Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Beautiful Day of the Blahs

I am jealous of my husband.  Not that he has to live life in a wheelchair.  Not that he lives in pain every day of his life.  Not that he has a neuromuscular disorder that will plague him forever.  No, I am jealous because my husband gets to have summer.  Remember summer?  Those some 12 wonderful weeks of nothing between grades.  I miss summer.  I miss sleeping until you wake up.   I miss staying up late.  I miss riding my bike in the cool of the morning.  I miss playing kick the can until it got so dark you couldnt see the can anymore. I miss lunches of spaghetti-os and corn chips.   I miss watching daytime TV until I fell asleep from boredom.  I miss lying out on a big blanket in the summer sun, not getting tan but getting burnt to a crisp while playing the top 40 radio station and singing along I miss meandering around the library looking for a book I havent read. I miss reading an entire book in a day.  I miss going from the heat of the day to the cool of our air conditioned house back to the heat of the day and so on.  I miss making up stuff to do to keep busy so Mom wouldnt give me something to do.  I miss running through sprinklers and playing in pools.  I miss camping with my family.  Mostly I miss the summers where I was young enough to have no real responsibility but old enough to appreciate that.  I even miss being bored.  I wish we were like most European countries who take the month of August off for holiday. I have been out of school some 20 years now but I still miss summer. I have senioritis and no graduation is in sight (metaphorically speaking).

This morning at my bagel place, I saw a guy with a gun strapped to his side.  It was a large black gun in a large black hip holster.  He was in plain casual work clothes and did not look like a cop.  Yet why would this random guy need to carry a gun?  It was an odd sight to see first thing in the morning. I know MN has a conceal/carry law but this is the first time Ive ever seen a random citizen carrying a gun around.  We live in a hoity toity west suburb, not the hood. At the same bagel place I saw two gals sporting the latest apparel crazegauchos.  I dont know why this is in.  Its not even attractive.  Both these gals were tall and twiggy thin and yet the gauchos did not look good on them at all.  Both girls looked as though they were about to lose their bottoms any minute.  Both girls pants accentuated their butts in an unattractive way.  Someone should put a stop to this look right away.  Capri’s are OK; Bermuda shorts are OK, but gauchos?  NO! WAY!

The kittens are getting bigger and braver and more rambunctious.  They now know the layout of our apartment and are now beginning to explore up and behind.  They are going behind the refrigerator and behind the computer desk.  They are also climbing furniture to get to shelves and wall hangings.  Chloe got her first squirt from the water bottle last night.  She was rather shocked and ran around the room 3 times as though she were burning and putting out the fire.  They are still super cute though! I came home from work last night to find Bob and both kittens soundly sleeping in our bed.  I woke them up when I came tromping into the apartment, otherwise there would be photographic proof of the cuteness.

I am feeling blah today.  My job is boring and I am finding myself dreading going to work.  I havent felt that way since I worked at my other job 3 some odd years ago and that was because my bosses were incompetent, abusive boobs.  I just feel like what I do is drudgery and what I do doesnt make a difference.  I dont feel like I fit in and I dont find much joy there any longer.  I am looking at my companys job board and applying for different things, but it may not be the right time to move on.  I might do better to wait until I graduate in December.  That sure seems like a long way away.  I just felt myself thinking is this all there is? last night when I was getting ready for bed.  Work, home, eat, sleep, work, home, eat, sleep.  Blah.  This is my first really long, drawn out depression since getting married.  It sucks to go through it alone, but it sucks mightily more to have to put Bob through it.  Hes great though.  If I had to pick someone to go through this time with, I would have picked him.  I just feel badly about how crappy a wife I am during this time.  He would deny that I am a crappy wife but I know I am not giving it my all right now.  Wouldnt marriage be nicer if our baggage didnt affect our mates at all?  Anyway, I have counseling next week and we are going to talk more about allowing myself to feel the grief and anger Ive been bottling up for the past 4 years.  Wont that be fun?  Yay!  This is scary to put out there because then it means its real, but Ive been thinking of checking myself into a mental health facility for a short time.  I have been there before.  It was a much scarier time and I was out of options.  At that time I swore I would never go there again.  There is so much I dont like about those facilities.  I dont like groups.  I dont like the boredom.  I dont like that everyone seemed so out there.  I dont like that I didnt feel as though I fit in yet probably did and everyone thought that about themselves.  I just feel like I need to get a jump start on working through some of this crap and every other week counseling isnt going to cut it right now.  I dont know.  Im taking it a day at a time.  I dont feel suicidal.  I dont feel like I want to sleep all day every day.  I just feel like I need some time to find me again.  I am just taking it a day and an hour at a time.  Thats the best I can do for me right now.



 

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Eight Years

Memorial weekend marks my eight year anniversary of moving to Minnesota.  Eight years.  Eight years.  It doesnt seem possible that Ive lived here this long.  Babies that were born when I moved here in 1998 are now eight!  Kids that turned 13 the year I moved here are now legally able to drink!  Kids entering high school finished that AND college in the time I have lived here.  Just, wow.  In eight years I have managed to move 5 times, fall in love, get married, obtain 4 cats, buy a new car, pay off said new car (one more paymentwhoo!), get my gallbladder taken out, have gastric bypass surgery, go back to school (only 6 more months to graduation!), change jobs 5 times, and so much more.  Not to mention the stuff having to do with muscular dystrophy and Bobs health.  After 8 years I have to say that I am finally settling into a groove here and think of this as home.  I finally feel at home here.

I cant believe the weekend is over already.  Where did it go?  I got off work early on Friday, which was good because it took us an hour and a half to get to the town where my bosss mother-in-laws visitation was held.  It was a nice day and a nice drive though and my boss seemed glad to see us.  We were the only ones from work who showed up.  Actually, just before we left, two others from work also showed up, so that was good.  I guess more folks were going to go to the funeral the next day but we chose the visitation so we wouldnt have to go to the funeral. 

Saturday was my day for doing nothing.  Except I didnt do nothing.  We did sleep in a bit but had to be at the vets office by 10 for the kittens first check ups.  They really do not like riding in the car.  They mewed, cried, and whined piteously from the back of the van as though we were pulling out their claws one by one.  Once we got to the vets office and let them out, they were a little better.  Neither one enjoyed having their temperature taken (from behind, under the tail), but they both did really well receiving their first shots.  They are healthy little beasts for being born to a stray.  No mites, no worms, no fleas.  They are healthy and happy little boogers.  As we were leaving, a couple came in with a basket of eight Jack Russell Terrier puppies.  They were 2 days old and were there to get their tails docked.  Poor babies but so cute!

I dropped Bob and the kittens off at home and then went to run errands.  I stopped at the video store and picked up a bunch of videos. I think its time to start our Netflix membership again.  Although I have heard a lot of negative press about them lately.  Still, I rented 6 videos and it was a lot more expensive than I anticipated.  After renting the flicks, I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some carpet cleaner and ended up getting a bunch of other stuff as well. (That always happens when I go to Wal-Mart or Target.) I also stopped to get some lunch for me and Bob.  While on the way home, I chatted with my brother and sister in law and got caught up on their lives.  They have a pool in their back yard and were getting ready to host their first backyard party for the year.  Lucky ducks.  Of course, we have a pool in our back yard too but its filled with families with small children and hootchie mamas working on their tans.  Once I got home from the store, we ate lunch and I cleaned.  Then I popped in a movie and vegged for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  It was heavenly!

Sunday, we slept in a bit but then got up and got ready to go to Duluth.  We had to turn on the air conditioner the night before because it was so hot and humid. I was loathing doing so before June, but I couldnt take it.  I had started my princess lady time and the cramps were killing me.  Its about 100 times worse to suffer princess lady time cramps AND heat and humidity so I sucked it up and turned on the air.  We left the house around 10 and after getting gas, going to the bank, and stopping to get stuff to drink, we were finally on the road.

About half way there, I had to go to the bathroom and Bob was hungry so we stopped at a roadside restaurant called Tobeys.  I guess its a Minnesota institution. Id never eaten there or heard of its fame, but it was good.  Bob had some biscuits and gravy I would have shived someone for and I had an open face roast beef sandwich. After lunch we were back on the road.  As we drove up the hill to Duluth, the clouds started dropping over the hills.  As it got foggier, it also got cooler.  When we left the Cities it was 95.  When we arrived at our hotel at Canal Park at 2pm, it was 54 degrees.  I am glad we brought jackets!  The wind was whipping up off the lake and it was chilly.  We checked in, dropped off our stuff, and went for the lake walk.  It was so foggy; we could barely see the lift bridge, the lake, or the lighthouse, though we could hear the foghorn.

As we walked around, Bob ran into a couple who inquired about his wheelchair.  The husband was in a manual chair and they wanted to know if Bob liked his power chair.  While he chatted with them, I went down by the shore and looked for flat rocks.  Except I ran into a gal I work with and her family.  We chatted a bit about the weather and how they were on their way back to the Cities from further north. I told them to expect more heat and humidity as they got closer to home.  By this time, Bob was done talking to the couple about his wheelchair and my work friends kids were pulling her away, so we went off in our own directions. 

Bob and I walked around for a while and then went back to the hotel room so Bob could rest.  He napped while I uploaded photos.  Then he napped while I shopped and walked around.  This time, the sun was out, the fog was gone, and things had begun to warm up.  Bob met me outside by the lake walk and we decided to go to dinner.  We ate at a yummy Mexican restaurant just across the street from our hotel.  We ate on the terrace and had a great time.  It was made even better by running into a couple we know from church.  We chatted for a long time and then they took off for their hotel just a few miles north.  When we went to pay our bill, we found they had paid it for us.  Sweet!  We did leave a nice tip.

We walked some more after dinner and then went to the room to chill.  I wish we had brought swimming suits, but since it was my princess lady time, I hadnt thought to bring them.  They had a nice pool and spa area and we vowed to return to the hotel one day and bring suits.  Our room was nice.  It was on the main floor and was accessible with a lake view.  We could hear the waves lapping on the shore and the fog horn in the distance.  We couldnt sleep with the windows open all night though as the wind off the lake brought in quite the chill.

Sunday Bob slept in but I got up and got dressed.  Our hotel served a nice continental breakfast which I chose to eat on the terrace.  Some seagulls thought I should be sharing my meal with them, but some kid came out and handed out cereal, so they did not go unfed.  I walked around and took more pictures before going in and waking Bob.  He took a long shower while I packed up the van.  I got him some breakfast from the buffet line and then we checked out.  We took one more walk before leaving Duluth.  It was sunny and 62 but we knew it would be hotter at home.

On the way home we got caught in holiday traffic so we stopped for lunch.  They seated us in a hot sun room with no air or fan and I felt ill.  We didnt finish our meal and Bob drove the rest of the way home.  Once we got home, I felt better and was so glad Id left the air on even if it was turned on low.  It was heavenly walking into a cool apartment after getting overheated at the restaurant.  The rest of the day was spent unpacking, playing with kittens and watching movies.  I was in bed by 9.  It was a great weekend but it went by way too fast.  I wish I had at least 4 more days off.  Then I would have a weekend to recover.  Ha!  At least princess lady time is almost over for this month.  Those first 2 days just wear me down. 

Click my Flickr badge for photos of our trip and newer shots of the ever growing kittens.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Counseling, Loss, and Lost

I had counseling yesterday and it was a good session.  I am working on all the stuff I stuffed and ignored after Bobs diagnosis over 4 years ago.  I am realizing that I dont allow myself to validate my negative feelings.  I stuff, ignore, or push them away.  I will feel anger, hurt, jealousy, fear, etc and instead of acknowledging them, I try to cover them up in some way.  I wonder where that comes from.  I am also learning to deal with/work through conflict.  I have always known that I fear conflict and avoid it like the plague, but I havent known how to face it and work through it.  I think part of that comes from moving a lot as a child.  Having issues with kids at school?  Move away!  Anyway, I am discovering that it is really hard to learn new ways of dealing with things Ive handled in one way for 30 or more years.  For instance, I still feel angry that Bob lost his job and I was thrust into the roll of family provider.  I think its natural to feel angry.  In fact, if it were anyone else, I would totally be understanding of their anger and would do what I could to validate those feelings.  However, because its meI feel guilty and instead of acknowledging the normalcy, I beat myself up and stuff the feelings or ignore them.  But its not like those feelings have gone away.  They are still there, lurking under the surface, most likely contributing to my current bout with depression. In fact, when my counselor brings up this issue and asks me about it, tear begin to roll of their own free will.  Thats how NOT gone those feelings are.  The good news is, I see it.  I recognize it and Im working on it.

My bosss 84 year old mother-in-law fell on Tuesday and broke her collar bone.  She went to the hospital and because she is usually on oxygen and her lung capacity was compromised by pneumonia, they put her on a ventilator.  Something went horribly wrong and she grew very ill overnight and ended up passing away yesterday afternoon. It was sudden and unexpected for such an injury.  I sent my boss a card, but beyond that I am not sure what to do.  Maybe, when she comes back to work, I will bring her a potted flower she can replant in her yard as a memorial.  What do you think?

LOST.  Wow.  OK, thanks for not calling my house last night because I was stuck in front of the TV for 2 full hours from 8-10.  I really enjoyed the episodes.  They did answer the question of how Desmond landed on the Island, why the plane crashed, what happens if you dont push the button, where the notebooks go once they are filled, who the leader of the others seems to be, and if Michael would get Walt back.  However, they left a bunch of questions unanswered, plus added a bunch of new questions.  Heres the list Ive compiled:

1.)     What the heck kind of bird was that?
2.)     Where did the polar bears and weird metal monster thing go?
3.)     Where is Rouseau?
4.)     What happened to Jin, Sun, and Sayid?
5.)     What happened to John, Echo, and Desmond?
6.)     Who were the guys in the cold station and what were they calling Penny for?
7.)     Why did they let Michael and Walt go?  Heywhy did they let their boat go?
8.)     What happens to Jack, Kate, and Sawyer now?
9.)     Where is this home Henry and the others are taking Jack, Kate, and Sawyer?
10.)    What is the deal with the others?
11.)     Who pushed the button before Dharma/Hanso Foundation set up the hatches?  How did the world not explode?
12.)     Why and how do the paths of all these people cross with one another in the flash backs?

There you have it.  The things about Lost that make me go, hmmmm

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Addendum to Yesterday's Entry

So, we do now have plans for the coming weekend.  And I cant wait!  While trolling about the vast interweb I found a good one night rate at a lovely hotel in Duluth, MN.  Bob has been making some good money from eBay and once I showed him the rate, he determined we could afford to spend one night this weekend at this lovely hotel in Duluth.  So yay!  We will get to spend some time at home doing nothing and some time in Duluth driving the north shore, strolling canal park, and just doing nothing but doing it together away from home.  I cant wait.  I wish we were there now.

The kittens are getting bigger.  I used to be able to hold them both in one hand but now they each require their own hand.  They are two scoops of kittens!  They are brave and hyper and so much fun.  Daisy has adopted Chloe as her own.  We often catch them snuggling during nap time and Daisy has taken it upon herself to groom Chloes long, fluffy coat.  Occasionally Chloe will root around Daisys abdomen as though she were looking to nurse, but she comes away from that fruitless exercise disappointed.  They will also play, though Chloe has claws and sharp little kitten teeth so sometimes Daisy has to give her a motherly nip to teach her to lighten up.  It is pretty cute.

The season finale of Lost is on tonight and I am more excited about this than I have been excited about anything in a long time.  I love, love, love this show.  They are saying that the mysteries will be solved and I kind of hope thats not true.  At least I hope they dont tell us EVERYTHING.  I like it because of the mystery.  I like the guessing and theories and hidden meanings and hints.  If you were planning on calling me tonight, call before 8 or after 9 because from 8-9 central time, I will not be answering the phone.

Did I tell you I lost our cell phone?  I did.  Dont worry, we cancelled it right away and did not incur extra charges, but I lost all my numbers when I lost the phone and that was a bummer.  However, we have a new phone and were able to keep our number so I just had to manually enter all my numbers all over again.  But I wanted to say I have an unnatural attraction to our new cell phone.  Our old phone was small comparatively, but it was one piece and seemed a bit clunky and a tad on the older side.  The new phone is sleek!  It flips open!  It has a camera!  It is cute!  I love it!  I have had it for 4 days and it bugs me that no one has called me on it yet.  I want to hear the new ring tone and see the number flash on the tiny screen.  Our old cell phone was just a tool that we used.  This new cell phone is a toy!  I have become one of THOSE people.  Lord, help me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sorry...Life Got In the Way

Its been a while, huh?  I am so excited for Memorial Weekend.  Three full days of nothing.  Nothing planned.  Nothing anticipated.  No requirements.  No responsibilities. No work and no school.  I. Cant. Wait.  Life has been too full and too busy these past couple of months and I am so happy to have three days of nothing.

Work has been getting me down lately.  Ive been here three years and things have changed so much in those three years, and not so much for the better.  The latest issue is frustrating for many.  Ive been seeing a counselor over my lunch hour about every other week.  Last week my bosss boss noticed I was in early and asked my boss why.  She did not know so she asked me.  I said I came in a half hour early because I had a lunch appointment and wanted to make up the time.  She said that I should let her know next time.  Fine.  I went to counseling and was back in time only to find a note on my desk asking me to meet my boss in her cube.  She wanted to know what was going on and what kind of appointment I had.  I told her it was personal and I did not want to divulge that information but it would be a standing appointment either every week or every other week.  She said that was not possible because per her boss, we could only make lunch appointments once per quarter without it affecting our PTO.  That equals to roughly once a month and I dont think I can do once a month counseling right now.  I need it too much to put three weeks between appointments.

Like a doofus, I started to cry.  I hate crying at work.  However, after counseling, I was about halfway there and hearing these things from my boss pushed me over the edge.  To her credit she just expressed concern and asked how she could help, but stated again that she had to know what kind of appointments were important enough for all of this.  So I told her that I was seeing a counselor and I needed to go once a week or once every other week.  She said she would talk to her boss and see if she could get it approved.  She ended up getting it approved, but made it known that they are already making an exception for me for my school.  I come in early on Monday and take a half hour lunch and leave early in order to get to school on time.  In all of this, I always give my employer 40 full hours of work.  I dont shortchange them and I dont ask them to pay me for time I havent put in.  My frustration comes in that I am an adult.  I frustrated with my boss and her boss policing my time.  As long as I come in early, stay late, or shorten my lunch and they are getting the full 40 I was hired to provide, I dont understand why there is an issue. This is not the only frustrating thing about work right now, but its the one thats in the forefront.

I was watching Dateline NBC on Sunday and they were interviewing Oprah.  She said something that resonated with me.  She said she knew she had to buy her own show and be her own boss because she never wanted to be in a position where her heart was calling her to something her bosses could put the kibosh on.  I wish I knew what I could do on my own so that I could answer my own hearts cry.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Arrrrgggg!

I went off coke 4 days ago.  Actually, thats not true.  I allowed myself 1 coke during class in order to stay awake for the drive home and will probably continue to allow myself 1 coke per week for the same reason.  However, right now I am sitting at my desk doing my work when all of a sudden my brain says, I want a Coke.  I ignore this voice and go on working.  The voice gets a little louder and a little more persistent, I Want a Coke!  I still am able to ignore the voice and go on working although now I begin to feel a niggling little headache over my right eye.  Ow.  The voice, once again makes its plea, I WANT A COKE!!!  I stop and massage my temple.  What could one Coke hurt, I think.  I could get a can instead of the bottle I normally get. I could water it down with ice. I could pour half of it out and just sip the rest to stave this craving and help my head stop hurting.  The voice begins to soften, Mmmmm Coke.  Think of how good a nice, ice cold Coke would taste right now.  Think of the bubbles and the fizz and the sweet goodness.  Not only do I start thinking of the Coke but I begin thinking of what might go with a Coke.  A nice bag of chips, perhaps.  Or a small candy bar.  Or some ice cream.  Oh yeah!  An ice cream sandwich!  I could run down to the store on the first floor of our building and get a can of Coke and an ice cream sandwich for less than two bucks. 

This is how my bad habits start.  One craving gives in to another and another and another.  Sliding down the slippery slope of snacks. However, as much as I wanted to, I did not give in to The Voice.  This time.

Feeling Better

I am feeling better. You didn't know I was feeling off did you? Maybe you could tell because I haven't been here for a couple of days. My head wasn't feeling right. I wish there was a way to legitimately take a day off work because of feeling sick in the head. If I had been feeling sick in the stomach or throat or had a fever, there would be a "good" reason to stay home. But because my psyche was ill...how do you call in depressed or anxious? Anyway, I am better today and so thankful.

I haven't struggled with depression and anxiety this great since...probably since 2000. So, 6 years ago. Huh. It seems a lot longer than that. I remember that year just feeling so out of control and scared. I also remember feeling so alone. This year I have more supports in place and am better equipped to deal with it. I met with my counselor yesterday and we had a good session. I also met with my boss to talk about some issues I have been having at work and that was helpful. AND I went to bed early...which is the best medicine over all. When I get rest it all goes better for me.

The kittens continue to be cute and playful. This morning it was the kitten Olymics at our house. They were jumping, tumbling, wrestling, running, and hopping all over the house. It was exhausting just watching them. I am glad they seem to like it here and seem to enjoy me and Bob as well. It's funny because Zoe (the kitten I picked out) seems to like Bob more than she likes me and Cloe (the kitten Bob fell in love with) seems to like me more than she likes him. We love them both.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I am so tired.  How tired?  So tired that I dreamt I was overtired and stressing about not getting enough sleepin my dream!  Thats how tired.  These long Mondays are not getting easier.  Oh wellonly 7 more months and then the diploma!

Our kittens are still the definition of cuteness.  They exhibit separate personalities already.  ZoĆ« is the braver, more independent of the two kitties.  She would rather go exploring than be held or snuggled.  She is the climber.  She is the one who arches her back and hisses at the cats.  She is the one who cries if there is not any food in her dish or if she hears us and we havent let her out of the kennel yet.  Chloe, on the other hand is the little love bug.  She would rather snuggle up on your lap than romp around the room.  She follows her sister, but not to the highest heights or the furthest corner of the apartment.  She isnt as vocal, but she certainly made her displeasure known when we had to clean her kitten butt.  She has longer, fluffier hair and isnt as good about keeping it clean as she should be.  Both kittens follow me everywhere and cry if they cant find me.  They are fun and I am glad (at this point) that we got the pair.

More later.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Smiling Zoe


Smiling Zoe
Originally uploaded by SunFlowery.
Is this not the cutest kitten in the entire world?

The Best Saturday Ever!

Mom on Roof, you better block the screen, I have cute kitten porn back up. Heh!

Today was the best day ever. I slept until 9am then got up and fed the kittens. Man they are cute. They play and play and play and then play some more and then fall asleep right where they are at. When the big cats come around to sniff at the kittens, those little tiny kittens arch their backs and hiss like they are all that and it is the funniest thing. No, what's funnier is that the big cats run away from these little bad kittens.

After I played with Zoe and Cloe, I set about to cleaning our pit of an apartment. I haven't had time to clean in about 3 weeks and it was driving me crazy. I even rearranged our livingroom so it is more open and easier for Bob to get around. I like it this way.

After cleaning, I went to the grocery store and then came home and made chili in the crockpot for dinner. I put some porkchops in the fridge to defrost for tomorrow's dinner. Tomorrow is Mother's Day and I am making a nice dinner for just me and Bob. I made a pact with a friend that I would show up for church tomorrow. When I made that promise, I was feeling all brave and confident. I'm not really feeling that confident and strong today.

Not much else is going on and that is alright by me. I have been going gangbusters for weeks now and a day of nothing was the best day ever.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The One Where I Post About Our Surprise

Do you know what makes a bad day seem OK? Do you know what makes a good day even better? Do you know what makes a grey day seem sunny? Do you know what makes a cold day seem warm? Do you remember that thing I told you about a few weeks ago? Do you remember that I said Bob and I were working on something but didn't want to talk about just in case something happened to jinx it? Do you want to know what it was we were working on? Do you want to know what I'm talking about? Then scroll down.

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KITTENS!
Meet the newest members of our family, Cloe (the black and white one) and Zoe (the blue cream one). They are 5 weeks old and little furballs of cuteness. Yes, it has happened. We have become the crazy cat couple. This is what happens to people who have big hearts and no children. This is our first foray into caring for baby anything (other than the baby squirrel we had for a couple of days 2 years ago). So far, we are doing pretty good. We've had the kittens for 2 days and they are still alive, so we've got that going for us.
Oh, sorry Mom on Roof...there will be more posts with kittens so you will have to buck up and either get used to it or shield your eyes from the cuteness that is Zoe and Cloe. Also, if any of you local people want a kitten, there are still 2 left. Both are males. One is grey and white and the other is orange and white. Click my Flickr badge to see the blurriest photos in all the land of the cute little boys. I can put you in touch with the gal whose got the kittens.

Yaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwnnnnnnn

Yall I am so tired.  I just came out of the bathroom on the floor below ours and I dont remember going there.  That is how tired I am.  When I came out of the stall, I was all shocked because I expected to be in the bathroom on our floor.  I know I went down there to get my mail, I just dont remember going or getting there.  Weird.  Tonight I will tape my usual Thursday night shows and go to bed early.  I can barely keep my eyes open and its only 10am.  My cube neighbor and I are in a yawn fest/contest.

I forgot to mention that my endoscopy has been scheduled for Tuesday, May 30th.  I have to get a pre-surgery physical and apparently I am to receive a bunch of medical information in the mail beforehand.  What is unknown to me is if I have to miss work.  I had my gallbladder removed via an endoscopic surgery in 2003 and was out for a whole week.  I felt pretty good the day of and day after the surgery, but by the 3rd and 4th day I was in a lot of pain.  So, I am waiting for my medical info packet to see if there are some guidelines there before I call to ask. 

I am so proud of Bob.  He is going gangbusters on his eBay business.  He has made more money this past month than he maybe has made up to last month.  He had banked it all and put it in a savings account in a credit union we cant easily access.  We are using this money for a down payment on a house and Bob is pleased as punch that he is making money and therefore (in his mind) making a difference.  He has really struggled with guilt and his sense of self ever since he got fired from his job in 2002.  I havent ever struggled with it other than to lament the change of our life plan.  Its not his fault and he is doing what he can to help and make the best of things.

I dont know why I thought of this today but it might make a cute story, you be the judge.  In fifth grade we were given the assignment to illustrate a folksy proverb.  You know things like A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, or A penny saved is a penny earned.  What did I do?  I read through the biblical book of Proverbs and illustrated a verse I found there.  I dont remember the verse but it was probably, Better to live on the corner of the roof than live with a contentious wife.  I hope it wasnt For a harlot is a deep pit, and a seductress is a narrow well.  Actually, I would like to see the illustration for that!  Ha!  Once we had illustrated our proverb, we were to bring it to class and have them guess the proverb from the picture.  Needless to say, no one was able to guess my proverb from my illustration.  I think I missed the point, huh?

What happened to our spring?  Today is grey, gloomy and cold.  Well, not cold where there is ice and snow, but cold for spring.  Actually, they did get snow in the Black Hills of South Dakota and they may get some snow in the UP of WI and MI.  Nice.  Nothing like a snowstorm in the beginning/middle of May.

I am done with my doubled up class!  Wheee and yippee!  I hope to not have to do that again anytime in the next 7 months.  It is part and parcel why I am so exhausted.  I think I will get a good grade in that class AND in the other class I am taking which is odd considering I feel like I have not done my best in either class because of the way my weeks have been divided.  One more class for this semester and then my final semester will begin.  My final semester of college is going to start in one month! Unless I go to grad school, I am coming up on my last semester of school.  That is kind of sad.  As much as I cant wait to get some personal time back and as much as it will be good to be done and finally have a diploma in hand, I will miss going to school  I have always loved the rituals school brings.  School shopping, scheduling, school supplies, book buying and selling, etc.  I also like how my schedule gets so organized because without a deeply regimented calendar, I would get nothing done.  Having said that, gimmee my sheepskin and send me on my way!  Only one more semester!  Whoot!



Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Precious


My radio interview with Ian Punnett went well. We went over the basics; Bob took out a life insurance policy in 1994. He had a rider that said should he ever become permanently disabled; the insurance company would pay his premiums. He is permanently disabled so we applied for the rider to be put in force. After a year of waiting, the insurance company denied our claim on the basis that Bob’s MD was a pre-existing condition. Never mind that they are the ones who chose to insure him in 1994 and at the time they didn’t seem to mind his pre-existing condition. We appealed. They denied…again. It’s wrong and we want to know what kind of recourse we might have. Ian said he passed our email to the local news station investigative reporter, and then he opened the phones for suggestions. Most of which we had already received via letters from friends. So, I have an official complaint letter and documentation ready to go to our state attorney general and the state insurance commission. I also have the name of a couple of attorneys, one of which specializes in disability law, the other in insurance law. I think we have a good case, but you never know. I thought the same thing when Bob was unfairly dismissed from his job after his MD diagnosis.

No word yet from our friend from church. However, I have a HUGE burden to pray for the pregnant woman in jail. My heart breaks for her and I just keep praying for her to be free from her addiction and to be healed from the hurts that have led her to this. I will update here as I find out more…if there is more to be found.

I just finished my last paper for my Worldview and Ethics class. This is the class I have to take on Wednesday nights and tomorrow is my last class. Doubling up was HARD and I am thankful that I will not have to do it again. I am exhausted by Thursday and can barely hang on for the weekend. Thankfully this weekend is completely open so all I have to do is sleep in, do homework and maybe clean. Oh, and I am required to show up at church on Sunday. Usually I skip Mother’s Day as it’s so stinking painful. But a friend of mine is going to sit with me and wants me to show up and take a stand in faith that I am a mother whose children have just not been gathered yet. So, I will be there Sunday barring any unforeseen circumstances.

Speaking of church, I do not know how my pastor got the info on the whole Miele invite. I don’t think I included him on the mass invite. So someone on that list must have either passed it along as an innocent forward or as a, “Hey heads up…Amy’s trying to pull something here!” I’m not dwelling on it anymore. Bob and I will be at the other church that Sunday and if anyone else is there, then so be it. Truthfully, the first thing that came to my mind when I read my pastor’s email is that he is afraid of losing the tithes and offerings of the people who may attend the Miele concert and that’s why he got up in my grill about it. Do I know this for fact? No I do not. It’s just what came to mind when I questioned what he could have against supporting our brothers from another country even if they are at a church down the road. (Forgive me, God if I’m wrong.)

As I sit here typing, thunder is booming off in the distance and frogs are singing their evening lullabies. A cool breeze is blowing through our patio door and I just feel that right here, right now, I am in the right place at the right time. Life is sweet.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Fighting Battles

OK. So today has not been the greatest day in the history of days. But I'm OK with that. I stayed home from work today because of the incessant cramping. I stayed in bed until well after 10 cuddled up next to our heating pad. I called my RE’s office and asked if this is normal and was told that it is normal. The dye can take upwards of 7-10 days to work its way out of the system and cramping could accompany that. They said to take some Advil and keep the heating pad close by until it works its way out. Okie dokie.

I hate missing work. Not just because of my obligation to my employer but because whenever someone misses work, there is an unspoken thing that happens in my department. It’s as if the person missing work is out mincing about playing hooky instead of sick or taking care of personal obligations. When the person comes back to work, they are kind of given the cold shoulder for a time…usually until lunch or the next day. It’s not fun and it’s unprofessional in my estimation. Our company gives us PTO days for a reason and we should be able to use them at our own discretion without judgment.

While I was home cuddling with the heating pad, I got an email from my pastor. Over the weekend I sent out a mass email inviting our friends to check out Miele at a local church in August. Unfortunately, Miele is performing at this other church on a Sunday morning. My pastor did not think it a good idea to invite everyone and their dog to attend another church on a Sunday morning. Ooops. My bad. I was just so excited that these guys were going to be in town I didn’t even think about that. I emailed him an apology and asked his forgiveness and then asked if we could invite Miele to come to our church either that Saturday or Sunday evening since they would already be in the area. He emailed me back saying he had forgiven me but mentioned NOTHING about inviting the group to our church. This is one of the reasons why the organized church frustrates me so much. I thought it important to be at church not important to be at OUR church. I understand where he’s coming from, but lately things at our church have gotten a bit over controlled in my estimation. We’ll see what happens. Still, it was not a good feeling to be “spanked” by my pastor.

You know, as I got ready to go to school today I kept thinking about yesterday and the weekend as a whole and how there seemed to be so many breakthroughs for us spiritually speaking. And I started to get nervous and feeling trepidation. I began praying through my fear and reminding myself that no matter what is thrown at us, we know who we are and whose we are and we are not alone. Yet I know from experience that when there is spiritual breakthrough, there is also spiritual warfare. Hello warfare! I feel a change coming on and while it might be bad news at the onset, I have no doubt it will be rendered for good in the long run.

Speaking of bad news, I lost our cell phone on my way to school today. I had it when I left the apartment but about a mile down the road, it was no longer in my purse. Most likely it fell out as I walked from our apartment building to my car. I turned around and went back home to look for it but could not find it. I told Bob and he called his sister (whose account our phone is on) and she went right to the cell phone store to report it missing. When she got there, no activity had been found on it yet, so at least we avoided thousands of dollars in charges by reporting it missing. Now when you call our cell phone number there is a message saying this phone is not accepting calls. It is unfortunate timing though. Tomorrow I am scheduled to speak to local FM morning talk show host Ian Punnett about an issue Bob and I are having with Bob’s life insurance company. Ian wanted to talk to me at 7:45 so I gave him our cell phone number so I could talk to him from the parking ramp at work. Now I either have to talk to him from my cube at work or from home. Both are less than stellar options. There is no privacy at work and by sitting in my cube 15 minutes early; I invite work related interaction to interrupt the phone conversation. However, by taking the call at home, I run the risk of having things run late and end up running late for work myself. Gah! I know it will work itself out but it’s stuff like this that stresses me out.

School went well tonight. I only have one more of this particular class and so far I am kicking butt. An “A” should be forthcoming. I also have one more Wednesday night class to make up. I have one more paper to write for it, which I will do tomorrow night. So far, I’ve gotten “A”s on my papers for this class too, so…Yay! Go me. My next class is PR writing. I looked over our syllabus for this class and I see that there is a lot of work involved, but I am excited because at the end, I will have a portfolio full of PR writing samples that I can us in my hunt for a new job/career. The professor that I have now thinks I might be a good fit in the PR Biz, which is encouraging. I am going to schedule a time with the career development office and see how they might be able to help me. Oh! I did some internet searching and found a job available with the CIA in Washington DC! That’s pretty cool. Don’t think I could get Bob to move there though. Housing and cost of living is just as high if not higher and we have no family or peer support there. Still, you never know.

Why oh why is Subway using an old 80’s commercial to advertise their sandwiches? Where is Jared? Have they stumbled upon such hard times that they must now recycle their old material? It was hideous then and 20 years later hasn’t done much to make it better.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Getting Ready

You might have to click and enlarge the photo to the left to see the Doe laying in the woods, but she is there. So is her baby though you can't see the baby. Bob and I went for a walk this afternoon and caught sight of this brave mama keeping a wary eye on us. The funny this is, we weren't walking in the woods. We just walked up the street we live on and turned left onto another street which is nestled in the woods, near a swamp. It has the feel of living off in the woords in the middle of nowhere. Bob and I would LOVE to live there but we are sure lots are $300,000 or more. Still, a couple can dream and pray and hope...can't they? If you click the Flickr badge on my sidebar, you can see that spring has sprung here in the Twin Cities and lilacs, cherry, and apple blossoms are out full force. The air smells sweet, the flowers are lush, and the breeze is warm. It's gorgeous.

So this weekend. It started slow and steady. Friday I left work and went to the liquor store to pick up some wine and some cinco de mayo booze for Bob. Heh. I got home with the good stuff, heated up some dinner and hung with the hubby.

Saturday I was up around 8 and out the door by 9:30. One of my friends invited me to her home for a seminar/retreat-type thing and I wanted to get there by 10. However, it seemed as though "something" did not want me there at all. First, I stopped at my favorite coffee place to get a latte. Instead of the decalf vanilla latte I ordered, I was handed an iced vanilla cooler. Yeah, that's the same thing. I had to get in line again to get a refund and place my real order and by this time the line had grown to about a half dozen people in front of me. I didn't make it out of there until ten to 10. Then, the exit I was going to take was closed for bridge painting or construction or some such thing. Then, the alternative road I took had slow traffic due to a large walk for animals. The stop lights were all out, the side streets blocked and cops were directing both foot and vehicle traffic. I got through that OK only to have a guy turn into traffic right in front of me and stop in my lane. I had the green light and the right of way. He had a red light but a giant SUV. I laid on the horn and swerved around him only to have him give me the finger of friendship. Nice. I did finally make it to my friend's house. I was only 25 minutes late.

The retreat was good. I met some nice women and was reminded that I am not a dud. I can do the things I set my mind to and will succeed. All I need to do it try. I need to change my thinking and set my course. Even if I change .1 degree, it a change that can affect the entire course of my (our) future in major ways in the future. Anyway, it was a good reminder. Especially since I've been thinking about what to do with myself after I get my degree in December. I am really liking this PR section we are doing and would not mind finding something in that line of work. Our next class will be in PR writing and once we are finished, we will have an entire portfolio of things we can use as examples of our work.

After hanging out at my friend's house, I drove home to meet Bob. He hasn't been sleeping well again and hadn't been up very long. We decided to get something to eat on our way to meet the builder we had made an appointment with. We had a good talk in the car on the way to dinner. Bob's eBay business has been going gangbusters lately and we are putting away that money for a down payment on a house. It is more money than we could have imagined could be made when Bob started this business a few months ago. We also agreed that after we pay off my car in two months, we will use that money to pay off all our credit cards (we don't have much left to pay off, but what's left is still eating away at money that could go towards a house). Once they are paid off, we are going to take the money I usually paid towards my car and put it in savings. That should build up nicely and come in handy for life's little emergencies.

After we ate, we drove to the builder's. His name is Dave and he is one heck of a nice guy. He went over our salaries and budget and financial responsibilities and said he may be able to help us build something perfectly suited for us, but probably not in the next year. Once we went over the numbers, we realized that this is what we want and we will save as long and as much as we can to do it. The bad news is we probably can't build a home like this for under $300,000 including the lot. The good news is, there is most likely some government help we can apply for under Bob's disability that will help cover the cost of some of the modifications we need like low entry doors, an elevator, a ceiling lift, and a sink on hydraulics that will raise and lower for Bob. So, we left in OK spirits with Dave promising to look into some other things, Bob promising to check out the government help available, and me hoping to save as much money in the next two years as possible. And to find a better paying job so we can afford this. We don't mind where we are living now, except that we are renting and our money is going nowhere. However, we won't mind living here as we are saving and building a next egg for our future home.

Today being Sunday meant that we had church. And boy did we have church. It was awesome. One guy led us in a good old Southern Gospel hymn during our worship time. Then, during the offering, a guy that ministers in "the hood" rapped an awesome tune. Southern gospel and rap in one service. That some diversity for ya.

After the service, a woman we know and love came up to me and Bob and said a relative of her daughter in law was put into jail this weekend for drug use and possession. While in jail they found out she is pregnant. She will not be able to keep the baby once it is born because she will be in jail. She has no family able to take a new born and would we consider adopting this baby if it worked out that way? We wasted no time in saying yes we would take the baby. Our friend said she didn't know the particulars and since this young woman is in another state, there might be some issues, but she would call her daughter in law and start the ball rolling in that direction if possible. I don't know what to do with this right now except pray. There are too many variables and unknowns to do anything but pray right now. Still, much to my dismay, there is a tiny little bubble of hope in my heart right now. Dang it. I can never not hope.

After church there was a brunch for all in the fellowship hall. Bob and I headed down there with some friends and had good fellowship. Afterwards, I went outside to walk and pray and take pictures of the beautiful apple and cherry blossoms. After that, I hung out in the van and made a couple of phone calls to tell people to pray about the baby thing. I also read some scripture and claimed the promises offered there.

Bob and I drove home and talked about how God is creative and amazing and surprising and if He chooses to build our family this way, so be it. We are all for it. Once we got home, we decided to go for a walk. Which is where we saw that beautiful mother doe and some other amazing sites of nature. Spring is my favorite time of year, bar none.

So, we are getting ready. We are saving money to build the house Bob needs rather than making due with something lesser. We are looking towards my graduation in 7 months and planning on how that will change things. I am making an appointment with the career development office at school to see how they can help me make the most of what I have to offer. We are still making and keeping appointments with the RE's and urologist's office to see what we can do, if anything, to have biological children, and we are making our hearts and home open to whatever children God sees fit to bring to us. We are getting ready because we feel as though our time in God's waiting room is done. He has plans for us and He is getting ready to make them known.

This next part is going to sound stupid to some of those of you who might be reading this. If you don't have a personal faith in God or don't believe in prayer, the supernatural, miracles, or the prophetic, you maybe should just stop reading now.

I've written about how I've been experiencing pronounced cramping in the morning this past week even though I've been over my period for 4 days now. Even when I'm on my period I only cramp the first and maybe second day. Yesterday while I was driving to my friend's house I was praying about the cramping and asking God what I should do. Should I see a doctor? Should I take medicine? Should I seek prayer? And here's the weird part. I felt like God was telling me that the cramping was a sign. A sign of impending labor. They were like labor pains and they meant that I am in the process of giving birth. That's all I got. I don't know if He meant giving birth to an actual child or if He meant giving birth to an idea or something else entirely. Yet how interesting was today's conversation with our church lady friend after that? I will keep seeking God on this and see what He tells me. In all honesty, if they keep up for a week or so, I will still be seeking medical attention...I'm not stupid. But I am getting ready.