Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Zaria at the Zoo

I am Zaria and being featured as a guest blogger on Mom's page. 

Today I went to the zoo on a field trip. The zoo was very weird...
  • Especially when the giraffe pooped and it looked like rocks.  
  • The giraffe has a new baby sice I've been there and I'm sad to say the old tiger died .
  • When I paid 25 cents for a handful of food I only go 2 pellets. 
  • When I was throwing food into the Zebra Pen and I hit them...I almost hit a Rhino in the distance too. 
  • I loved the rope swing on the huge playground. I spent lots of time swinging. 
  • The slide was totally chaotic. The boys grabbed each other by the pants and threw eachother down. One boy got a busted lip but didn't even realize it. 
  • The boys kept talking about the freedom riders. 
  • When we got to the peacocks they were flying onto the gates and then out...They are free-range peacocks.
  • I really like blogging...
  • I was in a group with my best friend and we were holding hands almost the whole time. 
  • Finally, on the bus ride home me and friend made up a game called Spiders on the Roof where you count spiders by four's
I had a great day and asked Mom if we could go back again this weekend!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Entrances and Exits

Well, let me share one of life's greatest joys with you...Puppy Breath

It really is good therapy  and  I was lucky enough to have two of these sweet babies (one at a time) in my home over the past 2 weeks.  

 This is Miss Katie Bug 

          And here is Henry.

They are such good babies and have been adopted into wonderful homes.  I miss my Layla with all my heart but once I rolled up my living room rug and vowed to be a potty-break nazi they were able to run and play safely with everyone! They had a blast here and I was happy to have them...except when they cried. Or they pooped. (but they are babies.) Their adopters each got wonderful dogs that were well on their way to being house-trained with sunny dispositions and no fear. (They are American Bulldogs in case you didn't know.)

They created a big set-back for Pierre though...He took to peeing and pooping in the house and found himself demoted to foster status (i.e. being crated every time I went out.) Overnight he decided that he's poop in the house while I WAS HOME and so now he's one rung lower on the ladder. He must be supervised. Like a puppy. I am not pleased but once he and I get our heads back on alignment regarding what it takes to be my dog I'm sure we'll be fine. I won't tolerate messes from one that knows better and doesn't have any medical issues.

So those puppies cried...and cried...and cried when crated. Jim, Dena's brother who was home with them all day,  thought it might be a good idea to put the 8 week baby out in the cold all day without any toys, or company, or a bed, or a coat so he could have peace and quiet. We talked about why that would not work...So then he though I might not mind if he let the baby have free run of the house. When I came home to pee and poop everywhere I was unhappy yet again...but I let it go. Know why? JIM HAS LEFT THE BUILDING!

When we arrived at the bus station with his pre-paid ticket an extra 20 minutes early, were told his bus had cancelled and that we could try again the next day, I had to use the words "you don't understand" and  "let's talk about how to solve this." I had to run after a greyhound bus but Jim has moved out of my house. The bus driver was totally pissed but I was willing to stand in front of the bus with wide-stretched arms to get him on board. I did get him on that bus. 

An approximately 800 pound weight has lifted from my home. His shenanigans have not stopped. He still calls and gets his sister all stirred up. I feel bad for her and for him. I am worried for him but you can't help one who does not want help and I don't have to live with him.

My kids could not be more awesome if they tried and I get to go on the youngest's field trip soon. My work is insane but awesome.And Dena is her normal crazy self. Today I welcome normalcy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh hell no! I'm not old yet!

Recently I discovered I had a few coarser, white hairs on my chin. You know I've been plucking those bee-otches and totally have it at my number one item of discussion for my annual check-up.

I'm over trying to grow out the hair...I have a few gray hairs near my partline and keeping up with them and the length I had made me look too grandma-ish. (I may be a Mimi but I will not be an old lady yet.) As I sat there bringing the pixie back the hairdresser I watched a good 5 inches of dark auburn hair slide down my magic cape. She offered to blow me out. I declined but she insisted due to the cold and promised not to charge on the styling. As I looked down I saw a small mass of blonde hairs. I was confused and wondered how the last lady's hair got there. Did it come from the blow dryer? No. That shit came from my head! And it was gray! While this may have all occurred in a nano second, my hairdresser laughed at me as I expressed pure shock at finding out how much was hiding in my head and left the salon shaken.

My hip has been hurting long enough that I finally gave and set an appointment with the orthopedist. And today I was told I have Bursitis. What the fuck? That sounds like old people shit and clearly I am not old. I was given a cortisone shot and told to return in 3 weeks. If not better PT is in the future...if that doesn't help I should suck it up and become accustomed to pain. That is SO not what I was expecting to hear.

I just turned 40 last year and this is not how I planned to experience the "new 30." This shit feels nothing like 30. Oh hell. Let's all just suck it up buttercup.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Joy comes in the morning

I always liked that phrase and it's a pretty damn good descriptor for my life right now. I have finally acknowledged the "issues" in my life that I have no control over and pointed it out. I've also drawn my own boundaries and fell sooooo much better.That totally sounds like some physcobabble, even to me, but it's true and until I did it I was still driving myself a bit crazy.(Note: Never try to help someone who does not want to be helped. You will only enable their behavior and drive yourself bat-shit crazy.)

I feel so much happier these days and am so grateful to be re-discovering my joy. I still get verklempt but it's ok. I came downstairs this Sunday morning to an almost empty house and was so pleased. After days upon days of rain the sun is out. Dena is off at work so I'm missing her non-stop chatter. Jim is hiding out in his room and the kids are with their father. I have fresh coffee, sunny rooms and quiet. My dogs are sleeping beside me and all is right in my world. Plus it's a 3 day weekend. Who could ever get mad at that?

I have an exciting new project at work, I just got a promotion and I am determined to hit a grand-slam. I am getting out and being more social again. (As much as I love a sunny, quiet morning I need people.) I did get out Friday to see some old acquaintances and met many new ones too. I had a movie night at home last night and I'm going to see friends and family with the free time I have left this weekend.

Life is quiet. I'm not currently fostering but am helping where I can. After all the mess 2012 brought me it is time to rest and re-charge while we tie up all the loose ends. Oh, and make time for fun. Let's all take care of ourselves. I know I am going to.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It's only the 5th?

How can that be? So much has happened in the last 5 days but I know I'm on the right track.

I said goodbye to my Layla 5 days ago and the house is SO quiet. I know she brought life (and commotion) to our home but had no idea how much. I have vacuumed and used the hair dryer without so much as a peep from the boys. No one is constantly watching the circle for cars poised to spring into action and I've cried when I had to go to bed without her.

The boy has pushed all kinds of limits in every arena this week and is going on punishment. We've tested house rules, disrespected adults and earned our 1st ever detention in school. He may have had fun this week but I can promise you he won't next week. ;)

The youngest continues to struggles with some radnom tummy issue. She'll get aches in the head and tummy and run a low fever but be fine a few hours. Then it recurs. I see a trip to the doctor in her future.

The eldest is excited and looking forward to her new semester at school. The grandboy and Dena are both healing well and even Jim got good lab results back.

I do have a nasty home maintenance rant for you. An almost unbelievable story but I will give the company the benefit of the doubt for now as the owner is scheduled to come assess the damage on Monday. I've fixed my stove yet again and paid to have the dryer repaired. The ice maker seems to have given up the ghost so we'll see if changing the filter can create some kind of magic. Otherwise I'll be fixing that next.

I am choosing to be happy again this year. I tried hard in 2012 but just got beaten down. I've drawn some lines in the sand. I've set some goals. I'm ready to work for what I want and need.

Let's do this!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Dear Layla,

You are my dearest, sweet Piggy and I love you with all my heart. That's why this is one of the hardest decisions I've had to make.

You see, I always knew you had the potential. That's why you are always crated when the children have friends over, we vacuum, use the blender, the hair dryer or watch sports events. I've worked with trainers, I've explored medication, I've slowly built up your tolerance and taught you to look to me for guidance but it didn't work. You've broken a collar and a muzzle over the years to go after another dog which was disturbing enough. You showed your dislike for strangers and a powerful shyness when you were a wee pup and didn't like them petting you. No matter how I've tried to address it I came to accept that you are not an "adoptable dog" and that we should work to love you as you are and keep you safe or put you to sleep. You've always been reliable and loving with us so the obvious decision was to keep you away from public events and love you every day while managing your behavior. 

We failed. You fucked up when you bit my grandson.  I know he's ok but we can't take back what happened or make the scars go away. He won't remember the pain as he grows but the reminder will always be there for the rest of us each time we look into his eyes and see the scars left behind on his cheek.

If I didn't have children, if I didn't know dogs, if this wasn't deja vu you might have lived to old age as a wonderful member of our family but that is not to be. I do have children and my 1st responsibility is to them.

When I was young our dog Lambchop bit my sister and I and we begged and cried for his life. The bites were not bad and he was allowed to stay with the family until he bit my C. I still have a small scar on my face from my nip but she required 3 layers of stitches to put her face back together. I know that dogs who bite in the face escalate over time.

I love you Piggy and you will serve your 10 day quarantine here at home where you will be kept safe from harm. Monday we will go to the vet together and I will cry as I help you move on.  I told the kids you can hang out with their Pop-Pop when you get to heaven because you simply made a terrible mistake. Z was concerned about all his past Bostons and your distaste for dogs. I explained you won't feel andy more pain or anxiety and that you will finally be able to relax and just have a good time.

I love you Piggy and my heart is once more broken.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We're down 3 family members this year but Dena beat cancer! I'm healthy and Mom's shoulders are healed. Kids are on honor roll but struggles with my nephew's behavior continue. My grandson is smart, beautiful and has a wonderful temperament but he got nipped in the face the other day requiring a trip to the ER. Dena's brother is far from healthy but is making progress day be day.

It's been really hard to stay happy and positive this year but I'm going to do it. Sometime life is hard but we keep waiting for the sun. On this rainy grey Christmas Eve I wish nothing but love, health and joy to my family and yours.

Today we will have a good day. We're off to try and take a picture with the fat man including all the grandchildren to surprise the MeeMaw. I hope you make it wonderful too!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

And now we move slowly on...

Dena did come home and between ensure via the feeding tube and coming up with food that can go into a blender she has dropped 15 lbs so far. She's graduated off her pain meds, finished her antibiotic and had another biopsy. That one came back clean.

She managed mushroom soup today without blending it and goes back for more follow up Monday. We are standing on faith radiation is not needed.

Her brother is here and driving me bat shit crazy. I try to ignore it, justify it, accept it...Not working.

I went back to work just in time to go out on vacation next week and am looking forward to it. I'm aiming for one day, sometime in the next 2 weeks, to ditch everyone and go to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to see the Chihuly exhibit. I want to take the kids to visit the GardenFest of Lights. I haven't seen my family in ages because cancer and germs don't mix well and hope they are all on the mend in time for visits too!

Come on V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How is it Wednesday?

It has been a long few days. Dena came through surgery and was sent up to ICU with a ventilator breathing for her. She was sedated and restrained and not at all happy about any of it when she woke up. Once she was a bit more aware I got the nurse to loosen the restraints so she could write us notes. She couldn't get the pen to the paper (she was writing in the air) and got angry...She worked VERY hard to write "this pen sucks." She wanted to go home. She wanted off the ventilator. We couldn't give her anything she wanted and I am grateful amnesia prevents her from remembering.

They removed the ventilator Tuesday but stayed in ICU as her heart rate wouldn't stay stable, her blood pressure kept dropping and she kept "forgetting" to breathe. She, um, graduated from an oxygen mask to the nasal tube and would take it off, doze off and I'd put it back on. We did that all day long.

We talked about how they believed they got all the cancer and why she could not get out of bed,why she could not go home yet but satisfied her telling her she would get a drain tube out the next day. We covered not removing her catheter at least 24 times and she told me to leave her alone more than once. I love her and am glad I was there. I'd hate anyone to go through all that without a loved one's support...She did sweet talk her way out of the boots, into the removal of her cath and got permission to sit in a chair though. It all helped tremendously.

Today she was able to walk the hall 3 times and moved a step down to intermediate care. Off the propofol, she now realizes she is in pain and that even with pain meds it doesn't really go away. She did get that drain out, is off oxygen and only on the heart monitor. Because of the feeding tube use she doesn't have to be on her IV all the time so it can be capped off to allow her freer movement. She can drink some clear liquids and will hopefully get up to full "feedings" via her peg tube tomorrow.

She fully expects to go home tomorrow. Her Doctor won't set a target but hinted at Friday yesterday. Her staples come out Monday so that's a good promise no matter where we are. She did lose about 1/3 of her tongue but should talk normally when all the swelling goes down. I can understand her perfectly now but know the nurses struggle. They sliced her neck ear to ear and she is comparing the staples to putting a dog in a prong collar. She calls the remaining drain in her neck her meat hook. She said it feels like she is a huge side of beef hung up on one of those large metal hooks.

We are still awaiting final pathology reports to determine the need for radiation but have strong faith they got it all. I'm afraid we are more optimistic than her Doctor but we'll know more soon. So it would seem that all that's left to do is heal. I do hate cancer. It sure does suck. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

And now we wait...

After getting up at the ass crack of dawn to be on time Dena's surgery started at 10am. We knew she has stage 2 oral cancer and that surgery is hopefully all that will be needed.We knew she's be pissed off to realize she will need a catheter.

We didn't know...
  • Not having anything to eat or drink would make it that freakin' hard to get her IV in
  • That they would do 2 IVs and have blood on standby due to the length of surgery
  • That surgey was planned to take 6-8 hours
  • That she will likely get a tracheotomy to breathe
  • That she will do recovery time in ICU prior to going to her room
  • That she will more than likely need speech therapy
My poor girl is not a happy camper. I've been here 5 hours now and all I want to hear is that it's done, all went well and she kicked cancer's ass!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It's still 3 Dog Manor...

The kitty is still Queen Bee and we still have 3 dogs. Pierre was adopted out to a sweet lady this summer...

 And returned last month.

You may or may not remember he is one of the select dogs that can get along with our Piggy.

Seems the woman's kitty was a wuss and didn't keep Pierre in line so he declared himself King of the Cat Tree and gave Pickles the cat a good ass-whuppin'.  He forgot he was house-trained too but that didn't seem to factor in.

No one believed we would left him go. We did.

He became Dena's son, Z's BFF, Piggy's boyfriend and the boys (2 and 4 legged) all tolerated him. Here's a shot of Miss Piggy playing with the Happy Rabbit...

Of course I agreed to foster him again even though I have not actively fostered since he left due to all the upheaval in our lives. I let the head of rescue know and agreed to bring him to an adoption stand last Saturday. Within a few days he was right back into our routine. I asked Dena if she would let him go and never did get a straight answer. The night before she told me not to take him to the stand. He would stay.   The head of our rescue laughed...Seems Dena had told her days ago. She just "forgot" to tell me. 
So now I have 1 Queen Bee (kitty) 3 large dogs, 1 goldfish and a Happy Rabbit.

I guess congratulations are in order...Not a single one of us would have ever guess we'd add a "Chee-ha-ha" to the family. Guess all the laughing is on us now.

The kids don't yet know...He may be the biggest Christmas present they ever get.  ;)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

One down. One to go.

We arrived bright and early for Dena's feeding tube insertion. She behaved well and came through like a champ. All morning the doctors used words like extraordinary, amazing and gumption.

The nurses called me back to wake her and either I or the nurse would say, "Dena, it's time to wake up." She would reply, "I'm ready. Can we go now?" and try to get up before falling right back to sleep. As the fog cleared and I got instructions on how to use the Peg line and keep all clean and healthy she told me that had to get to January, she needed fruit, and it would cost $1000 a month. Ah, the joys of anesthesia.
Needless to say she got progressively better during the day and is comparing the pain to a broken rib in the wrong spot.

We had to go back to the hospital in the afternoon for her pre-op. We loved, loved, loved the doctor there who was completely intrigued that Dena is a freight conductor and asked to hear her story. She shared with us how she was so proud of her lawn mowing business as a child because everyone told her girls couldn't do it and then about her win against breast cancer.  We talked about her fight, the stuff no one tells you and how you get to graduate to yearly check-ups in time. We all agreed that surgery will get clean margins and we'll save chemo and radiation for someone else. I'm standing on faith. We all agree she "doesn't have time for this" and she needs to stick around. ;)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Needs a New Year

My Dad passed away on August 20th. 
The memorial service was held here on the 5th of September.
We traipsed up to Vermont for the funeral the week of September 17th. 
 The following week my Uncle had a massive pulmonary embolism and was put on life support.
He died October 5th. 
We attended a family reunion the 8th. 
Dena went to the doctor and had a biopsy the following week and we attended my Uncle's memorial service.. 
We found out Dena has cancer and went to the next Doc on the 19th...
Tomorrow she gets a feeding tube inserted and all her pre-op for surgery on the 26th...
The plan is to remove all the cancer and get on with the business of living. 
If that plan does not work she will heal for 3 weeks and then undergo 6 weeks of daily chemo and radiation. 

I don't care about your race, creed, religion or lack thereof; whoever you pray to; however you lift a person up for healing; do so for Dena. We can't lose her too.

I am getting my sanity back day by day. She has a good prognosis and we have a plan to work.
I do think I was losing it for a minute. My home and work life were all a mess.
Things are still hard but looking up for sure.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I remember...

  • Super short short shorts and soaking wet-with-sweat hugs
  • Marvelling at how it was even possible to run a 7 minute mile
  • Many, many trips to George Wythe High School's track where I would fill my role as "rabbit" 
  • Being presented with fallen leaves raked into a military fomation in the hopes I would get interested in the Civil War (only my sister ever "got it")
  • Long talks riding in the car whenever there was a serious topic at hand
  • His shaving in the car every morning with his electric razor
  • Bringing home many puppies over the years against my mother's will and then placing them in her arms guaranteeing their place in our family
  • Being awakened early on Saturday mornings to the Beach Boys blaring (ususally Barbara Ann or Help Me Rhonda) while he danced beside my bed
  • When he gave me a small pink bell with the words "Ring if you need me" 
  • Driving through the night perched up over the front seat, while my mother and sister slept, to Florida, Rhode Island or Vermont
  • My parents sleeping on the Florida beaches while we played
  • That moment several years ago when I realized I could no longer go to him for advice. Our roles shifted that day
  • When he cried with me at the Outer Banks and expressed his frustration with his body
  • Hiking up to the Lake of the Clouds in the wet season
  • Sleeping in Taft Lodge up on the mountain
  • Our last hike when he could not make it to the shelter. We slept out in the open, I carried his pack and cared for him and was never so grateful to have the help of strangers in my life as I was on the way back down
  • How much fun it was to ride in the back of that convertible MG...and his horror, when after buying another and agreeing to left me drive, when I didn't realize the pedals were so close together and hit 2 pedals at once
  • Riding down here on the move from Vermont. I felt so pround to ride in the truck with the men and my kitty
  • How accepting he has always managed to be of everyone - even when he did not agree
  • Being so happy for him when his (national) employer inducted him to the Hall of Fame and so grateful he was well enough to see and enjoy it
  • How he's sneak PB&J sandwiches to my eldest when she would refuse to eat what was served in favor of going to bed hungry...Whenever she got in trouble she's yell, "Save me Pop-Pop!" and he always would
  • Going in to assess foreclosed homes with him
  • Thinking it was silly, then awesome as I aged, that he helped his customers move into their 1st homes on move day
  • How the door is always open and he is always, if not happy, at least polite to any and everyone who wants to visit
  • weeding in what seemed like a huge garden
  • How brave he was every time crickets swarmed out of the shed
  • Traipsing along in the magical path he created when he mowed the lawn
  • Super Bowl parties with his friends
  • Being "dragged"all over Gettysbug many times
  • The Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Going grocery shopping every time he and my Mom fought to give her time to cool off
I have so many good memories of my Father and there is no way to capture them all. He's stopped eating now and is cutting back on liquid. His breathing is labored, there are other physical changes and his time here is short. He is getting a small dose of morphine every 4 hours which is visibly helping his breathing and helping him relax. Friends are coming to say good-bye. The door alarm keeps announcing people coming and going when there is no one there.  My father is dying and my heart is breaking. Not because I don't want to let him go and not because I want to keep him here in this state. Because I already miss him so much and know I will continue to.

Hopefully I will quickly get to the pace where I did with my Grandmother. It's like she never left. I just don't get to see her every day.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

It's been a couple of months since I checked in here. Why you wonder?
  1. It's Summer so I can think of no good reason to be inside. 
  2. My work life is requiring I work more hours than are accounted for in my salary formula. 
  3. My personal life has been spinning out of control
How are you people?

I got sick in May and 5 visits and 2 specialists later I don't really have a plan yet. We're working on it...After Z-Pac, Steroids, Inhalers, Nasal Sprays and finally, a scoping of the sinuses (which is just as unpleasant as it sounds) they "discovered" I had a sinus infection deep in my head...I endured (and yes that is the right word) 2 weeks of a super strong anti-biotic I went in for allergy testing because I "look very allergic." The only thing that I reacted to was grass, oak, mold and cats. This is significantly better than any other time I've been tested which means I don't have to have allergy shots again (YAY!)  but I do get a cat scan next. Seems we will then consider the possibility of tubes for the ears or sinus surgery. More to come...

And my Dad? He got sick in July. He had what LOOKED like a seizure or a mini-stroke and was rushed to the ER on July 9th. They found no evidence of a seizure or stroke. He spiked a fever. They put him on antibiotics that did no good. They told us he was dying and should go into hospice. With a Durable DNR and his unresponsiveness they removed all meds, blamed everything on end-stage Parkinson's and gave us no hope. Then his arm got broken...No one seems to know how. Then they discharged him to a Nursing Home with a fever of 101. The didn't tell my mother about their appeals process and would not listen to her objections. She is now considering and attorney. After being in the Nursing Home for 2 days he was rushed to a different ER because his fever spiked again (it's been between 99 and 103 for a month now) where they cut off his cast which was too tight and turning his fingers blue, questioned whether the arm was really even broken and diagnosed him with pneumonia...He is now on 2 super antibiotics, finally got a catheter instead of bed pads, is getting ice packs each time his fever spikes and got a new cast while they work to figure out when and if his arm actually did get broken. Bizarre! He's better now than he's been in weeks and we don't know if or when he will recover but we do feel confident he is getting much better care. Needless to say this has been a tough month and consumed us emotionally.

Pierre got adopted. I went into shock when I got the call but the woman was so wonderful I couldn't not let him go...I got a call last night (she's had him 3 weeks) saying he may have to be returned for chasing and harassing the cat who was there 1st. I've given some training and behavioral advice and offered to come out and help her work with him. I told Dena who declared that if he gets returned he will never leave us again. He is truly loved here.

And while I adore my motorcycle I have learned that when it gets over 95 outside it's kinda like riding straight into a hairdryer. Not so much fun but luckily the heatwave has passed...The AC has broken, the toilet went out, and Dena is working far too many hours too.

But vacation is coming. A kid-free vacation. My hope is to totally checkout mentally and physically. All the kids are great. They are all healthy and happy and they will be well cared for while I'm gone. I hope my Dad is getting healthy by then too. Time will tell.

I hope you are all having a less eventful summer than us and I hope to check in more frequently. Cheers! Time for a beer!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Satan's Spawn

That would be me.

I don't know if it happened when the dogs woke me grappling in a power match or when I blocked Pierre from jumping onto my laptop keyboard for the 5,000th time but he was hurt last night. Emotionally at least. He decided I was Satan's Spawn and would not touch him under any circumstances.
I went to force get him out of the cushy crate to go pee and he SCREAMED at me. At the top of his little bitty lungs. Like I touched him with a hot poker.  I talked to him and he SCREAMED some more. I reached out my hand and he very clearly warned me to BACK_THE_FUCK_OFF! We had to didn't mean to laugh at him. I thought, mistakenly, that chicken would make it all better so I offered him some. He tried to take my finger off.

Our Mexican Stand-off ended with me wearing heavy gloves, dropping a noosed leash around him neck and coaxing/pulling him out. He went to go pee with Dena and then ran to his girl. (He has claimed Zaria as his own.)

His show of bravado meant I did not fully believe he could sleep safely with the youngest member of our crew. I decided he had to sleep with us and we could see if he really and truly might be injured. He tucked up behind the girl and woke her by SCREAMING at me yet again. I ended up picking him up with a towel and letting him cuddle with Dena. He would have nothing to do with me. He SCREAMED at me if I looked at him. I was clearly in hit water.

This morning the SCREAMING had subsided but he still wouldn't "speak" to me.

This afternoon he trotted right up and greeted me. I have been forgiven. He is not hurt and as I type he is once again curled up with HIS girl. I don't know what sent him over the edge but I'm very glad he made the journey back.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Big news...To me anyway

It's been such a busy year. I don't think I could even begin to tell you all the news! I do have one tidbit to share...April 19th was a big day for a few reasons but we're only here to talk about one today.

I insisted that Dena meet me for Happy Hour after work. It was her first excursion out since her surgeries. We had a blast.  I enjoyed meeting friends and I think she may have gotten a better  understanding of what I do all day. The kids think I just go to boring meetings all day, which is occasionally true.

Once we got home I let the dogs out and she wanted to open a bottle of wine to share for my birthday on the deck. I insisted that since I'd had beer I did not want to switch so she could bring me that instead. She never had me block off any time for my birthday and we had a pseudo-party planned for Saturday at Legend Brewery so I wasn't concerned about drinking wine or celebrating beyond chilling together on the deck.

But let us move on...Dena went on to tell me how much I drive her crazy and had ruined every single secret-squirrel plan she tried to lay out for my birthday. Had I known I would not have but again, secret-squirrel is the key word here. She told me she loved me and wanted to spend the rest of time with me even though I make it completely impossible to plan a surprise party or outing. Then she proposed. I said yes. We don't have a date or a plan and can't marry in VA anyway but I do have a very pretty ring, a lifetime of commitment and time for us to figure it out.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vroom Varoom!

Took the classes, bought the bike!
Love it!
Love it!
Love it!

I've done the neighborhood, the side streets, hit the highway and am now ready to try actually commuting on it. 

The end of the other bike? That belongs to my Dena! We are having a blast together and that's what it's all really about now isn't it.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

I took the Jumpstart motorcycle class yesterday. Rain cold and all.

It was awesome! I have now driven a motorcycle. Yay Me!

Next comes the more advanced class and a purchase. I can't wait!

I want the 2012 Suzuki Boulevard C50T Classic...It has a drive shaft instead of a chain, can handle highway speeds, has good seats, great gas mileage, isn't too heavy, a decent size gas tank, fuel injection and floorboards.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Aunt Cilla I love you and will always keep you alive in my heart.

Priscilla J. Bedia

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BARRE - Priscilla Joslin Bedia, 87, of Washington Street, died Thursday, April 19, 2012, at the Woodridge Nursing Home in Berlin. Her family had been at her bedside.

Born Feb. 26, 1925, in Montpelier, she was the daughter of Perry B. and Lutie Mae (Skinner) Joslin. She graduated from Waitsfield High School in 1943 and from the University of Vermont in Burlington in 1947, with a bachelor's degree in education.

As an elementary school teacher, she had taught at the former Ward 5 School in Barre.

On June 30, 1951, she married Alexander Bedia at her family home in Waitsfield. Since their marriage, they had always lived at their residence on Washington Street. Alec died June 4, 1985.

She enjoyed playing cards and the piano, doing crossword puzzles, traveling, mushrooming, fishing, and entertaining her family and friends.

Priscilla was a member of the Barre Congregational Church and the Home Demonstration Club. She was among the founders of Washington County Mental Health and was a square dance teacher.

Survivors include her daughter, Melissa Brown, and her husband, Russell, of Barre Town; her son, Alexander David Bedia, and his wife, Debra, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; as well as numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Besides her parents and her husband, she was predeceased by two brothers, Steve Joslin and Robert Joslin, and two sisters, Rebecca Pettis and Ella "Mike" Clark.

A graveside service will be held at the convenience of her family in the Hope Cemetery in Barre. There are no calling hours.

Contributions in her memory may be made to the Aldrich Public Library, 6 Washington St., Barre, VT 05641.

The Hooker and Whitcomb Funeral Home, 7 Academy St., Barre, is in charge of the arrangements.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Three down, One to go

Today is April 15th. Did you do your taxes?

 In the last 15 days Dena has had carpal tunnel surgery on her right hand, a morton's neuroma removed from her left foot and dental surgery. Monday I take her for carpal tunnel surgery on the left hand. Needless to say she has been a treat...much like I was after surgery.

She's gotten bandages off of one hand and will hopefully discard her beautiful boot next week as she takes pain pills and moans about how her hands don't work. 
I have returned to work and am thrilled to be back. (It took me a minute to get to that place in my head though.) I have exciting big projects and am in that scary can't-wait-to-get-started place.

We've racked up our hospital time for the year. I say we're done and if not I think we need frequent flyer miles or a VIP Suite at this point...Count 2 for mom, 1 for me and 4 for Dena. And it's only April for-Chris-sakes.

Time to move on to the fun stuff! 
I planted a hydrangea yesterday...I've had miserable luck with them but am optimistic that THIS ONE WILL THRIVE. 
It's birthday time too. Mine! I will be 40 and plan to celebrate by touring the local brewery and then enjoying beer and music on the deck overlooking the James River. Good times I tall ya. Good times!

Saturday, April 14, 2012


The boy fancies himself as quite the impersonator. Here's one of his bits on his grandparents.

Pop-Pop: Cecelia.
Pop-Pop: Cecelia.
Pop-Pop: Cecelia. 
Pop-Pop: Cecelia.
Mee-Maw: What, Herb!?
Pop-Pop: The phone is ringing.
Mee-Maw: Well, answer it.
Pop-Pop: We missed it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Solo Saturdays

Kids are with their Dad and Dena's on a train. They get concerned I will be lonely during times like this but I wasn't. What does Mom do with no one around? Did I pine for my loved ones?

Ironically I read an article yesterday which said most women do not take time for themselves. I do...I scheduled nothing on this rainy day and I...
  1. Slept In
  2. Fed the dogs, cats and fish and hop back into bed
  3. Paid bills and balanced the checkbook
  4. Fucked around on Facebook
  5. Read the paper with fresh hot coffee
  6. Had nothing but mixed nuts for lunch
  7. Read a magazine cover to cover
  8. Trimmed the nails of 4 dogs
  9. Vacuumed
  10. Watched TV
  11. Cleaned the vacuum filters
  12. Took a nap
  13. Fixed a margarita
  14. Dyed and rolled my hair
  15. Had cookies for dinner
  16. Stayed up late watching tv shows no one else likes
  17. Crashed with all 4 dogs in the bed
Today they will return. I need to go to the bank. I have a hike later today and dinner out with friends. Today will be equally as good but not quite the same. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Once Upon a Time...

I was thin. Not skinny ever mind you but a nice healthy size. Quite grabbable...I got into a nasty relationship and finally left...Depressed, jobless and fat. I started walking. A lot. (Like 5-miles-in-100-degree-heat a lot.) It was a welcome break (since I moved home to my parents) a great way to release anger, time to think and helped me restore my body. I lost 50 pounds.

Fast forward 8 years and you will find me unhappy in my marriage and pregnant with my 3rd child and yes, fat again. (Pregnancy tends to do that for you in a happy marriage.) After the birth of Z I decided to do the Monument Avenue 10k. Shin splints eventually required my weekday "runs" to be on the elliptical to avoid the pounding. I had to nurse before my runs and wear two sports bras. I saved my long distances for Saturdays and had to ice my shins afterwards. I can't find the damn pictures of course but here's one from the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure I ran next.
Weight's been tricky for me my entire adult life. I contemplated the 10k again this year but I allowed the gift of a hysterectomy for Valentine's Day to derail me. Six weeks Post-op and without any more physical restrictions I got out and walked 2 miles today. I have been eating better. I have dropped 10lbs. I want to lose another 40. I've been saying that for about 2 years now. Time to do something about it. Join me. Please?

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Dena's brother did go to the doctor. Good news is no cancer...Bad news is he may be killing himself with the Irish Virus. He needs to quit drinking or face a very unpleasant demise. Funny thing is you can be a heavy drinker and never be affected or be a moderate drinker and face major health problems. I do hope he will choose life and healing. We shall see.

I went for my check up and have been pronounced free to return to work next week and do whatever my body allows me to do. No more restrictions. Yay!!!

Dena is coming home today and while I managed to complete about 3 items on that to-do list I have been busy nonetheless. Let me explain...Dena does not care for my "surprises." You see she has known me long enough and is smart enough to know a "surprise"often means I got a wild hair up my ass, thought folks would not go along and became resolute in my quest to compete the work before anyone can stop me.

Dena and I agreed the old "entertainment center" needed to go but did not agree on how to go about replacing it. She nagged me until I gave in to the idea of purchasing another friends high quality, oak entertainment center sitting in her garage. This entertainment center is in the style you think of when someone says "entertainment center." In other words it would hold a fat tv or a slim tv. It will hold a big tv but not one the size Dena lusts after. I don't like the idea of paying money for an interim solution if it can be avoided. Plus the color doesn't match my room. Sadly I was the only one concerned with color...Happily I share that the men who were to move it dragged their feet long enough for me to have a brainstorm...And Dena was out of town long enough for me to implement my solution.

Mission accomplished.

Dear Dena, 
Please fall in love with my genius idea. I am awesome. I rock. Here's why:
  1. The wood matches the tables and has the same styling. 
  2. It will hold the tv that makes you go giddy. 
  3. It is high enough to kinda like its on the wall where you want a tv. 
  4. You can't see all the wires. 
  5. It holds all we need and more.
  6. It was free.
  7. It's an antique owned by my late Aunt Gwen
  8. KJ busted his ass helping his dad move it for me.
  9. It's all set up and the other one is still in a garage about 20 minutes away. 
  10. I like it.
Love, Lillian

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Dena's brother is on a roller coaster ride. He is having good hours and bad hours. Good days and bad days. I am so glad she is there with him. I know he is too. Yesterday he had a good day. They had lots of company and a mini party that lasted most of the day. I think it was the best therapy for both of them. No tears yesterday.

He has agreed to go to the Dr on Monday. She wants him to go for a "second opinion" in the hopes that he can at least accept some help with pain management. I hope to God and all that's holy he will comply. None of us are doctors and without some kind of professional assessment we don't know what to do other than be kind. Night before last was a bad night and he did reveal he has lots of pain all the time. He had denied it up until then. The key to selling this idea was that he had only seen one doctor, not gotten any treatment and since doctor's are human perhaps a mistake was made. Seems he's gotten quite heavy with a belly and his face is puffy. He can't hold anything down and falls down regularly. I hope it isn't cancer and that somehow he has imagined that's what he has.  I don't expect that's true but I sure would love to see him proven wrong in this case.

She has a few more days with him before she has to return to Virginia and he refuses to come even for a visit. She's not convinced he could make the trip but is still trying to convince him. If he won't I fully expect she will fly back and spend her recovery time with him after her hand surgery scheduled for a couple weeks out.

As we muddle through pray we get good guidance and make sound decisions please.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Goodbyes are hard

Most importantly, say a prayer, light a candle, do what you do for Dena and her brother Jimmy. He revealed that he has stomach cancer and kept the diagnosis to himself for a long time. He believes he may be nearing the end of his life and she has left for Indiana. She wants to talk to the Doctors to confirm his diagnosis and find out what stage he may be in. She hopes to intervene and force him to get some medical care. He has refused medical help to date. She also wants to bring him back to Virginia and has my blessing. The question remains as to whether he will comply.

So say a prayer that Dena can find the answers to her questions and enjoy her time with her brother (even though he tends to drive her bat-shit crazy.) And for Jimmy that somehow he is mistaken and/or can be healed. If he can't, we want him to be as comfortable and happy as possible. I will be praying for them too.

While I await news I am laying around wondering if this what recovery is supposed to be like? I am currently worshiping at the altar of the mighty heating pad. My insurance company and, originally, my doctor expected me to be good-to-go in 3-4 weeks time. I expected to need more time with the infection but did not expect back and abdominal pain 1 month post-op. Heating pad and 800mg of ibuprofen back pain.There's not much info out there but everything I've read says it's either serious or due to the back overcompensating for messing with the abdomen. We'll go with the latter but I'd really like it to stop. Anyone else experience this? Can you share your experience?

I'm still quite tired too and find myself sleeping about 12 hours out of 24. I made a great list of stuff I'd like to do but haven't been able to tackle it. I have managed to get the kids to and from school, cook a simple dinner, let the dogs in and out and sweep. That's not much and why I did not attempt the trip.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Introducing Pierre

I'm still hurting and making minimal if any headway on my list. I missed fostering and with my limitations I figured I'd look around and see if there was a little who needed help. I've never had such a small dog in my house. Ever. If I was to foster, I needed a little because I'm not supposed to lift "stuff" and cant handle a dog pulling on me. I trolled the local kill shelters online and found Pierre.

He belonged originally to a hoarder out west and ended up at Richmond Animal Care and Control in 2008. No one would adopt him so he went to the Richmond SPCA and did get a family. He was dumped back at RACC. Cue my entrance.

They had 2 littles. One was "wild and crazy" and Pierre was confident and perky. He is missing hair and was quite dirty but delightful enough that even Layla kinds liked him. He came home with me.

He's been to pick up the kids, to softball practice,  an adoption stand and even Hair Cuttery while Z got her hair trimmed. He IS a good boy! He's not had one accident in the house, adores the children and has no trouble hanging with the big dogs. He likes the kiity and has rubbed all over and danced for her. The woman who dropped him at the shelter has enough of a reputation (adopting from the SPCA then surrendering the same dog to Animal Control)that she has been put on the Do-Not-Adopt list.

We adore this little guy and want him to be quickly adopted!If he stays too long we might be in trouble. :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Back to that list...

Yesterday I managed to drop the kids at school, sit through a teacher conference and whip up a batch of gluten-free peanut butter cookies for a friend and fellow dog rescuer hero who graciously dropped by and clipped all the dog's nails for me. I feel healthy and happy but am clearly not healed...I'm quite sore and swollen today and have been sidelined to the couch so I can pick up the kiddos later. Quite frustrating I tell you. Seems it is normal to feel like you have a pointy tampon shoved in the wrong way when you overdo. Today I will lay down.

Resting sucks but I have managed to set up caller ID on my TV. Daytime TV sucks too but does prompt one to explore the settings. While I had no visions of Caller ID on my TV I would love to get through this list bit by bit before returning to work...Much of the manual labor will need to wait or be harnessed elsewhere but at least planning out the work is a step
  1. Plan out my Veggie and herb garden...I have the plan in mind and am thinking through plants now
  2. Create my "lawn care" calendar to improve the grass...Yeah, I pulled this offline but need to integrate it into a method I can easily follow
  3. Select and add in lavender to the front beds...I've had no luck in the past but would love a lavendar border so I'll figure out the best one to improve the odds this time
  4. Plan and bag up some smoothies & Crock pot meals for future use...cause walking into a freshly cooked meal after a long work day rocks
  5. Replace 3 ceiling vents...one is falling and 2 are ugly
  6. Replace about 6 outlet covers...most are chipped or painted, some are just ugly
  7. Install the new Laundry Room Light that has been sitting on the dryer for months now...Not sure I can manage this for awhile what with the ladder and stretching
  8. Re-screen my bedroom window
  9. Install new blinds in mine, my sons and my bathroom...cause 2 need it and one has been tossed out
  10. Get the house Powerwashed...I'll SO hire this one out
  11. Get estimates on repairing some boards on my deck that need it
  12. Schedule driveway sealing
  13. Plan my 2012 Objectives for work 
  14. Measure, Design and Plan the shelving unit I want to build in my room...In my head it's going to be awesome. In real life, we shall see. 
Do you have Spring Fever yet? I sure do! The time change is coming and the days are getting longer.

(I would say warmer but it snowed here Monday. It will be 70 on Thursday. Um, confused much Mother Nature?)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I want raised beds this year...

On my quest for better health and lower food bills I want to create raised garden beds this year. I hope I'm healthy enough in time...Or that Dena can be coerced into manual labor.

Sitting on one's ass while healing makes one more conscious of calories and provides plenty of thinking/planning time.  A garden is one of the fantasy items I am focusing on bringing to reality. I'll share the list of "Shit I want to do" soon but just know you may get tired reading it...which in turn significantly decreases the probability  of completing it while out of work by the way.

Here are the steps I'm planning out.

  1. Mark out 3x6 areas and remove all the grass/weeds
  2. Fence off a small area in the yard to start composting since I'm juicing too
  3. Dig a trench to put in the boards about half way into the soil to allow for drainage and stability - I'll go for cedar to hopefully keep bad bugs away
  4. Put down landscape fabric or hardware cloth 'cause a bitch hates weeds
  5.  Totally snag this corner post idea and make my box...but make it a bit taller, like with 2 sets of 2x6's
  6. Put one more set of boards along the top to sit/lean on and drill them in to hide those corner posts and anchor them
  7. Fill it in with my organic soil mix...and invest in an order of DE well in advance of the pests
  8. Steal the trellis from my roses for beans and train the rose to the fence
Now to figure out a good plant and rotate scheme to take advantage of good plant marriage and not leach the soil over time.

Oh, and I better start working on Dena soon to get this done!

Oh, and we'll need to start seedlings!