Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Last breath

I heard Dr. Oz say just the other day that a persons last breath before dying can be comforting to most…..to hear their last breath and see them go peacefully after watching them struggle in life with disease.

I have had loved ones pass.
You don’t normally get to this age without it unfortunately.
But I have never been there when it occurred.
Their last breath.

The last time I saw my mom she seemed like she was getting well to me.
I was at the hospital with my father and my mom’s sister was there as well.
I remember Mom talking this day. That was great to me.
She was saying to me in this new low raspy voice that was barely audible (cancer spread to her voice box too) that she couldn’t wait for the baby to come.
She put her hand on my cheek and asked if I was ready for my new sister to come home.

I was confused and all of a sudden it felt off kilter and awful all at once.
I looked at my father and my aunt for comfort and the look on their face was panic.
I asked mom what she was talking about I have a sister named Pam.
(Pam is 3 years younger and at 10 they would not allow her into the hospital)
She laughed and said “No, Pam was just born but tomorrow she’ll be going home with all of us.
Are you excited Peggy?”

I began to cry. I was so confused. Why is she talking crazy shit like this?
I remember my Aunt escorting me out of the hospital room.
She took me to her house where Pam was until Dad came over to pick the two of us up.
I kept asking why Mom was saying those things. She stared straight ahead driving.
She finally told me that the Dr’s gave her too much medication and it just made her confused. Dad will take care of it with the doctor.

Note to self, I will never lie to a kid ever!
While she wasn’t lying 100% I wish she had said, “Your mom’s cancer has spread through her whole body now Peggy. They are giving her a lot of medicine so she doesn’t feel the pain and that medicine can sometimes make you confused…even goofy. But now she doesn’t hurt anymore.”
Or damn it something closer to the truth.
That would have made 13 year old me feel better. I knew she may die. I say may because that was what I could only say at age 13. Even though she knew she was dying I kept saying she may. I couldn’t make it permanent.

But deep down I knew it so just say it for heaven’s sake.
What are you protecting me from?
Mom had already talked to me about not coming home before she left for the hospital that last time. She already told me that Dad would probably marry someone and be kind to her. Mom had given me “that talk” so I knew it deep down so just say it damn it!

I was so pissed at my father and aunt after that.
They would not allow me to go see my mom after my outburst.
I was pissed at myself too. I blew it by being so upset.

My Aunt told me many many years later that on Mom’s last day alive while she was visiting her Mom actually sat up and spoke. No one had seen her sit up right in months. She hasn’t spoken in weeks prior. I wished I could have been there. She died shortly after, like minutes.

I wonder if I had heard and seen her last breath would that have comforted me or haunted me?
For years as a kid I wished I could have been there that last day.
Hug her one more time, hold her hand, to kiss her. Anything.
I know my father thought it was best to shield me but I just don’t think so.
If your spouse or loved one passed do you really think it would be better to not be there?
Sure it is painful but so is life. Would you rather not see it and not deal with it?
Or be by their side and witness it all. Painful but maybe comforting.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Seeing things

Sunday night Rick took Izzy out for a walk around 8pm.
As they walked up the street about 2 blocks around an empty wooded area he saw a car turning off it's head lights and then on again.  The car was going very slowly and then it stopped before the stop sign. Then he got to the stop sign and stayed there for awhile.

As Rick got closer he noticed the car looked like it had just hit a tree.
The car had an enormous dent in front and it's one headlight was broken.
He thought this person may need help so he headed towards him but approached him cautiously.

The driver was a Hispanic man who rolled down his window and said to Rick, "What the hell is going on around here?" 
Rick asked, "What do you mean?" 
To be fair Rick wasn't sure he understood him correctly because his accent was heavy.
So the man repeated the question to Rick only louder this time.
Rick told him again that he wasn't sure what he was referring to.
The man said, "Don't you see all the ghosts going across the street? and then he yelled and pointed, "Look right there" and he turned and said it again in another direction.
"Hey buddy you been drinking tonight?" Rick asked.

The man was upset now and yelled at Rick, "No I am sober what is wrong with everyone?"
Rick asked if he was feeling okay. Now he was leaning in his window and Rick did not smell alcohol but was concerned that he may be hurt.
The man answered him in a very irratated tone, "No I just can't believe you can't see this all around you."
Rick asked if he just had an accident.
The man cocked his head and let out an aggravated sigh and just drove off.

Rick watched the car leave to be sure he was not swerving and he wasn't.
He was driving slowly and then he'd stop and turn off his headlight and sit there for a minute.
Apparently looking at the spirits he said were crossing the street.

Of course Rick came home to tell me about this event and regretted not taking his license or something. He really was concerned this man was off his rocker or was hurt from hitting a tree. Rick was convinced his car looked like he hit a tree mere minutes before and the man just left and drove off and possibly was hurt.

Weird huh? 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Moving.....

This slays me every time.
Maybe because it's too close to me, my life at that age.
Beautiful though. Brilliant.

Wrap Up of the Week

I am so thankful it's Friday.

Yesterday's post had Daphne from my distant husband asking why I didn't just down size while having my nose set.  I mean I was already at the hospital. Excellent point. I will tell you why.

As a child I hated "them." My father said all the time that when I got older I would appreciate them.  Now I understand that is just a damn man's point of view.  My mom hated that I began to hunch and slouch to try to "hide" them. But as I have written here before she was a freak about posture and made me walk around with books on my head. (yea, I don't know what the hell that did for me either) She insisted that I didn't hide a damn thing I just looked like a girl who had big breasts who slouched. Point to mom.

So at the age of 25 I went to a doctor to see about down sizing "them"
He drew all over my chest and told me how they were going to remove my nipple/areola and he put an X where it was going to be moved to. I went there twice.  Insurance would not pay for this so we discussed fee and hospital fees etc on my last visit. It was just shy of $10,000. (1981)
I had half of it saved so I had to wait a bit more time I told him. Then I decided, hey let's get a personal loan. So off to the bank I went. I filled out paperwork. 2 days later I lost my job.
Did I really want to spend my money for doing this?  YES.  But I was married at the time and he felt that I was being foolish until I went back to work.

Fast forward through divorce (1983) I went back to school with all that money and figured I would do it later. In the late 90's I was working for an airline and had good insurance and did this again in another state where I lived now.  It was even more expensive and my insurance didn't care about my back or anything else that pays the price this was not covered. Great.
But I had flex dollars now and making more money so I was ready to go.
The doctor suggested that I lose 15lbs first.  I was 125lbs at the time and thought boy if it were that easy. (I had a thyroid issue that was undiagnosed at the time and I really struggled to maintain my weight)

So home I went to begin not eating so these babies could be lobbed off.
Within weeks this airline was absorbed by another and the GDS (computer company where I worked) that the airline owned was sold to a private company.  Guess who was downsized?  Yep, not "the girls" but me. So once again I had to not move forward with this idea of downsizing the girls.

Life went on and it just became something for the back burner. $20K or a down payment on a house? You know things like that.  Rick continued to tell me this was all a sign.
I kept saying the wrong thing kept being downsized and he kept saying, this was a higher powers way of telling me to leave them alone."
Spoken like a boob man don'tcha think?

Now I don't even care. I would like them lifted now more than lobbed off.
I am at a stage in my life where all that shit is no big deal anymore.
Since going through this big health issue in my life it has made me see that this is the "small" stuff. (okay they aren't small but you know what I mean)
My mom died of breast cancer as well and that fact isn't lost on me now as an adult.

So now I see the humor where I had none before.
The comments when I was young hurt me and normally I would cry.
I hated that my boobs walked into a room before me.
I hated that guys talked to them like microphones instead of looking at my face.

Now I make the jokes before anyone else.
C'mon back in the 70's when they had this thing called the pencil test.
Anyone out there remember that?
It was during the bra burning, no bra wearing days.
Days I could not take part in.
This was in all the girl magazines at the time. Glamour, Cosmo etc.
If you could put a pencil under your breast and it fell out you could go without a bra.
If you could put a pencil under your breast and it stayed there and if it wasn't seen then you needed to wear a bra.
I used to say, "hell I could put a typewriter under mine and it would get lost"
See I can tell my own jokes.

And like Ms. A. commented - they were their own floatation device.
I am not a strong swimmer.
But when I panic I roll over and float on my back and those girls will keep me afloat.

So Daphne that is why they are still "lying" here. :-)
At this time in my life when making the mortgages is a struggle this isn't a priority and truth be told I don't much care anymore.
So there ya go....we don't need to talk about the damn girls for awhile.

Happy Weekend Everybody.
I've got plans and I can't wait to start my weekend.
Is it 5p yet?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Falling Over

Mike’s comment on my post yesterday reminded me of something that happened to me in my past.


My first job in the travel industry I worked for a small airline.
I flew to work each day. To some that is exciting. To me it was a royal pain in the ass.
Weather could mean I didn’t get home that night.

This job was with a small commuter airline in a small city.
The airline was being absorbed by a large carrier and it’s headquarters were moving to my hometown. The whole operation was moving but when they hired me they told me I would have to commute for a few months. (a few months lasted a full year!)

One day it began to snow, and snow, and snow some more.
I kept looking out my office window praying it would slow down so I could get home that night.
I actually had plans. This is when my commute via plane was so not fun.

I knew I was going to be stuck here. The only thing this snow storm did for me was realized I needed to have extra clothes that I could keep here in the office just for situations like this.
But on this night I had nothing but the clothes on my back.
And I was not wearing pants, boots or anything that would be good in this weather.
No that would make my life too easy. I was wearing a typical 1980’s suit, with nylons and heels.
I also just had a raincoat with a lining. When I looked out the window I wished for a pair of pants, winter boots and a warm parka and gloves.

Now the airport here was just like the television show Wings. Exactly.
There were the two airlines and the snack bar all in the same area as where the passengers waited.
On Wings they had a staircase but I don’t recall them ever showing us what was up there.
At this airport the upstairs had a restaurant and bar.
We went to that bar a lot as pilot and travel industry people are prone to do.
(Tip: travel industry folks can party like no others I have ever met. Be warned)

The day of the snow I left the office and went over to the bar with some co-workers and pilots. We all were grounded so to speak so what the hell, let’s drink.
Most lived nearby and weren’t flying so let the party begin.
Two of us made arrangements at the local motel. Yes, a motel, not a hotel.
This town did not have a hotel.
We had dinner and lots of cocktails. This group of people was always so much fun.

George was one of the older pilots
Allow me to rephrase that, he was not old.
I was in my 20’s he was probably 40 at best but to me at that time he was the old guy.
All the other pilots really looked up to him and respected him.
I heard all the tales of how great he was. He flew in Vietnam and boy he had stories.

I always wondered why he was working at this little carrier.
When you are a pilot you generally start at a small carrier until you have more hours etc and work your way up to bigger aircraft. He didn’t want anything more.
In fact last I heard he was a private pilot for a famous golfer.
So he was still flying but keeping it small as he would say.
He also liked living in this little city and just wasn’t interested in the big city life.

George was a one man show. He was crazy nuts, funny as hell and such a warm man.
I loved this guy. Once when he was flying me to work and no one else was in this little plane he did some shit just because he knew I was hung over. I actually threw up in my briefcase.
Yes, he did that on purpose. I was teased about that for a very long time.
I got off the plane and just threw my whole briefcase in the waste receptacle.
I couldn’t fathom cleaning it. I was so green.
If I could have spoken I would have killed him. And boy did he laugh.

When I was being bothered by guys hitting on me he was like my big brother I never had.
I really loved ole George. And this night he was in rare form.
At one point someone dared him to take his pants off for who knows what reason. 
He got on the bar and danced in his boxer shorts to some Van Halen song.
People were throwing money at him. Oh if only they had had camera phones back then!
His boxers had some animals on them. I don’t recall what they were but my lord it made us all laugh.
Like kittens or something you just wouldn’t think you’d see on this macho man.

The other person who like me had to get a motel was a pilot.
He had stopped drinking much earlier in the evening in hopes that he was flying tomorrow so he wanted to leave to get some sleep. He was my ride as well so I had to leave too.

We checked into our little rooms. Our rooms were next door to one another.
The door to our room was from outside, first a screen door, then our room door.
It was clean and at this point it was all I could ask for.

Remember I had worn a suit to work with nylons and heels.
(back in the day when women wore pantyhose to work)
I had nothing warm. I was freezing.
I called the front desk and asked about the heat.
Apparently it was as high as it was going to go. Great.
So I asked for another blanket. But even that didn’t help.

Now I am a woman who is seldom cold but this was a very cold room and it was snowy and cold outside. It felt like the wind was coming through my little door.
I called the pilot next door and asked if he had any extra clothes.
He too thought it was ridiculously cold in there.
I told him I got an extra blanket he may want to call them.
He offered me his shirt and socks he had worn that day.
I didn’t even care I took them. My feet were freezing!!
So there I was wrapped in a pilots dirty shirt down to my knees and socks that were huge.
But I didn’t care my feet were at least starting to get warm.

The following morning I got up to shower.
I thought I had shut the door behind me as I stepped into the shower but apparently it didn’t catch.
As I was washing my hair I felt a chill so I slide back the shower curtain and saw the door open.
With a full head of shampoo lathered on my head I leaned forward bending at the waist only to slam the door. (very small bathroom)
The door slammed shut and I went face first into the tiles - hard.
My feet still planted firmly on the bottom of the bathtub.
It felt like my head bounced off the tile.
I literally saw stars just like in the cartoons.

I stood up and closed my eyes and opened them a few times to get my bearings.
I then went right back to washing my hair.
I had my back toward the shower head and tilting my head back to rinse my hair.
Yet I was feeling something warm running down my face.
It took me a minute to realize this was not water. The water was behind me.
I felt it and my hands were red with blood.

I was still a bit dizzy but finished rinsing my hair.
I got out of the shower and grabbed another wash cloth and held it to my nose which was now bleeding like a running faucet.
I didn't know that I also had a cut across my nose that was also causing all this blood.

I held my head over the bathroom sink trying to figure out what the hell was happening because I had never had a nose bleed before. The white wash cloth was turning red so quickly.
I grabbed a small hand towel now. When I did that I saw blood on the floor.

Oh my goodness. It was looking like a crime scene.
But every time I would lift my head up I would get all whoozy and nauseas.
So back into the sink I would go holding the towel on my nose.

What I am about to tell you next Rick likes to state that it says a lot about me and who I am.
I’ll let you be the judge.
Keeping my head down and holding the towel on my nose I filled up the tub with cold water.
I began to throw all the bloody towels I have used to clean up the floor and the sink and my face in the cold water. I feared that I had ruined them and I thought I better get them in cold water so I didn’t stain the towels.
I know, I know, who does that right?

I still couldn’t lift my head and I had to get dressed the same way I was doing things in the bathroom – bent at the waist with my head in my hand.

I called the pilot next door and said to go ahead without me.
I told him I had fallen and am having some issues. He said he’d come right over.
Well, no. I can’t get dressed and I would prefer when you get over to the airport you have Michelle (my boss) come over here to help me.
He made a joke about not looking but I couldn't even laugh I was in pain and dizzy and worried.
Hey I wasn’t going to let this guy dress me. I work with these people for heaven’s sake.

I managed to get my bra and panties on because I was damn sure I was not having my boss put them on me.
She walked into my room and squealed.
Apparently my eyes were turning black and blue and swollen already.
I just wanted to stop this bleeding and throw up.
But I needed to get dressed and I couldn't sit upright for long.
It all felt better if I was laying across the bed.
She helped me to get dressed and drove me to the hospital.
Helping me into my clothes was a comedy skit for sure.
If I hadn’t been feeling so awful I would have laughed then.
We laughed later on over this one.

At the hospital I was told I broke my nose and had to get a tetnus shot for the slash across my nose.
I remember being on a gurney and this really good looking young doctor or nurse came over and put the sides up of the bed and asked me to put my hands on either side as he held my hand closest to him.
I am now a bit loopy and seriously am only looking at this gorgeous guys hands on mine.
I was too drugged to realize he was holding me down not holding my hand.

With his hands over mine he asked how I was doing and where I was from.
You know the small talk trick trying to distract me I suppose.
Then a woman put her hands over my other hand on the other side of the bed.
She startled me. The doctor came over and said nothing just put her hands on both sides of my nose and moved it. I recall a loud yelp coming from me. OMG did that hurt.
I think it was now “set” She said, “you’re okay now and good to go.”
Gorgeous hospital man would go over my instructions.

The gorgeous guy stayed behind and told me what I had and what I had to do.
I had a concussion and a broken nose and now 2 big ole black eyes.
The cut across my nose was sewn up and I was fine I just wasn’t able to sleep due to the concussion. He had concerns about the aircraft I was to fly home in.
He and my boss walked away and were discussing this. I was too loopy to care.

They sent me back to the hotel. Michelle said I was not working today.
Gee ya think?
Since I couldn’t fly home until evening I was to sit/lay in the hotel until someone picked me up for my flight.  I was not to fall asleep either because of the concussion.
She informed me that every so many minutes someone from the office would call me to be sure I was awake. I never was awake but they did their job as told by Mr. Gorgeous nurse/resident/intern and kept me from really sleeping. Sleep is all I wanted to do.

The aircraft I was flying home in was unpressurized.
The doctor felt this was going to be a problem. Pain, bleeding etc.
I just wanted to go home for a few days and not be in a hotel with no clothes you know?
I wanted to crawl into my big warm comfy bed. Pain and or bleeding be damned.
It was only a 30 minute flight just please let me go home!

I was picked up by George at the hotel around 4p. He was my pilot home.
That made me feel good. He always made me feel taken care of like your big brother.
I was hungry so I sat at the snack bar but trying to eat I found I couldn’t because I would have to move muscles on my face to chew that caused me too much pain. So they made me a milkshake. As I sat at the snack bar a lot of the people I work with were asking me all kinds of questions. Making jokes and just generally ribbing me. Looked like I was in a fight with Tyson and I lost. That type of stuff.

As I told them what had happened one of the pilots said, “Peg where the hell were your hands when you fell forward?”
I wanted to laugh but it hurt. I didn’t have an answer for this.
But before I could say anything George said, “Look at how she's built, it’s a wonder she doesn’t fall over a helluva lot more often.”

Oh that had the whole snack bar start laughing.....loudly....at me. 
I even thought that was pretty damn funny but it hurt like hell to laugh or smile.
But I hated being known for this. The "two" things I was always trying to hide.
But leave it to George to make me feel a bit better and see the humor.

Unfortunately this comment followed me my whole career while I was at this airline.
I wasn’t thrilled to be known as “that” girl, the one with the big boobs who fell over.
But I have a sense of humor and I too thought it was funny.
I just wish the joke wasn't on me. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Holy Water

Damn Holy Water!!
Guess that is where I got these DD's.
Raised Catholic and always had to put my hands in holy water.
I must have touched my chest unknowingly when I was a tiny child.
Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!
It's a no wonder I left the church.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Writing Class

I wrote this for a blog post awhile ago and never posted it for some reason.
Since typing for any length of time is still difficult right now I thought I'd dig into the archives.
______
A few years ago I attempted to take a class in writing.
Everyone thought I should if I was going to write a blog.
You can see if you've been reading me that I am a drop out.

The way she asked me to write a story was all so very flowery.
It was encouraged to write that way.
But it isn’t how I speak.
I found it so difficult.
So very much like F. Scott Fitzgerald much more than me.

She kept saying she wanted unique and descriptive.
The things that got encouragement from the instructor were things that were so difficult for me to write. So I decided in my class that it was apparent that I am most certainly not a writer.
Nor will I ever be because I just couldn't cut this class.

Yes, she said nice things to me about these assignment but it took me forever to write this way.
The small vignettes or sentences below I had to write were all about something in my life that had happened or was happening.
They were to be a vivid memory yet worded in a way that you may not even know it was me.
I found it all so exhausting. Hence why I’m not a writer I suppose.
I knew what I wanted to say but a paragraph could take me an hour to find a way to say it the way the instructor wanted it said. I kept thinking if I really was a writer and I went through this angst it would take me 100 years to write a book.
I’m giving you some examples below.

This first one was how I found out my mother had died.
It was so long ago but I can still smell the stale smoke at my Grandmothers house.
I can still feel it, see it and it feels so raw even to this day.
Yet articulating it was so difficult for me.
Oh not if I could just write it like I speak, that would be easy.
This was for my very first lesson in class.
I would write some and then walk away.
It was so damn difficult of an exercise.
Oh not because of my mom’s death but because this is not how I speak.
It just didn’t come easily for me.
The instructor asked me to write about this topic and I did as told.
Thankfully I got an A as well as encouragement not to quit. (But I quit anyway) 
________
She instinctively knew the minute she bounced into the room. The familiar faces that surrounded the dining room table were in various modes of still. She politely turned her head away to the wall of windows on her left with the happy sunlight filling her view. She didn’t want to turn away from her safe view but she knew she had to face them. She glanced their way again hoping to see the playful sunshine on their faces this time. Instead she saw the aura of their whispers and she just knew it wasn’t going to be sunny again for a very long time.

This next two make me laugh because they too were real situations.
One of them being the damn assignments.
She wanted a sentence that “moved”
That term she kept using drove me absolutely bat shit crazy.
“Movement”, or it “moved” were said by her all too frequently.
I was very busy so I just wrote these flippantly and considered it a completed assignment.
I thought I’d hear about being lazy yet she loved it! I admit that made me laugh.
They never came that easily again for me. Trust me on that.


His manner was meek as were his clothes so she was startled when he leaned in closely and in an aggressive whisper told her to leave

In defeat of a realization that it was now work instead of blissful pleasure she let go of a disappointed sigh.

Gee is it obvious that last one is me writing about my class here?

So have you taken a writing class?
If so, did you do this because you want to be a writer or just for fun? 
I thought it would be fun but it wasn't fun to me, so I am curious.
Did you get from it what you thought you wanted or needed?

Love to hear your thoughts on this.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Clumsy ole Margaret

Hi. It's me, Izzy, writing to you today
My human mom hurt her shoulder. She's blaming me but it's not my fault.
Thursday she and I were outside and I was just laying in the grass eating a stick while she and the lady across the street were chatting. She was facing this lady and I was behind her but I was on the leash. Hey it's not my fault that a big fat squirrel ran in front of me. I jumped up and took off to chase it and my mom wasn't looking and it pulled her shoulder and she screamed and I lost the darn squirrel. Boy I hate when she does that. She kept saying that something pulled in her arm/shoulder. But she seemed fine to me. We finished the walk but she took me off the leash. Had I known it would have been that easy I would have jerked her around long ago. I never run away and I never go beyond my human parents when walking without the leash so I am blaming her for hurting herself. Sounds right doesn't it?

On Friday she was really moaning about pain.
She wouldn't throw the ball for me at lunch time either.
I love that she throws the ball at lunch time instead of wasting her time eating.
She hurt her left arm and she's right handed so why couldn't she throw for me?
I think she is milking this people. What do you think?

Saturday morning she was up way before me and Rick.
She said she had been up since 1:30a.m. sitting in the theatre seats because it was more comfortable than lying in bed. Ooh oh.
I remember that from the time she torn her rotator cuff and shredded her labrum.
I hope she doesn't remember that.

Now my mom isn't quiet. That isn't an adjective anyone would use to describe her.
She's always laughing or talking or making some noise.
But on Saturday she was quiet all day and when she wasn't quiet she was cranky.
I don't like when she's in pain - she's not fun to be around. 
It was all about her. Normally it's all about me.
I don't like this change.
I didn't even get treats.
She gives me these great peanut butter treats and hugs.
I got neither.

She sat around with ice on her shoulder/arm.
She closed her eyes a lot.
She didn't even come to bed with my human dad and me.
She slept in the theatre seats in the tv room.
Don't think she is getting much sleep right now.

Sunday she was worse. I heard her cry trying to get dressed.
I watched as Rick attempted to help her get dressed. (memories from last time)
Once again he seems to be very deft at taking a bra off with a snap of his fingers but putting it on someone is like a foreign object he's never seen before.
He decided that Mom shouldn't wear one and to just "be free" as he said.
He laughed, she sighed, and I just watched these two goof balls.
I think Mom was fighting tears. I think she is in some serious pain here.
I kept giving her cute puppy eyes so that I don't have to feel guilty about this.

She also asked Rick for help on her hair but he just can't get the hang of a blow dryer and a brush. She may be wearing a baseball cap for awhile.
At least her right hand is pain free so she can do some things.
Sunday night she sat in those big ole chairs with ice on her.
She slept that way too for a few hours, but Rick and I went to bed.

This morning she is whining some more. I think I've had enough of this.
She can't tie her shoes. She had to put her boots on before Rick left so he could help her.
She says she can't type. She can't lift her arm. She is in a bad way.
It's making her cranky so I will try to behave today.
I think I will sleep a lot and stay out of her way.
If she isn't better soon what will I do?  Wanna come play with me?


Friday, January 20, 2012

Your Opinion

These are some submissions for a retail box for our new product.
I don't like them much.
One does stand out to me but we have a long way to go yet to make it what it needs to be.
This is just the first step.
Your opinoin would be appreciated.
If you hate them all let me know.
If there is one better than another please let me know.
We would love your comments.

Remember these are for boxes so these are flatten boxes.
I have my preference.
Once we chose one then we will work further with that designer to make changes and work from there.  I believe there will be a lot of discussions and changes before we get to where we need to be. This is just the 1st step.

So if you would be so kind we would love your opinion.
 (link removed due to contest completed)

In other news.....
It's that time of year where it's cold and I'm paler than pale.
I love 4 seasons but at this time of year I am ready for it to be a bit warmer.
In August I feel ready for fall. Same thing.
Come February I have had enough of winter and I'm ready for spring to rear it's head.
So I started looking at some summer pictures of being at the lake house.
I thought I would share.
This is when Izzy was just a mere pup of less than a year.
 She hated the wind in her face and she just squint like this the whole time on the boat ride.
Damn she's cute.

Aah, I remember warm sunny days playing in warm water.
And hey Katie if you're reading this -  I saw those great noodles again at Costco.
I think I have to buy some more for this year so we all have them when you come down!

Happy Weekend everyone. Think warm.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Wedding.

It was 1983. 
I was going through my divorce from my 1st husband and high school sweetheart.
My friends gave me a lot of grief that I wasn't mean to him.
I heard things like, he hurt you make him pay.
Take the money and make him feel this like he hurt you.

That isn't my nature. Doesn't mean you can't do that if you like but it's not my nature to do that type of thing. I may have only been 27 at that time but I just have always felt that being mean, vindictive or spiteful only hurt me not the person who has done you wrong.
Besides I liked the guy. I will never understand the animosity that I see with divorce couples. How can you hate them? You loved them once enough to marry them.  Yes he hurt me terribly. Aside from my mothers death this was the biggest pain in my life. But being mean to someone else wasn't going to make me feel better. It wasn't going to make him love me. It wasn't going to do anything but make me a bitter mean woman. Just isn't who I am.

We had grown apart and I began to feel like I was running in place.
The communication was off and I was lonely in my marriage.
I made the mistake of having a weak moment and sharing with a friend. 
She apparently called him at work. He came home livid that I would talk to her about the issues we were dealing with at home. We talked and talked and we even tried counseling.
 Then this casual friend was hanging around a lot more.
I began to suspect he was no longer mad at her and was fooling around with her. 
I was right about what was going on and I caught them by accident. Whoops! Painful.
I knew if I had been honest with myself that we were going in this direction.
However I buried that. I was a kid.
I kept thinking this was just a bump and we'd go back to the way we were.
But deep down I knew this was not true.
Now it was no longer in the back of my mind, it was right there in front for me to deal with.
And deal with it I did in my way.

I remember our "come to Jesus" meeting. We talked and I cried and we decided that I would move out. This was his home before we married. We discussed how we would split things up.
We talked about splitting the money and I would go back to school.
It was very emotional and very mature at the same time.
We both had feelings for one another but we both knew this was what needed to be done.
Painful but we had to.  I knew he hurt too even though he facilitated the end so to speak.

When I saw this so called friend I told her what was on my mind. It wasn't nice.
But I also knew I would see her and I had to be able to get this off my chest and know that when I saw her we could at least be civil. Awkward but civil.
We were a "gang" so to speak so there was no way that we wouldn't see one another or run into one another. Sadly the "gang" took sides. The two of the them were left on the curb.
For some reason that made me feel badly but yet it made things easier for me to still see my friends and not see them. But my friends kept wanting me to be mean.
How can you talk to him? How can you be so civil and split things up evenly?
You lost your job a few weeks ago - take all his money! C'mon make him pay they would say.

I remember an evening when we sat in his home separating our things.
We had been together from age 17 to age 27. My whole adult life really.
We sat on the living room floor and started separating our albums. His pile and mine.
I have to tell you how much we laughed because this was the hardest part of the splitting of things. How damn silly.
"I want the History of Eric Clapton", I said.
He responded with, " it was a gift from you to me so I should be able to keep it."
We compromised on a lot of our albums by making cassettes of albums for the other person.
How absolutely silly don't you think? Now I can't play the albums or the cassettes.
This we argued over, how ridiculous. We had over 400 albums between us and he thought he couldn't go on without James Gang or The Doors. 
Thankfully he hated Billy Joel so I got them all. None of which I can even play now.

I want to believe that if I had children and when I went through my divorce I would have handled my divorce and the communication with my ex the same way that I did with or without children.  I know it would have been miserable at first. Down right miserable!
But as the years went on it would have become easier.
Besides what kind of message would I be sending my children if I acted the way my friends thought one should act. It just isn't me or where I feel comfortable. I don't want to be friends with him per se but I didn't want to be enemies either. I also don't want to say anything bad about my ex to my children because it is their father. This would be hard enough on them they don't need to take sides but to know they are loved and they can love both parents the same as always. This is a scary time and they need to know that while life for them is changing their parents love for them will never change. Who are the adults here anyway?

Two years after the divorce my new boss and I are going to go to some guy's house that she just met. He asked her to stop by because he said he was having a few friends from work over to his home. She asked me to go with her. I walked into the small party and saw "him" playing pool.
Oh geez. I panicked. I hadn't seen him in 2 years. He looked up and saw me too and I saw the panic in his eyes. I was introduced to the man hosting this get together and my boss's date.
He introduced me to the man he was playing pool with. I shook his hand.
We smiled and I said," nice to see you again." 
My boss, Heidi, said, "do you know one another?"
My ex looked paniked. I said, "yes we went to high school together." without missing a beat.
Hey it was the truth we did go to school together.
They nodded and nothing else was said. I stayed on the other side of the room most of the night.
As the night went on I was behind the bar making my self a drink.
The host asked if I needed anything because he saw me looking around.
I said, "Do you have any limes?"
I was making myself a gin and tonic. He got me a lime and a knife.
My ex said, "Oh don't give her a knife without a band-aid."
We both had a big laugh like something is between us.
Yes this was an ongoing joke when we were together. Everyone else laughed but had no idea.

As Heidi and I were driving home she asked me about this guy I knew from high school.
She thought he seemed nice.  I said he is a nice guy.
I told her he was my ex-husband. She squealed, WHAT? and pulled over.
I explained that if I had said that it would have made everyone uncomfortable.
I would have been uncomfortable because everyone would be looking to see how we interacted or if we even did interact. I didn't want that.
She said, "but you guys were so nice to one another"
I said, "why not?" She looked at me like I had a 3rd eye while we discussed this.
The conversation was making me squirm and this is why I didn't say anything I told her.

So that brings me to Rick's daughters wedding. WHAT you say?
Rick's wife is mean to me. Rick's wife is mean to his daughter if she says nice things or does nice things to or for her father. Rick's Ex will still not even utter a word in his direction. 
I met his ex wife 10 years after they had been divorced so there is no reason to be mean to me. None. But she is petty. At his daughters graduation his ex's new husband asked us to come to the house for the graduation and she yelled, "Oh no they can't come to my home." 
When I was introduced to her at the high school at the graduation I extended my hand and said, "Hi XYZ it is nice to finally meet you." She turned her head as my head just hung there.

We have never ever had the opportunity to spend any time with his daughter at any important event or activity or sport in this girls lifetime. We went to one sporting event and were asked to leave once the ex made a loud obnoxioius roar about us watching his daughters game.

We were always asked to stay away. She accepted our money. She accepted the tuition for college. She filled her daughters head with lies. Lies I had to say nothing about because my husband said that we had to take the high road. That if we told her that her mother was a liar we were stooping to her mothers level. That we would be making his daughter hear bad things about her mom and that she shouldn't have to pick sides. He really thought she would see the real issues when she grew up. Hmmm....never happened sadly.

So now we have a wedding. I imagine we will be asked for a lot of money for said wedding.
I imagine we will not be invited to anything to do with the wedding, if even the wedding unless his daughter speaks up. If we can actually go to the wedding we will be treated like outsiders. Except our money. I have to say this makes me angry.

Rick and his daughter don't have a great relationship. He has tried and I see the pain he goes through. But there comes a point that as a 31 almost 32 year old she has to see the truth. I have told her things that Rick would kill me for. But she needed to know. I never bad mouth her mother, for heaven's sake it's her mother and I am evil step mommy. I get that.
But telling a 7 year old that your father killed your dog is a horrific statement.
He lived 3 hrs away and he had no access to the dog. Besides being a dog lover that would never ever have happened. The mom wanted to get rid of the dog and why not blame that evil father of yours. She really thought he did that until she was 20 yrs old.
There are a lot of awlful stories like this.

So why can't people just put it all aside?  I honestly just don't understand that.
If you love your child why the hell would you do this to your kid?  
Why did she have to damage her kids relationship with her father?
Does that make her feel good that she hurt her daughter?
Does she get some kind of pleasure from having her daughter always say that she missed having her father in her life more? She stopped that from happening. She forbid it.

I understand the pain. I understand the uncomfortable part when in their company.
But you loved one another once. More importantly you say you love your child.
You married at age 20 and were too damn young and grew apart.
No one was to blame here. Grow up and move on.
Do what is best for you and your child for once. Put someone's life and well being ahead of your own. Isn't that what parents do?

I hope his daughter elopes. This is going to be too much to bear if we are completely ostrized.
I should say, too much for Rick to bear. I'm used to it.
No one will even talk to me and I have nothing to do with any of this.

It's been 30 years -  what is the Statute of Limitations here? 
When will she (the ex) grow up?  She is 56 now. C'mon it's time.
Hurting her daughter is a crime to me that mothers or fathers just shouldn't be allowed to commit.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Random Thoughts

**A thing that has reared it's ugly head for me is a saying I have been hearing a great deal.
Yesterday I had too many customers call us and say "you people" to me.
I had a man call and after I said hello and how may I help you he said the following:
Hey do you people do this?
Do you people come to my city?

I had a lot of those "you people" over the last month.
Is it just me or do you say that when you call someone for service?
I wouldn't think of saying that when I called a person to come fix my fireplace, "Hey do you people fix fireplaces?
First of all I called a company who's website says they do.
Second of all it's rude to me to say, "you people"

I ask everyone who calls where they heard of us.
I do this for marketing reasons.What advertising is paying off?
Was it a referral? (we have a referral program for vendors as well as customers)
So when all of the people yesterday told me they were on our website I really wondered why they would ask if "you people" do this when they just saw that we did.
It just bugs me! Just add it to my ever growing list of pet peeves.

**Rick's daughter got engaged this weekend.
Yikes a wedding! I am trying not to think about it.
Hopefully it's a very long engagement.

**Aside from the too few quips from Ricky Gervais the Golden Globes were a snooze fest.
I want more snarky Ricky and less what are you wearing?  Less of the winners thanking their God and their kids. It's a professional environment. Thank your personal family and your personal God alone or at home. At work thank those that helped you achieve this win. End of story - go sit down.

**I must say the childish head bands of the beautiful Michelle Williams and Charlize Theron were horrific as well as the Golden Globes. Seriously they looked like those head bands they put on babies. What the hell were they thinking? Someone told them this was hip and they just did it? No, no, no.

**We pay an enormous amount of money monthly to take credit cards.
It works like this if you aren't aware.
The bank charges an activation fee.
They also charge a monthly fee just to be able to offer credit cards to our customers.
They charge fees for each credit card you use.
They vary. If the card gets you points it takes more money from me.
If a card is a debit card there is a different fee. Then there are all the fees the credit card company charges the bank that I pay. American Express is outrageous. If the bill is $500 American Express gets almost $100. So we dropped Amex.  It's illegal to charge more if you take a credit card so can't make up that money just because I let you use your card.
And if you get points on your American Express I barely get my money for the damn job.
We are billed at the end of each month for this service of taking credit cards.
It can vary from $300 a month to 4 times that amount.
The more our customers use credit cards the more they take from us. I hate it.
I prefer customers give us checks but we can't say that of course.
It is a necessary evil. The worst part?
When a customer uses a credit card we don't get the money for a couple of days either. 
It goes from the card service to the bank and then to us.
A great day is only waiting 24 hours for the money.
Amex took up to 5 days. The others were usually up to 48 hrs and we got our money.

But now there is something new to replace that old banking system.
Oh how I am loving this so far.
I was watching a special that Larry King had on CNN with a group of celebrities over dinner and they all just talked about different topics. The man who invented Twitter was talking about his newest thing called The Square.  You put this little square on your IPhone or Android phone or your IPad. You can swipe credit cards and link it to your bank and no fees except one. The Square is small and fits in the middle of your palm small.

I got online immediately to check this out. It seemed too good to be true.
I continued to do research for a week.
While I still believed it had to be too good to be true but I had to try.
I signed the company up and we received the Square.
There is no activation fee, there is no monthly fee, there are no special fees from the banks or from the card companies. One fee of 2.75% of each sale. That is all we pay.
While that seems high when some of mine were 1.35 and more by the time you add up all the other fees it wasn't higher at all. It was all an illusion.
Trust me we did the math every which way we could.

I have spent the last month going over the numbers. It is working!
I get the money in 24 hrs.
They tell you 24 - 48 hrs to protect themselves I suppose.
They take the money from you off the deposit immediately.
I like that because there is no surprise at the end of the month of what your fee will be debited from your account. That is wonderful!
This is a huge savings every month from our bottom line.

Before we got this when a customer wanted to use a credit card they would give it to Rick.
He would call the office. I would input this into the computer and it would send them an email confirmation receipt. Rick would also give them an invoice as well.
We have now eliminated the need for Rick or a technician to call the office.

This tiny little thing attaches to Rick's phone.
When he is done with a job he can now take their card, swipe it in his phone and a receipt is sent to their email and he's done.
Saves time and money!!

When they sell stock I will be running to invest in this puppy.
You should too.
We have told several contractors who have all signed up.
That means we have all left banks.
No one is crying here about that!
 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wrapping Up My Week

Do you remember when I asked all of you when a seal became a symbol of Christmas?
I finally took a photo one evening while Rick and I walked around the neighborhood with Izzy.
I kept forgetting to show you all so here it is.
I still don't understand how this circus seal with a ball on his nose has anything to do with the holiday.


When my niece was little she would say a certain persons behavior embarrassed her.
I would always tell her that no one can embarrass you unless you let them, they are embarrassing themselves.
No one can make you feel guilty, ugly or anything else unless you give them power to do it to you.
I didn't take my own advice this week. 
I sure was a stupid woman this week......where did I go this week?

Have any of you seen this website?
I pay a lot to color my hair.
When people ask me, "What color is your real hair Peg?" My answer would be white.
I am too young for white just yet in my mind. So I color and highlight.
Pain in the ass, high maintenance and expensive.
I have been known to color it myself and we can all remember how the last time I did that I ended up looking like Elvira.  Not a good look for me....or Elvira for that matter.
Had to get it fixed after that so not much money saving there.
I believe I will be giving this a chance. What have I got to lose $4.95? Pfff.
I then would only need to get a couple of highlights if I wanted. Serious money would be saved.
I like the idea.

Over the last 5 weeks or so I have been feeling badly health wise.
I have shared that I have Hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's) I take a couple pills and I normally feel fine. But symptoms have raised their ugly little heads and I also don't feel so great.
Yesterday I ate well, no bad carbs, only protein, veggies. Light meals.
I weight myself every morning.
This morning got on the scale and I gained 3lbs overnight. Yea. Not good.
My hair has been falling out like crazy, it has become very dry and dull.
I am getting rashes on me again and my nails are splitting vertically and that is painful.
The thickness feeling in my neck is back and the list goes on and on. It's not fun.
So I need to go back to the doctor and see what is happening. I used to be more upset with the weight issue of this damn disease but after feeling so good for so long I now would prefer just feeling good. This isn't fun. Autoimmune Diseases just suck.
I see my doctor on the 18th so I am hoping we get this turned around before I gain all the weight back I  just lost.

In the past I have shared with you that my crazy little dog loves stuffed animals.
Izzy will surgically remove their eyes, nose and mouth if it is buttons or thread only.
Then she will play with them for years.
Here she is with Tigger on the patio sunning herself. Notice Tiggers eyes and face are gone.
Poor Tigger is blind. But she can't play with them if they still have a face.
This cracks me up.
No matter the stuffed animal she does this. I would so like to know why she does this or why their faces bother her so.
I made homemade tomato soup again this week. I got the recipe from The Chew.
My goodness this is great soup.  Rick is addicted and asks for it all the time.
So this time I made a double batch so I could freeze some.
Earlier in the week we each had a cup of this soup with a little salad for dinner.
Well let me rephrase....Rick had 2 cups and then he kept going into the container on the counter I had put this in so that I could freeze it.  He then suggested I not freeze it for awhile.
It'll keep until the weekend he said.
You all know that I went out on Wednesday night and he was to fend for himself for dinner.
While I had a very bad greek salad he ate the rest of that damn soup!! 
The equivalent of 2 cans of soup would be my guess.
So unless I make more there will be none for this cold weekend we have approaching.
I hate when he does that but thrilled he likes it so much.
I wish I could just open a can of soup like he can but they have the dreaded gluten.

This weekend we are going to get winter weather and high winds.
I plan to settle in for the weekend and stay warm.
See ya'll on Monday.