Tag Archives: hard-things

Burned

Burned.

Some time ago, someone I considered a friend decided our friendship was too much of a bother. All communication was cut. No explanations, no apologies. I spun scenarios in my head, trying to determine how I messed things up, what I did to cause such a rift to happen. Nothing made sense, every recollection seemed normal. I worried I had hurt feelings, made possible transgressions that were not easy to forgive. In public the banter is still friendly when our paths cross, adding to the confusion. It seemed disconnected, forced.

And then I realized that all I had done wrong was offer an ear. I’m a big believer that a trouble shared is a trouble halved. I lent my shoulder and my ear, and perhaps sharing was something akin to breaking a confidence. I’ll never know. It’s a habit of mine to reach out and try to help others when they are distressed or sad. I’ve offered total strangers the comfort of my shoulder as they grieve for a sick relative. This time I got burned. But unlike other people who would learn a lesson from it, I refuse to let it dictate reaching out to others in the future.

There’s Bactine for that 🙂

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It’s My Pajama Party And I Cry If I Want To

This is no secret: I love pajamas. I mean, REALLY love pajamas. If I didn’t care about winding up on the People of Walmart site, I would wear them everywhere. Cotton, flannel, modal, fleece….. love them all. I do have my favorites, but they don’t seem to care. They are patient, awaiting their turn to be donned and appreciated.

liesel-pj-legs

Yes, those are wine bottles and glasses on the PJs. Don’t judge me. Anyway, one thing I have noticed is my overabundance of PJs. They are the one item of clothing I seem to overlook when cleaning out my closet and dresser. Ok…. I overlook it because I can’t bear to part with them. But when you are digging around for a set to wear, and find the sets from high school still in the drawer… you know it is time.

So today I will knuckle down, grab a box of tissues, and start to cull the PJ herd. It will hurt. Some of those babies have been my besties through the worst of times, and the best of times. There’s the set that spent time with me in isolation at the hospital, and the set that saw me through the next door neighbor’s fire, and the set that was with me when my brother was born….

He will be 33 this year.

I said don’t judge me!

I better go rip this Band-Aid™ off before I end up crying my eyes out in a pile of PJs like a crazy woma– never mind. It’s too late and y’all know better 😉


How I Stopped Fretting, and Learned to Love the MRI

Yesterday was a fun day for me. And by “fun”, I mean at least I didn’t cry.

Full disclosure: I have back issues. Last January, I managed to do something that aggravated my lower back, specifically my lumbar region (I was born with fused vertebrae in the lumbar region). I was in pain for a few days, and after it lessened, I discovered that my lower back now liked to crack like it was Knuckles Malone. My back now hurts more periodically than it used to, specifically when I bend or sleep in an awkward position. So, I made an appointment with my provider to be seen. He suggested I take a steroid (NO!), ibuprofen (CANDY!), and Lidocaine patch (…..wut?). I will say that patch does relieve the pain rather nicely. He also scheduled me for a back X-ray and…an MRI.

Sigh…. I am not a fan of certain enclosed spaces. I can hide in a closet just fine, but can’t wear a scuba mask. I knew there was a chance I could get the open MRI is there was no wait list. I called, begged, pleaded, and finally they told me they could fit me in.

In August.

That wasn’t going to work, so I chucked it up and made the appointment for the old-fashioned tunnel of despair. And so it began.

I get there with plenty of time to check in, only to be told they are running 30 minutes behind. No worries, that just gives me time to breathe deeply and not freak out. In what seemed like a few seconds but was actually 35 minutes, I was escorted out to the dressing area and asked questions about my affinity for metal. I told them I get my metal from Sirius XM. Satisfied, I am instructed to get into scrubs ten sizes too big and wait in the lounge area. Sooner than later, they walk me back to the gallows MRI. It looks like a tunnel to nowhere. I am given earplugs and a button to press in case I have issues with the procedure. As I lay down, I ask if I can have a bolster for my back, as I can’t lay straight without a considerable amount of pain. They tell me sorry, but no can do since that’s the area they need to scan. Fine….FINE!! They slide me inside the coffin, and the scanning begins.

BANG BANG BANG!!!! Sounds like some kid is hitting the outside of the machine with a hammer. I concentrate on counting the holes in the speaker so as to distract me from the fact that I am now a sardine. All goes quiet, and then I begin to pray my thanks to the Almighty God for the earplugs, because it begins to sound like my head is inside a semi truck’s engine while the trucker is blasting his horn.

Meanwhile, my back is beginning to let me know she is about to stab every single nerve. I am trying my damnedest to stay still when suddenly, I remember my ablation procedure and begin to panic because I HAVE COILS IN MY FALLOPIAN TUBES!!! I feel my heart thudding while I picture the coils being ripped out of my abdomen and sticking to the sardine can in bloody splatters. This is when I calm down enough to remember the freaking button in my hand and press it. Scan is stopped and I explain my dilemma. I hear the tech laugh and tell me that it’s ok, the X-ray shows it isn’t metal. Well,  of course it isn’t. Momentary lapse of reason due to panic. The adrenaline rush isn’t the only pain I am experiencing by now. And before I can stop myself, I move juuuuust a teeny, tiny, weensie, itty bitty bit. I’m talking micro-milli-meter here. I realize what I have done and pray the techs don’t notice.

Yes, I laughed too. After I got home and had taken a pill and drunk a margarita.

Due to my slight movement, I had to repeat the procedure. This time I begged for a bolster under my knees to help with the pain. The obliged, and even though it was a small bolster, at least it was something. Second time was the charm, and finally I was able to go upstairs to wait fifteen minutes for a CD of the scan to take to my provider, who as we all know can’t read it, but whatever. I’m just glad it’s over for now. I can stop fretting over it and move on to fretting over more important things.

Like wondering when the rain will stop 😉


Though Seasons May Change

I am starting to realize that changes in Life are a mixed bag. Some changes are simple and require nothing but an acknowledgement before one moves on: a change in hairstyle, the falling of leaves, etc. Some changes come as mixed blessings, and though part of the change is bad, invariably it enhances the good.

The other night I sat down to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. It has been a tradition in our home since before kidlets came along.

A-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-tu

I love Peanuts™. Growing up in Puerto Rico, it was a BIG DEAL when their specials came on (had maybe three channels, and cartoons were not their forte). It became an even bigger deal after I learned English. They are timeless, and ageless as well. But this last time I came to the realization that I sat there, alone. And it wasn’t the first time I sat alone to enjoy a family tradition. Kids are growing up and away, becoming on their own, Hubby is stationed away so our youngest can remain in this school district, and youngest is busy with band and theater and myriad other activities. One would think that leaves me time to write, but actually the opposite is true. I can’t find the motivation to write fluff when it feels like loneliness is weighing down on my heart. Some days the absolute silence in the house reminds me of how the kids used to fight hammer and tongs and me screaming for them to SHUT IT. Now I wish I had that opportunity again, just to let them fight it out Coliseum style.

I can’t wait for Christmas 🙂


Regrets of the Sith

I’ve always held fast to the belief that one should never have regrets. They tend to steep one in melancholy, or make one bitter, and nobody has time for that. That usually applies to big things, like letting go of the love of your life, or throwing away a winning lottery ticket. But little regrets? Sure, plenty of those to mull over a glass of vino.

I regret not ordering the molten lava cake the other night.

I regret not learning to knit.

I regret listening to Air Supply when I was in Junior High.

I regret matching my socks to my shirt.

I regret paying money to see Ishtar.

I regret not saying “goodbye” to my German neighbor.

I regret not keeping in touch with old friends.

I regret dyeing my hair Chocolate Cherry.

Those are but a few of my “pocket regrets”, the ones I keep in my pocket to remind me that things could have been worse. Regrets can choke you and stunt you, but reminding yourself that small ones happen can stimulate you into taking chances instead of holding you back for fear of failure. Can you imagine passing up an opportunity to be in a shark cage?? I didn’t, and I’m grateful my uncle was too chicken to do it alone.

So here’s to the little regrets, and may they always motivate y’all to keep living, and not just existing 😉


Total Disconnect

Today I had the pleasure of taking Hubby’s car in to have a few tweaks done to the rotors. I was prepared to spend at least two hours in the walk in freezer waiting area. I had a book and I had my Kindle, in case I finished my book. As y’all know, I prefer actual paper over electronic when it comes to reading material, but I couldn’t make up my mind on what other book to take so I took the Kindle because it had a variety from which to choose.

Thus endeth my justification.

So, I hand over the key and decide to go watch a trainwreck for a bit. Maury was on. I enter the waiting area to find a gentleman sitting across from the TV, managing his phone and his iPad thingy. He looks up and sees me and asks if he can change the channel to a less vomitous fare. I acquiesce, and proceed to take out my book and reading glasses (sob), and lose myself in the tale of intrigue.

I was lost exactly three minutes.

The gentleman finished managing his phone and turns to me to tell me how much he loves texting. When I say he loves it, I mean it. He LOVES it. He proceeds to tell me how handy it is to use when he wishes to tell his boss he isn’t going in to work (so that he doesn’t have to fake a cough on the phone). He prefers to do his break-ups over text so he doesn’t have to hear the “Did I do something wrong?” or the “Is it me??” whining from women (his words). He really enjoys the short messaging that forces people to be concise and devoid of any emotion when communicating.

He spent an hour talking to me in the most animated way about how he hates talking to people because they are emotional and needy. He spent an hour talking to me after his keys had been returned and he had paid for the services. And not once did he see the irony in the conversation. It’s a bit sad that all I had to contribute to the conversation were monosyllabic answers and a few nods of the head. But that was all I could get in, really. He finally noticed the time and bid me a farewell, and left to go back to work. I sat there in the now-silent waiting area and felt like I was on a flat sea. I can’t imagine feeling about human interaction the way he does. I hate texting. There is no emotion in it, and it’s not like you can imagine hand gestures and loud exclamations with a smiley face. And I need the hand waving and loudness, believe me.

I thought about that as I held up my book to avoid eye contact with the new customer who came in. I was justified, since she changed the channel to The View. And there is just so much human interaction I can take from that 😀


Craftoholism

Seems I suffer from that affliction.

Ever since Hubby’s job took him to DC, I have been trying to fill my days doing something besides cleaning. Yes, I have kept the house relatively clean but I have some things that hinder my progress in organizing it. First, I have the old bathroom mirror still taking residence in my dining area. My niece’s fiance wants it, but doesn’t have the transporting capabilities at the moment. Second, my son’s loft bed is still intact. My BIL wants it, but has not had time to come disassemble it, and transport it back to Houston. Frankly, I am getting ready to disassemble it.

With an ax.

Anyway, because of the absence of Hubby and Son, and because I have only one other person to cook for (and that person doesn’t eat much), I have been trying to keep myself busy enough so that I don’t miss them too much. Eldest has now been gone for a year, so that void has lessened. But the house still echoes sadly, even with the dogs here. So to counter the loneliness, I have gone whole hog and begun a series of projects:

  • Refinish thrift store dining set
  • Repaint thrift store nightstands
  • Repaint flea market frames
  • Make headboard out of old frame
  • Convert old sewing machine to a vanity
  • Make statement mirror for above mantel
  • Make coffee table stand for traffic light
  • Refinish and paint thrift store folding chairs
  • Make pumpkin topiaries for front door area

I think that’s it. But before I can do the big stuff, I have to get rid of the loft bed, so I can move Son’s stuff upstairs and move the office stuff to his room along with the chess table that is also taking up residence in my dining area so that I can finally do the dining set and place THAT in the dining room, once the mirror is gone. So now you know why I want to take an ax to the bed.

Until stuff leaves this house, I am in a holding pattern, but at least there are small things I can do to keep busy. I have finished the drawers, and painted vases, and managed to complete a wall project for my room. So I have that going for me, which is nice.

Keeping busy is the best antidote for loneliness. Well, next to eating ice cream. But until Blue Bell™ supplies stabilize, sanding and painting will have to suffice 😉


When I Was Your Age…

While helping Son get squared away at school, we got acquainted with his peers, as well as his command. Walking around the school, talking with other students about campus life when some dudes were running around questing for fire was a lot of fun, and they were surprised at the many changes that had occurred since we had matriculated. The biggest change was of course, Bonfire. And then it happened.

“Back when I was your age….” I sighed, and stopped.

Oh. Dear. GAWD!!!

I keep catching myself saying that phrase more often now, along with “back in my day”. I’m not even 50 years old and feel the need to have a shawl and a cane at my disposal when I say those phrases. Little One comes up to me to ask if she can get some high heels for a dance and I spew it out like an incantation. “Back in MY day, we wore flats and LIKED IT!!” Never mind she has flats and sneakers. I have to fly off the handle like some deranged wild hag. Yesterday I was at the grocery store and a young gal asked me where to find the wine mixer cocktails. I asked her what those were and after she explained, I said, “Back in my day, we called those wine coolers”, to which she replied, “why??” I told her to check on the aisle across from the beer fridge and departed, feeling my hair turn a whiter shade of appalled.

That’s it. I am NOT going to say those phrases anymore. I refuse to go down the path of my forefathers in this regard. From now on I will be more mindful of being repetitive. I will strive to be a bit more worldly as I impart my wisdom to the younger crowds.

Henceforth, I will say:”When I was very, very young….”

Because that makes me sound like a wise storyteller, and not like a sour, prickly crone 😀


Soldiering On

Yesterday, we took Son to his parental units’ alma mater. He has chosen to follow in his dad’s and his late uncle’s footsteps: joining the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. Already he has made new friends and reconnected with old ones. He has learned many traditions and aspires to be the quintessential Aggie. I have no doubts about his abilities and his aptitude. Anyone who enjoys calculus and argues physics will succeed in his chosen field. And being a member of the Corps cuts down on your laundry chores, so there’s that.

As an Aggie, I’m totally psyched to have one of my kids share in my scholastic experiences. As a mom, I’m terrified. Oh, I’m not afraid of something happening to him or of him doing some boneheaded stunt. That’s bound to happen anyway. But I do fear him growing apart from his family. I know the time will come when he makes his way in the world. I’m just hoping that happens after he graduates and goes into the military. At least I get to see him some weekends, so the loss isn’t so acute.

But today is a dark day compared to yesterday. Today, Hubby leaves for his new position in Washington, D.C. I keep telling myself it won’t be as bad as Iraq or Egypt, since we will be at least in the same country and only one time zone difference. Even after experiencing deployments before, this still leaves a hole in my heart, knowing he won’t be walking through the door to the bark of the dogs, or enjoy his video game (don’t worry, he took the console and games with him), or watch a B movie after a long day at work. My family of five is down to two for now, and it feels so lonely in this house without them.

But that’s what we do. We go on and adapt and hold down the fort until our loved ones return. I can only hope and pray that they will adapt faster than I will, because I can’t be there to help them through it. Already I am counting the days until Christmas when we can be together again, fighting over the the last of the doughnuts and waiting for dinner to be served while watching Christmas movies. Until then, I can only be there in spirit, and through Skype 🙂


Going Tharn

For days I have been trying to think of some fluff to post here. Sadly, my mind keeps turning to current events and all I can think is, the country is going tharn.

Priorities have changed. There is more value placed on a fish or an eagle egg than on a human life. Some are more concerned with the killing of one dangerous man-eating beast than they are with the harvesting of thousands of unborn babies for profit. Our president compares Republicans to Iranian hardliners instead of trying to unite the country. And on the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, I see people blame the US for the war in the Pacific.

I take it back. The country has completely gone tharn. Values, social mores, standards have all gone down in the past few decades, and it seems like people choose to forget rather than make the effort to employ them. I keep wondering when people will finally say “ENOUGH!” and begin the path to betterment again.

Or if they will do so.