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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Week Ago, A Year Ago

Yesterday afternoon, I was thinking about the fact that it was almost the last day of November. Obsessed with all things NaNo, I only looked at this as it related to finishing my 50k words.

Then I realized that it was also November 29th. Kind of a big day around here.

A week ago, Joe woke me up in horrible pain and eventually had his appendix out. What a difference a week has made! He's recovering very well, down to one ibuprofen a day, more or less, and he's a lot happier that he's awake and coherent more often. He's still tiring out easily but we're both sleeping better and he continues to improve. I'm so thankful about this!

A year ago, I left my job of 9+ years. My feelings about that are a lot less clear. Absence has not made the heart grow fonder - I don't miss them even the slightest bit. But I have to admit the last 12 months have not gone as planned. We thought Joe would have a new job by now, that possibly we would've relocated. He applies and often gets called for interviews. And then for various reasons, it doesn't work out. He's even turned down several offers. I've started trying to build up some freelancing work, which is going very slowly. I haven't made any progress on my weight loss. I've been doing a lot of writing. I've been doing a lot of crafting. I've been doing a lot of learning. But I'm not where I think I should be considering the last 12 months have been traditional job-free.

And so, a week ago, a year ago, big days. But now, I'm more interested in a week from now, a year from now. Maybe my word for 2012 should be "forward."

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sleep and Recovery

Last night, I slept 8 hours straight. Or, if I didn't, at least I don't remember being up. Why is this worth noting? Because it's the first time it's happened in more than a week thanks to Joe's rebellious appendix decided to act out late last Monday night. In fact, once since then I slept for 5 or 6 hours but mostly it's been just 2-3 hours at a time.

And if I sound rambly, it's because even though last night was a lot of awesome sleep, I'm still not completely recovered.

Speaking of recovery, Joe's doing okay despite my occasional urges to strangle him. Friday night he as still in a lot of pain and started freaking out because he was almost out of the heavy duty pain meds the doctor had prescribed. He begged me to call and get a refill. Like a good wife (but not like THE Good Wife because if I had awesome curly hair like Julianna Margulies I would never straighten it like that), I left a message and waited for the on-call doctor to return my call.

Only, apparently this guy was bitter at having to be on-call for Thanksgiving weekend or failed his bedside manner unit in medical school because he was the rudest person I've dealt with during this entire appendix adventure.
Dr. Jerkface: What do you want?
me: My husband had an appendectomy on Tuesday and is still having a lot of pain but he'll be out of pain medicine tomorrow. Can he get a refill?
Dr. Jerkface: Tuesday? It's been four days. He shouldn't be having that much pain.
me: He says he is.
Dr. Jerkface: Yeah, but it's been four days. That much pain isn't normal.
me: Should I be concerned? Does that indicate a problem?
Dr. Jerkface: No.
me: Okay, then what do you suggest?
(he asks and I answer a whole bunch of questions)
Dr. Jerkface: I can call him in something, but I can't call him in the same thing.
me: Ok, thanks.
Dr. Jerkface: I mean, I can, but I won't. Do you have the bottle? What does it say on the bottle?
me: It says "endocet."
Dr. Jerkface: I have no idea what that is.
me: It's generic for percocet.
Dr. Jerkface: Then why didn't you say percocet?
me: Because you asked what it said on the bottle.
Dr. Jerkface: I'll call in something LESS THAN percocet. What pharmacy?
me: It's the hospital pharmacy.
Dr. Jerkface: I don't think they're open. It's a holiday.
me: I was just there Wednesday. They were only going to be closed yesterday for Thanksgiving.
Dr. Jerkface: If they answer, I'll have them fill something.
me: ...
That doesn't even begin to convey how rude this guy was to me. The thing is - I was fine with him calling in something "less than" the original. But he could've delivered the exact same message and left me feeling a lot more confident that Joe's pain at this point didn't mean he was infected or dying or something else horrible. I understand their concerns about addiction and/or recreational narcotics abuse. But I don't understand being so damn rude to a patient.

Anyways, back to the part where I have the urge to strangle my dear recovering husband. I tell him what the doctor said. He decides at that point that he doesn't need to take as many pills as often and starts cutting back drastically. Saturday, he only takes one of the new meds (the doctor called in Vicodin, which surprised me because I totally expected him to prescribe gummy bears after that conversation) and decides he doesn't like it so Sunday he's all good on just an ibuprofen or two.

Seriously?

But that's okay because I'd rather go through all of it - the cranky doctor, chasing after meds, even the entire emergency/surgery situation - then have him in pain. Or worse.

And with that, I think it may be time for my nap.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Six Word Saturday


Last week's Six Words apply again.

Last Saturday, I said that it had been a rough week and I needed to recover. And I did. Then life laughed at me (see yesterday's post) and now last week's words apply again.


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).





Friday, November 25, 2011

Where'd the NaBloPoMo Go?

Other than skipping an occasional Sunday, I was doing okay with my NaBloPoMo of Gratitude. Until this week.

Remember how on Monday, I posted about my Wonderful Weekend? I believe my exact words were "I'm ready to tackle this week and it's going to be a great week. Or else I'll punch it in the face."

The universe decided to play a bit of a trick on me. If you follow me on Twitter, you already know what happened. The very abbreviated version for the rest of you? Joe woke me up in the very early hours of Tuesday so that we could go to the emergency room and eventually have his appendix removed. He came home Wednesday and life had been lived in 4-hour increments between pain med doses ever since.

Still, this post is not to say that I ran out of gratitude. No, I simply ran out of time to blog about it. I'm not sure I've ever felt more grateful. He listened to his body and the doctor caught the appendicitis early. Surgery was performed successfully, nurses kept him very comfortable, and I brought him home the next day. Sure, I'm tired and achy from caring for him. And I couldn't be happier about it.

And so I think I'm concluding my NaBloPoMo, which turned into more of a NaBloPoSo(metimes). Back next week with "regular" content. I hope. After this past Monday's post, I'm not making such bold declarations any more.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wonderful Weekend

This weekend was exactly what I needed it to be. We had some fun (a couple of movies, good food, good friends) and we did some work. I was productive in taking care of some things that prepared me for a great week. Joe was able to participate in an interesting running event and that gave me some time to write. We bought groceries at Trader Joe's without a crowd-induced breakdown from me despite the nearness of turkey-day.

I'm ready to tackle this week and it's going to be a great week. Or else I'll punch it in the face.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Really tough week. Need to recover.



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Fragmented Gratitude

Thankful for friends. You guys are the best.

Thankful to be (hopefully?) coming out of the funk that has gripped me the past day or so. It came on suddenly and I think it's departing quickly as well.

Thankful that we made the right decision, even if it was a tough decision - he turned the job offer down. We're both grieving a bit for what we thought was going to happen but we're thankful that he is still employed and that we're doing fine.

Thankful it's Friday.

Thankful for so many little things, including the fact that the sun is shining today. My spirit needed that brightness.

Thankful this is my blog and nobody expects me to make a whole lot of sense.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I'm Aware

I think this morning I need to be thankful for self-awareness.

I'm in a really foul mood, to be honest. Why? Because 24 hours ago, we were pretty sure that if my husband got the job offer he was expecting, he would accept and we'd be moving to a new location. Scary, yes. But I was excited for him to have the new opportunity and excited for me to feel like we could be out of limbo.

He got the offer yesterday and now we're more uncertain of the future than before. How is that possible? The offer isn't very good. I'm not sure if Joe talked up the position because he's so frustrated where he is now or if I heard what I wanted/needed because of wishful thinking, but the offer and position don't seem to be at all worth relocating for. He's going to try to negotiate a better deal. I honestly don't even know if it's worth it because of the job itself.

We had a lot of discussions last night. My feelings were really hurt over something he said. The most positive thing to come out of that was that I didn't fall apart. Instead, I addressed it very directly - why it was hurtful and why I didn't appreciate it. I understand why he said it but it wasn't cool.

Back to self-awareness. I'm very aware that tensions are high, that my husband hates his current job, and that he reacts certain ways to that kind of stress. I'm aware that I'm also very on edge with the situation and trying hard to convince myself that it's all good. I'm aware that the position might not be dreamy and might not be the one.

Mostly, I'm aware that I'm not in a very good place mentally this morning and so I'm going to give myself a day off from people as much as possible. I don't intend to wallow - I believe wallowing is for people who are unable or unwilling to make an effort to turn things around. I am neither of those things. But until I get a grip on my attitude, I'm not going to assault anyone else with it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Patience

I'm grateful for patience.

Hahaha, don't you know me at all? There's no patience here. There's also no focus.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Perspective

Today, I am grateful for Gabby Giffords. Did anyone catch the Diane Sawyer interview last night with Congresswoman Giffords and her astronaut husband, Mark Kelly? What I loved most about the show was that it wasn't so much about the congresswoman and astronaut part. They are two amazing people with strong spirits and deep love for each other.

It occurred to me that so much of getting through the tough times in life involves who you have by your side. Mark knew that Gabby loved having goals and deadlines so he put her sneakers in a chair next to her bed and told her that she had two weeks to get them on. He bargained with God that if Gabby would just talk, he didn't care if she never walked another step.

Gabby's progress has been astounding. She DOES walk, though slowly. She DOES talk, though her vocabulary is still very limited. But the important thing is that she's working hard and still making progress.

There were a few examples during the hour of times when you could tell Gabby was cognitively aware and just unable to find the proper words to express herself. On a much smaller scale, I've experienced that with my migraines. I know what I mean and I just can't retrieve the words I need to convey it to anyone around me. I agree with Mark's sentiment - I'd rather than be immobile than unable to communicate.

Watching Gabby and Mark last night made me think a lot about perspective. I lose my words sometimes. Gabby has been working to recover hers for months and still has a long path ahead. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed at the things going on in my life - but I can walk to the mailbox without giving it any thought at all. Seeing Gabby's determination and Mark's support gave me an overwhelming feeling of if they can do that, I can certainly do this.

Starting today, I'm going to try doing a lot more of this with a much better attitude. Thank you, Gabby and Mark for the important lesson. I hope she will continue to defy the odds and find those words she's so desperately seeking.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Juggling

And if that means today I'm grateful that I chose to take yesterday off from PoMo'ing to enjoy other things, then so be it!

So, yesterday's post would've read something like "I'm grateful I'm having too much fun away from the computer to bother blogging about it."

Today, I'm grateful that I was able to fit so much fun into yesterday. i'm grateful to be facing big decisions because though scary, they also indicate possible progress. I'm grateful to have such a full life that I sometimes stress about being able to juggle such vastly different activities. And I'm grateful for coffee because I have a LOT to do today.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Unpopular? Leaf blowers should be illegal

Just a random autumn thought.


Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans

I don't always understand the wars. I don't always agree with the things I understand about the wars.

But I'm always grateful for our veterans and their families. Thank you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Breaking From My Rut

I may have mentioned previously that my husband sometimes refers to me as "rut girl". That's because I love my ruts. Routine is comforting. For awhile, I couldn't break from routine even in the simplest of ways without coming completely unglued. Medication Therapy My amazing coping skills have made things a lot better but I'm still more often to make a choice to stay in the rut most of the time.

So yesterday, I ventured outside of my rut. I went to the library to meet up with complete strangers and write. When I arrived, it turns out the other faceless names from the internet were men. We barricaded ourselves in a tiny room with no windows and spent two hours barely speaking, just working on our respective projects. After typing up a couple thousand words, I then drove home.

To most of you, this is no big deal. To me? A big deal.

I left home without really needing to do so. I met two strangers, who happened to be men, without feeling at all anxious and without stuttering or stupidity. I was crammed in a tiny enclosed space for two hours without claustrophobia. And then I drove home after dark despite my night blindness.

Today, I'm grateful for progress. A few weeks ago, while Joe was out of town, I met a friend (really, she's more of his friend if you want to get technical) for dinner one evening. All of these things are outside my rut. I pushed myself to make the harder (for me) choice. And it went well.

I can't help but feel a little proud about that.

Now? I'm off to the bookstore. Look at me go!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Proof He's Human

My husband... He's many things. Brilliant. Driven. Compassionate. Financial Wizard. Master Spider Killer and Mouse Whisperer.

So I'm grateful today for that occasional reminder that he's also human.
Joe: I can't find my belt anywhere! I can't go to work without a belt!
me: Where did you have it last?
Joe: I wore it yesterday!
me: Okay, where are the pants you wore yesterday?
Joe: I have no idea! I can't find them anywhere! I can't go to work without a belt!
me: Do you remember where you took those pants off last night?
Joe: No! I've looked everywhere! I even looked in my gym bag from yesterday!
me: Well, do you have an emergency back-up belt you can wear?
Joe: No! I need my belt! I can't go to work without a belt!
This whole time, we are both tearing the house apart, looking for his pants in even the most unlikely of places. Like the laundry basket. And the washing machine.
me: Found them!
Joe: Where were they?
me: Under the gym bag you looked through twice.
Joe: But I looked in that bag!
me: UNDER the bag. You need to move things!!!
Joe: Oh.
me: I should maybe whip you with this belt so you'll keep better track of it next time.
Joe: That's not funny.Give me my belt - I'm late for work.

Ah, yes. The other many things that my husband is - Human. Abuser of Exclamation Points. Addicted to Belts.

No wonder I love him.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Random Llamas

When we set off for our weekend of awesomeness, I had a few ideas what we might do. I knew we were going to a concert. I envisioned a little sight-seeing, some wine-tasting, some amazing food.

In my wildest dreams, I was not expecting llamas.

And yet, there they were. Llamas at one of the wineries we visited. We watched them run around all crazy like llamas do. One of them looked like he had dreadlocks. A couple were saddled up for a trail excursion.

Sometimes life hands you lemons, and sometimes life hands you llamas.

I'm grateful for the ability to be occasionally silly with my often-too-serious husband and to find joy and fun in random things.

Like llamas.

P.S. Llamas is just a funny word. The more I type it, the more I giggle. Try saying it out loud without smiling. Llamas. Bwahahaha!

Monday, November 07, 2011

In-House Laundry

Today, I'm doing laundry. Such a boring chore. But I remember when it was not only boring but also time-consuming.

Our first apartment meant loading the clothes in the car and driving to the laundromat. Cold, boring, and quarters.

Then there was our second apartment, which had a washer and dryer in the basement. This meant caring the laundry down two flights of stairs, outside, around to the front of the building, down another flight of stairs, into a dark and creepy basement. And quarters.

Our third apartment had on-site laundry across the parking lot so again, down two flights of stairs and then outside.

But that apartment also had a washer and dryer hookup inside. And from the day we moved in, I dreamed of a day when we could afford to do laundry inside our apartment. When that day finally came, I almost kissed the delivery man. Instead, I settled for washing our sheets and towels and told myself I would never take the ability to do laundry in my home for granted.

So that's why today, I'm remembering to be thankful for my washer and dryer that allow me to do laundry while writing quietly in the comfort of my own home. No driving, no quarters, no fighting for machines, no wasting entire afternoons in noisy cold places with strangers.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Lovely Weekend

The weekend isn't over yet but so far it's been really great. It's been so long since Joe and I were able to spend a whole weekend just sorta wandering around without a schedule, enjoying being together.

I'm off to find more weekend things to be grateful for - the day is young!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Six Word Saturday

Enjoying a weekend that I instigated!!

Other people usually determine my weekends - Joe, visitors, etc - but THIS weekend is all mine. We went out last night and will come home sometime today. And then there shall be activities and movies of my choosing. Booyah!




Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. I love seeing what everyone does with their entries.

Each week (probably on Sunday or Monday), I use random.org to select a bunch of entries to visit.  Or I visit everyone. Or even numbered entries. Or odd numbered entries. Or multiples of three. Depends on what's going on that week.  In addition, please visit the person ahead of you on the list (or visit everyone if you like!). That way everyone receives at least one visit!

If you play along in your blog, please add a link to the Mr. Linky. I appreciate a link back (shiny code below if you like!). Otherwise, you're welcome to leave your six words in this post as a comment.

Please be sure to link either to your main page or (preferably) directly to the 6WS post. Links to blogs that do not contain a 6WS entry will be removed (sorry, just the button in the sidebar doesn't count as participating).




Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday!

Sometimes, it's enough just to be thankful that it's Friday, right?

I hope so, because my Friday is a busy one (of my choosing) and I got off to a late start so that's all you're getting for a post today!

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Take Your Pictures!

I'm thankful for the time I was able to spend recently with my little niece and nephew. Collin and Caley are at perfectly adorable ages. They are active, articulate, and affectionate. And they love Cate and Uncle Joe. (Why he's Uncle but I'm not Aunt, no idea.)

Spending time with them has added entirely new phrases to our home.

Heeeeeeeeeeeey.... This is said whenever something doesn't go your way. Caley takes your toy? Heeeeeeeeeeey!!!! You don't get a cookie? Heeeeeeeeeeeey!!!

Take your pictures?!? At first we thought this meant "I would like to temporarily hold your phone in order to capture your photo" but we quickly learned that this meant Collin wanted to take our pictures, as in the phone goes into his little hands and we never see it again.

Check your emails! By emails, he means text messages or anything else that will cause your phone to come out of your pocket so he can then "take your pictures."

We also spent some quality time "texting" the ABCs. "Where's the F?" "Right here!!!" "Good, Collin, now where's the G?" "In the refrigerator!" Ok, sure...

We learned the wonders of gummies, french fries, and pizza. We learned that all cakes are birthday cakes. And we learned that the best way to get a hug from either kid was to bribe them with just about anything.

My favorite new phrase from the kids? "See you soon, Cate!" Yes, probably in the Spring. Just stay cute and I'll be back for more.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

My Own Bed

Today, I am grateful for sleeping in my own bed.

While we were away the past few days, we stayed with friends. Their guest bed is very firm. The pillow wasn't quite pillow-y enough. The blankets were warm enough but still not quite right. You know how it is - it may be the nicest bed in the world but it's just not yours.

Last night, I slid under the blankets of my own bed and it felt like home. My down comforter immediately started to warm my body. The familiar weight of my sheets and blankets made me feel safe and relaxed. My pillow was exactly right under my head - supportive of my neck but still soft. Our two cats would never admit they missed us yet they both curled up by our feet last night, adding an extra layer of warmth and a comforting hum of purring. I felt very Goldilocks about it all - this bed was just right.

This afternoon, I found myself feeling sleepy again and indulged in a nap with Tonya and Rusty. Best treat ever.

And now, nap completed, I'm grateful for a clear mind with which to blog and start (finally) my NaNoWriMo commitment.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

NaBloPoMo of Gratitude

Last year at this time, I was busy (REALLY busy) with my graduate classes around this time. There was no way I could handle NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). This year, I am doing NaNoWriMo but I've also decided to bring back the NaBloPoMo of Gratitude.

What's it mean?

For the next 30 days, I will post something I am grateful for every day. That's 30 days of expressing thankfulness about something happening in my life. In addition, there will some other posts about some other things. Maybe. We'll see what happens.

November is going to be a very busy month and I wondered if it was a good idea to commit to 30 days of posts here with everything else going on. The truth is that the more craziness happening, the more I need to take a moment to reflect on the good things going on in my life.

This post is very late because we were traveling this weekend. We've spent the last five days back "home" - this means parents, in-laws, bitter grammas, BILs with other priorities, small children, snow, teeny tiny planes. And while there may be a longer post on that later, overall I'm grateful for a safe trip with not too much attitude.

More thankfulness to come. Hope you can handle all the warm fuzzies that are going to be happening up in here.