Wednesday, December 29, 2010


     Sorry to be so late but just to keep you all up to date...I'm still fighting this thing! It just about has me cornered and fighting to the last breath (and I MEAN it when it comes to breathing!). I'm just finishing up a round of meds and will call the doctor again in the morning.
     I AM getting better...just not well yet and I have no energy to speak of. Let me tell you, Christmas is no time to not have energy. We had one big celebration on Christmas Day with around thirty people here. I couldn't have made it were it not for my younger daughter and my niece (my older daughter had family responsibilities of her own that day. But we still have one more celebration (Christmas) set for New Year's Eve with a lot of people so I'm not out of the woods yet.
     Anyway, I'm going to live and I know I owe everyone an explanation so here it is...and when I get to feeling like myself I'll post again on a regular basis. I miss you all and I miss reading all the blogs and I apologize for it but I'm going to bed!
     If I don't post again until next week ...Happy New Year, Friends.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pnew-Monia or Too Much Christmas?

     It hit me again. I feel so bad I can barely hold my head up but do you think I'm sick? Oh, no. Just feel like death warmed over. I sure feel my years when I get this stuff anymore. I just don't bounce these days. Dern.
     I've been to the doctor's offices though.  No, not to my MEDICAL doctor. Oh no. In the midst of doing my best to get all the shopping, decorating, wrapping, planning, etc., etc., etc., done, I also have end-of-year medical stuff that has to be done at a certain time so insurance will take care of it.
      So I go traipsing off to Springfield Christmas shopping on Monday afternoon and Tuesday for bone density tests and Reclast infusions which have absolutely nothing to do with how I'm feeling and only serve to make me worse because I'm so exhausted by the time I'm finished running around all over the place.
     Monday I spend the day fruitlessly searching for gifts for persons impossible to buy for in the first place. At 5:30 in the evening I give up and go across town to spend the evening in the company of my 13-year-old granddaughter while her parents attend a holiday dinner. When they return we visit awhile longer and I spend the night, making the next morning easier to manage.
     Coffee and a few bites of breakfast.
      Most medical layouts are somewhat the same so I'll describe my particular situation and you can use your imagination: the bone density test was at my medical facility, a very large spread-out building across the wide wide street (north/west) from the hospital we use if we are desperately ill. I go to Radiology (I'm there at 9:30 a.m.) where I sit for 45 minutes waiting to be called for the bone density test. The test and all that goes with it takes until 11:45. I leave and run run run around town to finish (???) shopping before my next appointment at 1:30. I return to the hospital facility. The building where I need to be is catty-corner from the one I was at earlier (south/east), forcing me to park in front of the hospital itself. Since all the parking lots were very full, I drive around and around, at last locating a spot at the very bottom of the emergency lot. After locking the car, I walk UP the hill all the way to the front entrance of the hospital, where I am directed down a long long hallway to the far end of the building, onto a ramp/walkway that goes ACROSS THE STREET to the building I need to be in. Then I take an elevator down to the lower level, walk all the way down the hall to the very end, check in, walk back to the elevator, take it to the lowest level, again walk all the way down the hall to the very end and have the procedure. Then I return to the car.
     I get home at 5:30.
     And I wonder why I feel so bad.
     All I have left to do is finish shopping, put up the tree and wrap the gifts. Oh, yeah, and plan for the family dinner(s).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's Beginning to Look A Little Like Christmas

     Okay, I emptied the hall closet today. The one you couldn't get into without something tumbling onto your head. The one I stuck everything in LAST January and shoved with my foot as I closed the door. The closet no one dared open for eleven and one half months.
     It is lovely and neat now. It is nearly empty.
     On the other hand, there are boxes piled on the living room couch, the chairs, the floor and in the bedroom on my side of the bed and in front of the closet. Some are emptied and some are partially opened, papers and lids pulled and shoved out of place, so I can see what lies inside. Lights and stars are trailing across the floor and several dozen candles are scattered willy-nilly around the rooms.
     In other words, I'm decorating.
     Christmas is officially here. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care. Really and truly, even if what is left of the chimney from 150 years ago is only a partial plaster shape jutting out from the stairwell wall. And I doubt than anything larger than a mouse could possibly get down whatever opening might remain. Much less Santa Claus.
     But the stairs make a nice spot to place the majority of the decorated stockings and with the chimney behind holding the (self-purchased) three-foot stocking of one of the more optimistic grandsons, the living room begins to take on a very festive air.
     There aren't too many flat surfaces in my living room (at least ones that aren't permanently cluttered with books and papers) but now those that are available are covered with my collection of Santas and the odds and ends of small things accumulated through the years. Oddly enough, even the shabby worn ornaments take on some kind of glow when they've been uncovered after another year of being boxed up. One just can't give some of them up no matter how bad they look or how worn out they become.
     Over to my left is an empty corner, waiting for my daughter and grandson to return with our Christmas tree. Everything in the room had to be rearranged so the 'office' has temporarily turned into a storage room, the upright bass and guitar has been moved out of the living room, a couple of little tables have disappeared and some chairs are now crowded together. But do you think I'm giving up my floor-to-ceiling live Christmas tree? Over my dead body!
     And pretty soon it won't look a little like Christmas any more. It will look a LOT like Christmas.
     It's a good thing. Because it is coming much faster today than it was yesterday.
     As some good folks used to say, it seems to me that,  "The hurriered I go the behinder I get."

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cyber Week

     On-line Christmas shopping may use less gasoline than cruising the malls but I'm  here to testify its just as stressful. I've spent the better part of the day filling out forms, sending off orders, revising orders, canceling orders, putting in card numbers etc., etc., etc., until my head is spinning.
     I shouldn't complain. At least my legs don't hurt.
     And part of the shopping is finished. Only part, mind you. But, really, I'll get it finished in time. I promise. All I have to do is to come up with gifts for four grown men, three teen-age boys and a couple of small kids. Now the kids are no problem...if they were all kids it would be a breeze. (Oh, for the days!) And, I'm sorry, but I HATE handing anyone cash or cards or anything of the sort. I WANT to give gifts. I just can't think of anything appropriate.
     I'd bend and give the men lottery tickets because they could be fun but it would be just my luck for the one who has quite a bit to win several thousand dollars and the ones who really could use the cash to sit and watch with drool dripping off their chins. So that's out.
     Shirts? My husband is a good example. Do you know how many shirts there are in his closet? I'd hate to count. On top of that, he has an iron-clad policy to never let a piece of clothing go, even if he doesn't wear it. He has shirts that have never seen the light of day but do you think he will let me give them away? Oh, no. He might want to wear them someday. In reality, he wears one of perhaps four shirts all the time. (Two are exactly alike and I watch like a hawk to keep them washed.)
      Teens? Oh, right. They would take anything as long as it is electronic and costs over $500. I wish I had enough money to buy five I-Pads because they are all in love with mine. However . . . that's out.
     At least you can find things that women will like. Maybe only temporarily but they WILL like them. Women seem to just enjoy unwrapping shiny packages and exclaiming over glittering bracelets, unnecessary purses and scarves and jackets and strange kitchen gadgets, even while knowing they will never be used.
     Why do men and boys think you should NEED something to enjoy getting it?
     They should watch and learn. Christmas presents aren't about things you need. They're about things that are there to be unwrapped and exclaimed over.
     All the suffering I do? I wouldn't do it if it were'nt FUN in the long run.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Send Me to Glory in a Glad Bag@

     I despise trash.
     There is more trash generated in a day by this family than there is usable material that came inside it.
     On any given day, I fill at least one enormous black trash bag and haul it to the barrel outdoors. Most of the time there are two, but to be fair, sometimes I do put another half day in between gathering up all of it into disposable containers.
     Now, I know this is something my readers are not likely to be happy to find out but it is just one of those things: we still BURN!
     I know!
     I'll admit I'm a firm believer in re-cycling and I'm as concerned about the environment as the next one but until I live alone again (or at least just myself and my better half) I've given up. Burning is still allowed in our county and I am blessed to be able to do it. There is something soooooo satisfying about standing and watching those piles and piles and piles of trash turn into a thin column of black smoke, and then disappearing forever. It is almost addictive.
     I do manage to save all the newspapers and magazines and catalogs (what I can bring myself to give up) and donate them to the local re-cycling station in town. But I got sick and tired of digging through nine small and two large trash containers on a regular basis just in order to separate sticky nasty cola cans and plastic milk cartons.
     In this house, peace is kept by my refusing to become a small (!) dictator. So I just do my job the best way I can. In this case it means getting rid of all the garbage and trash in the most efficient manner I can manage.
     When the wonderful day ever comes that I can unwrap a package of something . . . anything . . . without removing sixteen layers of plastic hard enough to build a barn from perhaps I can rest. Wouldn't it be great to come home and put things away, knowing there was only one thin barrier between you and whatever  it is you are planning to use?
     But no . . . you never know. I might slink into the large discount store with my trusty little scissors or tiny pocket knife and make off with something val-u-a-ble, so I'm stuck with dealing with trying to remove tons of armour from whatever I've bought.
     Then I have to dispose of it too.
     Ergo: Bright burning, all-consuming Fire. . . until something better comes along.
     Oh, yeah. The title. I stole it from a friend of mine who wrote a wonderful funny song with that name. Didn't have a key on the computer with a copyright symbol so I just substituted the @ sign. Ain't I clever?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Did I Tell You? Or Did I Tell You?

     Okay, I woke up and felt AWFUL. My body hurt and my neck hurt and I wanted to die. So I left the house at 8:30 a.m. and drove 50 miles, sat around half nekkid for hours waiting for ex-ray and blood test results, freezing my you-know-what off (do you know how COLD those offices are?) because the doctor just knew for sure I had pneumonia or meningitis or something dreadful unknown to mankind until this very minute.
     At 1:15 p.m. I was turned loose (I had had ONE CUP OF COFFEE from Mc you-know-who on the way up) to have lunch and go home.
     "Go home," she said. "Take Tylenol or aleve or something. You'll get over it in a day or two. If it DOES get worse, go to the emergency room."
    I had one very small errand to do . . . return a jacket that was too big when I got home. Drove across town, parked. Couldn't find the receipt! Spent ten minutes going over every inch of car, purse, coat pockets. It is GONE. (Not at home either. When I say gone, I mean gone.)
    I was starving. I stopped and had a baked potato and a salad. The only thing good. Since I had an important meeting out of town in the evening I stopped in Marionville and picked up dinner for my long-suffering husband. I waited and waited and waited. (That's what I get for trying someplace new.)
     Now, I really thought ham and potatoes and beans and cornbread would be easily fixed and transported. My husband is partial to that kind of cooking. The place looked to be the right sort of place. However . . .the food ended up looking terrible and, according to poor dear husband, tasted worse, even after being placed on a 'real' plate and heated nicely. How in the name of heaven you can ruin beans and cornbread I'll never know.
     Okay, I'm home. It is 4:30. My event is supposed to be from 5 to 8 and it is 30 minutes from home. I look like something the cat drug in.
     So I spiff myself up, plaster make-up all over so I don't look like death warmed over, suck down a cup of hot coffee and about 5:30 I'm on the road again.
     It's a good thing my body is resilient. Also it's nice that I'm really not sick (the doctor said so, remember?) Anyway, off I go to put on as good a front as I can.
     And it is nice . . . a gathering of writers and advertisers (and interested citizens) who are celebrating the one-year birthday of a new magazine in our area. CONNECTIONS is a fine new magazine dedicated to Southwest Missourians and is being distributed free of charge across Barry and Lawrence Counties. It has just published its thirteenth issue and is really taking off. So popular has it become that subscriptions are being offered now to people outside the immediate area and the focus is no longer on just around here, but is expanding to include the Ozarks in a more general way.  (Check their page on Facebook or ask me to send info if you are interested in more.)
     Anyway, I relaxed and enjoyed myself, staying until about 7:30 before heading home. Now I'm wrapped up in my jammies and robe and doing what I like best . . . relaxing with the computer and my books.
     My head still aches, my stomach feels funny and my eyes hurt but hey! There's nothing the matter with me! I'll just pop a couple of pills and I'll be fine.
     Onward and upward!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dreary Days

     Last night when I couldn't sleep I was filled with good ideas about what to write about. Today and tonight they are all gone.
     I feel like I should crawl into a hole and pull it in after me. This bug is not going away and I'm exhausted from dealing with it. So, after two weeks of listening to husband and children lecturing me about doctors and protesting as loudly as I could I am giving up. Tomorrow I'm getting out of my nice warm bed, putting on decent clothes (leaving my cuddly robe behind) and driving fifty miles to hear a doctor tell me what I already know . . . I've got something that makes me feel like the devil and it will just take a while for it to go away.
     This has happened before and it will happen again. I call and say "there is nothing really wrong, just feeling lousy." Nurse says "doctor thinks you should come in. might be serious." I say " I don't have a fever, just can't shake it ." Nurse says "doctor says come in anyway."  I go in and who is right? ME. I waste the doctor's time, my time, everybody's time.
     Now, I'm not wanting to be sick. I'm not wanting to show everybody up. I just want a little something to help me get well. I've spent two and a half weeks swallowing aspirin and cold medicine and finally give up and what do I get? An exhausting trip and a diagnosis I could have made for myself.
     Oh, well, it makes my family happy I guess. And one of these days, who knows, maybe I'll actually have pneumonia? Will that suit me? Hohoho.
     I'll let you know what happens after I recover from the trip.
     (I guess you know I don't feel like doing any Christmas shopping on the side, either!)
     Oh, dreary days! Oh, woe is me! Moan, groan, poor pity-ful me.
     Does anyone feel sorry for me?