Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thankful (but cranky) Thursday

I am thankful. I am blessed in many ways.

I am just not feeling it today on the outside, but it is there on the inside, in my head.

I am blessed with 3 marvelous kids who give me so much joy and purpose in life, much more than they will ever know.

I am blessed with an amazing set of parents who give not only time and money, but the gift of themselves to me, Hubby and the kids in so many ways.

I am blessed with insurance. Even if it is crappy. Even if my the ultimate insurance situation is still not settled, I do have something. Better than nothing.

Hubby has gotten his head out of his butt, and as always hold my heart in his hands.

So far, so good, with regard to any terrorist activity in NYC. Maybe they did squash the right bugs so far.

I have coffee, I have wonderful pets, and nice house (even if it needs work done, so does everyone's right?) and a nice car that Hubby and I share.

My parents are healthy. My Hubby is health and MOST importantly my kids are healthy.

Here is the rub and the source of cranky. I am not healthy.

This complicates my life in many ways.

Yeah, the little tiff with Hubby came from it, it causes inconvenience. It causes frustration for my family with that inconvenience.

It causes pain. I don't remember the last time I didn't have pain. The best times are when I do a prednisone taper. Day 2 is usually the best because you get this super buzz from the prednisone where you feel like superwoman and it drowns all the inflammation and you feel like you can conquer the world!!! But prednisone is bad for so many reasons that I am happy not to be on it except for the rare tapers that I do.

Pain is a constant. Every time I roll over in bed, when I get up, when I walk, when I type, when I open jars, when I blow dry my hair, when I stretch to grab something, when I stand, when I lay.

Fatigue. Tired is something you get over. You sleep, you rest. You wake up refreshed.

Fatigue doesn't leave after sleep. It persists. Normal people walk through a world of chicken broth. I mostly walk through a world of pea soup. Hard to move through...

Then, there are the cognitive issues too. That is part of the pea soup. You don't think and react with the clarity you used to have. It is called RA Fog or Lupus fog or Rhupus Fog for those who are active in both diseases. It causes some pretty funny moments, and some very frustrating ones, too.

Nerve issues really suck. Nerve pain usually happens when a nerve gets stuck in the inflammed area of a joint.

That is what is going on along my jaw. It is apparently inflammed and causing spasms and strange icy hot sensations. It is not fun. Only my left side. It is the bottom of the trigeminal nerve. I am not happy.

My left elbow is a mess and my right hip and foot. Both my hands have several fingers sore and inflammed. My ankles are in their usual state of unhappiness.

I am overdue for a rheumatologist appointment and haven't had any bloodwork since May. I haven't been on the strong RA drugs since my reaction to the Enbrel in April. Or was it March? I can't even remember.
I am frustrated, fed-up, and sick of being sick. There is no cure. It never ends. It is an endless roller coaster loop of good days and bad days.

Usually, I let it all out and I feel better. Today, not so much.

Tonight is back to school night for Pumpkin. I don't know if I will make it. That upsets me.

be well...
(ps... being sick does clarify for you all that is good and important in life and usually that is what keeps me happy. I will get over my little pity party soon. Don't worry)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If It Makes You Happy

A meme. Because I am grumpy. And, because I am the Queen.

10 Random Shuffles on Total Ipod list (575 songs, many the kids)

1. Hazy Shade of Winter - The Bangles

2. Don't Do Me Like That - Tom Petty

3. I'm Goin' Down - Bruce Springsteen

4. Autobot/Decepticon Battle from Transformers the Movie 1984 - Vince DiCola

5. Something Stupid - Frank Sinatra

6. Someday I'll be Saturday Night - BonJovi

7. Dance, Dance, Dance - Steve Miller Band

8. Walk This Way (original) - Aerosmith

9. Halo - Beyonce

10. I Need A Lover - John Mellencamp

Now, another 10 from my PUMP IT UP! List... Songs to put some pep in your step! (only 71 to shuffle through)

1. How You Remind Me - Nickelback

2. Rebel Yell - Billy Idol

3. I'm Yours - Jason Mraz

4. Bad Medicine - Bon Jovi

5. Down On My Knees - John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band from the 'Eddie and the Cruisers' sountrack

6. Gimme All Your Lovin' - ZZ Top

7. Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani

8. You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC

9. Elevation - U2

10. Caught Up In You - .38 Special

Now, I am going to listen to the Pump It Up! Shuffle while I fold laundry.

be well...

Mad World

Not a great week so far for me. Beware, whiny post ahead.

I have a new strange flare thing happening for a while now but the last few days have been particularly uncomfortable. I am having a spasm in a jaw/facial muscle accompanied by pain and a hot/icy sensation. I know it is a nerve thing (having had them before) and it is pissing me off.

Hubby has also been pissing me off.
There. I. Said. It.

First, on Saturday he said something really hurtful. He realized it wayyyy fast, apologized repeatedly and profusely, but you know what? You can't unsay it. No rewind and do over switch.

I put that away to celebrate the birthday and all was fine, and it would have gone away at that if yesterday am didn't happen.

Hubby got in one of his pissy don't want to deal with driving the kids but mostly don't want to deal with your disease/RA/incovenience moods. He usually drives on Mondays as I take my methotrexate Sunday night. Of course all summer it was a non-issue, but now it is school time again.

It is a pain for him but I deliberately take the medicine then so it doesn't interfere with the weekend, and usually Mondays are quiet days around here. If Hubby isn't driving that means he drives the kids, drops the car back here at the house and then walks to the bus. I get it is annoying but I still don't need or deserve the mouthful of crap before he did it.

The RA is not my fault. I can't control it, and didn't choose it. Mornings have been and will always be bad. The WORST time of day for me. Pain, walking thru pea soup (fatigue), not good.

Then, this morning I get up thinking he is going on the bus and I don't feel like any crap from him so I am gonna do the kids and all he will have to do is get up and go.

He tells me 5 minutes before I leave that he needs the car.

WTF? Sooooooo, you let me get up do the kids etc, when EVERY other time you need the car you tell me the NIGHT BEFORE so I can SLEEP in and you just get up a little earlier do the kids and bolt straight away with the car.

How passive aggressive is that? I am totally pissed off.

THEN, let's add in the wonderful terrorism threat. They think that the cell and it's plan of bombing either subways or other sites in NYC is still in effect.

So, I get to be pissed off at Hubby AND a nervous wreck that something bad will happen to this man that carries my heart with his every day.

:::Sigh::: And, I am sore all over because rain is coming in. Dammit.

Oh yeah, I am a ball of freakin' sunshine today.

Pumpkin is bringing home her best pal, Penelope (nickname). I guess I have a little less than 2 hours to get over myself then.

Hammer is helping me do wash and gave me a nice shoulder rub. He is just the sweetest man-child ever. :-)

Okay... I think I feel a little better after venting for all of you.

A little... maybe another cup of coffee will help. And, since I am not driving anywhere anyhow a 1/2 a vicodin. :(

be well...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bad Company

Today is Hubby's birthday! 44 years, double digits, which is supposed to be good luck!

Tonight we are watching Giants vs. Dallas. As you may remember, Hubby is a huge Giant fan. HUGE. I really hope the Giants win today as a birthday present. It would top off a very nice day.

Uncle K is here and he has the nerve to be a Dallas fan. Uncle K (Hammer's godfather) and Hubby grew up together and ALL of their friends are Giants fans, and then there is Uncle K.

There is even a bet between Tom (our friend whose lake we visited in August and took us to the Wayne County PA fair) and Uncle K for dinner over this game. Our friend Uncle D (also a childhood friend that is godfather to Fuzzy) sent Uncle K a very 'colorful' text message that I cannot reprint here. LOL

The trash talking is flying about the house!!! LOL

I have also been known to partake and honestly I sometimes get so excited and worked up ESPECIALLY during a Giants game such as this that I have to give myself a time out and come here by the computer to settle myself down.

Feel better already!!! I was getting pretty damn worked up, needed to take a break!

Let's see what other news can I share from this weekend...

I am up to 10 pounds lost. ;-) (my first goal!)

Tonight, we went to PF Chang's for Hubby's birthday dinner and somehow I managed to still eek in under my calorie count for the day! YAY!

Fuzzy was treated to a really cool new adult sized mountain bike by Grandpa and Grandma that he loves. :-)

Oooh, funny story! We got a new lamp for a family room yesterday as our old one was killed by Hubby. Don't ask. Anyhow, we put in new energy saving bulbs like good little green people. Apparently, we shouldn't have because it has a low and high setting, but I digress.

So, there we are sitting there watching tv, minding our own business and BAM, POW, POP! (pick one) One of the light bulbs exploded all over showering me and the room with glass!!!

Hubby came running, the dog ran the other way, the kids start yelling, I leapt up and shut off the light because it began to smoke, and then we let Hubby take over. LOL

So, we put in normal lightbulbs and all is well now.

That was our weekend excitement... prior to this game!


be well...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I just love this lolcat. I hear his voice in my head like Ralph from the Honeymooners!
I don't know why, but lately when I post a picture I can't have any hard returns in my entries. I know it is probably something stupid that I am doing, so if you can tell me what... please feel free! LOL
1. Hubby. You know what Beth and Ken, he really does listen to me about 90-95% of the time. Like Beth said, it is just that 5-10% - whoa nelly! LOL ;-)
2. Sleep. I got 3 hours last night. It could have been worse. I finally fell asleep around 1:30 and woke up WIDE AWAKE at 4:30am. I read online on my iphone for a while, then I decided that if I was still awake when my mom went to work at 6ish, I was getting up. :::waving::: Yep, hi mom! LOL
3. Kids. They are not happy that I just woke them. Pumpkin grumbled her way down the steps and collapsed under a blanket in the family room to get some more Zzz's. Fuzzy grabbed his fruit bar and iced tea, added a blanket and put on the news. The morning routine has begun! (Hammer gets to sleep in until 9ish, and Hubby told me to go away until after I drove the kids to school. Ok then, guess no morning meeting for him!)
4. Donna. Thank you. You know why. It made me feel 'useful' for the first time in a long time! And, you are right, when you know someone it is easier... so maybe at some other point in the future.
5. My cousin Karen. As I mentioned yesterday, life gets away from you and sometimes you just have to grab it back and hang on again!
6. Coffee. I have a feeling it will be instrumental in my survival today. After all, I am awake but it isn't like I am bouncing around ready to do a tango! It is more like the 80+ year old shuffle around here right now.
Ahhh Green Mountain Caramel Vanilla. YUMMY!!! Cup 2 down the hatch! WOOHOOO!
7. Vicodin. Well, I wouldn't have even gotten 3 hours sleep without that!
8. Subway and Dawn and John. I have to tell you, having a friend that you grew up with (Dawn) open, own and work at a Subway in your town is awesome. The food is uber-fresh, the place is SPOTLESS clean. I am in love with the Veggie Delight! Maybe I can give Jared a run for his money, as I am up to 8lbs lost now! Yay!
9. The 'Lose-it' Application on my Iphone. First, I should thank Hubby for indulging me with the iphone last year as my anniversary/birthday gift. The 'Lose-it' app is amazing. I track my weight and my calories and more on it. Chronicling each item I put in my mouth is really a great weight loss tool!
10. Yankees. They are so hot and this season has just been AWESOME! And, Traci, doesn't matter one iota that they lost the game on 9/11 that Jeter hit the 2722 hits within. You have no idea unless you live in this area the 'lift' that it gave to everyone to have something really fun and positive for that date now to reflect on. ;-)
Okay... time to torture the kiddies to brush teeth, get dressed, recheck school stuff etc.
Have a great Thankful Thursday everyone!
be well...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Told You So

This is what it has been like lately with Fuzzy and Pumpkin.
This is what it is like most of the time between Hammer and the terrible twosome! Hammer is my big thinker! ;-)

Is it a wonder I want to pull my hair out sometimes? LOL
Oy! The bickering!!!!
Today, as I shouted at the two of them to 'Knock it off' for what felt like the thousandth time, I decided to add, 'if you two start it again, I am punishing you both - no questions asked.'
The standard punishment is going Amish or electronics free. Except for tv.
No computer, no cell phone (no texting???!!! The horror! for Pumpkin anyhow.) no Xbox or handheld game either.
It worked. Blessed silence ensued and no more bickering, no more 'he said, she said'. Suddenly, it was all UN negotiations and keeping mom out of it. Nice. :-)
The big news of the week falls under the 'NEVER A DULL MOMENT' at my house category!
Monday night we were all outside enjoying the lovely evening. Uncle K, his son, Pumpkin and Hubby were playing basketball and were almost done with a game of '21'. Fuzzy was riding his bike.
He pulled into the drive way and I told him it was getting too dark, streetlights were on already, and to put away the bike. As usual, he argued. After a moment of bickering, he begged for one more run down the street.
I had a bad feeling about it, but I let him go. I shouldn't have, and he should have listened to mom.
We hear a yell and a crash. Fuzzy's bike pedal broke off and he went flying over the handlebars.
He came down very, very hard on his left forearm and tore it up with road rash, also his left shoulder, hand, right thumb, and both knees. Ouch.
The forearm began to swell and bruise and after a half hour he was in a lot of pain so... off to the ER. Thankfully, NOT broken. Three separate finger fractures so far for 2009 ( two for Pumpkin, one for Fuzzy), and I was glad not to add to the list!
Needless to say, bad road rash sucks and hurts. As does the massive swelling and bruise on the forearm. Fuzzy had a half day on Tuesday and we let him stay home. He had a rough night and was really sore, so he had a jammie day with motrin. ;-)
This morning and today have been much better. It is awesome to be young because he is bouncing back already. No gym for this week, but he is already sure he will be fine for Monday! Ahh youth! LOL
Lesson learned? Listen to Mom? I doubt it. Fuzzy keeps saying, 'It had nothing to do with the darkness.' Everyone keeps telling him, 'Yeah, but sometimes Mom's just know.'
Well, he is man, after all. Hubby hasn't quite learned to listen to me yet, so what hope is there for Fuzzy? LOL I guess we will see the next time.
Today I met my cousin Karen for an awesome gabfest at Panera over tea for her and coffee for me! It was really nice to reconnect as it had been too long that life got in the way.
I am realizing more and more how easy that is to happen and how we really need to work against it. Time just flies by, and there is always something to be rushing to or from, but we have to stop ourselves to be with the ones we love. Too often they are gone too soon.
be well...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

What a great sports weekend!

First, on 9/11, and it really was perfection that something so great happened on that day in New York, Derek Jeter got his 2722 hit, placing him at the #1 spot as the all-time career highest Yankee hitter. With Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth behind him respectively.

Amazing company to say the least; Jeter is truly a living legend himself.

Then, FOOTBALL! Opening day for the Jets and Giants! Wooohooo!

And, they both win!!! Yippee! There were happy faces all around our house!

Pumpkin stopped hating me as a mean mommy about two hours after I posted on Saturday. After all, dinner came under discussion, and she couldn't possibly miss out on that! lol

My diet is going well so far. I am happy to report that since getting my scale last week, I have lost 6 pounds. :-)

I know it won't continue at that pace, but I am proud. I have been walking every day that is not raining also. It's all good.

Unfortunately, for the last two days my left elbow has been screaming loudly. If only I was like the tin man and could just oil it and have it done with. :::sigh:::

You would think with the exercise I have added it would be a weight bearing body part, but no. Rheumaoid Arthritis never makes sense or makes it easy! LOL

The only problem I have had since starting walking is my middle toe on my left foot that is beginning to turn in funky ways starts to spasm. It happens at strange random times, too.

Again, RA makes no sense! LOL And, did I mention RA Sucks! LOL

Yes, I think I have said that before...

Gotta laugh...

be well...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Love Game

Here is Libby enjoying an afternoon snooze on the love seat.

Libby knows that daddy is not home so she can get away with this during the day today. I don't fret because it is leather and the hair blows right off.

Makes you jealous to look at her doesn't it?

So, my title 'Love Game' is not going to be about some twisted singles club hook-up like Lady GaGa sings about.

No, it is about life with an almost teen. My sweet daughter, Pumpkin, who is 12 1/2. Sigh.

Yesterday, I was the best mommy in the whole world. She couldn't sit close enough to me. We played UNO, we watched tv together, and since Hubby is gone, she insisted on sleeping with me.

I informed her that I would wake her at 10am so she could get up, relax, do breakfast etc, before starting her weekly chore. Cleaning the bathroom.

This morning I decided to be nice and let Pumpkin sleep in until 11am. After all, it was the stressful first week of school. A small kindness seemed in order.

As they say, 'No good deed goes unpunished.'

Pumpkin got up and ate breakfast and then I thought headed to the bathroom to start her chore, as I headed to the computer. Imagine my surprise a half hour later when I found that she was perched on the laptop in the family room instead. I asked her if she was on break. Oh no, the chore had not even been started.

Needless to say, I was NOT amused and sent her immediately to do the chore. NOW.

Thus, my new status as the most horrible mother in the whole world.

I am now being grumbled at and avoided.

What a difference a day makes!

Yes, life with (almost) teens are full of fun.

Like nailing Jello to a tree.

Well, this horrible mom has to go now. It keeps you busy causing teen misery! LOL

Or maybe I will join the dog!

be well...

Friday, September 11, 2009

The End of the Innocence - 9/11/2001

This is a repost of my entry from 9/11/06 - the 5th Anniversary.

The end of the innocence.

That is what September 11, 2001 is for me.

Prior to 9/11, just about every other major country has had major acts of terrorism on their soil, whether it was hijacking, suicide back pack bombers, or bombs against infrastructure, like an embassy or hotel. It is a way of life in some places, and in others, not so common, but a definite part of their reality.

We, as North Americans, believed we were isolated from major acts of terrorism. Even after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center we were willing to believe that it was a fluke, never to be attempted again. After all, it failed, right?

Yes, it did fail, but the failure wasn't so much theirs as it was ours.

It should have been a huge wake up call. We should have known it was just a matter of time before they succeeded, and in a big way.

Our airport security has never been where it should be, if only back in 1993 we decided to take it seriously, like Israel. If only in 1993 we started to more carefully track student visas and be sure that the students were actually attending college. If only in 1993 we had extensive backgrounds and security checks done on non-citizens trying to apply for pilots licenses.

If only... Yes, it is easier to 'if only' now, because hindsight is twenty-twenty. Instead, now, even 5 years later, we are still scrambling to catch up to where our national security should be.

September 11, 2001 was a gorgeous Tuesday, following several days just as gorgeous. I woke hubby up like I do every morning and he said he was going to sleep in as he had a sinus headache. I got the kids off to school. I returned to hubby getting out of the shower and I tried to convince him to stay home and blow off the day, but hubby said no and left about 8:25 to head into NYC in his company jeep.

I got Hammer up and settled into breakfast and his school work. I remember I went to the computer and was reading a homeschooling message board, checking out some new ideas for the new school year.

The phone rang, and it was about 8:50 am. It was my cousin K and she told me, 'Turn on the tv, NOW. A plane hit one the Trade Centers. Where is your hubby?' I told her he was probably just going through the tunnel because of his late start and then I told her I would call her back.

I called Hubby, and before I asked him where he was and if he knew that a plane hit the Trade Centers. He told me he was out of the tunnel and almost to his office, traffic was unusually light, and then he said, 'I was on the helix, (a raised loop into the Lincoln Tunnel) and I saw the plane hit the Trade Center!' He thought it looked small, but wasn't sure.

I immediately asked him about our friend John, and he said he wasn't sure which tower his office was in, but he would be at the office soon, so, Jay would know. Jay and my hubby had been working together for almost 5 years at this point, and John was Jay's best friend since kindergarten, and John married Jay's sister.

I remember hanging up with my hubby, my eyes never leaving the tv screen and the Today show and sitting down on the ottoman, kind of shocked, but relieved that hubby was okay and in Midtown. My mom called and I just told her fast that hubby was fine and in the office not to worry.

Then, it happened. Right before my eyes, the second plane slammed into the other tower! We didn't see the plane hit, but you saw the explosion, it was unbelievable! I was confused... I just kept staring, open mouthed and numb at the tv.

It was as if time stood still. I couldn't move, I don't remember who said it but one of the newscasters said it was terrorism. They were putting NYC on lockdown, and there may be more planes, and more targets in NYC.

I grabbed the phone and called my hubby. I used my cell phone radio function because calling the cell wouldn't work. He knew about the second plane and that it was terrorism, they had radios on at his office. He told me no one could get a hold of John, and Jay was really upset.

I told him to get out now and fast and head up through the Bronx and to Westchester, and to come over the Tappan Zee Bridge. That was staying open at this time. He told me they (he and Jay) were already heading for the elevator. He was going to drop Jay off at his sister's house and then get home to me.

I had to take a minute to get myself together as I had Hammer home with me. With that, the door from my garage opened and my mom walked in. I was so happy to see her and we just hugged for a minute and I told her about Hubby and Jay and John and that he was trying to get out via the Tappan Zee.

We both sat down in front of the television in my living room and just stared in a complete state of shock and numbness. Then, the plane hit the Pentagon. That is when panic truly started to set in. I called hubby and told him and again, he knew. We said our 'I love you's' and hung up.

I remember thinking that it couldn't get any worse... or at least that was my hope. It was horrific to watch. People jumping out of the buildings, the Pentagon rent open and the injured spilling out. It was Dante's Inferno in NYC and DC! And, how many more planes? I remember at this point there was talk of about 6 or 8 still in the air.

Next, the news started to talk about pieces of the tower falling, and the concern over a collapse, but from what was being said, the fear seemed to be about just the floors above the plane crash. Awful enough, that is for sure.

No one, least of all my mom and I, were ready for what we saw next.

The South Tower started started to collapse, and it just crumbled and crumbled down. It was horrific and surreal and completely mind numbing. The people, the moms, dads, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends of thousands, gone. The rescue workers, the people just escaping the nightmare within the buildings, gone.

We watched as more firemen run into the still standing North Tower to help evacuate quicker before its inevitable collapse. It was almost a half hour later, but it seemed like just a few minutes. The devastation was just as shocking and horrifying the second time.

I remember feeling so helpless.

I ran out of the house and went to get the kids out of school. My hubby had suggested it, but now, I needed them here, home with me. I remember getting to my Fuzzy's school and seeing other moms with tear streaked faces. It was so strangely quiet, too. I remember seeing a teacher crying in the hall. I found out that her brother made it out of the Trades and home, thank God. Two boys wouldn't be that lucky, their dad was an accountant for the Port Authority. Next I picked up Pumpkin at pre-k and even the toddlers were more subdued than normal. It was if even they could sense something had gone terribly wrong in the world.

I remember getting the kids home and settled into the family room with television and lunch. I remember remarking to my mom that 'in the family room it's Nickolodeon, and in the living room it's a nightmare.'

Except that we couldn't just wake up.

By the time my hubby dropped Jay off at his sister's, we knew things were not looking good, but we were very hopeful. John worked for Silverstein Properties, the owner of the complex, and he was involved with helping to evacuate. That was all that was known for sure at that time.

Hubby pulled into our driveway at 2:45 pm. As you can imagine, anyone in a car was trying to get out the way my hubby did, and the roads were choked with people trying to get to family members all over the NY-NJ area.

He got out of the car and I ran to him and we just held each other. I had held it together up until that point, but that is when the tears just started. I don't think they stopped for the next five or six days.

Unfortunately, running outside we found out something else too. Not only could we see the smoke from the towers looking to the east, but we could smell the smell, too. It was horrible. I still smell it in my nightmares.

I was lucky. My hubby came home. Hubby had an appointment on Thursday morning with John at the Trade Centers to discuss some possible door work. If Thursday was the day of the attack, I would not have been so lucky.

John was 6 foot 7 inches tall and pretty wide, too. He died that day, trying to help evacuate and rescue people. Thanks to his great height, and the fact that he was well known to many that survived, his family has been able to piece together much of his actions prior to the collapse.

I know that this has gotten way too long, and I am sorry. Just a bit more, I promise.

I knew coping with 9/11 was going to be very difficult, and that this tragedy would always be a part of our lives, but I have to say, I didn't realize in the beginning just how hard it was going to be.

Watching my hubby go back to work the first day was awful. I had to learn to cope, and it wasn't easy. I wasn't ready to be 'rah rah let's show 'em how we keep on going!' I just wanted my hubby home with me, and screw ever setting foot in NYC ever again!!!

It is still hard. I know that life goes on, and that is a blessed and wonderful thing, but, it is still hard. It is hard because NYC is still, and will always be, a HUGE target. Due to my hubby's job, he is in and around every possible target in the city, on any given day. The UN, the museums, Grand Central, Penn Station, Wall Street, the Empire State Building, you name it, and he might be there.

My coping is an ongoing process. I do go into the city for my rheumatologist, because they are the best, and we have gone in for some family stuff, too. Life does, indeed, go on.

It is still heart wrenching just to look at the skyline. It is all wrong now. It is missing the Towers, the exclamation points, at the end of the glorious sentence that is the Manhattan skyline.

Now, without punctuation, it is the end of the innocence.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Finally, school has begun in our little slice of NJ!

The summer, frankly, went too quick for me this year. It didn't feel like summer at all until August, and then *poof* over - in the blink of an eye! I actually love the time with the kids with no schedule and just relaxing.



1. Fuzzy. That although he was much like the kitty in the picture above, and was full of nerves, Fuzzy is now happy with high school and seems to be enjoying the new experience and the teachers and the work. Yay!

2. Pumpkin. As always, just a bundle of happy at the thought of starting a new year and after starting it - she still is a bundle of happy! Yay!

3. Friends. Thanks for the prayers and support this week!

4. Hubby. No one pisses me off quite like you. No one loves me better, either. Feh. It's all good, hon. lol

5. Farkle. Thank you for taking my mind off worrying about Fuzzy during his first day at high school. I like being in first place out of my friend's scores too.

6. Books. How I love you all!!!! Thanks also to you for helping me keep my stress levels under control this week!

I am VERY VERY behind on blog reading!!! I am sooooo sorry! I will catch up soon!

I am happy to report that in spite of the increased stress this week, I stuck to my diet and stayed under my calorie goal each and every day! Yay!

More soon...

be well...

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Gotta Feeling

This is for you, Em.

This is for my cousin Karol!
It has been a good weekend. And, I am hopeful for a good week!

I was able to see my friend Fred on Friday night! We had a really nice visit. Talked about his dad. Caught up on life and health issues. But, most importantly we laughed and hugged. Very nice.
Life goes too fast, you need those moments!
Yesterday, Kathy came up to visit with my sweet nephew J and my dad's sister, my Aunt Bea also came to visit! We had a fun afternoon of chit chat, watching the kids play outside and dinner at Houlihan's.
Today, Uncle K is here! We are watching the first half of Yankees day/night double header. We are having a BBQ for dinner with angus hamburgers, hot dogs, and lots of salads! :-)
You know, I haven't really done much all weekend, but it was FABULOUS!
I started a strict calorie driven weight loss program last Sunday. I just ordered a scale so I don't know how I am doing yet, but I do know my weight from my last doc's appt. Hopefully, it will be less than that when the scale arrives on Friday. We will see. I feel good. I am eating healthy. I need to get this prednisone weight off. I have been walking.
I had one day with a lot of pain, but so far so good. The RA is being quiet... Shhhh.... don't wake it. It is such a vicious cycle. You gain weight because of the meds, and when you exercise it aggravates the disease and starts a flare.
However, I have decided that I am going to do my damndest to push thru the pain and hopefully get to the other side. Pray for me. I need it!
My insurance woes are still not settled, hopefully soon, but I could use a few more prayers and positive thoughts there too!

Yikes! I sound so needy!
Sending prayers and happiness out to all of you, too!
Tomorrow, I will be getting the kids settled and organized for the first day of school on Wednesday! I think we are all ready for that! LOL
be well...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Exactly, dear kitty! Me too!

So, the time has come for me to reflect on the many blessings in my life!

1. Coffee. Hey, some weeks it isn't on the list at all, or near the top. This week - well, it has earned its place. Not a lot of good sleep happening.

2. Friends. So many to thank in so many ways... you know who you are... online, in person, via the phone, via the email. You all rock. Thanks for your support this week.

3. Kids. At least they are healthy and normal enough to bicker with each other! LOL They are wonderful kids, and I have been blessed with the honor of being their mom. I am thankful for that, always.

4. Hubby. You make me laugh, you make me nuts, but you always make me happy that you are there at the end of the day, good or bad. Thank you.

5. My parents. I am so blessed that they share my life on a daily basis. They have helped make what seemed impossible to cope with manageable, and help me keep my sanity on a daily basis.

6. Libby. My sweet puppy. We just had a nice talk which ended in me giving her a some belly rubs. :-)

7. The weather. Yesterday, before dinner, Uncle K, Hubby, Fuzzy and Pumpkin all played some basketball. I sat in the shade and watched. It was a lot of fun. Lots of laughs, trash talk and silliness. Pumpkin claims she was born with a disability that prevents her from doing a lay-up. I told her lack of skill is NOT a disability... hard work can cure it. LOL

8. Orientation. Yesterday, Fuzzy had his high school orientation. He went reluctantly but came out with a great attitude and a new found excitement for the new year that begins on Wednesday! Yay!

Can I ask everyone to pray that there will not be a health insurance glitch this week? Heaven knows most insurance companies would be glad to dodge covering me with the Rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus, and brain tumor. Ack. We do need some kind of insurance reform... don't have the answer as to what... but something... thank you.

I hope that this entry finds you all with a joy in your hearts and a song on your lips!

be well...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Missie was looking for some 'family' reality on blogs. I am here now happy to oblige with some snapshots of life at our peaceful abode.

Yesterday, I had to run Hammer and his gal pal to the mall for lunch and window shopping. After I dropped them off and as I tried to drink my coffee in peace, Fuzzy lamented how horrible his summer was and basically how it was all 'my fault'. And, Pumpkin was in a horrible mood because our insurance change (for the third and last time this year!) meant cancelling her eye doc appointment because the cards didn't arrive on time. Oh yes, also my fault.

Thank heavens that Hammer called for me to pick him up after barely an hour.

Now here is where it gets really fun.

I get a text. I am driving, but happen to be stopped at a light a mere two blocks from our street. First text is Pumpkin, basically telling me that Fuzzy is accusing her of hitting him which she did not do and they are fighting. As I am reading this text, the phone buzzes with a text from Fuzzy who says that Pumpkin hit him and that she won't leave apologize or admit it.

No, they are not ages 6 and 8. No, they are not 8 and 10. THEY ARE 12 and 14! ARE THEY KIDDING ME???? They were better behaved at the younger ages. Unfreakingbelievable.

This was the straw that put me over the edge. I did not answer the aforementioned texts. I drove to the mall, picked up Hammer and gal pal and began to drive back.

Buzz buzz. I have a text (that I read at the same red light just almost home now) from Pumpkin that says she is going to be the 'bigger person' and has left the family room and gone to the play room (spare bedroom) far from Fuzzy. Uh huh.

I arrive home 5 minutes later. I say nothing to either child about the texts.

They are eerily quiet. Why? Because they know that when mommy has been pushed over the edge SHE gets eerily quiet. They are in 'tip toe around Mom' mode.

Ding Ding. Pumpkin's lunch is ready to come out of the toaster oven! AND, who shows up and kindly offers to help so she doesn't burn herself? Yes, you got it in one, Fuzzy. They go to eat now back in the same room together.

I make my lunch. I eat my lunch.

Now, I make my move. I walk into the family room and announce to them that they are to 'pause' their tv show. They exchange knowing looks of 'uh oh... here it comes...'

And, it did. I will spare you all the gory details, but let's just say that I don't think I will get anymore texts like the ones I did yesterday anytime soon.

Attitudes properly fine tuned, we went back to our regularly scheduled programming of a nice day for all.

Pumpkin remembered how lucky she is that her dad has a job and health insurance and eyeglass coverage, albeit a little late with the cards. Fuzzy remembered how he was doing EXACTLY what he wanted to do all summer, playing WOW, just hanging out, and that he had multiple chances to go to the pool, mall, friends houses, and movies that he turned down, and that he should be grateful for all he does in fact have and did.

Yes, much better.

Kids... teens... ack. Better Missie?

be well...

Funeral for a Friend

It's been a rough few days, sad very sad. Can't hide though.

I have one friend that has known me since kindergarten thru thick and thin. (literally) Happy and sad. Young and old. Stupid and smart. In love and out, up and down. Sick and well.

My friend Fred. We met at 4 1/2! We turned 5 one week apart from each other, and all the birthdays since. And, yes, dang it, I am the older one.

10 years ago, at 58, Fred's dad almost died. 6 months of hell, in the hospital and out, and finally, he emerged - determined to live his life to the fullest each day. I was so relieved.

He had ten amazing years more of living life to the very fullest.

Fred's dad died on Friday the 28th, and today, at the church, I said my final goodbye.

Big Fred was like a second dad to me, the family like a second family. I spent many, many days and nights at Fred's house, just a few blocks from mine. Many nights at their country home, a place I loved to visit. Many dinners, and lunches and breakfasts and yummy late nite treats. His sister's were like sisters I never had. We laughed and fought and were silly together. Our dads served on the town's 'auxiliary' police together, our moms were class moms together.

Sure, life gets in the way, and you grow your own family around you with marriage - hubby and kids. My Fred moved to AZ, but the affection, the love it doesn't ever change. It doesn't get less, in fact it grows greater as you watch your own kids and realize just how precious all that shared time together is in one's life. The gift of sharing your childhood dreams and fears and love. I was an only child, Fred, my brother, I didn't have.

So, I helped my friend, my brother, say goodbye to his dad. I said goodbye to his dad. I know it isn't really goodbye - I know that he lives forever on in my memories and in my heart, and in the hearts and memories of his wife, his son, his daughters, his grandchildren and in all those that loved him.

So hard to do, letting go. You can't help but look around you and think of the mortality of those close to you. My mom and dad. I truly can't imagine how hard it must be, and yet I got an unwelcome glimpse this week.

This week I had to see just how awful and hard and impossible it will be.

Yet, Fred will go on. They will all go on. Circle of life and all that... and someday, in the face of my own loss and grief I will go on too.

be well...