Archive for the ‘Health and Insanity’ Category

Five for Friday.

February 26, 2021

Good morning highs, good morning lows, good morning elbows, and good morning hoes!

Yeah, I don’t know what that was either.

It seems that bits and tricks on Friday mornings are all I good for, so let’s launch and not think all those negative thoughts about why I can’t seem to summon inspiration, bravery, and grown-uppish-ness on all those other weekdays to just hammer one out. Shall we?

  1. It is a fact universally acknowledged that the morning you wake up without any of the head-and-chest congestion that left you miserable for days is the best morning in the history of modern times. No, no: it’s just a fact. The sun is shining (eh), the birds are chirping, and I almost don’t hate interacting with people today. Good times, my friends, good times.
  2. I’m feeling so good, in fact, that I’m not hating the weather. True, the world has righted itself and New England is no longer 60 degrees warmer than hell Texas. But [sprinkling anti-jinx dust around me for good measure], I’ve acclimated better than I thought. It’s been a balmy 30 degrees here most days, and most days I need to remind myself to take my jacket with me “just in case.” God, that was my Mum’s favorite sayings. Just in case! Just in case you get stranded by the side of the road! Just in case you make a left turn and end up in Canada instead of Uxbridge! Just in case the weather drops 40 degrees! …Okay, well, that last one might actually happen; it’s New England. No, no, it’s not the “If a jacket sits unworn in the middle of a forest, and no one wears it, is it still a jacket?” philosophical debate that has me glaring at the weather. It’s the havoc it’s wreaking on my skin and hair with winter’s insatiable thirst for moisture! I can’t lotion up my skin fast enough. My skin is responding very nicely, as long as I feed and water it and take it for long walks. It’s my hairrrrr. My stupid, beautiful, curly, winter-hating hairrrrr. One week after plopping myself down in these here wintry climes, my hair decided it was going to dandruff the frick out. I’ve tried Head and Shoulders. I’ve tried expensive boutique solutions. I’m on my hands and knees begging for your best solutions. Bring it! Because one day (soon-ish) I will feel like the time is right to start dating again and I’m not bringing this hair situation with me.
  3. Speaking of feeling better about myself, I think one of the first things I’m doing with my new salary and wage earnings is to splurge on a trainer. Because obviously ain’t no way I’m getting outta bed and working myself out. Wait – is that even grammar? Ahem. Erm. Well. Bodies! Yes, I would like to fit back into the buckets of clothes I spent buckets of monies to move up here. The first step is to actually do something about it. I’ve cut out the snacking. Now I need to cut in a healthy dose of cardio and strength training. I’ve done it before – after carrying my second beautiful baby to term, I worked off the 50lbs of pregnancy weight, and went down four more sizes just for “fun.” I can’t tell you how much confidence that gives me! The question is now: Do I do what worked then – “just” sticking to 20-minute work-out videos every week-day morning before work? Or do I get myself a trainer? A trainer would help out local businesses and give me extra incentive to Doooooo It! But the responsible thing during the pandemic would be to stay home. But! At home my father (who pays for everything. ergo rules everything) sleeps 7p-3a, and my brother (who takes care of the house and its occupants, ergo you don’t want to piss him off) sleeps 1a-10a. There isn’t a lot of time to seamlessly slip in a work-out routine. Nor can I just work out in my room with my earbuds in, because our house was built in 1898 and the floors are creaky as shit. So many excuses I could latch onto. For now, I’ll be happy to answer just one: What’s a good Denise Austin-esque general 30-minute work-out video that’s going to help me shed pounds?? Oodles of karma to the kind soul who comes up with the winner!
  4. Yeah, it’s a crazy schedule here at Casa de Padre, at least if you’re trying to be considerate since you’re rooming without paying a lot of board right now. If I don’t have interviews for a “forever job” that day, I try to spend at least an hour running errands or just driving around the city, re-orienting myself with landmarks and street names and where that one street over there comes out again? It makes my heart happy to see all these places of home and not be haunted by the fact that I have to leave to go to back Texas at the end of the week. Every single blessed afternoon, I get a feeling of coming home that I thought only existed in books and fleeting dreams. But at the end of those drives, when I’ve squeezed every adventure and back-road in that I could, and sung my way through half-a-dozen playlists at the top of my lungs, it’s back to Casa de Padre I go. Back to the job applications, the dinner dishes, small talk, and all. the. quiet.
  5. You know what quiet needs? BOOKS! A blessing and a curse, dear readers, a blessing and a curse. Any one who’s spoken to me for more than thirty minutes knows that I read quite a bit, and these days I do a lot of my reading online. Reading online is convenient; my ebook mountains are usually supplied by the growing e-library selection offered by the libraries I belong to across several states (book nerds unite!); and not only does that mean the books I want to read are available nearly instantaneously, but I don’t need to find a place to store them in my 8×10 cubby hole here at the house. Which brings me to my dilemma: there’s a book I want to read. [Audience gasps.] Deacon King Kong, by The waitlist at my libraries are all daunting – not that it stopped me from cheerfully adding my name. But the book is available, conveniently, at my local Barnes&Noble. Or I could pay the same amount and get the e-book. The e-book won’t have to be shoe-horned into some scrum of invaluable artifacts from my past life that just had to stay out of storage…but giving my money to Barnes&Noble would make my heart feel so much lighter. And I can’t help but add: so much nobler.(Sorry, sorry – I had to.) While I’ve read the sneak-peek of Deacon a few times, and I adore it, I’m nervous. I’m not usually a James McBride fan. I’m afraid the rest of the book will fade away and I’ll wonder why, exactly, I spent precious discretionary funds on this title, of all things. And normally it wouldn’t be no thing, I’d just wait it out on the waitlist. God knows I have 394530949 other books on my To Be Read list to tide me over. It’s just that Deacon is part of the March Madness insanity of the Tournament of Books. I have 4-ish days to get ‘er done if I’m going to care about spoilers. With a good book, it doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t matter. But can you imagine reading Gone Girl and knowing the twist? Still good; the execution was impeccable; but not the same as as yelling HOLY SHIT!! on a plane-load of people. Ahem.

So yeah, there you go! My five little points of madness, or of tiny little nothingness-es, or of whatever you’d like to consider them. Five little trampolines to bounce into the weekend. Because yes, Virginia, even in a land of loose structure, bound by a barely-there calendar, weekends are still the end-all, be-all, responsible for this giant smile on my face!

Is that a sunburn or the plague?

May 28, 2019

This is turning into the semester I couldn’t do anything right – including sunburn, apparently. Did you all have a wondering Memorial Day weekend? Did you stuff yourself with hotdogs and hamburgers, macaroni salad, and grilled peaches? (YUM!)

Predictably, I also stuffed myself with a bunch of great books [eight books this weekend! Chipping away at the gap, I am]. And for one of them, I even took myself outside, soaking in some vitamin C.

Except…Vitamin C won this round of Slapjack. With me being Jack, apparently.

My sunburn isn’t even that bad! I was only outside for an hour before I finished that book [a re-read of Bachman’s The Long Walk], and came inside to switch out my book, but then stayed for the air conditioning. All of that is to say, my burn is from only an hour of sun exposure. And while I’ve always been fair-skinned and prone to burn easier, SPF 60 usually takes care of me for at least an hour or two.

The photos aren’t going to do it justice, but here – look:

It’s not even that my burn is that terrible – it hurts, sure, and way worse than it should hurt. I’m more squicked out by the fact that it’s less of a burn than an…attack of some sort.

No! I know that sounds crazy! but LOOK! It’s not a consistent blanket of burn. My chest looks the most like that typical(ish) sort of burn. But the rest of me! It looks like the sun was a mosquito and it attacked the shit out of me! My legs aren’t even uniformly attacked! My right leg has way more splotches than the left one. But my left side was the side turned towards the sun. It’s not even because it was sun-ward. And I have no idea why the right side would be 10x the severity of the left side.

So what’s going on? Anyone have a clue? Right now I’m going under the assumption that I’m allergic somehow, and so I’ll sit indoors as much as I can, and then sneak outside under a giant beach hat and…a…trench coat, or something.

But really, I have no idea what’s going on. I’m just going to add “Can’t sunburn correctly” under my 2019 column. The year is nuts, you guys. For real.

How do you perceive yourself?

February 18, 2019

That was the question my therapist asked me last week. How do I think others perceive me, and how do I perceive myself.

It’s harder to answer than you think.

Then she gave me some homework: Create a collage to illustrate how you perceive yourself.  Me being me, I changed the assignment to include things that I identify with, or make me happy, or just created a strong feeling.

I think it came out okay:


I even included a hidden message that makes me happy! Because of course it does.

So, Faithful Readers, how do you think YOU perceive yourself?

Stop – breathe.

February 13, 2019

Two (not-so) littles down with the flu in 8 days – it’s easy to get caught up in rushing around to doctor’s appointments, pharmacy runs, and Target runs upon Target runs for Gatorade, the good tissues, Nyquil, and more Gatorade.

Even though you’re calling in for work, you still have to wake up to bring the healthy kiddo off to school. You might not change out of your pajamas, but you’re still constantly up-and-down for temp checks, pushing Gatorade, making jello, prepping breathing treatments.

I woke up this morning with my stomach in knots, anxiety making my brain race in not-good ways. I need to stop and breathe. I was glad when a friend sent a daily reflection, and wouldn’t you know that it was all about living in the present?

Life is found in the present. We’re not sure we can go a lifetime without feeling self-pity, but we can give it up for the day. By living one day at a time, we become more sure of our strength. We have the power to change things only in the present. The present holds much for us if we get a hold on it.

I needed to hear that. I don’t need to panic about how I’m going to fix everything because I can’t fix it all at once; I don’t need to focus on how I can make it all better because I can only change right now, today.

So! I’m passing on the challenge: focus on the here and now. Be good to yourself. Indulge. Enjoy a little self-care!


Here a flu, there a flu, everywhere a flu flu.

February 12, 2019

To no one’s surprise: now Bee-girl has the flu.

Gracie went back to school last Friday, and while she was still congested this weekend, it was nothing like last week, and we all had a really fun weekend, actually. We behaved ourselves, didn’t outdo it, went to bed at respectable times. Gracie had a minor set-back, a bit of a tummy issue on Sunday morning – either from going at it hard on Saturday, cleaning and then knick-knack shopping (as one does) with her mom all morning and afternoon, but we were good.

Then, on Monday morning, Bee woke up with a migraine and super-congested. Huh. She thought she might be able to go to school after she slept a little bit more (she starts school at 9:10 a.m. or something crazy like that, and she gets dropped off at her dad’s at 6:45 a.m.). But Stepmom texted me later to say Bee was still migraine-y, yes they had DayQuil (I’d asked), and she’d make sure Bee took it (the DayQuil).

When I picked up Bee after work, she looked terrible. I felt her forehead and it didn’t feel that bad. But she said she was laying right under the air-conditioning. When she said that, I felt her forehead two red-lights later and yep – she was burning up.

I checked Bee in to the after-care clinic because the least shocking cliffhanger in our lives at that moment was whether or not Bee had the flu. But because the doctor was going to ask, I checked to see when Bee had last had DayQuil. Bee was in and out of it and she’s not the most reliable witness even when she’s awake. Stepmom said the DayQuil had been on the counter, she wasn’t sure when/if Bee had any. Right.

Three hours later, we had a positive flu diagnosis, a mom crying because she was never going to make it to work in the next century. Therapy buddies who wouldn’t stop texting. A sick child who kept throwing up her flu meds. And no Gatorade because…because life is just HARD sometimes for people who have roofs over their heads and food in their bellies and money to buy gas and stuff. Geez, Katie.

Flu2So this morning I would have brought my eldest daughter to school, but she left her school things at her dad’s because, as she points out, when she brings everything home, I ask why she lugs everything back and forth, and when she doesn’t have it, I ask why she leaves everything at her dad’s. Fair point, eldest child. At least everyone kept a level head because we all know we’re exhausted and tired of everyone having the flu.

Flu1I’ll traipse back out to the store for more red Gatorade, lotion-y tissues, and Chapstick later. Meanwhile, Bee and I both slept in (I went back to bed after I came home). I was up for half the night checking on her fever. Oh! Bee got up at one point, completely delirious, looking for ice to make a cold compress…only she was looking for ice in the tupperware cabinet. And her words didn’t all go together, but I figured out what she wanted. It was a tough night.

Flu3bIt all reminds me of when Bee had the flu the last time, when she was – what, six? – and she had the same reaction to the flu meds, but I made the mistake of letting her mix it with ketchup. Rookie mistake. This time I went straight to a Hershey syrup concoction, mixing it in a shot glass. It’s been a morning for me, between the shot glasses of Tamiflu and chocolate syrup, and making jello in my day-drinking mug. Maybe I’ll lace up and go for a run. Heh. That’ll complete the flashback.

But I can’t do that until Bee-girl gets things under control. Her fever is still hovering near 103° and she was so dizzy and sleepy during her last meds time that she couldn’t stand up. If she’s like that at 3p, I’m taking her to the ER. Mama loves getting voluntary hugs and cuddles, but when your 12-year-old is clinging to you and hugging you listlessly, like the heaviest toddler there ever was, something is wrong.


One thing’s for sure though: I am going to have the flu next week. But who’s going to come take care of me?

Six for Saturday.

February 9, 2019

Good morning, fellow pirates! Err, okay, no, we’re not pirates. But I woke up this morning feeling pretty frisky, so let’s just pretend, m’kay? So, since I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday, it was itching at the back of my brain and I decided the best way to scratch that itch was to just go ahead and post this morning! And, well, you had to make the cadence match. So six it is! Let’s get started.

1. I am writing to you from my nice (well, okay not so clean and nice, it’s kinda messy), new (well, no, not so new, it’s 17 years old), home (…yes, it is home) with HEAT!! We have HEAT!! That’s the important distinction! The third shot worked, and once my friend’s friend was able to rummage through the attic and call tech support during working hours? SHABAM! We have a working furnace, mateys! Let me you – after waking up to a house that’s at 62° each morning for two months, waking up to 68° for two days straight – it’s straight up luxurious!!! Wooo baby!!

2. Today is Saturday. Saturday, you guys. It’s my one. guaranteed. day. I can sleep in each week. Even when I have the girls (like I do this weekend, thank ya Lord), I can sleep in Saturday, and Sunday morning I have to wake them up and get them ready for Church with their grandma, etc. etc. On weekends when I don’t have the girls, I can sleep in both days, but what I’m sayin’ is Saturdays are GOLDEN. And guess who woke right up at 7:15 a.m. this morning and popped right outta bed? >ThisGirl.<  So what if I did wake up with the reading lamp on, glasses still on, the extra pillow wedged under my head, no nightguard, neck stiff, drool dried all down my chin. I musta slept hard. No wonder I was rearin’ to go! I love it…I just know that Monday morning I’m going to cry tears that I didn’t sleep in this weekend.

3. I do this thing from time to time where I clip out sayings or pictures from magazines that catch my eye. In high school I used to tape them to my walls, those old faux paneling that was so popular in the 70s. Everyone else had it in their basement rec rooms. We had it iQuotesn our upstairs bedrooms. Tacky, yes. Which is why I covered it from hip-high to the ceiling with these magazine clippings. On every wall I had. And then I started on the ceiling. I’d cover a piece of posterboard, and when the posterboard was filled, I’d tape it to the ceiling. I wish I had pictures of it! Now I do a smaller scale version of it: I fill a 12×12 square of paper with it, and then I frame it. I used to have three of them framed and hung in my craft room, but they were replaced by scrapbook pages, and then Gracie took over the room. Now I’m doing it for therapy. And I can’t wait to see how it comes outs… and what everyone there thinks of it!

4. One thing I’ve been given for homework, and that I’ve continued with because it works so well, is to write a Gratitude List each night. It’s three things each night that I’m thankful for. So like on Monday I was grateful for our sixth Superbowl win (!!!!!!), that my therapist was understanding about me having to miss my appointment for the second week in a row in order to take Gracie to get flu-checked, and that Bee’s game upgrade finally worked. I also have to write down one “wrong” thing I did – I have to practice being imperfect so I can see it’s okay. And in order to do that I need to do one thing wrong on purpose. I call it writing down my Wonky Thing. Like drinking Coke in front of your therapist (who prescribed the assignment) in her beverage-free zone. See? You can have a lot of fun!

Blanket_MotherGoose_20185. Bee and I had a big sale at BeeCrafty this week: we sold our Mother Goose baby quilt! It’s my favorite quilt, and one of the most difficult to sew. I was afraid the blankets wouldn’t sell at that price point, but it’s what others are selling them for, so I stuck to it. My goodness! It’s so special to think that another little baby is going to be crawling around on the blanket that you stitched yourself. My heart is just bursting! Go look at my other blankets (and Bee’s slimes!) at BeeCraftsShop!

6. My graduation from therapy is still a couple of weeks a way, but I bought my graduation mug! I was looking for one on Etsy (you gotta support your fellow crazies!) and wasn’t sure of how long the shipping and handling would take. Sometimes you get your gifts right away, sometimes it takes quite a while. I found this wicked cool site, A Fine Quotation, and I almost spent all my monies there! And I’ve got mine in my hands now, so I feel much less anxious! I can stop eyeing the back-up mugs at Target, I suppose. You know me and mugs! It’s a habit almost as “bad” as books!

So that’s this week! Ohhhhh that feels much better to have that done! Now I can actually go relax with a mug of coffee and a good book. Have a great weekend!

Feelin’ hot.

February 5, 2019

Hoo, boy! A coupla situations to talk about!

Situation the First: Yes, thank you baby jeebus in heaven! Another ring!! Our Superbowl party was a little dampened – Gracie-girl came home sick from her dad’s house with a 101° fever and the crud. She was sneezin’ and coughin’ and generally contaminating the fun, so we quarantine her to the couch.


But that’s okay, because she still won the 3rd and 4th quarters in the family pool for quite a bit of money. I took home the 2nd quarter pot (and then handed it right back over to two unnamed cretins for this week’s allowance), and Bee won the 1st quarter. So everyone was at least a little happy. And we were all a LOT happy pretty damn ducking excitedthrilled! with the outcome! It wasn’t what anyone expected, but even though it was a low-scoring affair, and everyone else seemed bored to tears with it, I enjoyed watching the defensive dance! Quite brilliant.

Situation the Second: Of course, immediately after the game, it comes up in conversation that Gracie had been sick since Friday – well, that part I knew – but that she had a 104° fever on Saturday night.

Yeah. Exactly. Of course, it was exactly 9:13 when we had this conversation and the doc-in-the-box clinic had closed at 9 p.m., so it was either the emergency room, or wait til Monday morning. Her fever had held stead at about 101 since she got home, and said that’s where it was all day, so we waited. I gave her a breathing treatment with my nebulizer, loaded her with cold meds since she hadn’t had anything but Tylenol all weekend, and made her promise to wake me up if she felt worse.

On Monday, we didn’t finish with doctor visits, breathing treatments, and one giant CVS stay until after 2-freakin’-p.m. But we were given a big ol’ diagnosis of THE FLU for our trouble! Oh, yes – the flu. The doctor isn’t even sure the Tamiflu is going to work because she started it so many days after her symptoms started.

So I called in Flu to work (which I was only able to do because my coworker is just back from her own bout with it), and got The Infected settled, and scoured my house with bleach. Ick.


Yeah, I might end up coming down with my own dose of the flu now, in spite of our flu shots, but if I do I rest assured that my sixth Superbowl ring will be on a very particular finger, sticking straight up in the flu’s face!

Moms never stop momming.

November 24, 2018

My mom is in a nursing home. Her Parkinson’s has progressed to the point that she’s been moved (though she’d say banished) to a facility that’s quite nice. The point is that when I call Mum and Dad’s house, Mum isn’t there. Getting her on the phone at her new facility is impossible. And if you were, hypothetically, able to get her on the phone, she’s not verbal. More precisely, she’s verbal in her own time, which has slowed even more than it was. The bottom line: if you’re not there in person, you can’t talk to Mum. The last time I talked to her was months ago, on my birthday.

Today, the girls are at their dad’s. I dropped them off yesterday. Since then, I haven’t so much as changed my pajamas. I’ve lounged as much as a loungey-person can lounge. It’s been good for my worn-out soul.

Which is why my mom called. Not only called, FaceTimed. It’s like she heard the unacceptable levels of laziness and called to give me a good kick in the rear! I had to laugh.

(Actually, my Auntie Pam had called and even though I saw an unsaved number [her cell] in my missed calls when I was moving Christmas decorations, I knew it had to be someone from home if it was a 508- number. So I called back. She had FaceTimed with my cousin while she was visiting with Mum and thought they could try it with me. Huzzah! Rousing success. A Mum-level of rousing success at least. Crazy thoughtful!)

And so that’s how my Mum, from across the Parkinson’s levels of suckitude and increasing in communication, my mom was able to call and give me the what-for. And a Happy Thanksgiving, an I miss you, and an I love you.

I’m not crying that’s just a bit of dust that’s gotten into my eye as I clean my house like crazy. You never know when Mum might call again.

Another one bites the dust.

November 4, 2018

No, not a major accomplishment. Though, you could call it that, I suppose, if your sensibilities were just that warped. Okay, and yes, you could say mine usually were.

Yeah, I’ve got it. That warped sense of humor. Usually me. You busted me. I don’t get to get away with that. Heh.

You know what I didn’t get? An extra hour of sleep this morning. Even though it’s the end of Daylight Saving Time. I’ve been exhausted because of a super big thing that happened at ThePlaceThatShallNotBeDiscussed that was like a week-long stress-a-palooza. Last Wednesday morning, I cried actual tears when the alarm chirped its ever-so-cheerful good morning buzz. That’s how fun everything was.

So I was rather looking forward to sleeping in this weekend. It was gonna be great. Friday night I had to stay up late, because teenager doing Friday night football things. (We live in Texas. For. the. moment.) I got to bed about midnight…and slept until 6 a.m.

What. the. man.

It’s okay. I didn’t take a Tylenol PM or anything, and my tummy wasn’t feeling great. Plus, I felt pretty awake. So I laid in bed and watched some Netflix and at least had a relaxing morning not having to be anywhere or do anything.

Saturday night, I think we were all in bed by 8:30 p.m. and asleep by 9. It didn’t help that this one came down with a terrible cold:

Bee-girl came back from the Ex’s house with a horrible cough, and it seems like EmmaGrace (yes, she’s re-christened herself) caught whatever Bee had, and it hit her snap-quick! So they were more than ready to go to bed early, especially since they went to bed late the  night before, and because I’m a mean mom who made them get up at 10 a.m. I’m just sayin’ my mom never let me sleep that late in my life…or at least until I was in college and summers home were a bit of a luxury.

I’m getting a bit off-topic. Or maybe not if our subject is sleep. My point is that since I was asleep so early, I was awake at the gawdy hour of 6:40 a.m. Heavy sigh. But! Then! I looked at my computer and it was really 5:40 a.m.


Because it’s stupid Daylight Standard Time. And my sleep schedule can suck it.

Fall is back (and so, perhaps, am I).

October 22, 2018

Today is Monday. I usually dread Mondays. They’re crazy, stressful, frantic, and exhausting.

But today when I stepped outside, it was cold. Well, not cold. Brisk. Fallish.

It. Was. Glorious.

I have a lot going on. A kidney stone. Plenty of bills – and not the green kind I want to see spilling out of my purse. A roof leak. A concerning lack of brakes in the car. And a constant struggle with depression and anxiety.

But that brisk air…usually it makes me homesick, that first taste of Fall each year. And, yes, there was a tiny taste of that in the back of my throat. The thing is: I’m a little bit homesick all the time. That taste didn’t grow because of the change in seasons this year.

Right now, I feel like I can come up out of it. I feel like I can change things. I feel like I have things I want to say. Words that want to crawl all up over the pages. That feeling, it’s happened before. I type a lot of “It’s gonna be better” posts. <shrugs> I can’t say if this one is for real. If it will be followed tomorrow with another.

But I don’t want to not write it because of the uncertainty.

I want to open the window, and drink in the Fall air, and let myself hope. I have things to say. And today that thing is: It is Fall-ish outside and I am rejuvenated by it.

I hope it is still Fall-ish tomorrow.