because I knew she could relate. We found out too late to go to her funeral but it’s still took us off guard. 69 doesn’t seem that old either…
The next thing that shocked me was finding out that someone else who runs estate sales is transgender. On Friday we went to a sale run by Brad. He’s always looked pretty much the same. About a year ago we noticed he had grown his hair long. Nowdays, I just don’t think anything of that on a man. Then awhile back he started wearing makeup and nail polish. None of that really phases me. I did joke to Greg, “Should I ask when his transition will be complete?” I would never ask someone that since it’s a lot like asking someone “When is the baby due?” and finding out they’re not pregnant. So I did some research online and found out he IS transitioning. He has 2 Facebook pages and goes by the name Cheryll now. I found out he’s (she’s? they’s?) my age which surprised me since I would’ve guessed 10 years younger. He also didn’t “come out” as trans until age 52. He has 2 kids, one in college, one in high school and a wife he is now divorced from. He has a girlfriend and seems to be very happy. I’m not going to treat him any differently but can empathize with all he’s had to go through to become who he wants to be. It sounds like a lot of work. 
My husband says I’m easily shocked. Things happen and stay with me for a long time. I don’t need anything else to happen to give me cause for more deep thoughts. My mind is cluttered enough as it is.

A Cow Among Sheep

I’m in a mood. I’ve been in a mood the whole month of January but that’s a whole other thing. I’m usually late to the party when there’s drama in social media. Last night was no exception. I saw on IG references to an “Instagram Movement” to “get real”. Apparently, this has been a thing for upwards of a week. A couple of big “influencers” decided it was time to take a stand. They JUST realized that social media can be harmful. That “comparison is the thief of joy”. They had no idea that the perfect homes they show on IG for everyone to ooh and ah over are unrealistic to achieve and maintain. Everything’s WHITE–the walls, furniture, rugs, pillows, etc. What was your first clue?! Most humans have either dogs or children which makes white rooms a waking nightmare. 

All the “influencers” (I kind of hate that word. It should be brainwashers.) are trying to point out (while sobbing) that their lives aren’t the perfection that they portray. I thought it was OBVIOUS and widely known that pretty much people post the best parts of their lives. They only take selfies when they are fully made up and looking their best. They post their kids in new, clean clothes while standing well behaved. They only show their house when decorated for a specific holiday or when they “restyle” an area or get something new. So now they acknowledge they may be hurting people by portraying only the good. That it makes others feel that they can’t compete. That everything they have or are will never be enough. 
The fact that no one woke up to this fact until bloggers or DIYers decide to make it a “thing” kind of floors me. Also how everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and wanting to have their say about it. It reminds me of the #metoo movement. I’m not trying to minimize the importance of woman coming forward or speaking up when they’ve been treated badly or sexually assaulted. Quite the opposite. I think people should take steps to protect themselves by any means necessary. But what about all the women who came forward over the years and weren’t listened to?! Reported things and were dismissed. THOSE are the true heroes! Can you imagine the blow to your self worth to not be taken seriously? Especially when you’re the only one. It takes a lot less guts to stand up in a room full of like minded people than to stand up in the general public. It’s kind of why Weight Watchers works. You’re in a room with a bunch of fat people (or formerly fat) who know EXACTLY what you’re going through. When you speak they can relate. You’re not in a room with a bunch of thin men and women who are judging you before you open your mouth. Personally, I think it minimizes the individual and their story by waiting until everyone else comes out with their abuse story to tell yours. Sure, I can understand that the climate has changed and talking about it is more accepted. But it seems to be almost a fad or trend to come out of the woodwork after 20, 30 or 40 years and make disparaging statements against men.
First off, I’m not defending the men. I do believe the majority of the men did those things. I also think that   human nature exists in a way that there are people alive who will use the #metoo movement as a way to exact revenge and make things up. Not a majority but a few. One person being falsely accused is no better than a man who sexually harasses women. Now getting back to the passage of time, perspectives change over decades. I’ve seen it in things that I’ve written when I go back years later. I just feel that women should speak out and up when things happen or tell it on your blog. 
I bet every single woman has been sexually harassed by someone. Even I was at work years ago. I would never dream about coming out all these years later and making it known to embarrass this man. He was an indirect coworker and we were friendly. He wasn’t my boss. He was married and had a small child. He was a serial cheater. He was having an affair with different women at work all the time (usually from other areas of the building) and he also went to swingers parties and sex clubs. I was engaged to my husband at the time. At the time, I had lost weight and this man started showering me with compliments and attention. I was flattered but then he got aggressive. He pursued me relentlessly. We worked nights and he kept asking me to go to a motel with him after work. He made all kinds of sexual comments and hit on me every day. I thought he was joking at first because I was naive. Then it got worse and he wouldn’t stop. It made me so uncomfortable. I told him to knock it off. He still wouldn’t stop. It was stressing me out and I told him not to talk like that to me anymore. He wouldn’t listen. I told a male friend that we both knew to have a talk with him and let him know that if he didn’t stop saying those vulgar things to me, I would have to report him to the supervisor. The male friend said, “Why do you want to get the guy in trouble?” So I understand how it works. I chalked it up to the guy having problems. Lots and lots of them. I also know that as adult women (children being preyed on is always off limits), we have to not take shit from people. We’re taught to be nice and treat people with respect but they have to respect us, too. I want to see more women speak up to men that are mistreating them. Not be afraid of losing their job. There really are a lot of jobs out there and if saying NO to a man makes you lose yours, do you really want a job where sex is part of the job?! I would not want to be a man in today’s climate. It’s a lot like being a cop in today’s climate. Most of the cops are great but the ones that are corrupt, ruin it for the others. 
I have gotten so far off on a tangent that it’s hard to get back to my point. I don’t feel like riding the bandwagon of “what’s popular” is good for anybody. The gates open up and the sheep file out following the leaders. They are led from their pasture into unknown environments like small towns and big cities. You see a giant herd of sheep and you wonder what they’re doing there. They look out of place but they’re taking over. Pretty soon there is shit everywhere. You can’t walk a step without going knee deep in animal waste. Cars are unable to pass on the roadways. They are being dented and pushed out of the way. Nothing matters but that the sheep stay in a group and are led to their destination. Will they find their way back to the pasture or will they all end up at the slaughterhouse?
In the above scenario, I am a cow among sheep. I am left in the pasture when the sheep leave. I don’t fit in with them. I have never fit in and it has been a great source of lamentation for me. Finally, I had the great revelation that the reason I don’t fit in is because I DON’T WANT TO. I say I do but I can’t be like everyone else. I’ve tried and it is not meant to be. All over social media is the saying, “You do YOU!” which I believe in wholeheartedly. I guess I will start the #notme movement of one.

A New Focus

2017 would have to be defined as the year of being unfocused. At least for me. I was going to title this post that word but I’m trying to be more positive. I have a lot of goals for the year but haven’t written out the several pages long to-do list I had dreamed about all last year. I know it will happen in time. Writing it is one thing, actively completing it is another. Last year was kind of a whirlwind towards the end. We spent 15 nights in Tunica, MS in November and 10 nights there in December. None of them with wifi and our limited data dries up within 1 day after a new month starts. We’ll be home for several months in a row now so hopefully I can make a dent in things that have piled up and are ready to avalanche down on me.

We came home Saturday December 30th which was 2 days earlier than planned. The entire country has been blanketed in record breaking cold temperatures and Mississippi was no exception. Our water in the  RV froze up and it took hubby bringing in the hoses to thaw and using a blow dryer to get things moving again. Then we left a faucet drip until we left when we had to winterize for the end of the season. It was expected to be colder still over New Year’s Eve plus snow so we didn’t want to take the chance of staying and having trouble getting back. 
We got back late on Sat. and found a few inches of water sitting in our kitchen sink. This is odd since we always turn the water off to the entire house year round when we go away. Just to keep anything truly tragic from happening like a burst pipe. Well, there was no water in the sink when we left so we couldn’t figure out what happened. We assumed the pipe was frozen as it it against an outside wall and we’ve run across that before. I tried running boiling water down it several times which did nada. Hubby has worked on various plumbing here in the past so said he would work on it New Year’s Day. I told him I would help him and maybe he’d want to start it on New Year’s Eve? No, he didn’t. Well, he thought it must be plugged in the pipe in the basement where there is a large access he can open. It had clogged here a few years back and so he opened up pipes in 2 places and then dropped the clip that holds the access shut down the pipe. Oh joy. I wish I could’ve teleported elsewhere because the yelling and swearing was over and above what I can tolerate. Surprisingly, Ace Hardware was open on New Year’s Day so he went to get a replacement clip. Of course, they didn’t have the same thing so he got what they did have which didn’t fit. He also got a hose. See, besides a couple of “snakes” to unclog pipes, he has a device that attaches to a hose and you use the pressure of water to unclog pipes. First, he brought the filthy, frozen hose in from outside. I had convinced him to leave them out there attached to the rain barrels because sometimes we’ve had flooding rains in January and I want something to catch them if we did get them. So he brought the filthy hose in, tracking frozen mud and snow everywhere as he came through the kitchen. He wanted it taken in the basement so I volunteered to take it down so nothing else would get broken. One of my Virgin Mary photos was knocked off the wall. I got it downstairs and he realized the hose won’t fit on the basement sink faucet. So he had to try to hook it up outside. The water has been shut off outside since early Nov. So I had to move a ton of things so he could get to the water shut off and turn it back on. Of course, it’s zero degrees outside with a windchill of 20 below zero. There is no way the water is going to come on. So then he comes home with a new hose that still won’t connect to anything. I CAN’T EVEN.
Then hubby takes all the pipes under the kitchen sink apart. The water still won’t go down. It has got to be a grease clog. I don’t put grease down there, I always put it down the toilet or in a soup can. But I guess the rinsing of dishes could do it. Anyway, before he can get to under the sink, I have to take everything out from under there. Like 4 tubs full of cans and bottles of shit. Cleaning supplies, bug killers, too numerous to mention. These are all sitting on the floor in front of my stove and toaster. Since we got home, he has tried 2 different toilet plungers in the kitchen sink with no luck. Just the idea of having the toilet plunger in the kitchen makes me feel like heaving. Obviously, when all is done, I will be scrubbing that sink multiple times like I was going to do surgery in there. He tries putting the snake in there and gets some blackness out. Under the sink is now a disgusting mess. He is worn out and has to go to work the next day. Now things have to sit as is until Friday when he has a day off. So I’m taking dishes down to the bathroom sink to rinse them. I could clean under the sink but I know he will get it looking dirty again so I’m just going to wait. Same with the kitchen floor and everything else. 
I was going to wait until he had everything back to normal downstairs before tackling laundry. But we have so much from being gone that I started today anyway. I can’t really do cooking like I planned but we’ve gotten some good deals on food since we got back. Hubby will be grilling out in this freezing weather since he’s left my kitchen in a shambles. Hopefully, by this weekend, things will be back to normal. I can adapt and adjust to just about anything but his frustration level is off the charts. I support him wanting to do things himself around the house and am willing to help but I’m too sensitive a soul to bear the brunt when things go wrong. Enough said.
Since I haven’t blogged for 2 months and I was behind updating then, I have even more to fill you in on. This will have to do as a first step. I am going to have to ease back into writing since I’m so out of practice. I hope 2018 is full of good things for you and no plumbing woes.


Today is one year since my mom died. It seems like I should do a post about the significance of this milestone. I honestly don’t know what to say. I should have been thinking about it for some time and planning it out. Greg and I have been mentioning it to each other almost every day. Instead of grieving though, we have been living. 

Thinking where I was emotionally a year ago to how I’m doing now is nothing short of miraculous. I had spent so much time with my mother in my lifetime, that life without her was unfathomable. I didn’t see how I could handle being alone. Luckily, I’m not alone. I have the best husband in the world. Needless to say, when he’s at work, I’ve had to be alone. Of course, we’ve got 3 dogs so alone is a relative term. I have come to realize there are a lot worse things than being alone. I even relish some time alone now. You’d think having time to myself would motivate me to write blog posts, list things for sale online, write emails to people I’ve lost touch with, make phone calls, post pictures to Instagram, etc. None of this is happening. I don’t know why. When I’m with my hubby, I am active and almost bubbly. When alone, I tend to gravitate to the boob tube (tv). Sure, I’ve got lots recorded on Directv to catch up on from when we were gone. But that’s no excuse to not have goals or things you want to get done every day. 
I’m not completely sedentary. I still walk the dogs every single day, rain or shine. I do laundry, load the dishwasher, minimal cleaning, regular hygiene. As far as striving to attain or accomplish anything, it’s not happening. Maybe part of it is I no longer have anyone to tell when something good happens. I used to love to share everything with Mom, the good and the bad in my life. I know I’m not depressed like I was after she passed away. 
I have come so far and yet I feel like I still have more unseen healing to do to get back to myself. I asked hubby when he felt like he recovered from Mom’s death and he said, “I’ll let you know.” Today he sent me an email with tons of pictures of Mom in it. It didn’t make me cry, it made me happy to see her smiling face. I don’t feel sorry for myself anymore but I had a moment the other night. I asked Greg, “Do you think Mom misses me?” He said, “Of course she does!” I still miss her every day but in a good way. The other night I got to thinking about how we both would start laughing hysterically if we saw the other one laughing. There didn’t even need to be anything funny. It was just a contagious thing that felt good. 
I realize this post is “all about me” instead of honoring her. She is the wind beneath my wings and I want to make her proud again. I recently heard the Ed Sheehan song, “Supermarket Flowers” for the first time. It made my cry but it made me realize she really lived her life. I could live to her age but not have gone through half of what she did. She had no regrets and did everything she wanted to. The lyrics “A life with love is a life that’s been lived” and “A heart that’s broke is a heart that’s been loved” ring true. “You were an angel in the shape of my mum. You got to see the person I have become. Spread your wings and I know that when God took you back he said Hallelujah You’re home.” 

On A Dead Run

We’ve been on a dead run for the past month! I haven’t had any time to write but I want to fit it all in. I’ve decided to split things up so this doesn’t break the record for longest blog post ever. Wednesday Oct. 4th, we went to an Octoberfest party outdoors. The weather was unseasonably warm (70’s) and we were able to attend in shorts. It was put on by a Lufthansa Cargo that hubby dealt with when he worked at O’Hare. He no longer sees them since moving to Midway. They were nice enough to invite us. I knew no one and hubby only knew a few people. He’s not shy and went up to all the tables asking who they were with and telling them who he was. There wasn’t a huge amount of people there anyway. It started at 4:30 pm but they told him to get there at 6 pm when they started serving food.

They served everything German like bratwurst, sauerkraut, coleslaw, pretzels, beer, etc. When you first get there, they put a wristband on you. We were given a large plastic beer glass and got it filled with Paulaner beer. It was delicious! It has been months and months and months since I had any type of alcoholic drink. Of course, I went overboard and had 4. Ugh. Starting out on an empty stomach is never a good idea. The only thing I regret more than drinking that much was putting on the flashlight on my iPhone to see the inside of the porta-potty. Yikes! We stayed until about 10 pm and we were one of the last ones there. People were either leaving early since they had to work the next day or because they were going out elsewhere after the party.
There was a 2 man “Oompa Loompa Band” that played on the stage under the tent but they also were strolling musicians. They were older and really good. One played the accordion and the other a small tuba. The accordion fella also played the bells and they both played some German long horns that must’ve been 10 feet long. As the night wore on, they played more songs we knew. At the end of the night, they played my theme song, “The Too Fat Polka”. My mom had an album of Frankie Yankovic greatest hits and I used to play it a lot as a kid. That song seemed so hurtful and cruel then. Now I find it hilarious! When they started playing it, I ran up by the stage, filmed them and was singing along with it. I don’t sing EVER, especially not in public. I won’t do karaoke no matter how much I’ve had to drink. Yet here I was singing, “I don’t want her, you can have her, she’s too fat for me, she’s too fat for me, she’s too fat for me…” I’d be embarrassed if I hadn’t had so much fun… 😉
One thing I realized for sure is that Greg and I don’t need anyone else to have a good time. We enjoy each other’s company beyond words. We can have a good time, anywhere and anytime, as long as we’re together. We share memories, stories and so many laughs. This was a great way to start off a month of events that has kept us busier than a moth in a mitten!