Seems Like Old Times

I don’t always miss blogging, but I do more lately than I have in the past few years. The past few weeks have found me at the computer for at least an entire day of the weekend (my weekends are 3 days again, but my new job is only 32 hours a week, so I get the 3 days off, but it’s paid for with lower income – especially since the new job pays about half per hour than the old one- ) The weather lately has been bad enough, at least one day out of the 4 I work, that I miss work & so make it up from home, some on the day I miss & some more on the weekend. 3 or 4 hours at a time isn’t so bad & once I’ve been sitting here that long, Pinterest or Facebook sucks out most of the rest of the day from me without my even really noticing or minding (much)
The new job is cool, medical billing & office management for a very small doctor’s office, the doctor, one physician’s assistant, a medical assistant, a receptionist, myself all work 32 hours per week & we have one part time billing specialist who comes in most weeks one or two days, but she lives down a mountain from the office so sometimes even rain will keep her home. She’s got 3 kids, all born at nearly the same intervals as my kids were but where my youngest is now 14, her oldest is 14, so she’s got to worry about day care & school schedules and so doesn’t come in or works from home quite a bit just for the convenience. I do like the new job a lot more than the old one (except for the paychecks- although they have their perks in that we get paid weekly instead of every other week at the doctor’s office- I do love money coming in every week- even if it’s small amounts!)
What is going on with me isn’t really what I had planned to blog about, it was more about how long it can take me to “gear up” to a blog post now, it used to be I wrote at least 2 or 3 paragraphs every single night before going to sleep. Nearly daily, if not daily, I’d write & save it to continue the next night. Now I’ve got drafts sitting which are 3-4 months old, I mean to finish them, but they give me more trouble, it’s like pulling teeth to get the right words out, I think it may be more that I’m choosing the words a little more carefully than before, and at least one blog post, an in memoriam for a friend who died last summer is just hard to write, I’d known him 20+ years, through many different situations and stages in both of our lives and it’s slow going to write about that. I still haven’t even decided if that’s going to be a public or a private post, because I do private stuff too, and it’s just as difficult to write those too. Even though it seems to me it should be easier, because I don’t intend anyone to ever read the private ones, unless I die of course, then heaven knows what will happen to them, or who may read them but it won’t be my problem anymore!
So I’m still thinking about writing, I’m feeling a bit more interested in it lately, I keep telling myself after over a year on this 32 hour a week schedule, I ought to be doing more than facebooking & embroidering with all this spare time I’ve got now!

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Is there anybody…..out there?

Wow! It has been quite awhile since I’ve been here, all the pingbacks to the year in review meme from 2007 sort of drew me in. I’m considering doing that meme again, but so many things have changed, I’m not sure it would make much sense.
I still have my house, due to cutbacks @ my work we’ve gone from mandatory overtime to them asking us to come in late, leave early & take long lunches. Financially this is not a good thing at all. Which is why I say still have my house, it’s been touch & go the last 2-3 years, which is one of the reasons I haven’t written much, since I believe in the “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” style of blogging.

My oldest, Lois, now that she’s a) over 18 & b) doesn’t live with us anymore, is living in her boyfriend’s grandfather’s home, (the grandfather died 18 months ago & wanted his grandson & Lois to have the house, it took over a year to get the BF’s family to all agree they could live there. They moved in this November & received a kitten from me & a puppy from a friend of hers. The house is a beautiful Virginia farmhouse, big cedar trees all around the house & lots of land which is also shared by other members of the BF’s family, their houses are distant from the big house, but at night they can see the other houses lights. After working at the local nursing home & the local grocery store she is now working at my company taking calls from “people who are way too involved with their TVs” as our family doctor calls what I do for a living.

18 months ago the ex asked to have the 2 younger kids come visit him for a month during the summer. I reluctantly agreed, at the end of the month, my middle daughter (now 15) decided she wanted to stay in Oregon with her dad & step mom. I wasn’t ecstatic about this, but at 14 (which is how old she was at the time) she really has the option through the courts to choose who she lives with. So I didn’t feel like I could say no. She’s still there now & seems to enjoy it up there.

My youngest, Mr 12 now, is still with me, basically he has both upstairs rooms & actually hasn’t even moved all of his stuff out of his downstairs bedroom (after nearly 3 months of having Lois’ old bedroom upstairs) I want him to move his stuff out of the downstairs room so I can make it a guest room/craft room, not that I have much of anything to go in the room yet, but I’m hoping to find some stuff for it soon.

I’ve been very frustrated with work, though my job title equates to level 4 advanced technical support & I can’t complain at all about my hourly wage, my group as a whole has the worst schedule options in the building. No options for the whole weekend off (really not that important to me, but I wouldn’t mind having just 1 day of the weekend off) no options any longer to work 4 ten hour days, which is my favorite type of schedule (54 miles a day round trip to go to work & come home, working 4 days can be much cheaper) the people who come in the door knowing nothing get options for schedules which I would kill for! This makes me rather crazy.

Although considering what else has been going on in my life, I’m not too valuable to the company. In November Mr 12 & I both got a cold. He kicked it in 5 or 6 days, I just kept getting sicker & sicker. After 3 weeks, in which I got sicker & sicker, going from walking 100+ yards from the parking lot to my desk at work without thinking about it in the least to being unable to walk more than 5-7 feet without having to stop & get my breath back, I went to the doctors. She decided I had pneumonia & found I was seriously anemic. (Caused by the lengthy & heavy periods I’ve had for the past 3+ years very likely, we had dealt with this issue somewhat back in November when she prescribed birth contol pills as I could not afford the surgical options available to me) so she gave me a b-12 shot, antibiotics, an inhaler with albuterol in it & some free iron pills to help with the anemia.
So all was ok, although I was still too sick to work, for the next 5 days. Then when I went to use the bathroom before bed on Sunday night 12/18, I passed out in the bathroom. I passed out 4 more times just getting back to the living room. I was able to yell loudly enough to wake up Mr 12 & he helped me back to the chair I usually sit in, in the living room. I slept in the chair that night & Mr 12 slept on the couch. The next day I called Lois on her break at work & I told her what was going on, she left work, I called the doctor’s office & told them what had been going on, they insisted I needed to call the rescue squad & have them take me to the hospital. With serious convincing from Lois, I did so & then spent 15 days in the hospital. They admitted me due to the anemia, dehydratio@n, the rapid heart beat & inability to breathe if I tried to walk or, at that point, even stand.
They quickly found that it wasn’t pneumonia, I had blood clots in both my legs & my lungs. This is something which can happen when you take the pill & smoke but I don’t smoke & never have. They put a screen in me to keep more clots from moving up into my lungs, then decided to do auterine oblation, which should put a stop to my heavy periods for awhile, maybe as much as 5 years, which, hopefully will take me to menopause.
When they tried to wake me up after the surgery I was unable to breathe on my own. They put a breathing tube in & airlifted me to the bigger hospital down in Roanoke. I was in the ICU for 6 days, of which, I only remember the last day. 5 days, from the time I went under for the surgery on 12/21 to the day after Christmas I don’t remember a thing.
Weirder still, Lois tells me that I kept trying to pull the breathing tube out & when I did accept it & Lois was there, I was communicating with her through the sign language alphabet. Lois says I was making sense, asking for Mr 12, asking if she was out of work on her own say so or if work let her go as a money saving thing. However, I don’t remember that at all! I spent a little more than a week in the general hospital getting strength back & walking again. Although I was out for awhile, I surprised the nurses & the physical therapy people because although I was a little wobbly at first I didn’t need any actual therapy to walk, I just started with like 2 steps between the bed & chair & built up each day until the last 3 days I was “allowed” to go to the bathroom without someone in the room.

So Christmas was a complete non event for me this year. Mr 12 stayed with Lois & her BF, they had xmas with his family. When they released me from the hospital I stayed at Lois’ house for the first 4 days & then, on Sunday, after we had our own little Christmas (2 weeks late) complete with full turkey dinner we’d purchased the food for 3 days before I went into the hospital. Mr 12 & I came home, after 5 more days of rest & a follow up doctors visit (I actually have to go to the doctor’s every week for now because they put me on coumadin which can cause heavy bleeding) I’m back at work 4 hours a day this week, building up by 2 hours per week back to 8 hours. Financially this has been devastating. Missing all that work & also the hospital bills are already horrendous, I haven’t even received a bill from the Roanoke hospital yet. They did give me a break with their charity plan, the plan I qualified for makes me responsible for 55% of the bills, up to 20% of my annual income. Still lots more money than I have lying around!
I know I came close to dying & I’m lucky to be alive, as many of the nurses & Lois kept telling me. I am glad I can breathe & walk at the same time now, but it’s still an out of the frying pan into the fire situation on the financial side of things!

Enough already? It’s not noon yet!

It’s been one of those days, got up to take miz Lo to work & had an argument with her over her leaving an ancient fan turned on up in her room, then on the way to her work we saw a very large bear, run across the road in front of the car. Much aggravation in town due to Floyd Fest, (too many people from somewhere else roaming around for my tastes- yes, I know it’s good for the economy.) Came home, went back to bed for a few hours & got up, started a wash, had just settled down in the living room with breakfast to finally watch True Blood from Sunday night & heard this excessively loud running water, ran into the kitchen to find that the hose which carries the water to the washing machine had opened up an inch gash & was spewing water all over my kitchen! I’m hoping, if I have to go back & forth between good & bad that the next good thing will be winning the lottery! ;^P

Snakes, Gardens & Swimming

Ms 20 went swimming with her Boyfriend yesterday at a friend’s house, they have this lovely creek right behind their house, after crossing a cow field.

of course they had to walk by this snake climbing out of the rock, which she tells me wasn’t so bad when they were going to the water, but was making threatening gestures when they went to leave after their swimming trip.They also saw a very large snapping turtle, but ms 20 didn’t get a picture of that, knowing her it was probably because she was running in fright.

As soon as mr 10 got home from School yesterday he was hounding me about going swimming. He offered to give me money for gas from next weeks allowance, unfortunately that doesn’t help me get to work between now & when my paycheck posts to my bank account next Thursday so I had to turn that down. Eventually he wore me down to giving him permission to go wade in the creek below our house.  Seen here in pictures from a couple of years ago. He especially wanted to go down he said because a friend at school had brought a few salamanders to school but they were scrawny looking & he wanted to get a few of our “beefier” salamanders.


He was back remarkably quickly, I was surprised & asked what was up & he explained that as he neared the creek he heard something & looked up in time to see a small brown snake about a foot long drop off of a tree branch & into the water. His interest in getting into the water waned after that somehow.

I count my blessings that it did because a year or so ago he’d very likely have gone in with his net (purchased at the dollar store, which he loves for it’s versatility in catching both bugs, butterflies & creek life) to try to capture it.

A few hours later I was watching the news & ms 20, her BF & ms 13 were watching it with me & mr 10 came in with the net full of a snake though. I started screaming & thought I was going to have a heart attack before 10 & 20’s BF started laughing their butts off. It was a set-up, mr 10 had put one of his (many, maybe too many) rubber snakes in the net & come around to try to scare me. He definitely succeeded.

Something’s wrong with my computer’s sound so we have no music. On work nights that doesn’t bother me at all as I normally listen to my mp3 player when online then because I am on at 1, 2, 3 in the morning & everyone is asleep. Today though, I hated it because I felt rather cut off from ms 13 who was the only one around much of the day mr 10 spent the day going between his bedroom, watching tv & outside running around & just getting into stuff as he normally does.

Ms 20 was at work & we had to go out & get her at 3. When she got in the car she said she was in a hurry to get home because she & the BF were expected back at the same friend as yesterday’s house to go swimming again, this caused upset in mr 10 as he was still lobbying to go swimming & I still had not dug up any spare money (hard to do when there is none) for gas.  At first ms 20 said mr 10 couldn’t go but then decided it would be good to have him along as her friend has a 3 year old & so they all have to be on guard for the 3 year old, having mr 10 along would be an extra pair of eyes on the kid (aka around here as  Satan since he clocked mr 10 in the head with a cast iron truck last winter)

Ms 13 was not invited because her grade & the 6th grade below them were invited to sing at the nearby race track, she went last year through the school, it’s part of the school’s say no to drugs campaign, no longer run by the sheriffs dept. Now the national guard is in charge of it. She had a great time last year with her friends & she gets a t-shirt, pencils & a bunch of other stuff in a gift bag at the end so she was adamant that she was going to go.

Which means I’m here at home alone. Which is rare but treasured, yes I admit at 1, 2, 3 in the morning after I get home from work I’m technically alone, but the kids are here, just sleeping. I never have the whole house to myself, of course, there’s not much to do, I’m online obviously right now & I may watch some TV & embroider, which, now that it’s warm enough to not need to keep my hands under a blanket, I’m getting back into again.

Ms 20 has 3 or 4 friends who’ve had kids this year & of course Ann’s daughter had a baby in November so I’ve been trying to think of something to make for each of them, I haven’t actually decided yet, but it may be what I did for my kids, I have these really cute patterns for bunnies with the Alphabet, for instance, this one is for M, 

I didn’t embroider the M because I used it for something else, but that’s where I got it & I did each of my kids’ first names in bunny letters so that may be the best thing to do. I have a whole book of baby name pictures but they’re all very involved & I have 2 which I still haven’t finished & it’s very late (one was for ms 13’s cousin who’s 6 months older than she is, it’s not finished yet, the other was for my Friend Jennie’s son & he was born in 1998- also not finished) I have a very bad track record as you can see so I know it’s a good idea to pick simple projects.

Missing You

Well, not you specifically, I don’t know who you are as a matter of fact. I’m just in the habit of titling posts on the song I’m currently listening at the time I begin typing. This one fit because I’m exceptionally homesick this week. I want to go to the Flower Show! As a kid, nearly every year we went, I remember walking in (before it was held at the Seaport Trade Center ) one year & on the way in the building we had to walk by a snowman, (there was a lot of snow on the ground that year) with daisies for eyes & nose. I remember years even longer ago than that one where I was very resentful of my younger brother getting to ride in a stroller, losing a balloon which floated to the ceiling before anyone could tie it to my wrist & every year a green-dyed carnation. Because it’s always in March & of course, St. Patricks day is in March, although I do believe in other years it was earlier in the month, before the holiday.

So I really wanted to go but didn’t even think of it until just last week, so there was no way to budget in a 4 day whirlwind trip up to MA (especially not with that hefty $20. per person ticket fee.!) So maybe next year. If I remember in time to save for it & ask for the days off 60 days in advance from work & can talk ms 20 into getting her license so she can share the drive up & back, because I know she’d love it, she did the last time we went, when she was 6.  (maybe she was 5? I can’t remember if I was pregnant or if that was the year before I got pregnant with ms 13.) We have pictures, but I took them all & so don’t know if I was pregnant or not!

I read on the Horticultural Society website that they didn’t have one last year & I’m very relieved that they did one this year, if you’re in the area, go & see it for me because it’s a wonderful, fun breath of spring, I at least have crocuses & daffodil buds already in my yard, you people in driving distance of Boston, you need to see & smell those flowers!

List of Stuff Which I really mean to do (really)

1.  Blog every day. (really!)

2.  It’s half past October & I have yet to post a single cool Halloween picture.

3. I haven’t even looked at the cool Halloween Decorating books I spent the last 2 years puchasing cheap on Amazon.

4.  Also, I’m sketching again & think often that I should drag out some of my old art & consider what I’m doing now against it.

5.  Sketching always puts me in mind of my favorite artists – Edward Gorey & Tasha Tudor. I should look through some of their books, especially since this year I’m missing my grandmother more than I have since right after she died in 2006 & Tahsa Tudor makes me think of her as she was a huge fan of Tasha Tudor’s books.

6.  I’m engrossed in my current read: The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry, but don’t ever seem to read when I’m at home, only at work.

7. I should clean up around the house, even the computer keyboard’s keys have a subtle stickiness which I am not enjoying.

8. We have a foam Haunted house to put together, we started last weekend but were rather frustrated with it & it became time for family game night a little too soon so it was put aside, now, what we did have done has fallen apart so we’ll need to start back over from scratch.

9.  As always there are earings, necklaces & other bead involved things calling my name at the back of my head.

10.  The weekend of the 24-25 we’ll be doing our annual chocolate pops making for the kids to give out at school & ms 19 & I to give out at work.

As always, there is embroidery to be done, I’ve finished the Thanksgiving picture I was making & begun an ambitious advent calendar on 14 gauge plastic board. It’s coming along nicely but is the biggest, most structured project I’ve put before myself since I completed ms 13’s Christmas stocking 10 years ago. Everything else I do, I dabble at. Just pick it up & put it away, freehand & pick & choose from multiple sources to make what I want to make. This is a real project with specific instructions & I’m enjoying the challenge.

Funny How….

When I think I have something to say, I still get sidetracked & end up staying up way too late playing mahjong or spider solitaire & after 30-40 minutes of that- I don’t even remember what I had to say!

(or I’ve thought the better of it, since tonight it was a rant about work- best kept to myself!)