Christmas and stuff

I don’t know if its just me, but December has felt extremely long. Maybe its because I got the decorating done so early, had gifts wrapped and under the tree at the beginning of the month. Maybe its because its been so damn hot so I’ve been spending most of my time inside avoiding the weather. Perhaps its because I’ve only been sleeping in 3-4 hour burst for the past couple of weeks. Not sure, but it just feels damn long.

This year I at least did some things to take advantage of the holiday season. Zach and I went to the tree lighting in Winter Park, I did some holiday time shopping that wasn’t just online. We drove out to Moss Park to see their lights. We baked cookies, and I watched way too many cheesy made for TV Christmas movies with the same predictable plot. Still, I feel like I left a lot on the “wish I’d done it” list. I should probably make a note for next year to do those things.

Our tree, 2015
Oh Christmas tree, so sparkly

Today we exchanged gifts. Zach seemed to like what I picked for him, and I got way more than I feel like I deserved. The cats went crazy for their catnip toys, and we had people join us for a delicious dinner. For all intents and purposes, this was a good day.

Maybe I just make expectations too high for myself that I end up feeling like things didn’t really go well. There are things that I did this year that I didn’t get done in previous years, and Ziggy did not climb, eat, or knock down the tree, so I guess there’s that. Still, Christmas fills me with a bit of sadness now, especially with my parents gone and Zach growing up. I feel like one of these years I’m going to blink and be all alone. I’ve been extremely emotional (and tired) all week and part of me is glad that the year is coming to an end so we all get that proverbial “clean slate.”

Merry Christmas, everyone. Time to watch Harry Potter!

 

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Calmer

Either karma decided to come kick me in the ass after that last post, or Murphy and his law moved in and has overstayed his welcome.

That Friday, my kitchen line backed up. The plumber came and tried to plunge it, leading to the fairly much anticipated death of the disposal. So there I was, looking at a nearly $500 plumbers bill to fix everything, and there was no way I was going to be able to pay for that until the following Tuesday. Luckily, I have really good friends and I bought a disposal and had it installed for a lot less than what the plumber was going to charge, cutting my plumbers bill by over half. We still had to have them come out Tuesday to clean the line because that had to be done through the roof vent, and I was not having friends climb on the roof with a heavy electric auger to try to do it themselves. The sink drain works beautifully now, so yay.

Last Monday, Zach and I went to the cemetery to discuss what we were going to do with my dads ashes. We ended up putting the decision off for a few more days, but ultimately we had him placed in the urn they were giving us (which is exactly like the one my mom is in, go figure) and we brought his ashes home. Hopefully I can get some money from the VA for burial expenses and we can place him then. Otherwise, not sure what we’ll do.

But Monday. Zach had a final after we went to the cemetery. He called me on the way home because the car overheated. Luckily, friends to the rescue again. Jon was able to troubleshoot with Zach over the phone, and Zach got the car home. Later that night Jon came and found the problem was a crack in my radiator. Instead of replacing it, its been JB Weld-ed for now. However, there is still a coolant leak, and some sort of gasket has to be replaced. Plus some other gasket was leaking oil. The oil leaking gasket was replaced this past weekend, and the other gasket will be replaced this weekend. Again, its a good thing to have friends because its only going to cost me parts instead of mechanic expenses too. Also might cost a few home cooked meals, and a few beers, but I’m glad to pay that.

I remained on high alert, waiting for something else to break. The first thing was me. I came down with a nasty cold and pretty much lost my voice for a couple of days. Then the pool pump wouldn’t prime. That is hopefully going to be resolved today. I’m still congested and have a bit of a cough, but I feel much better than I did.

People have really come through for me and been major helpers. I’ve got names and numbers for estate lawyers, I have Mr. Fix-its on call, and friends who will talk me off of a ledge. I am so truly thankful for all of them. And especially, I have Zach, who started decorating the Christmas tree himself because I was sick. Now its beautifully decked with much love and Christmas spirit.

At a loss

Its been quite a while, hasn’t it?

For New Years, Jon and I drove to the west coast of Florida to see the sun set, then to the east coast for the sunrise. It was cloudy, so it was really more watching the sky get brighter, but it was cool, and windy, and the waves were crashing. It was beautiful. However, as I sat there, I felt a real sense of dread. I almost wanted to cry at the idea of having to face another year. I just had a bad feeling.

Things were up and down most of the year. Then in the beginning of July, my dad got sick and had to go to the hospital. We found out he had prostate cancer that had spread to the bones. The doctor rattled off numbers of values in the blood that I only understand were really high. He made a few more trips to the hospital for weakness, falls, and breathing difficulty. Finally, at the end of October, he came home from his last hospital stay with hospice care.

I didn’t know what to expect. They say people admitted to hospice generally are expected to live six months or less. He was weak when he got home, and I was so scared we weren’t going to be able to take care of him. He settled in and did a bit better, but then came the landslide. He had frequent falls, it didn’t seem like the medication we were giving him weren’t helping. On November 12th, his nurse decided that he should go to the hospice inpatient center so they could get his meds straightened out and get him stabilized. It took a few days but they finally got him settled, and he stopped waking up in the middle of the night agitated. We thought about bringing him home, but didn’t because he was so well taken care of and comfortable. We didn’t want to cause him stress.

On November 20th I got a call that they could not find a blood pressure, and his breathing had slowed. Due to kind of a freak thing, Jon was there when I got off the phone with the nurse, He took me down to the hospice center, and Zach followed shortly. We said our goodbyes to him. He was an intensely personal man, and it was my belief he would rather pass alone than with us hanging around him. He made it through the night, Zach visited him on the afternoon of the 21st. That evening, I got a call that he had passed quietly.

My dad and I weren’t terribly close. He felt weird having a daughter. He was an alcoholic. After his first fight with throat cancer and the laryngectomy, he could no longer speak, so he would just write to us when he needed something. The more time passed, especially after my mom died, the more withdrawn he became. Frankly, there were times that it was really difficult to be around him. He was angry and depressed, and you could just sense it. I know he was probably in a lot of pain from the cancer, and this past year that may have colored his attitude a bit, but he never asked for help. He was ready to go, so we helped him along as best we could, trying to make it a comfortable trip.

I miss him terribly now. The call from the nurse felt like the floor dropped out from under me. It felt, no, it feels so unfair to have lost both of my parents before I even turn 40. I know a lot of people have it worse, but right now I’m a little wrapped up in my situation. This has driven a couple of people away, it seems. People that were really there for me when I was anxious and unsure. I miss them. They know who they are.

I’m so blessed to have Zach. He’s been very strong for me. I just don’t know what to do, or how to feel. I’m so mixed up. I don’t want to face the holidays. I’m scared as hell about dealing with his and my mothers estates. I don’t feel like I have much to look forward to, and its making me a bit of a bitch I guess. A whiney, weepy one.

Christmas eve

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t posted since August. Things went really south for me in the beginning of September. I was hurt and embarrassed and guess I just wanted to hold it all in.

So its 3:13am on Christmas eve. I can hear Zach in the other room talking in his google hangout. He’s gone so far in the past few months. He’s working for a website that gets him media credentials to Magic games, then he writes reviews. This is what he wants to do with his life so I am super proud of him and happy for him. He has one more semester at community ¬†college before he moves on to the “big leagues.”

So its 3:17am on Christmas eve and its 72 degrees. Ugh. I hate Florida. We barely had a fall, and winter has been scarce, obviously. Its supposed to cool down for Christmas and New Years eve at least.

Jon broke up with me. I miss him terribly. We’re still in touch as friends and are possibly doing New Years eve together. That’s a lot of the reason I haven’t posted, because I feel like such a loser for getting dumped. It was over my emotions, which have gotten the better of me this year. I think possible having never properly grieved for my mother has something to do with it. Plus he doesn’t like my drinking, which has quadrupled since we broke up. Go figure, right? I don’t feel like he’s ever been completely straight with me when it comes to how he feels about me. He said he loved me, but he just walked away and didn’t talk to me for nearly a month. What am I supposed to think? I feel like it was a lie, and he never really loved me.

Enough of my pathetic ramblings. I hope those of you reading have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year! Here’s to hoping I can make 2014 a positive year.

my brain is on crack

Or something at least. It won’t settle down enough for me to fall asleep. I’ve tried every trick that I know, but nothing helps. So I figured I might as well change what I’m doing because that would definitely make me fall asleep. Not working so far.

The Christmas tree tried to take a nosedive again. Now its leaning backwards, and it doesn’t look so bad. I’ve never had such a fit with a tree. I never baked cookies, never got around to my Christmas cards (why can’t they make New Years cards?). I’m just chalking this holiday season up to the blahs. There’s too many of them. Plus I ended up with bronchitis and spent a deal of time huddled in bed. I’m so tired most of the time lately. I’ve got to do something about it.

I am looking forward to Christmas. I’ll be getting some surprises this year. Can’t remember the last time that happened. There happens to be a Tiffany blue box under the tree for me, too! What girl wouldn’t get excited about that? I’m going to try to post some pictures later, or on Christmas eve, but if I don’t, I wish you all a Merry Christmas!

Christmas spirit?

I can’t say that I’ve found myself in the Christmas spirit this year. The weather sucks. I haven’t been feeling well. Things just aren’t going smoothly. I haven’t done cards, I haven’t baked any cookies. I just can’t seem to get things done.

I was out on Friday night and got a text from Zach that we had a major problem–the Christmas tree had fallen down. Luckily only four ornaments broke, but what a pain. Two of Zach’s friends came over to help fix it yesterday. Its currently tied to two cinder blocks to keep it from falling. Its a redneck Christmas y’all! At least the blocks are hidden behind the tree. I had to redecorate it after that. I got no pleasure out of it. It felt like a chore. Well, I guess it really was. You don’t expect your tree to fall and need to be redecorated.

My shopping is pretty much done and wrapped. I’d still like to go to the mall just because. Maybe the mall all decorated for Christmas would cheer me up. Zach’s already been half a dozen times on his own. I was planning on going tomorrow but now I need to try to go to the doctor. I’ve had chest congestion for about a month now and its just not going away, its getting worse. If I had insurance I would have gone to the emergency room today because I could barely breathe.

I hope things are going better for you guys. I hope you’re enjoying your holiday season.

4th of July

This is not my favorite holiday. I don’t like all of the noise. I used to like it when I was a kid. We lived on an Air Force base and every year they did fireworks on the unused portion of the flight line. It was nice because we could walk to it and then walk home, so there was no association with traffic delays. We used to go as a family until I was a teenager. We spent one 4th in Kentucky with my dad’s side of the family. That was the first time I ever got to hold a sparkler. The 4th was fun when Zach was a kid too. We still grilled something and had salads. My mom was still healthy and my dad would join us in the driveway for “fireworks.”

I think part of my most recent dislike for the holiday has to do with the fact that its a holiday for friends and family, having a gathering of some sort. I don’t have that anymore. I don’t have anyone to get together with except for Zach, who has friends to go spend time with. After my mom got sicker there was just no reason to do much of anything special. I detest spending the day in the kitchen making loads of potato salad and pasta salad. I don’t have the patience I guess. Plus I didn’t see any reason to celebrate because my mom being sick with kidney failure kind of tore up the family unit. Now this year, my mom’s not even around to complain about the lack of potato salad. Plus Zach isn’t going to be home this evening.

Right now I’m sitting with Zach watching the Hoarders marathon on A&E. This show makes me feel like a neat freak. I actually managed to get myself moving yesterday and cleaned my room (except for vacuuming because the cat wouldn’t leave, and I didn’t want to disturb her because I’m a sap). I was going to clean more of the house but The Two Towers was on, followed by Return of the King, and I’m a sucker for those movies. Then on Sunday nights, for some unknown reason, I’ve started watching The Next Food Network Star. None of the contestants are interesting, and the show usually drags on, but I stick around to see who gets voted off the island, and what kind of drama Penny stirs up. So the house still sits waiting to be dusted and vacuumed. Maybe tomorrow. Hopefully there won’t be any interesting “marathons” on TV. I’m not watching the Casey Anthony trial, so that won’t distract me.

I’m most disappointed that Rafa did not win Wimbledon. I like Novak, but not as much as I like Rafa. There, now you know.

 

post-christmas calm

Christmas went pretty well. It was just Zach and me, since my dad doesn’t participate. He seemed altogether satisfied with his gifts. At his age, its hit or miss. I think I hit it this year. I got the Good Eats 2 book that I bought for myself.

We did visit my mom. she’s been feeling sick to her stomach so she hasn’t been one for company. This morning the dialysis clinic called saying she wanted to leave. I figured it was because she was sick, so I picked her up and took her to the rehab center. Turned out the reason she wanted to leave dialysis was she was tired. She’s tired every time. ¬†I don’t know why this was any different. I think she’s being stubborn.

My dad is just about back to his normal self. His strength is up and he’s doing things around the house that he used to do. I guess he needed food to get him moving again. He goes to the ENT on January 7th to discuss the tumor. Goodness only knows what will come out of that.

Otherwise, I slept almost all day after the early morning run to dialysis. I slept a lot yesterday too. Its no wonder I’m having trouble getting to sleep at night. Tonight, maybe I just won’t try. Maybe I’ll just knit. That sounds like it could be a plan. Tomorrow I need to do laundry. Yay mundane tasks. I think I’m just worn out and that’s why I’m sleeping so much. I feel like I could sleep right now actually.

I leave you with another picture of holiday splendor.

airing of grievances

Its Festivus, I’ve had dinner, so here I will air my grievances. I think everyone should do this. Its cathartic.

Florida Hospital. I am sick of you and never want to visit you again.

Aging. I hate you too, especially for making my son older. Stop it now!

November and December. You two have sucked. Seriously.

House. Stop needing repairs immediately. That goes especially to the plumbing.

Son. Start needing your mommy again.

Father. Quit the damn smoking already! How stupid can you be?

Mother nature. Summer was too hot. Make next one better.

In other news, my mom is out of the hospital but back in the rehab facility. They’re on top of things now, and everybody seems to know who I am. I do not believe there will be another mistake again, at least not a big one. I went over there earlier to drop off her stuff and they double checked with me about her next dialysis (they knew when it was) and helped me make sure my mothers clothes were all labeled so nothing gets lost. They’re giving her a room by herself too, at least for now.

I will leave you with a picture of one of my favorite Christmas decorations. It was my grandmothers stuff. Its flickering electric candles with plastic boxwood and plastic berries. It feels so much like Christmas.

 

 

 

Didn’t last long

My mom is back in the cardiac intensive care unit, has been since yesterday. She was out of it for not quite a whole day? They took her to dialysis Saturday morning, and her heart rate went crazy again, so back to intensive from progressive. She seems a little more with it, not quite so out of touch. She managed to call my cell phone today multiple times (she doesn’t always remember the number). Still no word on when she might be released. As for my dad, he looks like crap, and looks like he feels like crap.

In attempt to gain some holiday spirit tonight, Zach and I went over to a neighborhood nearby where they really do up the lights, one house in particular. They do this ever year and its never exactly the same. They have a huge electrical panel to power just the lights. Its insane. Not something I could do, but I enjoy it when someone else does.

So even though I’ve decorated and wrapped gifts, I’m not really feeling the warmth of the Christmas spirit. I know its just circumstances that are making everything feel so glum and lifeless. Plus, having a grown kid, so that takes the youthful joy out of it. Maybe shopping for those last few gifts in a busy mall will kick me into gear. Or maybe I’ll get the holiday spirit in March.

In the mean time, I have absolutely nothing new happening to me. I suppose I should look at that positively. No news is good news in some cases. I do have a a list of things I need to do that has to be done this week, and not a lot of energy to do it. If someone could zap me some get up and go, I’d appreciate it.

I hope you’re enjoying your December, readers.