Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bring on 2010...

Let's see - 2009 sucked for a lot of reasons. Husbands disability worsening, losing my job, watching my husband get worse. There were a few moments - husband's VA claim getting approved, taking the first step to start my own business.

So hoping to bring better things in 2010:
  • getting my business off the ground
  • getting my husband rated as unemployable so he can get more money each month
  • keeping my house a little cleaner
  • make time for sewing and craft things that I enjoy
  • making the time to exercise a bit more
  • cry a little bit less
I also want to take a vacation - a real one like a cruise or an all inclusive resort or something. Not sure when I might be able to do this but sometime in 2010 I will be come acquainted with the sun in some exotic place.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Where are you Christmas?



This about says it all. :(

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Two more days at home...

Then I'm off to spend probably at least 7 days at my mother-in-laws. I'm just not looking forward to spending all that time...
  • Sleeping on a double bed - I'm 5'10" and Pete is 6'4" and anything less than a Queen is just not big enough, Pete's feet hang off the end and he doesn't like that so he either curls up and takes 3/4 of the bed OR sleeps diagonal and leaves me with the choice to curl up (which I hate) or hang my feet off the side (which I hate more)

  • Spending 7 days living in a house where everyone but me smokes. I hate cigarrette smoke and my husband smokes outside in the garage. At his mom's no such luck and at any given time there are usually at least 3 people lit up and if his sister and her husband and step sons are there too then 6 people smoking and ME. UGH.

  • Probably spending Christmas day at a casino - let's just say not my idea of a meaningful way to spend Christmas.

  • Listening to my husband and his sister bicker and fight the entire time.

  • Not having my doggie to keep me company at the very least while I hide in the bedroom and try to avoid the yelling and the smoke.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Please snow storm - stay south of us...

I really don't want to have to run the snowblower again on Sunday so we can get out for church and exchanging gifts with my sister and her family. I really don't want to stand out there in cold weather with snow blowing all over me and the wind whipping my cheeks until they turn red for days.

I don't want any more snow right now. Please just this one little favor? Keep the snow storm out of here!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Scary moments at the restaurant tonight...

One of the regular customers is a 76 year old man named Jim. He comes in with his neighbors - they keep an eye on him and bring him with them to the restaurant about once a week. I love this old guy, he flirts with me like only old men can and always tells me how "terrible" everything is with a sparkle in his eye.

Well tonight they were brave enough to venture out in the single digit weather for dinner. But Jim lost his balance trying to come up on the curb and he fell over backwards knocking his head quite hard on the pavement. He had the wind knocked out of him and wasn't really moving - the pizza guy and I both ran out to see what we could do (his neighbors are elderly too so we didn't want them trying to get him up).

Despite knowing that moving someone can be dangerous we decided that leaving a frail elderly man laying on cold pavement in minus wind chill weather would be much worse. So we got on each side of him and hoisted him up between us. We had quite a struggle to get him up the steps and into the restaurant. I had to lift his knees for him to get his feet up and then we had to hoist him up the step. Despite being old and somewhat frail he's not small - he's about 6'2" and probably around 180-190. He was not talking, not answering questions and not able to try pick his feet.

Once we got him seated inside the front door the owners sister showed up and since she is a nurse and rarely shows up it was perfect timing indeed. She took over while I called 911 and got some ice in a bag and applied it to the rapidly growing goose egg on the back of his head.

He kept getting confused, he was talking but he didn't seem to understand why he couldn't just go eat. We told him he fell and hit his head and needed to be checked out and he'd say "I did?" and then he'd be quiet for awhile and a few minutes later he'd ask again - "why can't we go eat?" and we'd tell him again.

He as taken to a local hospital and they didn't think he had a concussion they sent him home. I hope he's okay as he lives alone.

I hope to see him back at the restaurant as usual soon.

Joy to the World & other random musings...

This is from last night - our group singing some rockin Christmas tunes - my heart really isn't in the season but I managed to muster some enthusiasm to sing at least:



In other news I got to use my fax machine today - it is a new toy that is actually part of my new HP OfficeJet All In One - Printer, Scanner, Copier, Fax - had to run a really long cord from the other room but was able to fax the Veteran’s Application for Increased Compensation Based on Unemployability right into the rep at the PVA.

Praying that this goes through and they approve it as it will mean $1100 more a month for Pete. That is the difference between 90% disabled and 100% disabled. I have to wonder why it's so much? Someone who is 90% disabled is not capable of much in the way of employment. But it seems appealing the claim to 100% is not wise - the rep from the PVA said that for him to be rated 100% he will either need to be completely unable to walk OR cognitively so out of it that he can't remember my name, his own name, what day it is, what year it is, etc. So yeah hoping he never gets that bad! Probably will end up in a wheelchair eventually but we want to put it off as long as we can. BUT we do need him rated as unemployable because HELLO - there is no way he could get or keep a job and he deserves this.

So wish us luck! And don't laugh too hard at my singing - not sure if there is anymore white girl clapping in this one for your amusement (ahem - Laura).

Merry Christmas (hey I'm trying)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Things are catching up with me...

I think I might be becoming depressed. It could also be just the remnants of my illness but I'm sleeping a lot, lethargic always, feeling down and not even a little excited about Christmas.

I am dreading the drive to my mother in law's in Dayton. I'm dreading the time spent there with my in-laws. I'm dreading how my husband always acts and treats me around them.

I am mourning the loss of something I can never have but something that gets dangled in front of me from time to time.

I haven't put any time into getting my business off the ground - I blame this on being sick but this week I could be working on it and instead yesterday I got up at 9:00 and surfed the net for about an hour and then went back to bed until 12:30. I got up the 2nd time and made lunch, then laid in bed watching TV all afternoon until I had to go to the restaurant at 5pm.

I need a kick in the pants I guess. I'm here all day accomplishing nothing. My house is a cluttered mess. My heart is just not in anything lately.

Monday, December 7, 2009

So that cold....

UM yeah I don't have a cold. I have bronchitis and walking pneumonia. Thankfully I got some antibiotics and narcotic cough syrup and will probably start feeling better in a few days.

The cough syrup? It's called Tussiniox and it works GREAT but it cost me $50 which royally pisses me off. :( There are tons of cough syrups with codeine in them that are available in generic and on my insurance company's formulary but nope the PA at my doctor's office prescribed this one with no generic.

So at the pharmacy they tell me I can go back to the doctor and ask them to prescribe something else and bring the prescription back with me and they will fill it, but they can't call and get it changed because it is for a controlled substance and I felt so sick and just wanted to go home and go back to bed that I paid the extra $40 and just took it.

Stupid addicts and their drug seeking behaviors make it difficult for people who are truly sick to get what they need.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sorry for the silent week...

I've been fighting off this terrible cold and trying to keep things going at home, working at the restaurant, and keeping my head above water.

Pete registered at the VA for his medical on Monday - it was actually so easy, and he got to see his new primary care physician the same day which was great! They are mailing him his prescriptions, and setting him up for a visit with the neurologist ASAP, so things are moving.

Patient coordinator said we should appeal the 90% to try for 100% but his advocate from the PVA said to wait on that because if she reviews and thinks that they should have rated him 100% she might be able to get it changed without the long drawn out appeal. She should call us back sometime next week with more info.

This is all so confusing and I'm not quite sure what to do or where to go next but just happy things are moving a long.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today I am THANKFUL!

Pete's VA claim was settled with his rating at 90% disabled! And today we got a payment in our bank account for 6 months of payments in one big lump sum.

It's been a rough 6 months that is for sure, but having this first huge hurdle overcome and having financial ruin averted for the time being is HUGE and I'm feeling much better today.

Also yesterday I registered for my domains, a hosting account, and an SSL certificate. I installed the shopping cart program and started a list of products I am going to sell. My business is on it's way - I am hopeful in addition to thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Good News and random update...

  • Yesterday Pete got a call from the VA - his claim is being finalized. He says the lady told him he was rated as 90% disabled but the $$ figure quoted was closer to 70% so I don't really know which one he got wrong? Waiting for the letter with details so I can figure out what needs to be done. Either means free healthcare for him for life - but 90% means about $700 more a month. Really wanted 100% but guess until he's wheelchair bound that isn't likely?

  • I went to the Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular yesterday. It was a beautiful show BUT I spent 7 hours on a bus to watch an hour and 15 minute show - kinda puts things into perspective.

  • In other news - apparently I killed our fish. I did a water change on Wed night and on Thursday he was hanging near the bottom and not coming up for food and by the time I got home Friday he was laying on the bottom not moving. Not sure what I did but now I'm going to have to empty and clean the tank before we can get a new fish because it seems like the water change had something to do with it.

  • I haven't done nearly enough about kicking off my business - Monday it will be treated as my job - I will take the first steps and just get this done! I need an income and with Pete getting 70-90% instead of 100% our monthly income is going to still fall short.

  • Today a double at the restaurant. Gotta get showered and ready now - should be a busy day thanks to a neighboring business having a pretty big craft show. Here's hoping!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Plans - hopeful plans for the future...

I have a plan forming in my head, this plan will take hard work, dedication, time, talent. These are things I have in spades! (well maybe not talent in spades but I have some!)

A website client who is a fabulous entrepreneur and someone I've known and admired for years gave me a wake-up call last week as I was creating another e-commerce site for him. He wondered why if I knew how to create this websites I didn't create a few for me and get myself into the arena. I have to admit I had tossed the idea around BUT what to sell? and to who?

He sells a wide variety of items BUT mainly things related to presentations and printing - binders, binding supplies, custom printed folders, tabs, binders, etc. He has relationships with suppliers and gets great rates - he offered to sell any of his products to me at a tiny mark-up that would still give me plenty of room to make a decent profit. Everything is drop shipped so my only investment would be time and the cost of a website to feature these products, oh and a merchant account to accept credit cards.

So this week (as soon as I launch said client's newest website) I am going to be spending a lot of time at sba.gov and researching how to register as a woman owned company, how to set up an LLC in NY, how to get a federal EIN number and a NYS sales tax ID, and the costs involved in all of these things. I'm checking out how to bid on government projects as a minority owned company, looking into procurement websites for major corporations, considering hiring an accountant to keep the books for me, looking at what I would need to do to get a grant to get all this started.

Yep - I am formulating plans - plans to never work for someone else again, plans to provide an income, and freedom in my schedule, plans for something so I can feel passionate about my work again.

Plans are good!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Trying out a new look...

I just felt it was time for something new - please let me know what you think! :)

The pictures are of my actual yard - in fall and using a Photoshop filter to blur and stylize a bit. Just wait for winter - snow, snow and more snow should be fun.

My Heart Hurts...

Today we put up Christmas lights - I didn't want to. I'm not in the spirit, I hate hanging outside lights because one no one even sees them and two we aren't even going to be here for Christmas. But my husband wanted to do it so I went along with it.

We had to buy new lights because the ones I used last year got ruined and were not usable. So there goes $25 on lights. Then we had to borrow my dad's ladder because ours is not tall enough to reach our gutters. (I admit here interwebz that when I called and asked to borrow my dad's ladder I had hoped he would offer to come do it, but he didn't and I didn't ask)

So we get this enormous tall ladder unfolded and leaned against the house and quick as a monkey my husband climbs all the way on the fucking roof! I'm losing my mind - he can hardly walk on the ground, he trips and stumbles and falls easily and now he's 20 feet up on the fucking roof? I pitched a first rate royal fit and insisted he get down NOW including real hysterical tears. He calls me all kinds of names, he refuses, I keep insisting, I refuse to give him the things he needs to do the lights unless he gets down.

He climbs down and I breathe a sigh of relief that his feet are back on the ground and that the furthest he can now fall is a few feet off his ass. I tell he he should be glad someone cares and that if his mother knew I LET him climb on the roof she'd tear me a new one. He tells me to shut the fuck up and then refuses to do anything more with the lights. I'm half tempted to just tear them down and be done with it. BUT I climb that shaking tall ladder over and over and over crying every time I do it because I HATE ladders - I hate them. Maybe it's because I'm not a small woman and I figure fat chicks have no business hanging to the top of ladders? I feel like I'm going to fall the entire time.

This ladder is heavy and every time I run out of reach I have to move the ladder over and everytime I move it I'm sure it's going to fall over. One time it does fall over and twists my back and wrenches my shoulder as it goes. BUT I finish, oh and to make things more interesting while I'm doing this my husband comes back out and tells me I take things too far. Then another time he comes out and tells me to get a lawyer cause we're getting divorced. I'm tempted to call his bluff here because I'm so sick of his shit.

I finish the lights. I fold the ladder back up and come inside. I go to my office to be alone, I don't even want to look at him. What does he do? He comes to find me to tell me "I could have done all of that you know!"

I have no words. I did something I didn't want to do, he turned it into a big ordeal. Rather than realize I have his best interests at heart when making him get off the roof he stews, he threatens divorce. He makes fun of me for being afraid on the ladder, he calls me a wuss for crying when swaying at the top of a big ladder. Then instead of thanking me for doing it or at the very least letting it go, he has to get in one last jab.

Days like this I'm not sure it's worth it to fight him? Maybe I should have just let him fall off the roof and kill himself?

Merry Christmas

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Contest on 2 Hot Dishes!

Win a free scented candle from Celebrating Home for submitting your favorite Thanksgiving themed recipe for the blog. Winner will be chosen at random and all recipes will be posted with links back to their respective blog owners!

Go here to comment and submit!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More things to be thankful for...

Unlike my last post this one really is more about things I am truly thankful for!

I am thankful for old friends!
  • The ones that have been around for 20+ years, the ones that just love me for who I am, the ones that have watched me make mistakes, listened to me cry, given me advice, never judged me for those mistakes, always accepted me for who I am. These are the friends who you can count on, the ones that will tell you the truth even when it hurts and yet never hold it against you. We laugh together, have cried together, have prayed together, have grown up together, have grown together. Yes you know who you are - and I am so thankful for YOU!
I am thankful for close friends!
  • I have a handful of these, some I have known for many years, others only a few, some I have only known through the internet and yet I have shared with them some of my deepest secrets and darkest thoughts. One in particular has helped me remain sane through this very crazy year and I hope I have done the same for her. I hope she knows who she is - meow.

I am thankful for new friends!
  • I have a new friend, she is much younger than me and yet she teaches me about the kind of person I want to be. She is kind, loving, intelligent. She follows her dreams, she inspires me. I feel honored that she has chosen me to be her friend. She is not yet privy to my blog but I would be remiss if I didn't mention her.

I am thankful for my sister!
  • As kids we fought like cats and dogs (well maybe worse than cats and dogs? for the most part my cats and dog live in relative harmony) but as adults we are true friends. I would do anything for her and I know she would do anything for me. I enjoy spending time with her, I trust her with my secrets, I admire her patience and love with her children. My sister is a special person.
I am thankful for my parents!
  • Both my parents are here and help out, they will do anything I need them to do and I try not to take too much advantage of that. Especially my dad - he is a worker and he has worked for me a lot. I don't know how we would get the things we need done around here done without my dad. My husband wants to move and honestly living in town would make more sense BUT I would hate to move away from my parents - it is so nice to have my dad so close (just a mile up the road).
And even when he is a big ole pain in the butt - I am thankful for my husband. I didn't get the life, the marriage, the dreams that I thought I wanted but I still can't imagine my life without him. He makes me laugh, he keeps me warm at night, he tells me he is proud of me, he loves me for me.

So there - my obligatory Thanksgiving post - but from the heart! :)

As Thanksgiving Approaches...

It's been a rough year here, not much has gone right. The early part of 2009 consisted of my husband going on job interviews and me listening to the after story realizing that he was probably not going to get any of these jobs, or any job again EVER because he just didn't have the capacity that he used to have. Physically he's weak, mentally he's unstable and unpredictable. In March I started researching SSDI thinking it was time to apply and my research led me to the fact that as former air force he was entitled to VA Disability which kicks SSDI's ass. So we started the process in March and submitted his application in April. With high hopes we waited, and waited, and waited, and are still waiting 8 months later. My high hopes are now tempered with a great deal of impatience and aggravation! GRRR BUT the bottom line is he will be approved, it is a cut and dried case so whenever it is finally decided we will get a giant check to pay us back to April and ongoing monthly payments for the rest of his life. This is something to be thankful for, it will save us financially. I just wish it would hurry up.

To add to the rough year - on June 30th I lost my job. This was a bit of a blow to my ego. It was HUGE blow to our financial status. But things that make me thankful - the temporary reduction of COBRA payments to 35% allowing us to keep our much needed health insurance without going into debt to do it. Unemployment - it's not much but it pays the cars and the utilities. We had savings - sure it was earmarked for retirement but it is more important to keep afloat now than to retire later, and we already know my husband will receive a monthly payment until he dies - so he doesn't really need retirement accounts. We could last another year and a half at least as we are if I dip into mine too. It won't come to that - the VA can't take that long, can they?

The upside to me losing my job - well I hated the job and the commute so wasn't really happy go lucky suzy sunshine while working there. In retrospect it was a mistake to take the job and make the change. I liked what I did in the job I had before that, loved it. There were frustrations but I LOVED the work. Also I was someone there, I was respected, I made decisions, I was important. When I changed to the hated job - I was no one, I was a peon, I was a cog in a machine. I hated it. The additional $16,000 a year I made by switching turned out to not be nearly enough for what I was giving up. :( Oh so this was about upside - well I realized it will take more than a big paycheck to make me like a job, and I got to spend a great deal of my summer with my nephews and let me tell you walking into a room to watch this little face light up with joy at my presence? Well it's something special! I have learned that despite what I always thought I really am not a tough, hard driving career woman. The more I think about the future the more I think I want a part time job, something that will give me purpose, and hopefully health insurance! Something that can be flexible and allow me to be there to take my husband to doctor visits, physical therapy, psychologist visits and more. As he continues to decline - more and more he is going to become my job. It's a sad reality for us - but as I embrace it I realize that for the past 4 months I have not missed the corporate BS at all, I have enjoyed sleeping until 8 most mornings, and I love having time - to take a walk, to go have lunch with a friend, to spend with my nephews, to spend with my husband, to play with my dog. Time is precious and I don't want to spend 50+ hours a week doing something I hate just for a paycheck. This is a discovery I am truly thankful for.

I think maybe after all these years I'm starting to find the real me in there somewhere.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Random thoughts...

  • I've been so busy since I haven't been working that I am not sure how I ever managed to fit a full time job in between all the stuff that keeps me busy these days. Between babysitting, volunteering for the church, and work around the house I'm so busy!

  • Hubby's VA claim remains in limboland (not to be confused with zombieland, it is much scarier in limboland) the latest is that the claim file is due back to the regional office the first week in December and until it comes back from the processing black hole there is nothing else they can tell us. Cashed in yet another 401K to fund November and December. *sigh*

  • I love the part time gig at the restaurant, but my feet don't love it at all. Had to spend some of the profits to outfit the feet in more appropriate style - a pair of KLOGS did the trick and my feet thank me over and over! :)

  • My mom hosted a Celebrating Home party for me on Sunday - it was a great party but only got one booking and that is my sister - not sure how that party will turn out but hoping. I need to book more parties or this thing is just a waste of my time and money. I have another friend who has promised to hold a party BUT her life circumstances right now prevent her from doing it. She says she will when she gets things back to normal. I hope it's soon for her sanity sake and my business sake. :(

  • A former website client came crawling back after his new provider started to nickel and dime him. A bit of satisfaction on my part and a nice bit of change for the work. Quick deadline though - I set my deadline as Nov 6th. I want this done so I can bill it and get the cash and well he just wants it DONE!

  • I sent out resumes this week - applied through online sites for 5 positions. Several of these are jobs I am uniquely qualified for, if I was the hiring manager and saw my resume come through I'd have called or emailed back right away. No one did. *sigh*

  • I started this post hours ago and walked away - coming back to say goodnight. Hoping for a bright tomorrow. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

And the nice husband lasted 2 days...

Then I went to babysit my nephews for 2 days so my sister and her husband could go out and stay at a hotel and be alone for their 10th anniversary. My husband got upset that they didn't come home first thing in the morning and got more pissed as the day went on. He said he was mad because he thought they were taking advantage of me. He kept calling me, and yelling at me because they weren't home. Said he wanted to spend some time with his wife but really he wanted me to come home so he wouldn't have to cook his own dinner or feed the animals, as usual when he says he's just sticking up for me it's really about him and my being nice to someone else inconveniencing him.

And to add to it he's got a cold - well of course that means he is dying. When I have a cold I still do everything I normally do. I do the laundry, the dishes, feed the animals, feed him. When he has a cold he sits on his ass and moans. It is very much like this:



So enjoy. I'm ignoring him when I can and I refuse to get sucked into a fight no matter how hard he tries. I just ignore him when he's being an ass and mutter under my breath when he leaves the room.

Hoping some Nyquil and a few more days of rest and he'll be back to semi-normal.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Last night of my vacation...

Hubby is coming home tomorrow. 8 nights and 9 days apart have been good for us, good for me! I actually miss him and am looking forward to seeing him again tomorrow night. :) I know he's eager to come home and misses me a lot too.

His vacation hasn't been quite as good as mine. He's staying in someone else's home, someone who does not have the same standards of cleanliness as we do. I do not consider myself a good housekeeper. I hate cleaning, HATE! But that being said the worst thing about my house is some dust and the endless battle with dog and cat hair. At their house the shower is growing things, the kitchen is a scary place, and their dogs crap all over the place so you have to watch where you walk.

Add to that there was a gas line break and they had no hot water for days so he had to go shower at a friend's house that was even worse! Also he thinks he got athlete's foot from someone so we'll need to treat that ASAP when he gets home and if I get it I'm going to be super angry.

He's going to be super happy to see me and come home to our clean house, clean shower, clean fresh sheets, and a nice dinner. Yep I think he will appreciate me again for awhile at least.

Friday, October 9, 2009

As promised - my singing debut (well at least here)...

Wednesday night was our first youth group meeting - we call the youth group SHIN3 Live and the kids seemed to have a great time. They all arrived eager and ready to go at 6pm, spent 30 minutes playing video games, ping pong, board games and talking to friends. They were drinking coffee, hot cocoa, and eating donuts and cookies and mingling. We had music playing in the background and a big countdown on the screen. Then at 6pm as the countdown runs down the worship team takes the stage, the kids all get in their seats and we begin with this:



There are 2 more songs following this one, a 20 minute message by the youth minister that was very good and then we ended with this song:



I am the one all the way to the right, and yes in the last song that is me singing solo as we open up.

I'm working on uploading the rest of the videos in the middle to YouTube and if you are interested you can find them there over the next day or two as it takes awhile to upload.

Enjoy and be kind! :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

And plans change again...

My aunt has postponed her trip because her dog has an eye infection and needs 3X a day meds and has to wear a cone collar and so can't use her doggy door so someone will have to be there to let her out, also has to go back to the vet on Wed and my aunt felt this was too much to ask of a dog sitter and so she changed her flights and will be coming for Thanksgiving instead.

This means that the 8 days that my husband will be gone to visit his friends are once again ALL MINE! No house guest, as much as I'd like to see her I really am looking forward to some blissful alone time and now I get it again! WOOT!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It's the little things...

Today I spent some time downloading video and uploading it to YouTube for the band I am singing with - yep I said I'm singing with a band! Okay so it's a worship band for a 2X a month catholic youth group but it's been fun working with the group and I love to sing. This is a first for me though - prior to this my singing has been limited to singing in church, with piano or guitar accompaniment or to a soundtrack and the occasional late night karaoke mistake with friends. This band is the real thing - drums, electric guitars, bass guitar, keyboard player, and 4 vocalists. And we aren't half bad!

The video I uploaded today was from an early practice, it is not polished and not suitable for human consumption yet and was more for me to figure out how to get video off my camera and onto YouTube.

I did have one plus to viewing this video - I found that I don't look nearly as disgusting on tape as I was sure I would! :) I mean the camera add's at LEAST 10 lbs right?

I'm not going to share the video yet - after our first live performance next Wed - Oct 7th I will be happy to share that one with you all if interested.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Kinda down these days...

My husband has been getting more and more depressed. He refuses to go to counseling because of our financial situation. Weekly visits at $25 a pop would really cut into his ever increasing cigarette budget (grrrrr) oh and his fast food budget too. He says once his VA medical comes through he will see about possibly seeing someone through the VA. We'll see.

His depression causes him to be extremely moody. He and I can go days without saying more than a few words to each other sometimes. He gets nasty at the drop of a hat. He spends hours each day on the phone with his annoying ADD best friend from Oklahoma. Sex? What's that? He's dragging me down, the fact that I'm not working and stuck here with him 24/7 for the most part is not helping. Everything he does lately makes me irritable and I want to lash out. I bite my tongue and bite it and bite it some more, soon I won't have a tongue.

Tomorrow is his birthday. He wants to go to Outback Steakhouse, so despite the fact that we have no income and it's not a smart thing to do we will go. And also a really not smart thing but something I had to do for my sanity - I bought him a ticket to go to Oklahoma for 8 days to hang with his BFF and give me some freedom and peace.

BUT - the time he is gone my mom's older sister is here visiting. A week before she comes my mom is having her knee replaced, she will not be up for entertaining guests but her sister insisted on coming anyway. I had offered to let her stay with us but she declined. Then she found out Pete was going to be gone and changed her mind. So the entire 8 days that he will gone I will have a house guest. And not just any house guest but my mom's somewhat overbearing older sister who is a control freak. This is the woman that sends me helpful emails as if she has forgotten that I am a nearly 40 year old woman and not an 18 year old kid without a clue. I tend to ignore those but will be much harder when she's sitting in my living room giving me the advice she loves to dole out.

So I think I've decided that to preserve my sanity I am going to take my BFF up on her offer to join her and her husband and some of their other friends in Ft. Myers, FL at the end of the month. For the price of a plane ticket I can have 6 days in a condo with private beach access in Bonita Springs. She and her husband have issues too so when I asked if coming without Pete would be awkward, i.e. the 5th wheel, she said no that it would be just me and her and her husband could go eat sea shells! So yes another really irresponsible decision for someone who is living on unemployment - but I will spend the $290 needed to fly there and I will not feel guilty about preserving my sanity.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Life can change in a second...

My sister's husband's oldest brother is going to die, probably tomorrow. He is 47 years old, he has a wife and two boys 13 and 11. About a month ago he experienced some severe and sudden pain in his back and some very serious looking bruises appeared, the doctor sent him to the hospital and he was admitted immediately. He was diagnosed with acute leukemia and started on an aggressive inpatient chemo treatment.

He started having some major issues with being in the hospital, I think they called it hospital psychosis. He was sure the nurses were trying to kill him, he escaped from the hospital once and pulled the fire alarm on his way out. He was restrained and medicated. His poor wife going through hell.

Then Saturday morning around 4am he went into cardiac arrest, it took over 35 minutes to revive him. They used hypothermic blankets to lower his body temperature in an attempt to let his body heal a bit and hoping to minimize brain damage. But after warming him back up and removing him from the drugs medically inducing coma - the tests show that the brain damage is extensive and he will not be able to survive off the life support machines.

The family signed a DNR tonight and the life support will be removed tomorrow.

A month ago their family was happy and everyone seemed healthy and they were enjoying their summer and now tomorrow 2 boys will lose their daddy, and one woman will lose her lifelong love.

I'm so sad for them although I don't know them super well and it makes me want to hug those close to me and remind them how much they mean because life can change in a second.

UPDATE: RIP - Steve. He passed at 3am on September 9th.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Good news travels fast...

I woke up this morning to the sound of a doorbell. Thankfully no one was at the door but I had forgotten to silence my phone last night and the doorbell is my text message alert. The message said "MEE fired!" and was from one of my very best friends and former co-worker from the job I had before the last one.

MEE was the devil woman that drove a bunch of us to seek employment elsewhere. While I technically left on good terms, there was no way I would even consider going back while she worked there. Today she was unceremoniously fired and escorted out of the building. I rejoiced 6 months ago when she was demoted from GM to Director, I wondered how she managed to last this long, the new VP of Marketing (her boss) started right after Memorial Day.

Soon after the text message I logged into Facebook, almost immediately another former co-worker who was fired by MEE sent me a chat message asking if I'd heard the news? And then as I started reading through my facebook home page I saw another former boss also fired by MEE had changed her status to "Ding Dong the Witch is Fired!"

So now as I ponder my employment possibilities another has opened up for me. This woman closed a door for me while she still worked there. She was a control freak micro-manager, she was a backstabber and a poor team player, while this was never directed at me I was always afraid I might be next. With her gone, I think I'll send my resume and a cover letter to the new VP of Marketing. I was one of their rising stars, I left within a few months of being promoted, I left because someone else offered me more money was the official reason. The other reason, the one never said was that the goals and budget expectations that MEE heaped on me even though I fought hard for more realistic goals would never have been attainable. I was set up to fail and she was too ignorant to realize and listen. I would have had a poor review if I did not meet my revenue and budget goals and I just didn't want to do it.

So wish me luck! My horoscope said that today was not a good day if you were looking for employment - maybe for MEE but I think it might be a great day for me.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Remembering the good old days...

I spent this weekend at the NYS Fair in Syracuse, NY. Specifically I spent most of my time in the goat barn. As crazy as this sounds it is the site of some of my best memories as a teenager. From the age of 13 up I went to the NYS Fair every summer to show my goats and participate in the 4-H Youth activities there.

1988 was my most memorable year - I had made some very good friends and we all hung out together in a gang of sorts. We spent hours playing Pictionary in an empty stall or out in the aisles. We spent hours preparing for all the competitions, showmanship, confirmation classes. judging contest, and more. If you weren't a farm kid none of this will make sense to you but it was fun.

My closest friend there was Dan, he was also my biggest competition for the coveted showmanship trophy. He and I worked hard together to get ready but once we were in the ring for showmanship all bets were off. In 1988 I was 18 years old and had just graduated from high school. Dan was 19 and had just finished his first year at Cornell, it was his last year to compete in 4-H (because they use age as of Jan 1 to calculate eligibility). He wanted to win so bad he couldn't stand it. He had tried his hardest for several years and had several 2nd place finishes to show for it. He was sure this was his year to get his name engraved on that trophy.

The class began and friendships became secondary as we all went out there with one goal in mind - WIN THAT TROPHY!!!! It was a long class, with 20+ kids entered it took several hours to sort us all out and for the judge to make their decision. At the end of this long and grueling process when the judge is starting to make his placings he points to me for 1st place and my heart leaps for joy. And for 2nd place - AGAIN - for the 3rd year in a row, my best friend Dan. He was a gracious loser, he congratulated me heartily and he meant it. He kept his disappointment at bay and let me enjoy my win. He was the best kind of friend.

Since that day - for the past 20 years Dan has worked at the NYS Fair with the youth program. For many of those years he's been in charge of the program. I became a licensed judge and first in 2006 and again this year in 2009 Dan has hired me to be the judge for the youth show at the NYS Fair Goat Show.

On Saturday we were reminiscing about the good old days. Admiring the showmanship trophy which is still in circulation and has an engraved plate that lists my name and the year 1988 on it. Dan says to me "you know what I regret about those days?" and he had planned to go on and say something nice it was obvious but I threw out a one liner that had everyone around saying "good one" - I said "that you never got your name on that trophy?" and he was speechless. I feel a tiny bit bad but not too bad because that is the kind of relationship we've always had Dan & I. His wife loved what I said and high fived me.

What he had been planning to say was that he regretted not getting to know me sooner...

Awwww - I feel like a shit. :( but maybe not for long.

It felt like old times again, me and Dan trading one liners. All was right in my world for a few minutes and we were 18 and 19 again.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Rough Week

Husband is in a mood - even though the doctor upped his mood stabilizing med it seems he's more on edge than before. If that continues might have to reconsider new dose? Twice this week he has been so rude and insensitive that I wished he would just leave and then felt horribly guilty for thinking that.

I'm becoming bored, need a plan of attack for finding a new job, new career, new something. Sitting around home with him all day is not a long term option - that is certain.

My car croaked today - under warranty - but scary to lose your power steering suddenly in the middle of trying to make a right into a parking lot. Had a few hassles surrounding this - first tow truck couldn't take us both so we had to call a taxi - this was frustrating as it took 40 minutes to get a taxi. Then dealership says they don't have the part needed and car won't be ready til Wed and oh by the way they DON'T have loaners. Hub's makes a few snide comments and limps around with his cane and talk about getting his wheelchair out of the car before they take it around. I mention we live an hour away and are kind of stranded - can't take a cab that far, etc. They magically come up with a loaner and we load his wheelchair and our stuff in the loaner and get out of there.

I'm tired now - today was an emotionally draining day. Hopefully tomorrow will be a recharge day as I'm going out with my sister and maybe my mom to a movie and dinner.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

20 Questions

I'm stealing this from K13 at Someday I'll Get There - you should check out her blog!


1. Where did you go on your first airplane ride?

Just around the area - it was in my Grampy's single engine plane and I wasn't yet 2 years old! :)

2. What is your earliest memory?
I climbed over the fence to get out of my yard and then ran across the road to visit my aunt. It was a house we moved away from when I was 4 so sometime before then.

3. What was your second grade teacher's name?
Mr Case

4. What was the last thing you watched on tv?
Army Wives

5. My uncle once:
gave me some career advice I wish I'd followed

6. How long was your longest relationship?
Pete and I are coming up on 13 years right now

7. What do you want to be?
Secure, happy, at peace, employed

8. What was the last thing you received in the mail?
A $10 gift card to Red Lobster

9. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
I couldn't possibly just pick one and can't think hard enough to narrow it down this morning

10. Would you prefer 10 inches of snow or 100 degree weather?
I'd take the snow!

11. What is your homepage set to?
my iGoogle page.

12. Last 5 websites you visited:
Facebook, Google Reader, VBC's Blog, The Mantel, Twitter

13. Were you a planned baby?
yes

14. What do you believe is the meaning of life?
I wish I knew

15. What bill do you hate paying the most?
My mortgage - only because it is so big - LOVE that I own my home

16. How many schools did you attend through grade twelve?
three

17. The Cosby Show or The Simpsons?
I liked both

18. Three signs Summer is here:
humidity, heat, ice cream!

19. The last time you had your feelings hurt:
oh well that happens every day in this house

20. Who was your first best friend?
Margaret, we became BFF's in 2nd grade. She died from leukemia when we were 14, it was a defining moment in my life.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gotta love how slow the government moves...

So today Pete had an appointment at Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany. This was his exam for his VA Comp & Pension application.

The good news - his MS has been service connected (as expected) and is currently showing 0% disability BUT that was what today was about.

The bad news? - The doctor who examined him was a specialist in internal medicine and the regional office had not sent Pete's file so he had only the briefest of information to pull from. But being prepared for government ineptitude I had all his medical records with me and was able to show him the most recent neurologists report and the neuro-psych evaluation. He said that since these were so recent he did not have to actually examine Pete - just asked us some questions and made some notes in the file.

All told we were there for 20 minutes with the doctor? Then we started running through the maze - first to travel to get a voucher to be paid for mileage. Then to the cashier to get cash for the voucher. Then to registration to get an ID card - but it turns out that based on last years income he is not eligible for VA Healthcare now - but once his % rating is changed from 0 to hopefully something more like 90-100% he will get all his healthcare for free.

So now waiting - sending in the last few doctor's reports to the regional office so they have this for his file since his file wasn't there today and they couldn't add it. They did offer to take the reports and send them in for me BUT I feel much more confident doing it myself.

So keeping fingers crossed for the highest possible % disability rating as higher numbers mean more $$$$ - and really with that neuro-psych evaluation added to the physical disability there should be no question of employability.

Monday, August 3, 2009

This week starts the testing...

My husband is going to the VA Hospital on Thursday to begin testing and evaluation for his compensation claim. Thankfully I am able to go with him - being unemployed right now while all this is going on is actually a blessing in disguise I think.

In preparation for all this I have been gathering the last few reports from doctors so we can get them copied and take them with us on Thursday.

One of the more disheartening ones is the neuro-psych evaluation report:
  • substantial difficulty recalling distinctive recent events
  • reduction in auditory attention/concentration
  • reduced cognitive processing speed
  • significant impulsivity/disihnibition
  • significantly below average in his ability to complete mental calculations
  • displays prominent deficiency in planning and organization
  • seems both labile and disinhibited in his daily fuctioning
A few quotes from the doctor's the final impression:

"Structured cognitive assessment corroborates very substantial persisting impairments in recent memory/new learning."

"The patient displays prominent deficiencies in self regulatory ability and self monitoring..."

While this all bodes well for the VA Disability claim, it is a huge black mark on our future. The Doctor recommends occupational therapy - I am hoping this is something we can get through the VA once this is all approved because he will need lots of visits and at $25 co-pay per visit under my insurance plan we just can't afford it.

I also pray that the VA Disability is at the max allowed amount because that would allow me to work part time and be available to take him to all these many appointments.

So hoping Thursday goes well and wishing there was a better prognosis. :(

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Can't Win for Losing...

Last night hubby and I went out with friends. We were out until the wee hours of the morning. We drank, we were silly, we had a great time. Today we slept way past noon and enjoyed not having to do anything in particular.

Then my sister asked if I would go out with her - she wanted to treat me to dinner and then go shopping. I said sure. I told hubby it would be AT LEAST nine before I was back home. At 10 I was nearly home and he called FURIOUS that I was still out.

He said that I forget that he has an ex wife that cheated on him and he didn't know if I was really with my sister, etc.

I am livid! I have never cheated on him, never even got close, there was one time when I'd had a really, really bad day and he had called me and berated me, belittled me and just brought me low, that night a male friend who was also in a very bad place and I had a talk. He reached out to me, he touched my knee, he touched my hand, he tried to comfort me and for brief instant I was tempted, very tempted to reach back and see what happened. But I resisted and it was over as soon as it started, we are still friends and thankfully nothing is weird between us. But I could have gone there and that day hubby had treated me so badly that I wanted to go there.

The thing that makes me mad is that in July 2007 my husband joined several adult "friend" websites. He spent hundreds of dollars and was talking to someone. He was planning to cheat on me with her. I caught him in the planning phase, I stopped him, and in the end I forgave him. The fact that he had gone so far down this path and hurt me so much and he has the audacity to accuse me of this because I was slightly later than he thought I should be? RIDICULOUS!

Then he starts in on how much he hates NY, how he hates living so close to my family, how we are not going to stay here. He tells me to put the house on the market. REALLY I say! I mean sure we sell this house does he think we can just up and move without any real money and no jobs? We are going to get a new house how exactly?

The only good thing is that thanks to the MS and all it has taken from him, he is unlikely to remember this stupid fight in another day or two. I wish I could forget things so easily.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Top Thrill Dragster...

This is a roller coaster at Cedar Point - the best amusement park in the USA at least - with 13 roller coasters and a great many more THRILL rides. I spent the day there yesterday with two of my long time friends and my husband. The Top Thrill Dragster is a "strata coaster" this thing shoots you out at 120 mph in 4 seconds, then you go straight up (90 degree angle) for 400 feet and over the top and twist back down. The entire ride is over in 17 seconds. I said "NO WAY IN HELL AM I RIDING THAT THING" in fact I've been saying that for weeks. My husband echoed my sentiments - just too much. So spending the day with my best friend Jackie we somehow decide sure we are going to ride this. Jackie and I often do things together that neither of us would do alone.

So we got in line and talked for the 45 minutes we had to wait, me with my back to the actual ride and trying to ignore it. I didn't want to think about what I was about to do. YIKES. We got up close and I started getting nervous. We got in the car and I was really nervous. Pete and my other friend Crystal who were too chicken (or too smart maybe?) to ride were watching from the sidelines and laughing at me as I closed my eyes and held on for dear life.

It shot us out of there and in 4 seconds we reached 120 miles per fucking hour! I clenched my jaw and thought about opening my eyes and suddenly I was coming back down the other side - STRAIGHT down and my eyes opened just as we leveled out and came to a stop. Yep I rode it - maybe next time I'll keep my eyes open? :)It was a hell of a ride.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday...

So today begins my 3rd full week not working. The first week I relaxed, took the dog for walks, watched TV, slept a lot. The 2nd week I babysat for my nephews - more work than work ever was and they wore me out but I had a great time too and how could I not when seeing this face every day:So this week will be a busy one - today I have a list of chores to accomplish:

  1. Clean the cat litter boxes
  2. Take out the trash
  3. Do 4-5 loads of laundry
  4. Clean the kitchen
  5. Clean the living room (including behind and under the sofa where one of my cats found a mouse yesterday! EEEEEK)
  6. Vacuum the entire house
Tomorrow I have more chores:
  1. Get the tires rotated on my SUV
  2. Get the oil changed on my SUV
  3. Go to petsmart for more cat food and cat litter
  4. Take hubby for his Tysabri infusion at 1pm
  5. Pack up everything needed for trip to Ohio on Wednesday
Then Wednesday we will be up early, driving to Ohio. It's about 8 hours to where we are going. Thursday will be spent with two of my best friends and my hubby and we will be pretending to be young and adventurous at Cedar Point. Friday starts my husband's 25th class reunion - there will be drinking on Friday night. Saturday is my mother-in-law's 70th birthday party during the afternoon and then the big event for hubby's reunion in the evening. Sunday is recovery day. Monday we drive home.

So I'm going to be working hard this week too - but in preparation for some fun times.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Not cut out for the mommy gig...

I spent today with my nephews - the oldest is nearly 6, the younger is 21 months. To say these boys wore me out today would be an understatement!

We started out with breakfast - Cheerios EVERYWHERE is a good description. Then we got dressed and watched some Baby Einstein. Then outside we went for some good yard play and swinging. Back in to pack a lunch and take the oldest to swimming lessons, then an hour and a half in the play park trying to get them to eat lunch. 1pm open swim at the pool and I FROZE while they played in the water. The older had a few whiney fits - the younger learned how to say whiney - love the way he copies everything I say! LOL Luckily I didn't say something I wouldn't want his mom to know I said! LOL

To prove how bad I am at the mommy gig - I forgot to bring a clean diaper for the younger one so we had to drive home with his wet swim diaper still on. Then I also forgot the older one's dry shorts and undies so he also drove home in wet shorts. Yep I am the model aunt, but not such a good mommy.

Baby took a nice nap but then woke up screaming. He was super snuggly and clingy for the next hour which was actually pretty nice - nothing sweeter than a baby snuggling up to you.

So I'll be trying to do this again tomorrow, and Thursday, and Friday.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Considering Work from Home Opportunities...

It seems that many of the "work from home" opportunities you see on the internet these days are scams through and through - some require an initial investment and that makes me think that the only person making money are the people who get the initial investment! So buyer beware in these type of schemes.

But it seems there are many legitimate work from home jobs as well. Customer Service seems to be one area that will allow work from home with calls routed to your home. Other opportunities include sales, data entry, medical transcription, and of course blogging.

I have added some google ad's to the sidebar to the right - if anything looks interesting please click! :)

Over the next few weeks I'm going to be exploring more and more of these type of opportunities and hope to share with you.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Finally a Glorious Summer Day!

It's been far to cold, wet, raining, etc here for it to really feel like summer but finally today it was mid 70's, sunny, slight breeze, just beautiful!

I have the doors and windows open to let in fresh air and bird chirping noises (not the actual chirping birds thankfully) and spent 3 hours mowing the lawn getting some sun on my shoulders and wind in my hair!

Now I've got the smell of Manicotti baking in the oven tempting me with delicious fragrances! I finally made the homemade shells in this recipe: Truly Homemade Manicotti and the cheese mixture from my mom's lasagna recipe that I really need to put up.

Hope everyone is enjoying their July 4th weekend! We spent the day yesterday with my sister and her family and the evening with them and some of their friends who graciously invited us to join their family celebration. They had lots of really big fireworks and put on a better show than most villages around here. Truly spectacular and we had a very nice time.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Gonna be laying low for a bit...

Let's just say I've been "dooced" if you don't know what that means google it!

So I have a lot of loose ends to tie up and a lot of desperate plans to make.

Hopeful in some ways - but SAD overall...

The VA Disability Application is proceeding - I have spent the last few weeks gathering medical records from the far corners of the earth it seems. The VA could make a decision within the next 30-60 days, hopefully that decision will be one that makes us happy.

I'm sad though because reading through the records we've received is disheartening. Pete's MRI's show extensive scar tissue, lots of lesions, black holes in his brain (sounds super scary) and brain atrophy. The doctor's comments say that he does not believe that he is showing signs of dementia but holy jesus I sure do.

"Dementia is characterized by a progressive impairment of memory and intellectual function that is severe enough to interfere with social and work skills. Memory, orientation, abstraction, ability to learn, visual-spatial perception, and higher executive functions such as planning, organizing, and sequencing may also be impaired."
(Source)

This describes EXACTLY what is happening from my point of view: "progressive impairment of memory and intellectual function that is severe enough to interfere with social and work skills" and it makes my heart hurt to think about it too much.

The good news - the doctor's reports should concur with our opinion that Pete is no longer employable.
The bad news - my husband is slowly slipping away from me and it looks like he's not coming back. :(

Sunday, June 21, 2009

If the eyes are the window of the soul...



Vacation Tales... (with photos)

This is the beach house we were renting, it was very, very nice!


This is as close a shot as you are going to get of me in my bathing suit:




The famous corona shot:



Me sneaking a kiss between shots while playing pool on Friday night:


The annoying friends:


So there you have it - my vacation in pictures!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Vacation Tales...

Still haven't gotten the pictures sorted out but here are a few things that really made me smile at the time.

1. Old dude in bar telling me I was gorgeous and my husband acting a tiny bit possessive and letting old dude know I was with him. :-)

2. Visiting the house of a good friend of the people we were there with - their flamboyant gay friend told me I was too cute to be with my husband! LMAO - he was mostly kidding about the hub's as he is a fairly handsome dude but was complimenting me.

Vacation ego boost - check! Hubby realizing that other men find me attractive and feeling a tiny bit insecure for a change - check! LOL

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Vacation Tales... (part one)

Starting with the bad things:
  • Hubby's friend refusing to let us pay for anything EVER! He would leave the table to go to the bathroom and hunt down the server and pay for everything - wouldn't even let us leave the tip. Generosity is nice but he refuses to let anyone else be generous - EVER - and I know I make at least 2X more annually than he does so why the show?

  • Hubby's friend refusing to stop the car and let me get the GPS out of the trunk when we were clearly LOST! TWICE - the 2nd time when we were on our way to the airport - assuming that he knew how to get to the airport (bad assumption). When he refused to stop this time I activated VZ Navigator on my phone for $2.99 so it could tell him to turn the fuck around! We got to the airport less than an hour before our flight because of his 30 mile out of the way detour - thankfully DFW wasn't busy and we got on with no issues.

  • Hubby's friend getting obnoxious drunk every day. (this leading to the door banging night)

  • Hubby's friend having to "one-up" every story including when Pete's air force friend he hadn't seen for 25 years came to visit us on Saturday - Scott had to one-up him too and it was so embarrassing!

  • Hubby's friend's severe case of ADHD, completely incapable of sitting still for more than 2 seconds at a time, I swear my 2 year old nephew has a longer attention span.

  • Hubby's friend insulting poor girl at liquor store with his insistence on speaking in Spanish to anyone who looked even slightly Hispanic. She answered him back in English and he says "oh you want to work on your English?" to which she replied "No, I was born here and I don't speak Spanish." I was mortified.

  • Hubby's friend talking through and over anything and anyone all the time. Watching a movie - he will spoil it by telling you what's going to happen next.

  • Hubby's friend constantly going on and on about being a "Marine". Big fucking deal! Once when he stopped to ask a cop directions, the cop yelled at him and told him to pull off the road first and his answer "I'm a marine." My thought was so what? does that give you a free pass to ignore the rules? I guess to him it does.

  • Hubby's friend refusing to let airport personnel push Pete in the wheelchair to the gate (while I carried the luggage) and instead making us wait while he goes through the line to get a security pass so he can push him. Remember at this point we are already over an hour later than I wanted to be and he is making us wait because he needed hubby's boarding pass to get his security pass.

On the way home hubby turns to me and says - "Well I've had my yearly dose of Scott ____." And I said "hear, hear!" and then he kissed me and we cuddled on the flight home.

Being united against the annoying guy was just one of the many good things about our vacation. There were lots of good things on this vacation too - I'll save those for another post tomorrow and hopefully sort through some good pictures to share too.

~TTFN

Saturday, June 13, 2009

People who try too hard...

The people we are on vacation with are of the variety of "people who try to hard". They want to be the center of attention, want to be the life of the party, want to tell the best stories, want to be the most generous. It's exhausting.

This is my husband's best friend from high school. He reconnected about a year ago and this is the 2nd time we've spent a week with them. I remember now how I was ready for them to go home about 2 days before they were actually going home. And here I am after three days with them, wishing for some peace and quiet for the next 3 days of my vacation.

The wife is not bad - she is not a show-off but his buddy is ADHD to the extreme - a VERY heavy drinker and always has a better story than the one you just told.

It gets old. AND he insists on paying for everything always. The main problem with this is they are basically minimum wage workers and I don't want to take their money all the time. He has insisted on paying for both nice dinners and in fact goes up to the waiter before dinner is over and pays so when I get out the credit card it's already been paid.

And he is an obnoxious drunk - last night we left the bar and went to bed around 12:30 and three times between 2am and 3am he ran down the hall banging on our door and trying to wake us up. What for I don't know but I slept like crap.

Tonight we are supposed to go out for karaoke and I just really don't want to go. But I don't think he'll let Pete and I stay here and watch a movie and snuggle on the couch without creating a HUGE stink. So we will probably go to the bar for a bit at least.

Don't get me wrong I am mostly having a good time - but people like him exhaust me. Pete's fed up with it too - so at least we are united in our dislike.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Good Customer Service is Rare...

So I'm sitting in the airport in Albany, NY after having a very bad situation turn out in my favor thanks to a very helpful gate agent with United named Denise!

We got to the airport at 4:45 for a 5:45 boarding time to find out that our plane was delayed 1.5 hours and there was no one able to help rebook for awhile. Then they sent us all to another gate, and when we got there and waited in line they told us to go back to the original gate.

I don't think I need to say my husband doesn't handle stress well and was about to stroke out. My efforts to calm him made things worse and I was ready to just go home and give up on the beach.

I called United to see if they could re-book me over the phone so I could at least know what is going on. They said I had already been rebooked and I should just wait - but gave me the info.

Now they wanted me to fly from Albany to Dulles, then from Dulles to Chicago, finally from Chicago to Dallas and arriving a full 6 hours later. I asked the agent on the phone if they could instead book me to Houston and the agent kept ignoring my question and saying I had already been rebooked and to wait for the gate agent to help me. There was no gate agent.

Finally the gate agent comes, and I explain the situation to her. That 2 connections would possibly kill my husband (and he gimped around slowly with his cane to prove the point). She switched us to a continental flight through Newark into Houston and now we will be arriving in Houston at 2:10 - so to the beach by 4pm (instead of 6pm if we had left from Dallas).

So for all the hassle we end up ahead of the game and all thanks to a very understanding woman named Denise who went above and beyond. I would write a letter to the airline praising her but she technically wasn't supposed to change destinations and could get in trouble so I really don't want to call attention to it! :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Hurting...

Things have been bad lately - husband flies into a rage over any tiny thing that doesn't go his way. He is clinically depressed (started see a therapist today so HOPE), has severe anger issues, and is just all around miserable. I take the brunt of his misery and it is making me seriously depressed too.

To recap my life of late:
  • Working at a job I don't like for a boss I can't respect
  • Husband not working since September, financial security crumbling around me
  • Husband in the process of getting VA Disability but it takes so long
  • Husband has ZERO patience for above
  • Bills to pay (lots and lots)
  • House to care for
  • Bank account empty - back to living paycheck to paycheck after a decade of prosperity
  • Wondering how to get enough money to pay everything on time
  • Considering paying the car insurance with a credit card when it next comes due in Sept
  • Considering cashing in retirement accounts that have lost 50% of their value in the last 2 years at a HUGE loss to pay bills
  • Wondering if my marriage can survive one more screaming fight
  • Wondering if my heart can
  • Feeling guilty for thinking how nice it might be to come home to an empty house with no one to yell and no expectations
  • Feeling even more guilty for even thinking of abandoning the disabled spouse - "in sickness" and all that
  • Praying super hard that vacation will ease some tension and put some levity back into the situation

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Where I get my childish ways...

This is my dad - he is 62 years old and last week he was having a blast riding a merry-go-round. I take after him in most ways - my tendency to worry too much, my tendency to shoot off at the mouth, my tendency to feel insecure and insignificant, but also the good things, my sense of humor and my ability to have fun anywhere I go.

I know Father's Day is a few weeks away still but I got this picture tonight and I just wanted to share my daddy's fun picture!

Living in the burbs...

Hubs and I lived in a small ranch house in a northern suburb of Cincinnati from 1999 through 2004. The subdivision we lived in was built post WWII and featured thousands of nearly identical brick ranch houses with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and a 1 car garage. Living in the burbs is interesting - especially if you have interesting neighbors.

To our left was a couple about 20 years older than us with one kid left at home a 19 year old boy who imagined himself to be somewhat "gansta" even though he was a skinny, pasty white kid. His Nissan Sentra was his pride and joy and he desired to make it look like a car from the Fast and the Furious. He had a slammin stereo in there apparently and we could hear the bass throbbing when he was still 2 blocks away. He had a habit of turning that stereo on at a level to rattle our windows while he was washing and waxing his car every weekend. It was an annoyance and hubs would often go out there and tell him to turn down the volume - he would until hubs went back inside and then it started all over again. We were happy when he moved out! His parents were nice people but total rednecks, every fall the dad went deer hunting and would drag his dead deer back to the burbs and hang it in the tree in his front yard. Reminded me of home sort of.

Across the street we started out with an old lady and her yappy chihuahua dog, she was friendly and nice. Then she sold and moved in with her daughter. The people that lived there after her were not quite as easy to take. A single mom with 4-5 kids (was never sure) and her deadbeat brother who never seemed to have a job. Their lawn was never mowed, their kids ran wild and were full of attitude, the mom was ignorant of her kids behavior. Thankfully they disappeared one day and we found out they were foreclosed on - apparently after moving in they never paid even one payment. Nice!

Next to them was a rental house that turned over several times. The people who lived in that house were always entertaining. One couple had the police there for domestic disputes weekly and once the guy was pounding on the door in the middle of the night screaming at her. Another time he threatened to drive his truck through the front window cause she locked him out. After they left a much quieter couple moved in, until her car was repo'd and she chased the repo guy down the street with a baseball bat screaming like a lunatic.

On the other side of us was also a rental house but these people were long term. They were totally welfare peeps and trashy BUT friendly and quiet. Our biggest complaint was they didn't mow their lawn as often as they should and that they had a deaf cocker spaniel that barked at us all the time. Then their son moved home - he was pretty quiet but had a string of cars coming and going. A car would pull up, he'd go out and stick his head in the open window to talk and a few minutes later they would pull away. 4-5 times a day this happened. Didn't take long to figure out he was dealing. One night in the dead of winter around 11pm I looked outside and saw 4-5 men in black holding guns in my backyard and I freaked, one of them knocked on my sliding door and showed a badge. I opened the door. Apparently someone hopped on on something the kid sold had taken them all hostage next door and they were trying to deal with the situation. They told us to stay in the house - yeah we were going to bed but not now. Then the cops are back knocking on the back door - they are rescuing people who were barricaded in the bedroom and since no one had coats or shoes and it was Winter they wanted us to let them in our house. We did - the dad was stuck though -at nearly 400lbs he could not fit through the window they were rescuing through and had to stay in the house with the druggie with a knife until the police could subdue him. It didn't take long and the hostage taker was actually a "friend" of the drug dealing son. Somehow he escaped from any blame in this and the police never suspected that the druggie was breaking in for more drugs? So for a few weeks the stream of cars stopped but soon enough he was dealing again.

Now I live in the sticks and the only thing out of the ordinary that happens is finding baby deer sleeping under my trees or waking to the farmers cows all over the lawn AGAIN. It's a trade off I can live with.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Friday MeMe .....

Stolen from Remember Moments a little meme action for a Friday:


What is your best friend's name?
Julia

Where is the weirdest place you have a mole?
I don't have any moles

Who was the hottest teacher you ever had?
Never had any hot teachers

Have you ever made out in a movie theatre?
Unfortunately yes

What body part do you wash first?
I always start with my hair and work down.

Do you hover over the toilet in public bathrooms?
Nope

What's the strangest talent you have?
I have a Sorority Girl talent - can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue. I thought that might impress you! ;-)

Do you have an innie or an outie?
An Innie THANK GAWD - outies are *shudder* creepy!

What's your favorite flavor of Pringles?
Cheddar or Sour Cream & Onion.

Have you ever been tied up?
No

Do you want to be?
I'll try anything once.

What's the last thing you got grounded for?
Far too long ago to even have a clue.

Do you parallel park or drive around the block?
I am a champion parallel parker!

Have you ever had two dates in one night?
Maybe?

Which shoe do you put on first?
Whichever is closer - probably right.

Have you ever been to a gay bar?
Nope - but I would go!

Is there one thing all of you love interests have in common?
They were all men but that's about it.

Did you French kiss before you were 16?
Nope

Have you ever been cow tipping or snipe hunting?
Not officially! Cow tipping was discussed a time or two. Snipe hunting is a way of stranding some dumb city kid in the woods cause there's no such thing as a snipe! :)

Who is the last person you usually think about before you go fall asleep?
Depends - probably Pete most of the time.

Have you ever had a poem or song written about you?
Yes a poem once - it was terrible.

If you had to choose to not ever wash your bed sheets again or not wash your bath towel ever again, which would you rather not wash?
Hmmm - not sure I can pick here - I guess towel and then I'd start drip drying! ;-)

Have you ever found anything in your parents' bedroom that was questionable?
Nope

What was your childhood nickname?
Tricia - although in high school some guys started calling me Patio cause they knew I hated it and there were ad's on then for a brand of burrito's called patio burritos. Yeah good times.

When was the last time you played air guitar?
Never? I was always the singer! :)

Have you peeked in the opposite sexes locker room?
Peeked? No not me - I just walk right in and then panic cause I'm in the wrong one!

What's the weirdest thing you've done while driving?
Changed clothes.

Have you ever been on the computer for more than 5 hours straight?
Every day

How do you eat your cookies?
Is this a trick question? How many ways are there to eat cookies?

When working out at the gym, do you wear a belt?
No?

Name something you do when you're alone that you wouldn't do in front of others?
Tweeze those crazy hairs that just show up on your chin overnight!

How many drinks does it take before you get drunk?
A few - as in 3-4

Have you ever sniffed an animal's butt?
Nope

Do you scrunch or fold your toilet paper?
Fold

How many times a day do you pick out a wedgie?
Never

Do you have any strange phobias?
Can't sleep with closet doors open.

Have you ever stuck a foreign object up your nose?
Probably as a child - don't all kids do this? Not since I remember let's put it that way.

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done at a bar?
Sing karoke songs all night long

Have you ever been dared to do something that you totally regretted?
No one dared me to do most of the things I regret.

Have you caught a guy/girl farting on a date?
Sure?

Have you ever played naked Twister?
Not officially

Have you ever been drunk at work?
Yes in my 20's I sometimes went to work STILL drunk. :)

Do you want to bring sexy back?
Where did it go?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Memories...


These are lilacs a whole flower bed full of them and they are blooming pretty purple and cheery. These lilacs make me happy and bring back memories of my childhood.

When I was very young and my great grandfather was still alive (he died when I was 8 and in 3rd grade) I used to spend a great deal of time at my great grampy's house, he had this fabulous garden across the street from his house with a lily pond that was normally empty and my little sister, my cousin E and I would run down one side and up the other and sing childhood songs and laugh and play. There was a small grove of apple trees and we loved to climb them, and fell out of them sometimes too but we all survived unscathed. There was row upon row of Christmas trees in the back and we would play hide and seek in there for hours.

In that garden were giant round beds filled with lilacs and I remember how pretty they were. Well my great grampy died in the fall of 1978 and his son my grandfather kept the house for another 6 years or so before he sold it, he came up on weekends and while the place didn't seem quite as magical I always loved visiting there. When my grandfather sold the house my mom transplanted some of the lilacs into a ditch area at her house where the continued to multiply until 2 years ago when they decided to thin them out and gave me a whole bunch of them. I planted them in the fall of 2007 and had hoped for pretty purple flowers last summer but only got a bunch of green leaves. This spring they started blooming.

It makes me smile and if I wasn't suffering from the croupy cough (also reminiscent of childhood) it would make me want to run and play and sing songs like ring around the rosie. Maybe I'll bring my 5 year old nephew over this weekend and run and play and sing with him. My great grandfather has been gone for over 30 years but this week I remember him vividly.

Monday, May 18, 2009

My last post...

I put it back in draft mode so it isn't showing up on the site right now. I had a tip from a well meaning reader and would hate for someone to see it and use it against me or my friend B (who I hope will file a lawsuit) so for now it's gone.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Finale...

Perhaps it is because my own life has been so stressful of late or maybe there really is more quality stuff on television the last few years but I am more wrapped up in quite a few TV shows and the finale's of these shows have all evoked strong emotional responses in me.

LOST - I am so addicted to this show - I love the characters, Sawyer is my favorite because I have always loved me the bad boys. Seeing how he has grown this season is touching, the ending scene with him crying really left me gutted. (I would say more but then VBC might kill me as she has not watched this season yet - choosing to wait for a rainy weekend to watch it all one right after the other)

Grey's Anatomy - So many things in this season of Grey's have gotten to me. The wedding last week was absolutely beautiful and I cried. The final scene of the finale with Izzy in her prom dress heading up the elevator and the doors open - I just thanked GAWD it wasn't Denny waiting for her because that would have ruined all the Alex storyline to me. I figured out very early on in that last episode that John Doe was actually George so it wasn't a shocker but I had forgotten rumors that he was leaving the show. So sad - hope him greeting Izzy at the elevator was like Merideth walking the halls while "dead" from drowning and he's really coming back cause I like George.

I also never miss House, Ugly Betty (I know kitzchy but I love it, she's so upbeat and the strangest things happen to her), Heroes, Biggest Loser (the only reality TV I still watch) and The Office (just because well who can resist?), Private Practice as a matter of course for a true Grey's fan but now I love it for itself, Fringe - Walter rules but the finale was shocking and cool. I also watched every single episode of Life on Mars and was very upset with the way they ended that and the premise - it nearly ruined the show.

So heading into summer I can look forward to Army Wives at least - what else will keep my mind off my own stressfull life? I guess I need to get a new library card.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sharing the love...

I haven't posted as regularly as I had planned for the past few months. Lacking inspiration I guess - probably due to all the STRESS but thought I would share some love for the blogs that I read daily and those that I wait anxiously for their next post. So without further ado - here are some of my favorites from my google reader lineup:

So there are probably more - some I've missed but having wasted an hour reading these as I grabbed the link I should probably get some work going!

Enjoy - these are some of my favorites for sure!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Death of a dear friend...

It is with great sadness that I must announce to you all that my dear friend laptop gave up the ghost on May 7, 2009. We have been nearly inseparable companions since December 2003 when I brought him home from Costco and took him out of the box.

After over 5 years of faithful companionship my friend laptop started overheating and making some very loud and scary noises about 3 weeks ago. I knew it was a matter of time. I knew I should back up all my data. I knew he was dying. But in a fit of procrastination and denial I didn't bother to back my data up.

Then on Wednesday night I tried to wake my friend up from sleep to find just a blank screen staring at me. I held down the little button to force a reboot, another black screen stared at me and finally I see the white words telling me Windows failed to shut down properly - whew - Choose Last Known Good Configuration and run with it. But... it won't load? Uhoh!

So I push the button again and turn the machine off - hoping that a little time to cool down and he will get his wits about him again and boot up. I have my portable hard drive waiting to grab that data the minute I can get it to load.

I try again in the morning, and again in the evening. It's official when my laptop starts screaming (REEEEEEE REEEEEEE REEEEEE is the sound) that the hard drive is in serious trouble.

My data? Well it's my fault. I know better than to procrastinate but I was sure I had more time! I need more time!

So now I'm shopping around - I am coveting a sweet little netbook. Leaning toward the Acer 10.1" Netbook in Ruby Red - I <3 Red! I have to order it - no one seems to carry that size/color in stock. I want it NOW and don't want to wait until sometime next week for my prize. Not to mention that in our current situation I probably should just live with the very capable and fast desktop I also currently own and forego the laptop alltogether but I don't want to.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Illness Outbreak of the Porcine Nature...

So it seems every where I look someone is panicking about the Swine Flu Pandemic - run scared - ahhhh. But seriously everything I hear from official channels says that this is no worse than any other seasonal flu, has no more risk for damage. We aren't talking about an outbreak of Typhoid here - it's the flu. It sucks BUT if you take reasonable care - stay home and don't spread it - go the doctor if you have sever symptoms - you'll likely weather this just like the last case of flu. Maybe a few pounds lighter, a bit weaker, and much paler BUT you'll be fine.

From what I read only those who are already weakened from other illnesses and the elderly and very young need be concered (as is the case with any flu). And since my husband's immune system is far from normal if I start to show signs I think I'll check into a hotel to keep him safe. But me? I'm not worried about me.

So I refuse to freak out and start wearing masks like freaky Michael Jackson. I definitely don't want to catch it and a nice new bottle of purell sits on my desk for appropriate times, but I'm not worried.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's easier to just do it myself...

Today my husband decides he is going to "help me" by doing laundry. So he sorts it all into piles on the bedroom floor and then goes to get a laundry basket to carry it downstairs. He finds that the laundry baskets are all full - of clothes and in the spare room where I keep my clothes. (Cause I just carry the hamper down to the basement and sort the laundry down there and don't need a basket until they are dry.)

He first sends me an nasty email and when I don't respond he calls me to berate me and say that because I "bitch that he never does anything" (which I haven't said a word in months) he decided to help with the laundry but since the baskets are all full of "your shit" I can't do it.

I simply said - "I don't worry about keeping the baskets empty because I'm the one doing the laundry and I know where they are."

He says I'm bitching again - then when I say "no I'm not" he says "do you even know what bitching is?" so I said "Yep it's what you're doing right now and I don't have time for it - GOODBYE!" and I hung up the phone.

So after all that I will come home tonight and still have to do the laundry I'm sure because now he has his excuse for another 3 months of just not bothering to do a damn thing.

Sheesh is it any wonder that I'd rather just do the work myself?