Sunday, November 12, 2017

Making lists

I have something I use whenever I am on overwhelm...
Behold The List:

Sometimes I will come home after a long day at work and I can't turn my brain off, thinking of all the stuff I need to do the next day.  Sometimes it's stuff I need to get done immediately, sometimes by the end of the week.  Some things are very small, others more important, but ALL of it gets written down.  I used to number the list in order of importance but I don't do that so much anymore - the main thing is to just pick one of the items and get started!  Yesterday this was my list.  It had everything from mop the kitchen to finish the ironing to work on the bank statement and pick up a prescription.  And it all got done!  I felt a strong sense of accomplishment mid-afternoon when I could finally prop my feet up to read a bit.  I was very tired, but it was a good kind of tired, knowing that the week was going to be a lot smoother!  Today I only have a couple of items left to do, and it's entirely possible to get them done early so that there will be more foot propping happening...
Here's to a Happy Sunday!

Sunday, October 22, 2017


I was toodling along IH35 at highway speed when it started.  That feeling came over me, like an aura, then all at once everything jerked to one side.

I felt a little panicky, not gonna lie.  I knew exactly what was happening.  I griped the steering wheel and stiffened up, gritting my teeth and repeating over and over out loud  "No.  Not right now."

I started talking to myself like I was an observer of myself..."Put your hazard lights on.  Slow your speed.  Get over to the right as soon as you can, very carefully.  Pull into the first driveway to the right.".  I missed a couple of driveways, but once I felt like I was going slow enough, I found one and pulled into a shady spot.

Then I called work and told them I would be late...didn't know how late, but I was very close by and would call when I got there.  What else could I do?  I sat there at least an hour.  Pretty much trapped in the car.  I opened the sunroof for air and leaned back in the seat.  Trying to breathe deep and not cry.  Hoping no one would come along and tell me to get out of the parking lot.

And gradually the world stopped spinning, and I made my way in to the hospital about 5 minutes away.  A little foggy headed still.  But alive.  And with resolve to do those damn habituation and head and eye exercises DAILY.  Not to mention see and ENT and see what is going on.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunbeams through the weeds...

Last week was not good.  In so many ways.  And I guess I could talk about my troubles, but I guess I ought to also mention the blessings.  Just to keep things in perspective, I guess.

*Dylan announced to us last weekend that he is moving in with his girlfriend.  That he's been dating for a couple months.  So now he will be legally bound by a lease to stay in the apartment for a year, no matter what happens in the relationship.  Plus, his car insurance went up and he now has rent and utilities to pay.  So he's talking about getting a second job, which I have been harping on him for months to do.  Pro:  Many adult life lessons will be learned.  I hope he likes Advil.
*A friend told me she was putting her house on the market and moving out of state.  My only friend at work, really.  And while we don't actually work together anymore, we lean on each other for venting about work issues. And we help each other celebrate holidays and birthdays.  It's been great having that person in my life for 10 years...every time this happens to me, I gradually lose touch with the friend.  Seems inevitable that time and distance will push us further apart.  Pro:  she and her family are making some major changes to their lives that may reap huge benefits for them in the future.  Don't we all want the best for our friends?  My plans do not include making this any more stressful for her than it already is.
*My hearing seems to be deteriorating.  The right ear barely shows up for work anymore.  The tinnitus is  near constant, and I have been having vertigo now and again that scares me to death and makes me nauseous -  and sluggish for the rest of the day it occurs.  Most inconvenient and possible fatal if I happen to be going down the interstate...  Pro:  I am taking steps to find out what is going on with my inner ear, and my audiologist adjusted my hearing aid on the right.
*Hubby is stressing his job.  Again.  Seems like for the last 5 years he's been in a life or death struggle with his job.  Maybe he's just telling me all of the negatives, and not thinking to share the positives, but it sounds like work is not invigorating him and he talks a lot about what we will do for Plan B.  I have no plan B.  I may end up disabled over the damn vertigo thing, not to mention deaf.  And my job is no happier than his.  In fact, it's been craptastic for over a year now.  At the moment it seems like we are just coping with getting through the now to get to the then, and who knows what the future will hold?  No one.  Pro: We both have jobs and are being proactive about maintaining good health and making sound financial decisions.  What else can we do?
*Spencer has boomeranged back - huge shock.  He was in a less than desireable situation so I am happy to provide a roof over his head.  For now.  We barely see him because he's always at work.   But his choices with money and vaping and beer send me over the edge.  At some point I want Spencer to be raised.  Sooner rather than later.  Pro:  He's making baby steps.  I guess all I can ask for is some forward movement. And he does seem to have a strong work ethic.
That's all I will dwell on for right now. Soon I will post about the happy things only.  I am trying my best to focus on the pros but that doesn't mean I want to bury my head in the sand about the cons...

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

It's always something

 I'm not a country girl, and I don't know much about surviving out there, but I will have to learn...

We spent the weekend at Highlands, working on the pumphouse shower, mowing, and tromping around collecting prickly pear fruit.  In the middle of the night Sunday I woke up with crazy itching on my feet!  The next day, when I got out of the car at the grocery store, the itching was driving me nuts.  I looked down and saw a war zone of bug bites.  Either chiggers or fire ants - both rampant out there.  Along with all manner of perils I don't yet know about...

Lord, how they itch and burn.  Scratching them feels good for about 10 seconds, then the pain intensifies!  I thought I sprayed my self pretty well with Cutter, and I assumed since my feet were mostly enclosed, they were safe.  But when I switched to flip flops, I didn't spray again.  My bad. 
Every now and then I think I'm not cut out for country life.  I like civilization, indoor plumbing, and all the conveniences.  I don't consider things like critters and bugs.  So when stuff like this happens, it seems like just another something negative to adjust to.
It'll be fine, I know.  But for now it's a painful learning curve.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Single, with dog

The worry about your kids doesn't stop when they get grown.  It just changes shape a bit.

That was a revelation to me.  I figured that once they were all settled in to their adult lives, all would be well.  After all, it's fair to say that Mark and I struggled mightily to raise four kids, having no extended family to guide us.  Adolescence strained the limits of our parenting knowledge.  So we figured once we got them to the edge of the nest, they would fly.  And little did I realize that leaving the nest is not all that simple a transition.

  I myself could not WAIT to get the hell out on my own.  My home was always filthy dirty, with broken things all around, very little money, and constant worry on my mother's part.  I had a sister who ran away from home and a brother who was constantly into trouble.  I worked hard in school, had a plan for college, and worked part-time, and the upheaval at home made me eager to leave as soon as I could.  I knew my mother was proud of me and loved me, but I was ready to have my own space that was clean, and calm, and mine.  I was OK with being alone for the most part - but I wasn't really alone because I did have Mark.  

Chloe has Teddy.  And while he is a source of love and comfort to her, he is after all, a dog.  He can't hold conversations or her hand after a long day.  He can't help pay the bills.  Come pick her up when her car dies.  Make dinner a couple nights a week.  Or share the burden of laundry and apartment cleaning.  And Chloe is now 26, so I worry that she is settling rather permanently into this single, alone life.  That's not what I envisioned for her. I know it's not my life to live, but I worry just the same.

At the end of the day, I just want to know that she is happy and doing what she wants to do.  But I also want her future to be full of more than just Teddy.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Rain games

 Last Sunday it rained all day in south and central Texas.  (And now there is a catastrophic situation in Houston, with The Girl and Teddy smack dab in the middle of it.)

But Hubby had planned to clear out the garage for "big trash day" on Sunday anyway, so he just opened up the garage door and got to it.  A lot of crap got put out at the curb, including a giant roll of carpet he had been hanging onto for TWELVE years.  I vetoed his idea of putting carpet in the barn - that's a big NO.  Out to the curb it went.

The original plan was to putter around the house in the morning, then go to a wine pick up party in Wimberley.  But due to all of the flooding the pick up party was cancelled and our 5 bottles are in limbo for now.  But that was hardly a concern for us.  We were both a little stir crazy though I continued to putter, and he stayed glued to the TV news, which does nothing to allay your fears over wtf is going on in Houston.  To kill the time, forget the TV a little bit, and try to relax, we made our own pick up party with snacks and a card game or two.

I'm a firm believer in not drinking on an empty stomach, even if I'm not the driver. Well, I'm never the driver when I have had more than one glass of wine...but we managed to kill three bottles of wine over the course of the afternoon and evening.  It was a temporary reprieve for us.

The weather radio was still alarming in our ears, Hubby was still obsessively-compulsively checking his phone, we weren't able to get our messages to The Girl about the storm, and the rain just seemed to go on and on...Monday I felt like an emotional zombie at work.
Fast forward the week and our nerves are pretty worn.  It's hard to go calmly about your daily business when there is so much destruction and uncertainty happening.  If my only daughter weren't there in the midst of it...but she is.  So it's about all I can think of.  
Our plans included getting her to Austin as soon as we can because who knows how long it will take life to get back to any kind of normal in Houston?  And yet getting her here represents its own set of challenges.  So even though its over, it isn't over.  But thank God, the rain is...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Come for lunch

Come over for lunch, I always tell him.  

I have plenty of food, and your brothers and I would love to see you.  And it's about the only time I can drag information out of you to see how you are doing.

I see what you are doing there - STOP IT.

Maybe tell me about your day.  How is it going with work?  What have you decided about moving to Leander? How are your finances lately?  Are you getting enough sleep?  I hate that vape thing!
I guess I'm not done "momming" this one.  I worry about how he is navigating adulthood but I know I just need to LET GO ALREADY.

Spencer is 27 going on 14 - he's pretty silly at the lunch table.  Especially if one of the other boys are sitting there.  He gives them the wisdom of his wise-cracking opinionated self.  I call him Caveman because of his beard, and especially when I think he needs a haircut (which I give him still because its free and I can...)

He's being good-natured about me taking his pic over and over, because I think he misses us a tiny bit and likes to come over to eat.  Someday he will find someone to share his free time with and although I will miss seeing him more often, my heart will be glad for him.  I think a lot of what we tried to impart to him over the years will make its way to the surface - its in there.  In particular I love that he has a strong work ethic and is really into what he does for a living as a mechanic.
So come over all you want for lunch, Spencer.