Saturday, January 31, 2009

Spoiling Myself Rotten

Yesterday I received a call from my new internist. She had done a blood test to see what my glucose levels had been for the past three months. I was disappointed to learn that I am a diabetic. My cardiologist had told me about a year ago he thought I was at least a borderline daibetic. I will see her in a few weeks and begin some oral medication. It does explain why I have been so tired lately and why after eating no carbs I feel better. I have been trying to reach my aunt on the phone and learn from her experiences.

Today I headed to the mall with my favorite sidekick. I had purchased glass frames and the enameled paint was peeling off. They were expensive and the company sent a new pair so I had to have the lenses changed. While that was being done I went back to Sephora. They had the most adorable perfume bottles (Asian dolls) and are called names like Music, Love etc. I treated myself to the Love and to some major moisturizer. After that we picked up the glasses and had lunch at Ruby Tuesdays. I had the red sangria and it is sooo good. There are actually berries in the fruit mix and it was heavenly. We then went to AT&T and they finally had the new cell phone I have wanted for months. Now I have to learn how to do things on it but I think I will really like it. The salesman could not believe that a few short months ago my old Razor went through the wash and rinse cycle and was still working. Problem is, it's so difficult and time consuming to text message on that phone. When I am working I can't receive phone calls but I can text. I was communicating with my cardiologist's office about a cardiac lab being part of my network or not. The difference in using in network means a savings of over $500 to me. Right now I am trying to watch what I am spending. I could have stayed with my old cell phone but with the rebate I only spent about $79 for the new one. I got a case for free and a blue tooth for half price. Yes, I am rationalizing I guess.

One of my favorite coworkers got fired this week. We are all still in shock and I refuse to believe the stories I have heard. There is a quick turnover in any type of customer service job. It's hard to be screamed out, cursed out, threatened and then pick up your next call and go back into the "how can I help you" and mean it mode. If you want to do this kind of work you have no choice but to do that. Your current customer has no idea what you were just exposed to and frankly, it's not their problem. You have to be professional enough to let things roll off your back. Easier said than done. I really like the vast majority of my coworkers. I like many things about the company I work for. One of the main things I like is being paid and being able to go shopping for things like cell phones.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Taking a Sick Day

For the past several days I have been experiencing lightheadedness. I have also been congested and having sinus issues for two weeks. Today I felt so bad that I took a sick day. I need to get to the doctor and am trying to get through to their office this morning. How I hate being sick....I simply have no time for it. I take several medications...for blood pressure and a blood thinner that require some monitoring. I find it a hard balance just how much attention should be paid to the medical issues. At times the rest of my life has centered around them and now I try to put them on the back burner until they simply must be dealt with. It's not easy to work full time and keep up with it all. I was told last Fall I needed a stress test and I finally booked that for Feb. 23rd! I am a bit nervous about that as I will be having chemicals injected. I always worry about drug interactions. It may seem silly but I was given an antibiotic which brought on a very dangerous heart rhythm and landed me in the ER under close observation for nearly a day.

Stopping here to go have a doctor's appointment..........

Back from the doctors and I have some new antibiotics to take. They took blood to make sure that everything is in order. My blood pressure has come down significantly on my new meds.

I rarely remember dreams but last night, or early this morning to be accurate, I had a wonderful dream. I lept to the roof of a building and demonstrated my ability to fly. It felt glorious and the coworkers below were astonished. I felt complete joy. I awoke to a voice telling me it was time to get up. When I went to get up I realized I was too lightheaded to head off to work. I have had fun playing with Photoshop Elements today. I am a collage making fool. Well I want to get a long nap in. I need to be rested up to return to work tomorrow. I'm hoping the melted snow and rain won't have me driving to work on ice.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A New Header for My Blog!

I am so excited I got a new header for my blog. Yesterday we went shopping and I got Photoshop Elements. I had been dying to get something like this. The actual full Photoshop Version was $699.00! Can they be serious? I have wanted to try to spruce up my blog, make it more personal and possibly make some graphics. When we got home my husband decided he would play with it. He studied tutorials for hours and then came up with this header which I like very much. He has also made me one for Valentine's Day but I will wait awhile before unveiling it. I think he is onto a new hobby during his unemployment phase. It is time consuming to make them. Especially as you are still learning. I also came home from work to a fabulous dinner of pork chops with a marinara sauce on them and delicious green beans.
Tomorrow is my mother's birthday and I am picking up chicken on the way home and we will be going there with a cake and chicken.
This weekend I treated myself to my first visit to Sephora. I got the starter package for the Bare Minerals make up. It is a wonderful make up. Previously I never worried about make up but I am at an age where all kinds of things are going on which are disturbing when I look in a mirror. Since I work with a group of twenty and thirty somethings I have to kick it up a notch in my presentation. They do tell me I have style. Guess that's something to be grateful for. Well time for a nice cup of tea and a bit of television. I worked hard today...Mondays are always difficult. So glad I have a warm home, a loving husband and my fur babies to come home to. It's ALL good.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Blame Game

I grew up with two parents who were only children. My mother got her baby sister when she was twelve and by that time her personality had been formed as an only child. Having an only child myself I made sure that my son realized the earth did not revolve around him, although he was always made to feel loved and important. Early on my parents developed a pattern I call the blame game. This seems to have been taken to new levels and I had a conversation with my mother tonight in which I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. When anything goes wrong, neither of my parents are too blame. The person at fault is someone else, for them it's usually the other spouse. The resentment this has caused for each other over the years is a sad thing to witness. Here they are after fifty years of marriage and still argueing and complaining.

Last night I called my mother right after I finished dinner. She began to cry and tell me she was having another day of just feeling sorry for herself. Why I asked.

(I knew better than to ask, really I did.) She went on to say that she had an appointment at a hair salon in the mall. My father had asked the last three times if he could go and she talked him out of it previously but yesterday she agreed to let him go. She told him to go to McDonald's and have coffee while she had her hair done. About ten minutes later he walked into the salon which embarassed her. Knowing my father, I would have figured this would happen.

She then asked him to go back to McDonald's and wait for her. When her hair was done and she approached him he jumped up to meet her and they headed to Sears where she needed to return a clothing item she had purchased that didn't fit. He told her he would wait in the car while she did that. She then waited in line and handed the item to the cashier. The cashier handed her back a few dollars. My mother asked where the rest of the money was and the cashier said it was put back on the gift card you charged it to. I am not sure if my mother told the cashier or not, I think she did, that she had thrown away the gift card. The cashier apparently told her that she was out the rest of the money. Now here is where the game begins. Apparently this was my father's fault. HOW I asked could this be his fault? Had he not been waiting in the car, making her feel rushed she would have taken the time to get a replacement item and told the cashier she would do that. I told her she could have told the cashier to give her back the jeans and done that at a later time. This is when the blame was redirected at me. I am unsympathetic to her plight of having to deal with my father. I told her I was not but that I didn't see how this could be his fault. Then the blame was redirected at her children who callously give her gift cards. Before I could make a statement she said that old people cannot handle gift cards. They have to be kept track of and then they expire and they make exchanges impossible. Last year we gave them a variety of gift cards for various restaurants, thinking it would be a great treat to go out and have it prepaid. I love gifts like that. She informed me they had not used any of them. She told me to give them a check or gift or not to bother. YIKES. She got herself so worked up she actually cried at times. I told her that perhaps she needs to have a list of errands to run and from time to time to tell him she has a list of errands and it's not a good day for him to accompany her. She said she didn't leave him for long periods of time but I reminded her she went to a neighboring state for shopping twice recently, ten hours at a time. She had forgotten about that. Why must I be the voice of reason? Just once I would like to have a conversation with my parents where they have something nice to say about the other. Actually from time to time my father will do that. He is in his eighties and physically failing. His life is pretty much sitting in a recliner watching tv with a hearing aid that amplifies more background noise than a voice he is listening for. They have a large house with a separate apartment and that is where my mother spends most of her time. Many nights she sleeps on a sofa in there instead of walking upstairs to her bedroom. When I think of these things I feel sad. It's their life though and they are living it as they have chosen to. Last night I went to bed thinking that sometimes the lessons we learn from our parents are not what TO do but what not to. I don't want to go through life blaming others. I am plenty capable of messing up on my own.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What a Week

I have to say that this has been one action packed and exciting week. On Monday I went to the periodontist in the morning. Had I been able to videotape my adventure that morning many people would have been entertained. My GPS has developed some quirk that no matter where I try to go it just wants to take me home. I finally got it situated when I tried to follow it and apparently I made a left onto Hoffman Road when it should have been Hoffman STATION Road just a few several hundred feet further up the road. By the time I realized this faux paux I had landed in a small town with a major detour. I realized the only way to get there at all was to turn back and take the longer route I was familiar with. I was heading toward Princeton and all of a sudden felt discombobulated.
I called on the cell advising them I would be late. HOW late asked the receptionist who answered the phone. I nearly bit my tongue off trying to contain my frustration as I told her since I was running very late and there was a major construction near a road I had to take I could not really let her know a time frame but I was hoping I would only be ten minutes late. She said to get there quickly but not to have an accident. I pressed forward and ended up arriving twenty minutes late. Fortunately for me the next appointment was a no show for the hygenist and I had lots of time. Enough time to purchase a sonic toothbrush which is vibrating my teeth to heights of near indecency. I did make it to work on time for my second half of the day.

Tuesday I was off the chart. This was the first time since 9/11 I felt so proud to be an American. I DVRed the whole thing and caught little in the lounge at work but when I came home I watched it all. I was on an emotional roller coaster. The thing that most touched me was one of my coworkers who is nearly 60 (I think). She told me stories of her childhood and the bigotry she experienced. She cried and I was fighting back the tears. We hugged and declared it a great day to be alive. A great day it was. I will never forget it.
I just wish Dr. King could have seen this. I saw an interview with Medgar Evers wife. That was also so emotional. Let us never forget that there were so many civil rights leaders who gave their lives so that each person could live their dreams. I pray often for our new President and his safety. You made me so proud, Mr. President and I am oh so grateful to have voted for you. Lead us back to the nation we can be.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is There a Hotel for Oversized Kitties?

My husband will be leaving tomorrow to go see his family. Why, you might ask, am I not going? For one thing I do not travel well. Especially in cars. I actually enjoy flying and getting from here to there quickly. I do not enjoy my husband's frustration when we get stuck in traffic. I also really need a few days to unwind from work and if I spend them travelling on Monday I might have to be committed. Seriously. Then there are the pets. Today I feel that I should call them beasts. This is what happens when a dog person marries a cat person. I have a lot of patience for a dog, who I feel is man's best friend. Compassionate, tail wagging and grateful for the pat on the head. The cat has this crazy idea that this is his house and we are his servants. Strangely, at times this does to be the case. I have been woken up at 5 a.m. nearly every night for a week. The cat is beautiful. He is very tall and long and the vet says he is not overweight, but not to allow him to gain any more weight. When I wake up at night with no feelings in my legs because he has used them as pillows (as in body pillows) I am not feeling like embracing his neediness. He is like a cement statue that only moves when someone musters all their strength and shoves him off the bed. We sleep under a toasty down comforter with our heat turned down to 65. Most nights I will not emerge to catapult the cat. This has left me sleep deprived. Even on weekends I am never asleep past seven a.m.

We have a nice set up in our garage for the cat. He has a thick large bed and on top of that a cat tee pee. That has another mattress inside of that. I won't put him in there when it's in the teens outside though because it's very cold. We have finished sheetrock in there and insultation on the door but it's still very cold. This desperation has lead me to wonder...are there kitty hotels? Are they reasonable? Mama needs a break. When my son was little I remember thinking how wonderful it would be when he would be grown and I could sleep through the night. It never occurred to me that pets could cause this kind of problem.

IF you are thinking that the vet could give me something to sedate them forget it. I already asked him. He said no it would not be good for them. I hope you feel really guilty if I die of sleep deprivation, Dr. Scott. I hope someone mails you a copy of this entry and you at least send me flowers.

I love animals. Lucky for mine. I just keep thinking that the cat is already 9. Time for him to sleep through the night. Either that or we might have to heat the shed and set up his own place for him. Perhaps that has been his plan all along.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Vote for a Blogging Friend

It takes a lot of courage when you have cancer to write about it a blog. For all of you who knew and loved Pam, who told us all of her battle with stage 4 lung cancer, you know what I mean.

As someone who survived cancer and then battled other forms of it later, and who will probably battle it again in the future, this is especially meaningful to me. You live in a world with medical terms and as you try to keep your loved ones and coworkers informed there are always struggles with how much information to share. Ronni, a newspaper writer who lives in Boston has done a wonderful job with her blog which is now nominated. If you would like to cast a vote for her blog, go to:
she is listed in two categories there. If you would like to check out her blog as she prepares for her third bone marrow transplant please check it out and offer her whatever words you want to share with her: Running for My Life: Fighting cancer one step at a time . I promise you will come away with a great admiration for her. I certainly hope she wins but anyone who can write as she does is already a winner. Good luck Ronni!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Scrumptious Sunday

Yesterday we were told we would be getting at least three inches of snow. We had a light dusting early and then around dinner time we had another inch which has already melted. It's January and not one real snow storm yet. I especially love the snow when I will be staying at home in the warmth and not having to drive.

We had a nice casual weekend. I left work early Friday to have my skin surgeon examine my surgical site which was doing very well. The evening before I was at the new internist for a follow up visit for my blood pressure. I went in on two drugs and left with one more script. I wasn't too happy about that but I saw my grandfather have strokes and lose the essence of himself. I will do whatever is necessary to avoid that. After the surgeon's on Friday I was finally able to find a duvet for my comforter. The old one was a mess after what I suspect was the dog trying to follow the cat onto our bed while we were at work. I came home to feathers all over and even the comforter got a small tear. I was so thrilled to find that the one I wanted was reduced (and they had BATHING SUITS displayed!).
We stopped at a nice place for an early dinner.

All of my coworkers are game playing individuals and I learned through one of them that I wanted to play Guitar Hero. I actually observed him playing it and it looked like fun! I have now created a rock persona. My persona is close to six feet tall while I am only five foot two. She is a better guitar player than I. I am struggling to do this but I must persevere. Older people still have coordination and it is my job to prove this to the twenty somethings of the world...well in my workplace world. I have earned some money and am hoping to upgrade my guitar to the peace sign style soon. Sometimes we have to leave reality behind and just allow our imaginations to take over. Now it's time to warm up for my USA tour. Rock N Roll isn't as easy as I thought it would be.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Being the Older One

For many years I was the youngest person: at work, at a church group, at the local women's club. I had my son at twenty and was very active. Many of the ladies in my groups were mothers of several children and most at least in their thirties. Sometimes they referred to me as the "baby" of the group. It embarassed me at the time. I was so ignorant.

I work with a group of people mostly in their twenties. I am over forty and over the other number that starts with an F but is significantly old than forty. Is it a coincidence these are "f" words I ask. Some of these young girls have so much drama in their lives: bad break ups, some are single mothers. They think I am really cool but today they completely took me by surprise when one asked if I was a hippie. I wish I was a hippie but to be honest, I am even a little young for that. I was not yet in high school when Woodstock took place. I do remember a very liberal friend's parents allowing her to go (they named their daughter Violet and were all for self expression). My father told me if I did anything like that I should have a good time because it would be the last thing I did and he would shoot me when I arrived home. My father was from Alabama and sadly, I knew he was not joking. Several months later the movie came out. My then boyfriend Rusty and I went to see it at the theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey (made famous by Springsteen). It didn't start until eleven p.m. and I called my parents to tell them I was going to be late. The conversation was brief and I was told that I would be grounded for a month. It only took me a few seconds to realize that it was well worth it. How I remember the joy of sitting in that theatre in my white tank top with small red peace signs and the words peace on it and watching that movie. Few things in my life have been so exciting. When I was first married and had my son I made all of his babyfood myself. I had a huge garden and baked my own bread. For three years I was a vegetarian. When severe anemia overtook me and a short time later I was diagnosed with Hodgkins disease, I began eating meat again. It sure beat shots and transfusions. As my son got older I think I became more conservative. I did attend the later Woodstock which took place in New York but it certainly was not the same. I only stayed one day. Being dirty and using port a potties is not my cup of tea. It did really strike me though when I realized none of them had every seen my first new car, a 1971 Plymouth Satellite Sebring. Being older, wiser and more experienced doesn't compare to being the youngest and fittest.
Still, I don't think I would want to go back and do that all again. I'm too tired.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Weekend is Coming to an End

It has been a hectic but good weekend. I bolted out of bed early on Saturday and began to make lists of what needed doing. We were out of the house by nine and I got my blood test at the hospital, went to the post office to mail bills and buy stamps, picked up dry cleaning, found some fantastic deals at Hallmark for next year and bought groceries by noon. We came home and put the groceries away and began preparing lunch for my parents and grandmother. Rob made his wonderful onion au gratin soup and I made a sheppard's pie. Both turned out great and were enjoyed by our guests and us. My grandmother enjoys a home cooked meal. At 96 she often buys TV dinners now because it's too much work for her to cook and clean up. She is still baking and Friday night I made a trip over for one of her apple dumplings. After the company left Rob and I went over to see our neighbors we have socialized the most with. They were down, he just got laid off from his job and they have many concerns. We tried to cheer them up and I think we did. We came home and watched a movie and went to bed.

This morning Rob let me sleep in and I rose at the late hour of 8:30 a.m. !
I began pulling ornaments off the tree and we took the tree down and got it back into the attic, along with our garland which is so pretty. We do not have pull down steps and it is no small task to get this stuff back up there. Rob is on a regular ladder with me passing things up. I jumped in the shower and then we went to the 11:30 mass. (This is the first we have attended in months.) The priest from the parish I grew up in has just been reassigned to the church we go to when we lost the priest we were all so fond of. He was from Ireland and could tell tales, and jokes, and just entertain you. He made it such a pleasure. He also had psychology degrees and he was wonderful at helping his parishners. When he died he had his body shipped back to Ireland and put in his family grave. I hope someday to lay flowers on that grave. But I digress.....after mass we went to lunch. We came home and finished putting things away and I did some shelf organizing in my walk in closet. We went to my mother's for tea in the afternoon and to pay a final visit with my grandmother before she returns to Maryland tomorrow. Came home had some dinner and I am finally at 8 p.m. signing on to read email and blogs. That is unusual for me. It's been a full two days and I got a lot accomplished.

On Friday my husband waited all day for a Fed Ex package from the company who employed him until Dec. 31st. They have left New Jersey altogether. Although promised a stay on bonus and other things, he will be getting a small severance check. It is disappointing but honestly it makes the bitter pill better knowing that to the end, this company has no clue how to treat it's employees.
That is just so sad. It is my hope that in 2009 he will find himself with a much better company. He deserves so much better. He has been wonderful through this all. The company has no idea what they have lost. They offered to relocate him but again the offer was not good enough to accept. While we run from change, fear change, often change is for the good. I have a good feeling that his will be. Happy 2009!