Friday, May 30, 2008


Sorry, can't let the week go by without a little more whine...

"My head feels like it weighs 5 pounds."
—Frank Burns, M*A*S*H

The good news is it appears to be abating without spreading to my eyes or chest. That's quite cool; an average head cold for me means I can sit and both eyes will just weep, especially the lazy one. The bad news is Husby caught it too, and his average head cold turns into bronchitis, so he won't be able to help again this weekend, when I go to Mom's. I wouldn't let him anyway; it's not worth the stress on his immune system...Such is life.

Too much to do tomorrow! We need to drag out the cement mixer and tree branches from the backyard, pack and switch her desks (a large task involving breaking down and moving most of the furniture attached to the living room desk area into the garage, and replacing it with the small desk from her bedroom), and we'd like to plant aloe under the trees where the cement mixer and branches are.....I can already see the planting taking a backseat; the other projects are more important as the realtor's coming again early next week. Still, it'll be nice to get some outdoor work in; in spite of this cold, I'm craving fresh air.

My seeds are in the mail! More planting on Sunday, and hopefully some baking too...haven't done bread from scratch in ages. Also will set up my rainwater barrel out on the porch...and a bunch of other dreamy stuff like decluttering the dining area a bit and pawing through my stash for sock yarn to start a pair for MiddleSisinLaw for Christmas...still always planning, planning...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


"Death: God's way of saying 'slow down'"
—Paraphrased from Patch Adams

I hab a code. That movie line came into my head this morning and it dawned on me, that maybe this blasted cold is also the god's way of saying slow down. I'm always going, going, going lately...Husby will attest to that. He was telling me to relax and not work on anything last night after work, and I looked at him like he was some kind of freak. Do nothing? Yeah, ok, next...

I expect to rally pretty quickly, but I've said before what a sucky patient I am, so to keep the whine from entering this blog, I'll keep it short today. Pass the tissues, please, and read some healthy person's blog...there's plenty of links to the right :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Definitely a multi-post day...

Thought I'd take a look at the Friday list and see what, if anything, got accomplished:

  • Planted spearmint
  • Books still in foyer...maybe next weekend...or even this week, if Husby gets a wild hair...
  • Goodwill bag and toolbox still in foyer...toolbox will find an accessible home in dining area when it gets tackled this week, and Goodwill bag will go in car
  • Didn't make it to Philips Highway recycling drop-off yet, but dumped recyclables in Mom's bin for pickup
  • Potato bin...yeah, maybe next weekend...
  • Budget...WIP
  • Baking didn't occur Monday on account of I could barely lift my arms
  • Exercising didn't occur because body got plenty this weekend
  • List for aloe supplies...hmm...maybe tonight?

Still, lots got accomplished on the Mom house front, so I don't feel useless. The place is shaping up quickly into the impersonal, spartan form that the realtor recommends it take, and we know now that her neighbors aren't interested in buying it, so we're making our plans with the idea of working with this realtor in mind. It's disheartening as hell, thinking of putting it on the market in this economy; she'll be lucky to have a decent nest egg out of it afterward...but it's necessary, so we push forward.

Independence Days Challenge Week 1

Well, it's a start...

  • Plant something—Spearmint!
  • Harvest something—Not quite yet, but did weed around all the aloes in Mom’s backyard
  • Preserve something—yeah, ok, this one needs some work
  • Prep something—Stash corner decluttered once again!
  • Cook something—Tried a new chicken recipe to mixed reviews
  • Manage your reserves—Cleaned out fridge, so it’s easier to assess stock
  • Work on local food systems—Found Mandarin food bank for dropping off extra canned goods (which have been set aside)

I'm so used to making plans and then only accomplishing half of them...that's what I'm trying to avoid with this. I won't talk about what I'm planning to accomplish with the Independence Days Challenge; I'll talk about what I've actually accomplished. Should make for a nice change :)

Now, about that truck.....

You know, the one that hit me last week...yeah, little bastard came back this past weekend. I've written before about how I'm a 250# gal who performs projects as though she's still in a 175# body...all I can say is that recognizing one's own limitations is a holy bitch on wheels.

My mistake came in performing an entire PT workout Friday night. I took 2 days off from working out, after that serious PT session last Tuesday, so thought my body was due some exercise. But I did the ENTIRE workout, and even upped it a notch by using an actual step, like one of those things you do step aerobics on, for my step work (the step I work on at PT is about 1/3rd of an actual step). Felt really great while I was exercising, was happy with my progress once again, but went into Saturday sore, and proceeded to work my rather large ass off both Saturday and Sunday. Strained my left hip in the process and woke up Monday quite miserable. Managed to get a small bit accomplished yesterday (pictures to come, as I'm quite pleased with how organized my stash corner looks now), but for the most part was glad Husby was catching up on sleep yesterday, because I was a whiny mess. Woke up today with a stuffy nose and some minor aches, but it's finally abating.

FINALLY planted the Spearmint! Still haven't started the lettuce, but I'm going to do some reading on that, because I'm thinking it's already kind of late in the season to be trying it...granted, everything's getting started indoors at first, but that does mean it'd be getting its outdoor time when Florida's heat is at its peak...instead thinking of planting peppers, tomatoes, and some more herbs this week. Knitting's been on the back burner, thanks to my sore body, but I'll be tucking into some UFOs this week as well.

More later...

Friday, May 23, 2008


Took 2 days off from working out after the pummeling my body took on Tuesday, but now I'm kicking myself because my legs feel too loose again. I know they aren't actually, that it's the muscles finally recovering and that I probably needed that 2nd day off, but it punctuates how much work I still have in front of me, teaching the brain and the knees this new way of thinking and walking...the looseness makes it easier to lock my knees without thinking, but I guess it's cool that I'm recognizing that...guess I am thinking ::wry grin::

The weekend...blissful, free-timey weekend...well, not so much with the free time necessarily...we'll go to Mom's tomorrow and see how much we can get accomplished. The real estate agent gave her tips on making the house showable, so she's all jazzed to reorganize. I'm thinking I may have to loan her some of our furniture to make the place presentable. I'm kind of hoping that we get the brunt of it done tomorrow though, because there's plenty to be done where our lives are concerned too...never mind that gas prices make it trickier to go over there frequently...
  • My best-laid plans for growing stuff went on the back burner this week, and I desperately want to start at least some herbs—and some more daring stuff too, thanks to my best pal in Salem :)
  • We'll hit Chamblin's tomorrow morning, I think, to get the books out of the foyer
  • Get the Goodwill bag out of the foyer and move the toolbox anywhere else
  • First recycle trip! Find facility on Philips Highway and dump this weeks' load :)
  • Brain's turning on...maybe I'll bring the potato bin to Mom's tomorrow to spray it out with the hose...we let some stuff mold in there and I haven't wanted to use it again, until it's cleaned out...
  • I "rebuilt" my worktable in the dining area last night, which will make it easier to lay stuff out as I organize
  • Want to budget for the rest of the year, and find a way to live below our means (yeah, easy stuff like that...)
  • Do some baking on Monday
  • Continue exercising (mixed in with the heavy lifting I'll do Saturday)
  • After planting the lettuce and herbs, make a list of what's needed to get the aloes back to comfortable (fresh, large containers mainly)

I go into weekends with such high hopes...but I'm learning not to beat myself up when my limitations or real life get in the way of my plans. Just keep's a Finding Nemo reference, work with me dumb company is leaning on us to schedule all our PTO time out for the rest of the year, but that'll actually work well, because it'll force us to budget for SC trips and see how holidays might fall this year. I don't want the gas prices to affect how many times we go up there, not when it's evident we need more time to explore Columbia. Our trip up there this month was a nice start, but I really want to start exploring the neighborhoods around town and get a feel for the safe areas. Also need to get an appointment with one of the real estate or property management companies that works in rental homes up there, so I can get a feel of what they'll expect at the onset (deposits, first months' rent, credit sitch, insurance, etc.).

Spent yesterday afternoon scoping foodie, the Internet is frickin' awesome! Got some neat recipes and motivation to improve my kitchen supplies...

My personal colorist (Husby) took care of the sneaky little bastard greys last night...NICE to have the mop one color again! I trimmed the sides a bit myself this week, and I'm liking it a smidge better, but it has definitely shown me that I like a little length on my hair now, climate be damned.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Anybody get the license number of that truck?

My physical therapists are sadists.

Well, to be fair, we did at least 4 new exercises yesterday; and most of the work was done with the student PT, so he may not have been as cognizant of how hard he was pushing me. And I'm so gung-ho at these sessions, I'm pushing myself to just beyond my capabilities. The results are nice, but holy crap, I'm sore today! I'm working muscles in my quads and knees where none evidently existed previously, because they're talking up a storm today, grumbling and using naughty words. The nice thing is that it's all muscle aches, not knee joint aches; that's really fantastic, since the key is to build the muscles all around the knee so that they do the work that the joints can't handle as well.

Tonight, no season finales, finally...I need to look at the finances tonight though, so planting once again probably takes a backseat. What I would give for a 2nd stimulus check...

NCIS season finale gave us what Bones lacked...a solid backstory to complement the removal of a main character. I want to start a "Bring Back Zack" campaign for Bones; they shafted his ass for the sake of a storyline...he didn't even want to leave the show. Talk about cutting off the show's nose to spite its face...makes me glad there's about to be a lack of "original" TV shows; I could use the break from nonreality.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Crafty curse

The downside of giving knitting gifts is the expectation of continued gifts of this type...this past Christmas I gave Middle Sisinlaw a comfy scarf and Lil Sisinlaw a pair of knee-highs...Husby just got socks for his b'day...he bragged about them last night, and I'm pretty sure I've been given orders for 2 more pairs for Mom J. and Middle Lil Sis at the next major holiday. Not that that's uncool, I mean, I do get quite the jones from giving something that I've worked hard on...but it's May and I'm a procrastinator, so if I have any brains, I oughta give thought to next Christmas now and get started...especially since I have every intention of being pregnant by then and will have a pile of my own projects to work...heck, I have a pile of my own projects now...current UFOs in the ole knitting bag: Beach, Broadripple, a cowl, Cozy, Spirogyra (still scared of that waste yarn step), and the Opal baby sweater. All for me, me, me! I don't wanna knit for anybody else right now. Hmph!

Yeah, I know, selfish much?

So I got my hair cut and I'm bored silly with it, can't wait for it to grow out a bit. I got it cut short so that I'd be able to stop ponytailing it all the time (cuz I'm a lazy tomboy when push comes to shove, and we're already hitting temps in the 90s down here), but now I hate the lack of style, the inability to play with it and I'm craving the length back. Seriously fickle, I know.

Anybody else bitterly disappointed with the Bones season finale? Well-written, but so sad! I had a feeling early on that it was Zack, but refused to entertain it because he's such a beautiful teddybear of a character, so sweet, with the deadpan humor that made him mesh so well with Bones. GRRR! And those dorks wrote him out, it's not like he wanted to leave. BAH! House's finale was just amazing too, I was a weepy mess; haven't had a TV cry like that in ages.

Tonight I'll stab holes in the lettuce planter and start separating the outdoor aloes, while I watch them kill off Jenny on NCIS (please let it be Jenny! I don't want anybody else to leave!)...PT tonight! I'm so pleased with my progress :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Having patience with myself

In my later adult life, I've been getting my ass kicked once a month by the ole hormonal enslavement. Probably a byproduct of the PCOS, which I have a mild case of, the upshot being strong cramps and a stripping of my energy from the waist down. Reminds me of when I was's like somebody just squeezes the energy out of my legs, like when you're squeezing something out of a tube. Anyhoo, that hit Sunday, and all projects went on the back burner in favor of a little relax time. I'm irritated now, as I sit chained to my work computer, that I didn't get around to planting yesterday; but I also recognize that I needed the relaxation time yesterday after the work I put in Saturday.

Saturday was exhilarating! I woke up Sunday with sore legs and upper back and the greatest feeling of accomplishment. I can't believe the energy I'm drawing from working at Mom's. Husby wanted to come with me that day, so I waited til 12 noon before nudging him, but his head just wasn't cooperating, so I headed out solo. Mom was at a Women of Faith conference all day, so I had the house to myself and just tucked in. Emptied Meara's closet first, boxed almost everything and put it in the garage, and took down her awards shelves from her high-school accomplishments (which made me all kinds of proud all over again, remembering how strong a student and leader she was/is). This was heavy physical work, but I was buoyed by my recent weight loss and the prospect of continuing the trend. Got to Cyril's room in the later afternoon, and while I didn't get quite as much done in there, it does look worlds better and won't need much more attention beyond moving a couple more things out to the garage and taking down his workout scaffolding, as we call it. The garage is going to be our staging area, where we'll put boxes and things for now, so that we can make the house proper, presentable for people to view. I'll be spending my Saturdays there for the next 2 months or so, helping Mom. I always related to Dad just a bit more than Mom, so I think it's helping me as well, defining a shift in our relationship. Plus it's just necessary...Cyril just isn't capable of helping, emotionally or schedule-wise; his job has an unrealistic commute for these gas prices, but his money troubles keep him from looking for anything better (beyond a hopeful attempt to get back in the service, working in recruitment), plus he's got Hunter every weekend while his ex gets her excrement together. And Meara lives in Orlando, works in a job with significantly more responsibility than mine, and is coordinating a move of her own for the end of the month.

I did get some thinking done where planting is concerned. I could have sworn I bought 2 packs of veggie seeds and 2 packs of herbs, but I only found lettuce and spearmint when I went I'm definitely going back to evil big-box Target for some more herbs. I'd love at least lavender and basil, and I'll do some quick research on homeopathic herb uses, as I'd love to try my hand at making my own home remedies. I purchased 2 bags of organic topsoil. Decided against keeping the weeds that are running rampant in the outdoor aloe, so I'll break that up first, I think (hopefully tonight), get it out of the way so I can concentrate on the "real" plants. Of course, I say that and the truth is we really need to deal with the Big Boys soon; they're growing diagonally outward from the pot...I need to clear the babies between them into their own pots and then separate the Big Boys, and that's a project that'll easily eat a weekend morning.

I remembered that one of the most important things to consider when container planting is drainage, and on that score I kind of got lucky. I was planning to do my lettuce planting in one of the old litterboxes - I have a large plastic nondescript bin as well as a Tidy Cat litterbox (smaller with a lift-up hood). But of course since I'm going to be transporting these suckers back and forth from indoors to porch quite a bit, I want there to be minimal leakage. Sure enough, the Tidy Cat litterbox fits nicely inside the larger litterbox, so I'll punch a couple of holes in the bottom of the Tidy Cat and should be able to water the plants from the bottom up.

I'm going to try to tackle these projects after work in the evenings this week, just spread newspaper all over the bedroom floor and work while I watch TV. But tonight's all about Husby; he turns 37 today! I'll make him a nice dinner and slobber all over him with love :)

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's like something's clicked.....

I can't remember where I read it...probably Green Bean Dreams...about the radical frickin' concept of placing a bucket under the faucet when you turn on the shower, so that you're not wasting the water while you're waiting for it to warm so you can turn on the overhead. Out of all the gallons of water that get pissed away in an average shower, easily the first gallon + comes from just letting it run so you don't freeze or blister yourself initially. Then you water the plants, wash the dishes, or stick it in your greywater vessel (which I'm acquiring this weekend from the house). I read this yesterday, and something clicked in my head, and the recycling ideas finally gained meaning; and I realized other things too, like how I HAVE to start bringing my own bags into the grocery store, and how not planting because I'm afraid the cat will eat it is a copout. So what if the cat eats it? At least I'll have made the effort (and fed someone). And the bag thing...I always forget the blasted things in the car and think, oh well, at least I'll recycle the plastic bags. Not the friggin' point! I'm so over the level of waste in our lives.

So when I saw the Independence Days thing at the right, I knew I had to at least give it a try. I'm going to try the Growing Challenge too, since they go kind of hand in hand. Between helping Mom deal with the house and our limited space at the apartment (don't really have porch access yet, they won't give us a straight answer on when the screens will go in), it's going to be interesting...can't plant anything that necessarily needs serious light or pollination. But it's sure going to be a blast figuring it out and seeing what I can accomplish. I originally purchased 2 packs of veggie seeds (lettuce and something else) and 2 packets of herbs; I'll look those over tonight and see if I want to try them or shop for something else. Ideally, I want to try my hand at green beans, even though they'll prove labor-intensive given our space issues. Since I'm going to be planting on Sunday, I think I'll try to aim for Monday posts on my new "garden." Sometime on the weekends, I'll report on the Independence Days progress, since the bulk of my preserving/managing will occur then. I'm so psyched to get started!

P.S. Camping causes weight loss! My pants all fit again! Woohoo!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Snuck from Goose Juice:

"For many years public-spirited citizens throughout the country have been working for the conservation of natural resources, realizing their vital importance to the Nation. Apparently their hard-won progress is to be wiped out, as a politically-minded Administration returns us to the dark ages of unrestrained exploitation and destruction. It is one of the ironies of our time that, while concentrating on the defense of our country against enemies from without, we should be so heedless of those who would destroy it from within."

~ Rachel Carson in an op-ed letter to the Washington Post, 1952

The winds are changing direction... my head. Yes, it can be quite breezy up there, why? Shut up...

It's the little things that could make a big difference, like finally starting to recycle, at work and at home. We have recycling at work for soda cans, plastic bottles, and paper. But it dawned on me yesterday how wasteful I am with the little things, how my soda cans more often end up in the trash rather than in the recycling boxes in the break room (which is just plain lazy, because my desk is at the other end of the building), or that paper products could be saved and brought home to recycle. We have scrap paper recycling at work, but I doubt they would look kindly on stuff like fast food bags in those boxes, because of the potential bug issue. So it means policing your own trash, so what? There were a pair of serious granolas that used to work for WSP, Ashley and Josh, and I remember thinking back then how weird it was that they brought home their trash. They were SERIOUS about being kind to the earth; their veganism extended to not eating at places where they knew the veggie stuff was made on the same surfaces as the meat stuff. I'll never be that diligent, love our occasional Longhorn splurges; but now something's clicking inside my head, and I'm realizing how with just a pinch of effort, I can feel a little better about how I'm treating the earth.

Firehouse Subs, a rather yummy sub place here in the south, sells their leftover pickle barrels for like, $2 and the proceeds go to firefighter charities or something like that. Would make a nice starter vessel for separating plastics and tins. Going to run it past Husby and grab some tomorrow after payday. Will probably grab some larger containers at Target or Wally World too, to get us started, but with the Firehouse barrels, I'm giving to charity as well.

Husby's feeling the change too...he consolidated our crap yesterday in the main living area so that we'd have more floor space, and vacuumed. Granted, he does more vacuuming than I normally, but it was evidence of how seeing Jade's place (his Lil Sis) made us want to do better. She's such an amazing person, but holy god, the mess...if I'd had to stay 1 more day, I'd have started cleaning and stayed the week.

I love gleaning motivation from other people's blogs and a nice one of late is Green Bean Dreams. She's only been at the "living simpler, eating locally" thing for the better part of a year, and I find comfort in the gradual changes and improved spirit that's evidenced in her writings. It's really making me itch for a new bike too, but for now I'll make do with my two legs. My PT is resulting in renewed quad strength, a new way of walking and standing, and a nice boost in my spirits...I'm feeling healthier in this small way, and I'm going into summer feeling happier than normal. Seesawing a bit this week, but that's just from getting back to reality...came home yesterday in the grumpiest mood, but grabbed a nap after work, and I'm finding myself rallying once again.

"Today is a new day with no mistakes in it...yet."
~ Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

In childhood, I felt I wasn't allowed to make mistakes. Dad's perfectionism, anal-retentive nature, and controlling personality made it rather impossible. We were well-behaved kids in public as a result, but we missed out on the messiness of life. In adulthood, I see mistakes as learning experiences. I make them rather spectacularly sometimes; they involve noise, a lack of coordination, arms and legs flying...but rather than hide and cower and berate myself, I see them for the lessons they offer. And grinning like an idiot at your own gaffes makes you a more enjoyable person to be around. Or at least, more amusing.

Unloading books at Chamblin's this Saturday on our way to Mom's...need to move as much stuff as possible into the garage, so that the rooms pass muster with the realtor who's coming Monday. Sunday we'll tackle our place, organizing, consolidating, etc.

Monday, May 12, 2008


I'm sitting here late on Monday night; we've been home a couple of hours. I've put stuff away, had a rather glorious shower, shaved the stems, enjoyed a foot bath, and watched two damn fine TV eps (Bones and House...gotta love season-finale season!). Tomorrow I'll go to my Mom's church early to attend a mass in honor of Dad. I'll work in the afternoon and then go to PT.

This weekend was good on several levels. His folks' house was under stress, as usual, so I removed myself from it as much as possible and just took in the outdoors. Birds swooping from tree to tree, squirrels chasing each other in a springtime mating dance, the pretty weather as I accompanied Mom J. on a shopping errand that netted me a new top...I spent 2 hours Saturday morning on the front porch just enjoying the cool weather, the occasional animal, the quiet. We were only there Friday night and Saturday morning, at his folks' house, but they were stressed enough where I distanced myself from it, and most of them remembered what this weekend was, so I was allowed my antisocial behavior. In the early morning on Saturday, I allowed myself a cleansing cry as I remembered the significance of that morning last year, us all sitting around a conference table hearing what we didn't want to hear, knowing the decision had already been made for us, that signing paperwork was a mere formality in light of Dad's wishes and personality...

Saturday afternoon, we set off for the campground, undaunted by the foreboding weather reports of rain threatening to hit in the early morning hours of Sunday, and promising to stick around all day Sunday. Arrived and settled in. Weather was beautiful, clear, breezy, not oppressively hot. Other than some white trash neighbors to our right who played their country music too loud most of the evening, there were no problems. I went for provisions, he relaxed and scouted for wood...we enjoyed a simple meal of hot dogs and chips with plenty of Gatorade to counterbalance the sweating we were doing, and then settled in by the fire...stayed up til 11 just watching it and talking...

5:30 a.m. Sunday, the rain hits. No, actually, I should say the comedy of errors starts, as you'll see...Well, ok, we have the rain flap on, let's see how it does. It doesn't take too long for us to realize that we certainly did put it on wrong side up, and that the leftover poles had a purpose after rains...and rains...and rains...and leaks from the moonroof and drenches the sides and leaches its way onto our air mattresses, pillows, etc. There's no point in being pissed at the elements, though, so we ruefully wait it out, until my bladder can't take it anymore. We decide that I'll make a run for it, hit the showers, and he'll pack up the inside of the tent best he can, and then we'll do breakfast. So much for eggs and bacon over a toasty fire...

The shower's a balm, but not much of one, because I realize at the shelter that I've forgotten my shampoo and I'm damn sure not traipsing back in the deluge just for a trial size. I take a good rinse-off shower, hand scrubbing away how sweaty I've been feeling. It helps, and revives my spirits, but we're both tired as we hit the local IHOP. Bone tired. Running on 5 hours of sleep and above-normal activity level tired. We call his Lil Sis at her work, explain the sitch, and hop over to Irmo to grab her keys, so that we can go to her place, dry some stuff off, maybe grab naps. We briefly meet her new beau. She warns us that the place is a mess. And that the A/C has just stopped working. And the washer's broken. No biggie, we only really need to dry stuff. We get to her place and discover that the downside to the A/C being broken, is that every single window in the place is painted shut. And that her place being a "mess" is the largest understatement in the history of understatements. I feel worlds better about our apartment. Seriously.

Ah well, we're too tired to care...we clear a path and crash on her bed for about 2 hours. I wake up a bit refreshed, but it's getting stuffy in the apartment. Upon exploring, discover the weather has cleared. The sun is shining rather gloriously and there's a high breeze. Bug Husby and see that he needs more time, so I offer to go over to the campsite and check on the stuff we abandoned in the deluge and grab a couple of things we forgot. He knows I'll bounce off the walls otherwise, so he doesn't put up a fight; plus he's still too pooped.

The site's fine, but everything's still wet enough where coming back that night could be uncomfortable. I set our camp chairs in a sun spot to dry, and pull off the rain fly, securing it across the picnic table in the hopes it'll dry. Drop the doors and open the screens on the tent to air out the tent interior, and pray we don't get any more rain. The weather's so beautiful I drive back with the windows down, blowing my hair all over the place. The hair's shorter now, by the way...not crazy about how short either. There's just no pleasing me.

Husby's up when I get back and in agreement about the stuffiness of the apartment, so we hang out outside for the better part of 2 hours, waiting for his sis to get off work and drying our air mattresses in the sun. I do some exercises, we people-watch, chat, and curse everytime the maintenance man cruises near his sis's apartment on the golf cart only to bypass it. The winds are fantastic. Lil Sis and beau get home, she flags down the maintenance guy, and he offers to unstick as many of the windows as he can, even though he's off the clock for the day. We're hanging out on the screened-in porch, the only comfortable spot in the place, chatting, when we hear this loud BOOM nearby. I think it's coming from Fort Jackson, the Army base down the road, but an instant later, the power goes out. Blown transformer. Classic. Sigh. Guy finishes windows, we call power company to alert them to outage, and go to dinner. Neat place. I gotta stop ordering chicken fingers anywhere else than Longhorn though; they've definitely cornered the market on those suckers. We get a call during dinner that the power's back on. Head back to her place to watch the short movie her guy has written, directed, etc. We're home maybe 5, 10 minutes, when we hear another loud BOOM and are in darkness again. Laugh at the rather unusual warning shot the neighborhood wiring apparently has. Thank the gods that the guy got the windows open earlier, the winds are heavenly. We sit in the dark and talk until 1 a.m. Husby and I crash at her place on our air mattresses; I'm out within 5 minutes.

I woke up this morning with a swollen throat, not sore per se, more like a lump that wouldn't go away. Blame it on the night air and ask Husby if I snored last night. Rattled the windows with a decibel level as yet unheard of apparently...I actually strained my throat from...snoring. Weird. Poor guy's too nice to shove me to roll over, so his sleep was sporadic and he's still beat. I realize I've slept like a log and am ready to rock, so I offer to go break camp and bring back breakfast. Head over in weather that's exquisite, leaving me a bit rueful that we're packing up today, but more wishing we had more time to explore Columbia. All in due time. I break camp, hit McD's, roust him up, and we pack up and hit the road. The weather's beautiful, 70-something, windy still...we decide to take the Interstates all the way even though it appears to be a longer trip distance-wise; it's a surprisingly fast and pretty trip...takes us less than 5 hours and I still get to see fields, cows, n' stuff.

We got back by 4 p.m., and spent the evening unwinding. This is the best I've felt in quite awhile. I pray my Lil Bro and Lil Sis can find peace like this. Sure, I still have healing to do, and I miss the crap out of Dad; but this deliciously elemental weekend was a much-needed recharge and I look forward with fresh eyes.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


This time last year, Dad received his third clean bill of health from as many doctors in a week. He went home that night, had dinner, took out the garbage, and God decided it was time for him to rest.

We'll head up to SC tomorrow morning. Mom and Meara are going to Savannah this weekend; Cyril has Hunter, which should be a really good distraction. Strength and prayers to his ex; she made a very important decision this week

I look forward to driving up tomorrow in the daytime. The backroads of SC are dotted with farms...long expanses of fields populated by crops, horses, and cows and bulls. It starts when we turn out of Estill and stretches to the Savannah River Plant (aka the bomb plant, or where they used to perform heavy-water operations for nuclear power, and possibly still do...we also half-jokingly refer to it as a front for alien activity).

I ache to be there going to be fighting with my concentration level all day today, I can tell. There's no point in blocking the memories, just gotta let 'em ride. I'll plan for the trip when my mind wanders, and dream of the tall trees.

The stimulus check came in!!! Happy dance, happy dance!!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


My gosh, what a difference a little exercise makes! Had my first PT session yesterday after work, and went home so jazzed from it, I pulled out my books, Bean, and weights and did some arm and ab work as well. I'm lightly sore in about half a dozen places today, but I woke up feeling so much better! There's energy and this lightness of spirit.

The cable bill credit went into our account last night, so the trip's officially a go...we'll decide tonight whether we leave tomorrow night or Friday morning. Temps are pushing into the low 90s down here this weekend, which has me concerned about the comfort factor up there, but we'll make it work.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Still pretty dark

It's going to be a hard week. No getting around it. The fatigue from yesterday is abating, I'm not as numb, but the residual emotions from this past weekend are now sharing space with the grief. There's no way to escape the memories. This time last year, Dad was going to practically every damn doctor he had, looking for answers because his heartbeat seemed to be doing skips the weekend before and he was as rundown as ever. Every damn doctor gave him clean bills of health. He fell ill that Thursday night and was gone by Saturday noon. If suing his cardiologist could've brought him back, I'd have been the first one in line at the courthouse to file the paperwork. As it is, a year brings clarity (and bargaining), and I'm inquiring to his cardiologist for a copy of his file. I've always thought that there were options that Dad wasn't willing to entertain with regard to his health; we'll see if the file sheds any light.

In the meantime, press on and pray for money. We've got a credit coming from the cable company that will finance this weekend's trip if the government runs late on the stimulus check (we're supposed to receive ours by Friday). I really hope they're not running behind on those, because it would be nice to go up there with a buffer, however responsibly we have to treat it.

Monday, May 05, 2008


It was a hard weekend. Mom and I got a really nice start on the garage Saturday, felt good about our progress. I went home, the phone calls started, and something occurred that rocked us all to our cores. I won't go into detail here (it's a personal family issue), but it does present an interesting example of how the body copes under stress. I should've been really sore yesterday from the heavy lifting that occurred Saturday; I was climbing on chairs and ladders, lifting boxes of various weights down off shelves, and in general sweating a nut and completely overexerting my rather large body. Yesterday, I was a little sore, but the emotional roller-coaster that I and my family were on, caused me to have to step up and be a beacon of support for my mom, so my body and brain set aside my little aches and pains. I spent the better part of the day with her Sunday as well, helped her with several small tasks around the house, and didn't get home til almost 8 p.m. Passed out by 10:30, but was awake by 5:30 (dontcha just love it when the brain turns on ahead of schedule with a litany of the complete unpleasantness you've been experiencing, and it won't shut the f*ck up?!), and the fatigue I'm experiencing today coupled with significant lower back pain, swollen knees, and all-over dehydrative symptoms hearkens back to almost this time last year. Yesterday I was numb; today I'm feeling it. Hopefully feeling it will allow me to move past it emotionally, because this week's going to be hard enough without this new thing tucking itself into my little black cloud.

Seeing ruthee, Dana, and Carebear was nice, went to KnitWitz Saturday morning before Mom's...reached the thumb on Spirogyra, so have to set it aside now, until I can get a set of size 4 dpns, because I think I want to stick with the same size throughout rather than risk goofing it up, especially considering these are for me, and I don't exactly have dainty hands. Probably should've brought some knitting with me yesterday, might've helped my mental state, but there's always the risk of goofing it up when you're not emotionally stable. Thought about picking up Beach (the straight stockinette in the round sweater) last night when I got home, cuz it's a no-brainer, but just didn't have it in me.

So. This week is planning for SC...we're heading up Thursday night probably, hanging with Husby's fam Friday, then heading over to Columbia Saturday. We'll make camp and explore, and at some point, hang with his Lil Sis, who lives in town. We head back home Monday, and Tuesday morning is a church service at Most Holy Redeemer that Mom got them to dedicate to Dad. I'm so looking forward to this weekend; I'll be spending lots of time outdoors and in prayer. Mom and Meara are getting the heck out of Dodge too, treating themselves to a weekend in Savannah.

Thursday, May 01, 2008


Happy Beltane everyone! Today dawned pretty and fresh here in Florida, but the temps will crank up to the low 80s later. Still, it's been a really nice spring; I'm not complaining yet. Talk to me in 2 months...

May...nothing to do but put my head down and push through it. My thoughts are constantly of Dad right now. It feels like it's been a year, but the pain is still fresh as daisies. My memories of those days are fogged from the fatigue that I experienced (48 hours of very little sleep and piles of fear), but they still visit at night when I'm drifting off to sleep. It must be therapeutic though, because I'm not having bad dreams. I miss him. It's going to be a weepy month, especially as we begin to truly parcel out the stuff in the garage.

The Broadripple pattern must be a good one, because I started a fresh pair of socks as soon as I was done with Husby's, and I'm not tired of it yet. No third sock syndrome here! Goofed it up a pinch yesterday while waiting for Husby to pick me up, but they're going to me so I'm more tolerant of small errors.

Saturday I'm hanging with the Ravelry crowd for a bit, then going over to Mom's. Sunday, hoping to tear into our place some more, do some purging, get another batch of books set aside for Chamblin's from our shelves.

Godspeed to Murph Anderson, who went to Summerland this past weekend. She's the mother-in-law of my friend, Steve Masciocchi; Steve and Lynn are the folks who we babysit for occasionally. This brave lady spent probably 10 years battling different cancers, so I'm sure it's a mixed blessing to the family, that she's no longer in pain. When the last diagnosis came down (with metastases to her heart and lungs), she said no more treatments and focused on enjoying her grandsons with her time left. I ache for Lynn; this year will change her.

Man, this is going to be a bitch of a month.