Thursday, July 31, 2008

No decisions

I hardly ever express a desired location for eating out to G. Usually he will find something wrong with it, and that's all I hear about. It is just easier to let him choose the place, and then if there is something he dislikes, it's his fault!

Sunday night was a good example. We were going to celebrate my birthday with dinner out with the family - that's 9 of us. I had suggested a restaurant that he previously didn't like, but we saw an ad with some dishes that looked good.

That was going to be ok. I had even told K and S that was where we were going. Three hours before we were going to be going, he suggested we go to a different place. Rather than risk the scenario I drew before, I agreed.

They don't take reservations. C had called ahead, but was told the wait would still be about 1 hour. The restaurant doesn't seat until the entire party is present. I was amazed that we were seated within five minutes of getting there - without C and B.

The problem then arose. It was a booth. I mentioned this here. The evening really was miserable. Conversation was not possible except for my kids who were directly across from each other.

K made several snide comments to her dad about the situation. I don't know how many of them he took to heart, but I think he did realize that a noisy restaurant with a huge booth was not a great idea.

The situation doesn't even take into account me trying to get into and out of said booth with my knees! Getting in wasn't nearly as bad as getting out. After sitting for an hour, my knees work even less. I thought I would be there forever.

So when asked where I want to go to eat, etc my stock answer is "I don't care." It doesn't do any good to care!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I WILL be a Tigger

I, like so many others, watched the tribute to Randy Pausch last night. I was impressed when I first heard his last lecture.

Last night he spoke to me again. I have let myself become an Eeore on too many occasions. I wallow in self pity. There is no reason for it. I will be a Tigger.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Another child??

While contemplating topics that I could possible pursue that wouldn't be more moaning and complaining on my part, I was struck with the fact that I have another child! It has been in the house for months, and I never realized I had another child.

It must be a child because when it gets too quiet, you know it must be into something it's not supposed to be in. When its sound changes or worse yet it gets completely quiet, you know that's a problem. Isn't that true of a child?

My latest child is a robot vacuum. When it is supposed to be working, if all is quiet there are two possible answers. It either has decided to go back to bed (its dock) or has gotten stuck. The first thing I do is to check the dock. If it's not there, then I have to search for it. Fortunately it can only traverse two rooms, but there is a lot of furniture in the den.

It loves to go under the furniture. Unfortunately, it can get stuck. If it does get stuck, I have to hope aa portion of it is sticking out. Otherwise, I am looking under everything. Not fun.

It is supposed to leave cords alone. Ha!! It loves to play with electrical cords. It carries them as far as it can. It does drop them finally. But the other day, it found the blind cord. It tried to crawl the cord until its weight stopped that. Getting it to let loose was a trick.

It has a mind of its own for sure. Some days it loves the den. If just scours the den. It twirls around and around, bumping off the furniture, jumping off the base of the entertainment center. Other times it loves the kitchen and breakfast room. On those days, the area rug in the den never feels the suck of that vacuum. Yesterday and today seem that it's den day. I cannot convince it there is work to do in the other rooms.

But as the ads say, at least I'm not having to do the work. Oops, it's too quiet again. Gotta go find the baby!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gosh my tongue is sore

I guess weekends are going to be a trial for a while to come. It is the pits when you don't agree with the method your children use to raise their kids. I'll tell you right now - my tongue is so sore from me biting it. If things don't change, I think I'll be a good candidate for a tongueectomy.

I REALLY don't agree with the way my daughter and son-in-law are raising my grandson (Monkey Boy). They have created a spoiled brat. He can do no wrong, and in his mind, "no" is not a word from him.

I have suspected that he has problems with other children. Now I am pretty sure of it. Saturday they finally (20 days late) were able to schedule the first birthday party he has ever had. His fourth birthday was on the 6th.

G and I weren't able to be there. We were in San Antonio for his aunt's funeral. I understand there were very few children from his day care class there. I have long suspected he is a little bully, since he loves to pull his kung-fu moves and other aggressive stances as part of his normal way of acting. Daddy also encourages that business.

G and I went to their house for dinner after we got home. The meal was a very balanced and healthy one. Marinated pork loin and fresh grilled (but really nearly raw) vegetables. Monkey Boy had an absolute fit. He ended up with processed chicken nuggets and Spider Man macaroni and cheese - prepared especially for him after the rest of us were eating and he threw his fit. I wanted to have a fit of my own.

After dinner, we had some left over cake from his party. He tried for a second piece. When I told him he already had a piece, he went into a rage. I was told, by him, in no uncertain terms, that I was to stay away from him. Hey, no problemo!

Last night we went out for the family to celebrate my birthday which was Saturday. It was a nightmare, but that's another story. We were seated in a large booth. I was crammed into the corner with the kids across from me. Bread was served. Both kids were seated across from me, and were my dinner companions.

Both kids were immediately given a roll. When the bread was moved down. MB grabbed another roll. It was downed in record time. He reached for a third and I told him he didn't need a third. Mom and Dad finally were aware of what he was doing. That didn't stop the tears from anger however.

This morning, K told me he found some candy and decided that was a suitable breakfast. I couldn't believe it, but is dad said no. He flipped out again. He went running into the bedroom where K was getting ready for work saying "Daddy told me no." Hey, there's a good indication there's a problem. Of course, the cereal he was told to eat wasn't much better than the candy.

He can be a sweet little boy, and according to my daughter-in-law, he can follow rules. I wish I had witnessed that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Three in seven months

Yesterday we lost another member of G's family. His dad died in December. An aunt died in February. I felt a special kinship with her. She was battling the little c. She lost.

Yesterday we lost the sister who was the most free spirit. She was 77. She lived to fish, and,accordingly, lived on the coast. She gave away all the fish she caught if she didn't simply throw them back. She hated fish! In the past few years, however, she had not been able to go out everyday to fish. Her arthritis in her knees kept her from many activities. Then she developed diabetes.

We visited her a few years back when we had our travel trailer. It was easy with the dogs. She showed us such a good time. We even went out on a fishing boat. That was a first for me. At every family reunion, she would ask when we were going to come back. We assured her it would be sometime.

The good thing about her death is that she died just as she wanted. She had blockage in the arteries of her heart. She had surgery a couple of weeks ago, and she was scheduled for another on the 29th. The cousins who live around her and check on her had been telling me for years she wouldn't take her medication. A few days ago, her blood sugar fell so dangerously low that cousin 1 didn't think he would be able to get her back.

The same cousin told me she had not taken her meds for two days. When they checked on her about noon yesterday, the found her non-responsive. She was in her bed, a smile on her face and all five dogs around her. It was just the way she wanted to die.

We didn't. Now we can't.

Funny how this post took on a life of its own. It hasn't gone in the planned direction, but that's ok. In fact, it's even better this way. Her death has once again made me realize we cannot procrastinate. If we want to be with those we love, there is not time like the present. There possibly is no tomorrow.

Lesson relearned - once again too late.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

It's official!

Yep! It is now officially hurricane season! We have had a couple of storms that have appeared, but they were just blows. Bertha simply provided a little practice in trying to whip the masses into a frenzy of preparations, but she simply wasn't a real threat to anyone!

Then the "C" storm. Gosh, me memory is really bad!! There it was threatening the Carolina. One of our weather gurus actually had the nerve to suggest that those of us residing along the upper Texas Gulf Coast begin making our preparations for weathering the storms. That would be some hurricane! Spanning from the Carolinas to Texas - and we would be on the "dry side.'

Now we have Dolly knocking on the Mexico/Lower Texas Coast's door. You guessed it. The gurus are trying to spin us into a full fledged panic. If their wishes could move the thing, it would head straight up the Houston Ship Channel. They have tried SO hard to say it will effect us. Every report (and there are a multitude embedded in each news cast) all will contain the words "if it turns more northerly."

I haven't really seen a newscast today yet. I have had other things to do - like a doctor's appointment. I did turn to the weather channel. After all, we are supposed to be in a state of complete horror running around boarding up windows, filling water containers, filling gas tanks in vehicles, etc. Dolly did "wobble" (a FAVORITE word of the wg's) to the north over night.

I will be so thankful when that things does finally make landfall - probably in Mexico, and we won't get even a much needed drop of rain. But the laughs will prevail watching those clowns in the Severe Storm Department of the local stations try their best to bring it here!

Monday, July 21, 2008

A complete nightmare

That is the phrase that best describes last night's "family dinner." I cannot believe the circus that took place under this roof. It was far from pretty.

S is out of town, so K brought the kids early so they could swim. With him gone, she doesn't let them in their pool. That was fine, and all went well.

It was Doodle Bug's first birthday. Monkey Boy had his birthday on the 6th, but he has participated in several succeeding celebrations since July seems to be THE month for birthdays in this family. So, since his Aunt Teenie (C) and Uncle B were bringing his presents, it assumed it was STILL his birthday.

I know trying to reason with a 4 year old is like trying to reason with a post, but geez! He thought all of Doodle Bug's presents were his as well. She never had a chance. I love that boy, but he has been so spoiled it is terrible. He is the true "Prince of the House." He was a true terror.

Doodle Bug decided she could stand on her push/ride toy - when she was able to get to it.
She mounted it and was about to take a header into the tile floor. This is after she was allowed to stick her fingers into the fan while being held. I was finally at the table, and there was no way I could get to her. I let out a scream - I don't know where that came from. It was uncontrollable. K barked at me, and with my funky moods these days, I rushed out in a flurry of tears. Real adult Grandma.

Before most of this other mess, the Beloved, S's daughter from another relationship, called him demanding he leave, get on a plane, and get her. This road has already been traveled. She pulled this once before, and K and S spend $1400 to fight to get her only to find she had lied about what was going on at home.

S called K after Beloved's call. That added to the circus here. Emotions were all on high alert. It was really a nightmare. I don't want another evening like that - ever. I HATE drama.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I did it!

I now have a brand new used recumbent bicycle. I was on it twice yesterday. Although my stamina is terrible, I plan to use it several times a day. I really felt better after I got off it.

My plan is to strengthen my muscles, THEN consult with a bone doc. Perhaps I won't be send to Physical Therapy. I don't want to go!!

I did try an elliptical trainer while I was at the sports place. That would be a really good way to kill myself. I don't have the coordination. Perhaps that might come. Who knows?

Friday, July 18, 2008

End in sight

Yep, the end is in sight for the drama that began with the mastectomy. We set the date for the next to last surgery for September 8. It will be done at the same place - which is good and bad. I didn't get the expected infection, but I was worried. This place wants to emulate a nice hotel. OK, that's great, but I am a little nervous about a hospital that has carpet on the floors of its rooms! I am a freak about carpet is places that should be washed! When the house was put in at the SSB, the carpet in the bathrooms drove me completely NUTS.

Anyway, I will be staying overnight. I have learned my lesson about being the brave soul who demands to go home as soon as possible. It doesn't help me at all. I'm sure I will want that little button for pain relief that night. I just hope the IV doesn't infiltrate this time! I don't like to see my hand twice its normal size.

After this upcoming surgery, the one left is a very brief one that will be outpatient. It will be done in an operating room just for sterility. They will place the nipple on my poor right side. He said it is very easy and quick. I haven't had the nerve to ask just how they make said nipple. It gives my imagination something to do!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Swept away in a whirlwind

I had the final (?) follow-up appointment with the plastic surgeon yesterday. I think I am released from this surgery. I still have some scabs in the area that had the stitches until just recently. I assume they are still there because this is the tissue that was radiated.

He and the nurse are very pleased with the healing. That makes me feel much better. Seriously, I really believe if I had known the real effects of this surgery I'm not sure I would have done it. Almost the first words out of his mouth was when we were going to schedule the second surgery. I told him September, which is fine. As he examined me, he said he wouldn't do it until the scabs were gone anyway.

He planned the procedure which will include excision of tissue (let's call it like it is - a pouch of fat) that has been left since the mastectomy. It is bothersome, and I have wanted it gone. He makes it sound so easy. "Just match dot to dot." Easy for him to say! But he did assure me that this surgery will be much easier. My options were to have the fat liposuctioned or cut out. I am not afraid of scars. Not at 63! So he planned how that would take place. Then he will cut under the breast to remove the expander and slip in the implant. He said the reduction will be a breeze. I will have one(?!?!) drain because he will remove tissue. If lipo was done, there would be no drain - just compression bandages,

So, his scheduler is going to call me today. Here we go again.

My plans for the weekend are to give B his weight bench back - I haven't used it. I have it because he didn't want it when he first moved out. I am also going to give him the treadmill. My knees do not make it a fun thing. But I plan to go out to get a recumbent bike. I have been motivated by Rana over at Eclectic Mind. She has worked out with such dedication that she has amazing results. I just think it will be easier on the knees. I also intend to search for my kick board that I wasn't able to use last year. I'm still assuming I have been released and can hit the pool!

So that's what's up with me!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just pour me into the house

We are back from the big shingdig in that little town in central Texas. They were celebrating their 150th anniversary. That included a parade (the largest one in recent history), and usual Jack Ass Race (not kidding at all - wish I had pictures), and the Arts and Crafts show - which really isn't only Arts and Crafts, but that's another story.

We went to Wide Spot Community Club on Friday. I had two reasons for going, neither were very honorable. I didn't want to cook and clean up on Friday, and I wanted to get Lady Bug on the float. The only problem is that they wanted period dressing. She has hoochie modern. Her dad found a plaid shirt that we turned around, cut off sleeves, and cut up a "dress up" white thing to make an apron. She looked really cute, and most important, she had a good time.

We set up our little show of crafts. Our place was one that was really good. We were under a huge pecan tree, so after about noon, we had great shade. This was the hottest weekend yet in Central Texas. The good thing is that in that area, if you have shade, a breeze and water, it's not really bad.

Our sales were pitiful. We sold $110 worth. I am a bit miffed however because the booth next to us had absolutely NO crafts. Zip, zero, nada. They had blingy crap from probably China, but they were selling hand over fist. It was straw hats, studded belts and plastic purses that were animal prints. To think I left anything that we didn't put our hands onto at home. I really feel like lodging a complaint, but it wouldn't do any good.

The heat was just overwhelming though. Even though we were fairly cool (doesn't take a lot of energy to sell $110 worth), I really felt sorry for those who had no tree. All they had was their cabana shades that we are required to have. Those folks were so hot. I hope their business was good to make up for it. I know of one booth who sold nothing. The economy just isn't conducive to trinket sales right now.

Very little was accomplished at SSB. I would check the outside thermometer, and it was usually 104+ in the sun. It was a fun trip however. The whole family was together. C was a little green at times, but she did well. Hopefully that goes away in about 4 weeks when she can discontinue the progesterone.

I am between medical things today myself, and the neighborhood free WiFi is getting wonky, so I'll post while I still can!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Especially after joining the ranks of "elders" I feel elders should be respected. I really do. But, you know, that respect should be somewhat earned. I really feel you cannot spend your life acting like a b****, and then fully expect people to fall all over themselves for you.

I just found out my mother-in-law finally remembered my son's birthday. In the last few years, she had not, and that is something that must be stated here. It is one of the many snubs she has given our family. For THIS birthday card, she included a letter. In that letter, she put him on a huge quilt trip. She wrote how the Capitol City group are the only ones who come to see her.

B never was one to go to see her. We would go to see her about twice a year. In the past, SHE has come to Swampland less than ten times, and we are talking about thirty-seven years here. I don't understand just why she thinks we should pay homage to her now. Yes, you are a widow now, but you live in an independent living place now - surrounded by people who you apparently choose to NOT want to get to know.

I really wish she would have done as usual and just forgotten his birthday. I hate to see my son upset by this woman.

I can hardly wait to see what my birthday card has to say (IF there is one this year - I, too have been forgotten in the past). When the kids were very young, she wanted to keep them for a week. If I didn't grovel at her feet to her expectations, I was verbally attacked. The attacks were vicious. They happened twice.

We don't stop to see her often. We don't go to Alamo City. We have no reason. It is out of the way to the SSB, and we have Simone with us. She can't wait in the truck in this heat. MIL always had dogs. She ought to know about that! B never goes that way at all. I guess he is supposed to make a special trip. At $4 + a gallon, a 200 mile trip for no good reason is a bit much to expect. Most of his weekends are spent with the band at a gig. I don't know when she expects him to go.

Perhaps she should remember the old addage with a modern twist: you get as you gave. She gave little.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

For two days?

We are back from the SSB. I really got a lot of things done - like seven cuff bracelets and nine pairs of ribbon decorated flip flops. I was amazed how quickly they got done there as opposed to here. Perhaps it may be the lack of a fast internet connection??

Anyway, I could have gotten more done, but I wasn't going to load the sewing machine, fabrics, threads, and so on. It was just going to be too much. I might have thrown in more shoes, but I was already afraid I would hear more mutterings from Mr. Passive-Aggressive himself.

I have a load of things to get done today and tomorrow. Darling Daughter hardly called at all this past weekend, and not at all last night. I thought Lady Bug was taken care of. Nope. She called me at 9:05 this morning. I thought it was about Doodle Bug's ENT follow up. Partly. She had no place for LB. S is out of town until Thursday. She is expecting me to watch her until and including part of Thursday. I might as well hang up getting the water bottle holders done. LB will want to do "crafts" along with me. That translates to "Grandma - help me with this." "Grandma, I'm done with this." and so on.

I wanted to get my room straightened out. If we are not upstairs, she wants to plop on my bed to watch the stupid "teen programs" on the Ears Network. I really am in a bit of a snit because I was looking at two days of hard work - on my own schedule. It won't happen now.

I KNOW I should say something to K. It wouldn't help anything. So I'll just moan and groan here, and let you see what a wimp I am. It really is the easier road,

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Like a chicken . . .

Today marks the first day of complete chaos that will mark the next week for me. I have to get the first load of "stuff" to haul to the SSB for the Sesquicentennial Celebration at the annual festivities at Town Without A Stoplight. We will be moving the hardware needed for the display of the crafty things at the show. Right now that includes five tables and the sunshade. I think I will take the bins of items as well because they are really so bulky.

The tables are pretty straight forward with the exception of two. They are at darling daughter's house where they have been since before Christmas. No problem with the exception they are now gone to visit the aunt, uncle, cousin, and second cousins from Capitol City. They won't be back until late this evening. Right now, G is fine with whatever, but I know him too well. He was fine with the brunch last week until the day of the brunch when his passive-aggressive streak poked through. The same thing will happen tomorrow, and if not tomorrow certainly NEXT Thursday when we leave for the real thing.

The thought of sitting up there without nothing to work on is driving me mad. My mind was still working at 100 miles an hour at midnight trying to come up with a plan. I think I finally got it. There is room in the totes for the flip-flops. The ribbons won't take much room either, so I'll sneak them into the totes and all will be well.

I thought of taking my big sewing/embroidery machine in its fancy new trolley. But that thing weighs 1000 pounds at least (you KNOW I'm not one to embellish stories!!), and I don't think it will easily fit in the back seat of the troop carrier with Simone. Plus you have to lift it a mile to reach the seat. So sewing it out. The little crappy machine that I have considered taking and leaving up there doesn't sew well enough to make items that I am going to sell.

So I will venture upstairs soon to gather the items that will be loaded to take with us. You'll probably hear G's swearing tomorrow when the passive-agressiveness comes barreling to the surface!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Well . . . .

Yesterday, I loaded the Lady Bug into the "regular" truck (as opposed to the "troop carrier truck) of which I am now the daily driver - thanks gasoline prices. We headed downtown to the Medical Center. I had an appointment with the plastic surgeon.

I didn't estimate the time the trip would take properly, but in Swampland, a 15 minute trip could, and has expanded to over an hour. You just never know. So I rushed her out of the house at 1:00 for a 2:00 appointment. All the while, I was sure we would be late.

We pulled into the parking garage - valet parking - at 1:30. That was quite a treat for me. It wasn't that much more expensive than regular parking that G always chooses, and there we were - right at the door. My knees were so thankful.

We headed to the elevators and were seated in the waiting room by 1:35. The problem was my appointment was at 2! Well . . Then as the two o'clock hour approached, I gleaned the truth that the doctor was NOT there. I really believe he was probably caught up in surgery. LB was a trouper, but still, how long can a seven year old be expected to sit quietly and wait.

We were finally called back at 2:30 - only to wait more. It was easier in the exam room. There is a huge mirror (for some reason I really believe it is a two way). LB has never met a mirror she didn't like. So she spend the first 15 minutes mugging. After that she got her toy lap top out with its myriad of games on it. She found a couple of trivia games, and we passed the time with her quizzing me. It was fun.

The doctor finally came in. He plucked off a couple of scabs that I was afraid to touch. He said they would come off with a little soap and water. I told him I don't mess with scabs! He was to remove the stitches that were still in since they were in the radiated tissue. Healing still wasn't complete, but he felt the tissue would heal anyway.

He asked about the size of the reconstruction. Since I have had really large boobs all my life, I had looked forward to small, perkier ones. But I think this one is a little small. What I have is an expander, so he was going to add more volume. The problem was he couldn't find the port. That is the story of my life! Put in a port and make it hard to find. It was the same with the chemo port.

We discussed the next surgery. He agreed that September will do. He will put in an implant at that time that will have 100 mls more. I asked about the "pouch" on my side that has been there since the mastectomy. No problem! We'll just have this scar meet that scar! Get rid of that excess tissue. Piece of cake.

As the nurse was removing the stitches, I asked if I would have my buddies (drains) back. Yes. Oh crud!! And I got to thinking about that little "snip" of excess tissue. I would be very sore again. Sleeping will again be difficult. Even the side with the reduction will probably have a drain. Yeah! bilateral drains. What joy.

Honestly were I not so lop-sided (at least DD on the left and B on the right), I don't think I would go on. But I started this mess. I guess I will have the surgery. Perhaps October or November, or the 12th of never???

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Very uneasy

About a year ago, I was reading a magazine at the oncologist's office. It offered what seemed to be factual, hopeful information. It was free to subscribe, so I did. Each ensuing issue has brought new worries to me.

This past issue made it seem that breast cancer is going to invade the bones - at some point. It followed three women. One had developed bone cancer after about 5 years and another it was as long as 22 years. When the breast cancer invaded their bones, they were moved to Stage 4 cancers

The article tried to sound upbeat. Even though bone cancer is not curable, it is manageable. Whoopie doo! You are suddenly a Stage 4.

I have been worrying anyway. My fatigue is such that I can hardly function. I keep hoping it is due to a lack of exercise. I am going to invest in a recumbent stationary bike. I think it will be easier on my knees than a treadmill. My daughter loves the elliptical and swears it is easy on the knees, but you still have to stand to use it.

I guess in my skewed brain, I really thought I would live forever. I am suddenly very aware of my mortality. There are precious few years left out there - even without the cancer. I just think of all the things I'm going to miss. That stinks! (Very selfish isn't it? - but I guess that's me)