Santa stop here

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Taxes and death

I am fuming right about now. It's all about those dastardly property taxes which I waited 'til the last minute to pay because I didn't (and still don't for that matter) have the money to pay them any earlier. I transferred what little money I had in my savings to my checking acct so I could pay down a credit card and free up enough "available balance" to pay the #$%&! taxes, then attempted to pay the taxes online. It wouldn't accept the credit card payment because, naturally, the online payment I just made will not post until tomorrow and the funds will not be "available" until Thursday. Tomorrow means an additional $230 in penalties added to the already high taxes. So now my little savings is tied up on the credit card, and I can't "cancel" that and just pay the minimum balance like I would otherwise have done. I even called customer service for the credit card and asked about a credit line increase just to free up enough available balance to pay the taxes. I was declined. Conclusion: Being poor and drowning in debt sucks!
Sometimes I feel like throwing in the towel and just taking the next available 9 to 5 wherever to help pull us out of this slump. Even though I KNOW things will be better a year from now once I'm done with school and gainfully employed (I hope, I hope), I honestly don't know if I can survive another year of this! I feel frustrated as #&!! and that lowers my tolerance/patience for everyone around me. Mike is outside watching the kids swim (thanks to my trips back & forth to Leslie's Pool Supply and my being up scrubbing & scooping junk out of the pool for an hour an a half every morning in the 6 o'clock hour for the past week while they're gone or asleep!). Meanwhile, I'm trying unsuccessfully to make a dollar out of 15 cents and pay bills that keep coming whether Mike works overtime or not, whether we have the money to pay them or not. We're waiting for the "amended income tax return" from H&R Block, but haven't seen hide nor hair of it. Unless Mike grabbed the check out of the mail thinking it was one of his savings bonds and stashed it away in a shoebox somewhere without opening it as he so often does with the bonds. See there-I'm blaming Mike and getting all angry at him with no real grounds to do so. I checked out and discovered I could check on the status of the amended return, but I need the exact amount. Do you think I can put my hand on the copies of the paperwork? Missy is sitting by the door whimpering because she wants to be outside with the kids, but I won't let her--no time to doctor on her paws when she tears them up running around the deck. I'm about to let her have it, too, just 'cause I'm in a bad mood. (In the world of nursing, this is an unhealthy coping mechanism-kick the dog because you can't kick your boss who is the true source of your ire.) Speaking of nursing, it's not like I should be studying for my final which is the day after tomorrow and covers about 12 chapters.
I think I'm going to fix breakfast for dinner (breakfast sausage and chicken nuggets are the only "meat" in the house) and go bury my head in the sand and call it a day. It's times like this I wish I had my own bed in my office. If Mike so much as looks my way, I may scratch his eyes out. I am not good company. Deep breath in…and hold it…and slowly breathe out. Okay, so now I’m only simmering instead of fuming. I am still not good company. Good night. Until next time...

Monday, June 29, 2009

No more naps

I learned some disturbing news in class this morning--naps are not good for you! Actually, we were studying the stages of sleep and how illnesses (especially mental illness) can affect them and also how sleep or lack thereof can affect one's illness(es). My instructor informed us that if one must nap, early in the day is preferred to late in the afternoon or evening. And, naps should be limited to 30 minutes or 2 hours. The rationale is that 30 minutes gives you a boost, but doesn't give your body enough time to get into the REM sleep and 2 hours gives you time to complete one full sleep cycle. Anything in between is contraindicated as it disturbs the REM sleep making you feel worse than not having a nap at all. So, as I sit here typing at 5:42 p.m. I am longing for a nap, but am debating the wisdom behind dropping everything and going for it. Let's see, there are dishes to wash, laundry to fold, dinner to prepare and notes to study/review. I'm thinking a nap sounds like a pretty good alternative to all of the above!
The kids are out in the pool. I just poke my head out from time to time and make sure everything is okay. Missy is destined to stay indoors this time around because she doesn't know how not to tear her little paws up gripping the rough deck and leaning in towards the pool to bark at the kids. She is not happy, but what can ya do?
I've been pondering where so much of my time goes, and I think I've figured it out. This morning before class (we started at 10 a.m. vs 8 a.m. today) , I sat down at my computer just to see if there were any e-mail messages or comments on my blog. The time was 8:50. I planned to get up, shower and be on the road by 9:15. What seemed like mere minutes later I glanced up at the clock and already it was 9:15. And that, my friends, is how time gets away from us! That's probably no big revelation, but that was a very "real" example to me. Ten minutes turned into 25 before I even realized it. Yesterday, hours passed as I was trying to download a photo from my camera to another blogspot "profile." I guess now that I am aware, the proper thing to do would be to set limits just like I try to do with the kids: 1/2 hour to blog each day, and 1/2 -1 hour to check/respond to e-mails. That seems pretty reasonable to me.
My finger his healing pretty nicely. I can't quit fiddling with the dead skin surrounding the cut. I'd better get my cuticle trimmers and snip it before I'm tempted to tear it and cause more damage.
My oil light came on in my car yesterday, and I remembered an oil change was way overdue. After I left class, picked up A & A, and dropped Xavier by College for Kids (no sense in Derrick having to pack Leyla up an get out in the heat when I had to go right past campus), I zipped by home to balance (reconcile) the checkbook. What I saw didn't look good, especially considering last Friday was payday, so we won't see anymore income until July 10th! There will be no 5 12-packs of soft drinks for $10.88 this week. We'll be doing good to get a loaf of bread to have sandwiches for lunch and dinner for the rest of the next two weeks! I needed the oil change nonetheless, so I called "Baby Brother" (that's one of many names I call Mike's younger brother even though he's older than I am) who works at the dealership. He wasn't forthcoming with the usual "Just tell the girls at the front desk I said to give you my discount," so I didn't push the issue. He did tell me to go online and I could find a coupon there. I did and off to the dealership we went: $19.99 oil change coupon in hand. We arrived at the dealership and were told it would take about 45 problem, I had my laptop and textbook with me. After about ten minutes, however, the young man calls me outdoors and explains that my battery is all but dead, and they can replace it right now for $131.00 which includes free replacement for the first 3 years and prorated cost for each month after the first 36. I graciously declined the offer. I know it's the nature of the beast called "sales" to always find something extra to charge for, but that drives me insane! What if I didn't have a debit card or credit card (which would be unheard of in today's society), and I went to the dealership with $19.99 plus tax to get my oil changed? Then, I should be able to get just my oil changed, that's what, without additional "pressure" sales. Now, I'm nervous that my battery will die any minute now, like 7:30 a.m. on Thursday when I'm trying to get to campus to take my final for 8:00! Please say a prayer for me and my car!
The time is now 6:21. I believe I have surpassed my allotted 30 minutes for blogging. Dinner needs my attention because my stomach is growling there will be two very hungry preteens crawling out of the pool in the next half hour or so. It's looking like no nap 30 minutes or otherwise tonight. *sigh* I'm thinking something simple like spaghetti and meat sauce with some of that zucchini my neighbor brought me yesterday. Good night (I wish). Until next time...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summertime and the living is easy...

Well, I don't know about easy. Lazy may be a better word. I'm thinking this "anergia" is a byproduct of the Texas heat which is debilitating. The news says it was only supposed to get up to the high 90's but I think it must have crept on past 100 again anyway. I was outside sometime after 4:00 p.m. checking on the progress of the pool (it's almost clear enough to see the bottom of the deep end-woo-hoo!) when my neighbor spoke to me through the fence. He was out checking his garden and about to mow his lawn. I climbed up on the diving board so I could see him while we conversed. I honestly thought at one point that my flip-flop-clad feet were going to spontaneously combust or the plastic flip-flop strap was melting to my skin! That sun was scorching me. Of course, when I popped outdoors I wasn't intending to carry on a lengthy conversation with my neighbor over the fence (a la Tim Allen in his TV show "Home Improvement") about his current job status and the variety of different vegetables he's growing, and how gardening is therapeutic, etc...I did get some home-grown zucchinis, tomatoes & onions out of the deal, though-YUM! Then, the neighbor on my other side stopped by and peeked through the slats of the fence that are falling down. He said he's been meaning to get around to the repairs, but he's just been too lazy (that summer heat thing, plus he works nights). I guess he heard me and my other neighbor chatting and decided to take advantage of my being out in the yard to touch base as well. I have wonderful neighbors, truth be told.
Church was good this morning. Fr. Jacob from St. George was filling in for Fr. LeDoux who is off in Switzerland or somewhere. Fr. Jacob is originally from India and has a pretty strong accent, but he delivers a good message. Today was about the woman with the hemorrhage who touched the hem of Jesus' garment and was healed by her faith. Meanwhile, the Pharisee's daughter was sick and she died before Jesus could get to her (He was too busy helping the poor hemorrhaging woman), so the Pharisee got upset. Fr. Jacob spoke about Jesus first giving his attention to the socially disadvantaged, but healing the well-off child just the same. There is no difference in them in Jesus' eyes. (That's the message I got, anyway.)
I came home, helped Barrett with his blog for a bit, fixed lunch (good old frozen corn dogs), washed dishes and took a nap. I delivered my kids to the Aunt Shannon (yes, again- Derrick says he needs their social security numbers so he can claim them as dependents on his income taxes next year!). Derrick is helping Aaron with some exercise regimen, and they all wanted to watch the BET Awards. Mike & I had sandwiches for dinner (how's that for simple?). Now, I must hit the books before I hit the bed. Good night. Until next time...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pool's open...almost

Wow, is it Saturday, already?! I wish I could say I slept through Friday, and that's why I failed to write anything, but it was anything BUT! It was another one of those, "Okay, it's Friday, and I don't have to go to class or work, so I'm going to be oh-so productive today," kind of days. HA! It's 24 hours later, and I honestly cannot remember what in the world I did all day. I remember getting up around 6 a.m. (only because Missy had to go outside). While it was still cool out, I decided to skim crepe myrtle blossoms off of the surface of the pool (which is a lighter shade of green than before :-) and trim the ground cover that is true to it's name and actually covering the "ground" (i.e., deck that's supposed to be clear to walk around the pool). I came back in to a quiet house around 7:30, peeled some oranges and cut up a canteloupe so I could get the "food trash" out on the curb before the garbage ran. I must have washed some dishes, too, because I remember thinking I was so tired of standing on my feet. At some point I checked e-mails...nothing lifethreatening there. I decided to watch the video that came with my ATI materials for nursing school for an overall review for my upcoming final. Then, it hit me that I should record the presentation as if it were a lecture so that I could listen to that instead of my books on tape/cd just until after the final next week. Naturally, the moment I close my door and turn on the tape recorder (yes, I have an "old-fashioned" cassette tape recorder/player), both Aaron and Alisa decide it's time to come in my bedroom and climb in my bed to "visit" with me. I had to shush them and remind them to close the door behind themselves. All morning long I had barely seen them, then suddenly when I need quiet, here they come! Their antennae must have picked up the "mom's busy and therefore inaccessible" signal which in turn triggers the need to have mom's attention. Go figure! I must have nodded off a time or two while the program was running, but I managed to get the whole thing recorded.
Around 3:00 Lani called to say that she and Lorenzo, Jr., were stopping by for a brief visit. The kids and I were still in gowns and pajamas, so we had to do the hustle to shower and get dressed quick and in a hurry. I always tell them to get up and get dressed as if they have somewhere to go or something to do, because you never know...Yesterday, we were all busted! Thank you to Lani for helping me get the pretty background from Shel's Scraps on my blog!
At 6:50 p.m. I remembered to call Leslie's Pool Supply...I just couldn't understand where my entire day had gone. The one I normally frequent closed at 7:00--no way to make that, so I called the other location on the north end of town, and lo and behold they were open until 8:00 on Fridays. I filled my "sample" bottle and headed to Leslie's on the north side where Lee tested my water and wrote down everything I needed to deal with the algae and get the pool in tip top condition. I purchased a couple of the products I needed then headed to ACE hardware for the D.E. powder (I'd already priced it and knew it was about $5 cheaper at the hardware store). I decided to start "the process" this morning instead of last night because there were several steps: add Alkalinity Up then run the filter for 4 hours before adding...then run the filter for 4 more hours, etc. Oh shoot! I didn't get any "Alkalinity Up" while I was at Leslie's and didn't even think of it at ACE. I stopped by Wal-Mart grocery store after dropping A & A at Aunt Shannon's to spend the night. Luckily that particular Wal-Mart had a small "seasonal" section with some pool supplies, one of which was something similar to "Alkalinity Up" so I was in luck. Mike beat me home from work, and he didn't get off until 10 p.m. if that gives you any idea what time I was perusing the aisles at Wal-Mart. Shopping late is a bad habit of mine.
I guess this catches me up 'til today. I woke up at 6:10 a.m. and waited three minutes debating whether to call Barrett and wish him a happy birthday (he was born at 6:13 a.m. on 6/27/??). I opted for a mental wish and dozed back off. Then, I heard Aaron's alarm sounding around 6:30 (remember-he and his sister were at Aunt Shannon's house). If I didn't normally wake up before 6:30 that alarm would have truly aggravated me, but I was getting up anyway, so I just shut it off. Back out to the pool I went: empty the skimmer baskets, skim the crepe myrtle blossoms from the pool surface (yes, again-my neighbor planted a row of them along the fence that divides their backyard from ours. Unfortunately for me, the blossoms look like a snow drift headed right for my pool EVERYDAY!), backwash the filter, add the alkalinity up stuff and so on and so on. I came in, ate some cantaloupe and a piece of leftover chicken, took a bath and put on some shorts (actually a skort) and a tee shirt in preparation for spending Barrett’s birthday with him. We had a nice time…drove across Lake Grand Prairie, headed to downtown Dallas (B wanted to see the West End during the day), and ended up at Randol Mill Park. We did a lot of talking about the past year and the year to come. We saw some cool crane-like birds down in the creek, heard the locusts droning lazily and the scamper of squirrel claws racing up and down the bark. At one point I looked up and saw a tiny hummingbird checking out the tree that offered us its shade. It actually lit on a branch for a few seconds then went on about its business. I immediately thought of Barrett’s mom, Helen Carol. She loved hummingbirds and bird of paradise flowers. I figured she must’ve stopped by to wish her boy a happy birthday even though she has been “gone” since 1995.
When the combination of heat and hunger got the best of us we made our way back to the car and headed to The Sweet Tomato for lunch. (I stopped by the house to add more stuff to the pool.) It was delicious, and we were both full as ticks by the time we left. Shortly thereafter, Barrett continued his birthday celebration with “the boys” (i.e., Derrick, Aaron & Xavier treated him to go and see the new Transformers movie). I took a nap, tinkered on the computer for a spell, and ran to three different stores in search of a pool chemical tester kit (I wasn’t aware that mine was missing the test tube and some of the chemicals while I was at Leslie’s and ACE hardware yesterday).
While I was at Kroger a man came in the store with a dog tucked under his arm. He was leaving his name and phone number at the customer service center. Apparently, someone had left a couple of dogs in the car, and the man had managed to get into the trunk of the car and get the dogs out! Hel-lo, people, today was the hottest day this year at 103 degrees. Imagine what the inside of that car felt like to those poor pups, even with the windows cracked!!! The lines in the store were long. It appeared that only one or two lanes were open. So, even if you were just running in for an item or two, you’d have to wait 10-15 minutes just to check out. That’s too long for anyone or anything to be left in a hot car. When will people learn? I left the building before all #&!! broke loose. The man that found the dogs was shaking he was so angry.
I’ve been on the computer, and on the phone. Now, I’ve got to go pick up A & A so we can all get ready for church tomorrow. Good night. Until next time…

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A sad, sad day

Mom: "Are you listening to the radio?"
Me: "No, I'm listening to my book on tape."
Mom: "Well, there's some bad news, but I'll tell you when you get here."
Me: "Uhh..."
Mom: "It's not family or anything."
Me: "Okay, I'll see you in a few minutes."

This was the conversation I had with my mom when I called to tell her I was just around the corner from her house to pick up my kids. I pulled into her driveway, and she came out of the house in the searing Texas heat to deliver the bad news: Farrah Fawcett had died, and the news is saying the Michael Jackson is DEAD! What?! I hurried into the house to see what all of the hoopla was about. CNN was reporting that MJ had suffered cardiac arrest and been transported to UCLA Hospital where he was in a coma. The LA Times was already reporting that MJ was dead, but CNN continued to report that they had not confirmed that. Some of the more recent pictures of my former future husband (Carol B. & I probably would have split him like a wish bone trying to decide who actually got to marry if!) were troubling. Bless his heart, he looked like something off of Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas." I was wondering how in the world Mom could say this wasn't a family thing when this was her former future son-in-law, dead at 50 years of age.
I laughed and joked and remembered the silly teenager that I was when Michael was at the top of his game in the late 70's (Off the Wall) and early 80's (Thriller). I told Aaron & Alisa to go home and put on something black so we could mourn their "almost daddy."
My good friend and fellow die-hard Michael Jackson fan, Carol B., called the minute I walked in the door. She said it was a sad, sad day. First one of our Charlie's Angels and then Michael J. himself. We joked a bit and ended our call. I called my sister-in-law who was already offering grief counseling to a distraught friend in the entertainment business.
Now that the television is off, and the house is relatively quiet, the true sadness is beginning to settle in. The shock of the news is dissipating and the reality and finality are weighing heavy on my heart. My eyes are stinging as I type...I didn't really expect such an emotional response until the star-studded funeral arrangements unfolded on the television sometime next week. I've got that lump in my throat going on, too. I'd better go for now. Alisa is waiting for me to join her for a round of "Mall Madness." Good night. Until next time...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Okay, so in the words of Millie Jackson (or whoever sang that song)..."If it ain't one thing, it's another!" Today, started off in a hurry as do most days around here. Up at six, tend to the pool, water the plants, fix breakfast, pack lunch, iron uniform, shower, shampoo, dress, gather things, etc. in an effort to be out the door by 7 a.m. I made it to Tia's by 7:30 to drop off A & A and still managed to make it to the hospital in DeSoto on time.
I was on the geriatric unit today, and it was absolutely hilarious. I mean senior citizens with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression and Alzheimer's disease are no laughing matter, but some of those patients were real characters! Take "Miss J" for instance. She told the age old joke about her friend's husband Richard who had passed away. The friend went to the funeral crying inconsolably about, "Oh, my 'Dick' is gone. What am I gonna do without my 'Dick'? Oh, I loved my 'Dick'! He was the best 'Dick' a woman could ask for, etc. The patient just cracked herself up. Remember these patients are 65 and older, for the most part! Then there was the lady in a bariatric wheelchair who got angry with me because she saw a "bomb" behind the nurse's station, and I gently informed her that it was just a carpet sweeper. She blew up saying how nobody would listen to her, and it wasn't going to be okay. Then, she started to cry because she thought someone else had her stuff. Then she perked right up and began singing Jingle Bell Rock. Next, there was the female Christopher Walken look alike who was hypomanic and talking nonstop about everything under the sun. She has been there, done that and then some! On a more disturbing note, I discovered that one of the patients (an elderly blind woman) was in her room by herself all day because the tech had not gone in to help her bathe and get dressed. She was embarrassed to come out to the common area and participate in the group therapy sessions in her gown (besides, that would probably be against the rules). If the tech had just said, "Hey, I'm busy, could you please help the lady in room XXX?" I would have gladly helped her. She was so sweet. Then there was Mr. J who is schizophrenic but quite the gentleman and wanted to "pass" on group because there weren't enough seats. "Ladies," he said, "I'm leaving tomorrow, so I really don't need to go to group. Y'all go ahead." He was saying the same, "I'm getting out of here tomorrow" business two weeks ago. Poor thing.
Am I a warped person for finding a bit of humor in all of this drama? It was really a great day-never a dull moment!
I was exhausted by the time I returned home, though. I guess maybe all of that was more emotionally draining than I suspected. Or, it could be because I am quickly approaching "that time of the month." I picked up A & A and crashed almost as soon as I hit the door. Okay, so I started to check my e-mail and fell asleep at the computer before laying it down around 6:00 p.m. I awoke around 7:30, grabbed a bite to eat, then rallied the troops together to go get ice cream. We all hopped in the car and were about to roll when Mike noticed my front passenger tire was losing air (as in almost flat-good thing someone is vigilant about these things). Dagnabit! If it ain't one thing it's another! I had promised Alisa ice cream two days ago, and it seemed that something was always getting in the way. We hopped out of the van and into Mike's car and off we went.
I then called Mom to see if I could borrow a car for tomorrow. I don't even know where the spare tire is on my van, and we had almost lost our daylight anyway. She said come and get it, so Mike dropped me by Mom & Dad's to pick up their car. I had to stop and put gas in it to be ready for the morning, then I finally headed home.
So, here I sit blogging instead of working on that big project that is due tomorrow. How do you spell procrastination? You got it: E-A-S-T-L-Y-N. The time is 10:29, and I think I will be overriding that nap I took earlier because bedtime seems far, far away. Good night. Until next time...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fried chicken, again?

Believe it or not I was in bed before 1:00 a.m. (not by much, though). I awoke this morning before my alarm sounded at 6:30 and hit the floor running The good news for the day is I made a 95 on the ATI test this morning! The bad news is it doesn't count. That was a real bummer. I felt pretty confident the whole while I was taking the test (unlike any of the previous tests where anxiety has gotten the best of me). Of course, with this test we couldn't go back and change answers--that's been known to mess me up sometimes, too. Unfortunately, a few of my friends didn't pass, so they will have to retake the test. We're all wondering why if it doesn't even count for a grade! We stayed for lecture after the exam, then I came home caught a bit of a nap and have been trying to focus on this care study project which isn't coming together very well. Time is a-ticking! Many "things" keep popping up. My poor little ADD mind goes like this: Let me get online to get info on these vitamins for my care study. Oh, I have messages...Let me just respond right quick to this one...Oh yeah, I was supposed to e-mail so-n-so...Oops, there's a response from [?], let me read that right quick. Then, the telephone rings, it's some distant relative on Dad's side of the family calling to confirm my information so he can send me a packet about next year's reunion (which must be expensive since he's "mailing the info early so we have ample time to plan").
Kudos to Aaron & Mike who finally broke down and cleaned the pool filter! Maybe we'll get to swim this summer after all. I am looking forward to it...
I'm going to finish this blog quick and in a hurry because twice the phone has rung and bumped me off before having a chance to save and publish. (Lani-you called on my cell phone so that doesn't interfere :-)
It's going on 11 p.m. now, but our phone rings at all hours of the day and night. I tell people I'm just as apt to be asleep at 3:00 in the afternoon as I am to be awake at 3:00 in the morning.
On an entirely different note...I have fallen behind on my menu planning, so everyday around five o'clock the kids start hovering around my desk asking "What's for dinner?" Tonight it was Popeyes. Unfortunately, with Albertson's "super coupons {8-piece mixed for $3.99}" and Popeye's 2-piece Tuesday specials {a leg and a thigh for 99 cents} we have had more fried chicken in the past six weeks than we normally eat all year long. I think we've eaten fried chicken 4 times in the past six weeks!). I often wonder if I'm going to 99-cent myself to death! At 7:30 p.m. I hopped in my van, stopped by Kroger for salad fixins, continued on to Popeyes and returned home to warm leftover baked beans to add to our feast. My skin and my pants (which are fitting like a second skin) are telling me it's time to get back to planning some healthy meals and do some laps in the pool once it's up and running (or perhaps it is I who should be "up and running!") Oh well. I may as well face the fact that one day my grandchildren will probably be calling me "Big Mama." Good night. Until next time...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Just another manic Monday

It's 11:59 p.m according to my office clock, and I'm already blogging. There's a good chance I'll be in bed before 1:00 a.m.! How exciting is that? (Very, if you're me.) I had a busy day full of squeezing in things that weren't really planned in advance.
First off, my instructor didn't show for class--some family business with her mother who is not well, so we were dismissed. Do I stay on campus and study, join the group at IHOP on Altamesa to study, go home and run the risk of get side-tracked with laundry, dishes, etc.? I opted for the latter. I figured with 3 "extra" hours I could put a big dent in my nursing care study, finish my online assessments and finish my process recording. Maybe not the most realistic expectations, but shoot for the moon and miss with the stars, right? By noon I think I had read and responded to several e-mails, finished one assessment and started another, completed my observations papers from the support group and 12-step meetings I attended over the weekend, and not touched my process recording or nursing care study. I'd say that wasn't too shabby!
I called Shannon to tell her we were on our way to pick up the kids, then called the Guerins. They were home in Cedar Hill, TX so we made plans to join them for lunch and visit with John-John before he returns to Iraq on Wednesday. We enjoyed pizza and a nice quiet visit.
On the way home we decided to stop by Tender Loving Care where Jessie (Mike's mom) lives now. She was quite subdued kind of like I feel now...just on the brink of nodding off. It's really hard on the kids. Talking to "old" people is bad enough let alone one with dementia who may or may not know you or understand anything you're talking about! Aaron & Alisa are real troopers.
We then stopped by PaPa & Tia's house (my parents) to deliver fundraiser cookie dough from my nephew and some sausage links they'd left at my sister's house. Upon arriving at home sweet home (around 5:45 p.m.) I grabbed a glass of green tea with honey and ginseng hoping it would pep me up some. My big dilemma was: do I nap or forge straight thru the school work and try to get to bed "early"? Obviously, I was unsuccessful with both. Some of my school work is done, but it's 12:22 a.m. and I'm still up (and fading fast, I might add). I've got to call it a night so I'll be alert for tomorrow's exam and lecture. Good night. Until the next time...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To be childless on father's day

It's after 1 a.m. so I guess Father's Day is officially over. It was a crazy sort of day for no reason in particular. We (Aaron, Alisa, Xavier & I) got up and made it to 8:00 mass at Our Mother of Mercy. The Knights of Peter Claver provided donuts, fruit, punch and coffee after mass in honor of fathers. Papa overslept and was still in bed when I dropped Mom off after church at 10 minutes 'til 10 a.m. I took the kids home to change out of church clothes and return them to Mom's house so I could attend the AA meeting for my clinical.
The meeting was actually good. I recognized the speaker as I pulled up right behind her. The hardest part is not being able to talk about people you know in attendance! I went home after the meeting, ate a burger and called Mom to see if she'd mind watching the young'uns a bit longer while I took a nap. She agreed to do it, so I layed down. I don't know what time Mike came in from work, but I do remember telling him to quit talking to me. It's a bad habit of his to come in and just start asking questions: "How was your day? How was church? Where are the kiddoes?" I appreciate his interest, but not when I'm trying to get my snooze on. The next thing I know he's lying beside me in the bed snoring. Once I fell back to sleep, I slept until 4:00! That was almost 3 hours--a record. Of course that "extra" rest is negated by my being up at 1:30 in the morning. Oh well. The kids spent the night with Xavier, so Mike didn't even see his kids on Father's Day. He came to my office doorway at 11:15 p.m. and said, "They must be trying to spend the night!" Well, whatever gave him that idea? Good Lord! The man is observant.
I finished my reports from AA & the bipolar support group and one of two online assessments, completed a journal entry for clinical, talked to John Guerin (briefly), scooped some gunk out of the pool, washed dishes, washed & dried several loads of laundry (notice there is no indication that said laundry has been folded or put away) and completed about 75% of my Process Recording (an assignment that was officially due last week {:-(. I still have to complete my care study and another online assessment. Hey! It's almost over...then the fun will begin (until the end of August anyway). Good night for now.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


Well, folks, yesterday's blog was entitled "Short and sweet," but today may take the cake, so to speak. What a crazy day from the jumpstart! Suffice it to say all was going well (Mom, Grandmom & I were in Michael's t the time) until I received a call from Derrick explaining that Shannon was bending over to pick up Leyla's toys when her back went out. Sounded like sciatica to Derrick & me, so I recommended ice and Advil to see if that relieved the pain. Shannon said she has a chiropractor friend who lives in her neighborhood, so I suggested Shannon call her first. Her friend agreed to "squeeze her in" for a 1:00 appt. All the while, I was planning on leaving for Trey's graduation party at his Aunt Shelly's house in Lake Worth around 3:00 p.m.
After Shannon's visit she decides she simply cannot make it to Trey's party and she needs us to pick up her papergoods at Costco and take Xavier with us. So, we returned to Mom's house, dropped off Grandmom, picked up the Costco coupon book, and headed back to Costco. Luckily they had watermelons on sale, too (something else I was bringing to the party). I drop off Mom and rush home to tend to my baked beans and wash & cut up the watermelons. That's when I get a little too zealous with my carving knife and attempted to chop off the tip of my left ring finger. It bled profusely. I was trying to gauge the depth to determine if stitches would be necessary. The cut extended about 1/4 inch into the fingernail and seemed pretty deep, and it hurt like you-know-what. Mike walked in the door, set his lunchbox down and we headed back out the door to see Dr. Nguyen at Arlington Urgent Care. He said it was deep enough for stitches, but it would probably just require one stitch. I said "thanks, but no thanks" and opted for the $20.00 bandaid instead.
Upon our return home, Barrett had finished cutting the watermelons (Thanks, B!) and I told the kiddoes to get in gear. I cooked the bacon to put in the beans, cranked them on high to warm them through, and we hit the road around 4:25 p.m.--just an hour & a half after my anticipated departure time.
We made it to Shelly's house on the lake in about 35-40 minutes. The party wasn't in full swing as Renae was gone to get Reanna from the airport. We ate tons of good food, including Uncle Shawn's awesome barbecue and a wonderful key lime strawberry dessert cake Grandy Nancy brought. The kids got to mill around in the lake (with their clothes on since no one but Sasha brought swimsuits) and had a pretty good time of it. If there are typ-o's in this blog, please forgive me. I am functioning less one crucial finger! Good night & until next time.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Short and Sweet

Ever have one of those days where you have so many ambitions as you start your day, and then before you know it, the day is gone? Well, that is how my today went. I got up thinking I'd complete my nursing care study, one of my online assessments and attend a support group meeting. Then, tomorrow I can focus on preparations for Trey's party. Sunday, I can attend church, attend an AA meeting (another nursing school requirement for this summer session) and cook a good old-fashioned Sunday dinner and study some.
Well, I managed to attend the support group meeting, start an assessment (which I couldn't finish because my eyelids were drooping and I couldn't answer anything correctly), and check e-mails, throw together lunch and dinner for Mike & the kids. Thank goodness for Mike who kept my sink free of dirty dishes for the day. It's 1:05 a.m. on Saturday morning now, and I can hear Sasha asking Alisa one question after another: "Can you draw a tiger? Can you draw a lion? Can you draw...?" Mike is listening to a book on tape (or maybe the book on tape is listening to him snore). I think Aaron is probably knocked out. He had company over then went to his friend Shawn's house until about 10 p.m. after I returned from the support group for bipolar and depression (another nursing school requirement, although...) Thank God for your health-physical and mental! Please say a prayer for those who are unemployed or underemployed. Good night (morning).

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Welcome to our world

Howdy, y'all! Everyone has been bugging me to get on facebook, but I know better! Less than 12 months to go before I finish my nursing degree. I say "woo"; you say "hoo." Woo-hoo. Woo-hoo! Then, I'll consider more fancy communication techniques. Because I've been determined to get back into journaling, I thought I'd create a blog for now. This should be fun. I'll eventually learn to post pictures and everything else, but for now words will have to do.
Today is Mike's birthday. He's a little bashful about his age, but I'll give you a hint: it falls between 47 and 49. We had shrimp etouffee (a la Tony Chachere's creole etouffee mix), Caesar salad, & garlic sourdough bread for dinner. I got up at 6 a.m. to bake Mike's cake before I went to clinicals at Hickory Trail Hospital in DeSoto, TX. My sister-in-law, Lani, found caramel frosting for me after I was unsuccessful at Krogers & Albertsons. Everyone thought it tasted more like anything but caramel: coffee, butterscotch, maple, etc. It was good with the vanilla ice cream anyway you cut it.
I stopped by Albertsons to look for the Duncan Hines caramel frosting (I just couldn't imagine standing in front of the hot stove "stirring constantly" to make the icing from scratch.). I was talking to Barrett at the time. Although I didn't find the frosting I was looking for, I did find granulated sugar and canteloupe on sale, so off to "self-check" I went with my three 98-cent items...still talking to Barrett. I completed my transaction, fed the machine my five dollar bill, took my coin change & receipt but forgot my $2.00! I didn't realize this mistake until I had been home for over an hour and was patting my pockets to pay Lorenzo Jr for the caramel frosting Lani had picked up for me. The way I see it, Barrett is to blame since he was obviously adistracting me from by business at hand. Oh well. I hope whoever found it needed it worse than I did. I'll burn up $2 worth of gas & time driving back over to Albertsons to maybe retrieve my forgotten change. God bless whoever found it.
Aaron & Alisa will be glad when summer school is over for me (July 2). Mike is home with them on Mon/Tues (his regular off days); then, I take them to PaPa & Tia's house on Wed/Thurs @ 7 a.m. We'll all be glad to sleep in a little!
Mike will be on vacation in mid-July. We're hoping to get away somewhere just for a quick trip since who knows when that will happen again. We're still working on getting the pool up and running (if that's not the most pitiful thing ever...still not swimming in mid-June in Texas!).
Whew! That was quite a bit of typing. Guess I should've just gotten the facebook (smile).
I have a busy weekend with 3 major assignments due next week, plus Trey & Thomas' graduation party at Lake Worth, and having to attend an AA meeting and an anxiety/bipolar support group (part of mental health nursing class). Another busy weekend. C'est la vie!
Good night. Until next time...