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


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...

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