A new year deserves

a new look!  I am 57 today.  On the downside I’m starting to look my age (for years I didn’t so there IS that).  The upside – I feel better physically than I have in years!  Plus?  No gray hair!  Unless you count a few stragglers in my eyebrows.  I don’t count those.

As I said in the previous post, I’m losing weight; I’m moving more and it all adds up to feeling good.  Mostly.

It was an excellent birthday weekend though.  I knew our law office was one of those that would not be closed for my birthday, even though the banks, post office and courts are all shut down.  Well, not exactly for my birthday; it’s also Veteran’s Day folks.  So go find a Veteran and give them a big THANK YOU!  Because I knew they would expect me to actually work on my birthday I asked for the day off – woo hoo!  Three day weekend!

Birthday weekend began Friday night after work.  We went to dinner at Old Country Buffet — the one near my daughter’s house has the most excellent salad bar!!  That’s where I head as soon as we have a table.  My first plate is usually heaped with greens, fresh veggies, sometimes cottage cheese and peaches-sometimes not.  I love beets and carrot-raisin salad and sunflower seeds and garbanzo beans and, and, and!  So many choices!  My one indulgence when we go there is a soft ice cream cone from the half chocolate-half vanilla spigot.  As a teen, Hubs worked at Carvel and he makes the most perfect swirly cones!  Finished up Friday by staying up late and then slept in on Saturday.  Well, if you consider 6:30-ish sleeping in.

Hey, I TRIED to go back to sleep, I really did!  Didn’t work.  So I got up close to 7 and got to work around the house.  I didn’t plan on doing too much but I found myself scouring the Internet for healthy bread recipes and making messy shopping lists.  Using the recipe I tried last Saturday with a couple of substitutions I started a loaf of bread in the bread machine.  Then I did some cleaning.  In the midst of all this the dogs needed to be walked and fed, and the gifts for grandson’s 6th birthday party later Saturday had to be wrapped.  Plus I was texting like a madwoman with my youngest daughter and my buddy from across the water on the peninsula.

Daughter K and friend P were both coming to the birthday party for the 6 year old.  We had been given early warning that the dozen or so 5, 6 and 7-year olds wold be arriving around 3:30 so we planned to show up at 1.  Daughter A was trying madly to finish the handmade Pin-the-tail on the Dinosaur game so K and I plopped our fannies down on the floor to help color in tails and the dino himself.  Eventually K had to give up because grandson N and his friend Charlie were butting in trying to “help” her.  She finally passed the baton so to speak and took the munchkins up to N’s room to play with Legos and keep them out of the way.  Mom and SIL had arrived shortly after us (P was running late, she had the longest drive) and SIL B helped out with the dino tails.  It was actually a pleasant time.

There was a lot more action in the next hour or so and I’ll try to post on that later.  We escaped just as the last of the young party guests arrived … not a moment too soon!  It got loud in a hurry!  After stopping at our house to walk the dogs and grab some  flip flops, we headed to K’s and my favorite nail place.  Earlier, I’d made an appointment for three pedicures.  My favorite boss had been extremely generous for my birthday and I treated daughter and friend to pedicures.  It was P’s very first one!  When my daughter took me for my very first one for my birthday last year it changed my life!  So of course I had to pay that forward.  P loved it!  Happy Birthday to me!  After, we had dinner together; exchanged hugs all around and P headed for home.  K came home with us for awhile and her friend picked her up there.

The only dark spot on the whole day was the effed up migraine that hit me shortly before K left.  Once she’d gone it escalated quickly until I was nauseous and dizzy.  Hubs was a little munchy and asked whether I wanted to go to Denny’s (by this time everything else was closed and it is our favorite nearby place ) for dessert.  I was going to try but it just wasn’t happening.  I sent him off on his own, took meds and buried myself in bed.  It was pretty late by this time so I fell asleep pretty easily.  Unfortunately I woke several times during the night and each time the headache was still pounding away.  I was beginning to think the rest of my long weekend would be ruined.  But…when I woke up in the “real” morning, it was mostly gone!  Yay!

Sunday we headed up to see Mom mainly because Hubs wanted an excuse to travel north to meet up with a couple of guys on Craigslist who had some car parts that would work for our Suburban.  He wouldn’t use the fuel to drive that far just for the parts so we arranged to visit Mom and go to dinner with her.  We had seen her at the party the day before but with a bunch of other people around you don’t really get to “visit”.  So we “visited” and I ordered sirloin at dinner!  Yum!  In fact, I forgot my leftovers are in the fridge until this very minute!  Hold on y’all…

Mmmm.

Okay, back now.  That hit the spot!

Surprisingly, BIL R left me some of the Jello shots he’d made for his annual poker night with the boys.  Before we’d gone to dinner I tried the cherry chocolate — wow!  Cherry Jello, a real cherry in the middle and a layer of chocolate melted on top!  All tied together with vodka.  Mmm mmm good!  After dinner I tried the blueberry cream, not expecting to like it.  I’ve never been a blueberry fan; they don’t taste like anything to me.  Blueberry aficionados tell me it’s because I’ve never tried them fresh from the vine or the bog or wherever it is they grow.  Maybe so.  Anyway, the blueberry cream Jello shot didn’t taste like anything I could identify but it did taste good!  The other four he left me I brought home.  I didn’t want Hubs to have to carry me out to the truck.

I half way expected to wake with another headache after the alcohol; I’m never really sure what triggers them.  But I woke feeling okay, tired…but okay!  Again – Happy Birthday to me!

So you’re up to date, mostly.  I’m going to get a shopping list together, after finding a new recipe for ground turkey, and later today I’ll drag Hubs out to shop with me.  He likes that cause he gets to wander through electronics and hardware and maybe even dip me in the cereal aisle!

I hope y’all had an excellent weekend!  And if not, I hope hearing about mine gave you a smile.

xoxo

 

And the hits just keep on comin’

This is the email I received today from daughter A:

“So…..The first 2 weeks of October is big for D & I. Today is our anniversary, and next week is his birthday. And my Mom’s birthday is this Saturday. So, I was thinking of combining them all next Saturday after N’s soccer game. Either do something here or go somewhere. You guys in? Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?”

I have a suggestion for her.  Too bad I can’t actually share it.

Here’s the response that tried to happen when I read this:

“A, you know I love you right?  I mean, I really love you.  Like I love all my other daughters, I love you.  But seriously?  What makes you think that I (not to mention your father) would want to celebrate your mom’s birthday?  Remember her?  The woman who packed up and left him in the middle of the night while he was at work?  Celebrate her birthday?  Not in this lifetime!”

Okay, so that wasn’t exactly what went through my head.  It was much worse!  This is probably more along the lines of what would be appropriate:

“A, you know I love you right?  I really love you.  But I just have to say this.  I have no desire to celebrate your mother’s birthday.  I know she’s your mother and you love her; I have no problem with that.  But it hurts your dad to have to spend time with her after the way she treated him, and that hurts me.”

But I won’t send that either.  I’ll just grin and bear it and try to at least be civil.

S I G H.

Blast From the Past

A few weeks back my blogging pal CJ (Hi CJ!) posted about her youngest daughter’s birth, describing the trials and tribulations of her pregnancy.  Not for the faint of heart but well worth reading.  Ultimately there was a happy ending!

CJ’s post reminded me of my youngest daughter’s arrival on the planet and inspired me to share.  So blame CJ if you don’t like this post.  Kidding!  I take full responsibility (she says with her fingers crossed behind her back).

A long time ago (oh alright, 1984 wasn’t all that long ago), in a galaxy far, far away…um…in…uh…California…I discovered I was with child.  Since this was my third pregnancy this shouldn’t have been a big deal, right?  Ha!  Stay tuned.

By 1983, my first husband and I had three daughters:  his daughter from his first marriage and the two we’d had together.  Because we struggled financially even with both of us working, we decided it would be wise to stop at three.  So in early December of that year I had a laparoscopic procedure known as a tubal ligation.  Briefly, the surgeon seals the fallopian tubes to keep the eggs from being fertilized.  If you want more information, you’ll find a LOT more at the link. 

The procedure itself wasn’t a big deal except for the gas and the general anesthesia.  (If you were here when I was preparing for my knee surgery you know GA and I don’t get along!)  As for the gas – I do not recommend it.  Since they go in via tiny incisions they have to pump in gas to elevate the organs which hide the tubes.  Unfortunately, the gas doesn’t dissipate quickly.  It lingers.  Painfully

There were multiple pre-surgery meetings with the doctor to discuss what we were doing.  They wanted me to be absolutely certain I had made the right decision.  One of the questions I was asked was something along the lines of, “What would you do if you lost one of your children?”  I wanted to channel Homer Simpson:  “Doh!”  So Homer wasn’t around in 1983.  What’s your point?  I’m sure I was going to want to run right out and get pregnant to replace that child!  Puhleeze.  But I guess they had to be extremely careful in covering their hindquarters.  The surgery is considered permanent after all; or it was in 1983 anyway.  Googling “reversing a tubal ligation” these days results in 30,000-ish hits! 

So…back to the surgery.  When I checked in and they had called me back, they did a pregnancy test.  General anesthesia can damage a baby or abort the pregnancy.  With a negative result in hand, we proceeded.  Like I said earlier, the surgery itself was a piece of cake; heck I slept through the whole thing (see what I did there ;)).  GA kicked my ass in recovery though.  I was so sick I laid there for hours unable to move without getting the dry heaves.  The recovery room filled and emptied several times before I was able to get up and go home.

After recovering for a few days, I was back to work and life went on.  I ended up really sick in January; some kind of bug that required antibiotics and all kinds of cold medicine.  Time passed.  The only real problem was that it seemed like everywhere I looked there were pregnant women.  And I lost my mind.  Don’t want to forget that part.

One of the things the doctor gave me to read while I was preparing for the surgery mentioned that a percentage of women regretted their decision afterward.  There were documented cases of unhappy women who believed they were pregnant, even to the point they gained weight and claimed to feel baby movement.

When I began to feel the butterfly tickles I knew I was going crazy.  And hell, I’m the first one to stick my head in the sand so I ignored it.  But it didn’t stop.  I hadn’t thought I regretted my decision; it had been so freeing to take control that way.  So why was my imagination going wild?

Then it occurred to me that my Aunt Flo had not visited recently.  Mentally, I counted back trying to remember when I’d last had a visit.  And I pulled out the calendar because that just couldn’t be right!  When Auntie didn’t visit in December, I attributed it to the trauma of the surgery and recovery, not unusual.  In January I was so ill I just assumed the illness and medication were messing with my cycle.  Ditto for February, you know, the lingering after effects of the illness and medication – any excuse to obscure the obvious.  By March I was so enjoying not having Auntie visit, I just plain forgot.  No really!  What woman actually enjoys that time of the month?  I didn’t miss it!

With my brain completely scrambled, I finally told my husband what was going on and I had him try to feel what I was feeling.  With his hand pressed to my belly, he looked up at me and grinned as the butterfly tickled again.  I was so relieved!  I wasn’t going nuts!  To be certain, I used a home pregnancy test with positive results. 

We presumed the tubal ligation had been unsuccessful.  How else could I be pregnant?  But at our first OB appointment when we tried to figure out how far along I was, it seemed that based on the baby’s size I was somewhere between five and six months.  Counting back that put conception right around the time of the surgery.  But they’d done a pregnancy test then!  Turns out, in the very early stages of a pregnancy, false negatives are common.  Go figure.  (I’d heard that but who in their right mind thinks they’re going to be a statistic?)

So there I am, almost six months pregnant having had no prenatal care to that point.  Not to mention that I’d been on heavy meds in the first trimester.  The doctor didn’t say it outright but it was implied that the baby could have problems.  That is, if I didn’t miscarry down the line.  At first I was terrified and felt so guilty.  I should have known!  How can a mother not know she’s pregnant? 

Eventually, knowing the fear and worry wouldn’t change whatever was going to happen, I made peace with myself, and I trusted God to care for my unborn child.  Twenty-nine years ago today I delivered my beautiful daughter K, who had all her toes and fingers, and was as healthy as could be.  Hallelujah! 

Happy Birthday my lovely!  You totally rock!

 

My daughter…

… is a better person than I am.  And the migraine I suffered with yesterday was probably my payback.  Sigh.

Sunday was the family birthday party for our youngest granddaughter who turns 1 tomorrow.  Of course The Ex would be there; I knew that.  It wasn’t that difficult to deal.  I just kept my distance from her and visited with other guests.

The woman is in bad shape so there’s a voice in my head telling me to cut her some slack.  The Ex has some sort of brain seizure condition and has had for at least five years.  As far as I know the doctors weren’t able to find a reason.  When we first heard about this there was some chatter about her having fallen from a horse and hitting her head.  That seems logical right?  But I don’t know whether the doctors were able to confirm it as the cause.  We hear tidbits now and then but we’ve never been interested enough to ask for more information.

On the other hand, another voice in my head tells me to bitch slap her.  Especially after what I saw Sunday.  😦

The birthday girl was sitting in Mommy’s lap, “opening gifts” with Mommy’s and Big Brother’s help.  One of the guests, who is a regular in the kids’ new home, brought his daughter A.  She looks about eight or maybe nine years old and she and Big Brother play together whenever she visits.  At first, A was sitting on the floor beside my daughter K who was taking photos as the baby’s gifts were opened and held up.  The Ex was seated on the steps up to the dining area collecting the used wrapping paper, etc.

Over a few minutes, A made her way in front of K and over beside where Big Brother was helping unwrap gifts.  This was nearer to where The Ex was sitting.  I’m not sure what exactly happened next to trigger The Ex’s response.  Maybe A and Big Brother were disagreeing over how to rip tissue paper out of a gift bag – as kids will.  Maybe A was just too close to the action.  Let me stress, I have no idea.  But The Ex’s response was OVER. THE. TOP.

She told A to go sit on the other steps (the ones at the other end of the living room, leading to the foyer and guest bathroom).  The girl’s face dropped.  But she got up.  I think she misunderstood which stairs because she went up the two steps to the foyer, crossed it and sat on the bottom of the stairway to the second floor.  I felt so awful for her.  She had to feel hurt and embarassed.  Not to mention now she was so far away she couldn’t see anything.

Later, when the cake was being served Birthday Girl’s mom looked around for her and asked if anyone knew where A was.  Her husband said that her dad was with her in the den having a “parenting moment.”  BG’s mom jumped to the conclusion that A was in trouble.  I knew better.  And when A did come out to the table to have cake I could see I was right.  It was obvious she’d been crying.  No, not crying.  Weeping!  Sobbing her heart out.  I wanted to take a hunk of birthday cake and smash it into The Ex’s face!

When we were making our exit later I didn’t acknowledge The Ex (I usually do if only to be polite).  But when I poked my head back in to check on our daughter K’s progress to the door, she was standing with The Ex and speaking with her – like a real person!  You know, smiling and nodding like she was interested in what she had to say, not just good manners.

So…my daughter is a better person than I am.  But then, don’t we hope to raise our kids to be better than ourselves?  I think this counts as a win!  Right?

Right?

Sigh

My luck couldn’t hold damn it.  I had two or three lovely weekends just lazing about, resting the injured leg, and I was so looking forward to another.  But it is not to be.  Sister-In-law has initiated a family gathering at the married daughter’s house tomorrow.  That in itself isn’t a big deal – hell, it’s only one afternoon out of my life and a fraction of the weekend.  The downside is that it’s only the beginning.  😦

Tomorrow we’ll get together for lunch or whatever for a few hours.  Then next weekend we get back together to celebrate the grandbaby’s 1st birthday.  Both times we’ll have to share air with The Ex.  Not to mention the snotty BIL and demeaning son-in-law.  And in two weeks the SIL from North Carolina will be here.  Oh joy!

We’re planning to take the RV up when M is here.  While that will be more convenient, it removes the excuse I’ve always loved – the dogs have been inside alone for hours and we should probably go now!  The RV park is less than 10 minutes from SIL’s house.  Damn it.  There will be no escape.

Must go shopping.  Must buy beer.  And whiskey.  Lots of beer.  Lots of whiskey.  Wish me luck.  If I don’t kill someone it will be a miracle.

Has it been 15 years already?

Fifteen years ago today we were married in an outdoor ceremony on top of a mountain.  It was breathtaking and scary at the same time.  It was marriage two for both of us and neither of us had planned to get married again.  Strange how things happen.

I think we’ve all heard the statistics: Half of all marriages end in divorce or something like that. I choose to ignore statistics. For one thing, I’m on marriage two. If statistics hold, I’m good. Half of my marriages already ended in divorce. Ba Dum DUMP! Oh come on, that was funny! 😀

Awhile back I wrote the verses below, not specifically for Hubs and I, but as a celebration of all the couples who keep the love alive.

Anniversary (2002)

“Experience,” he whispers, nuzzling my neck,
“makes the heart grow fonder.”
“Hmm,” I mumble. “I think that’s ‘absence.'”
“Nah,” he replies. “Trust me on this.”

Wrapped around each other like ribbon on a birthday gift,
we linger, while outside the sun makes its cautious appearance
through dirty gray clouds.

“Experience,” I begin, twirling the shower taps, “is blind.”
“Ah, I think you mean ‘love is blind,'” he replies,
smiling at me in the mirror over the sink,
where age spots and wrinkles are highlighted in
glaring fluorescence.

“Trust me on this,” I use his words.
Giving his love handles a squeeze, I step under
the steamy torrent with a grin.

Fifty years together equals experience.
Experience in both sad and happy times;
in rich and poor periods;
in days peaceful and hectic.
Together we share the experience of a lifetime.

For better or for worse

I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband. I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband.  I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband. I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I love my husband.  I LOVE my husband!  No, really and truly, I love my husband.

Sometimes I just need to remind myself.