Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Let's start with a happy update....my Dad.

As I have said my father has been in a lot of pain. It is his back. They have been trying things on him basically to avoid surgery at age 86. My father worked at Wal-Mart as a greeter for the last 10 years because he just hated being retired with nothing to do.
 (these are not words one will ever hear me utter....ever)

Dad told me that all of his friends, including his best friend, his brother, passed and he could no longer play golf due to a shoulder injury  and there was nothing left to do.
Oh he watches the nun on his Catholic channel religiously (no pun intended) but other than that he feels he has nothing else. He says his rosary daily and sits. 
My mom still works so she is gone all day so he is bored out of his mind.

Then the pain began and he had to leave work. The next phase was he was unable to walk without a walker. That embarrassed him terribly. But he never missed church, which is my father to the end.
Then he could barely walk with the walker. He was in so much pain and that was when our conversations turned to, "I'm ready to go Peg".

But this last epidural they gave him apparently did the trick. 
I called him as I do sometimes during the day on my lunch break to chat with him. 
I tell myself I'm keeping him company  but honestly it makes me feel good too.

He was out of breath. I said, "Daddy are you okay?"  I was frantic! 
He laughed his hearty laugh and said, "Sure, I just had to hurry from the garage to get  the phone." 
(if he knew how to use the machine he could return calls the numb nut)

He told me he was mowing the lawn. I shrieked, "Are you nuts? What are you doing that for?"
Ever so calmly he tells me, “Because the grass was long”
I said, “Old man you shouldn't be doing this.” 
He said, “I feel great and I’m going back to work too.”
 “WHAT?????  You are 86, enjoy life, relax. Does mom know this plan?”
I can’t relax he tells me, "I want to work and be busy."
Besides he says, “your mother keeps me on a tight leash, I need my own money” and he laughs his big hearty laugh.

So I know he’s feeling better and honestly his voice made me smile because I could hear he was better you know?
Then he goes, “This is Peg right?” 
"Who else calls you old man?"  He laughs and said, “no one that is how I knew it was you besides you bust my balls more than anyone too.” And again he cracks himself up laughing. 
I told him I learned from the best and at the same time I said, YOU he said, YOUR MOTHER. Then we both laughed.

He doesn't hear well so sometimes I am not sure it is because he can’t hear me well or because he is forgetful that he asks who it is. I normally say from the start, ‘Hi Daddy it’s Peggy” but I didn't this time because he was out of breath and it frightened me to hear that.  So damn happy he is doing so well that he can go stand at Wal-Mart. Crazy ass old man.

He never ever even shopped in a Wal-Mart before and now he's been there 10 years. They gave him a plague. It all cracks my family to bits we think it's so funny. 

My Son In Law - My SIL was back in the hospital last week. This time due to a bruise he saw on his arm that was now swelling. When he called the doctor they told him to get to the hospital immediately. He had a clot in his arm, a blood clot in his neck, shoulder and lungs. 
He was put on an IV of heparin. He was in the hospital for 2 days. He is now home resting and he has to give himself shots of a drug to stop the clotting. As for his other heart issues I have no further word. At least none that make any kind of sense to me.

Last evening Rick spoke to his daughter and she just said he is trying to rest and nothing has either improved or gone backwards. She is hoping this rest will move him forward. But that doesn't make sense to us. How will only rest and medication make this better?

Again we don't want to constantly be bugging them but something is amiss to us. Rick did bring up a couple of things to her and she said, "I'd prefer he stay in the hospital so he is monitored 24/7. This is beginning to scare me."   BEGINNING? 

I don't know what is next for him. I just pray he gets well. 
I made her laugh when I told her, "Last June you vowed in sickness and in health, you are just getting the pesky sickness out of the way early and it will be smooth sailing from here on out."  She laughed and said "Hey maybe you're right and we had to be tested early."
You never know.  I hope that is all it is too.

Not an update but it made me laugh.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mondays Are Tough

But Monday got a lot better this afternoon.

Billy Joel has his own radio channel – just Billy, his stories, his music.
It is great. It is on Sirius.  I listen constantly.
Since I have every album he’s ever made I know even the obscure songs.
In fact most of those are more special to me than his radio hits.
That’s what is sad to me about today’s’ music.
Albums had a theme, a feel through the whole thing, a story.
Just buying one song off iTunes is just a song. Not a full story.
I miss that.

Then today there was a town hall with Billy Joel being interviewed by Howard Stern.
Howard is truly one of the best interviewers I have ever heard.
I know, you think he’s only smut. But that was young Howard.
Old Howard is enjoyable. I don't and never have liked young Howard.
He was just gross to me and while he had the right to do his schtick it was not my style and my right not to listen to things like that.

But since his interview style has progressed I was directed to one and now listen to them all.
He asks what we would ask. He is so thorough. He is so invested and interested.
I find him a great interviewer. But I digress...this is about Billy.

Billy told stories about his songs, how he writes, his life etc.
Howard asked great questions and introduced others and how they have been affected by Billy in their life by his music.
Pink, Melissa Etheridge, Indina Menzel all sang a song that they loved with him.
It was simply great.
There were questions from the audience. I entered to win tickets to be in the audience and the trip to NY. But since I’m writing here today – you know I didn’t win.

Billy Joel is my 20’s and 30’s. Billy Joel was everything to me.
Billy Joel was the song book to my life and his music was at my wedding (the first one, wink wink)
Especially his earlier stuff, to me he’s a real singer songwriter.
Vienna, Honesty, those types of songs.

If you get a chance to listen to the replay and you like Billy Joel, check it out on Sirius.
There will be replays of the town hall on the Howard stations. Possibly even the Billy Joel channel.

It’s made my Monday much better at work I have to say.
And since I am a New Yorker in my heart I leave you with this song.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

More Things Behind Me Than In Front Of Me.

I have lamented for years here how much I dislike this whole aging thing when I turned 50.
Because at 50 really fun shit began to happen. You go to bed fine, you wake up with a sports injury. I call them reverse miracles.
I bitched here about my body looking more like a Picasso painting than what I remember my body being.  Really that goes there now?
I bitched about looking in the mirror when I put on my makeup and I don't recognize myself.
But in reality ya'll know I would rather be a wrinkled old croon than dead. 

But recently something hit me in the face that I wasn't prepared for.
I haven't said anything out loud. I've just been mulling it in my head...until now.

One of my nieces is graduating from grad school in a few weeks. She called to chat and we discussed her new job that she already has secured. She has so much ahead of her.
Her new career, the travel, the new places to live, getting married etc. I remember all of that and it came flooding back to me as I listened to her excitement.
It hit me after that call that all the exciting things are behind me now. 
What is in front of me is not all that exciting. That made me a bit sad. 
There must be was my thought, think about it Margaret. 
So I have done nothing but. Hmm.....

That is not to say that I don't love my little world that we have carved out for ourselves.
But as you all know doing what we do for a living is only because we lost our jobs, not because this was our choice. It was our only choice. I am not exactly fulfilled in that regard. I do have the perfect husband and dog for me. So I won the lottery there. 
But ahead of me? I don't know, nothing to get excited about like my niece is going to live through. Been there done that.  
Of course then I beat myself up because I have had a truly wonderful life filled with love, family and a career where I was wildly successful and I loved it.  I traveled for free and had tons of fun.  Not many people get all that.  So I should just be thankful. Count my blessings.

But it hit me in the face.

So is this normal? Any old folks out there who can shed light on this? I suppose you just go into the sunset quietly but hell, I've never done anything quietly why start now?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mattie Girl

When we first moved here we had two beautiful young women buy the home next door. 
We two homes were the first 2 on the block.

When the one gal ran off and got married that left Fran here alone.
She got the cutest damn golden retriever ever for her next roommate. 
She named her Mattie.
I don't think there is anything cuter than a Golden Retriever puppy. Just isn't. 
Sorry Izzy.

Fran traveled a great deal or had very long days at work. 
At the time Rick and I both worked from home on the days we didn't travel. 
So Rick would walk her at lunch time. Rick trained her to stop at all corners. 
That was a funny one. One day Frannie knocks on our door and says, "Mattie stops at each corner and sits until I tell her to move. Did you teach her that?" Yep!

This dog spent the night at our house when she traveled or we just got her because Fran would call and say, "I'm out with my friends would you walk her?" We would walk her and then bring her home to our house. That grew my love of big dogs. 
She was so sweet and such a good dog. She and Rick were buddies from the get go.
Our fences border our townhomes. One day Mattie jumped on the chair against the fence while Rick had his head down looking at the grill. When he closed the grill cover there was Mattie's face right in front of him and it scared the shit out of him. I was just walking out the back door to see this at the exact moment. Honestly it made me laugh.

There were also times that Mattie would climb that chair and look into our windows and bark until Rick came out. I would call for Rick and tell him his little furry friend wants to play.  She was the sweetest dog.  We even thought of putting in a doggy door in our fence but then they moved.

She moved to Leesburg after getting married, a town a few miles away from me so I don't see her often.
But we saw her a few months ago and she and Izzy chewed sticks and she makes Izzy very jealous because Mattie just loves on Rick big time.  Izzy doesn't think anyone should get Rick's attention other than herself. (that includes me)

Today Fran called to tell me that Mattie has cancer.
Mattie had a lump on her shoulder that the vet kept telling them was a fatty lump and nothing more. They did a test on it and it was nothing. Now it is something. They can't offer her much except some relief for awhile until they decide as a family when to put her down.
Mattie was 12 in January. That is a good long life for a Golden. But it still breaks my heart.

Here is Mattie in her younger days. This has to be the first year we had our lake house because there still was gravel instead of a real driveway. So I'm guessing this is 2003.
She was scared of water. We threw her favorite ball in and she whimpered so. Rick kept luring her into the water slowly, ever so slowly, until she was swimming. Then she realized she like this swimming stuff!

Thanks for all the love Mattie.
And Izzy thanks you too. We wouldn't have gotten her without your sweet nature and affection!

Check out this Woman!

I Love this girl!  And they won't let women play in professional sports. Pff!
While this is minor league, she was hustling before the actual left fielder moved. 
I love how she scaled that wall like spiderman!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Day 2 and beyond

We heard late Wednesday before we left that our son in law was in the hospital with heart failure, bicuspid aorta value, cardiomyopathy and an enlarged heart. What everyone thought was pneumonia for the last 5 weeks was much much more.
It  began while he was in Mexico City for work. He went to the ER and that helped somewhat. When he got home he went to his primary care and he too gave him more antibiotics to help the "pneumonia" But all the fluid around his lungs was something else. In fact it was around his heart too. 

He went to the ER and got the right diagnosis and was immediately admitted to the cardiac care ICU.  He lost 20lbs of fluid that was around his lungs and heart. He got home on Friday. We told them we wanted him to rest so we would not be coming. He insisted, in fact, he used guilt like a good Italian mother I told him. 

So we got to their home at 4ish on Saturday and regularly planned. We had made my grandmothers famous meatballs and brought provolone cheese and hoagies rolls to have meatball sandwiches for dinner along with a salad. I brought ooey gooey butter bars for dessert and of course their big Easter basket filled with goodies. The grandchildren were at their moms for the weekend so it was just we adults. (oh and of course I brought wine)

When we arrived at their beautiful new home it took my breath away. Not their gorgeous home but the looks of my son in law. He was so thin and gray looking. He looked like a ghost of himself. Amanda kept saying he was doing better but if this is better...

He would go off and lie down which was just fine to us. He ate 3/4 of a meatball and went back to bed. We just felt we shouldn't be there but they kept saying to stay. It was weird.
So later in the evening while he was with us having a second wind so to speak we told them we were leaving in the morning. There was just no way we could stay. He needed rest and he would continue to try to be around us and not rest if we were there. We'll come back in summer. 

So after breakfast we loaded up our car and told him to get to bed. 
We all hugged and said our goodbyes. 

Rick and I looked at each other like, "now what?"as we sat in the car.
We had taken off Monday. Our voicemail reflected the company being closed. The dog was boarded until Monday. If we go home, we'll work. That is the issue with having your own business. There are always things to do and that is why you never get time off.
So we went to a coffee shop and just sat and discussed. It was 10:30am.

We decided to get a hotel room where we stayed for the wedding. 
It was a great location with all kinds of restaurants and shopping etc. 
So off we went to the hotel that I called from the coffee shop. 
There was a movie theatre behind it. We saw a movie. We went out to dinner. We drank wine in our room, ate popcorn we got from the lobby and honestly we had a ball. 
Who knew this was going to happen? 
It was truly a fun and relaxing day. 
We left first thing in the morning.

When we were leaving our daughter and son in laws place I saw him throw something in our cooler. I looked and saw a red toy bird in there. We had just been talking about how they have an object that goes back and forth to friends and family and how funny it is. I told the story about my family doing that too. So I let it go.

While driving to the hotel Rick kept saying, "Do you hear chirping?  it's rhythmic. chirp chirp then 3 quick chirp chirp chirps"  
I was laughing because I hear nothing at all.
He kept turning off the radio and asked me to turn off my phone. 
It was driving him bonkers.
I kept laughing. I guess it's good to be a bit deaf.

When we were at the hotel in the lobby he again says, "you really don't hear that?"
"Nope" and I laugh.
In the elevator he said, "OMG is this in my head?"
I tell him he has a brain tumor and it is in his head and laugh. Bad wife!

We decide to stop at the ice machine before going to our room. 
We needed ice for our cooler on wheels.
He says, "You don't hear this seriously? as he bends down to unzip the cooler.
I lean in and I say, "YEAH I hear it now very faintly.
But as I pull away I say, 'I don't hear it now"
Then I lean in against his head, "I hear it!"
Now we are laughing because I only hear it when I am up against his head.

He finally opens the cooler and there is this damn bird. And there is the chirping.
He was about to kill his son in law!
I only heard it because I would bend towards the cooler when I would touch Rick's head with mine.

When we get to the room he takes it apart, but like a smoke alarm without the battery, it still chirps.  OMG. Rick threw it on the floor to make it stop.
It finally stopped. But not before poor Rick thought he was losing it.

I text our son in law and told him that it is a good thing he is sick right now because Rick is about ready to come over and smack you upside the head for doing this to him. He thought that was pretty funny. But I told him paybacks are a bitch. Beware. :-)

I don't have a prognosis per say on him either. It was all so vague. He is on medication and a restricted diet of low sodium. He will be returning to see the doctor. Since they now discovered all this they say it's hereditary and his children will be checked etc. I don't know where they go next and honestly I asked so many questions to only be met with I'm on medication and it will be fine in 6 - 8 weeks. 

Rick and I don't think it could be like that after seeing him.
Truly he looked like death. It was scary and we tried to not show our fear when they were acting so cavalier. When he wasn't around I asked her about this and she too gave me the same spiel. So they believe or else they were doing this for us. Either way we don't believe it.
Is it because we are old and we know all that could go wrong? Is it because they are so young and they think they are invincible? He is only 37 and she will be 33 shortly.

All scary stuff and not the Easter dinner we thought we would be having. 
But a very nice Sunday none the less.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What a long strange trip it's been.....

The Plan for Day 1:

To visit good friends in Cleveland we haven't seen in just over 2 years.  Spend Friday/Friday night with them and in the following day head out to Columbus (2 hrs away) to stay with my step daughter and her hubby for Saturday and Sunday/Easter and head home on Monday morning,

What really happened
We got to Cleveland and our hostess who is 8 months pregnant greets us and boy she looked tired.  Now so that you don't think I am an awful guest I want you to know that I called and asked prior as well as emailed prior to ask, numerous times, if she was really up for this being 8 months pregnant. She kept saying yes. So I decided to bring dinner and dessert.  I did not want her to work while we were there. In fact I even brought a breakfast casserole and coffees for the morning. I just didn't want to see her work.
At one point while we were waiting for her husband to get home from work she went to the bathroom. Rick said to me, "I think we should go to a hotel after dinner.  She looks like she is going to have this baby now!" 
I agreed we would say something after dinner.  Rick even said to her that she looked like she would be in labor by 6pm that night. We all laughed. (He was very close....5:32p)

Her husband gets home and after the hugs, he and Rick pound down a couple beers. Our hostess gets up and comes back to the room and grabs her husbands beer and says, "Put down the beer, my water just broke."  Well the frenzy ensues at this point.

They think they are having a baby via c-section on May 6th. This is a bit early and they weren't ready. No bag packed, no baby car seat, no crib assembled etc. Today was her first day of maternity leave. So they were running around like crazy. Their 4 year old daughter hasn't a clue and is watching a video.  Of course we'll stay with your daughter - GO!

I had just poured myself a glass of wine when she came out of the bathroom.  I put it back.  
I was not about to drink when I was taking care of a 4 year old who doesn't know me.

We did all we could to keep her amused and occupied. Rick built castles with her. (pic)
We played made up games in her playroom. She told us stories. She is quite an amusing little girl!  She is as smart as a whip and she made us laugh a lot! We talked about her getting a new sister. I asked her if she thought her sister would have brown hair like Daddy or yellow hair like she and Mommy. She laughed and said, "Like me silly we're going to be sisters."

Her name is Ella. She is adorably cute and such a girl.  Pink and fru-fru.  Rick loves that. He has a daughter. We only have 1 nephew and all nieces and as he likes to say, "he loves little girls."  We know that sounds creepy but he means that in the purest and nicest way. This little girl had him wrapped around his finger.
Ella had to get something and she ran out of the room. Rick laid down on the floor as I sat on the sofa in the room as you can see below. Rick said, "I'm resting in between castles and stories. Oh my she is a lot of energy. I wish I had all that energy in a bottle!"   I agreed!

I got her into her pj's and she kept telling me more water and more water. I swore she had just taken in Lake Erie but she insisted on more water. I feared she was going to pee the bed. She must have had a hollow leg because she didn't pee the bed. She was correct when she told me, " I am always thirsty and I'm a big girl now and don't pee in my bed"  Okay then, I stand corrected.  Hell, I'd have to get up several times if I drank that many big glasses of water before bed. Oh to be young again.

This below is Rick warming her feet on his beard. For whatever reason she took off her socks. When I touched her feet I said,"Your feet are freezing let's put your socks back on okay?" Of course she said her parents don't make her wear socks. I know she is just pulling my leg and I said, "Okay, but what if this pinky toes runs away 'cause it's cold?"  That of course is me tickling her and the giggles start. Then Rick joins in and begins rubbing them on his face.  That made her giggle like crazy and these two did this for awhile.  I was putting the sheets on the guest bed while they began singing "Wheels on the bus" and it was cracking me up.  They were doing this at the top of their lungs!! Hard to tell who was 4 and who was 58.
This is their dog Snoopy. Who was oblivious to it all for the most part. We had a good laugh because Rick and I walked him at different times and when Rick came in from a walk he said, "gee i thought I was getting a vacation from walking a dog."  We laughed. This is a very low maintenance dog compared to our spoiled diva.  He is older and slower and as Rick would say when he lived next door, he is really a cat in a dogs body. Very good dog! 

We put Ella in some pajamas and she was just cracking me up. My nieces are older now and you just forget how damn funny and cute kids are. She took me into her closet to show me all her pretty dresses. She swung her arms around the closet like Vanna White as she said, "These are all my pretty dresses."  I stifled a giggle. Honestly you could just spend your day squeezing her she's so damn cute.

It was now probably way past her bedtime but we didn't want to push it. Her parents left quickly and she didn't know us. Last time she saw us she was 2 or less. So we let her come back downstairs with a blanket and let her lie on the sofa with us. She laid her head in my lap and feel asleep and Rick was leaning on my other side on my shoulder snoring. I was in the middle of the two watching TV until I fell asleep.

We woke up and Rick carried her to bed. She was like a sack of potatoes and Rick and I commented how we wish we could sleep like that now that we are old farts. 

Saturday morning I awoke to her standing a few inches from my face with the dog by her side. She startled me awake and yet my first reaction was to laugh. She said, "My mommy gets up now."  Okay that's my cue. So we all got up and had cereal for breakfast.
But not before cereal she proclaims with her hands in the air in such a way that neither Rick nor I could stop from laughing, "We can't eat until the boogers in my nose are gone"
I looked at Rick and said, "I nominate you."  So he tried to get her to blow and she blew more with her mouth that her nose. But she said it was fine and we could eat now.

Her mom had the baby at 2:42 am while we were all fast asleep. Her dad came home around 10a and got cleaned up and we all went to the hospital to see Mom and the new baby. BEAUTIFUL.  
She was 7lb 8oz so pretty good size for being born at 36 weeks. 

(While I have a lot of photo's of Ella I just don't feel comfortable putting someones elses childs face all over the internet so it is what it is and this is what you get)

We said our goodbyes and headed south to Rick's daughters. We spent virtually no time with our friends just 20 minutes perhaps? And an evening with a 4 year old and we left town.
Can't believe it.

On the way out of town we stopped at B spot for lunch.  
My boyfriend, Iron Chef Michael Symon's burger joint.
OMG best burger I've ever had. 
I was damn certain that gluten be damned I was eating a real burger with bread. 
I didn't care about stomach pains, bloating and swelling and the plethora of things that happen to me. Nope I was eating here. Rick who will eat a burger over anything else in the world couldn't stop moaning. We also each had a milkshake with liquor. 
His sounded so gross but boy was it good. Vanilla Bean Apple Pie and Bacon. Oh yea. 
If that wasn't enough there is bourbon in it. I tasted his and couldn't believe how good it was. I thought it would be a weird  combo but nope, it was outrageously good.
I had just the Vanilla Bean and it came with Kahlua and Vodka. Out of this world good.
Of course you could get these without liquor. But why?

With our tummies full we headed to Columbus and that's where it got even more interesting.
Stay Tuned.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Long Weekend

Off to visit friends and family for our holiday weekend.
See ya'll soon.
I'll probably return 5 lbs heavier from chocolate along with stories of dysfunction and fun.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Work Stories....again

I bring you the first bitch session.....

When a customer is remodeling their bathroom and they call to have their tub or tile reglazed we share with them that all remodeling MUST be done first. If they insist as they often do, that they don't wish to do it the way we tell them then they must sign a document that essentially says, "If we must come back to fix the damage that is done to the tub or tile by your contractor because he went in after us, there will be a charge to return and repair the contractors damage to your tub and/or tile."
Something to that effect.

Contractors tend to use the bathtub as a dumpster. After the tub is looking brand new they stand in it, drop tools in it, and cause all kinds of damage. Hence why we say we must be last.
If they refuse to sign Rick will walk away from the job.  It had to come to that.

So this woman called bitching a fit that her tub was chipped and there were black spots etc.
I couldn't figure out how this could be. So I of course sent Rick back out there.
Sure enough they lied to us and didn't do the remodeling first. In fact they told us they weren't remodeling at all just fixing up their bathtub. So the black spots came off if they had tried to wipe them. ( Don't people ever clean their homes?) The black spots were just scuffs from the workers work boots.  The chips were around the drain where the plumber took out the old drain ring and put in a new one. The woman who called and bitched a nasty fit to me was not home when Rick got there. Only her husband. He admitted to what happened when Rick told him what he thought happened. Like toddlers lying to an adult. Honestly.

Rick for the first time in 8 yrs stood his ground. He refused to fix this unless they paid.
He balked and Rick grabbed his stuff and began to walk out. He cried Uncle.
Rick did all the repairs took their credit card and walked out.
He called me from the truck to tell me if they call back we no longer speak English.
That made me laugh.
Rick does a great deal of handicap accessible doors into a homeowners current bathtub.
What that means is if you or your loved one can no longer lift his or her legs for any reason to get into the tub you can cut into your current tub, put in what is called a safe step or one with a door. 
With or without the door. Without of course is cheaper. 
Lifetime warranty and about $20,000 less than a walk in bathtub.  
We do a great deal of these especially when baby boomers parents move in with them. 

We got a call for one of these door kits. Rick met with the nice older woman and did the measuring. I ordered the kit. She agreed to the price and was happy she could use this right after completion. I worked with her on scheduling. We discussed her getting help from her insurance to pay for this and where she should look for this.

This nice older woman was booked 2 weeks out on the schedule from the time we spoke. Last week I got a call from her son. 
He didn't want to pay $1,200 to have this installed. 
He asked if he could just buy this from us and cut into his tub himself. 
I told him they were sold by such and such a company and he could call them to try to buy them. Knowing full well he has to go to training, be licensed etc. 
I shared this with him but it fell on deaf ears. 
He said, "But I bet it's cheaper for me to buy it and do this myself"  
Sure it is, but really you are going to just take a saw to your cast iron tub with no training and think you can do this?  So he canceled our appointment.

Now in the mean time I have a door kit that is made to size for this ladies tub and the slope in her tub. If I send it back I lose a 20% stocking fee. (bogus) So going to hang on to it just in case we get someone with that type of tub. Rick claims in Arlington and Alexandria there are lots of old tubs shaped like this.   

Guess who called back? Yep the son. He said, "My goodness this is very difficult and I have to have a license and go to training before they will let me cut into a persons bathtub"

In my mind I said, "No shit sherlock, ya think that might be a bright idea do ya?"
But in reality I said, "Yes, as I mentioned to you before that is necessary"
Again he says, "But it would be so much cheaper if I do it myself."
I told him that it's also cheaper to do his own removal of his teeth too but best left to someone who has training in the field.
He laughed and asked if he could get his mom's appointment back. 
I had to tell him no, it has been filled but I can get her in on May 7th. 
He wasn't happy again. But c'mon, you canceled.  
I did say if I get an opening/cancellation I will call immediately to get her in. 

In the mean time this poor old woman can't get in the tub without help as he reminds me to play the sympathy card. This guy is making her life worse due to his ego not mine. 
Seriously Rick is a very handy man and he couldn't have done this without the training provided and his certification. 

I repeated that if his mom has a supplemental insurance policy for home modifications it normally will pay for this, reimburse or at the least, partially pay. 
He yells, "why didn't you tell me this before?" 
I said, "You didn't ask but I discussed this in great detail with your mother as well as documented it all in an email to her."
"Oh" was all he said.
I just love how they yell first then get quiet. Never, "I'm sorry I wasn't aware of that"

I called them back a few days later to let them know I got an opening. (contractor wasn't ready for us) So this nice old woman will be getting her new door to walk into her existing tub before we leave for the holiday weekend.

I hope her son is there. You see Rick doesn't take shit. I take shit all day because I have to book appointments so we eat. Rick just doesn't have that in him. If he spoke to people on any given day we may never have business. He doesn't have the patience for stupid questions or the meanness. I don't actually either. I just hide it very well until I get time to blog. 

So if this guy gives Rick shit I'm sure Rick will dish it back. But once this man sees how full of black dust Rick will be from the cutting of the cast iron he will be thanking his lucky stars that he didn't have to do this. It is not an easy job.  $1,200 is nothing for the cost of this item and the labor. 
And lastly today we have a complete numb nut woman again. But she's at least funny.
She called saying to me in sheer panic. My tub looks blue, what did he do?
Okay that's a new one to me. I couldn't remember if we were covering a blue tub to white so I asked - "what color was your tub before reglazed?" 
White she explains.
Okay so where could the blue be coming from I'm wondering.
Rick was in her city so I text him to see if he could run over there after he finished where he currently was. He could.
I called her back and told her. She was thrilled and again says, "I didn't want a blue tub!"
I asked, "how blue does this look?" She says, "faint, but enough to bother me."
Okay I tell her we'll be over at this such and such a time today and we will make this right, don't worry.  But for the love of me I couldn't figure out how it could have turned blue.
I got her calm and repeated to her, "We will make this right ma'am don't worry."

Rick arrives. The blue in her tiles surrounding the tub is making this blue shadow on her tub. She didn't believe him. So he went out to the truck and got his brown paper he uses to cover the walls.  Once it was covered she goes, "OH MY GOD IT'S REALLY WHITE. YOU'RE RIGHT!"  She laughs.

At least she was nice about it. She laughed and apologized to Rick for making him come over there for nothing and gave him some brownies she had just baked to say she was sorry.

When he got in the truck he called to tell me and he was laughing.
He said, "Maybe these brownies will have something special in them and it will be the perfect ending to this crazy day!" 

Sadly nothing special was in his brownies. Poor Rick.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tick Check

I unfortunately live in the highest population of deer ticks in the US. 
Loudoun County Virginia.
Last year Rick was bit 9 times. I was bit only 3. As we all know Izzy has lyme disease and she gets her monthly tick treatment but still gets bit. 
Because Frontline, Advantix and others only prevent some ticks from biting and not all.
Rick checks Izzy for ticks every day - twice a day come tick season. We call it her tick check.

Izzy is so used to this that when we tell her it's time for a tick check, she will immediately lay down and roll over and it appears she likes it. Weird dog.

We spray ourselves with tick spray each day we walk out the door.  Its like my warm weather cologne. It's awful.  We don't normally go on trails in summer for this reason.  
We still get bit in the neighborhood walking on sidewalks or the doggy park with grass. 
How weird is that? 

But now it is sort of spring here. (more like summer at 83 degrees) We were walking a trail with our dog and had a nice afternoon.  I had on a pair of leggings and flip flops. We didn't spray ourselves because it was our first day out without a friggin' parka. 
Didn't even occur to us, although it should have.

A few hours after coming home I went to the bathroom.
As I sat down and my pants were at my knees I see a tick climbing up my leg.
AAAHHH!!!!  It had crawled up from my feet to inside my pants.  OMG that grossed me out.

I ripped off my pants so fast and because I let out a loud screech my husband comes running to the bathroom door asking if I'm okay. I tell him to come in. He sees the tick on the floor and kills it and tells me to go take off all my clothes and shower. I throw all these things in the washer and turn it on. I jump in the shower. 

As I am showering Rick walks into the shower with me telling me he has to do a tick check.
So I guess that's what he's calling it these days.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Showers Bring May Flowers

I love rainy days. Oh, not for 6 months at a time like when I lived in the Pacific Northwest.
But a few times a month to me is just the best!

Right now the windows are open. It is raining, the sky is dark and it smells like spring.
The dog loves to sleep a lot on days like this. I do too but sadly as an adult who is employed, I can't do that.

When I was a kid the idea of a nap was awful. No way I might miss something.
Now a nap sounds terrific.  If I miss anything it will come back around. Nap time sounds so good to me. I wish our country had Siestas. Now that is civilized.

When I was young the idea of going to bed at 9pm was not something I would even entertain.
I'm an adult I don't go to bed at 9pm I would think.
Now the idea of going to bed at 9pm sounds heavenly.

There is nothing that I would like more than on a rainy day to climb back into bed with a book. Read, doze, read some more. Preferably with someone bringing me food and drink as well. 

Yea, I'm a dreamer.
So much so that I refuse to believe there could be snow or freezing rain later today.

Nope. Not in my world. The rain is washing away the heavy pollen that is terrorizing my family. But it is not going to snow. No. It is going to stay perfectly spring like.

Yea, I'm a dreamer.
I'm livin' in my own little world.
It's perfect here. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Family and Death

It's funny I don't often think about death or dying.
I guess that is normal right?
But lately it's been on my mind a great deal.

My father is old and not long for this place we call earth.
I lost my mom at 13 so it is a blessing I've had my dad for so long.
I hate that all my phone conversations have him telling me he's ready to go.
It bothers me. I don't say, "don't say that Dad" anymore I just listen.
If this is how he feels so be it. He is 86 and can feel any damn way he wants to, it's his life.
At the same time I hope I am that way towards the end. Ready to go that is. Not in pain as he is. After his brother died he just has never been the same. That was his best pal in the world.  I think he just kind of gave up at that point. 
And we have all seen the decline.

The majority of my aunts and uncles have passed too as well as a few cousins.
But until recently I never gave it a lot of thought.
Sure when looking at old photo's or talking with family we remember them but that is normally the only time.

But my neighbor is a medium. Yep that's right I said it. A Medium. Not of the Long Island kind with the irritating voice and obnoxious nails, hair and clothing. (Thank Goodness)

One day she just said to me, "You have a lot of dead people around you Peg"
Now that isn't somethin' you hear every day is it?
She asked if I wanted to sit for her.

My goodness she was right on, on so much.
Unlike the nut job on TV she didn't ask me questions.
She also doesn't know about my family except that I lost my mother in 1969.
That was it.

So for her to talk about my fun loving Aunt Dee Dee was a hoot.
She just said not to talk and to just say if I understood.
Oh hell yes, I understood what she was telling me.  I knew right away who she was referring to.  I so wanted to talk but I just listened and nodded.

My mom and my Uncle came to visit too on another day.
Wild.  The stuff my Uncle told her about he and my father was so spot on that it blew my mind. Now for you skeptics I have never told a story about this man. Even here on my blog.
But she knew about the chickens and the chicken feed. No one knew that if you weren't in my family. 

One day she just said, "I like your dead Peg. They are fun and there is so much love and I just feel it. It stays with me after you're gone for a bit."

So all this dead people talk has gotten me thinking.  She's right. I have been so spoiled with love my whole life. I never ever have doubted that.  Sure there were times when life has been tough, growing up or being full ass grown. But never did I not know all the love that surrounds me. I'm lucky like that. I would only hope all kids would get that. I realize that isn't the case. There is nothing that can't be better with unconditional love around you.

Growing up there were times that we didn't have a lot, but I always had what I needed.
That's not a bad thing or a bad way to grow up ya know?  Today it could starve off a few self entitlement kids that is for sure.

So her talking to "my dead" has just got me thinking about my great cousin Rosie who died before her 30th birthday.  All the fun we had from the time we were teeny tiny kids until her death. The days at the beach in our bikini's drinking Riunite wine. (ooh ick!)  All the fun trips we took together and all the laughter. Oh so many days of just laughing our asses off.

On my 21st birthday she meet me and some other friends and cousins at a bar called Sherlocks on State St.  I had no business driving my VW Beetle home. I not only drank a few cocktails but did shots. I  remember leaving and there was an enormous mound of snow that I had to climb over to get into my car. 
As I did it, I slipped - went belly first sliding into the middle of State Street.  
Picture sliding into 2nd base on your tummy and that is what I did.
She ran out and helped me up. Did I even know enough to be embarrassed?  Oh hell NO. We laughed our asses off. Damn fool was concerned that my new jeans now had a rip in the knee.

We then drove to McDonald's and we ordered burgers and fries. As I stood there with my hands on the counter ordering the man said to me, "Miss, would you please remove your hands from the counter, you are bleeding all over it."

I looked down at my hands. They were cut and bleeding and they had cinders and dirt from the street embedded in my palms and all of a sudden I had pain. PAIN!  I never felt it until I looked at my hands. Good grief what a drunk!

Did I finish my order? Well certainly. Damn fool drunk that I was gave my cousin Rosie my money and went to the bathroom to clean my hands. Came out and ate my food. Drove her home and then drove to my house and passed out. My goodness I had no business on the road. And in the morning my hands were a damn mess. I went to my parents house and had my mother help me to clean the dirt and cinders out of my palms with tweezers.  Yep a big baby at age 21! Tweezers and iodine and God knows what else she used to cause me pain in the name of cleaning me up. I also got a lecture. Well deserved but at the stupid age of 21 I didn't think I deserved it.

Thankfully I hurt no one else and I lived to tell you all this silly story.
There is a short hand of sorts growing up with your cousins, just like siblings.  We talk without having to actually speak. We all were together all the time. Same traditions, same foods, same lives really. We were always together until the day of her accident. 
A driver who had lost her license to drive due to epilepsy  was driving anyway. She had a seizure and ran into my cousin and her husband. Rosie and the baby she was carrying died. Her husband survived. But just like her life, her funeral was a festive affair as I have shared her before.

All of "my dead" loved me to pieces. My Aunt Dee Dee used to pinch my cheeks until she died. I was in my 40's at this point. She always told me she loved me and how proud she was of me. After my mom died she came around even more. She took us to amusement parks, we had sleep overs, she took us on trips  to what I thought were exotic cities (you know like Boston) and she let me sip her slow gin fizz.  She was "single" and her friend Mary was always with us.  Her clothes never matched, she just didn't care about her appearance. She was a bit rough around the edges but had a heart of gold. I wish she had lived long enough to live freely and come out of the closet.  Her friend Mary was beautiful and stylish and I always wondered what she saw in my Aunt Dee when I was very young. Then I realized as I got older that big heart that I loved was what Mary saw and loved too.

Maybe it's the medium down the street or maybe it's me getting older but lately I've been thinking about all the dead people in my family. It's nice to think about it in a way and in another I don't like it one bit.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Thank you note

I would like to start today with a big thank you!

I have received a great deal of personal emails asking how I've been doing.
I am on going in the right direction. Not yet myself though. 
I see another specialist late in the month. 

I am still in pain but nothing like the day I spent in the ER. That in and of itself is a blessing.
I am plugging along and I am sure I will be back to my normal self soon.

We are going to Columbus to see Rick's daughter over the Easter weekend. (next week)
The idea of 4 days away from phones and the stress here sound blissful. I am not even dreading the awkward or uncomfortableness of being at her home.  Imagine that!

We are actually taking Friday and Monday off and it will be wonderful to do that most of all.
Next week heading then to Cleveland to start. We are visiting friends of ours who used to be our next door neighbors. We were so damn sad when they left but we understood. They are young and had a great opportunity in front of them.  I'd have gone too. But boy we miss them.  So that will be a fun 24 hrs hanging with them and catching up.
We then head south for 2 hrs and get to Rick's daughters home for 2 days.
Then we head home to reality.

I am hoping that nothing happens health wise and that I will continue on this up swing.
If nothing else I hope for the same because that is still better than where I was.
We don't need to move backwards while traveling.

So again blogger friends, THANK YOU
I am doing well and extremely busy right now with work as well. 
Positive problem there right?

I'll chat and share photo's when I return.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Oscar Goes To.....


I pretend I feel great. I am functioning. I plow ahead. I smile. 
I want to believe if I act that way it will come. 

I pretend I give a shit while talking to customers on the phone.
When in my reality I just don't and I want to lie my head on my pillow and go away.

I act like the unreasonable demands are reasonable and I say it all with a smile.
The mean cranky ass man I spoke to yesterday was on my last nerve. 
He was a mean son of a bitch. I hung up, I had a good cry. 
I went downstairs and walked away from the office all while the phone was ringing. 
I just couldn't take another call. 
I sat in my chair, took my medicine then I just sat and stared at my dog.
Who I think, believes I have lost my marbles.

Cranky ass man told my husband I was a delight to work with.

Yea, I think I deserve an Oscar this week.