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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ten Minutes to Midnight ~

Looks like I'm on my own for New Year's kisses.  Wonder what the neighbors are up to........

Friday, December 30, 2011

Better Now

First of all, thank you, my friends, for all your advice and support.  Hard to believe something as simple as a headache can make you feel so miserable.  I don't often get sick.  I guess I'm not very good at it, LOL.  I still have some residual head-achey-ness, but I would call it a two or a three, rather than the seven or eight of the last couple days.  The pounding has stopped.  I'm pretty confident that a good night's sleep will wipe out the rest of it.

Ernie seems to be doing better, too.  I made her a scrambled egg and she snarfed it down, so I waited a bit and made her another one.  She eats a bit, naps a bit, eats a bit more.  She doesn't seem to mind her eggs getting cold. She's been more active today than the last couple days. 

We're due for more freezing rain, which is doubly scary considering all the  fools folks on the road for New Year's Eve.  Walker and I are mostly staying home.  We're making Miss Diva some fondue, since she didn't get to try it during our Holidazzle weekend earlier this month.  Then I think we're taking her to the early fireworks show, then, who knows?  What I know for sure is that we won't be club hopping.  Those days, thankfully, are behind us.  Oh, it was fun at the time, but I'm not 21 anymore and no longer see the appeal of standing around an overcrowded bar, waiting twenty minutes for a drink and thirty minutes for the restroom, holding my coat the whole night because there is no place to put it down. I think we may put a movie in the DVD player and snuggle in for the evening. 

Tonight is our last processing day for the year at the office, so we have mandatory overtime.  I have to work at least 13 hours.  With a little luck the rain will hold off until after I finish my shift on Saturday morning.  If I don't get a chance to check in before we ring in the new year, I hope you all have a safe, happy New Year's Eve and wish each and every one of you many blessings for the new year.  Happy 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


So my headache was still hanging around when I got ready for work yesterday.  It was better, but not gone, and I was pretty sure it would get worse after a couple hours spent staring at the dual screens on my work PC.  So when Walker dug out a bottle of Advil Migraine, I figured it was worth a shot, even though I didnt have a true migraine.  Extra Strength Excedrin hadnt help edat all, and Aleve didnt help much.  My prescription ibuprofen would put me to sleep.  I was out of options.  I did read the full label, just to make sure there were no warnings about causing drowsiness or not to drive.  Nothing like that, so I decided to go for it.  The adult dosage was two capsules with a full glass of water, so thats what I took.

Big mistake.  Huge.

My headache did fuzz out pretty quickly, but so did the rest of me.  Within the hour I started feeling all cottony, like Id had a couple of glasses of wine.  Which I hadnt, of course.  By this point it was too late to call in sick to the office.  It was also too late to catch a nap, which I really, really needed at that point.  I had less than an hour until I had to leave for work.  What to do?  Bring on the caffeine. 

Yeah, I know, bad plan.

Honestly, I probably should have stayed home.  If Walker or one of my friends was in the shape I was in, I would have advised them to stay put.  Why do I push myself harder?  Probably because, miserable as I felt, I knew I could do it.  I could get myself to the office, do my job, and get myself home.  And that’s just what I did.  It was a long, painful, drowsy night, but I powered through it.

I drove home  - carefully - through freezing rain and was very grateful to park in my driveway, safe & sound.  Tomorrow is another day, right? Hopefully when I wake up this dang headache will be gone.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Can I Go Back to Bed, Please?

I have a headache.  A bad one.  So bad, I left work an hour early last night.  I came home, gave Ernie her medications, took a pain med myself, and went to bed.  I didn't even brush my teeth.  I slept twelve hours, but the headache is still here.  It's not as bad as it was last night.  I have some prescription ibuprofen, but I can't take it before I go to work because it knocks me out.  Which is likely why I slept twelve hours.  The dose I took was one pill, but I'm supposed to take two.  This is why I hate to take medication - it hits me hard.  Usually, I prefer to power through the pain, as I know that eventually it will pass.  I took nothing after I had my appendix out, nothing stronger than ibuprofen after my hysterectomy, and nothing at all after the breast cancer surgery.  I was okay, able to sleep and move around without too much discomfort.  Yet a headache does me in.  Go figure.

Miss Ernie is having a bad day, too.  She seems to be losing her strength.  She tries to jump from sofa to chair and misses, landing hard on the floor.  She still manages to go from floor to furniture.  Her appetite is good, and I feed her as much as she wants to eat.  Her cancer has her metabolism working overtime.  When I hold her, I can feel her heart racing. The vet says there is nothing to be done about that.  It's just the progression of the disease.  Her hip bones jut out, and it's harder to find loose skin when I do her injections every night.  There isn't an ounce of fat left on her.  I pray she is not in pain.  She's feisty, still, and she literally runs when I prepare her food.  So, we wait.  It's hard.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Looking Forward

Seems like it takes forever for Christmas to arrive, then it's over in a flash.  I love when Christmas Day is on a Sunday, since that means I actually get a good day off.  When Christmas falls in the middle of the week, I work Christmas Eve and don't get home until after 3am on the 25th.  I get just a couple hours of sleep before I either have to get up and make dinner or get up and pack up to head to someone's house.  This year, since Christmas Eve was on Saturday, I was able to go to Walker's family gathering, spend some quality time with Diva, get to bed at a normal time, get up with Diva to experience Christmas morning through her eyes, and head to Bro's new place at noon with food and gifts all prepared.  It was a wonderful holiday.  On Christmas night, Walker had to work so I took advantage of the empty house to get some chores done.  But I also spend some time buried in my latest book, watched some old Christmas shows on TV, and visited with some friends online.  And?  I have Monday off, too. 

I can't help but look back over the year, revisit my goal list, and look ahead to 2012.  I accomplished most of my goals for 2011, except the whole "improve my diet and get more exercise" bit.  The financials?  Check!  The relationships?  Check!  Two out of three ain't bad.  I did well with the other areas of the "health" category, too.  I am all caught up on my medical and dental checkups, I'm faithfully taking my meds, I've gotten my cholesterol down.  All that's left is to lose some weight and figure out a way to get exercise into my crazy schedule.

My employer has partnered with Weight Watchers and will be offering any and all employees free Weight Watchers programs starting in February.  I will be first in line to sign up.  I think I could use the boost that I would get from having to stand in front of a room full of people and....well, I guess I don't know exactly what I'd have to do.  Weigh in?  Fess up to eating cookies for breakfast?  I don't know but I guess I will be finding out.  I wish I could start now.  I'm feeling pretty motivated.  I'm not sure if I'll have any other goals when 2012 rolls around, but I'm sure I'll be thinking on it for the next few days.  I'm big on setting goals.  I'll let ya know.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

An Unexpected Gift

Today I got the best Christmas gift I could ever imagine.  I have my Diva, sleeping in her bed while I play Santa.  In all our years together, I've never had Diva, or any other child, in my home on Christmas morning.  I never thought I would, honestly.  Diva and Squeak are the babies of the family, and I really thought this year would be the year they decided to stop believing in Santa.  I got a little teary last year after the holidays, thinking that the little ones had just breezed through the last year of Christmas magic.  Thankfully, I was wrong.

Now: listen to this and tell me there is no such thing as fate.  Last week I went to the eye doctor, and on Monday Walker and I went to the mall.  We had some last minute Christmas shopping, we needed new cell phones, and I wanted to get new eye glasses.  Only I forgot my prescription. The tech at the eye place tried to call my doctor, but sat on hold so long that by the time someone came on the line, the doctor had gone home.  I had no choice but to go back to the mall later in the week.

I was less than thrilled. Who wants to go to the mall during the last week before Christmas?  And now I have to go back?  But I had money coming from my insurance that had to be used before the end of the year so I sucked it up and we went back on Thursday.  As we went down the mall I noticed that several stores were having last minute sales.  Good sales.  At  good stores.  Of course we looked around.   And of course I found a few things I knew Diva would love.  Despite the fact that I already had her gift at home, we bought her a couple things.  I hid them in the house with no particular plan of when to give them to her. 

After the mall, I had an hour to wait before I could go to work.  I decided to head to Target, just to kill some time.  I mean, it would take 20 minutes to get home, and another 20 to get back to the office, but Target was five minutes away.  No harm cruising around there, right?  Surprisingly, the store wasn't busy. Not surprisingly, I found a few more little things for Diva.  A small box of chocolates, a small bottle of fragrance popular with girls her age, some fancy Christmas socks....Of course, I purchased those things, too.

So on Christmas Eve morning, when Diva called asking if she could stay over, I said a little prayer of thanks.  If I hadn't had to go back to the mall that second time, I wouldn't have been there for the sales, and I wouldn't have a Santa gift for Diva.  If I hadn't had to kill an hour at Target, I'd have nothing for her stocking.  Last spring, when our basement flooded again and again, I lost all my wrapping supplies.  Around Thanksgiving I bought one roll of paper and no bows, cause I always pick those up after Christmas at 70% off.  Except earlier on Christmas Eve I went down into the basement and found one roll of old paper that survived the water damage because it never got put away.  I managed to find one bow, too.  So Santa's gifts are wrapped in different paper than mine.  Funny how things work out......

And then, for the first time, I got to help my little one put together a plate of treats for Santa.  We watched the NORAD Santa tracker for a while, seeing him zip over Africa and Europe and South America before hitting the States.  I got to tuck a very excited little girl into bed with all her favorite stuffed animals.  And I got to stuff a stocking and write a letter signed, "Santa".  It does not get better than this.   

Merry Christmas to all my blogger friends.  I hope you are feeling as blessed by this season as I am right now.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Have a Feeling He Won't Stop With One

The lovely Maggie had an animated Christmas card on her page, and when I showed it to Walker, well, the rest of the evening was pretty much shot because he wanted to make one of our own, but he had to try out all the options before settling on this one.  Click the link to see a couple old fools dance and sing their hearts out for you.  Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Greeting for My Blogger Pals

Friday, December 23, 2011

Let's Just Call This One "The Pipe Dream"

Before Ernie got so sick, Walker and I took care of my sister's dogs every day.  My sister is a teacher at a private Catholic school, but she also mentors, volunteers on several committees, assists in recruiting new staff, and serves as a chaplain of sorts for the girls' sports teams.  She often works long days and the dogs were more comfortable here, with Walker and me, than home alone all day with just a brief visit when someone would come to let them out.

Back then I would walk the dogs around the neighborhood once or twice a day.  On one of these walks a neighbor's house caught my eye.  It's tucked into the back of a quiet cul du sac, nothing grand or flashy about it.  I don't know why it appeals to me so much, but it does. I remember thinking that I wished I could see inside.  Every time I walked the dogs down that road we'd go into the cul du sac, past the house.  A few months later, I was startled to see a For Sale sign in the yard.  I went home an told Walker, who was less than thrilled.  We'd been in our home for about a year and were knee deep in remodeling.  My old house was on the market still.  There was no way we could entertain the idea of moving.  He was right, I knew, but I decided that I would tour the property anyway, when the seller had an open house.

Except they never had one.  The house sold too quickly.  I figured it was for the best.  No sense falling in love with something I couldn't have, right?  I still admire that house every time I go down that street, and I still haven't been inside.  Only now, this week, the house went back on the market.

This house is a little smaller than our current home.  It has more finished square footage but no basement.  The big draws, for me, are the two things we can't add to our current home:  a two car garage and a back yard.  It would be so, so nice to be able to park both of our cars inside during the winter months.  For that matter, it would be nice in the summer, too, when there are storms in the forecast.  We got lucky this summer that the tornado and the mega hail didn't wreck our cars.  We have a single car garage right now, with no room to enlarge it.  It's currently home to a lawn mower, a snow blower, the back seats for Walker's van, the patio furniture.....we don't have room to park inside.  And the only way we'll ever have a back yard here is if we buy the next door neighbor's house, LOL.  The back yard of this home has gorgeous landscaping, plus room for kids and dogs to play.  Sigh.


Look at all these cupboards!  My current house has a grand total of seven cupboards.  This one has at least twice as many, probably more.  I can't tell what's on the left. I don't love the terra cotta walls but I can paint.  It has a fireplace, too, in the living room.  And there are two full bathrooms.  I wouldn't have to share with a boy!  I would paint my whole bathroom pink and get a cheetah print shower curtain just to ensure that no boys would ever want to enter my territory.  Maybe I'd better go have a chat with Santa.  I really have been good.......