- This week I planned a trip out west for my husband and I for our 25th wedding anniversary. We will be staying a couple days in Idaho and Montana, two more states to check off my bucket list. I thought it would be funny to visit Yellowstone and see Old Faithful on our anniversary. Funny story, when Paul and I were in New Orleans we met a lady on a tour who was from Idaho. I told her I would like to visit her state and asked her what the best thing to do was. She said don’t, go back to New Orleans instead. My daughter told me to bring back some potatoes for her. I know it doesn’t sound like an exciting 25th anniversary trip, but I believe there are good things to see and experience in every part of the world. If you are looking for it, you will find it.
- Since Paul and I cancelled our trip to Puerto Rico in January because non-essential travel was not recommended due to COVID wrecking havoc and running rampant, Expedia gave us an airline credit. The extra protection travel insurance was total crap. They wouldn’t refund anything even though travel was disrupted and not advisable. So, I booked the above trip using the credit which was an absolute nightmare. What should have taken me a couple hours to plan literally took me all day. I didn’t get anything else done, like write on this blog. But anyway, I was unable to apply the credit when I tried to book it myself. But to talk to an actual live person through Expedia and the airline itself was a two to three hour wait. I tried chatting through the airline and got nowhere. I almost gave up on being able to use the credit, but finally tried Expedia’s chat. The person I worked with was absolutely amazing and was able to book the trip for me using my credits over chat. I’m grateful they also gave us credits for the cancelled trip since the insurance company refused to cover any of our costs although it was advertised as being refundable for any reason.
- My husband learned how to play Mahjong and taught me how to play. The game was a Christmas gift a couple years back from Paul but we never learned how to play until this past week. It is rather time consuming and intimidating to learn. We ended up having Angel and Dan over for homemade pizza and Mahjong this week and it was fun.
- I had a dentist appointment this week for a cleaning. No problems!
- Last night we set the clocks ahead an hour for Daylight Savings Time. Spring is coming, even though we woke up to a couple inches of snow. But at least it will be light later.
- Yesterday we had some friends and family over for a board game day. It was nice to do something fun and get our mind off of things. We played several new games.
- It’s been hard with Arabella in the hospital. Paul and I have been having a difficult last couple of days and haven’t been getting along well. I thought we would get used to it over time but it doesn’t seem to be going that way. It’s stressful and doesn’t bring out the best in us. However, our relationship is going better now.
- I’m grateful that Arabella is talking to me now and we are getting along a lot better than we did before. It’s easier to help her through her depression this way.
- Woohoo! It’s no shave November. LOL
- My husband is on week 2 of the detox diet and doing good.
- I’m grateful that Angel and Alex got gym memberships and work out several times a week. I’m happy that two of our kids have picked up on some of the healthy habits my husband and I have.
- The last couple of days the weather has been seasonally warm and sunny.
- I have appointments tomorrow with both the dentist and the doctor for a physical. YUCK! So the following day I made an appointment to get a massage. Yippee! It’s been ages.
- I started rereading the first edition of my book. It’s been almost two years since I wrote it and this will be my first read through since then. I’m grateful to have started the process again.
- I got a major project crossed off the list in the garage apartment. We finally got an oven hooked up after 6 months. My mom donated her oven which was great except that it was hooked up specially for propane and not natural gas. We needed someone to hook up the oven to the gas line. But the hard part was finding someone that could convert the oven back from propane to natural gas. I had 3 service guys out that couldn’t do it. We had to wait for parts. Some of the parts were incorrect. The guy from the appliance store that finally was able to fix it was out for the summer due to open heart surgery. He even had to come out a couple of times but he was finally able to get the oven converted this week.
- Angel and I met with the florist this past week for wedding planning. He was an old friend of ours from the community theater and gave us a discount. It was great to visit again. Crossed that off the list.
- I was able to cross off DJ from the list as well. Believe it or not but back in the day I used to drive my minivan out to the school once a month for the PTO meetings. I helped plan the school family dance and went through this DJ. We also used him when we planned my husband’s and friend Jen’s 40th birthday party. He said he would give us the same rate that he gave us over 10 years ago which is way under market price. Win, win, win.
- We have all the major stuff planned now for the wedding. They have the wedding chapel, the reception hall, cake, DJ, flowers, my daughter’s wedding dress, and photographer. My daughter asked me to be their wedding planner because I am a super anal organized detailed person. Since Angel lives at home we are able to talk about it and bounce ideas off of each other. Unfortunately this may have caused her future MIL to feel left out who is more of a fly by the seat of her pants kind of person. Thankfully we are all aware of the situation and maybe it can be fixed now before it is a problem.
- Yesterday Angel and Dan had their engagement pictures done. It was a horrible day for Angel however. Once in a while she provides care for an elderly lady with dementia. Angel was out walking with this woman yesterday when the woman fell and broke her leg. It was a very traumatic experience for them both. Thankfully since it was a beautiful day outside, there were several people nearby who offered help instead of walking away or recording the event. The whole experience was very upsetting for my daughter who was crying the morning of the day she had her engagement pictures done. The family of the elderly lady was very kind as well. I can’t imagine how horrible she must feel. I felt a little of that guilt when I tripped over my dog and thought we might have to put him down. It’s an awful feeling. Thankfully everyone was supportive.
- While I have enjoyed the time this week by doing some creative writing, I haven’t been really talking much about what is going on. This week was a lot more chill than the last couple of weeks. However I did find out that Arabella did not get the job she interviewed for earlier in the week. She also reached out to me today for the first time since I last did the gratitude list. Unfortunately it did not go well and I got another fuck you from her. Her insurance is not going to cover the cost of psychological testing and she blames me for it. She said she took me off of her HIPA form so I can’t talk to her doctors anymore. A couple of days ago I called the county to ask what kind of mental health programs they offer, but since I am not her guardian and she is over 18 there is nothing I can do. At this point I feel like I’ve done everything I could possibly think of doing for her. I do feel a sense of peace and gratitude that I’ve done everything I could humanly do for her. She may need a guardian some day but I don’t think she will ever let that person be me. I feel very conflicted with the holidays approaching. I’m not sure what is going to happen, but I feel like I am able to handle things better.
- I’m grateful my mom is going to spend a couple of days with her sisters next week. My mom hasn’t been doing too well lately. She has been having insomnia again and is very anxious she is going to have a nervous breakdown. I just can’t handle this right now.
- I’m grateful for everyone who has been supportive during this difficult time. Thank you to my followers for the prayers, well wishes, kind comments, and offers of support and hugs. I really wish I could thank you in person but that would blow the whole anonymous thing. I want to especially thank my husband who has been a rock for me even though he is going through his own hell with this. I know he reads my posts and is even okay when I vent about him. Thanks! Thanks to my daughter Angel who has been more like a best friend since we are so much alike. Thanks to my best friend Cindy who is always texting and calling to make sure I’m okay. She won’t let me slip away. Thanks to my son Alex who doesn’t fully know everything I’m going through but cares anyway. Thanks to my dog and my cat who still cuddle up to me when I manage to push everyone else away. Thanks for the good people out there who don’t get recognized but step up to help someone in need. You are the people that keep this world going and make it beautiful place to live in.
- I finished the What’s Normal book. Yeah, I’m pretty much screwed.
- Angel and I have been reading books together. We just finished One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and watched the movie. Seems like I could relate to that book better than the what’s normal book. LOL.
- Although I didn’t look at the stats, this must be my longest gratitude list yet. Wow, I must be a super positive person after all. I am making good on yesterday’s fortune of pushing away the negative today.
- I’m grateful that my tattoo healed nicely.
- I’m grateful that I can now swim again. I had to wait while my tattoo healed. So basically I did not exercise at all since my tattoo. The weather has been cool and crappy. It even snowed a little since last week so I didn’t want to run outside. Plus I was busy taking my mom to appointments. I’m hoping for a better weather week and finding the time to exercise.
- Breakfast with my BFF.
- A mother-daughter date with Angel to go thrifting. I didn’t find anything too terribly exciting but it was nice to get away.
- My brother Matt came over for the weekend. Although I stressed about it, things went better than expected. It was nice to take some time to myself so I don’t go absolutely crazy.
- For rides on the 4-wheeler with my husband while he does the spring clean up on the yard.
- That my daughter Arabella seems to be making a lot of progress in residential treatment.
- This is a big one…I’m grateful that I survived getting a crown this week with minimal pain. I had laughing gas for the first time. Can you believe that instead of laughing I cried? I’m grateful for a dentist and assistant that went out of their way to be compassionate towards my history of experiencing dental pain and trying to make me comfortable through the process.
- The things I was really stressing about this month, the tattoo and crown, are over. I’m grateful for the relief that I feel that the fear is behind me.
- I’m grateful that my mom, Paul, and I were able to play a game last night. Things have been incredibly stressful since my mom moved in so it was nice to have a break from the heaviness.
- This past week has been pretty rough, but I made it through.
- I switched dentist appointments with my son because he had to work on the date his appointment was scheduled. I was supposed to go in Wednesday, but went in Friday. Thursday night I felt like I got something stuck in my molar but didn’t eat anything that could get stuck. I tried to get whatever it was out with no luck to find out at my appointment the next day that I cracked my tooth. So, now I need a crown. I have a ton of anxiety about this because in the past I have been known not to numb. I did feel my last crown and it is terrifying to me. But I am grateful I found out about the crack the day after it happened. I’m grateful that I will be trying some new things such as laughing gas to manage the pain. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve never used that before.
- I scheduled my first tattoo. I am terrified about this appointment too. I am not as terrified about the pain as much as how I will handle it. Will I cry, scream, or freak out at these appointments? Or will I act like a proper stoic introvert?
- I’m grateful it is still March because I dread the upcoming appointments in April. I will be very grateful when they are behind me.
- I’m grateful that I was able to get a lot of writing in this week.
- I’m grateful that my new custom made wedding ring is coming in the mail tomorrow. I literally wore out my last wedding band.
- I’m grateful that my daughter is starting to make some progress in the residential program.
- I think I am also stressed out because it is Easter next week and I don’t have any plans. I’m feeling down because my daughter is in the residential treatment program and my other two kids aren’t getting along. My mom is a big ball of anxiety. My dad is a pedophile and my brother will never come home again with his children if my dad is around. I haven’t seen one of my brothers since 2019. Family holidays are more painful than ever before. I am grateful that although we didn’t get together with the extended family for Christmas, it was probably one of the most enjoyable holidays since my grandma was alive. Everything was simple instead of busy and rushed. I have hope that maybe this Easter will be quiet, simple, and enjoyable. I’ll let you know how it goes…
- With everything that is going on, I am not really looking forward to April this coming week. But it is a step closer to my favorite season, summer. This morning we awoke to snow and cold windy temperatures. I’m grateful that the difficult seasons make the lighter ones more enjoyable.
- I’m grateful that one of our favorite restaurants just opened very close to our house. Paul took me out to eat there after church today. Yum!
- There was one I forgot from last week. Before my daughter went into residential, she had her dental exam. With her asking for her new toothbrush in advance so she could brush in the bathroom right before her appointment and her candy bingeing, I was a little worried about what they might find. Not only that, but she was having some dental pain with her wisdom teeth. The dentist said that she didn’t have any cavities AND so far all of her wisdom teeth are coming in like they should. So it’s looking good that she won’t need wisdom teeth extraction. I didn’t even know that was possible! LOL!! On a side note, I’m sure my daughter Angel will be upset to hear that. She is my only kid that brushes and flosses probably more than I do. Her siblings always did the bare minimum and she always ended up with the cavities. It always made her mad when the dentist told her to brush and floss more and told her siblings to keep up what they are doing.
- Talking about Angel, she is coming back home today until she finds her own place!! Her boyfriend Dan came down with COVID a couple weeks back while she was visiting him at his parents house. They all holed up in quarantine there. Dan got really sick. My daughter and his mom got sick too, but his dad who we were all worried about ended up being just fine. They were sick for a good week and a half. It even went away for a day or two and came back with a vengeance. I’m grateful that they all have returned to health and that my daughter is coming back home!
- I’m grateful for the warm and a few rainy days that pretty much decimated all of our snow. I’m ready for spring although there is a chance for more snow this week…
- I’m glad that our first telehealth meeting with Arabella’s therapist at residential went really well.
- I’m grateful for some time for me to get my hair and nails done. I even decided to color my hair again and went a little darker. It must seem natural as no one really noticed it yet except Angel when I was facetiming her.
- I had my success story interview with the wellness clinic this week. It went pretty good. I’m going to be my worst critic, this I know. The lady that interviewed me was very nice. She said that I was beautiful and could be a motivational speaker. I was excited for the opportunity but it was rather terrifying and I did lose a little sleep over it. Now my husband is going to the wellness clinic.
- I’m grateful for the visit from my best friend. She made some deviled eggs for me and left them here for me to eat.
- Since the weather was nice yesterday, I’m grateful that I was able to go for a run outside without being too cold.
- I’m grateful that my son found his lost wallet.
- I’m grateful that I can start spending time with my mom again since she is fully vaccinated.
- Yeah, 2020 is finally behind us!!
- I’m grateful for my best friend. She had her birthday this past week and I did something I haven’t tried since I was a teenager. We went to a shooting range. I was really nervous about it, but it was a lot of fun.
- Paul decided to quit drinking. Here’s to 5 days sober! Yes, he made it through New Year’s Eve. I’m grateful for the positive changes he is making in his life, in our life together.
- I’m grateful for the snow that blankets the ground. We had our first real snowfall of the season this week. It is really beautiful.
- I’m grateful that my routine mammogram came back normal.
- I’m grateful that my daughter Arabella will start attending outpatient tomorrow as we wait for residential care. I’m hoping this will be beneficial for improving her mental health.
- I’m grateful that my son will be getting his wisdom teeth removed tomorrow and will no longer be in pain.
- I’m grateful that I have all the holiday decorations cleaned up and put away.
- I’m grateful to get out of the house and go to the movies with my daughter and her boyfriend. We watched Promising Young Lady and it was pretty good.
- I’m grateful for clean sheets and warm jammies on these dark cold days.
- Here’s to a whole year of gratitude! Cheers!
- Everyone in our house thought this was one of the best Christmases in years. The kids were happy with their gifts, everyone worked hard to get along, we played games, and there was even a dusting of snow on the ground.
- This has been a crazy Christmas season, but somehow we made things work. We didn’t get together with the extended family this year, but there was less stress and busyness. I’ve heard a lot of crazy things…some friend’s family members were invited for the holidays and others were not because some were a higher risk of COVID. Other families weren’t getting together because others couldn’t afford to have a gift exchange because their income was cut due to COVID. How petty! It seems this year that more people celebrated the holidays with their chosen family instead of their given family.
- After my son went to the ER and had a lot of testing done, he still has neck pain. Well, the weekend on call dentist was wrong saying it wasn’t his wisdom teeth over the phone. Maybe I’ll send her the bill for the ER visit and CT scan. My son went to the dentist this week and the pain he is experiencing is coming from his wisdom teeth. So, thankfully we found out where his pain is coming from. Now he just has to wait another week to get them removed.
- I’m grateful to spend Christmas Eve with friends having a good meal and going to the candlelit Christmas service.
- I’m grateful to be able to help someone in need this Christmas. A mom of one of my son’s friends is having a hard year. Her husband left her for a younger woman, then she lost her job. She is struggling with kids at home while we have food on our table. Paul and I decided to give her a gift card for the grocery store. I said it is not real giving if we give pocket change. True giving should make you feel a little uncomfortable. I feel grateful that we were able to find someone in need and help them this Christmas.
- I’m grateful for the gifts I received. I really needed a new pair of slippers.
- I feel grateful for Christmas lights.
- I’m grateful for great Christmas food. I did tons of baking this year…two pies, four batches of cookies…plus my other favorites like deviled eggs. I think I need to do a detox diet in January in the years to come. I’m afraid to step on the scale.
- I’m grateful that all my kids are living at home. It’s always so busy. If they all move out within 6 months like they all want to, it’s going to be way too quiet. Thankfully they all want to stay within the area.
Courage comes through suffering.
This fortune cookie blew away from the rest and was found the same day I found my lost ‘I am courageous’ sock. I only wore the socks once before losing one in Paul’s shirt for a couple weeks.
It seemed like a sign of some sorts. But what does it mean?
What does being courageous even mean? The dictionary defines courageous as not deterred by danger or pain; brave.
I would like to think that I am courageous. In the next couple weeks I am planning on doing courageous things.
This weekend I am running my first 50k. It takes a lot of courage for me to do this and probably will entail a lot of suffering too. There is no guarantee that I will succeed. I am very fearful that I might not be able to achieve the goals I’ve set in place for myself.
Within the next two weeks I will be submitting a 45 minute presentation for a local autism chapter about what it is like to be a sibling of someone with autism. I really need to put myself out there about the most difficult experience in my life. It is going to require a lot of courage. I am finishing my book on what life is really like with a disabled sibling. I’ve had to face my scars and demons.
As an extra test to my bravery, over the holiday weekend a filling fell out. I went to the dentist today to get it fixed. They said I could probably do it without being numbed. I would rather run a marathon with a broken leg. I was horrified and then they said I could get anesthesia just in case. But I decided to brave it despite my fear.
Then this past weekend I spoke to my dad about God. I don’t feel like he has much time left. For some reason he has softened his heart toward me lately. He told me that he loved me for the second time in my life. The first time was on my 18th birthday prompted by my mother. Then this weekend I asked him to come out and sit with us, his family, by the campfire. Surprisingly to everyone, he did.
Before this, I justified to myself that someone else should talk to my dad. My brother Luke sat down with my parents awhile back and aired out all of his grievances. It seemed like a good thing. I thought that he was getting along great with my dad. I felt like Luke is a better Christian than I am so he could carry the weight of talking to our dad. But my eyes were opened to the fact that Luke and my dad do not get along.
My mom is a devout Christian and my dad is a Christian bashing atheist. I bet you can guess how that worked. I believe that the best marriages are of those that have the same religious beliefs. Because, we the children, have to take sides. I feel the need to talk to my dad about God. I most likely wouldn’t have that burden if both my parents were Christians or atheists if I followed their beliefs. It causes a lot of disharmony and stress.
So on the way out of the cabin this weekend I said to my dad that I hope he finds God before God finds him. My dad laughed and said fat chance. I knew that my words probably did no good for him, but it released me. I did everything I could and if it is the last time I see him I will know that I did not leave a coward.
I don’t think that I am more courageous than the average person, but I am trying to be brave when there are demons to slay and fears to conquer.
I thought that things would be a little less crazy this week, but I was wrong.
My son was trying to sell something online for us and almost got scammed. A person sent my son a check for over the asking price for the object and told him to take it to the bank right away. He did because the bank was closing soon and he didn’t know what to do. Then the person was going to have his “moving person” swing by and pick up the object along with the extra money for moving the item to another state. It seemed a little fishy, but everything happened so fast that I didn’t stop my son.
When Paul heard about it later, he worried it was some sort of money laundering scheme. He dug around online and found out it was a scam. The scammer sends a legitimate looking check for over the price and tells the person to give the money to the mover who is stopping by to pick it up. The person who picks it up steals the item and the money then the check bounces. Our item was scheduled to be picked up the day we are leaving for vacation.
Yesterday morning, I went to the bank and expressed my concerns about the check being fraudulent. Upon closer examination, the bank also thought it was a scam. Unfortunately, when the check bounces my son’s account with be charged. I feel bad that I didn’t stop my son from putting the check into his account. We both thought something wasn’t right but ignored it because they were pressing my son to cash it before the bank closed the night before. It really didn’t give me enough time to think.
It just started the day out bad yesterday. But it didn’t end there. Someone pulled out in front of me and I skidded on the ice almost hitting them. The roads here are still horrible. Last Monday we got a foot of snow. Then we had 4 days of temps in the double digits below zero, followed by an ice storm, followed by more cold weather so the salt didn’t melt the ice.
Oh, it gets better. Then my husband went to the dental hygienist and she refused to treat him because his blood pressure was too high. Yesterday Paul had several meetings with key clients to try to save accounts. After I lost my position at the company we previously owned, clients got a little skittish with all of the changes. The meetings were stressful for Paul and he was running late to his appointment. His blood pressure was 185/107. They told him he needed to see his doctor immediately.
Paul had appointments all day, but kept monitoring his BP. His BP has been borderline high for years. By the end of the day, his BP was still high and the nurse said to take him to the ER since he also had a slight headache. Off to the ER we went. I was paranoid by all of the illnesses we were exposed to last night. If I didn’t think my husband could wind up dead during the night from a stroke, I wouldn’t have risked it. Ah, the things we do for love.
We spent the evening with Paul in a hospital bed, in a gown with an IV in his arm watching the state of the union address. The nurse came in and jokingly said that the SOTU was giving her high blood pressure. Even though no fight ensured about politics, Paul’s BP was still high when we left so they gave him medication. We left to drive home through another snow storm. Big snowflakes and sleet pattered against the windows, but we made it home safely. I certainly did not want to go back to the ER.
This morning there was 4 inches of snow over glare ice. Arabella fell on her way out to the car for school. It’s just nasty out there. Paul spent hours plowing everyone out. Then tonight we are expecting freezing rain followed by another 6 inches of snow. Paul and I are planning on flying out early tomorrow morning for a sailing vacation in the British Virgin Islands with friends. I hope we can leave.
I will be taking some time off of blogging. You are probably sick of my whining and complaining anyway. When I get back, I will write a travel series about the trip and lighten things up a little. I try to do that after things get a little heavy. Then I will be back at it again.
Well, I better get packing.
Okay, I have something that I have to admit. I didn’t vote last week.
I apparently am the problem within my state and country right now.
But wait, before you unfollow…I have an excuse. Gum disease. You heard me right.
Monday I had my regularly scheduled dental check up. For the record, I think that dentists and everyone associated with the dental field are sadists. They seem to take great joy in my pain. And if the dental procedure doesn’t hurt, the bill sure will.
Back to Monday, the hygenist told me that I needed to come in as soon as possible for a deep cleaning. I scheduled an appointment for the following day over the lunch hour.
So when Tuesday rolled around, I went to the gym in the morning to work out. After that, I hurried off to work so I could leave early for the dentist.
After 20 minutes of painful drilling, I asked the hygenist what I did wrong. She said that gum disease is caused by poor hygiene. I pleaded that I floss several times a week and brush several times a day. I argued my innocence like a convicted felon who was incarcerated for a crime never commited. Paul said that everyone probably says they have good hygiene even if they don’t.
Really, is there a wrong way to floss??
Gum disease could also be cause by stress and hormones and I am sticking to it.
I got poked, prodded, and slapped with a $200 bill.
For a couple of hours after the appointment, I felt like crap. I don’t know if I’m getting an ulcer or if it was the aftermath of the extreme anxiety I feel towards dentists.
I went back to work with the idea that I would leave early to vote. That didn’t work out because we had an employee call in so I had to stay late.
I barely made it home in time to eat something before play practice. How could I go vote?
We just moved and I couldn’t find any mail sitting around associated with my name and new address. Plus the cars outside of where I would vote were lined up into the next county. How could I zip in and out before my next time committment??
So I didn’t vote. I am the problem with this country right now. Good intentions don’t count as a ballot. Might as well blame it on the dentist. Yeah, why not??