Saturday, October 10, 2020

As If It Wasn't Stressful Enough...

 The husband checked himself into the hospital overnight on Monday.  He's been having issues breathing for months and when the fatigue finally hit him hard  he went to have it checked out.  They kept him overnight.  He was bored out of his mind. He tried to escape. They talked him out of it. I did manage to run him a book, which I had to leave at the reception area, because no one is allowed visitors right now. Now, while I understand the COVID restrictions, they really need to take the *husband* factor into things....

Him: "They asked me what medications I was on.  I said none because I couldn't remember any of them."

Me: "But you're on four..." 

Him: "So they think it was caused by an underlying infection."

Me: "Did you tell them you had MRSA?" 

Him: "No."

Me: "But MRSA can lay dormant, and would need a specific antibiotic"

Him: "Well, too late now." 

Seriously, I'm not so sure not allowing wives in to recant medical history and pertinent information to the medical team is the best idea.  Anyhoo...

He arrived home on Tuesday night after a barrage of tests. They scrubbed his brain through his nose for COVID, twice, and turned up negative. When it was all said and done, the lining around his heart and lungs is inflamed.  It's called Pericarditis.   Apparently it's most likely caused by a viral infection that has irritated the lining, and will usually resolve itself with high doses of ibuprofen, except of course, when it doesn't. And of course, it hasn't, so if by Monday he's still not great we'll be heading back to the doctor for the next level of treatment. Hopefully this time I'll be allowed in to sidebar.

Youngest has agreed to try an additional medication to help level him off.  He's still working toward a starter dose on the depression medication, and this new med will help offset the manic parts so he can better manage all that he's dealing with.  He's taken these meds both before and done well with them. Except he was 10 and I was managing them for him.  At 18, he's not so great at it. His allergies have been killing him and he's been running a low grade fever, so he's been taking Zyrtec. On Thursday, he took the next level up on his base med and his Zyrtec at 3pm since he forgot in the morning.  He went to work at 6, and at 10pm when he came home, he took the new med and some sleep CBD.  And then he decided to take his brother's melatonin without looking at the bottle. Apparently his brother takes a fast dissolve 10mg tablet.  Youngest has never taken more than 3mg. Needless to say, he slept like a brick encased in concrete. Then, eight hours later, he took his morning dose of his base med (this part is fine) and accidentally took his new med again (this is NOT fine.)  He was nauseous and later sick... really sick.  Well, duh... (insert face palm here)

So after a serious meltdown about how I'm trying to poison him, he flat out refused to take them.

  *sigh* Ya'll I just can't right now...

Tonight we had a talk, we're cutting them in half, and he's agreed to try them for 2 weeks. Fingers crossed we can get him through the early side effects, because this is ridiculous. 

Oldest has been my saving grace lately.  Helping out around the house, generally showing concern, laying low until his COVID tests came back negative. And while he's had his share of needing Mom's help (like when I had to get out of bed at 6am to fix a payroll issue for him) he's managed to reconfigure the printer for me, take care of his own dinners, and help me with some basics around the house. Don't worry though, he'll still occasionally call me in a tizzy about fixing a spelling error done with washable marker on a shirt he needs for a party... in 30 minutes. You know, just so I don't think I'm all done raising him yet. 

Meanwhile, the husband is home from work.  When I asked him what he had planned to do this weekend while I was at work, he mentioned helping his brother in law stack wood. Like, 27 cords of wood, for the winter.

I asked him if he had the ER doctor on speed dial. 

After a stern look, and an implied divorce if he even thought about it, he reconsidered.

Vacation can not come soon enough...

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Bit Of This And That...

I wrapped up a bunch of finances that have been lingering for a bit and the money to do so all hit my account at the same time. Not gonna lie, I went a bit crazy.  I bought steak and toilet paper in the same trip.

2020.

It's make me reckless.

I also bought a mega pack of sharpie markers for work. 

Clearly, I am out of control.

Currently I'm just sitting here in my jammies, under two blankets because I'm too cheap to turn the heat on before Halloween, churning through a small mountain of laundry, while the dog sighs her why aren't we in bed yet?? sighs, and Hubs watches the soccer game on TV. 

Seriously, forty five has never looked so sexy, am I right?

I booked our weekend away and the travel to and from.  Fingers crossed it doesn't rain because it's non-refundable. The hotel has instituted a "2020 clause" in which I can change the dates free of charge, which puts the mind at ease a bit. Pictures will follow I promise, even if they are just of me in a chair with a book in my lap. I love that working Sundays has allowed me to pay for this get away in cash. I may continue to ride the Sunday OT wave while it lasts.

I've been researching front load washers in my spare time. 2020, what have you done to me???  I'm not happy with our current top load one.  I just don't feel like it gets our clothes clean.  Originally I bought it because it doesn't have the agitator in the middle so it could accommodate blankets and comforters. It seemed like a solid idea.  A bottom agitator that would allow for more room and just as much cleanliness.  Turns out, not so much. I'll likely tuck the old one in the garage and eventually donate it via our local buy nothing site or to Habitat.  I hate when a useable appliance goes to the scrapyard. For someone, a functioning, albeit crappy washer, is better than no washer at all.

The boys are in the city this weekend.  Oldest had to work at the college so he headed in early, and I drove Youngest in after his shift at UPS. While I'm a bit of a wreck about what possible trouble they are getting themselves into, I'm reminded that they can get into just as much trouble at home if they wanted to. And, not gonna lie, the peace and quiet is kind of nice.  The weekend has been beautiful here, the kind of weather I want to work outside in. The Hubs and I did some grocery shopping once I got home, and had ice cream for dinner. It's also kind of nice to not have to cook, or think about cooking, for the night. They'll have to lay low from their grandparents for the next two weeks as the contact points for potential COVID infection makes my head spin so it's better to be safe than sorry. Oldest will be tested again on Thursday though so that makes me feel a bit better.

Our state is just over the 1% positivity rate, which given our population and mass transit, is remarkably good.  But you still need to be careful.  I'm hoping the most recent, news worthy case (y'all know who I'm talking about) will result in a positive thing for the country. It could swing both ways really, either leadership FINALLY takes this seriously as a public health issue and encouraging and modeling mask wearing, or the whole thing falls to anarchy and chaos. I am really trying to stay blind to the politics.  I will vote, of course, but we are definitely at a crossroads in this country, and I'm not sure I want to be smack in the middle when it all shakes out. 

But, the political signs are really cracking me up. 

Like this Biden sign:

BYEDON 2020 

And then there's the Trump signs, that suspiciously never seem to include Pence, that say, "NO MORE BULLSHIT."

Which honestly, I just don't understand.  What exactly is the bullshit we're being spared of?  The political back and forth?  The last four years of non conformity? Or is it in hopes of sparing us more bullshit, by a reelection, as if to say the bullshit that has happened the last 4 years will change in the next four? I just don't think that one was well thought out.  

Then there's only one sign I can get behind, PEOPLE SUCK DOGS 2020. 

I'd support putting those signs all over the neighborhood.



 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Changes...

Not sure when it happened, the leaves have started changing here.

Which got me to thinking...

We have 13 Mondays left in 2020.

Maybe the leaves are telling us something.

It's time for change.

For a new season.

For new leadership, be it presidential, congressional, or in the entire way we vote and are heard here in this country.

For the lifestyle that reflects what CORONA was supposed to teach us, to spend more time together, eat around the table, enjoy what we have... home cooked food and toilet paper.

For simplifying our finances, figuring out what we really need, and appreciating the beauty of living where we each live.

A way to change how we communicate, and sort out who is actually important in our lives.

To change the chaos,

To appreciate being able to move freely from state to state and be able to dream of a day when we can leave the county if our heart desires. 

To celebrate birthdays simply.

To take longer walks with the dog.

To change our attitudes about what we can't change.

Because if we don't make some changes, we'll be starting the whole countdown over again in 2021. 




 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Keeping The Faith...


So I logged into FB today after 4 days of disconnecting.

I didn't miss much. 

I posted about the show on Netflix and basically that in four days I have realized how much negativity and lost time it has caused me.  I've been more aware of how much I'm using my phone now. Mainly because I figured out how to pull up my usage.  8 minutes yesterday.  26 minutes today.  Mostly phone calls and text messages.  A few minutes for checking email. Not too bad.  Oldest pulled up his usage for Sunday... just on Snapchat alone, he logged 41 minutes for the day.  If the average interaction was one minute long, that's 41 times he was interrupted from what he was doing.  In addition, he had 147 notifications.  So in ONE DAY his attention was diverted to snapchat nearly 200 times.  FROM ONE APP ALONE. 

Horrifying, folks.  Horrifying. 

In the meantime, I've been doing other things instead of scrolling.

Crafty things.



Catching up on things...



I consolidated some bills.  While it saves me marginally on interest, it will make balancing the bills much easier.  One large payment instead of getting nickeled and dimed throughout the month.  

Youngest had his appointment with his therapist again on Monday.  We have his first med check appointment via zoom tomorrow. It will be tough to work it with my schedule for work, but it is doable. He's open to having me at this appointment, which is good because I don't want him double medicated unless he has to be. It is also clinically time to increase the dose he's currently on, so fingers crossed she allows him to do that.  The dose he was on when he was ten was 200mg a day.  He's currently on 25mg daily at 18 years old. It's a slow medication, but effective for him.  It doesn't change who he is or how he thinks, just how he's able to handle things.  He's got a long road, but he's slowly starting to move forward.  After a LOT of nudging, he's applied for a few jobs, and was hired this morning.  Just part time work, but simple.  It could turn into a career if he'd like, or not.  But it's a starting point none the less. I asked him if he was excited, he said "I'm psyched to not be a bum sitting home all day."

Oldest is struggling to balance remote school and the stress of being home.  Things with his brother have been hard. He got a job with the college on Fridays, and he's got another job pending M-F that will hopefully get going soon.  Not having any money coming in is stressful on him. We did get him a desk for his room to help with the chaos of having the dog photo bomb his zoom classes. We went to five stores before I finally broke down and ordered one online.  It works for the space, and I even accidently matched the floor, so overall it's a winner.  


With the weather turning, I've been walking the dog longer, taking in all of the last bits of summer and the early signs of fall. I've been going to sleep earlier, and religiously using the serum I got from the spa a few weeks back.  I swear my cavernous forehead *WTF* lines are slowly softening. I've been cooking more.  We are eating more meals together.

And I'm tentatively planning a weekend away.  Nothing huge, but I need to reconnect with my husband, slow down, and escape the spin on a dime life we've had lately.  

I went down to get the mail from the mail box the other day.  In a rare turn of evens we had no bills, just a card from a special bloggy buddy who's started mailing love all over the country.  It made my day, even more than finding this reminder in the leaves by the stop sign at the end of our road. 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Disconnection...

Hubs and I watched The Social Dilemma tonight.  

It's a Netflix Documentary, and if you haven't seen it, I suggest you watch.  

Be prepared to be sick to your stomach. 

Even though I knew all of the things they were saying, it still hits home every time I see yet another documentary about social media's influence over our life. In truth, the only social media I have is the book of faces.  While my social media circle is small, in all honestly, it could and should be paired down by about 80%.  I don't have FB messenger on my phone.  I have to wait until I get home to see what someone wants to say to me privately. I have paired it back so much, and yet, I still feel terrible.

While it may seem petty, right now I am having a hard time with how well my friends kids are doing in collage. (I mean I love them, and am happy for them, but I still struggle with it) Or seeing the family weekends planned.  I am still mourning my hopes that College would have been the key to Youngest branching out and becoming who he wanted to be.  I am still aching for Oldest who  desperately wants to be on campus for the whole college experience this year and can't. There are no family weekends to visit planned this year, no spring break trips, or internships abroad. It's a loss and I'm having a hard time processing.

I can't take seeing the posts about people being broke and wanting to get back to work so badly, yet I am delivering three, five, seven packages a day to their doorstep.  I don't care who's birthday it is, or how badly you don't want to go to the store because people are crazy, and I definitely don't want to see that new diamond ring you're sporting just because.  Petty?  Yes.  But I'm over it.

I am struggling with all of the "homeschool" posts.  Yes, it's hard to be a parent and teacher.  Yes, the new formats suck. But imagine how tough it is to be in 3rd grade and having to fight for focus at the kitchen table with 4 dogs and 2 cats rolling about, at a table filled with this morning's breakfast dishes and random stacks of mail. Your kid will never be successful in a difficult situation if you don't make that space just for them. And for the love of God, stop yelling and complaining about it.  Your children feed off your reactions. If you hate it, they will too.

I'm tired of the polarizing political posts. 

And while I'm totally down with God and Jesus, I'm not going to share your picture, say AMEN, or do anything with your come to Jesus post. I am human, and the big guy and I have some things we are working through right now, and I don't need that all over FB to do it. 

I'm tired of scrolling through advertisements, false information flagged posts, and so many reposted memories that it makes me question the mental well being of those posting. Do they not have anything happy going on now that they always have to look back? Repeatedly?  Four times a day?

Youngest was in the mental hospital for 5 days.  It took two days for the heightened anxiety of being connected all the time to even occur to him.  And once he noticed, he said it was awesome.  Freeing.  Relaxing.  There was literally nothing he could do about any of it, so he just let it go.  Five days of disconnection. He called only those he wanted to talk to. No drama.  No pressure. He said it was like a vacation.

Five days later, he's home.  The phone is back.  His stocks have gone crazy. Toxic people have connected.  The results have been bad, borderline disastrous. I try reminding him that he doesn't need to feel this way. That he can control how the phone makes him feel.  That never letting his mind turn off, raises his stress on a subconscious level.  Back in the day, when you broke up with someone, you stopped communication.  They weren't in your face unless you let them.  Social media doesn't allow for the mind to process loss. It doesn't allow for grief. It grows depression and promotes manipulation. Even having it in the room while you're sleeping doesn't allow down time.  Even in sleep mode, the mind knows it's there, and will never get to a deep relaxation, just in case there's another notification. 

I am one of the few people that still writes posts fairly regularly.  Sometimes I post memes, or images, and occasionally I will share a memory. Interestingly enough people comment about this often, that I am one of the few who still uses FB for what it was intended, and that has been what kept me there for the last year or so.

But now... I just don't think it's enough.  I've seen the damage that social media is having on my family, on me. It will be hard, like any addiction is, but I think it's time to back away for a bit.

Realistically though I still need a platform for my thoughts and journaling.  

Kind of like what I already have here.

You're welcome.  Or, I'm sorry.

Your choice.


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

When Life Takes Us Left....

The girl and I went for a walk today.

We always go right when we're here.

Today we went left.

Over the river and through the woods....

The baby swans are almost grown...

The water level is so low in the town brook that the ducks can't even float down the river...

Living in the oldest parts of the country, you find little nooks and crannies of when old meets new.  Some homes have cast iron signs, others are a bit more casual...

Pops of color when you least expect it...

Making the most of tiny spaces, their own private oasis...

Classic love of the old made new are everywhere here...


Forty five minutes later, up and down the hills of town, we circle back to the other side of the brook...

I eel like this is rhubarb.  It's ridiculously huge. The stalks are starting to turn, but a month ago they were deep red....  The girl is irritated we keep stopping for photos...
This mill was originally built in 1636.  It was destroyed in 1840 by fire... In 69 they rebuilt it as historical as possible, salvaging the stones from other mills from that period. The wheel still turns and it can still grind flour, selling it three months out of the year.  The rest of the year it functions as a historical non profit. 

And that concludes the 45 minute tour for the day.  Feel free to grab a complimentary water and feel free to tip your dog walker.



Saturday, September 12, 2020

It's a Magical Place, Casa De Crazy...

Me: "How's it going, aside from wanting to come home?"

Youngest: "Good, I'm running the place.  I started an exercise club.  I learned how to play spades. I'm learning to play the keyboard. And if all goes as planned, I'm going home on Tuesday." 

That was yesterday.  The old meds are out of his system and the new meds are in.  I saw him today for the visiting hour, which due to COVID, is technically only 15 minutes.  I may have gotten a bit extra time since there were only 2 other people who showed up. He's in a wing of 16. It's sad really.

We had a nice conversation, with some tricky moments.  He didn't get agitated, just inserted his stubbornness.  He didn't jump up and pace, just sat calmly.  He talked about his plans to move forward, getting a job, squaring away his license, continuing on his meds with his therapist and new psychotherapist.  He has no interest in going back to the nic-sticks (nicotine vapes) which is really good.  One stick is the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes and does twice the damage. At this point he has no interest in quitting pot, but if he's honest, with the help of the Psychotherapist, he can at least pick strains that won't trigger other side effects.  And with a medicinal card, at 18, he can get it legally, from a reputable shop, and know what he's getting.  He knows how we feel about it, but in the end it's his choice.  All I ask is that he's as smart as he can be about his stupid decisions.

His roommate says this place is like summer camp with drugs. With no cell phones, computers, work, drama, etc., Youngest says he feels like he's on vacation.  He didn't realize how stressful day trading was for him, or always feeling like he had to have enough pot to share.  He confessed he'd gotten to the point where he couldn't tell who was friends with him just because of him, or what he could offer them. Seeing who has reached out has helped put a lot of it in perspective. He's getting a TON of sleep. I was telling this to Oldest and he doesn't know why he'd want to leave, summer camp with calming drugs? I kind of want to go to...

He still blames me, and that's okay.  I can take it. We all just have to make the best hand from the cards we've been dealt.

When I got home, the husband and I planted a hibiscus that needed to go in the ground before the fall weather really sets in.  We did some fall clean up, mowed the lawn. I put the fake pumpkins out.

While I was at the grocery store with Oldest, hubs was supposed to be working through the mounds of laundry we have downstairs. The laundry pile is truly horrifying right now. After a quick nap (I've been beyond exhausted lately), I headed downstairs to grab what he'd finished so far to fold upstairs and throw in what was left. Apparently, his working on laundry just meant throwing towels in the wash and nothing else.  So, I tossed in another load and turned to see the piles of dorm stuff everywhere and the disaster that is Youngest's room.

I haven't been able to bring myself to go down there in days.

An hour later I was well into the clean up. Painstakingly going through every crack and crevasse cleaning out trash, water bottles, and lord knows what else.  I put all his stuff away from the dorm, hung his flags back up, even changed the sheets.  No reason to waste the dorm d├ęcor I spent good money on.  It looks great down there now, a comfy place to lay his head, a home.  This of course lead to vacuuming the whole downstairs, and throwing in additional loads of laundry as the cleaning progressed.

When the downstairs was done, I moved into the kitchen.  I put away all the dorm snacks, loaded the dishwasher, restocked the fridge with water and such. I cleaned the table off, opened mail, created yet another bag of trash to be taken out in the morning. I fed the fish and the dog, threw in another load of laundry.

By the time I made it back to the living room I realized that Oldest had gone out and Hubs had gone to bed. Because apparently he gets to live in a world where I'm going to bed actually means you get up off the couch and go to bed. And when you wake up magical fairies have cleaned the house spotless overnight. Those fairies work their wings off let-me-tell-ya.

So, yeah...Just another Saturday night at Casa De Crazy.  

Where the house is magically cleaned overnight. 

Oldest is undoubtedly not bringing me home endless breadsticks from the Garden of Olive. 

Youngest is head of the circus, and we're getting the band back together since we finally have a keyboard player.