Saturday, October 28, 2006

Turn those clocks back

Tonight something wonderful is happening. We get an extra hour of least in theory. Not sure my animals will note the difference in the morning.

I had a stressful week. Much more hectic than usual and a test on four chapters of material on Tuesday. I passed but not by a great margin. This concerns me. Today was my Saturday off but I was in such discomfort with my hip and back that I was not able to study. I was able to nap a bit on the sofa but the phone woke me up. There was a tiff in my family this week that lead to many irritating phone calls. I invited a sibling and his spouse over for dinner along with my parents to celebrate my father's birthday. The spouse felt that my menu (homemade macaroni and cheese with smoked sausage, salad and a birthday cake) did not provide a main course. I offered to make one dish without the smoked sausage but she felt I needed to also bake a ham.
I did not feel that was necessary. They didn't want to come which lead my parents inviting them out to dinner. We were also invited but they went an hour before my husband got home from work. My mother said I could come alone but I chose not to. Now I am viewed as the difficult one. I have had discussions with both my parents in the past few days telling both of them that they have made vast differences in the treatments of their sons than that of the daughters. They both agree but continue to do so. Several of my friends have recommended that I distance myself from my parents. Whenever they need anyone I am the one who is called but their favors are to their three sons. This pattern has perpetuated itself my entire life. It's hurtful and it has become too much to bear when I have other issues, particularly that of my health. My sister is also having health issues right now and they rarely even phone her. I have explained things until I am sick of having to even think of it. They admit that they have doled out money to their sons and that they have done little for their daughters. Still, nothing changes. Although I feel guilty not helping them it might come to that at some point. I am only human and am still trying to understand how one minute I am inviting them here and the next minute they are taking the others out to dinner and we are not even in the picture.

I have made up my mind that I am not going to spend any more time thinking about this. I have much to do with my course, with trying to adjust to a change in my medication and trying to help do something to alleviate this pain. If it persists I am afraid I will be making a trip to the ER.

Amid all this unplesantness, Rob has worked many hours of overtime this week. With the holidays coming it will be a huge help. Tonight he came out tired but took me to the opening of a wonderful new store, The Christmas Tree Shop. Many bargains. The holidays are coming and I am only going to focus on those who care for me. Those who want to be hurtful will find themselves out of the loop. Life is too short.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Tag

Sometimes you read something in another blog and it touches you so deeply......and you remember what the impact of another's life or words have on you. Today I felt that when I read Judith HeartSong's ended with her realizing that she had worth. I am so grateful to know that I have worth. That I am loved and cherished by someone whose love I can return. There was a time when I never believed that I could or would believe in love again.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Reading and thinking.....

On Friday my boss asked me to tidy up our conference room which had dozens of magazines in it. I noticed a few Smithsonians, some New Yorkers and a Time Magazine which I brought home to read. Yesterday after work I opened some and began to read through them all. I read an article in Time about Guantanamo Bay and then an article in The New Yorker about the same subject, while interviewing one of the attorneys representing one of the men who commited suicide. It left me very upset and sad. What disturbed me most was that when the prisoners are on hunger strikes they are being fed with tubes which many doctors say are much larger than those used by doctors in this country. They are of the opinion that these tubes are inhumane.
The articles clearly draw speculation that many of these prisoners do not belong there. One article mentioned that flyers were handed out in terrorist areas promising to make the ones who turned in the suspected terrorists rich. Of course while you might expect some terrorists to claim innocence it seems that lawyers did a lot of homework and feel that many truly are.
I sent my son home with these magazines today so I cannot make quotes or use the names. I had watched a special last night with a comedian. He was saying that he felt Bush was guilty of saying the stupidest thing any president every said "Bring it on" which was addressed to the terrorists. (The comedian, Louis Black, was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. I was born in neighboring Bethesda and spent the first ten plus years of my life in Silver Spring.) I am impressed that so many attorneys from firms have taken it on themselves to try to help these people. I have a lot of respect for these humanitarians. I do not respect how the Bush administration has handled this situation at all.

I have a very hectic week coming up. The next four days will be so hectic. I hoped to relax today but had an unexpected visit from my son. I put all the things I had scheduled on hold. I did manage to get groceries (with Rob's help.) Tomorrow I need another blood test. It's a pain to be on blood thinners. When they fluctuate too high or too low adjustments must be made. Mine have been too high lately and I who never bruised looked like I took a beating with a Louisville slugger. I am happy to have them reduced but for the next few weeks that means blood tests every two weeks instead of every month. How I hate needles. You would think I would be used to them. At least I no longer faint but I still do not like them.

Today we bought an artificial pre-lit Christmas tree. Of course a real tree is better but when you have two pets it's difficult. The dog might be tempted to hike his leg on it and the cat even attempts to shimmy up the fake trees. Last year my old tree shorted out. I tried to fix the lights and then in complete disgust threw out the old tree. This one is a slim which is perfect for our small living room. I look forward to Christmas. It's the only time of year I get to see my one brother and his family. Although they live only twenty miles away, there is always something going on with their teenagers or with his wife's family. It's only Christmas Eve that we really see them. It makes it extra special.

The leaves are falling and I am liking the brisk Autumn air but I miss the sunshine. The days are getting darker earlier and I know that next week I will be adjusting to the time change.
Best of all I feel more and more like my presurgery self. I am back in the thick of it and loving it.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Letting Go

I spent several hours on the phone last night and again this morning with my friend who is finding it difficult to let go of her former relationship. Why is it so hard for us women to let go? Even when we know a relationship is painful, sometimes toxic, we second guess ourselves for years to come. For some reason we have this hope that the man (who was clueless throughout the entire long term relationship) is going to have a moment of awakening and tell us he is sorry for everything he ever did. (An admission of being less than perfect would be enough for some.)

The sad reality is that the man thinks that any woman who left him is a bitch. End of story.They don't give a thought to the reality that they were content with the status quo when their wife perceived her existence as a caretaker. No matter how many times the woman may have tried to communicate her feelings of frustration and felt they fell on deaf ears, the man will say he never knew she felt that way. All they can think of is that their needs are no longer being met.

The woman is often beating herself up for not having been able to enlighten him. Often during the divorce process, or after, she is calling him on the phone trying desperately to have him admit that he was less than perfect. This is where one must be realistic. Had he been able to do that in the first place you probably wouldn't be at this point. I told my friend she simply has to accept that she cannot get blood from a rock. This man has never admitted in his forty something years on Earth that he made a mistake in any case. Surely, he won't break precedence now.

As a woman, I wish that we could take on more of the man's attitude. They don't agonize over love lost. (I admit there are some men who do but they are the exceptions.) As I was telling myself we need to validate ourselves more and stop relying on the former lovers to do it for us. We don't need approval for getting out of a toxic relationship. Instead of questioning ourselves we should be patting ourselves on the back. I have gone through two divorces with close friends recently.

Please don't read something into this that I hate men. I love men. I really do (the good ones that is.) It's just that so many of them (especially the ones over forty) feel relationships are a one way street. Far too many are cut from that same cloth where if they bring home a paycheck they have met their obligations. In a world where the partners also work for the most part, the main responsibilities for running a house, raising the children, and caring for the pets falls upon one person. That person is rarely the man.

Life is short. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is but a dream, all we truly have is today. We need to wake up each morning and give ourselves our own strokes. Life is hard. We can only take responsibility for our own actions, not those of others. I only wish I had known what I know now at 30. I can't go back and change it. I can only move forward and savor the days I have now.

Today I should be studying but instead I am going to go shopping and buy myself something new to wear to work. I deserve it. Give yourself some props today.

"I can be changed by what happens to me
But I refuse to be reduced by it. ~ Maya Angelou

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Do Do Do Do Do Do Feeling Groovy..................

I am enjoying my two days home this weekend. So much it's almost indescribable. Yesterday and today I slept over an hour later than usual. Yesterday I got a lot of cleaning accomplished, and groceries purchased. Cleaned out a few closets. Had a relaxing evening and today I got up baked banana bread and brownies. The weather is invigorating! Sunny with an Autumn chill.

I am feeling much better about things these days. I have my own computer (although people do use it when I am not there) and my desk. I have a drawer in which I can leave some items. It's so great to have a small space that feels private when in a work environment. Things that were problems have been resolved. The owner of our company is both insightful and diplomatic.
As we all know, the real estate market which was once red hot has cooled but there is still activity. As our course instructor points out, it's not as rough as when interest rates were 18%.
Can't imagine having been through that. I am not sure that my licensed will be used as an active agent. Just having it makes me more useful to my office as New Jersey has clear restrictions on non licensed people giving out information of any kind.

I have finally begun reading again. It's simply wonderful to enjoy that once forgotten pleasure.
I am currently reading a book called Sex Over Fifty. This was given to me by one of my friends at my 50th birthday party. I read a passage of it to my husband last night as he was watching the hockey game. Seriously, this was almost soft core porn. I guess the author figures he will titillate people with his writings and they will think his book a success. When I finish reading this book I will be reading White Oleander by Janet Fitch after reading Cynthia's review of it in her journal,
A Crazy Quilt Life. She has a great blog and often writes about books that I later read. I used to get the New York Times and make a list each week of books I wanted to read. About seven years ago I stopped for financial reasons. Now I am starting to read again. I feel so alive. It's incredible compared to how I felt last year at this time. I find I am sleeping better and my mind is clearer. The memory problems do exist but I am just studying more to compensate for them.

This is my favorite season. I cannot say how much I love the Fall. The leaves falling is something I have loved since a small child. We live near many apple orchards and you can go and pick your own. I don't have time for that but I can go and buy the freshly picked ones. They have the cider freshly made and even donuts made from the cider. The trees are simply breathtaking right now. I drive down the road slowly on my way to work soaking it all in. I wish I could have all my internet friends over for coffee on the patio. Just to share the beauty in my world.

Speaking of internet friends, thank you Jennifer (my blogging mentor) for setting up my journal so that I could have paragraphs. You're the best. You and Walter.
Also: thanks to
Angel for this tag. She is so talented and so generous with her talents! (Not able to upload the tag at this moment but I will try again!)

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Today is a Thursday. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I am here trying to study. Notice I said trying. Even though I have asked family and friends not to phone me or drop by, they still seem compelled to do so. I have the attention span of a gnat these days. I don't know if it's age, physical conditions, or mental problems. Perhaps C: all of the above. I only know that the slightest thing is a major distraction for me, breaking my flow of thoughts. At times I feel that I have bitten off more than I can chew. For the first time in my life I have missed scheduled dental and doctor appointments. Some days I am in such a hurry, I don't even check my calendar, which has always been a morning ritual. I just can't seem to get it together with this course. I was an A student.

Is this what happens when estrogen flees from your body? I don't think the fact that I am menopausal is insignificant.

Today I have a full plate, as usual. I have been up since 6:45. I have fed the pets, cleaned the kitchen after breakfast, made the bed and studied ONE of two chapters. Retained perhaps 50% of the facts, and calculated my math problems incorrectly. I who tutored others in algebra. I am now taking a break before showering. After that I have to drive to Rob's work, pick up his check and drive to the bank where we have an emergency savings account. I will cash both our checks there and then drive to the bank where we have our (free) checking account to deposit the cash. That covers the mortgage check I had to mail yesterday. After that I will return home attempting to absorb the next chapter and finish the review for 15 chapters (Lord help me!)

About 3, I have to leave for the cardiologist. I will then have to face the music for totally missing my last appointment, for the little change in my cholesterol and weight......and he wonders why there are times I need tranquilizers. I really like this doctor. I have a lot of faith in him and truly believe had I not found him when I did I would most likely not be here now. He is very serious and when he gives orders he expects them to be the letter. I get that. Part of me appreciates that. Another part thinks that he doesn't understand how hard it is to incorporate all of this into a stressed out, little time for relaxation life.

When I leave the cardiologist I will go to school where I will be quizzed. Not sure if my carpooling buddy will be going tonight. She went on Tuesday but was sick and has been out of work all week until today. The Woody Allen aspect of my personality is wondering if she is showering me with germs in the shared vehicle.

I cannot create paragraphs today. I could barely get onto Blog Spot. Sorry for my continuous flow of words here. It's not that I didn't want's just that I couldn't. (Inability to create paragraphs is just another one of those menopausal symptoms. Love ~ jennifer.)

Okay time to kick it up a notch and take my shower. Those ten or fifteen minutes are often the most relaxing part of my day. Although to be honest, there are days I can't fit that in either!

Did I mention that my final exam will be the Tuesday after Thanksgiving? God give me strength. Seriously.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Frustration thy name is Verizon

I am hardly able to use my internet connection in the past few days. Actually, all my phone related problems began when Verizon decided to put fiber optic cable in our neighborhood. The first time it rained my phone line hummed so badly I could not hear people on the other end.
When I called them, and they came over a week later, they said there was water in the box (our lines are underground and there is a small tower which contains the wires). They lifted it and when the water ran out the problem appeared to be okay......until the next rain. Next repairman said that the box needed to be lifted higher because this problem would keep recurring. He was correct. It has. Today I made my fourth call to Verizon and listed all the problems I have had. Calls to their DSL customer service told me there was nothing they could do for me. Had to deal with Verizon phone repair. At this point I am giving them a few short days to correct the problem If not corrected I will be switching to a cable connection. That means changing my business address from Verizon. Frankly, Verizon has nailed themselves to the wall with their huge cuts in customer service and now not fixing the problems they are creating by installing new unwanted lines. Not one person I know wants to switch from the present cable company........especially not with the service we receive with our phone problems. Today I couldn't wait for some emails containing pictures to download. Dial up was as quick as what I am currently experiencing for the cost of over $30 per month.

I worked today. It was really rainy and cold. I wanted to stay in bed today but forced myself to crawl out at 9 a.m. I only worked until 2 because I went to a viewing for a coworker's mother. This stoic woman lived to be 94 and until her last year she lived quite a life. Her daughter is a lovely woman and a great example of caring for others.

My sinuses are really bothering me with all the damp weather. I was put on antibiotics to try to get them in order. My blood was way too thin and I had to have that adjusted. I am hoping I will be feeling better with these medicines in check. I have been very tired lately.

I have ordered a few Christmas presents. When the weather cools my mind turns to Christmas and the upcoming holidays. I wish that I could make donations to charities instead of commercial gifts. I am thinking of alternative gifts. My parents will be receiving a small Christmas tree with handmade ornaments containing pictures of their children, grandchildren and two great grandchildren. I am trying to think of something meaningful for my son. My one coworker is not exchanging with anyone in her family this year. She said they do big birthdays but she just couldn't take the commercialism or pressure. Her kids are all grown and resisted at first but now seem to enjoy not being pressured themselves either. It's an interesting idea. Not sure I could get some of my family to get on board with that idea. My son would be most receptive.

My eyes are tired and I think it's time to call it a night. Hoping I can sleep in a bit tomorrow morning. Sweet dreams to us all.........and to all a goodnight.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Of sleepless nights and troubling thoughts

I have been having a lot of trouble sleeping. I can go right to sleep when my head hits the pillow but I wake around 3 or 4 a.m. and lay awake for hours. My mind kicks into high gear at that time. I have so much to worry about right now. I am working and taking a class that requires a lot of studying. I have a midterm this week and am worried about that.

My sister had her surgical procedure and we are now waiting to hear the results of her biopsy. I am giving her the space she wants while trying to be supportive in a way that is acceptable to her. She refuses to worry until she has something concrete to worry about. I am respecting her way of dealing with this.

One of my friends rushed ahead into a relationship that is now throwing up red flags for her. I am walking on eggs, trying to help her sort things out. Her last significant other caused huge problems in our relationship. I want her to be happy and I am concerned that she may hurt this person that she assured she would not.

Rob and I seem to be on different schedules work wise. I work two Saturdays each month and usually he doesn't work on Saturdays. The past few months it seems he has had an opportunity to work,but only on the Saturdays that I have off. Yesterday I went to a craft show with my sister-in-law. When Rob got home we went out for a bite to eat. We are both so tired these days that we flop into bed, passing out when our heads hit the pillow. (He isn't sleeping that well either. His sister will be starting chemo any day. His family never calls us and the only way we find anything at all out is to call them. ) Today we got up and Rob got our ladder out and we brought down our Halloween things from the attic. That cheered us up a bit. We have lots of stuff! Rob vacumned for me since my left wrist is so painful and weak. Afterwards he helped me to stir the dough and I made peanut butter cookies. My son was ill and we ran in his direction and took some, along with clean laundry that had been left here. Afterwards we ran to a country store that we like. It was a nice day. Not at all that relaxing but still we had a day together.

I know the worth of a good marriage. I worry that with all I have on my plate I am not doing enough to keep mine the way I want it to be. I am feeling my age these days. I don't have the energy I once did. I like my house to be tidy and organized. I like to go to work with a decent appearance. I like to give my pets the time and energy they deserve. I just can't seem to find the time to do it ALL. Anna Quindlen was so right. We can have it all but not at the same time. Once school ends late November, I will enjoy the extra time I will then have. In the grand scheme of things, nothing is more important than the relationship I have waited years for. My brilliant friend Diana, once told me that love is more about the way the person makes you feel about yourself, than how you feel about them. Rob makes me feel like the most loved woman there is. I only hope that I make him feel the same way, even when I am too tired to do the little things to show him that.