Posted in Abusive Relationships, Adulting, Blogging, Bullying, Family, Grief, Health, Mental Health, Stay at Home Wife, Weather, Writing Challenges

When it rains, it pours…

It’s raining outside today.

The several feet of snow that we have is being slowly melted away.

A few days ago was the 2 year anniversary of my Grandma’s death.

My maternal uncle’s mother died yesterday.

February is now a very bad month for my cousins.

I went to bed earlier than I have been lately hoping to get up earlier… it didn’t work.

As I was willing myself to get out of bed I received a group text.

At first I thought that my abusive sister somehow got ahold of my new number and somehow got around the fact that I have her blocked because the names are listed in alphabetical order, but it was from my Dad.

My Dad sent a group text to me, my sister, my mom’s sister, and his mother.

He was letting us know that my Mom was currently in the ER with a suspected gall bladder infection.

She is alone because of Covid restrictions.

I cannot go and be with my Dad and brother because I am isolating as much as possible while I wait my turn for my vaccine.

I yelled the F word several times after reading the text, texted my Dad privately to be certain it wasn’t visible to my sister and then forced myself to get out of bed.

It was time for my afternoon meds. I grabbed two wrong medication organizers before finally grabbing the correct one and getting my meds in me.

I got my teeth brushed, pulled on a hoodie, got my glasses on and called my husband at work to inform him of the death in the family and that my Mom was in the ER.

I worried over the phone to my husband about the fact that my sister might now have my new number because she was part of the group text.

I needed breakfast.

I opened the wrong cabinet and tried to put my juice glass on my Keurig instead of my mug.

I eventually managed to get my juice in my juice glass, my coffee and creamer in my mug, and my milk and cereal in my bowl.

I ate breakfast and took care of some of my normal daily routines on my phone while eating.

I posted to Facebook about what is going on with my family.

I got another group text from my Dad letting us know that a cat scan ruled out a gall bladder infection. Mom has really bad reflux, still unsure why, but she should be coming home from the ER soon. He’ll update us when he knows more.

I texted my husband with the updated information. I told him that I am still worried about why her reflux is so bad all the time, but that right now the fact that the anniversary of her mother’s death is only a few days ago and the fact that there was just another death in the family might have something to do with it.

I wrote a comment on my Facebook post giving everyone updated information. (Minus my hypothesis as to what’s causing her current reflux issues.)

Now I’m sitting here writing this post because it’s #PepperDay and I didn’t know what else to write about.

I’m sitting here trying to find the motivation to get up and take the shower that I still need to take today.

I’m sorry that my posts have been such downers two months in a row now.

Today, it’s raining outside.

update: my mother is home.

Posted in Blogging, Condo, Pictures of things that make me happy, Random, Weather, Writing Challenges

NanoPoblano2020: Day 2

It’s an extremely windy day today, so I thought I’d share this picture I took a few days ago of my flower shaped pinwheel that is part of our decorations outside of our condo. The pinwheel is working overtime today and we’ll see if it’s still out there by the end of the day…

(In case anyone was wondering, the orange and yellow Home Depot bucket is not part of our decorations. It came with the condo to hold Ice Melt and behind the holly bush is the best place to hide the ugly thing. It has since been moved a bit further back from the path to our door.)

Posted in Cat Mom, Food, Health, Marriage, Weather

The story of the tragic demise of our second collapsible shopping cart…

ask-yourself-whats-the-worst-that-can-happen-theres-a-good-chance-it-will-415d6

The first shopping trip that we went on after our move our first shopping cart, which we had been using for about 6 months or so, hit a curb wrong and one of the front wheels shattered. We were able to tip it back on its back wheels and limp home with it, but that was clearly the last time that we would be using that shopping cart.

So we ordered a new, bigger shopping cart. One that we hoped would be more sturdy and last us a bit longer.

We used it for one shopping day. A trip to Costco and back home, and a trip to a grocery store and back home.

It was unhappy with the kitty litter, plus other groceries, that it had to carry home from Costco, but it made it home in one piece.

It also didn’t like the snowdrifts that it had to be dragged through on the way to and from the grocery store, but it made it home again.

A month later it was time for us to go grocery shopping again. There was a lot that we knew needed to stock up on, so we brought the cart, our backpacks, and a couple of duffle bags to carry all of our purchases home.

Having Plans

The cart made it to Costco just fine.

We did our shopping and proceeded to pack all of the things from our Costco cart into our bags and collapsible shopping cart. Everything fit and we started on our way home.

Everything was going well until we went to cross the set of 6 railroad tracks that were between us and home.

While crossing those tracks the back axle of our cart bent out of shape and the cart no longer wanted to roll.

Never expected much

We made it across the tracks and limped up to the next intersection where we decided that we needed to call someone for help. As Curtis pulled his phone out a guy in a big pickup truck stopped at the light and asked us if we needed any help. We let him know that we did and he pulled into the parking lot next to us and offered to give us a ride home. He and his 2 passengers helped us load our bags and fully loaded busted cart into the back of his truck and saved us from a very frustrating 2 or so miles of fighting to get our cart home.

Unfortunately, our shopping day was not yet over. We no longer had a cart to use since our most recent one only lasted through one shopping day, but we still needed to get our groceries. So we grabbed a bunch of bags and headed out to the store.

As we had finished loading our groceries into our bags and were about to start our hike back home, around midnight in the freezing cold, a guy in a car pulled up and asked us if we were planning on walking home with all that. When we told him that we were planning on walking a couple miles or so back home, he too offered us a ride. He said that he was watching us get all geared up and thought, “oh dear, that doesn’t look like it’s just for a walk across the parking lot” and decided to find out just how far we were planning on walking and see if he could help us out.

We were very grateful to both of the good samaritans that stopped and helped us out that day. Unfortunately, I probably repaid their kindness by getting them sick.

Throughout the day I had been slowly developing an annoying cough. I thought that it was probably just due to the bad air quality, but the next day I woke up sick.

The stress of the cart breaking the day before, and then once we were home for the day opening the mail to find that our dental insurance hadn’t paid as much as our dentist expected them to in 2015 and we owed them over $850 and they wanted their money in 10 days… that probably did my immune system no favors.

hahahaha-no

So I woke up with a horrible chest cold. And immediately thought that exposing those good samaritans to my illness, even though I had no idea that I was sick yet, was a really shitty way to repay them for their kindness.

I was sick with a fever ranging from 101.6 to as high as 102.9 for a few days after until my fever finally broke. At that point I was left with the chest cold from hell. People were urging me to go to a doctor, but I wasn’t going to spend money that I didn’t have for a trip to the doctor for a chest cold since the fever was gone. Not to mention that the air quality had gotten worse and I would have had to walk a couple miles, plus take public transit to get to the doctor and back. I was avoiding that horrible air outside like the plague…

LemurThanksYouButNo1-vi

Now it’s almost a month later and I’m just now almost feeling back to normal. My voice still hasn’t returned and my cough isn’t completely gone yet, but I can tell that this illness is almost gone now.

I really hope that those nice people didn’t get as sick as I did, if they got sick at all.

 

Posted in Apartment Living, Cat Mom, Marriage, Weather

Some thoughts on our recent move…

About a month and a half ago my husband and I moved out of the 1 bedroom townhouse that we had only been living in for two years and into a 1 bedroom apartment down the road.

This is what our balcony looked like the morning of the move…

Hunters Woods Balcony 12-15-2015

Mother Nature decided to dump about six inches of snow on us the day before our move. The forecast said that it was supposed to continue to snow throughout the day of our move as well. Luckily, that didn’t happen, but it did stay well below freezing the entire day. The snow and the cold meant that we had to wear our winter boots all day while moving.

Our moving day started with a 2 mile trek through the snow and ice to the U-Haul store to pick up our truck for the day, while carrying a bundle of about 25 or so extra boxes to sell back to U-Haul. A good amount of the sidewalks had not been cleared yet, so this was far from a fun walk.

Once we had the truck, moving out of our townhouse went surprisingly quickly. We had everything out of the garage where we had staged it and into the truck in about 2 hours. Next step was getting out traumatized cat into his carrier and into the truck, and then doing a final walk-through of the townhouse to make sure we weren’t leaving anything behind.

Then it was off to our new apartment complex to wait around in the office (with our cat in his carrier. No way was I leaving him in the freezing truck.) to sign our lease and find out if all the work was done in our apartment and it was ready to be moved into. We were relieved to hear that they were actually just finishing up in our apartment and that it would be ready for us to start moving into by the time we had completed all of the paperwork.

Approximately 50,000 signatures later we were finally able to start unloading the truck. We were hoping that a couple of my husband’s coworkers were going to come over from his office across the street and help us move, but nobody showed. So we unloaded the truck by ourselves.

Unloading the truck proved to be much more time consuming than loading it had been since we had to walk farther to get things into the apartment, but considering the fact that it was just the two of us doing this move it went pretty quickly. I believe it only took us 4-5 hours to unload the truck.

Once the final box was moved out of the truck and into the apartment we drove the truck back to the U-Haul store and almost weren’t able to drive it up the hill of a driveway to park it behind the building due to all the black ice.  We somehow got it in and parked and after dropping the keys in the night drop off box it was time for us to walk the 3 miles back home.

In subfreezing temperatures.

In the dark.

That was one miserable walk.

At 11:19 pm we found ourselves sitting in a Denny’s right down the street from our new place waiting for our dinner. That was the best pot roast I have ever had.

At about 4:30 am we finally had our bed put back together and the essentials unpacked and were able to crawl into bed… to be awoken by an alarm at 9 am. The keys to our old place had to be returned that day, and spaces needed to be cleared for the Comcast home security installer that was coming that afternoon.

Moving is exhausting, and I really hope that we won’t have to do it again for many, many years, but this move did turn out to be well worth it.

First of all, the temperature in the apartment in consistent from room to room. I don’t think it’s ever gotten below 65° in this apartment. No more waking up to a bedroom and bathroom that are 50 something degrees while the rest of the apartment is at least 10 degrees warmer. Or the opposite in the summer. Not freezing in our apartment has been amazing.

Second, my husbands office is literally right across the street. A five minute walk. So much better than the 30-40 minutes that it used to take him to walk to work and back at our old place.

Third, brand new carpet and linoleum. Not to mention the fact that this bathroom actually has a door.

Fairstone Bathroom 1-26-2016 2

Fourth, brand new countertops.

Fairstone Kitchen Sink 1-26-2016

Fifth, open concept floorplan and a breakfast bar.

Fairstone Living Room 1-26-2016 6

Sixth, a walk-in closet.

Fairstone Walk-in Closet 1-26-2016 2

And seventh, a rather large patio with lots of birds that live in the bushes around it.

Brids on Fairstone patio 12-25-2015

Our cat says this is the best thing about our new place.

Teddy Bear looking out at Fairstone Patio 1-26-2016

That and the larger birds that also come to visit sometimes.

Teddy Bear and the ducks 1-26-2016

 

 

 

 

Posted in Apartment Living, Blogging, Family, Weather

Thunderstorms…

A lot of  you probably won’t believe the story that I am about to tell you, but whether you believe or not doesn’t change the fact that it did happen to me.

I used to be terrified of thunderstorms. Especially thunderstorms at night. If one woke me up, I would always go and find my mother in the living room if it was earlier at night, or go down to my parents bedroom if it was later at night. I could not stay in my room. There were many nights that I spent on the floor of my parents bedroom. My parents tried everything to get me to get over my fear of these storms. They used to tell me that the thunder was just angels bowling. When I was a bit older they encouraged me to do a report on thunderstorms for school figuring if I learned what they were and why they happened, that I might not be as frightened by them.

But all of this was somewhat spoiled by what a big deal my dad would make about storms. He used to work in a TV repair shop when I was younger, and so he would see plenty of TVs come in fried because people left them plugged in during a lightning storm. So at the first hints of a storm, all the electronics would be unplugged. My dad would also get up and pace around the house from window to window, watching the storm in what seemed like worry to me when I was younger. Now, as I find myself mirroring the same behavior, I realize that it was a mixture of excitement, fascination, with just a little bit of worry mixed in.

Then there were the storms that taught me that I should fear them. The severe thunderstorms that would rage directly over our house, where even the living room with both of my parents in it wasn’t a safe place to be. There was one storm where were all in the living room together, spread out across the room, waiting out the storm. And then there was an extremely loud BOOM and the house was shaking, and we were all yelling, and above the sound of all of us yelling my dad was yelling for us kids to run to him and my mother. And run we did, and we scrambled next to an armchair that was in the room and my parents shielded us. And in my memories of that moment, the moment before the dash for the other side of the room and the dash itself, everything seems *sideways*. It seems off kilter. As if our house were suddenly a ship and we were listing to starboard. I know that the house didn’t move, other than violently shaking from lightning that struck just a few feet away from it, but that is how things look in my memories… now that I think about it, I was still fairly young when that storm happened, but I remember hearing about a storm where our well which was buried right in front of a huge pine tree got hit in a storm… I think the pine got hit and it traveled to the well… perhaps there was a very good reason for the house to shake as violently as it did.

There was also a morning where I was watching a storm from a window in the living room, I was a bit older at this point and my feelings about storms were beginning to change. Some of my father’s fascination was starting to rub off on me. So I was standing there at the window, probably way too close and I think I had my hands on the top of the bottom window. (We had windows that opened upwards, the bottom part sliding up.) My father had just walked into the living room doorway, and then there was a loud crack very, very close. Only the memory of this isn’t as clear, as I couldn’t remember the next few seconds right after they happened. I remember the crack and then my dad is farther into the room and looking at me funny and asking if I’m alright. I replied that I was, and laughed a little. And then realized that I felt like I was buzzing. I’m not saying that I got struck by lightning, but I think that something very close by got struck and as I was touching the window and the window sill, which both had metal in them, some of that dissipating energy flowed through me. It was probably the equivalent of a very, very strong static shock. Just an odd experience that I never really thought about much and went on with my day. But I know that something happened to me from my father asking if I was okay.

I remember a moment when I was a bit older standing with my father in our backyard, just outside our backdoor, watching a severe thunderstorm slowly roll in toward us. The excitement that exuded from my father as he kept saying that we should go in soon, but just a little bit longer, as the storm drew closer and closer and the winds began to pick up, and the sky above us began to darken. We watched the distant lightning, and my dad would do his counting trick to see how long the thunder took to reach us and then calculate the distance the storm was from us. Until eventually the lighting and the sound the thunder came too close together and we had to retreat to the relative safety of our house. And watch the storm through the windows.

Then there was the night that I set out to talk about when I first started writing this. I was a teenager by this time, and while storms still made me nervous (as all loud things do) there was far more fascination at this point than anything else. Besides, by this time I had a Walkman and Metallica cassette tapes. The thunder is not as ominous when you hear it through music. My bed at the time was pressed up against one wall and there was a window along the right side of the foot of my bed. I was lying on my stomach at the foot of my bed, looking out upon the strong New England summer thunderstorm that was raging outside my window in my backyard. I was listening to Metallica blasting through my headphones and getting lost in the music… and I noticed that the storm was synching up with the music. I felt in tune with the storm, I felt energized and refreshed by the storm. I watched the wind and the rain, and I pointed in time with a particular part of the music I was listening to. And there where I pointed in the sky, lightning appeared. I pointed again, excited and yet totally relaxed at the same time. More lightning, when I pointed, where I pointed. And again, and again. At one point, three streaks of lightning across the sky. And there is no fear anymore, only appreciation for the beauty of the storm. Only the calming energy that I find that I can get from these storms. And slowly the moment fades and the storm begins to move on and fade away.

And now, to this day, since I have moved to the relative desert of Northern Utah I have discovered that I start to get upset when we don’t get rain for a while. Rainy days make me happy. They refresh me and recharge me. But if we don’t get a good thunderstorm for a while, I really start to unravel. I need to watch the lightning, listen to the wind and the rain and the thunder. I can sit and watch a storm for hours, and I will come away calmer and energized. I have never had another experience like the one that night while listening to the music while watching the storm, but I can still lose myself in a storm. I will find myself having to remind myself that it’s not safe to watch the thunderstorm from my 3rd floor metal balcony just because the view is better there and if I reach out my hand, I can feel the rain. And so I retreat inside, where I will sit on the floor in front of my sliding glass door and watch the beauty of the storm.