Monday, December 26, 2011

Whew! Glad that is over with!

School and Christmas are now behind us, as well as a visit from MIL's great-grandchildren, ages 4, 2 and 1. I used to have the patience of Job, but not anymore.  I guess I would make a terrible grandma, as I was exhausted after only an hour with them. The volume got me, for one. When did kids get so loud? I so wanted to sneak into the bedroom with Bud and our dogs to avoid the cacophony.

And of course, they wanted to touch everything, and there is nothing kid-friendly about MIL's house. They managed to get through the visit without getting bit by a dog or breaking something.

We once again played Wii on Christmas day. I would have had more fun if it weren't for my back.  It has been giving me fits for about three weeks. My weight isn't helping matters much. I need to kick it into high gear and GET THIS WEIGHT OFF!!!! I have zero will power during the holidays. This Christmas there were no green vegetables in sight, I swear. Just lots of carbs and starches.

I put in several job applications. We are in need of some cash flow, and I know that since I am now a graduate, MIL will be asking me when I am getting a job. I want to beat her to the punch!

I really want to hibernate, and it really isn't that bad out.  No snow, so that is a huge plus. Maybe we can get through this winter with minimal snow.  If we have blue skies, that is always a bonus. The overcast days really depress the hell out of me. The sunshine really helps.

MIL is slamming shit around right now, so I guess she is pissed about something. Guess I better get off of here!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Saw this on Big D and Bubba's Facebook page and had to steal it. Ho ho ho! After today, I will officially be done with classes--wooo hoooo! Gonna sleep in tomorrow!

~D

Thursday, December 15, 2011

One Year Ago Today

Seems like it has been much longer--or maybe not that long ago, like it was only yesterday. My sisterwife, ES, passed away one year ago today. Things became much less turbulent after she made the decision to leave.  That doesn't mean I don't miss her. I do. The best parts of ES, I truly do miss. It was all the drama and heartache I don't miss.

Hope she is somewhere out there, and that she is at peace--and that she still can laugh from her gut until she has tears running down her face.

Here's to you, ES. Maybe we will meet again, someday.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Good grief...

Good grief indeed! I haven't had time to post--waaaaaaahhhhh! I have two, count 'em, TWO weeks left, then I can breath again. Tonight, I wrote a paper, took two comprehensive tests, and did a statistical analysis. Fun times. Haven't even had time to complain about last week's friggin' sleet/snow storm. Geez!

Friday, November 18, 2011

6 years.

I just happened to look at my Yahoo calendar and noticed the notation: "First Contact with ES, 11/18/2005". It is hard to believe it has been that long ago. It is even harder to believe that she has been gone almost a year now. Time does not stand still for anyone, that is for sure.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

My Head is GOING. TO. EXPLODE.

My mind is going in 101 directions today. This is midterm week, but I find myself distracted by our new venture, Fit 2 Be Tied.  There are soooooooo many projects I want to get started on, but I don't dare with 5 more weeks of school.  I also want to finish my novel.  Haven't worked on it for 5 friggin' months. Grrrrrr!

Took some of our crafts into a consignment shop today. Seemed to get a good reception from customers who were looking at the items before they were even tagged for display. Finger's crossed!

While we were in town, I took MIL shopping for the makings of mince meat pie (ugh!).  I have a food addiction, but that is not on my list of favorites, not by a long shot.  I can't get past the suet. Just thinking about it gets my gag reflex going. I get the same reflex thinking about lard.  Many people swear by it, but if I know something has lard in it (like a pie crust), it makes me queasy.  Just can't get past the fact that it is animal fat! Strange, I know...anyhooo...as I was going to turn into the strip mall where Kroger's is, I realized too late that I was heading in to the "exit" lane and not the "entrance" lane. There was a car coming out, and the eyes of the woman driving the other car were as wide as saucers. I swerved back out into oncoming traffic and skirted the edge of the curb until I could turn into the "correct" entrance.  By then, MIL was laughing her ass off!  I mean, total lunatic laugh! She was still laughing 30 minutes later.  I told her since she enjoyed near death experiences so much, I was going to drive blindfolded next time...

I intended to spend the whole day doing homework, but maybe managed to get 4 hours worth done. I will tackle more as soon as I post this, as I am not focused enough at the  moment to put my head back in a book...

I am not sure, but I think I have cornered the market on dot-dot-dots...

Until next time...dot...dot...dot...

Friday, November 11, 2011

The S Word 2011

And so it starts...I wish I could hibernate through winter and wake up in the Spring! I know I am not posting much, but I am neck deep into week three of the semester--my LAST semester!

Not looking forward to driving MIL into town for dialysis in this Sh...I mean stuff. Guess she would rather not go to dialysis, so I won't complain too much...

Bud is out with the snow shovel we bought yesterday, getting the sidewalks cleared and cleaning the car off. Is it April, yet??????

Sunday, November 6, 2011

We are in Business!

We went to our first arts and crafts bazaar in the big burg of Burr Oak, population of approximately 800 people. I think all 800 came to the bazaar.

They had a breakfast available, and I think we were the first served, as we got there 20 minutes early. I was remiss to not bring my camera, but a friend took pics and will be sending them to us shortly.

We really didn't sell much: 2 necktielace sets, 1 mirror, 2 boutonnieres, 1 hair clip, and 1 headband.  What we DID accomplish, however, was lots of interest in our unique items.  As people began looking at our things, we watched as smiles crossed their faces. I am guessing several crafty people will go home and try to duplicate our items themselves. That's okay--that is what crafty people do. They take ideas and inspiration from things others have crafted.

Etsy is almost up and running. Just getting the paypal and cart/checkout straightened out, then I can start listing our things.  YAY!

Have got the other blog up and running as well mymilscreations.blogspot.com, but again, still working on getting the paypal/cart/checkout going.  I posted our very first item on the site--horrible picture, as we have a crappy camera, and MIL's is broken.  Bummer!

Got a TON of homework to do, so I am off to tackle the mountain.  Only 6 more weeks--woohoo!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Birthday, My Love

To Infinity...and beyond. Loving you immensely and intensely. You are my soulmate, my sounding board, and my calm in the storm. You are my rock. You are my everything.

Mrs. Weiser

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Rediculously Simple Chicken Tenders



I get rave reviews on these every time that I make them, and I just scratch my head, because they are so easy, it is embarassing. I made them tonight, and I think it was the best MIL has eaten since the surgery. She ate two whole strips--may not seem like a lot, but in her case, it is a lot more than she has been eating.


Ready for the ingredients? Here goes!


Chicken Tenders



12 chicken tenderloins

1 package saltines, crushed

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper


In a 12 inch skillet, heat one inch of vegetable oil. Roll the tenderloins in the saltines/salt/pepper mixure. Fry the tenderloins until a deep golden brown on each side, about 8-10 minutes. Drain on paper towel.


That's it! Too, too simple. But for some reason, these always get high marks when I serve them. Sometimes, simple is the best.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Act of Kindness



Today, there was a wasp walking around on the living room floor. Before someone stepped on it, I carefully scooped it up with a piece of paper and set it free outside. It felt good doing this simple act of kindness.

An hour later, as I sat here typing away, the bottom of my foot started to burn--REALLY burn. "What the f@#$!" I blurted out. I looked down I to see the wasp stinging the bottom of my foot. It evidently came back in when the social worker arrived.

I set him free, he comes back and stings me. How is that for irony? I wonder what would have befallen me if I had squashed the little bugger....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

8 More Weeks

One eight-week semester left, and I am DONE. Three more classes between being a student and being a graduate. I cannot WAIT to be done. This semester looks like two B+ grades--damn. I am disappointed, but with everything we have been dealing with regarding MIL, I am not going to beat myself up.



I am making a turkey breast with all the trimmings for supper. MIL is looking forward to it--me too. I have problems and a final exam yet to take today, then I am going to rest for the remains of the day.



I am going to have a crafting blog up and running soon displaying all the items MIL and I have made that we are selling. I have been working on my ties--pretty cute, if I do say so myself. Check out the pics below:

Far left: pins

left: barrets and hair clips











Right and below: ties with matching

pins-sorry, the pics aren't the best!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spoke too soon...

MIL is back in the hospital. The visiting nurse came yesterday afternoon to see how she was doing, and upon taking her vitals, noted her heart rate was pushing 140. She gave her a blood pressure pill and we waited another half hour, but it didn't go down, and the nurse called 911 to get an ambulance out for transport back to Borgess.

Needless to say, MIL was depressed, scared, angry--you name it. She did NOT want to go, and we had to lay it on the line for her that she could have another heart attack if she didn't get treatment.


We went to visit her today, and she is still in a very foul mood. Understandable, after having just been released. Her blood was dangerously thin, so they gave her a plasma transfusion to thicken it up. She is on a drug that is supposed to get her heart back into a steady sinus rhythm. Once they achieve a steady rhythm, they will let her come home.


Bud us staying up at the hospital with her, and I came home to tend to the dogs and cat, and get my schoolwork done (horribly behind once again due to all the back and forth to the hospital).


It will get better! It is a very blustery autumn day, and the wind is howling quite loudly at the moment. At least the sun decided to peek out a few moments ago! As I looked out the window, a convoy of classic Volkswagen Bugs, Beetles, and Microbuses were passing by. Never seen so many different colors! One looked just like Herbie the LoveBug. Too cute!


Off to tackle the mountain of schoolwork I have to do.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ham and Bean Soup

In my previous post, I mentioned that I am making ham and bean soup and cornbread. Here is my recipe for the soup. Bud doesn't do veggies, so there is no carrots or celery in this batch. But if you are like me, and love you some veggies, follow the recipe below. Mmmmmm good!


DeeDee's Ham and Bean Soup


1 pound dry great Northern beans
8 cups water
tsp teaspoon salt
1 pound diced smoked ham
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 stalk celery, diced
1/2 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon ham soup base
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

Place beans and salt in the water and bring to a boil. Let boil 15 minutes, then cut off the heat and let soak for 4 hours (covered). After 4 hours, drain off the water and add 12 cups of fresh water to the pot. Add ham soup base and diced smoked ham. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for an hour. After an hour, add in your carrots, celery and onions. Once again bring the pot back up to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for another 40-60 minutes. Beans and veggies should be tender. If not, continue to simmer until beans and veggies are tender. Add white pepper before serving. Serve with cornbread or crusty french bread.

MIL is home!

We got to bring MIL home yesterday. She still has zero appetite. We took her to Main Street Pub, and she ordered a steak, fries, and a cup of homemade potato soup. She ate two bites of soup, two bites of steak, and two french fries, and couldn't eat any more--and that is the most she has eaten since a week ago Thursday night!

It is going to be a slow road back to recovery for her. I think she expected to feel a lot better sooner. She is healing well, though, and she is doing a great job under the circumstances. She was so happy to just be able to sleep in her own bed!

She had dialysis this morning, and Bud called to say she was having a rough go of it. When she gets dialysis, all the meds in her body get dialysed out--including the pain meds. So it is essentially 4 hours of pain for her right now. Wish I could do the dialysis for her...

It is a very blustery day out today, overcast and bleak. I am going to make a pot of ham and bean soup and a skillet of cornbread, perfect for a cold, yucky day. I am hoping MIL has an appetite and can get a few bites down. I expect she will sleep through most of the day on and off, and that is okay; she needs the rest.

Thanks to all who kept her in your thoughts and prayers. Very, very appreciated.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Because God evidently doesn't think we have enough stress....

MIL is in the hospital. We took her to the ER at 3am on Monday morning, as she was having chest pains. They took her by ambulance to Borgess Hospital in Kzoo, and they did a heart cath. Turns out, she has three major blockages and and needs bypass surgery.

So now the poor woman has to deal with both dialysis and having her chest cracked open on Friday. She is taking it amazingly well. She is of course scared, but she has accepted that it has to be done and there is not a whole lot she can do about it.

This is a major deja vu for me--takes me back to when ES was in T-town and had her leg amputated. Drove 45 miles every day after work to go see her while she was in the hospital. Guess how far Kzoo is from here? Yup, just over 45 miles. At least this time, Bud and I are dealing with it together. When ES was int he hospital, if you were a follower of the other blog, the Self-Sustaining Kitchen( http://bamagalskitchen.blogspot.com/ --it is still up and running--go there for a lot of background and more on this storyline), you know that right after ES had the amputation, Bud had to rush to Michigan because his mom had had a heart attack, and his dad was in the hospital as well...not a pleasant time in our lives to say the least.

Mom is scheduled to have surgery on Friday, and Bud and I have been operating on little to no sleep; calling friends and family to keep them updated; trying to not have meltdown. I just did all the homework for one of my classes in record speed. My brain is thoroughly fried.

MIL, ever the worrier, is focusing not on her pending surgery, but rather on the fact that she was supposed to get her car serviced on Friday, was supposed to meet a friend for lunch this week, and oh, yeah, Peanut, the Jekyll-Hyde dog, was supposed to go get her annual booster shots. Not to mention that she had a ton of crafting projects she was working on that she had planned on finishing...gotta love her. She is obsessive-compulsive-and-very-likely-insane.

Keep her in your thoughts, everyone--all three of you intrepid followers!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Valleys, Peaks and Plateaus

The astute reader will instantly know that I am referring to weight loss trials and tribulations. My peak weight is now behind me; for a while, I have never been close to the valley (ideal weight), unless you count 8th-10th grades; I have hit one of the blasted plateaus.

I didn't lose one dang ounce this month. I am irritated with myself, as I went over calories 19 times in the last 30 days. Stress eating is a killer, I tell ya. Four of the 19 days were just in the last week. Couldn't have anything to do with the fact that we are broke, could it?

On the upside, hubby and I got a last minute call for a karaoke gig. Of course, we jumped on it. Mind you, I only had 4 hours sleep on the previous evening, and I was already yawning when the call came. I am so glad we did it, as we got paid way, way more than we would have charged. That was a nice perk this week. We were able to fill the van with gas, buy some much-needed items, as we still have money in our pockets! Bud was able to take MIL out to eat Sunday so I could get homework and midterms done (thanks, hubby!), and we are taking her out again tomorrow after we take Bud's cousin (the one he donated a kidney to) to an appointment.

One of my SWs is in the hospital with influenza, bronchitis, and pneumonia. They couldn't get her oxygen in the "safe" zone, so they are giving her oxygen and steroids so she can breath better. Doesn't help that she suffers from asthma...

Hubby has a "to-do"list a half-mile long that he has imposed on himself. Well, semi-imposed. Some are things his mom wants done and that he agreed to do. Staying busy is a good thing, though.

Speaking of valleys, peaks and plateaus, I hope we get out of this valley of dept, find the highest peak, and plateau there for a while so we can actually NOT have financial stress for a while. It is something we would both like to experience once before we die, anyway...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What the What?!?!?!?!

I am taking a finance class this semester, one that I previously gave up in around the 4th week and took a big fat "F" in as a result. I took it last year when my FIL committed suicide, and dealing with that took too much out of me to even think about completing the class.

This time around, I am trying hard to stay focused on it. Not an easy task. We are now talking about the time value of money--in other words, taking advantage of investing opportunities and discounts. I find myself completely lost most of the time, and I ask LOTS of questions. I am sure the professor thinks I am a total idiot: "So, Ms. Weiser, you want to go into the business field? I would advise getting an accountant to help you out..."

Okay, he didn't say that, but boy, do I feel like I am just not getting it! I will be glad when this class is over. I will be glad when ALL my classes are over for a while. I keep telling myself that I will go back and get my MBA at some point, but do I really need to pursue a masters when I am approaching my geriatric years? I will never be a Donald Trump, but I would like to think that my education is an investment that will lead to a greater return in the future. Gee, maybe I am getting this concept of the time value of money...they sure are taking enough of it right now!

We are Broke with a capital "B" right now--can't even run to town to buy a paper, as we don't have the gas to burn, and we don't have the 75 cents for a paper. BUT--we have a roof over our heads, and there is food in the house, so I am NOT bitchin'. It just feels aweful to have no money in the bank, no money in my billfold, and social security benefits are drying up faster than a rain puddle in mid-August. Let's not go there. My mental health is hanging by a thread these days, and I don't have the dexterity anymore to tie a knot...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Shopping with MIL



My MIL's sister passed away a week ago today. She had been battling cancer for over two years, and just when she thought it was beaten, they found her liver full of cancer. They gave her 2-3 days; she lived 6 more weeks.

Aunt Hazel was a very tenacious woman, and though I didn't know her very well, I remember her laugh the most. She had a hardy laugh, and she loved nothing more than to have conversations that involved story-telling. She will be missed by many.


MIL was concerned, as she only had one dress, and she had worn it before and thought people might notice. So, we went to Mishawaka in search of the perfect dress.


We hit paydirt at JC Penny's. They were having their annual Labor Day Sale, and most everything in the store was marked down. She found two dresses she really like, and tried them both on. She looked great in both, but was very self-critical and didn't like "how big her hips looked" in the one, and how "low-cut" the other dress was. I knew all I had to do was read the price tags for her to make the decision. Mom likes value (don't we all), and when I told her the "low-cut" dress was on sale for $26, she made her decision. "I don't have any pantyhose!" She said with large eyes. Off to the lingerie section.


She clucked at how expensive the pantyhose were. I agree. Even when they were $1.99 a pair, I thought they were too much, as I inevitably only get one wear out of the little beggars. She bought the cheapest pair she could find, then said, "you know what, I don't think I have a purse that would look right with this dress." Off to the purses...

She looked at many purses. Many, many purses. She loves purses like I love shoes. I think she has in the neighborhood of 20 purses, and the number keeps growing. She also makes purses, so she has lots of cute quilted bags as well. She managed to find a very cute purse for $8. SCORE! "You know, I don't think I have shoes that will go with this dress..." Off to the shoe department...


The shoe department was busy. They had lots of summer shoes marked 70-80% off, so you can imagine what it was like. I thankfully had no money, so I didn't walk out of the store with a half-dozen shoes and the giddy head-rush that comes with knowing I have new shoes. I found a pair that was oh-so-cute, and MIL loved them as well. They were normally $90, but they were marked down to $29, so they were a steal at that price. At the register, she looked at the cashier and lamented, "I don't have any jewelry to go with this outfit!" The cashier told her kindly that she would hold the items and pointed her toward the jewelry...


Bud has a great eye for that kind of thing, and he found her a gorgeous necklace and matching earrings (the earrings were actually a three pack, and they were the same price as the single pack earrings, so again, SCORE!)


We went back to the shoe counter, and the sales associate rang everything up. Her outfit: dress, shoes, jewelry, purse, and nylons was--are you ready for this?--$94. Can you believe it? The discounted prices were discounted even MORE. She saved almost $150. I don't know who was more tickled--MIL or me.


Here she is in her dress as we were heading out to the funeral. The handsome man on her shoulder is my hubby. We clean up pretty good!


I actually enjoyed my shopping experience with MIL. She was like a little kid at Christmas, and I was glad to see her so happy.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Devil Dog




MIL has a dog named Peanut. As you can see in this picture, she is aptly named, as she is a tiny little dog. She is a Yorkie, but in her current hairstyle, looks more like a chihuahua. She even acts like a chihuahua, shaking for no reason and acting pitiful.



I woke up this morning at 8:30am after being up until 2 frickin' thirty doing homework (which, by the way, is still not complete). Bud and MIL must have left real early, as I appeared to be the only one home.


I took three steps, and then, *squish* right between the toes. The little bugger had left a wet turd right outside the bedroom door. I of course said some choice words and hop-hobbled to the bathroom to wash my foot. On the way, I encountered a turd in the dining room, a turd under the table this laptop sits on, a turd in the kitchen (using "turd" lightly here, as it was more of a liquid mass), a semi-formed turd in the hallway, and a turd in the bathroom. That is an awful lot of turds from one tiny little dog!


After cleaning up all the messes, and after not hearing from hubby or MIL, I decided to call and find out where they were to make sure everything was alright. They were fine, but Bud confirmed that he, too, had cleaned up no less then two piles from the little poop machine.


I must say, I am quite impressed that that much excretion came out of her. I guess I shouldn't be, as she is literally a little shit. I named this post Devil Dog aptly, because I am certain she is a minion of Satan.


She can be the cutest, sweetest dog around. But then, when you least expect it, she becomes evil. It reminds me of the movie Gremlins. Remember those cute little furballs? And what happened when they got wet? Peanut is like a cute little Gizmo, until she gets a wild hair up her butt. Then, watch out. Here are the before and after:










I have taken to calling her queenie,


As she is the queen of the house. She dictates when MIL gets up,
goes to bed, when she will eat, when she wants to be picked up, and her position on MIL's lap. She allows one of the other dogs, Suzie, to get up in the chair with MIL, but she will growl and glare at her to get off of MILs lap and move to the side so she can have the coveted lap position. Look at that evil glow in her eye--possessed, I tell ya. Mind you, our dog, Ghost, could chomp her in one bite. Don't think the thought hasn't crossed her mind, as I have seen the look in Ghost's eye many a time: "I could swallow you whole, you little hefer. Don't mess with me!"


As we speak, she is growling and fussing because I will not take the gate down so she can go into the living room. Sorry, poopy dog, but there is no way I am giving you access to furniture right now...


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weight Loss Update



I meant to do this last week, but forgot amidst my term paper procrastinating. I have an final exam to take, but this will be short.






I am at 24 pounds lost. Here is my latest picture. I still do not see a difference, but as hubby can attest, I couldn't get into the pants I am wearing just a month ago. There was a two-inch gap between button and button-hole! I was able to put them on in the UPRIGHT position--no needing to lay down to get them on, which was a nice surprise.






MIL still doesn't think I have lost as much as I am claiming. She gives a skeptical "oh really?" when I told her. I don't care. I know I am losing weight, if by nothing more than the fact that the frickin' pants now fit. 'nuff said.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Term Papers--an experiment with procrastination

Well, one term paper down, one to go. They were both assigned 3 weeks ago, and both are due tomorrow by midnight. I had every intention of not waiting until the last conceivable minute to do them, and honestly, I did better this time than I have ever done in the past.

I actually did start researching my papers two weeks ago, saving links to websites I thought I could use in folders labeled for each class. That is something I haven't done before. When it comes to actually writing, however, I always, ALWAYS wait until the 11th hour to get them done.

I don't know why I do it. The stress builds until I think my head is going to explode. But it has become a ritual of mine. A few semesters ago, I wrote one paper two hours before it was due. I got a 94% on it. I didn't even spell/grammar check it, as I got it done two minutes before it was due, so I just submitted it as is.

I told Bud that I think I could do term paper writing for a living. No joke. No matter how much of a rush job I do, I always get a 90% or better on my papers. I actually like the research, and I like composing. I think I even like a little bull-sh*ting, too, to amuse myself. So why wait until the last minute?

I think it has something to do with liking challenges. Spending 3 weeks researching and writing a paper is not a challenge. Getting a quality, 3000 word paper done in 3 days, now THAT is a challenge! Unfortunately, as my previous posts confirms, it also ads beau coup stress and anxiety, not to mention loss of sleep. (thank you, hubby, for the sleeping pill last night. I slept soundly--but boy, did I have some strange dreams!)

As you can see, I am procrastinating as we speak. The other paper still needs to be written. I have already taken two breaks--one to vacuum the house and put up a broom/mop organizer, the other to make myself some lunch. Bud and MIL went to an RV show to give me some quiet, focused time to get my work done, and it has helped immensely. Still hasn't stopped me from procrastinating.

Sigh. Okay, okay, I am heading back to the other computer terminal to get the other paper going. (it is technically started, I have several websites bookmarked.)

***I got a 99.6% on my first paper. Did I not tell you I am a paper writing fool? Just turned in my second term paper at 10:35pm Sunday--it had to be in by 11:59pm. Look how much time I had left!***
***100% on my second term paper. nuf said...***

Friday, August 19, 2011

Insomnia



I really, really, REALLY want to be asleep right now. This is day three of insomnia. I am dog tired, but as soon as I hit the bed, my mind starts to race, and I get jittery. I can feel every corpuscle in my body, and it is driving me insane.



I literally can feel the blood flowing through my veins. I am stressed, because I have two HUGE term papers due, and I have zero alone time except at night when I am too tired to focus on that shit. So I instead toss and turn in bed and think, "maybe Bud will sleep in, and I can get my butt up as soon as MIL leaves for dialysis. That will give me 5 hours of uninterrupted computer time."



My plan had been to go to the library on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I wasn't being distracted. Unfortunately, being broke and having the van running iffy at best has prevented me from going.



I can already see my obit: "...died from stressing out over term papers."



I feel sick to my stomach, and I feel like my body is humming like a taught wire. NOT a good feeling. I took a muscle relaxant, as it usually knocks me out. Hell, it didn't even help the pain, let alone put me out.



Grrrrrrrrrrrr! My jaw hurts from being clenched. Stress much?



Hubby just got up to pee. I envy his snoring. I should have taken a nap today--then I would be fresh enough to tackle some homework.



Geez, am I a whiner or what?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Atrial Fibrillation

As promised, here is the continuation of "MIL is Trying to Kill Me or Herself". Yesterday morning around 9am, the phone rang. I had been up long enough to have taken a shower and contemplate what to eat to satisfy my growling tummy. MIL has dialysis on M-W-F every week, and leave the house around 6:45am. She gets back around 11:30am, depending on whether or not she has plans made. Note: MIL is a chronic planner. She likes to fill every square on the calendar with something to do. It usually involves either eating or shopping or both, and it inevitably requires driving to Elkhart, Mishawaka, or parts unknown.

Anyhoo, back to the call. When I answered the phone, it was MIL. She calmly says, "My heart rate and blood pressure are really high, and they want me to go to the ER and get an EKG. Can you guys come to the hospital and meet me there?" Just calm as can be. MY heart rate and blood pressure instantly went up a few notches. I told her we would of course be right there.

I got Bud up and we were heading to the hospital within 10 minutes. When we got there, we noticed her car was there. "What the Hell?!?" She drove herself to the ER! My first thought was, "negligence". How can any health care facility send someone who may be undergoing a heart attack to the ER driving themselves?

When we got inside, MIL was just having an EKG done, so we waited until the tech was done. Once he was done, we asked why in the heck she drove herself. She stated that they asked her at dialysis if she was able to drive herself, and she said yes. I asked if they had her sign a waiver or anything, and she said no. So basically, then let her drive herself across town, not certain whether she was in the beginning stages of a heart attack. Special, no?

When they came in to put the patient ID bracelet on her, she got agitated. "You aren't admitting me, are you?" The woman assured her that it was SOP and that she had no idea if she would be admitted or not--that was up to the doctor.

Because her heart rate was so high and was not coming down on its own, they gave her a dose of cardizem intravenously. The doctor told her that they may decide to keep her overnight to observe her if it didn't come down. That made MIL mad. She said she had plans for the next day (she left about an hour ago with a friend of hers to go to a specialty fabric store) and didn't want to be admitted.

MIL has a huge distrust of doctors. She has never had a family doctor. For one, she is afraid that they will find something wrong--her biggest fear is cancer. She also believes that they have too much control and will order a bunch of tests that she doesn't need because in her mind, doctors are after everyone's money.

Imagine her relief when the doctor told her that they weren't going to admit her, but they were going to adjust her b.p. meds. She was having Atrial fibrillation, which is when the atrial chamber flutters and pools blood before finally contracting. This can actually be very serious if not treated, as blood clots can form when the blood is pooled in the atrium. The only thing she could think about, however, was the fact that she was supposed to return a video to a friend at 3pm, and her plans to go fabric shopping with her friend today. Thank goodness she wasn't admitted, right?

MIL is amazing. I have known a lot of people on dialysis, and most are wiped out afterwards. Not MIL. She will run to the store, go out for lunch with friends, head to Mishawaka for something she must have...she can't sit still. She will nod off in her recliner in the afternoon, and she is baffled why she is so tired and can't keep her eyes open. At the Blueberry Fest on Saturday, she was mad that she was tired after only FIVE HOURS of walking and shopping. She is 75 years old, but wears my ass out!

My bet is on MIL. She is going to outlive us all.

Monday, August 15, 2011

My Mother-in-Law is Trying to Kill Me or Herself--Just Haven't Figured Out Which One Yet...

MIL and I went to the South Haven Blueberry Fest on Saturday. For those who don't know crap about me, I do not like being in crowds, and South Haven + Blueberry Fest = massive crowds. For the sake of scoring valuable points with my MIL, I agreed to go.

When we left at 9 in the morning, we noted that it "appeared a little dark" to our West. Guess where South Haven is? Yup. Before we had driven 10 miles, we were getting sprinkles on the windshield. We laughed and optimistically convinced one another that the sprinkles would clear before we got to South Haven.

72 miles later, and 2.5 miles from our destination, all Hell broke loose. It was raining so hard, it was hard to see where the heck we were going. We made it, and it seemed like maybe it was letting up a bit. We parked the car about 2 blocks from the main drag where all the action was going on, grabbed the umbrella, and started hoofing it. Within 20 minutes, it was POURING again. We ducked into a bakery, MIL's favorite venue, and bought several rolls. The place was packed, but we got served within 10 minutes. We each ate a roll under the awning outside of the bakery, waiting for the rain to let up. I put the remaining rolls in my purse in an attempt to keep them dry.

MIL's umbrella is so huge, it was not practical among the tents (which, due to the rain, had closed their flaps and or covered their merchandise with tarps), so I ended up giving up and closing it. Before long, we were both soaked to the skin. We both wore sandals, and we were squishing as we walked. MIL suggested we drop off the merchandise we had purchased thus far in the car. I told her we could sit in car and warm up a bit, which she said sounded like a good idea.

She unlocked the car, and popped the trunk. I ditched the umbrella and our merchandise, unloaded the rolls from my purse, shut the trunk, and headed to the passenger side to get in. MIL yells, "WAIT!" She then slams the door she had open and locks the car. I gave her a "WTF?" look, and she expounds, "I don't want to get the seats wet!" I shit you not. So we are standing there, getting more soaked, if that is possible. The water in the street is already over the tops of my feet, and she doesn't want to get her seats wet?

I looked around at all the crazy people enduring the downpour, then realized I WAS one of those crazy people. It finally got so bad, we ducked into a shop doorway, backs to the wind-driven rain. MIL took one look at me--and busted out laughing. I thought she was going to pee herself. My hair was matted to my head, and I had rivulets of rain running down my face and dripping off my chin(s). She was laughing so hard, I thought she was crying, but it was hard to tell, as she had water dripping of her eyebrows and nose.

A kind sales lady offered us a paper towel each, smiling apologetically for not offering more. (We couldn't enter the door, as it was blocked by a display table. I told MIL she could probably get in if she got on her hands and knees and sucked in real hard...) We watched as many people strolled by in rain gear. MIL exclaimed, "hey, I have that rain gear at home we could have worn...."

We must have walked 10 miles and went into every shop. We looked at a lot of great stuff we couldn't afford. We ate lunch in a packed restaurant, where the only seats available were at a very small table RIGHT by entry door and in front of the big window. I almost blew ice tea out my nose when the first batch of people pressed their faces against the glass window right where we were sitting to see how packed it was inside. I honestly felt like a zoo animal on display. It was hilarious. I dared MIL to make a face at one of them, but she chickened out.

After our bellies were full, we walked another 10 miles and tried to find shops and booths we HADN'T been in already. The weather made the arthritis in my hips and knee flair up, and I took it as long as I could before letting MIL know that I needed to take one of my arthritis pills. Of course, we weren't anywhere near a place that sold water, so we hoofed it down to the shops along the riverwalk where they sell a lot of junk food and beverages. I got us two waters, and I took my painpill and we rested a bit. It was then we realized that we had come downhill, which meant we had to hoof it UPhill to get back to the car. UGH!

We had to stop 3 times on the way up to rest. I was freakin' scared that MIL was going to have a coronary right there. We debated on asking a hulking muscle-bound body builder how much he would charge to carry us the rest of the way up the hill...

We made it, though. By this time, it was sunny and beautiful out. We air dried in no time, and things were looking up. We decided to leave around 3pm, as we still had a 72 mile drive home. As we headed East, MIL looked in her rear-view mirror and exclaimed, "wow, it sure is getting dark back there..."

We were surrounded by ominous clouds three quarters of the drive home. We eventually had to turn south, and that is when Hell-Breaks-Loose Volume II took place. Less than 20 miles from home, those dark clouds from the West slammed into us with gale-force wind intensity. MIL had to pull over as we watched the rain coming in side-ways sheets across the pavement. Trees looked like they were going to snap in two. It eventually passed, and we got back on the road. Five minutes later, Hell-Breaks-Loose Volume III erupted. It began to hail dime-sized frozen nuggets. It sounded like we were being pelted with rocks. Again, MIL had to pull over.

We made it home safely, but frayed around the edges. We were both exhausted. I went to bed early that night. MIL kept complaining about acid reflux, and later that evening, she said her heart kept fluttering...More on that in the next post. I have to get back to homework.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Need a 12 Step Program...



I am obsessed with POGO. I may have mentioned this before. I am what they call a badge addict. POGO is an online gaming site with hundreds of games to choose from. They feature 2 games each week in which members can vie for "badges". To win a badge, you have to complete the challenge they give you. Members can also select personal challenges to complete. You can even purchase challenges (okay, I am not quite THAT sick--yet).

As you know, I am taking a full boatload of classes this semester, in addition to having "chores" to complete here at MIL's, since we are living here for free and I am not employed. I still, however, have the OCD need to finish my badges each week. I knew with the yard sale, two mid-terms, and a paper to write, I was going to have limited time to complete my badges, which come out every Wednesday. Long story short, I completed all the little beggars Wednesday night. Stayed up until 2 in the morning, glossy-eyed and determined to get them done before I went to bed.

Don't get me wrong. There are several of the games that I deem great for mental acuity. They require strategy, eye to hand coordination, powers of observation, and memory exercises. These are all good. But there is, inevitably, the mind-numbing, zero-ability, BORING ones as well. Yet I push myself to get the badge anyway.

Nothing, NOTHING is worse than the slot machine games. ACH! I am twitching just thinking about them. Click. Click. Click. Click. I have decided that Hell would be pricing yard sale items AND being forced to play slot machines.

It used to be you had the chance to win up to $4999 (if you were a member). They recently changed it to a much smaller amount, but they threw in a bunch more opportunities to win worthless crap like mugs and hats. Woooo hoooo!

Would you like to check out my obsession? Be forewarned, it is addictive. You don't have to become a member, you can play for free. The only difference is you are limited as to which games you can play, and you are subjected to ads.

I, of course, blame my obsession on ES. She is the one who got me hooked. When she told me about it, I scoffed, saying I didn't like video games, so I surely would not like POGO. Unfortunately, I have a secret competitive gene. My father and brothers are all fierce competitors. I would inevitable end up crying whenever I played even board games with them, because they are cut-throat and vicious when they do anything competitive. Heck, they can turn go-fish into a maniacal competition...I am not competitive with PEOPLE. I am competitive with myself--and those damn robots on POGO. I recently yelled at one, "DIE, YOU DAMN CHEATING BUCKET OF BOLTS!"

Yeah, I need help. If you would like to share in my addiction, here is the link to POGO. My POGO name is Deelovesbud. I am now officially a pusher, and POGO is the drug.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Yard Sale Hell

MIL had the great idea to do a yard sale this weekend. It has been in the 90's for a week, and the humidity is through the roof. PERFECT! My ultra pale, burns in minutes skin will LOVE being exposed for two days...

In preparation, she dragged out bags and boxes, or rather, my nephew and SIL dragged out bags and boxes, from the shed. Most had mouse turds or mouse pee, and they reeked. Special! We are putting more time in to cleaning the sh-- I mean treasures up than they are worth. Seriously, she has so many chotchkies it is ridiculous. Oh, for those who have never heard of a chotchkie, Urban Dictionary defines it as the following:
"A small piece of worthless crap, a decorative knick knack with little or no purpose. Side note: Chotchkie can be pretty, sentimental, or even occasionally useful though it usually breaks easily if useful. If you are having trouble identifying Chotchkie just look around your house or someone else's and whatever you see that a burglar wouldn't steal is probably Chotchkie.
Fake fruit, a ceramic frog containing candy, pretty much anything purchased at a dollar store, costume jewelry, etc."

Amen, Urban Dictionary. Amen. Worthless crap indeed. Heck, the mouse turds have more value than some of the sh-- I mean, treasures, she is trying to sell. We spent hours pricing all that crap, and the whole while I am thinking, "Put it all on the front lawn with a giant "FREE" sign and be done with it." Dang, can you tell this is getting on my last nerve?

Don't get me wrong. I do love my MIL. She just comes up with "great ideas" that translate into lots and lots of pointless work. She will sell a few things, I am sure. Like the motorcycle leather coat, pants, and chaps, and the motorcycle intercom system. The rest? She should have just rented a dumpster. I'm just sayin'...

I have a ton of homework to do, and I have been spending more time lugging, washing, labeling, and cussing than I care to admit. On a positive note, my hubby is taking one for the Gipper, as they say. He is going with MIL to Amish Acres tomorrow morning. Acres and acres of vendors, set up in an open field on a hot, humid day. She really wants to go, but Bud knew that I had all this homework to get done, so he is going with her and leaving me home in the peace and quiet. Oh, how I love that man!

If there is a Hell, and I end up there, I will probably be stuck labeling chotchkies...

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rhubarb Custard Pie

I realize that I committed a mortal sin by not including the recipe in a previous post about the evilly-good rhubarb custard pie that MIL made last week. The recipe is below. Enjoy!

4-5 cups cut rhubarb (1/2 inch to 1" pieces)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/4 cup sugar
pie crust (mom made her own crust, but a store-bought crust will do just fine)

Place the rhubarb in a prepared pie crust, spreading evenly.
Whip the eggs, nutmeg, and sugar until nice and fluffy
Pour over rhubarb.

Bake at 400 degrees for one hour, testing for doneness at about 50 minutes and continuing to check every 10 minutes until done.

Mmmmm, mmmmm, good! Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream--to die for. CAUTION! This is not calorie-free. This has been a public service announcement from the women who consumed 4 slices of the pie in a two-day time span, thus blowing her calories for the day. Over and out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Disclosure




As promised, I am disclosing my starting weight this time around. I was at the highest weight I have ever been in my life. I remember when I was pregnant for Joe, I got up to 170 pounds. I thought I was a moose! I would love to be 170 again. Here goes nothin'...262. Big, fat, 262. I hadn't been on a scale for 6 months, and I was dreading it. I stepped on the scales at the doctor's office, which are digital. No hiding it--262 pounds.








That was at the end of April. As of today, I am at 244. My goal is to lose 1.5 pounds a week. That's 6 pounds a month, and I have been staying pretty on track. I know it will take a long time to get it all off, but I know if I try to lose it too fast, I will put it right back on.








I had Bud take a picture of me so I could post it. As I said, each month, I will be posting a new picture. I can't really see the difference yet, but I can feel the difference. Clothes aren't as tight. I don't get as winded, and I don't feel as tired.








So, in three months, almost 20 pounds. It feels pretty good to say that. I think after the next 20, people will start to notice. Tracking on Livestrong was the best thing I ever started doing...








Right now, I am at 1699 calories per day. That is actually a lot of calories, but I am still losing. I input my weight each week, and Livestrong readjusts my calorie intake accordingly. I started at 2200 calories, and they slowly peeled it back to keep me on track over the weeks. I don't feel deprived. Some days, I don't use the full amount of calories, and I am satisfied. That is the biggest thing for me--I like food--A LOT. So if I feel like I am being deprived, it doesn't work for me. It tracks percentages of carbs, fats, proteins, salt, cholesterol, etc. I almost always go over in the sodium category, mostly from not eating fresh. Now that fresh fruits and veggies are plentiful, I have been doing much better in that department. I don't tend to salt food at the table unless it it REALLY bland. I am more of a pepper person. And I don't salt watermelon and cantaloupe like a lot of people do.




It will be another 7-8 months or so before I put the 200 lb mark behind me. THAT is when I will start feeling success! Thanks for following me on my journey.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rhubarb Pie, My Nemesis




My MIL is evil. I told her I love rhubarb, but haven't had any in many, many years. So of course, she has to make me a rhubarb custard pie. I have eaten three pieces in the last 48 hours. Did I happen to mention that I am on a diet? Evil, evil MIL...




The good news is, I now officially don't like rhubarb. Although rhubarb is not the culprit. It has maybe 25 calories a cup. Wait, let me go check...I was close. It has 29 calories per 1 cup diced rhubarb. I have been tracking every bite that goes in my mouth ever-so-faithfully for three months. I think I mentioned Livestrong.com before. It is an awesome tool for anyone who wants to track diet, fitness, or wants to be up on the latest fitness advice. You can visit it here




I have to weigh in tomorrow, and then I will post a picture of what I look and how much I have lost in total. I will also divulge how much my starting weight was--NOT a pretty number.




I often get asked how much I want to lose. My answer? One pound at a time until I feel healthy. I don't know what the magic number is, but I do know that it will be when I am able to climb a flight of stairs without getting winded, when I can wipe my own ass without breaking into a sweat, and when I feel good in my skin.




See you tomorrow!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Live, on the road, it's the Bud and Dee Tour!




We left Alabama at 7:15am this morning. Ghost, our dog, delayed us, as she decided to hide under the trailer. Bud crawled under the house, only to have her scoot herself even FURTHER under and toward the front. Bud finally decided to start the van and honk the horn--danged if she didn't come out! She was shaking all over, but we got her in the van.



Ms. C. gave us a show with big ole crocodile tears. The only reason she doesn't want us to go is because that means she will need to step up to the plate and take care of Mr. M. I give it until after the 4th before she tries to get him in the nursing home...



Hubby accidentally doubled up on his anti-anxiety meds, and nearly gave me a heart attack as I watched him in horror from my rearview mirror, swerving all over the road like someone who was two sheets to the wind. I got us off the highway asap and fed him, and he drank coffee. The next leg was much more controlled, much to my relief.



We are at the Econolodge in Lebanon, TN. Lebanon is where Bud and I took our one and only "real" vacation--and even that wasn't totally a vacation, as I had a job interview. That was almost 17 years ago--wow! We camped at the Cedars of Lebanon State Park, and it will always be the sweetest memory for me.



First thing I did after taking a shower was crack open a Chelada. Have you ever had one of these? They are a redneck version of a Bloody Mary, made with Bud Light, Clamato juice, lemon juice, and salt. I usually add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and celery salt to kick it up a notch, but it is perfectly respectable on its own. Instant de-stress in a can....aaahhhhhh!



We had to pass through Hacklesburg, Alabama on our trek. The devastation from the April 27th, 2011 tornadoes is something I cannot even put into words. Trees snapped and twisted in two; tin, cars, and other debris can still be seen wrapped around trees like crepe paper; Houses flattened; the Wrangler plant reduced to a pile of twisted steel beams and rubble. FEMA trailers could be seen everywhere.




I can only say that the resilience of these people to start over, rebuild, and move past this horror was inspiring. I had a lump in my throat as we meandered through the carnage left by the EF 5 tornado.




I'm cracking open my second Chelada and flipping through the book to see who will deliver...hasta luego!








Saturday, June 25, 2011

T-Minus One Week and Counting...



The exodus to the North is in one week. While I am glad to get out from underneath of the menial servitude of Ms. C., I am bittersweet about returning to Michigan. The moms' are there; the sisterwives are there; and that is about it. I guess the Fates want me to die in the ice and the cold instead of the swealtering heat. Whatevah...






On another note, I have had diarrhea for a week straight, and have been on the pot no less than 5 times in the last 6 hours. Your welcome.



School is getting ready to start back up as well, and I have got to say, this break was much needed this time around. I needed to declutter my head. Of course, that means the novel gets shelved for another 6 months...I may have it done before my Social Security kicks in--wait--what Social Security? I am certain that by the time I hit 68, there will be no Social Security. Whooo Hoooo, can't WAIT!



Hmmmmm, I think I am in a bit of a mood today. Sick of shitting, sick of shit, sick, sick, sick. Blah!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Double Hernia--or, My Guts are Falling Out

I recently developed a hernia. Not uncommon for over-weight individuals, and not uncommon for persons who have undergone surgery. But lucky me, I have two! I had a bikini line incision for my c-section back in '87. I had the zipper for my hysterectomy in 2010. Where the two incision lines meet, a weakness developed, and before I knew it, I had an egg-sized protrusion.

I shouldn't be surprised. With all the lifting and transferring of Mr. M, it was bound to happen. That for sure weakened the area. But when did it happen? Embarrassingly, on the toilet, straining with diarrhea. (This blog is not for the weak of stomach; I swear, I will talk about anything!).

The second hernia is a belly button hernia, at the top of my hysterectomy incision. I had one in the same spot before, and had it repaired. This one is on the other side of my belly button.

Sooooo, my guts are spilling out in two places. Yippee. It doesn't hurt at all, but it is disconcerting, as now I can't do anything for Mr. M and Ms. C. That means that we are moving out soon. No point staying here if I can't be of help.

This will be move number 5 in 18 months. We are heading back to my MIL's home, which is the first move we made 18 months ago. We have come full circle. I guess I am just not meant to live in Alabama, because we keep ending up in Michigan. Peachy.

School will start back up for me the day after we get back, so I will not even get a rest before I have to start hitting the books again. And I am taking three classes in a compressed 8 week semester--should be a blast.

Man, do I like to bitch or what? Count your blessings, Miss Whineypants...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Rights--Can I Hear a HELL YEAH?





I just read that the UN has endorsed the rights of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. FINALLY! What took so long? This is something that has always gotten under my craw--the abuse suffered by the GLB&T community. It has never made sense to me why people who love each other and are committed to each other could not be legally married or share the same benefits that heterosexual couples have. Finally. FINALLY!





I am hoping that this will soon open the door for polygamists as well. I firmly believe that no one can dictate who we love. That includes loving multiple people at the same time and being committed to them exclusively.





I have brushed lightly on the fact that I am, for all intents and purposes, a polyamorous person. I find it normal to love more than one person and have committed relationships with more than one person. I know that that doesn't float most people's boat. But there ARE a lot of people who are wired that way. They are just as committed, caring, loving men and women. Many people view us as freaks. They are close-minded and close-hearted. It takes a special kind of person to be able to love more than one person.





I have two living sisterwives, and one deceased. I love them. Granted, I had my share of conflict with the last one. We never were able to move past our differences. Or more aptly, I was not willing to compromise who I was to fit her mold. I did not like the person I was becoming around her. I was losing myself, and that was scary. I don't feel that way with the other two wives. ES and I were just too different. I firmly believe that if the four of us had lived under one roof, it would have been more balanced. ES would have found a formidable match with K and S. They are very out-spoken, strong women. Maybe I would have grown a back-bone.





It was one of ES's biggest pet-peeves when it came to me. I was close-mouthed when I disagreed with her, letting her always have her way, even when it made me unhappy or I thought it was unreasonable. Too late to work it out now. I just needed time, but she didn't have time to wait for me. I will never know if we could have found a middle ground.





At the moment, there are no laws to recognize us as a family. Zip, nada, zilch. Maybe, just maybe, this momentous move by the U.N. will move us in the right direction. Maybe there is hope for humanity...





Here is a link to the story if you have not yet read it:





Friday, June 10, 2011

Of Swollen Ankles, Boredom, and A Pot to Piss



Haven't written in a while. May came and went, and I just realized it was actually June. Don't know if I have mentioned it before, but I started yet another diet. I am recording every morsel I put in my mouth on Livestrong.com, as well as tracking my "fitness". Fitness--what a joke. It will track how many calories I burn an hour doing such mundane tasks as dishes, cooking, showering, and surfing--as in the web or as a couch potato.

I have lost 12 pounds in 8 weeks. My goal is 1.5 pounds a week, so I am pretty on target. I drink 8 12 ounce glasses of water a day, so I know it isn't water weight I am losing. I was feeling the difference until today. For the last two days, I have spent a lot of time sitting in front of the computer, so my calves and ankles are swollen. My hands have been swelling as well, and my wedding band is as tight as can be. OUCH! I need to make sure and get off my arse tomorrow so I can get back where I was a week ago.

I am going to post a picture each month to record my weight loss. This picture was taken two years ago, but it is the same weight I am at now--I had actually put on 12 pounds since that picture was taken. UGH.

I am trying to not be bored, but it is hard. I have been working on my novel, and have added about 50 pages, so that is good. I play POGO, and I try and be creative cooking. Any little thing to keep me going. We are broke, which means we can't go anywhere, do anything, buy anything. Living on only Hubby's Social Security means times are lean indeed.

I keep saying my Hail Mary's that we will see better times soon. I know I should be thankful for what we got. People have lost homes from floods, tornadoes, and wild fires. They have lost homes from loss of jobs, and there aren't any out there to be had. I know--I have been looking for six months for something closer than Tupelo or Tuscaloosa, but there just isn't anything available.

Blah.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Novel






I have officially begun to add to my half-finished novel, and it feels good! I had to re-read the story to get myself re-acquainted with the cast of characters. I found lots of typos, and time-line errors. But overall, it is a good story!


My goal for myself is to have this puppy done by Christmas. That means a LOT of writing between now and then. I thought I was closer to being done than I am, but at 140 pages in, I am about half way done. And that is the manuscript version. Once it is put into paperback format, it will be a lot longer than that.

I know the story will evolve and things will be changed/edited/added to make it an even better read. I don't want people getting to the middle as thinking, "God, is this book ever going to end?"


I like to write. I really do. You would never know it with my sparse postings, but I really do like to write. Here is a list of things I would do if we one the lotto:


1. Buy our house on the hill with a view--no longer an option. House is no longer on the market.


2. Write. A lot.


3. Sing. A lot.


4. Garden, as much or as little as I wanted.


5. Play Pogo in the middle of the night, and sleep as long or as little as I wanted to.


6. Travel.


7. Get some fun exercise equipment and have a "real" work out room.


8. Learn to play the keyboard.


9. Get my songs published and recorded.


10. Baby my baby.


11. Get pedicures, manicures, massages, and haircuts whenever I want, not just when I can afford it.


12. Create a wonderful kitchen full of wonderful foods to cook.


13. Help others in need.


14. Go fishing.


15. Get a really good digital camera and take lots of pictures of everything.


16. Start scrapbooking again.


17. Take a nap like old folks do.


18. Have cookouts and karaoke parties.


19. Run around naked if I feel like it.


20. Paint--and I don't mean walls.


This list could go on and on. I know they say money can't buy happiness, but it CAN give you time and reduce the stress of NOT having money. Imagine being able to pay the bills as they came, have money for emergencies, be able to go to the doctor and dentist...


And time. Not having to go to a job that exhausts me and instead having a day that I can do whatever I feel like doing--or doing nothing if that is what I want.


Yup, that would be awesome. May the Lotto gods shine down on us soon! Maybe if I finish my novel, it will be a top seller and I will make a living writing...who knows!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Today is Mother's Day. Did you know I am a mom? Most people don't. I don't talk much about my son. He is an "adult"--I use the term loosely. He has spent more time on the streets and living with nothing than most.

I was a single mom until Joe turned 5, and then his biological father (The Sperm Donor, BS) decided he was going to be a part of his life and started visitation. It wasn't court ordered; It was only every-other-weekend, and Joe seemed to enjoy himself and look forward to the visits. BS never asked for joint custody--until I started dating and subsequently marrying my hubby. Then all Hell broke loose.

It was miserable for all of us, and most of all, for Joe. We battled in court twice. The second time, I lost physical custody of Joe. You may ask, "How in the Hell did you lose custody of the child you raised?" It wasn't pretty, that is for sure. It was heartbreaking, and it was ugly. And it meant that my relationship with my son would forever be changed.

We aren't close. I used to worry about him constantly, feel guilty constantly. To this day, I am sure I am going to get a call that he has been killed or has killed himself. He is mentally ill, and does not take his medication regularly. It is either when he has to be admitted to stabilize himself, or when he has enough money to pay for his meds. Most times, he foregoes getting his meds and buys cigarettes instead.

We get infrequent calls, and he is never in the same place twice. He has had more "homes"--again, using a term lightly--than most people have in a lifetime. He always seeks approval, so desparate for love and positive attention.

He has made some aweful choices for himself in the past. He is so naive, so trusting of people. Inevitably, he gets his heart broken, or is taken advantage of and is left on the streets with no money. He is drawn to those like himself--he meets most of his so-called friends in treatment centers. That goes ditto for his girlfriends. Most of the women he meets are homeless, no source of income, and single mothers. I think every last one of the women he has been with have been older. I think in some ways, he is looking for a maternal figure, someone to take care of him. In his mind, it is he that is going to take care of them, however.

The relationships are short lived, and it always leaves Joe spiralling into a deep depression with suicidal thoughts. I know what must be going through his head: "I am not good enough for anyone. No one loves me. I am disposible."

He of course would feel that way. That is my dark secret: I gave my son away to the devil himself. I sacrificed motherhood in an attempt to keep the peace with everyone. I desparately wanted to keep my husband; I didn't want to keep fighting with BS; I was sick of court battles where I inevitably came out looking like an over-emotional basket case. Hell, even hubby said I was not fit to be a mom. So I got what I deserved. But Joe didn't deserve this. He really didn't.

We have rescued Joe twice. Once it was in Birmingham. He was in the hospital after cutting himself dozens of times. He had been living on the streets, and we hadn't heard from him in ages. We tried to help him, but he didn't want to follow rules. He was 19, and didn't want any responsibility.

The next time was after he got kicked out of his girlfriend's house. She took his money, and kicked him out. He stayed with us about a month that time. He really was doing a good job (for Joe), but my sisterwife couldn't stand him. She called him "a worthless excuse of a human being". That cut my heart to pieces. She despised him, and wanted him gone. For his own safety, both physical and mental, I let him go. That was the last time I saw him...4 years ago.

I know he wants to come home. He is weary and homesick. He hasn't seen family in about two years. I can't help him--we are technically homeless ourselves, save for living with the people we are taking care of.

So that is the ugly burden I carry. I am not much of a mom. I crave calls from Joe, but when he does, I can't stand talking to him. It is too painful. I deserve the pain. I deserve to have it crammed down my throat. But I avoid it. I am a coward.

Happy Mother's Day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Big Ass Dog


Last night all hell broke loose when a Big Ass Dog showed up in our yard after supper. It drove Ghost, our dog, and Dixie (Mr. M's and Mrs. C's dog) crazy. Our dog is an average-sized dog, but this dog made her look little in comparison:



He appears to be a pit bull mix, and like I said, he is one BIG ASS DOG. And he is in heat; and Dixie is not fixed. Now Dixie is a Tsih Tsu as I have mentioned before, or as I like to call her, Little Shit. Big Ass Dog would go to smell her, and she would begin yipping in his face, making him jump straight in the air off his feet.



This dog is somebody's baby. He has been howling and crying all night, scratching at the door, whimpering, and being just pitiful. Trying to find the owner to no avail...


The dog is a ball of energy. I don't think he is much older than a year or two--too much puppy still in him. He won't sit still. The only time I managed to get a good picture of him was when he was flowering the weeds:


As said, Big Ass Dog is a handsome fellow, and someone out there is probably missing him dearly. This county does not have a humane society or a dog pound, so there is really no place to take him. In the mean time, Little Shit is yip-barking non-stop, and Ghost is ready for him to leave her property (she thinks this is her property and runs everyone off: mailmen, garbagemen, and any visitor she hasn't met yet). Having this big brute of a dog in the yard is disconcerting to her.



Hopefully, we will find its home. There are lots and lots of stray dogs and cats in this county, as people tend to just drop them off on the side of the road.



Fingers-crossed that this is not the case with this dog. Seems unlikely, as he is a nice dog. He could have chomped Little Shit in two, but he is actually a little intimidated by Her Highness. Guess we will see....maybe he is an alien....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Giant Woody

Okay, mind out of the gutter for a moment. On this overcast Easter morning, I was reading all the blogs I follow when I caught sight of something BIG out of the corner of my eye.


The computer is in the kitchen, and there is a glass slider door off to the side. The BIG something was one of these:


I tried to take a picture of it, but the bird was camera shy and I couuldn't get a good shot. Soooo, I went to my source for everything, the World Wide Web, and discovered that the huge woodpecker is, in fact, a Pileated Woodpecker. I learned that over the last 2 centuries, their numbers greatly declined with the increase in logging, but the ingenious birds have learned to adapt and are making a comeback. Yeah!


These birds are beautiful, and I am so glad I got to see one up close. It is larger than a crow, but not as big as the buzzards that seem to be everywhere (ugh).


It is wonderfully quiet right now. Not like 3 hours ago at 6am, when the yipping dog from hell woke me up. Dixie is a bona-fide bitch. She is a shih tzu, but I just call her a shit. Grrrrrrrrrr!


I guess I can't complain, as it got my butt out of bed so that I would be up to see the giant woody. And I had computer time to not only post this post, but to get my essay assignment turned in--yay me!


The honeysuckle is in bloom, so I shant stay mad long. I do get grumpy when I miss my beauty sleep....


Happy Easter, everyone.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oh How I Love Thee, Grill


Ms. C bought a grill week before last, and I have been a grilling fool. She got the gas/charcoal combo grill, and whoa, baby--I have really broke it in.


We started with T-bone steaks as big as the plate for its inauguration. Next was burgers and dogs. Drunk chicken soon followed, as well as roasted chicken. More burgers and dogs. More steak--ribeyes. We have had corn on the cob on the grill, baked potatoes on the grill, and herbed wheat mini loaves of bread. We had my homemade baked beans, and we have had Bush's Grillin' Beans.


Tonight, it was more drunk chicken, barbecue chicken, grilled squash, grilled cabbage, baked beans, and pasta salad. It was heavenly, I must say.


If you have never made a drunk chicken, you must give it a try. I wish I would have snapped a picture of the birds on the grill. Here is the simple recipe:


Drunk Chicken

1 roasting chicken

1 can beer (cheap is fine--the bird doesn't mind!)

1/4 cup Dales or Moores marinade--or any marinade that floats your boat

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic

1/2 lemon

olive oil

Seasoning salt


Pour 1/2 the beer into a two-cup liquid measuring cup. Add the marinade and garlic. Squeeze the juice of the lemon into the liquid. You could also add some of the zest to take it up a notch, but I don't have a zester at my disposal at the moment.


Drink the remaining beer--you can't waste beer! Pour the contents in the measuring cup into the empty beer can.


To prep the bird, make sure the neckbone and organs are removed from the cavity. Rinse the bird and pat dry. Rub the bird with olive oil, then sprinkle with seasoning salt.


Stand the bird so that the beer can is inserted up its, er, well, its butt. Heh-hem. I know it looks silly, but trust me on this--it needs to be done.


Place the chicken on the grill. The best way is to support the can, then adjust the legs so that they are "balanced" and the bird can stand upright without tipping over. Give 'im a salute. I used the gas side of the grill for this, as it is easier to control the temperature. After igniting the grill, close lid and bring it up to 350 degrees. Adjust the flame so that you can keep the temp at a steady 350 for one hour. Check for doneness using a meat thermometer. Meat should reach 160 degrees. If juices run clear, it is a sure bet it is done as well.


Enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sharing a Poem or Two


I have a writer trapped inside of me. I have stifled my creativity for so long, I forget it is there sometimes. I have a novel that I haven't worked on in (cringe) two years, and a short story I wrote in my head yesterday while I was sitting outside. CRAZY! The two poems below were "in-my-head" poems as well. I should have written them down while they were still fresh, as the written product is not what the original words were. I tried to recall them, but only was able to come up with the gist of them. Sigh.


Musing on Wisteria

Spring comes, shoulders draped in Wisteria

A vibrant purple wrap upon dancing trees

A youthful playfulness, saying,

"look at me, look at me!"


All too soon, (oh, too soon)

The spring wrap fades to a grey shawl

A mere shadow of what once was

As the Wisteria falls from favor


4/4/11 Weiser


Magenta

And there was a rosebush

It grew by the front porch steps

Much taller than I


I Having never seen it bloom

I waited as the first buds teased

Tight bundles of green


What color bloom lay hidden within?

Red? Yellow? or maybe pink?

Only the rosebush knew


And then--oh my! I see

The first hints of the encapsulated color

No longer hidden from view


Magenta! Not Red or Pink

But a color only worthy of itself

Bursting to greet the day


This rose is not coy-- Not one bit.

It is flashy and sassy

She will not be ignored


Her fragrance is seductive

Not like grandma's toilet water

No, Magenta is sexy


She flirts with everyone

All eyes are drawn to her beauty

A rose so bold


I noticed a subtle change today

Magenta was duller

No longer herself


She drooped on the branch

Struggled to keep her head up

Color draining


No longer smooth and delicate

Petals withered

Defeated


She bowed her head to rest

As the next bloom peeked

To meet the world


4/4/11 Weiser

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Full Moon


Last night was the full moon, and it was perported to be the largest full moon in 19 years. The full moon I saw last night was not.


I walked out of the kitchen yesterday to find Ms. C lathering butt balm on Mr. M's behind. His boney arse was sticking toward the heavens as she slathered it on, its whiteness only surpassed by that of the zinc oxide that covered it in a thick layer.


This poor man has lost every shred of dignity. We have seen every nook and cranny of this man; we have wiped his ass after he takes a dump, we have held his shriveled up pecker while he pees to assure he hits the urinal. We have bathed him, dressed him/undressed him 300 times; we have wiped food off his face that has drippled out the bad side of his mouth. We have cleaned him up and bandaged him after he has fallen and knocked half the skin off of his arm, knee, finger, head....


I feel horrible for him. He is only 61, but when you look at him, you see an old man. Even though he can out-eat us all due to his appetite-inducing pills, he is still a stick-figure.


The chemo turned his hair white--what is left of it. He has a little left, and a few indignant long, stray strands. He still brushes his hair before we go out--really no need, but we silently let him skim the brush over his mostly-bald head.


The stroke has left him limited. He has very little control over his left hand. We often must fish his hand out of gravy, peas, soup, and pancake syrup. Yesterday he gently murmured: "that gravy is hot."


We have watched him drink himself into a stupor. I will not begrudge the man. I would most likely drink myself into a stupor everyday if I had to bear the indignities he has to each morning. He is usually soaked to the bone. He prefers Bud strip him and the bed, get him dressed, get him decent and get him a hot cup of coffee. We do not belittle him for being so wet. Ms. C., on the other hand, delights, I think, in being disgusted with him. She has zero patience with him. Hubby and I fear that when we leave--and it will be soon--she will not be very nice to him.


Mr. M wants to be independent. He stubbornly drove his stick-shift truck, backing it into a junker car in the yard and busting out the headlight. He almost put it in the swamp/pond out front. Every time I turn around, the old/not really old fellow is tottering somewhere, fetching himself a drink, heading out to smoke, or getting an itch to fish.


Fishing was his "thing". Being retired, there really isn't a whole lot to do that doesn't cost a lot of money. Since the strokes and the cancer, Mr. M hasn't been able to do what he loves. Ms. C got a wild hair a few weeks ago because she was sick of seeing Mr. M just sitting there. She said it was nice out and we were going fishing. At first, Mr. M objected, but with her prodding, he agreed to it. What an ordeal that was! It took half the morning to get Mr. M around and loaded into the truck. It is only a little 2-seater, so Ms. C and I followed in her car.


The lake ended up only being accessible by 4-wheel trucks and deer, but Mr. M insisted we could make it up the deeply-rutted (read "canyon-ed") dirt road access. The only option was to throw Ms. C and I in the bed of the truck and go for it. The tailgate doesn't go up, so Ms. C, with her two bad legs, sat on the tailgate and held on to the walker in her lap. (Do you see impending disaster?)


I climbed well into the truck, as I didn't want to be a part of that impending disaster. When we were all loaded, Hubby asked if we were all loaded, and I said yes. He gunned it, and I watched Ms. C being launched out the back of the truck helplessly as I screamed for Bud to stop. There was no stopping, as the access road was over a 40 degree angle, and we had to Baja just to get up to the lake. I screamed to Ms. C that wI would send Bud back for her.


When we got to the lake at the top, it was only then that Bud found out that he had bounced Ms. C out of the back of the truck. He went back down the hill to get her--a good 1/2 mile that seemed a lot longer from the bed of the truck. She had managed to walk about 500 feet up the hillside with her walker. Can you picture it?


Bud got her loaded and brought her up the hill. It wasn't over yet. Mr. M pointed to the cabin and a bank around the opposite side of the lake. "That is where we want to be," he said matter-of-factly. It is here that I must note that neither Bud nor I swim. I am afraid of water of my head. This is a man-made lake. It doesn't gradually get deep; it instantly gets deep. There are signs posted all over "no swimming" and "very deep lake". Special.


Now comes the fun part. To get to the opposite side of the lake, there is a narrow isthmus of land separating the lake from a 300-foot drop-off. Lake of Death on one side; Valley of Death on the other. Perfect!


There is a gate on the other side, and we couldn't tell if it was open or closed. Mr. M said it didn't matter. If it was closed, we would just park at the end and fish, and and then back out. NO. FUCKING. WAY. I volunteered to go walk the 1/4 mile and visually affirm whether or not the gate was open. I kept my eyes on the road or the lake--I didn't want to see the drop on the other side, or I would have been immobilized.


After confirming the gate was open, Bud drove across. I could not watch, nor could I get in the truck. I was paralyzed with fear. Bud obviously made it across in one piece, and we got all the chairs, poles, beers, bait and tackle out of the truck. We moved Mr. M three times before he found a place he felt confident that he could sit and not fall in, yet get a good cast in.


Mr. M could cast just fine, but realized that without use of his left hand, he couldn't hold the pole and reel it in. he did his best by holding the pole between his knees, though. After one cast, he declared he was just going to watch. So, the rest of of grabbed poles and cast out. After 10 minutes, Mr. M says: "We have to go. I have to pee."


Yes, yes, I know, he could have peed right there. I believe it was his way of saying he wasn't having fun and therefore fishing day was over. It took more time to load and unload the truck than was actually spent fishing. It was a beautiful lake. I was actually enjoying myself, once the terror of getting there was behind us. Sigh.


Mike got a wild hair yesterday and wanted to run to town and get Bream hooks, sinkers and fish feed. Good Lord, save us all.

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