March 12, 2016

  • Who Loves DST?

    Last night I went to a concert in the next town over. St. Charles, Il, a relatively small town too, has reclaimed an old theater and consistently books acts really worth traveling to see. For me, the commute is about 2.5 miles! It was my first ever show alone. I admit I was a bit uncomfortable. More than a bit. But by the time the music started I was fine. When it was over though, I didn't linger nor mingle. Guess I'll need to work on being comfortable solo in a world full of couples.

    This morning I went grocery shopping and to the post office. Now I'm contemplating giving Cupcake a bath, she desperately needs one but it's been a two person job in the past. Freddie hates baths but he's small enough for me to manage. Cupcake doesn't seem as resistive to getting wet, it's more like she thinks the bathroom and I should be equally as wet.

    I have been feeling pretty well and definitely ready for the next taper off my med. This next taper (Monday) is a big one because after that I will only be on one tablet of .5 mgs in the morning. I'm proud of myself for doing it and for doing it in such a safe way. I'm usually one to jump into projects full speed ahead.

    While I was out last night, there was some unrest at the Trump rally in Chicago. So much so that it was decided Trump wouldn't appear, which only made the crowd wilder. Lots of news, speculation and opinion pieces about it all this morning. This is the longest, strangest, most bizarre election cycle I can remember.

    Happy weekend everyone. Don't forget your clocks Spring Forward tonight!


    Addendum: Cupcake had her bath. Cupcake and I had her bath. Even the bathroom joined in!

March 10, 2016

  • The Auction

    Yesterday I attended an online artists' jewelry auction. I was just going to browse the work of various artists with no intention to purchase anything because, I really don't need anything, I don't go anywhere anyway, and lastly, I'm on a very tight budget because my finances STILL haven't been straightened out by social security.

    The best laid plans, right? I was really taken by this one piece. Though many others were lovely too, this one just spoke to me. So I bought it. :smile: It's a little funky, a little steampunk, and it reminds me that there is music and love in my heart.




March 9, 2016

  • This n That

    I just read an article about anti-regulation republicans drinking raw milk and getting sick. I love the idea of drinking raw milk but I'm a cynic and don't trust where it's from and that it isn't contaminated.

    The whole thing reminded me of a story from when I was little. I don't have many good memories of childhood so I'll have to remember to share this with the sons.

    My dad and I took a walk from the village to the farm to get fresh milk. He carried the big milk can. People walked and biked much farther back in those days. On our way back from the farm we stopped every so often and he would take the lid off the can and fill it with milk which we would drink. By the time we got back to the outskirts of the village there wasn't enough left. I had two baby brothers at home. So we turned around and walked back to the farm for a refill. :smile:


    Last night eldest son and I finally had a good catch-up conversation. We talked a bit about my move next year, how he's doing, and then he asked how my candidate did yesterday. So we talked a bit about politics too. I know that some time in the last few years he has switched party affiliations. I know this first hand because there was quite a *spirited discussion* between brothers at the dinner table during his last visit home. Anyway, I haven't asked because I was afraid of the answer so was almost thrilled to learn that not only isn't Trump his "guy," but Cruz isn't either. Yay!


    March. It's the month of Spring. My birthday month. My mother, niece and nephew also have birthdays this month. But most importantly, it's my son Dylan's birthday month. He would have been 26.


March 7, 2016

  • Just A Short Follow-Up

    So today I went shopping for the sickie who lives 4 states away. When they were younger, but already adults, I would still send them Easter treats -all but the basket. And Valentine's cards with some bucks inside.

    Now I send pharmacy packs. I "assume" these things are never in their homes. So I make a box and fill it with band aids, travel packs of tissues, hand sanitizer, aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, nasal spray, cough drops, decongestants, a digital thermometer, pain relieving ointments, Chapstick, and maybe one or two other things I can't remember at the moment. This is undoubtedly considered enabling! I don't have daughters, but can't imagine a mom of a daughter doing this. I added a few goodies and wrapped it all up and will take it to the post office tomorrow.

    I should have stuck my business card in there with it. :wink:

March 6, 2016

  • Beating Down Anxiety

    Other than taking care of car things, which I've already mentioned, William also took care of other odious chores like doing taxes. And hiring window washers in Spring and Fall.  I feel sort of guilty for taking these things for granted because they sure seem to be major things when I have to do them.


    Am I the only mother who worries when not hearing from the "kids" for awhile? Part of me thinks that's ridiculous, it's unrealistic to expect to hear from a 39 year old man regularly. But another part thinks, it's not like he has to pen a letter and send it via pony express. How hard can it be to text, "hey Mom, I'm doing fine, hope you are too"?  The more time that goes by, the more worried I get because my anxious brain works that way. With one son dead and one son paralyzed, I think I come by this disorder honestly. So I reach out, feeling like an annoying mother, only to find out there was something wrong, he's been ill. Would I have worried more or less if I'd known he was ill? I don't know. But I'm also a nurse. Maybe I could've helped. Or be even more annoying by telling him everything he already knows. :sigh:

    Younger son is on vacation right now. Just a 5 day respite in AZ, UT, NV. He texts all day. It's almost like being there, he's been sending me beautiful pics of an area of the country I've never been. He's 35. Brothers. They are different as night and day.

    Which reminds me, later this month is youngest son's birthday. He would have been 26. It seems that subconsciously I am always aware of milestone dates. When I become consciously aware, I note that there is usually an increase in anxiety preceding the date. The date itself comes and goes now, just another day without him. In the beginning, that first year, all the "firsts" were pretty awful. The second year was a bit better. Now it's my subconscious that reminds me of what's coming up.


    I just want to remind the few readers left here on xanga that it (to me) isn't the way it used to be and I don't expect any comments. Truly. I just need to journal as part of my own therapy, to cope with losses and learn to get my anxiety under control. I chose to come back to xanga because my archives are saved and if a kid is ever interested in reading my ramblings, well here they are. It's not as easy to write here as it used to be, but it may be just that I used to use my laptop and now I use my phone, which makes it almost impossible to read most of your blogs in return. There's something with the formatting that I can't seem to fix.


March 4, 2016

  • It's Super Tuesday

    Watching election returns on MSNBC. I'm almost more interested in the Republican returns at this moment. Most states are in by now, and it looks like Donald Trump is winning it all. I'm not one to threaten to leave the country if so-and-so wins, but it does give me a bit of comfort to have a foreign passport. :smile:


    ....and now it's five days later.

    The following day I had a major panic attack. I managed, with the help of two friends, to eventually get it under control and NOT go to the ER, which was my first inclination. Do you know that panic attacks mimic heart attacks? Anyway, that was the first sign of anything that might be related to tapering off my anxiolytic. I've decided to wait a few more days before making the next dosage cut.

    Now that I've been to the movies by myself several times, I am going to a concert by myself next week. I bought one ticket to see Southside Johnny at a local venue. I hope to enjoy myself. My last big solo outing will be dinner in a restaurant alone. I'm pretty sure I'm not ready for that yet.

    My son is in AZ this week for a bit of R&R and scoping out the area to see if he will really want to live there. So far his texts have all been positive. I, myself, have been "window shopping" houses in the Denver area. Coincidentally, US News and World Report has just put out their annual best cities to live and Denver ranked number one.

    The weather these last few days has been warm. And cold. Sunny. And snowy. Gotta love El Niño. A few more weeks until Spring. :wink:

February 28, 2016

  • Oscar

    It's an Oscar day. As someone who really hasn't watched [any] movies in years, I tried to watch some of the bigger ones in anticipation of the awards tonight, so that I can watch and know what they're talking about.

    I saw The Finest Hour, The Revenant, Youth, 45 Years, The Martian, Brooklyn, Spotlight, Room, and maybe one or two I'm forgetting right now. For me, that's a LOT of movie watching, but it's been fun and most of the movies were good (except Youth) and some really excellent (The Revenant.)


    It's a really Spring-like day here today. I'm thinking that soon I really need to do Spring cleaning, and am wondering how I'll find the motivation for that!? Maybe a room at a time. I go floor to ceiling, so the curtains need to be washed, the blinds need to be cleaned, and kitchen cabinets done. Oh and windows! Will surely have to hire out windows and yard clean up. March is my month for all of that. My birthday falls on the first day of Spring. It's a lovely day for a birthday, I think. So I like to have it all done by then. This year might include some painting too. Oy! But it will be so nice once it's all done.

    Going to go do some cooking and baking now, will be in pajamas watching the red carpet fashion show by 6 o'clock.  Would you believe I've only dressed up in a gown twice in my life? Dresses of course, even some very nice dresses, but formal, beautiful gowns, just two occasions.


February 24, 2016

  • And The Winner Is...

    After months of deliberating I have made a tentative decision about The Move. Tentative because I have a year yet before the house goes on the market, and we all know a lot can happen in that time. But if all goes well, I will be moving to Colorado. I struggled a lot with the decision for several reasons, but while it isn't exactly perfect, I am at peace now that I've made it. I've spoken to both sons, they seem to be cool with it. My plan will be to move to the Denver-to-Boulder area and rent an apt or condo for 6-12 months while I explore the area, find one I want to live in and then go house hunting. Or condo hunting perhaps. I know that I have a lot of time and could have mulled this over much longer, but this way I know where I'm going and it's something else I can take off my plate. I will be near enough to eldest son that he can come over on Sundays -his comment- but not so close that we run into each other in the lobby. :wink: My middle son will then be living in the Phoenix, AZ area. It's only a couple of inches on the map, but after looking up the mileage I see it's about as far as driving from here to NY, a drive I vow never to make again...each time I make it.


    So. That's settled. Today's blizzard pretty much was all south of us. Spring cleaning inside and outdoors will be on the agenda soon. Oh, and I'm feeling fine on day four of lower med dose. That's a wonderful thing.


    The extent the blizzard reached us today.

February 23, 2016

  • Addiction

    Many of us have addictions.

    Drugs, alcohol, food, love, sugar....

    We use the term literally and figuratively.

    "I'm addicted to books."


    "I'm addicted  chocolate."


    "I'm addicted to Game of Thrones."

    I probably have several addictions that I'd like to kick. Others that I wouldn't mind having. Right now, for the past 3 days, I am working on kicking a bonafide, serious addiction. I didn't really know I had this addiction until I googled my symptoms, which lead me to my meds, which lead me to their side effects. Yes, I'm a (retired) nurse. Funny the things that do not really occur to us when we're the patient.

    So, as I've mentioned before, I have a pretty severe anxiety disorder for which I take a medication called an anxiolytic- which basically means anti-anxiety. It's in a category of drugs called benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are bad and should not be used long term. My doctor saw fit to keep me on them for, oh, 7-8 years. I must admit, there have been some terrible storms in my life during that time.

    But now things are calmer and more importantly, side effects have come to the fore, namely, memory loss. I don't know if I can regain any of it by weaning off the medication, and have no idea how to control sometimes debilitating anxiety once I'm off the med and have an anxiety attack, but that's getting ahead of myself. For now, VERY SLOWLY, I have begun the taper. I am going extremely slowly, hoping to mitigate withdrawal.

    Wish me luck.


    (Yes, the irony of being addicted to a drug is not lost on me.)

February 20, 2016

  • Semi-Productive Saturday

    Today is a cooking and baking day. I don't plan them ahead but I did go shopping yesterday with a few recipes in mind. I find chopping and preparing quite cathartic. I still don't cook for one, but I have been dividing, labeling and freezing leftovers. Right now I have a new chicken stew recipe in the slow cooker. I'll make meatballs next and then get a marzipan cake in the oven. Might as well get a few things out of one messy kitchen! And, boy, am ever a messy cook. Luckily, our new house has quite a small kitchen that's a breeze to clean after I'm done cooking.

    Chicagoland had very heavy winds yesterday. There seems to be lots of damage in the city, and I was concerned about the trees and roof here, but everything held up to what was reported to be 69 mph winds.

    As I've mentioned before, I continue to angst over where to move and have also added worrying about selling the house if the economy takes another dump like in 2007-2008. But I have made a little progress, and unless things change drastically between now and next spring, I have decided to move to the Denver area. I suppose I could become a Broncos fan. The weather is much better than here, but there are certainly still 4 seasons. I have Denver as well as a few other places on my weather app which I check daily and consistently it's nicer there than here, be it not as hot in the summer, nor as cold in the winter. Sounds like enough of a tentative plan to work towards.

    How do people with pets go on vacation? I've been wanting to take a couple of trips but I really don't want to kennel the dogs. The cat isn't too much of a problem because my son can take care of him, though he's a snuggly cat and will get lonely. Ah well, it isn't something to stress over yet, maybe by late spring, or even summer.  Right now I don't have any sure plans other than Grand Rapids in July for the wheelchair tennis tournament.

    There's a caucus and a primary today. Will go finish in the kitchen then turn on early returns.

    Have a great weekend!