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Posts Tagged ‘#birthday’

Today I turn 55. Birthdays are usually a let down but not this year. Maybe it’s because of what I’ve been through this past year, that I had no expectations. Instead of dwelling on only getting a few cards, I am happy to be alive. To be able to move my body around freely of my own volition and let my mind wander wherever it desires. To spend the day alone while hubby is at work would’ve at one time made me sad. Except that is my new reality. I’m home alone while he’s at work 5 days a week. But it’s not a bad thing. I have 3 wonderful dogs as my constant companions. I get to take them on a walk every day and get fresh air and be among nature.

I have no idea where the metamorphosis came from. I have been weaning off of the antidepressant Lexapro (generic) and only have 3 nights left of taking half a pill (5 mg.) and then I’m done. I feel so good about it. It served its purpose but I want to experience life fully without being numbed out. After all these years of disliking myself, I am finally starting to accept myself. I always wanted to be perfect which is impossible to achieve. Now I’ve accepted that I’m not perfect and am ok as I am. Even if I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, I’m fine with it. I’m starting to like myself which I never thought would happen.

Today is 9 months since Mom passed away. When I mentioned this to Greg, he said, “Then she died on the (anniversary of the) day you were conceived.” I told him no, since I was 2 weeks late. Even before I was born, I didn’t want to leave my mother. If I could have one wish today, it would be to have her with me. I’m not sad though because I still remember her being here and all we shared. Even though Greg saw us together for almost 31 1/2 years, I don’t think even he knows the extent of the bond I had with my mother. We had so many “inside jokes” and sayings only we said to each other. I think I’ve mentioned it before. We used to both say, “You’ve got so many nice things” and the other person would answer, “I’ve got you!” It always put a smile on our faces and made us feel loved. I’ve told Greg about this and he’s heard us say it. Yet sometimes I say that to him and he just says, “Yes, I do.” For the life of him, he won’t answer as she used to. Mom also used to call me Kitty which I miss terribly. She hadn’t called me that for a few years when she died but she’d called me that most of my life. Greg used to call me that occasionally when he’d hear Mom call me that. Now he won’t call me that at all. I’m not complaining, just missing the connection Mom and I had that no one on earth can replicate.

I had mentioned wanting to go to a Hawaiian themed restaurant since I’ve never been. It does look pretty corny though. Hubby would rather go to the casino buffet so that is where we’re going tonight to celebrate. Mondays are 25% off too. I’m sure I’ll find something good to eat. I’ve been working hard on losing weight, even starting using the exercise bike on the days he’s at work. I started at 10 minutes and I’m up to 21 minutes a day. Hubby brought home a strawberry coffee cake from the bakery at work plus some brownies for me. The thought was nice but I have to watch it and only have 1 piece a day and not go hog wild. I don’t want to undo all my good work. I had wanted to do some baking which I sorely miss. But now that he’s bought the baked goods, I have no need. I don’t think he realizes how much joy I get out of baking.

Gardening was one of my mom’s passions. That and sewing. She could grow any type of plant and spent a ton of time weeding for me. Up until she was 88 years old, she worked in the yard every day. I think it’s what kept her young. She babied me and spoiled me and I never had to weed while she was around because she kept everything neat as a pin. Now I’m taking to weeding with a new relish. I think of her every time I do it and it brings me joy. Instead of thinking of it as work, I think of it as something that makes me feel close to her.

I’ve mentioned before we don’t do cards or presents. Especially since we get presents anytime we want when out treasure hunting at estate sales. Friday Aug. 4th we had our whole day mapped out. Sometimes we start near us and go farther out as the day goes on. This time, we started far out in Hoffman Estates, IL. We went tot he first sale and got there a little early. While waiting, a closer parking spot came up and Greg went to start the Jeep and nothing. The same electrical problem that’s been plaguing it on and off for a few years was back. This time it wouldn’t start at all and the gages were flying around. The back window went down on its own and the doors wouldn’t lock. We went into the sale, bought a few things, came out and tried starting it again. No luck. So we called AAA and had it towed to a dealership a mile away in Schaumburg, IL. We’d never been to Ziegler Chryster Dodge Jeep before. They said they didn’t think they could fix it for a few days. They wouldn’t give us a ride home since it was more than 5 miles away. I offered to give them $20 to take us home. They wouldn’t give us a loaner, it would be $35 a day. Then the guy writing up our order said, “Why don’t you call an Uber?” I told him that to me that’s like hitchhiking. I just never wanted to do it. It’s like meeting someone on Craiglist. I don’t want to be murdered, robbed or raped. We told him we wanted to see a salesman while there to see about a new car. He set us up with a guy that was a terrible salesman. Greg test drove a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. I call it The Overlord because it just suits it better. It has literally everything you could want and don’t need in a vehicle. It’s so fancy and pretty and expensive. He told us list price was $48,000 and after incentives it would be $46,000. Online they list incentives bringing it down to $40,000 and lower with trade in. I know we’d never buy from that dealership in any case.

Since we had to get home somehow, I downloaded the app and signed up for Uber. I expected a young kid to pick us up but it was an older retired guy. It was $25+ and went fine. The worst part was we had to take everything we’d boughten out of our Jeep since they couldn’t lock the vehicle. It was also raining and we got them to put a piece of plastic over the half open window in the backseat. We got home and were both anxious and upset and we ended up arguing over stupid stuff. The day was basically ruined. We heard back from the dealership that is was fixed at 5 pm but they wanted to let it sit for an hour and a half to check it again and make sure it worked. It cost $381 which is worth it if it truly is fixed. We went at 7 pm to pick it up, I drove Greg over in my car and then followed him home again. We had to wait while they gave it a free car wash which they could’ve done before we got there.

Sat. we surpassed our record and hit 10 estate sales in a single day. It sounds better than it is. It wasn’t that much fun because the sales weren’t good ones. The first 6, we spent a total of $1.50! 50 cents for a washcloth at one and $1 for a masonic bible at another. It was discouraging. Then we hit one that had silverware for Greg to use making jewelry and wind chimes. Plus I found a few books and ephemera. It’s actually more fun going to only 2 or 3 awesome sales that are “digs” than it is to go to a bunch of mediocre ones that don’t have much. For my birthday, I want to go to the flea market in Elkhorn, WI next Sunday. It’s only held 4 times a year, I think. We’ve never gone because it is a distance and Greg works on Sundays. I just want to go once to see what it’s like.

2 weeks ago, my car got a nail in the passenger side rear tire. Greg drives it to work on Sundays and he must’ve picked it up then. We took it to our local mechanic and he kept it overnight and then we picked it up the next day. It was $20 cash and I was happy to pay it and have it over with.

I will try to catch you up on everything in my next post. Thank you for being there and following me through the years. God bless!

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I’ve been so absorbed in social media lately and yet I haven’t wanted to get on here and blog. Like sitting for hours and watching Instagram Stories. I don’t know if I like them or not but they keep me coming back for more. I know it’s my dislike of the new laptop and the difficulty that arises from using it that keeps me at bay. Last blog post I published was on my iPhone which caused other problems but may be the way I have to post for awhile. The entire week I’ve been like a zombie since Greg started his new job on Monday. We’ve been getting up at least an hour earlier than we used to and going to bed an hour earlier but still don’t sleep well. At first it was the anxiety of the unknown but now it’s just going back to a 5 day work week after many years of a 4 day one. I’ve tried to keep my yap shut and keep the complaining down to a minimum. I’m really dreading winter for his travel to and from work. He also doesn’t have much to do which he knew would be the case but it’s still hard to go from being busy almost constantly to trying to find things to do.
Wed. Aug. 17th was hubby’s last day at his old job. They had a going away party for him with pizza. He was given an eagle trophy and a challenge coin for being at O’Hare airport for 12 1/2 years. One of his coworkers has a jet airplane chocolate mold so made treats for everyone. They turned out really cute! Now I want to make some. I’ll add it to the list of 5 million other things I want to do. Which I can squeeze in between the 3 thousand other things I’m already doing. Sigh…


I have an inordinate amount of things to tell so will shorten them beyond what I usually would. August 4th I got my hair cut short. It didn’t turn out to be as short as I wanted it. Or as short as the other 2 times. I like it but I can see how very soon it will be getting unruly because of the natural curl. I got 16″ cut off and the salon I went to no longer sends in the hair or gives a free hair cut. I wish they’d told me on the phone when I made the appt. It was no big deal though. The haircut was $25 & I gave her $30 with the tip. Then we took the rattail home and boxed it up and mailed it to Locks of Love. I had them notify me of receipt via email instead of mail since it takes so long. I already got the appreciation certificate whch was nice. Since Greg was off, he came along like last time to take pictures. It was so sweet and I told him not many men would do it. He said he didn’t mind since it was only once every 3-4 years! Ha ha.


Next step was getting my eyes examined. Lens Crafters had just gotten this Clarifye machine in 3 weeks before. It takes a snapshot of the eye and supposedly gives a more accurate exam. My eyes hadn’t changed that much but they are so bad (6.25 & 6.50) that I never feel like I can see good. Even now with supposedly 20/20, I can read things at a distance but it takes some time for my eyes to focus. One of the downfalls of getting older, I guess. I didn’t have as much trouble picking out glasses frames as last time. I tried on like 6 and narrowed them down from there. I had Greg take pics of me with them on plus Lens Crafters has an ipad like device that takes pics and you can put them all on a page and compare you wearing each of them. I really like my new ones. I’m surprised how much. They are Vogue brand and made in China. They had a 50% off lenses sale so the total for one pair came to $389. The machine that makes the glasses was broken so instead of an hour, they said they would take a day to make them. They weren’t ready the next day like they promised but I picked them up on Sat. Aug. 6th. They needed some adjustments and sent me on my way. Then I noticed something on the left lens near the nosepiece. It was like a piece of glue or something that wouldn’t come off. I didn’t want to take them back but they were so new. I figured I better. So I went on my birthday to Lens Crafters and the woman there at that time knew right away it wasn’t glue. It was a nick that the person adjusting had put in the lens! They had to remake the lens and I had to give them up, use my old pair and come back again the next night. So I was at Lens Crafters 4 times in 4 days. <eyeroll>


Sunday Aug. 7th (my actual birthday), we got pizza for the 2nd time this year and brought it home to eat. We got 2 since the 2nd was half off and there’d be leftovers. I never take pictures of the pizza but figured I would. I took the one pizza and then when I went to take a pic of the 2nd, it fell on the floor face down. Gah! It wasn’t as bad as it sounds but not ideal. 


For a special treat for my birthday, Greg took me to his office. I’d seen his 2 previous offices but not the current one which is SO NICE. It’s a new building and the cubes are HUGE. The size of a NYC apartment!! In Feb. he just moved to a window cube and has a lovely view too. If it were me, I wouldn’t be able to give it up! (Now at his new job, he has a much smaller cube with low walls. It’s also in front by the supervisor’s office where everyone has to walk by.) So that was really fun and then we went to this waterfall in Rosemont and walked around and took pictures. It’s a touristy thing to do but since we’re local, we never do it. 

In the past few weeks, I’ve made 4 batches of homemade spaghetti sauce. The tomatoes started coming in the very end of July which was about a week early. When I originally started this blog, I was thinking of making it all about cooking and recipes. I was far more into it 6 years ago than I am now. I still enjoy cooking but don’t have as much uninterrupted time as I used to. Plus Mom used to encourage me to make various dishes. She would tell me how delicious things were that I made and have 2nd helpings, etc. Now she still eats well but never tells me she likes something or to make it again, etc. If I ask her if she likes her dinner, she doesn’t answer. It’s hard to get enthused about cooking when the ones you lived to cook for don’t take any interest. Greg still likes my cooking but I don’t think it matters too much to him what I make.


The weekend of my birthday, Greg found a vintage formica kitchen table top at the curb. Someone had put it out for the garbage in our neighborhood. It was the best gift I could’ve gotten even though it was free. Or maybe because it was free?! I’ve wanted one for a long time. Never mind that our kitchen is not big enough for a kitchen table! I grew up with a kitchen table and dislike not having one. It didn’t matter that it had no legs, we knew we would figure something out. After much thought, I came up with the idea of using the vintage Singer treadle sewing machine base Greg got at an estate sale. It’s so beautiful and he had a piece of redwood fitted tot the top of it but not screwed down. He was going to treat the wood and now we have to find something else for the redwood to go onto. We are going to try to dismantle the loveseat in the sunroom and put the table in there. Ideally, we will remove our large couch in the LR that has been trashed for years and throw it away. Then put the loveseat from the sunroom in the LR. If it sounds confusing, that’s why we haven’t done it yet. It involves a lot of moving and lifting and making way to carry things. Plus the weather has been scorchingly hot and we try to avoid doing that type of thing in the heat.

The same weekend, we found an old ALL detergent metal bucket and 2 pieces of vintage enamelware. Two different size white pans in very good condition–one is round and the other about twice as big and oval. We haven’t had luck finding anything curbside in a long time even though our neighborhood usually throws out nicer stuff.


Sunday Aug. 21st was the only Sunday off hubby had this year since he was transitioning between jobs. So I decided it was high time we go to Vintage Garage Chicago. It is a once a month vintage market in Uptown Chicago (north of downtown). They set up in the first few levels of a parking ramp. It costs $5 to get in and you walk around and see everyone’s wares. We had to park several blocks away & I got a blister on my heel but otherwise it was fun. I doubt we’ll go again but I’m glad we went once. 

Hubby found 2 cool things there. The first was an aluminum P-38 box airplane from the 1940’s. It looks like a hood ornament but it’s not. There was a booth to get a free appraisal of a vintage item. They weren’t busy so I told Greg we should take the plane over there. We got a good laugh because we know more than they do. They had no clue & only knew how to search on eBay. I hate to brag but in this case I will. I know way too much about looking things up on eBay!! 😇

The other thing Greg got was a Weston voltmeter in its original wooden box! Inside the lid of the box is the paperwork dated 1912! So much fun to find something we’d never seen before & might never see again! I got 2 books & a small planter. I’m just not seeing the appeal in a lot these days…

Hubby smoked his first pork loin last weekend. He used cherry wood chips & it turned out great. The “bark” was kind of hard & hubby lost a filling eating it. 😩He had to go to the dentist even though he’d just been there for a cleaning 2 1/2 weeks ago. 😐 It’s been so blessed hot and HUMID, we’ve had the air on for like a month straight. I hate having it on for more than a few days but we’d die without it. I wonder what kind of winter we’ll have?! Sorry this shortened post turned out to be long. 😬 It’s been a crazy month! 😜

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The last few weeks have been hectic. Hubby got home from his week long training in Georgia the afternoon of Sat. March 28th. We had to get 2 gifts wrapped (not giftwrapped, just protectively boxed up for transport) and 2 cards made. While we were readying them, we got a phone call that Greg’s Aunt Aggie had passed away. She was only 78 and was always a favorite of both of ours. We were already going to WI the next day for his mother’s 80th birthday party. Now we were potentially going to a funeral a few days after that. As you can imagine, the entire week was just stress-filled. We fought on multiple occasions.

Last Rites Cross aka Vampire Kit

Last Rites Cross aka Vampire Kit

A lot of the stress comes from knowing we can only leave Mom for x amount of time. Preferably during daylight hours. The party was at 4 pm and it takes us between 90 min. and 2+ hours to travel each way. Depending on traffic and road construction. There was a huge detour which extended the time even more. We were at the party longer than we had planned–until 6:30 pm. Then we had to hurry and get home by a little after 8 pm. It went fine and was actually better than I could’ve hoped. We got to see Greg’s niece Katie’s new baby (10 day old Brynn) who is his Mom’s first great grandchild. Everyone took turns holding the baby while she slept like a doll. Everyone gives new parents things for the baby, we made a conscious decision to give to the parents instead. Some art that they can appreciate (or not). We gave his mom a Last Rites Cross. Made of wood, it hangs on the wall, opens up and holds candles and holy water. Greg calls it a Vampire Kit. His mom is a lifelong Catholic and loved it. She said her grandmother had had one just like it in her home.
Art By Haeger Pottery

Art By Haeger Pottery

Monday March 30th, we had an 8:30 am vet appt. for Ivy. She needed 2 vaccinations plus a blood test for heartworm. We had to bring in a fecal sample for testing as well. It costs a fortune but is worth it to not have to go back for a year. Tues. March 31st, Greg had his dental cleaning and needed a filling which he got on the spot. I had Mom’s bath that day. Wed. April 1st was Greg’s birthday and I had my dental cleaning at 10:00 am and we were leaving for the funeral by 3:30 pm. We got up to WI in time for some of the viewing of the body and the funeral service. They had a luncheon afterwards but it was already after 7 pm when the service was over. We didn’t want to stay another hour and get home so late to feed Mom dinner. So instead of eating, we drove home and all ate dinner around 9 pm. Not much of a birthday for Greg. We still  have yet to celebrate but I figure we’ve got a whole year to get around to it. Thurs. April 2nd, we had to take Elvis & Amber to the vet for their blood tests and fecal check. We didn’t find out until the following Monday that they’re all negative but it was a relief for sure.
4 Generations of Babes

4 Generations of Babes

Thurs. April 2nd we went to stock up on food at the fruit market and Sam’s Club. We also spent the weekend working on income taxes. We usually try to get them done and in before now. We’re cutting it too close to the April 15 deadline to suit me. But sometimes time doesn’t make it easy to fit it in. Friday we did a little treasure hunting and Sat. we went and got our lawn care items at Ace Hardware. The 4 step fertilizer for the grass, Grubex for the grubs and 10 bags of top soil on sale for 99 cents each.
I had so many veggies and they don’t stay fresh long. We had salad for dinner a few nights in a row. Then on Sunday April 5th I roasted several trays of them in the oven: brussel spouts, broccoli, garlic, green beans, kale, etc. We got another pork butt to roast in the 2 crockpots which is always great but that takes a whole day and then another day for clean up. I didn’t have time on Sunday if I was going to roast the veggies so I waited until Monday. Then Monday I was delayed almost 2 hours because Mom had a horrible case of diarrhea. I’m going to leave out the gory details (you’re welcome!) but we were both covered in it head to toe (don’t ask). Our clothes, our skin, the walls, the rug, the toilet, our hair, etc. I washed her hair and was going to get her in the tub when it happened again. I decided to just wash her all over with a washcloth so she didn’t have it in the tub. It was only a one day ordeal but not something I’d want to live through again. It makes the time she had it on vacation look like a cake walk.
The only picture I took of the shit hitting the fan.

The only picture I took of the shit hitting the fan…

That week I hadn’t been feeling good for several days myself. I’d been getting stomach cramps and a different type of diarrhea. Just what you wanted to read a blog post about! For the first time ever I skipped breakfast for 3 days straight. I had half of a small banana and that’s it. Then I skipped lunch for 2 days and resumed my usual sandwich and was fine. Of course, then my period came on and I had cramps of a different sort. The only thing I can think of that got me so sick was going to WI and seeing all the relatives. Everyone kisses (some on the lips) and hugs and for all I know some weren’t feeling well and didn’t let on. Greg’s around more people at his work and probably has more of an immune system built up than I do. I haven’t been this sick since I was 30. Then I had a week long bout of gastric distress that I actually went to the doctor for. I ended up coming down with the chicken pox 2 weeks later. I still think I caught it from the doctor’s office… I’ve made the effort to give up my beloved potato chips about a month or two ago. I thought it would make me feel so much better. I don’t feel any different!
This past weekend was not the greatest either. We stayed home on Thurs. April 9th because it stormed so badly. We were on pins and needles that our basement might flood again. Tornadoes hit about an hour north and west of us and left much devastation in their wake. Friday we did some treasure hunting and Greg is so thrilled that he found some old stackable metal milk crates that the dairies used back in the 1950’s. I found a beautiful Virgin Mary and baby Jesus surrounded by flowers. We hung it right away in our living room. Yesterday I roasted the last of the vegetables: mushrooms, zucchini and cauliflower. I love meat but I love vegetables even more. It wouldn’t be hard for me to become a vegetarian but why?! I don’t like to limit myself whether it’s the type of food I eat or the portions. That’s oviously something I can’t hide.
Madonna and child.

Madonna and child.

The weather is now consistently in the 60’s which seemed like it would never happen. The sunshine and nice temps have done wonders to improve my mood. Stop back again and I’ll fill you in our future projects: planting our garden, getting a new gas grill, building a pergola and laying patio brick on the side of the house. Enjoy your week and thanks for reading!

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At some point, without realizing it, I have quit living. Don’t get me wrong. I am still among the breathing souls on earth. My life has become one big circling of the drain. Not going down due to the drain being clogged and never making any progress. Just existing with massive amounts of frustration thrown in for good measure.

I pretty much self-reflect year round but it tends to happen more around my birthday. My birthday has come around again but instead of my usual pity party, I’ve become almost apathetic. That’s so not me. I am always filled with vast quantities of enthusiasm and hope. Almost naively so. It’s not even the repetition and routine of my daily life that has me feeling pointless.

No doubt caring for my 93 year old mother with Alzheimer’s has worn me down to a nub. I can go and go until suddenly I can’t anymore. It has all caught up with me. Tuesday is bath day for Mom and I usually pretty much leave that to be the priority for that day. I don’t try to do much more because it’s so exhausting for me. Yesterday was Tuesday Aug. 5th and I pushed myself too hard. I knew it while I was doing it but still did it anyway.

I got Mom up and fed and got her on the computer to play games while I paid some bills online. I get everything ready ahead of time. I bring downstairs: her comb, my razor, a scissors, a towel, her earplugs, etc. I lay out the clean clothes she’ll wear after the bath. I get out her towel, washcloth and bathbrush. I put the 2 plastic gripper bars on the tile above 2 sides of the bathtub. I get out the No More Tears shampoo and clear away around the kitchen sink. I pick up the area rugs on the kitchen floor.

I cut my fingernails and toenails and then I cut her fingernails. She protests and pulls away to look at each one after I do it. It takes a lot longer than it should. Then I have her go into the kitchen and sit in the chair. I comb her hair and then start cutting it. I cut it about once a month. I’ve gotten better at it over time. Mostly because I care less how it turns out. I was always afraid of cutting too much and making her look funny. Now I just cut away with abandon and it turns out fantastic. I guess that’s what real hairdressers do! Afterwards, I throw out the hair I’ve put in the kleenex on the counter and wash the comb. I use the razor on her chin hair and mustache. I trim her eyebrows. I get the water to just the right temperature. I tell her what I’m going to do before I do it. I tell her I’m going to take her hearing aids out and put in the ear plugs. They are attached to a string that hangs down. I tell her NOT to try tucking it into her pajama because it just pulls them out. Then I show her how to lean over the sink so she’s far enough over that the whole kitchen doesn’t get wet. I take her glasses off and put the earplugs in. She leans over and starts tucking the string in her pajama. My words and speech are repeatedly in vain all day long, every single day. What I say has no consequence and doesn’t matter. I guess I know there’s more at play like her inability to hear, comprehend or verbalize a reply. Most of the time, I can shrug off the feeling but sometimes I can’t help but take it personally. Rationally, I know it’s ridiculous but after yelling and getting myself worked up, I’m completely irrational. I get her hair wet and before I can reach for the shampoo bottle, she is yelling, “Ya done?” Not quite. So I lather up her hair, massaging her scalp. I rinse it really well and wring it out. Then place a towel over her head and guide her back to the seat a yard away.

I dry her hair with the towel and comb her hair. I put her hearing aids back in and her glasses back on. Then I tell  her to come upstairs and sit on her bed. I carry everything else back upstairs. She sits on the bed while I draw the bath. I have to keep checking on her so she doesn’t start putting the clean clothes on that are on the bed. I explain to her that she’ll have to use the toilet before getting into the tub or she’ll crap in the tub. She always says “but I don’t have to go”. I’ve learned to not listen to this EVER. I make her get on the toilet. I explain to her how to get in the bathtub. There’s only one way she can do it. She faces the wall with the window on it, holds the window ledge, lifts one leg in and then the other. She uses the grip bars and 1 side of the tub to lower herself onto her knees. Then she rolls onto her side and then onto her back. To get out she has to do the reverse. It should be simple but often she’ll forget how to get out or won’t listen to me and try to get out another way or just say “I can’t!” I put the lid down on the toilet and sit there and guide her through the bath. I have to tell her what body part to “wet” with the washcloth, then I squeeze liquid soap out of the bottle onto the washcloth for her and she washes said body part. Then I tell her to rinse it off with water. I have her start with her face, then do her neck and chest and stomach. Then if I’m not on the ball, she’ll start doing her face again. So I catch her and tell her to do her arms. Then it’s her hips, legs and feet. After that I wash her back for her with the washcloth and then the bathbrush. Then I wash under both her arms since she seems to neglect that area. Then I tell her to wash her crotch and then her bum. She seems to do a crummier job each time. I know eventually I’ll be washing more parts of her body as time passes. In the meantime, I want her to do as much for herself as she can.

After the histrionics of getting out of the bathtub, I wrap her in a towel and dry her off. She doesn’t even bother if I don’t do it. I have her sit on a towel on the toilet lid while I go get a pair of underpants and a pad. I put on her glasses and hearing aids. Then I get her to come into her bedroom to dress. I have to get out the paper towel, postal tape, Neosporin to wrap her leg. She’s still scratching it much to my chagrin. She also tears the bandage off within hours of me putting it on. She dresses herself with a little help from me. Meanwhile, I drain the tub and rinse it, hang the towels to dry, take down the plastic grippers and put them away. I come back in the bedroom and recomb her hair since she pulled her shirt over and mussed it all up.

I tell her to go downstairs and know she’ll be lost without a game up on the computer so even though I have things to do upstairs yet, I go down ahead of her and put a game up and get her a cup of coffee. Which she says she wants but then will forget to drink. She plays while I go back upstairs. I strip her bed and see that the sheets are torn and go to the linen closet and put a nice fresh set of sheets on. I take the others down to the basement to wash. I come up and get the broom and dustpan out to sweep the hair up off the floor and replace the area rugs. I put away the shampoo.

I then make our lunch and realize that I need to make a sandwich for my husband’s lunch the next day. By this time, I have to get her to the bathroom again, all the while reminding her not to pick her leg. We eat lunch and I go put the sheets in the dryer. Then I go upstairs and strip our bed and put our sheets in the basket to take down to wash. I then have to go back up another 2 flights of stairs to the spare bedroom to get the vacuum out. I take it down to the first floor where Mom is napping and vacuum the whole house. She doesn’t wake up until I’m vacuuming underneath her. Normally, I would do it Wed. so it is clean for the weekend but this morning I had an early vet appt. and I wanted to get some other things done. So I did what I’d do over 2-3 days in a single day. Not a good idea. The house looked better but I was ready to drop. I was hurrying since I wanted to have everything done before hubby got home from work at 7 pm. I went down and put the sheets in the dryer and then went back to the 2nd floor to take a bath.

So I get in the tub and I’m thinking about past birthdays and my next blog post. I stand up to wash my hair. I use the hand held showerhead to wet my hair. Then I put the shampoo on it and was lathering it. I’m completely bent over at the waist. I’ve done this thousands of times. Then all of a sudden I feel this weird sensation behind my left ear and SUDDENLY I’m so dizzy I can’t stand up. I started listing badly to the left. All I could think of was how I didn’t want to fall and hit my head. So I kneeled down. I thought it would pass. Instead it got worse. I had to work to keep my head from diving into the tub. Meanwhile, I have shampoo in my hair and it’s getting in my eyes. I NEVER go without putting conditioner on my hair. Due to its natural curl, it looks like I stuck my finger in a light socket when I don’t use conditioner. But I was physically unable to proceed so I pulled my legs out from under me and just sat in the tub. Face plant successfully avoided. I took the handheld showerhead and rinsed most of the shampoo out of my hair. I had to crawl out of the tub using the towel rack under the window. I thought it was going to snap from my weight. I sat on the toilet seat and was sweating profusely. I didn’t want to make any sudden movements for fear of passing out. I just sat there and made a plan to try to make it to the bed. First I had to use the toilet in a hurry and then I suddenly felt so nauseated. I stood up to wash my hands at the sink. Then I started vomiting clear saliva. It would be dry heaves except for saliva. I’d never done that before. I had 3 bouts of that. Once as I’ve mentioned, another after I was sitting on the bed and one after Greg came home.

After a few minutes, I attempted to get to the bed. I made it and laid out a towel to sit on. All I could think of was lying down. But there were no sheets on the bed, only the mattress pad and I was still soaking wet. I made another calculated move and went back in the hall and just reached in blindly for another bath towel. I put one on the pillow and laid the other one where my body would lay. I didn’t make it that far. Greg came home and I called to him to come upstairs. He helped me lay down and I had him lay next to me. He checked me to make sure I didn’t have a stroke. I didn’t have any body numbness and could raise both arms plus I had no slurring of my speech. I had my own clean clothes laid out on the bed so I  had him help me get my underpants on. I just felt so weak and sick.

I made it downstairs to the couch and just laid with an icebag. A little later my face got red and very hot. Feverish. I had Greg take care of getting Mom to the bathroom and dishing up supper for the 2 of them. I had made a pasta salad the day before and that’s what we would’ve had anyway. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like eating. I skipped dinner. Me miss a meal?! That’s unheard of. Usually it doesn’t matter how sick I am, I can always eat. Well, this was a special kind of sick. I’m thinking it’s a bad sinus infection. We went to bed earlier than usual and I slept well, all things considered. I haven’t been sleeping very well all week so I really needed it.

I didn’t know if I’d be able to take Elvis to the vet today. But I got up at 7 am and made it over there by 8:30 am. I still feel weak and I’m feeling worse as the day goes on. I’ve had a headache for most of the day. I had planned to rest most of the day when I got back from the vet but that was not to be. The vet prescribed Benadryl for Elvis’ allergies and I had to drop him at home and then go to Jewel grocery store. While there I picked up a loaf of bread (we were out) and a gallon of milk (almost out). After lunch I tried to lay down on the couch but it didn’t make me feel any better. So I got up and worked on this blog post.

My birthday is tomorrow and now all I want is to feel better. 😦 We didn’t really have any major plans, just treasure hunting and go out for a late lunch with Mom to a fish place. We just found it a month ago and it’s what I’m craving. I love fish when it’s fresh and cooked right. When I was younger, I didn’t care much for it. So many things change as we get older. If I don’t feel better by tomorrow, I doubt I’ll be going anywhere. I don’t want to have a reoccurance that I might not make it through. I don’t want sympathy, just some birthday wishes. If anyone else has had anything like this happen and can tell me what it was, please do speak up. If I don’t have a good birthday, at least I’ll have a memorable one. 😉

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Today I turn 50. It doesn’t seem possible. Half a century sounds so old. I don’t feel old or look THAT old. If I didn’t look in the mirror, I’d think somebody was punking me. At times I still feel 19, other times 25, other times 33, 44, etc. If our bodies didn’t betray our age by wearing out and our skin didn’t sag, age would truly be a number. Instead our life experiences show on us either on the outside or more likely on the inside. We carry everything good and bad that’s happened to us. From the most life altering and tragic things to the most insignificant, they make us who we are. I often wonder if certain good things didn’t happen to us, would we turn bitter? If certain bad things didn’t happen, would we know enough to appreciate the good? If there wasn’t a stigma attached to getting older, I would have to say I like part of it. I like knowing that each year I learn more about myself and the world around me.
 
It’s funny how when we’re young, we want to be older so badly so we’ll be taken seriously. Often teenagers lie about their ages so they can drink but they also want what they say to count. In our 30’s we start no longer telling our ages like it’s nothing. Unless someone asks, we just don’t mention it. In the next decade, we say we’re somewhere in our 40’s and leave it at that. Even if we are only a week away from 50. Seeing my mom still living and enjoying life at 91 makes me realize that I can surely enjoy being OLD. It beats the alternative.
 
Once I got onto Twitter and then into blogging, I felt like I was born 10+ years too late. I wasn’t taught computers in school and even if I had been, I don’t know if I could’ve caught on. I had a bit of it in my Senior Physics class where we had to write a 1 sentence or 1 paragraph computer program. It would have been easier for me to learn Italian by osmosis. It was so far over my head that I had my best buddy Roger write it for me. I never cheated or copied anyone’s work before but this just would not register in my brain. He wasn’t keen on doing it but was a champ about it. I’m afraid my online pals in their 30’s won’t want to associate with a 50 year old. I know all my life, I’ve had friends of different ages, some 11 years older, some 15 years or more younger. Age doesn’t really factor into it for me yet I worry it will make a difference to others. I had an Instagram friend who I thought I was getting close to and when she found out I was old enough to be her mother, she couldn’t distance herself far enough.
 
What have I learned by age 50? Too much to put in one post. The highlights? That all cliches have some truth in them. There’s no place like home. Home is where the heart is. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Out of sight, out of mind.
 
All marriages have their ups and downs. Marriage is a rollercoaster that you have to be belted in securely for and not jump out when it bottoms out. I love this analogy and need to write a blog post about this. 😉
 
You can’t make anyone else do anything. From quitting smoking to biting their nails to losing weight. You can’t make them love you or be nice to you. You can only control yourself. There are so many things like this that you can be told over and over but they don’t sink in. Until they “click” in your brain, you will keep trying, failing and being miserable.
 
You don’t make fun of someone because it can come back to bite you in the butt. Just because you don’t understand how someone can “let themselves go” and weigh over 200 lbs. doesn’t mean you won’t one day be there yourself. Then you’ll be “at least I’m not 350 lbs.”. You don’t want to go there. So don’t think ill of others. You don’t always know what’s going on behind the scenes or what someone dealt with growing up or what demons they are battling. Cut people some slack and maybe they’ll do the same.
 
You need to do things in life that you don’t want to. Like study, go to school, be nice to people you don’t like (to a point), go to the doctor, wrap presents, etc. It does build character plus it’s usually the right thing to do.
 
Don’t let people take advantage of you. It doesn’t make you mean to call someone out if they are using you. It makes you smart. What good is it to have a bunch of people calling you for favors or making you do their dirty work if they don’t even remember down the line the sacrifices you made? Be true to yourself. Do what you can live with. If you can’t live with someone being mad at you, you will always feel like you are spending your life pleasing others. By age 50 you need to start pleasing yourself and I don’t mean only sexually. 😉
 
If you’d like to wish me a Happy Birthday, this is the place to do it. Or if you want to give me something that won’t cost you anything, you can retweet one of my blog posts (your fave), tell someone about my blog or put me on your blogroll. JeezLouise.net was the first to do it awhile ago and it made me happier than a pig wallowing in mud. 🙂
 
If you think it’s awfully forward of me to make the above suggestions, it probably is. In the last half of my 50 years, I’ve learned you get NOTHING if you don’t ask for it. Share your birthday with me in the comments, if I don’t already know, so I can return the favor!

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I call it the Birthday Funk. My big milestone birthday is a week from today. For the better part of a week I’ve been getting anxious about it. It has nothing to do with turning a year older or it being a big birthday. I feel this way EVERY year. I love birthdays and enjoy others’ birthdays, sending them cards and saying “Happy Birthday” to them on Twitter. I’m just generally happy they were born and glad to wish them truly good things. I’m excited about my own birthday for a month or two in advance. Up until about 2 weeks ahead of time, then I get that awful feeling. I don’t even know how to describe it. I’ve had it since I was a kid. I know it has everything to do with how high my expectations are and how easily disappointed I am. I enjoy nice things as much as the next person but I am not *overly* into material things. What I mean to say is: I already own everything I could possibly want and don’t need ANY gifts whatsoever. Which means I’d prefer NOT to get anything. Unless the person really knows me well, it’s usually not something I can use.

 
Part of the reason I haven’t made plans to go to BlogHer yet is because the convention is usually on the weekend of my birthday. This time it is the weekend before my birthday. I am afraid I’d be in a birthday funk on top of being overwhelmed and anxious at being around so many people. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Leo and I like attention. It has to be the right kind of attention. I like cards and hugs and phone calls (doesn’t have to be that day) but now I realize it’s how people treat me year round that means the most to me. If they ignore me all year but call me to wish me a quick Happy Birthday, it rings hollow. It’s always nice to be remembered and that’s a bone of contention with me. I’m always afraid I’ll be overlooked or forgotten.
 
I’ve had a few wonderful birthdays and a few awful birthdays. Now they are a lot like any other day, as so many people are fond of saying. Which means that for a lot a of them, I can’t remember anything specific that happened on them. That’s one of the reasons I love going on vacation over my birthday. I don’t get the mail until home from the trip and when I see the 3 birthday cards (yes, that’s the usual number I get), I don’t feel let down because I had a great vacation. If we go on vacation, it feels like we are celebrating every day which I love. When I stay home for my birthday, I feel like I’m waiting for something to happen and it never does. It just seems like such a letdown. It’s supposed to be a special day and when it isn’t, does that mean I’m not a special person?! That is at the core of this birthday funk. I’m afraid I’m insignificant, inconsequential, don’t matter. Not worth remembering, etc. I mean there should be a parade and toasts, etc. right?!
 
It’s almost like my insecurity taking form by showing me once a year that I haven’t made a mark on anyone’s life. I feel sorry for those around me who don’t know what to do to make me feel better. As I said, being showered with gifts won’t do it. I prefer the gifts that come unexpectedly for no reason at all. Those bring delight and sheer happiness! If I think someone spent a lot of money on me, I just can’t enjoy it whether it’s a meal out or a high priced drink, gift, etc. I don’t know if that has to do with my cheapness or feeling unworthy.
 
I’ve never written or even talked about this topic because it seems like a huge pity party for one. I have NO reason to feel bad about my birthday or anything associated with it. No one I’ve loved has died on that day. Shoutout to @TheBecksB who has had that happen twice and manages to power through on her birthday in spite of it all. I’m going to write a blog post about the ghosts of birthdays past. Telling about some of the most memorable ones.
 
I’m being granted the opportunity to celebrate another year on this earth and hopefully live another year longer. Isn’t that already being given the greatest gift of all? I don’t want this post to be a bunch of people wishing me a happy birthday. I plan to post on the day of my birthday and you can wish me well then if you so choose. 😀 I would like to hear if anyone else has this birthday funk where they just know they’re going to be disappointed and letdown ahead of time. If so, how do you combat it? I’ve had so much fun at others’ parties and events I’ve gone to that I’ve felt like it was my birthday, if you know what I mean!
 
Since August 7th falls on a Tuesday this year, hubby has to work. He’s already offered to take the day off (use vacation) and we could go downtown Chicago and hang out. He’d still have to work Wed. though so I told him not to. We can start the drinking and celebrating Wed. night when he gets home from work and have it go on until Sunday morning when he goes back. I’m kidding. We’ll drink one night and I’ll overdo it and not want to drink again for a week or two. 😉 Just that he offered was enough. I did tell him the greatest gift I could have would be time to blog! Not kidding.
 
The one way I’m acknowledging my birthday is by getting my super long hair cut short. I donated my hair 5-6 yrs ago to Locks of Love and plan to do it again on Thurs morning. I’ve been thinking about this for months and last time when I did it, I didn’t have any pictures of the before and after. I also did it in early Nov. and it didn’t coincide with anything else. I wasn’t upset to have it cut and was actually happy to help someone else by sharing my hair. This time because I’ve paired it closely with my birthday, it has been nothing but stressful. I didn’t have a hairstylist last time and just picked one out of the phone book. I was fairly happy with her. This time I didn’t know who to go to so I ended up agonizing over it for weeks, researching it online and then deciding to go with the one from last time. Better safe than sorry. I wish taking risks came second nature to me. Instead I worry. I’m not even too concerned about how the cut turns out since I know my hair grows fast and will grow out. I’m just ill at ease in the whole salon atmosphere. You’d think at my impending age I could handle it with no problem. I guess it just goes to show no matter what age we are, we still have more growing (up) to do! 🙂
 

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