Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I really do love this time of year.  Honestly, starting with today, I really love the next couple of weeks!  Today is my Firm holiday party, which is always a good time.  I love an excuse to get dressed up and spend the evening at a fancy hotel ballroom eating good food, drinking good drinks, dancing and spending time with friends, co-workers, and of course, BF!  I have a new dress this year courtesy of a clearance sale on, and while it's not my favorite party dress I've ever owned, it's cute and hopefully when all the details come together it will be a success.  I have a mid-afternoon hair appt. for a trim and my blowout.

This weekend we have a chance of a bit of snow and freezing rain Saturday morning, so I'm glad our plans are low-key.  We're going to make four different kinds of Christmas cookies and hopefully watch a Christmas movie or three!  :-)  I also hope to have the last of my few Christmas gifts in my possession so I can wrap them and be done with it.

On Sunday I have plans to go see my friend, A in a performance of The Messiah.  It should be fun as I've never gone before.  We're going to grab a quick bite/coffee afterwards with A and I plan to give them their Christmas gifts then, so I'm looking forward to that!

Next week is only two days of work for me!  Insert overjoyed anticipation here.  :-)  I'm sure it will be a busy couple of days preparing to be out the rest of the week, but it will be worth it!  I get to spend Wednesday, Thursday and part of Friday with BF and J before I fly out to Omaha.  We're celebrating our Christmas on that Thursday evening.

My Omaha trip should be good.  I land shortly after 5pm that evening and will get a quick dinner with my Mom before spending the night at my brother and his wife's house.  We'll watch a Christmas movie and just relax!  Saturday is baking Christmas cookies and then we have dinner reservations at a restaurant I love for Christmas Eve.  It will just be me, my mom and stepdad that night since my brother and his wife spend Christmas Eve with her family.  Sunday will be Christmas at my brother's house, and I head back to DC Monday.  It's a brief visit, but I'm back to work Tuesday for the deadest week of the year.  :-/

All I really want to do these days is listen to Christmas music, FINALLY get started on watching Christmas movies, wrap presents, and relax under the glow of the Christmas lights at home.  My Christmas cards got out into the mail earlier this week, and they are super cute photo cards I made BF and J participate in.  ;-)

The weather here is ridiculously cold, although I know not as cold as many places.  However, I have a 17 minute walk from my bus stop to my office and I felt the cold every step of the way!  It's 25 right now with a high of 28, and a wind chill of 11.  It's only supposed to get windier and thus colder later this afternoon.  I am NOT looking forward to heading out at 1:45 for my hair appt., nor to heading out after work in a DRESS to go to the party.  Luckily the hotel is right next door to my building and we'll cab it to our hotel after.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season so far!  It's a crazy time of year, but it can be pretty amazing!  :-)

Monday, November 14, 2016

Lemonade Out of Lemons

It's Monday, and another work week looms ahead.  However, I continue to try to focus on the next great break, which is Thanksgiving weekend.  Four days of freedom!  In the meantime, I look to the periodic highlights to speed things along.  Right now my next goal point is Friday.  I have an 11 am appointment with my stylist for a blowout, and then I'm spending the evening at my former firm's holiday party as the +1 of a long time girlfriend who still works there.  It will be fun to get dressed up and go to a fancy party, even if they do hold theirs crazy early anymore.  I'm recycling a black velvet dress that I already own and am looking forward to the night. The dress has a gold lining underneath, which no one can see unless something goes awry, but it inspired me to paint my nails gold, anyway. Fun and festive!

It was a good weekend.  On Friday I stayed at work longer than usual because they had a margarita machine at our usual Happy Minute.  It was a reward for raising a lot of money for a charity earlier in the month.  I got to have a yummy frozen margarita and eat pizza with some of my favorite people at the office, which was nice.  The rest of the night at home was pretty low key with BF & J, but still lovely.

Saturday I had brunch with my friend, A.  We try to get together every couple/few months to catch up, and although we mostly discussed the election and how awful the outcome was, it was nice to see him.  We met in 2011 at my old apartment complex when we rode the same bus to Metro every day. The rest of the day was comprised of a solo errand and then a few other errands with BF & J.  I squeezed a gym visit in before we ordered Chinese for dinner (!) and then we watched Nebraska beat Minnesota.  :-)

Sunday started with the gym, continued with the grocery store, and wrapped with laundry, football and the aforementioned gold manicure.  I consider it a successful day and a lovely weekend overall.

So I'm obviously still thinking about how to deal with the aftermath of Election 2016.  I continue to try to focus my energy in productive ways.  I just want to put more positivity and good energy into the universe than bad, and I'm hoping to do that in a few different ways.

1) Planned Parenthood donation.  I want to do a recurring donation and hope to set this up soon.
2) I already donated to a small, local GoFundMe for a family in my town. I realize that has nothing to do with the election outcome, but it's helping someone, and that's enough.
3) I believe I will be making a donation to the Trevor Project.
4) My pet store was advertising the needs of the local animal shelter when I got cat food yesterday.  I think I'm going to go out one day soon and do some shopping and make a nice donation to them soon.
5) My Firm almost always sponsors multiple families for the holidays.  I've never participated beyond helping with the wrapping after the shopping is done by others.  This year I think I want to actually sponsor a family.
6)  Million Woman March - I need to look into this.  I'll fully admit I'm not usually one for activism, but this is something I would consider.
7) Being a better human.   More smiling at strangers on the street.  More thoughtful gratitude to those who help.

This morning a young guy in a jaunty hat started chatting with me in the Starbucks line.  He was so open and friendly, and I resisted the urge to worry that he was hitting on me and accepted that he was just being a nice person.  He went on in the line to chat with the cashier, ask him where he was from in light of his accent, and smile and shake his hand.  He knew the barista and clapped hands with him, and he wished me well after we continued to chat about normal, every day things.  This guy is an inspiration to me.  So much easy positivity.  It really made my morning.

Also, this weekend we bought our Thanksgiving turkey.  The tag said one price, but had a sale price $8 lower on it as well.  We got to the car and realized we'd been charged the full price.  We went to customer service and the gentleman there fully refunded us for the turkey instead of just giving us the refund on the difference.  He chose to do this and did not do it in error.  It was such a lovely gesture. The world needs more people like these guys!  They are good examples of being a good person in your daily life.  Even small changes can make big waves.

In other news, the looming holidays are making me even more anxious for my new 2017 planner, which should be arriving Wednesday.  I splurged and ordered an Erin Condren planner instead of my usual planner, which I've been buying the same style of with a different design since early in my now defunct marriage.  :-)  I've coveted the splurgier, more involved style of planners for a long time, and hope that I take full advantage of what it has to offer.  I'm excited to get all the events in it that I'm already aware of (OK, not that many, but still) and love the possibilities a new planner seems to offer.

For some reason I am suddenly super excited for the holiday season to begin in earnest.  I have been daydreaming about decorating for Christmas, though I'm holding off until my tried and true date of the day after Thanksgiving.  This year, we're going to hold off on putting up our tree for a few days since BF's mom is visiting December 2nd-December 5th.  We're going to do the tree during her visit, as BF nostalgically told me it had been years and years since he'd trimmed the tree with his mom.  :-)

I'm already thinking about if I'm going to do Christmas cards this year (pretty much 99% sure that's a yes now, just noodling on what kind of card I want to bought vs. photo cards, etc.).  I just today started a list for holiday gifts, as I already have a gift idea for J (Lularoe leggings because she loves leggings and Lularoe are the softest, most comfortable ones ever!).  I've also been looking into Christmas productions to get to.  We're considering going to A Christmas Carol in Old Town Alexandria during BF's mom's visit, which would be lovely.  It's the same production I was supposed to see a couple years back, but then I got so incredibly ill with the flu that BF and J had to go without me. I've also had inklings about looking into The Nutcracker with a couple of girlfriends.

One thing that's for sure is that, for whatever reason, probably largely related to my grandfather's missing presence this holiday, I'm already really missing my family and looking forward greatly to seeing them.  I thought I would really be dreading this holiday back in Omaha, but I'm actually feeling like I really can't wait to spend that time with them.  Yes, it will be difficult and everything will be different, but it's important to get through together.  It's also special because many of my favorite memories with both of my grandparents involved Christmas and all of our traditions.  We still plan to uphold the cookie baking tradition, as we have for all the years of our lives.

I ended up with a great deal of my grandfather's Christmas ornaments and many of his decorations, as that was something all of us wanted to have a part of.  They had a collection of Santa Clauses from all around the world, and we each took some of them.  I really can't wait to put these ornaments on my tree and these decorations in my home.  Quite honestly, we may need to get an additional tree for the house with all the extra ornaments, which I have no problem with at all!  :-)

Also?  I'm so ready for snow.  I feel like it's a dirty secret to admit out loud, and that many people would scorn me for putting that into the universe already.  ;-)  But for whatever reason, I'm craving a really lovely snow.  I don't want the cold, but unfortunately that's part of the package!  It will probably be awhile before we get any snow out here, though.  It was in the thirties this morning, though.

This post has become ridiculously long.  If you'd made it this far, I extend my deepest thank you to you.  I wish everyone a lovely Monday, as far as a lovely Monday is even a thing.  :-)

Friday, November 11, 2016

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

Like many people I know and I love, I was devastated by the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election.  It was heartbreaking in ways I can't even describe.  I stopped watching the coverage for the most part around 9:30 that night, choosing instead  to watch a Gilmore Girls rerun.  I flipped back periodically for updates, but the news just kept getting worse.  The last straw was an interview I saw with Nate Silver of  He said that betting odds had shifted to showing the mean orange one as the favorite.  I turned the TV off.

I took two unnecessary for medical purposes Benadryl and went to bed, crying just a little bit.  I woke up the next morning and I knew before I knew, and it was terrible.  The day was terrible.  I felt like I'd woken up in a post apocalyptic movie in the opening credits.  The day felt dark and endless and the weather reflected that with gray skies and rain throughout the morning, afternoon and evening.  I commiserated with other shell-shocked co-workers.  I comforted crying friends and tried to avoid crying myself.  I only really felt challenged when I read the transcript of HRC's concession speech.

Yesterday I woke up and decided I had to deal with it better.  I focused on reading articles and opinion pieces that told me why it wouldn't be as bad as we feared.  I took comfort in small pieces of evidence that his campaign was already possibly backing off of some of his more extreme ideas, like banning all Muslims (removed from his site) and pursuing the prosecution of HRC (Giuliani's interview).

More importantly, I made a choice to be better.  I made more eye contact with people on the streets.  I smiled at them.  My please and thank yous were more sincere instead of automatic responses.  I felt a generalized sense of compassion for everyone around me. I told my bus seatmate to have a good night before he de-boarded instead of just silently moving out of the way like everyone, including myself, is so inclined to do.

Today, inspired by a post by Sabrina over at The Perils of Urban Courtship, I donated to a local GoFundMe account for someone in need in my city.  Like she did, I'm looking into setting up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood or another organization that may need help in the wake of this impending presidency.  I want to be proactive in my beliefs instead of just talking about them over lunch or at the watercooler in the office.  I want to be part of the solution.

Beyond this, I'm trying to re-frame my initial understanding of what happened in this election.  I truly believe that only a small group of those that voted for our President Elect voted for him based on the intolerance he has demonstrated in his own words and life.  I think most people that voted for him were just so desperate for change, so desperate to get away from the establishment politicians, that they grasped at their only chance for something different in this election.

The fact is that HRC was not my dream candidate.  I voted for Bernie in the primaries because I matched up with him best on the issues.  HRC has made mistakes in her past.  But she's been crucified for them for years.  She's fought a harder battle her entire political career because she is a woman, and that's a fact.  She was held to a different standard and that was maddening to watch.  So while she was not my dream candidate, I voted for her and I hoped for her victory.  I didn't vote for her as a lesser of two evils either, though I definitely thought that was the case.  I also didn't vote for her because she's a woman.  Was that an awesome added bonus?  Hell yes!  It was amazing to witness.  In the end, I voted for HRC because she was by far the most qualified candidate.  I felt the country would be the safest under her guidance.

But in the end, she lost the electoral college, and he won.  This is where we are.  This is what we have to work with.

I'm not turning a blind eye to the heartbreaking incidents I've heard about in the last couple of days. People full of hate have been empowered by this victory, and it's creating dangerous and intolerant situations.  I'm hopeful that these are exceptions to the rule, and that they will be stamped out sooner than later.  Ideally, the President Elect would come out and condemn these behaviors, even if it would be fairly hypocritical of him to do so.  He incited this and he stoked these racist, homophobic, xenophobic, sexist fires.  He has an obligation now to try to put them out.  Will he?  I'm not betting on it.  But I can hope.

In the meantime, I'm going to focus on being better, doing better things and enjoying the things around me.  I love my people, my cats, autumn leaves crunching underfoot, my new little fireplace heater in the basement, Starbucks holiday cups, kind smiles on the street, drinks with friends, the anticipation of the holidays.

When they go low, we go high.  We go high.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Blues

I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS ELECTION TO BE OVER.  I'm not naive enough to think that getting a declared winner will necessarily mean the end of the madness, but at least it's the end of one phase of crazy.

I feel desperate for positivity and happiness in the wake of all the negativity and hatefulness.  I feel dirty and gross from this election cycle and cannot wait to shake off all of this filth.  If I tune in to the news too often or too closely, or if I make the error of reading the comments section of basically anything, it makes me want to pack up all of my things and my cat children and move the hell away. In order to function in my daily life I have to try to skim the political surface and take deep breaths, knowing that all I can do is cast my vote and cross all my crossables.

In other news (any news, anything other than the election).....I finally joined the rest of the female population (seemingly) in acquiring a pair of tall boots.  The biggest miracle is that the ones I found were *not* wide calf and somehow managed to fit, ha!  They're black and fairly simple style wise, but I think they're cute and can't wait to rock them with some leggings and an over-sized shirt.

I also finally understood the point of ankle length skinny jeans.  The logic has eluded me until yesterday when I was in the Marshalls dressing room, trying on two pairs of them on a whim.  I was wearing regular longer skinny jeans and some booties already, which I annoyingly have to roll up to sit atop the bootie.  They just don't look right tucked in!  So as I slipped into the "girlfriend fit" of these jeans, it all clicked into place.  I put on my booties to get an idea of the whole look and it was so awesome that they hit where I wanted them to without being rolled up! Miracle!  Yeah, I'm a little slow on the fashion train.  :-)

Black Boots

I also scored a super cute pair of booties that I'd seen around for ages.  However, they were on clearance in this particular color and I had DSW Rewards money so I tried them on and kind of loved them.  They will also look cute with my new ankle skinny jeans. Win!

Brown Booties

I did other important things this weekend, I promise.  I painted my nails a lovely slate blue color.  BF and I made a new chili recipe since his recipe is too hot for me and mine is too tame for him.  It was a success and I have leftovers for lunch to prove it.  We also made a new recipe last night that was a Chicken Parmesan Pot Pie.  Very unusual and not your traditional pot pie in any sense, but it was surprisingly tasty and very easy.  I watched Nebraska lose to Ohio State (BOO) and watched the Chiefs beat the Jags (Cheers!).  I ran some errands that resulted in the above purchases as well as some organizational items for both under the kitchen sink and for my large nail polish.  I also assisted in BF's replacement of our garbage disposal, which surprisingly went off without a hitch!  My assisting was very minimal, yet valuable.  ;-)

I can't believe it's already November.  Daylight Saving Time rolled into town, but unfortunately my cats didn't get the memo.  It was also so startling to see it get dark so early, but that's the way it works, I suppose.  It was nice to have it be lighter earlier this morning, though.  We're already talking about when to get our Thanksgiving turkey and discussing sides and desserts as well as plans for the long weekend.  I love a four day weekend where I don't have to use any personal time!  Plus, the Gilmore Girls extravaganza comes out that Friday and I can't wait.  :-)  That weekend will be a lot of food, football and GILMORE GIRLS, plus a likely brunch with a couple of girlfriends.

 In the meantime, I'll just enjoy this pretty lovely, seasonal weather, peruse a lot of cute animal memes, listen to happy music and go to the gym to cardio out some of the bad mojo floating around in the universe.  Deep breaths.  It's almost over!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!

I haven't updated in ages, and I do apologize.  Sabrina over at The Perils of Urban Courtship pinged me to check in since it had been so long, which made me feel both really loved and really guilty.  :-p The fact of the matter is that they did some rejiggering to the security of our work computers and it's made updating more challenging.  But I'm here and I want to update on the state of all things during my triumphant return!

First of all, I can't believe it's already Halloween! Somehow we're already on the last day of my favorite month of the year.  Time has really flown.  The last time I posted I was just gearing up for my OBX vacation, aka my favorite week of the year.  It's hard to acknowledge that it's been almost two months since I left for that trip!

OBX was wonderful.  Our rental house was fantastic and definitely my favorite thusfar.  We came into town on a Saturday, which was also the same day a hurricane was making it's quick pass through the OBX. Aside from some brief bridge closures and some crazy wind, our trip into town was fairly uneventful.  The weather that day was quite a mess, but I admit I loved it.  Gusty winds, rain, and just a general sense of storminess in the air.

The beaches were red flagged until Wednesday, but we still went each day to at least wade in the water.  We ate Duck Donuts, grilled, tried new restaurants, spent lots of beach time, pool time, hot tub time.  I read, we went to all the cute little shops, we went on a really fun ghost tour in Manteo.  It was the perfect escape from reality.

Things with BF are good!  We're coasting on towards the three year mark, which will be on January 3rd.  This is the third Halloween we've spent together, and I do love the traditions we're establishing. We managed to get to Markoff's Haunted Forest this year along with J and it was such fun introducing them to this activity I love.  We've watched a couple of scary movies and this weekend we carved pumpkins and roasted the seeds!  Tonight we'll circle around the fire pit in the driveway to hand out candy.  We're also roasting turkey hot dogs over the fire for dinner and have s'more stuff for dessert, if we don't OD on candy.  ;-)

On Friday my office had our annual Halloween Hullaballoo, which is our event for employees to bring their kids to trick or treat around the office.  It ends with pizza, cake pops and general merriment.  :-)  It was a fun afternoon!

That night BF and I went to a 90's cover band Halloween Party at a local venue.  We dressed up as Mario and Luigi and were a big hit, LOL.  I hadn't dressed up in years so it was good to indulge the silly!

BF's mom was supposed to visit two weeks ago, but unfortunately her father had been very ill and went into hospice a few days prior to her scheduled departure.  He passed away only three days later. We drove to Myrtle Beach on a Friday afternoon and returned Sunday afternoon, so it was about 16 hours in the car, but I'm glad we made it to the memorial service.  I met a lot of BF's extended family and I'm glad we got to see his Mom, even if it wasn't as planned.  We're hoping to reschedule her visit for December as we were all really looking forward to it.

My grandfather's house finally sold last week.  It had been on the market since June and was struggling to get serious looks since it didn't have a basement, which is problematic in Nebraska.  Also, they were selling it as-is, so that hurt it, too.  They dropped the price a few times, and finally got a cash offer last week.  The deal was signed and finalized very quickly, and now they have until November 8th to get the remainder of the things out of the house for sale.  The final sale price was exactly what my grandfather said the house was worth, so I feel good that we got that much out of it. Probate has been on hold for the sale, so hopefully once that's done the probate situation can wrap up, too.

It's a tricky situation because it will be a huge weight off of everyone's shoulders to have the house sold, but it's still emotionally sad.  I won't ever be in that house again, which is weird to realize.

I booked my ticket home for Christmas.  I will again be going solo because a) Christmas tix are insanely expensive and b) BF wants to be home to spend Christmas with his daughter.  He doesn't have her on Christmas itself this year, but they will either celebrate before or after.  I definitely knew I needed to go home again this year even though part of me is dreading it.  This will be the first time we've not celebrated Christmas at my grandfather's house in my life.  I'm guessing my brother will host, but I know it will be weird and sad and all of that.  I just want to get it over with!  Hopefully next year my family can come out to us or some variation.  I told my mom and BF that from here on out after this year I will be spending Christmas with BF, whether that means destination Christmas with the families or alternating holidays.  Everyone agreed.

I can't think of anything else much that's going on.  I think I've covered all the highlights.  :-)  I hope everyone has a wonderful and spooky Halloween!  I'll try to come back again for an update before another two months pass.  ;-)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Evolving Opinions

Four days of work left!

What I really came in here to post is that I've changed my opinion on the book I'm reading, "It Ends With Us".  It suddenly got really good in a totally unexpected way.  It took awhile for it to make that turn, but it did and now I keep thinking about getting back to reading it.  Now mind you, the turn it took was dark and twisty.  However, it's totally compelling and well-written.  I'll try to remember to update once I complete it to see if my overall opinion shifted or not.

In other news, my car is finally getting the second recalled airbag replaced tomorrow.  It will be really nice to have my passenger seat back in commission for our road trip to OBX this weekend.  I get to trek to the dealership in the morning for the recall fix.  Reading time!  Depending on how long it takes I will either go into work after or go home and telework.  Obviously I'd prefer the latter, but we'll see.

Speaking of OBX, they're currently under a Tropical Storm Warning.  I'm really glad this weather is supposed to clear out by the time we head to Duck.  I know there's a second system coming through later this week, but currently they're predicting it to take a turn and head back out before we get there. Crossing fingers!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Five Days

All I need to do this week is get through five work days.  FIVE.  And then vacation time is upon me! 

This weekend was a mix of good and bad.  Friday night BF had his fantasy football draft with his friends, so I spent the evening home with J.  We ordered Chinese food for delivery, chatted and watched a scary movie.  It was nice to have a solo night with her!  Saturday we had to take BF's car to the dealership for an airbag replacement and we ran a couple of errands in the interim. Unfortunately, I got knocked down by a migraine that afternoon and ended up taking a three hour nap to try to kick it.  It only half worked, but I was functional for the rest of the evening.  While I slept BF and J washed all three cars, which was nice!  We spent that night cooking dinner (chicken stuffed with roasted garlic cheese and wrapped in proscuitto, grilled asparagus and a youthful classic of crescent rolls, LOL.

Sunday BF and I ran a couple of errands while J hung out at home and then I got to the gym while he watched the race.  We went to the grocery store and made dinner and had a low key evening.  Sadly, I got hit with yet another doozy of a migraine that woke me at 2:30 am, when I took my migraine meds and went back to sleep.  Woke up feeling better, but it was a rough weekend headache wise.  It's my "migraine week" as I call it, but it was the roughest I've had in awhile! However, I'd much rather have had it this week than next when I'm on vacation!

We tried to watch some of the VMAs last night for some reason, and it was PAINFUL.  It made me feel super old, but I think honestly it was just really poorly done.  I ended up turning it off and just watching the performances I was interested in this morning online.  Much better option.  Good old Britney with the lip syncing, LOL.  However, Beyonce was amazing as always.  

Managed to watch 3 more episodes of "The Night Of" this weekend, but I still have five left including last night's finale.  My goal is to get that finished this week before vacation!  Such a fantastic show.

Finished another book, "The Mourning Girls", which was actually really, really good. Finally!  A book that didn't disappoint me.  Started and am currently reading "It Ends With Us" by Colleen Hoover.  It's all right so far.  Better than the books I read before "The Mourning Girls", but not as good as that.  Totally different kind of book, though.  I'll definitely finish it, as there are parts of the book I like more than others.  Still looking forward to reading a book or three (the real, paper kind!) on the beach trip next week!  There's not much better than reading on the beach or from one of the decks with a beach view.  :-)

The only thing I'm really looking forward to this week is my appt. with my hair boyfriend.  I'm overdue for a visit and I definitely am excited to have a couple of really good hair days before the wild and crazy beach hair days.  Appt. is Thursday at 1pm.  Cheers to that!

Time to start making my packing list.....  I can legitimately feel the vacation excitement starting to build!  

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Let Me Down, Pick Me Up

So I finished a couple of books in the last couple of weeks.  The first was "One Less Problem Without You" by Beth Harbison.  When I first finished it I thought I'd liked it enough.  It was OK. But the more time that passes, the more I'm annoyed with it.  It felt rushed, underdeveloped and inadequate.  I was pretty disappointed with it.

Next I read "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry" by Gabrielle Zevin.  I added that to my list because J is reading it for summer reading for school and I thought we could talk about it.  It was actually a good book.  Well written, good storyline, good heart.  However, I didn't really connect with it on any real level.  It's like certain music or other forms of art that I can recognize logically are well done or noteworthy, but I'm personally unable to love it whole-heartedly.  So it was more of a success than the other at least!

I then started to read "By the Numbers" by Jen Lancaster.  Usually her books are very entertaining, but this one is just NOT working for me.  I barely got into it before I was bored and decided I would read something else, at least for the time being.  So I started "The Mourning Hours" by Paula Treick DeBoard and I'm still very early into it, but it's already more interesting.  Hoping for a better read! Everything feels like a bit of a letdown since I read "The Woman in Cabin 10" since that was so captivating to me.  Such a great read!

In other news, I only have 9 work days left until vacation, including today.  I'm under the two week wire and I'm so excited!  I definitely need this trip.  Work is seriously burning me out and I've been watching everyone go on their week long vacations all summer and I'm ready for my turn!  We've got our petsitter all lined up, I've got my new swimsuits at the ready and all that's left to do is count down the days.

I've been much better about working out for the last few weeks.  I'm managing to get to the gym or do a home workout 5 days a week, which is the goal.  Yesterday at work I was exhausted from lousy sunday night sleep, I had a headache and the day itself was just very frustrating.  I went to the gym out of obligation, but wow, it turned my entire mood around.  I did 45 minutes on the elliptical, 15 on the treadmill walking on an incline and about 15 minutes of strength training.  It was just what I needed.

We finished watching "Stranger Things" last week.  Oh, how I loved that show!  I loved the general atmosphere of it, I loved so many of the actors, the music, everything.  I am still thinking about the finale!  Very happy that it got renewed for another season.  Next up I want to find time to watch the newest season of "Catastrophe" on Amazon.  That show is hilarious and real and awesome.

In the meantime, I guess I'll go get some breakfast.  Kix cereal for the win!  :-)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Things to Do When You're Old

This last year has made me feel really old in some ways!  Throwing your back out for the first time can do that.  ;-)  I happened to do that the day after my 38th birthday.  Ouch.  That was truly the worst pain I've ever felt.  Luckily, I did manage to recover and am no worse for the wear a month and a half later.  I did, however, purchase a back pillow to use for our Myrtle Beach trip and at work in the wake of that injury.  The pillow was a lifesaver on the car ride and I do use it still occasionally at the office.

Maybe it's all the vitamins I take that make me feel old.  I take a multi-vitamin, Vitamin E and Fish Oil.  A Dr. rec'd the fish oil to me a few years ago when my blood work came back with borderline high triglycerides.  I recently had a physical and found out that everything is where it's supposed to be level-wise, and my good cholesterol is actually really high!  I attribute that to the fish oil.  :-)

I bought a dry brush the other day.  I've noticed recently a very unfortunate appearance of some spider veins on my thighs.  WTF, mate?  Not sexy.  So I did some google research and among the various remedies I've found are using a dry brush to increase circulation (Side perk: decreased appearance of cellulite?!).  I've also read about using apple cider vinegar as a scrub on those same spots (circular motion, baby) as well as olive oil for the same thing.  My bathroom is going to turn into a kitchen, LOL.  I figure these things may not work, but they're all harmless enough that they're not going to hurt anything.

Today I bought a foot rest for my desk at work.  It's also aimed at increasing circulation, with an added bonus of perhaps making my desk job a bit more comfy.  I've read that crossing your legs is not great for circulation, and I'm guilty of that constantly.  Hopefully having that little foot rest boost will make it more comfortable for my legs to just hang out instead of being compelled to cross them.

In the wake of my physical I've been making a small effort to make more healthful choices in my daily life.  Small things like trying to have a veggie at every dinner, sticking spinach on my lunch sandwiches, eating a salad once or twice a week.  More fruit, more whole grains, less Starbucks. More water, fish once a week.  Less added salt and sugar.  More protein in my breakfast to make it last longer.  I've also been much better about going to the gym the last two weeks.  Progress!

The Dr. did recommend I lose some weight, like 15-20 pounds.  Sigh.  But I knew that.  In spite of this, I still bought a new bikini for the beach.  Life is too short to worry about what I look like in a bikini, and I'm going to keep seizing the bikini moments!  It's super cute and the top accents one of my features that HASN'T aged yet.  ;-)

Less than three weeks until vacation......

Monday, July 25, 2016

All of the Things

This post is brought to you by a sudden, overwhelming realization:

There is not enough time for all of the things.  All of the books.  All of the movies.  All of the shows. All of the places.  All of the things.

I realized it today as I downloaded two more books to my Kindle.  The Kindle that already has several other books in the Library I haven't read yet, and a pre-order book that will download tomorrow.  This is in addition to the 7-8 books I own at home in real life book form that I haven't read yet, 4 of which I got for my birthday.


Currently reading:
Housebroken: Admissions of an Untidy Life - Laurie Notaro

Recently read:
In Twenty Years - Allison Winn Scotch
Live Fast Die Hot - Jenny Mollen
Why We Came to the City - Kristopher Jansma
The Drowning Girls - Paula Treick DeBoard

I actually really recommend all four of these books!  The Jenny Mollen book is a humorous memoir. She's married to the actor, Jason Biggs.  LOVED In Twenty Years, but that's also the freshest in my mind since it's the last book I finished.  It was a fantastic read.  Why We Came to the City is a GORGEOUS read.  I truly loved this book.  The Drowning Girls was also very good.  Kept me interested all the way to the end!

Waiting to be read:
All the Missing Girls - Megan Miranda
The Mourning Hours - Paula Treick DeBoard
The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware
By the Numbers - Jen Lancaster
The Good Neighbor - A.J. Banner
One True Loves - Taylor Jenkins Reid
One Less Problem Without You - Beth Harbison (Comes out Tuesday)
A Man Called Ove - Fredrick Backman
The Girls in the Garden - Lisa Jewell
You Will Know Me - Megan Abbott
** These are just the ones on my Kindle and the books from home that I remember having.  :-o

I realized it today as I looked at my TIVO and Netflix queues.  I've not watched any episodes of the new season of Mr. Robot yet.  I'm behind one episode of Unreal, two of Animal Kingdom, I have all three episodes of The Night Of to watch because I keep hearing such raves about it.  Plus, we watched two episodes of Stranger Things on Friday and I'm in love with it and desperate to get back to it.  I still haven't finished the second season of The Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt.  Let's not even get into how behind I am on House of Cards, how I never found time to get back to Orphan Black (I only finished Season 1).

I realized it as I considered the movies I want to see, both in theater and otherwise.  I want to see the new Bourne movie.  I still want to see The Conjuring 2, I want to see Suicide Squad when it comes out and I don't even know why.  Recently my desire to finally see Room has ramped up again and The Age of Adaline is available on Amazon Prime and I really wanted to see that.  I want to re-watch The Blair Witch Project in anticipation of the September sequel.  I want to watch Clue again because it is one of my favorites.  BF still hasn't seen The Silence of the Lambs and I need to rectify that.

I realized it as I considered the places I want to go in coming months.  Yes, I'd love to go on exciting trips to new places, but sue me....I also love the familiar.  I'd love to go see my friend P in Atlanta this fall.  I'd like to get back to Omaha to see my family, watch some Nebraska football and start getting used to the new normal without my grandfather.  The family reunion visit was not a true representation because it was so chock full of family visiting and things to do. I'd love to go to Kansas City to see a Chiefs game with BF because everyone should experience an NFL game at Arrowhead. I also keep thinking about finally getting BF to the west coast since he's never been, and I haven't been in years.  I'd love to go to California or Arizona or Colorado...or all of them! I love the idea of more weekend trips to local places within driving distance, including possibly for college and NFL football games.

There's not enough time for all the things.  All the books, TV shows, movies, adventures.  It's hard enough to fit in the required things like flossing before bed and getting to the gym EVER.  I'm always juggling the little life things---DMV registration renewals, car recalls (my car is at the dealership and I'm on week 3 of a rental because of those faulty airbags!), chores around the house, hand washing my swimsuit for the beach this weekend, taking books and clothes to donate, getting to Costco because we're running out of tilapia and chicken breasts.  Sigh.

The beach.  At least there's this tiny, miniscule vacation this weekend.  A getaway, if you will.  I'm going with my friend, A, and we're leaving bright and early Saturday morning to go to Ocean City, Maryland.  We plan to go directly to the beach since we can't check into the hotel until later in the afternoon and we want to maximize our time there.  So we'll beach, then check into our hotel, which is right on the end of the Boardwalk.  Then back out to the Boardwalk for exploring and rides and dinner and drinks.  Breakfast and beach on Sunday and then we'll head back to real life again.  Such a tiny trip, but I'll take it!

One of these days I'll fit all of the things in.  Or I will prioritize and some of these things will drop out (most likely some of the movies, some of the shows, sadly a book or two).  The trips won't all happen and that's OK.  Like it or not the day to day has to get done, the full time job has to be a priority, and I'll be like everyone else trying to figure out how to fit it all in.

In the meantime, I'm off to count down the days until my tiny escape from reality.  Once I get back from that, I'll be that much closer to my true escape, which is OBX.  Got my final payment notification for August 4, which means that on that date we're only a month from our seven days in Duck and my nine days off from work!  Maybe there will be some time on that trip to knock out some of those books.  ;-)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Summer Absenteeism

Well, it may not officially be summer until Tuesday, but the blogging ways of summer have clearly already set in!  I've been MIA for quite awhile, and I do apologize for leaving you all in the dark.  My life is super riveting so I'm sure you've all been teeming with suspense.  Ha!

Things are good!  I love this time of year.  It's busy and there's always things to do and I love that. Memorial Day weekend was good.  We went to a Washington Nationals game that friday night, we including myself, BF, J and my friend, A.  We also went to a Potomac Nationals game that Sunday, which was also fun!  We do love watching baseball.

Last week my friend, T visited from Columbia, Missouri.  We had a great time that included lots of margaritas, Chinese delivery food, the Museum of American History, the Newseum and 80s night at yet another Nationals game, which included an opening concert by an 80s band,  The Legwarmers. Two of my girlfriends joined us and we had a great time!  T and I also did some exploring of random shops in my town and surrounding areas and just generally enjoyed catching up.

This week at work has been super hectic.  I don't mind because it makes the days go by quicker, though.  Always love my fridays!  We randomly decided on Tuesday to venture to Hershey, PA this weekend for Father's Day fun for BF.  We're not leaving until tomorrow morning, but at that point we're heading straight to Hershey Park for a day of amusement park fun.  We'll check into our hotel after that to clean up a bit and then we're spending the evening at a Harrisburg Senators baseball game.  BF and I love checking out these other area stadiums and comparing to ours.  J, not so much, but she's obligated to enjoy for her father's sake.  ;-)  Sunday we'll probably get breakfast/brunch and then maybe check out Chocolate World before we journey back.

Next week, the fun continues.  Thursday night is an area Battle of the Law Firm Bands, and my friend, A is one of the singers again this year in ours, so I'll be joining some co-workers and friends to watch and support her!  It will make for a very late night for me (sigh), but I took Friday off because it's my birthday, so it all works out.  :-)

Friday I'll be sleeping in a bit and then heading out to meet A, who has also taken the day off.  We're going to just enjoy a fun Friday without work, probably including manicures, brunch, maybe some shopping, etc.  That night we're meeting BF and a couple other friends over at the National Harbor for dinner, a spin on the Capital Wheel and drinks!  BF and I also booked a hotel for that night so we don't have to drive the long way back after all that fun, so that's a nice extra.

Saturday will entail getting ourselves back home and relaxing a bit.  We may go to a local live music, food truck and fireworks type festival that night.  :-)  Sunday daytime is again for relaxing because sunday night we are joining some friends who got free tix to see Guns 'n Roses at FedEx Field!  So random, but I'm excited.  I was never obsessed with GnR, but I know it will be a great experience and a good story.  :-)

That will properly wrap up birthday weekend, and I'm quite happy about all of it!

Not too much longer after that we have the 4th of July and the accompanying 3 day weekend, and then on July 9-12 we're roadtripping it to Myrtle Beach!  BF has some family there who we will visit briefly, and his mom, sister, brother in law and nephew will meet us from Charleston there for one day.  Beyond that, we're staying at a beachside resort and I'm so excited to visit a new place.  So much to look forward to!

The rest of the summer looks good, too.  I'm still hoping to plan a weekend beach trip to Ocean City with A, and I got Phantom of the Opera tickets for August for me, BF and J.  J and I are also indulging BF for his birthday by going to a WWE wrestling event in DC in July, LOL.  Both J and BF have July birthdays!  Of course, the big summer finale is our Outer Banks trip Labor Day week.  :-)  It is truly my favorite week of the entire year!  A week of total indulgence, lack of life obligations and beaching, swimming, grilling, reading, exploring and spending quality time with my person.  :-)  <3

Did I mention that I love summer?

The only sad thing right now is a realization I had yesterday on my way home.  This will be the first year in many moons that my grandfather will not call me on the phone to sing me his rendition of Happy Birthday.  It was always so cute and sweet and goofy, just like him.  I continue to remind myself that he's in a better place, he's no longer suffering, and he'll be singing me the birthday song from a whole new place this year.  <3 <3

Life is so weird sometimes.  I sometimes have the inclination that I should feel guilty for being happy and excited about things going on in my life. That I should still be mourning his loss and not celebrating things. However, I take comfort in knowing that I'm filling my summer with fun and happiness and experiences and my grandfather would LOVE that.  :-)  I'm moving forward like he would want all of us to, but he will never be forgotten.  I think of him every single day.

I hope everyone is having a great (almost) summer!  We got a fantastic summery night of thunderstorms last night and I loved every second.  :-)

Monday, April 25, 2016


I really love spring.  It's such a beautiful time of year and it's so nice to have everything looking so lovely and feeling so nice outside.  We had a gorgeous weekend of weather aside from some rain on Saturday, and hey, rain is part of spring!

I picked up my new nightstand this weekend, which is so nice to have.  My nightstand from my apartment didn't work with BF's bedroom set because it was espresso instead of black, so I finally found a black nightstand that works well enough for the set.  BF didn't plan ahead for the future and buy two when he bought his bedroom set years back.  ;-)  It's such an improvement over the crappy black table/stand I have been using for over a year.  I got it all organized and it's a small piece of happy for me.

I got to do a little spring shopping this weekend, also.  I got a new work bag, as the handle of my old one ripped.  :-/  I had a hard time finding one that fit the bill I wanted, as I wanted something water-resistant, as the interim bag I'd been using is not, and on rainy days that's a bummer.  I found the new bag at Marshalls for a whole $20!  I also got a pair of shorts and several cute shirts, so that was a nice way to spend a couple hours yesterday afternoon.

It was a good weekend spent with BF and J.  We cooked meals together, we watched a movie, we ran a slew of errands.  I went to the gym both saturday and sunday (!!!) and felt better about not going Thursday & Friday.  I'm trying to go more often, and I was so proud of myself for going Sunday-Wednesday until that point.

We're less than three weeks out from our Omaha trip now.  It looks like we'll be spending the night with my brother and his wife one night and now possibly one night in a hotel downtown near where the relatives are staying.  We thought it would be nice if we all stayed down there so we could stay out later with the family without having to worry about driving back late.  It's just an idea at this point, but it sounds kind of fun to me.  :-)  Selfishly, I also relish the opportunity to sleep in any bed that is not the bed in my bedroom at my mom's house.  It's one million years old and NOT comfortable.  So this would be a definite improvement, even if we have to pay for it!

My ex-H got married a couple of weekends ago.  I saw lots of FB pics and it looked really lovely, as it was on the beach in Mexico.  I'm really happy for him and happy that he was able to get his family out there for the occasion.  Still can't believe he beat me to re-marriage, LOL.

This week is Staff Appreciation week at work, so that's nice.  It breaks up the usual monotony as we have a staff luncheon tomorrow and an all personnel luncheon on Wednesday, plus some kind of afternoon snack event on Thursday.  I'll take anything that distracts from the usual work day grind. My supervisor is on vacation until Thursday, so that's also nice!

Weather is going to be gorgeous today, so I'm planning for an escape over lunch.  Must take advantage before it cools down some later this week.  Rain predicted for tomorrow so that inside planned lunch is sounding better and better.

Finished a good book recently, "The Elementals".  It was described as a gothic horror novel and I really enjoyed it.  Started two different Kindle books and not wholly enthralled by either.  I have two actual books to read as well that I got in Omaha last time.  Hopeful that one of them grabs my interest.

Anyway, that's all I know today.  Happy Monday, if there is such a thing!

Friday, April 22, 2016


I've been MIA for a couple of weeks, but with good reason.  My grandfather passed away the morning of Friday, April 8th.  We all knew it was coming, and he was certainly ready to go.  He went in his sleep that morning and at that point it was honestly a gift.

I flew home to Omaha Sunday and was there until Thursday.  The funeral was Tuesday and I got the chance to spend some time with my family.  The wayward brother was there for almost everything, including the funeral, which was nice, I guess, although weird.  We spent some time going through my grandfather's house, but the project was much bigger than that and will be happening in my absence as well.

It's strange.  Living so far away makes it seem almost not real because I didn't talk to him or see him every day.  But I think about it every day.

I'm doing pretty well.  I take a lot of comfort in the fact that I got to see him in what was probably his last really good few days.  We talked, we laughed, and we made a few final memories for the books. The funeral service was really lovely, and I even managed to get up and read something I'd written without too much struggle until the end.

I came back to work on the Friday after I returned to begin to dig out of the hole of work waiting for me, and then got a weekend to really settle back in.  This week has been work and gym and BF and life stuff and intermittent conversations with various family members about the things left behind to take care of.  I'll be back in Omaha in three weeks with BF, and I'm looking forward to it.

Our family reunion is moving forward as planned, and we think it will be a lovely way to celebrate my grandfather's life and legacy, as he placed so much value on family connections and laughter.

One thing I did realize throughout all of this is that while it was nice to have my wayward brother around again, I don't need it anymore.  I have very low (realistic) expectations of his presence in my life going forward, and that's OK.  The most important thing is that he was there to spend time with my grandfather in the last weeks of his life, and my grandfather left this earth knowing that some bridges were being re-built, no matter how shaky.  Maybe my brothers will keep in touch, I'm not sure.  I don't expect the same on my end, perhaps because of the distance?  Either way, I'm glad we all proved that we could come together for my grandfather to celebrate his life and mourn his passing together.  It's something.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

April Showers

This is one gloomy Thursday, but it is a Thursday nonetheless.  I'll take it!  This week has felt really long.  I'm sure that can be partially attributed to all of the ups and downs with my grandfather.  As an update, family visits yesterday were mostly comprised of watching him sleep.  My brother went over lunch and said he slept pretty much the whole time, as they'd given him something for sleep mid morning.  My mom went last night and said again he slept most of the time, though he did wake a few times briefly to chat.  She said it was very calm and quiet.  I guess at this point sleeping is better. He got Ativan overnight again because of anxiety again.  I can only imagine how mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted he is these days.

Today is one of those days where I would rather be at home in comfy clothes lounging with my cats and enjoying the rain from a warm inside space.  Work is not a great stand in.  Today or tomorrow they're finally locking down the internet to block all the fun places you can go online and will be monitoring everything else.  They warned us it was coming last summer, so I guess we should be grateful it took them this long to implement.  Thank goodness for smart phones!

Nothing noteworthy on the schedule tonight.  Maybe the gym, cooking dinner at home with BF, the usual week night jam.  No big plans for the weekend either.  We have J for the full weekend.  We may go see a movie, I'm sure we'll run a couple of errands.  The weather is supposed to be fairly lousy so that's no help!  We may get a few errant snowflakes on Saturday morning, which is just depressing.

Still reading "The Elementals" and actually really enjoying it.  I'm still not quite halfway in, but I like the atmosphere of the book and look forward to reading it each evening on my commute home.  I'll admit there's not been a lot of action thusfar, but I feel like it's building to something and it's not boring me yet!

I gambled and made plans for next Friday night with my gf, A.  We are doing a manicure and haircut, respectively, at our salon after work and then going out for dinner and drinks after in DC.  Nothing too wild and crazy, but it will still be fun.  :-)  I've been hesitant to make many plans the last few days because of things with my grandfather, but I figure that whatever will be, will be, and none of my plans are set in stone.  One day at a time, blah blah blah.  :-)

Crossing fingers that Friday comes quickly.....

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


I apologize in advance for this post.  I feel guilty for bringing it here, however, I feel like I'm walking under a dark cloud since last night and I need to download the information somewhere to not carry it around by myself all day.  This stemmed from a late night conversation I had with my mom about my grandfather, and BF was asleep by the time I got off the phone.  I'll tell him about it later, but I just wasn't ready to tell him last night and there was zero time this morning. I thought about messaging a couple of different people about it, but have changed my mind.  It's my brother's 3 year wedding anniversary, so I didn't want to bring it up with him even though he's already aware of it.  I was going to message my ex-H because he was always very close to my grandfather and still writes him notes and the like.  But he's getting married in a week and a half and I didn't want to make him sad about it. I've thought about messaging my other brother, but I just don't know.

My mom standardly sends an update email each evening around the same time about my grandfather and how he was doing that day during her visit.  However, I didn't get one last night, which made me suspect it didn't go well, so eventually I emailed her to ask.  She wrote back and told me that it was an awful visit, he went berserk and it was just really terrible.  She didn't offer details, but instead told me to call if I wanted to know more, so I did.

Basically her visit started out fairly normally.  They were talking and things were OK, but not great. However, at some point "a switch flipped" and he was suddenly very angry.  I can't remember everything she told me, as it was all kind of an overwhelming blur.  It started with him asking if she got his letter.  She asked what letter and he told her he'd written letters to everyone.  She told him no, she hadn't gotten anything and asked what the letter said.  He told her he'd asked everyone to meet there (at the hospice house) that night. She asked why and he said "because I'm going to die tonight". She told him, no, he wasn't going to die and he told her that actually, he thought he'd died last night. At some point he also asked her how the previous night had gone, and my mom asked what he meant. He told her that he had died the night before and wanted to know how it went.

Anyway, when she told him he wasn't going to die he got frustrated and said that Bob (his older brother who is currently in a nursing home in Illinois suffering from Alzheimers) was supposed to be there, too.  My mom was of course very confused, but the conversation went on.  She said that he kept telling her he was in hell, this was hell, this was torture and he got very agitated.  He was yelling for help, but she didn't know why.  She tried to calm him down by taking his hand and talking to him. She asked what he wanted or needed.  He told her, very coldly and clearly, "I.WANT.TO.DIE."  She told him that while it was hard for her, it was OK for him to go if he was ready.  He then looked down at her hand and asked, "Why are you holding my hand?"  Keep in mind that basically everything he said after the switch flip was full of venom and anger.

He also told her at various times, "I'm dead", asked her why she was just sitting there.  She asked what she was supposed to be doing and he said, "I can't believe you're just sitting there doing nothing."  She again asked what she was supposed to be doing and he told her, "GO GET THE ATIVAN", but then added, "But it's not like they're going to give it to you.  They won't give it to you." She asked if he was upset with her for something and he told her no, he was mad at himself. She reminded him it was not his fault that he's sick, but it made no difference.  Finally my mom got a nurse and they gave him Ativan and Morphine.  It doesn't sound like it was very long before he was drugged up enough to calm down.

The whole thing sounded HORRIFYING.  As my mom was relaying this to me, still sounding shell-shocked and exhausted, I had this really unnerving idea of it being like The Exorcist, or someone possessed by a personality not their own. My grandfather doesn't yell.  He doesn't speak like that to people.  It wasn't him.  But he was saying all of these things and my mom kept talking about how disgusted he looked and how angry he sounded.  She also said she hadn't heard his voice that strong and clear in WEEKS.

Luckily, my mom called my stepdad at some point to tell him what was going on, and though she told him not to come to the hospice, he did.  I'm grateful that he was there for her because I truly can't imagine how upsetting this was.  The hospice nurse told her this is a very common part of the process, however upsetting it is.  My mom asked if this meant the end was near, and the nurse told her that in some cases this can last weeks, and in others it goes faster.  They really just don't know.

My mom very guiltily told me that she wants him to go, to end his suffering, and I had to assure her over and over that she shouldn't feel guilty about that.  He's ready to go.  I think that he's told us that nicely and calmly, but that he is getting frustrated that he's still here when he doesn't want to be, and this outburst, part of the process or not, was definitely his subconscious speaking out.  He's angry at his body for not letting him rest.  I reminded my mom that dying is what he wants, and that it will be a relief to him, and so it's OK for us to want him to have that relief.

They put him in adult diapers this week because he's too weak to go to the bathroom on his own. One last indignity if he's aware of it.  My mom said he's barely eaten, even less than before lately.  She said she had to look away the other day when they sat him up in bed and she saw how truly gaunt he has become. Yesterday he told her he'd had a couple of bites of applesauce, things like that.  For a whole day.  He's refusing meds, but they're apparently not a huge deal to not take considering his condition.  He's having more and more hallucinations or false memories.  There are the things like asking people to look behind doors that aren't there, but there are also just the smaller things like him telling my mom that my previously MIA brother was harping on other brother about setting up a monthly lunch on the one day when they ended up at the hospice together.  I know it sounds like a reasonable thing for normal people, but I would bet $100 that didn't happen on either side.  We just don't know what to believe anymore.

The idea of this lasting weeks makes me ill.  He will just get more gaunt, more incoherent, more helpless.  I am not a religious person, but I am wishing for his freedom from his pain and misery.  I want him to go be with my grandma finally.  He is done here.

My mom said that aside from not wanting him to go today (she doesn't want the day of his death to forever coincide with my brother's wedding anniversary), she's ready for him to go when it's time. My uncle and aunt are coming Saturday afternoon, and my mom said that at this point, she's not even sure she wants them to see him like this.  It's bad.  She also said that she's glad I came when I did because I got three good visits and only one bad one while I was there, and my visit was overall positive.  But he turned a corner for the worse only a few days later, and last night was definitely a new low point.

It feels awful to wish for a family member to leave this earth.  But this is no life anymore, not in any form my grandfather would have wanted.  He's here against his will at this point and is more than ready to move on.  I hope it comes soon, and I hope it comes quickly, the way he said he wanted it. He's been through enough.

Again, I apologize for this post.  I don't want to bring everyone down with me, but I just needed to share this somewhere this morning for my own sanity.  Any good thoughts or prayers or whatever you can offer would be appreciated.

Monday, April 4, 2016

little pieces

When I was home a couple of weeks ago, my mom gave me a pair of earrings that belonged to my grandma.  After she passed away several years ago, we went through a lot of her jewelry and took the pieces we liked at my grandfather's behest.  But he kept some of her more favorite pieces behind, and I guess they recently re-surfaced.  He still has her fine jewelry at his house, hidden somewhere from what I hear, but this was a second wave, I guess.

The earrings are simple:  silver hoops.  In the first pass, I took several items, but most were not day to day wearable.  I have a bracelet that I wear on occasion, but the hook closure makes me nervous that I'll lose it, so I'm choosy about when to don it.  It always made me a little sad that I didn't have something that I could wear more often.  Luckily, these silver hoops fit that bill.  They are simple, classic and lovely.  Each time I wear them it's a happy reminder that at one time in her life my grandmother wore them, too.  :-)

My grandfather is doing OK.  I guess? I really don't know how to assess these things anymore.  I get daily updates from my mom, plus updates each time one of my brothers visits.  They are wildly varying.  Last week it seemed like he had a lot of "good" days.  He ate a little more, he was chatty, more alert.  My mom seemed to be harboring this secret hope that he was getting better.  However, he's been difficult the last couple of days.  Saturday she got there to find that he'd refused everything - a bath, getting dressed, his meds, food, etc.  During her visit, she managed to get him to do all of these things.  I guess he tolerated it OK and told her she was relentless.  Yesterday she went and he was sleepy and grumpy.  He told her no to everything, including food, and that he wasn't budging. My mom sounded pretty discouraged.  Add to this that on friday I basically got three different messages telling me he was not having a good day.  He was pretty out of it (before his daily meds, but could have been an Ativan hangover from the night previous) and kept telling my brother and the nurse to look behind doors where there were no doors.  Weird.  I know hallucinations are part of this process, but it's just so strange to hear these things knowing how clear headed he is most of the time.

My uncle and his wife are coming in this weekend from CA to visit.  I'm glad my uncle will get to see his dad again, as for a time there I was afraid he would miss it.  Right now I don't have a good sense as to how long my grandfather will be sticking around.  My answer in this moment is very different than what I thought while visiting, and could be very different by tomorrow.  None of us really know. Part of me wonders if my grandfather is sticking around to see his son one more time before he goes, but another part of me thinks maybe this is just another visit and that he could be around for our family reunion and LOTS of visits in mid-May.  I don't know if that's totally delusional, totally reasonable or somewhere in between.

And now for a totally illogical, tactless transition onto other subjects...

Weekend was pretty good.  Friday weather was gorgeous despite forecasts of storms.  It was 80 and beautiful.  We had dinner at a local spot and ate outside on the patio.  Then Saturday rolled around and the weather was gross.  It rained for most of the day and then got really windy that night.  I'm talking 60 mph gusts.  It was pretty scary to listen to!  Our power went out around 2 am and woke us up.  Unfortunately, a smoke alarm also decided it was low on battery, so BF had to replace the battery to stop the beeping.  Then, at 5:30 am the alarm went off even though it wasn't ON.  Thanks, battery backup!  BF couldn't get it turned off and went to remove the battery, but it was beneath a screw top panel, so he was down in the garage rummaging for a tiny screwdriver and muttering lots of curse words at the time.  It was a disastrous night of "sleep".  The morning was very chilly in the house, but luckily the power came back on about 9:30 or 10 am.

Reading and Writing:  Trying to do more of it.  As I mentioned before, I've had a very hard time finding a book to keep my interest lately.  I started a book called "The Elementals", which was originally published in maybe 1981, but re-released recently.  It's classified as a gothic horror novel. I'm very early into it, but enjoying it.  Writing:  I've got desire, but no motivation.  I carry around blank books/notebooks hoping inspiration strikes, but I'm not putting any real effort into it.  Must try to rectify that.

I'm definitely getting restless waiting on spring.  Today's weather is decent at the moment, but it's supposed to rain later.  The rest of the week is a crapfest temp wise and rain wise, and the weekend looks chilly AGAIN.  I'm so ready for real spring, though I am glad things are at least greening up outside.  I want to go to baseball games and on walks and eat meals outside and not worry about only doing these things every few days when it's nice for a day.  Hopefully it's not far off.

Ex-H has his wedding in less than two weeks in Mexico.  It's weird.  They already got legally married a couple of weeks ago at a courthouse.  I'm fuzzy on why, but that's the fact of the matter.  It's weird that he has a wife again.  It's even more weird that on April 16th he'll have another wedding, a nicer one than ours (we were broke babies when we got married!) and that all of his same family that saw us get married will be watching him get married to someone else.  I'm very happy for him, but it's also very surreal.  Secretly, or not so secretly, since I told him as much, I can't believe he's beating me to it!  I always figured it would be me first.  Life is weird!

I have my last session with a trainer tonight.  It's the replacement trainer (boo).  Nice kid, but he's like 12 and I don't mesh as well with his style.  I'm glad it's the last one, but I'm dreading it.  Last time I about died from the workout he put me through.  I cancelled last monday because it was such a crap day, but now I just want to get it over with.  :-/  I also hate telling people I won't be continuing with them because I don't want them to feel bad, but in the end I don't care and I won't be continuing LOL. I know enough to do this on my own, it's just a matter of finding the time and motivation.  If only those were easier to find!

I guess I've rambled on long enough today.  Silly Monday.  I need a nap!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Something else

Because I don't want to just write about my grandfather and all that depressing business every day, I'm going to write about something else.  Debt, and making it disappear.  I sure know how to pick interesting subjects, no???

Yes, folks, this is your latest installment of Bluemoon's Debt Banishment Plan!

Just sent another chunk of money to one of my two remaining credit cards.  It took the balance below $1K and this is so weirdly thrilling to me.  I am SO CLOSE to being debt free that I can taste it!  By the end of April, doing things conservatively, I would have my debt down to $310.  Seriously. THREE HUNDRED DOLLARS.  My original debt be gone date was May 15th, but honestly?  I think I could probably make it happen by April 30 if I really want to!  I can definitely be a little more thrifty so I have a smidge more money to send the way of a credit card.

April 15th will be exciting for me because I will pay off the worst credit card I had, the one that had a maxed out balance of $7000 a year ago.  Yes, $7K on just one card.  I know, I know.  But I'm not ashamed to admit it anymore since that balance is down to under $600 right now!  It will be GONE April 15 and then I will just have the one card with the lowest interest rate and a totally reasonable balance to pay off on the next check or two.  It feels AHH-MAY-ZING.

Even on my May 15th check I will be able to take a chunk of money and put it into savings because the remaining debt I may have will be so low that I'll still have money left.  I've got such big plans for this momentous day of freedom, be it April 30 or May 15.  I'm going to do a happy dance, then find out how to increase my retirement contributions from their current piddly amount and then increase my life insurance policy.  That's what we call adulting!!  ;-)

These things have been very important to my grandfather recently.  He is trying to make sure that we all have these things in place, and I'm so glad that I'll be able to rectify the places I'm lacking very soon.  I'll get those things in order and then re-evaluate my budget to determine how much I want to go into savings on each paycheck.  I cannot wait to see that account grow!  I didn't have a savings at all until the last year or two.  I have been very lucky to receive very generous bonuses from my employer that have helped to give me a small savings cushion.  It has been nice to have, but it will be even better to have a real, growing savings account instead of one that gets an influx of money each January and then nothing thereafter.  ;-)  I've felt guilty in the last couple of years particularly for not putting money into savings each month, but ultimately I decided that it was more important to pay off the debt than to focus on saving.  I had my small cushion of money saved, but I've been all about sending my extra bucks to those evil creditors who like to charge all that interest!

Beyond this, I will also set a date on my calendar for about 2 months from when my debt is gone to do a real, true credit score check-up.  I know it may not be fully updated at that point,but it should be a good enough indicator.  I am insanely proud of myself for this effort in the last year.  I am still astonished at how far I've come and how quickly.  It was a slow process in many ways, and it's definitely faster to accrue debt than to pay it off, but I've been surprised to find how addictive it can be to pay the debt off.  The more you pay off, the faster it decreases, and it's such a nice thing to witness!

I'm so ready to close that chapter of my life and move forward.  I'm ready to be that adult who puts money into savings each paycheck, uses a credit card and pays it off monthly to maintain a good credit score, contributes smartly to a 401K and has a great credit score and ability to make good financial choices.  I'm THISCLOSE.  :-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ups and Downs

So my visit home was as good as can be expected.  Things are what they are - my grandfather is in hospice.  He's lost a ton of weight.  He barely eats. He has good days and bad.  He's getting a lot of morphine to help with his breathing, sleeping pills every night, and has had both a hallucination the other week and a paranoid episode Friday night.  His mind is pretty sharp most of the time, but it's hard to understand him at times because his mouth is so dry that it's hard to talk.

I'm really glad I got to see him and spend time with him. I saw both good visits and bad visits during my brief stay.  I got to hear some more of his stories, see him laugh, hear him tell jokes.  Those things are a gift.  The rest is hard.  He's skin and bones basically.  He can't move without assistance.

I get daily updates from my family on how he's doing.  It's hard, too.  Monday, not good.  Tuesday, good.  Today, not great.

It's hard to not be there.  It's hard to be there.  I wake up every day afraid that I'll have a message with bad news.  My mom has already told me that she will wait until morning to call me if anything happens because a middle of the night call wouldn't do me any good.  I couldn't get there any faster.

In the meantime I'm here, doing all the normal things I can.  Monday was awful.  I camped out in my office with the door closed all day.  I was short tempered and sad and cried multiple times behind closed doors.  Yesterday was marginally better.  Today the same, marginally better again.  I'm trying to focus on the things I have going on here while continuing to get the updates from the family.  I'm trying to not play the guessing game of how long he'll be around.

One day we were there he really thought he was going to die that day and kept telling us that.  That day, when pressed by my mom, the hospice nurse speculated he had a few days to a week.  Later that weekend when he was doing better my mom decided that she felt he had longer than that.

My mom tends to spin things more positively when the day is not terrible.  I trust her version of things less than those of my brothers.  Oh yeah, I'm talking to the self-imposed exile brother via LinkedIn, pretty much solely about my grandfather.  The past is the past right now as far as I'm concerned, and I'm just glad he's been visiting my grandfather.

Today both brothers ended up there at the same time.  One brother gave me his take (Grandfather not feeling great.  Hadn't eaten anything again yet that day.  Had medicine for breathing, hard to hear when he talks, but he was clear headed.)  Other brother supposed to also update me, but we'll see. Mom will go tonight and will also update.  So many updates.  So much information that just jerks you in one direction only to jerk you in another a few hours later.  I both want and dread the updates. The bad updates are really upsetting, and the "good" updates feel so fleeting and like they are just the calm before the storm.

This weekend my grandfather told my brother and I that he hoped he went quickly.  He actually said, "I hope I go like this" and snapped his fingers weakly.  I hope he does, too, whenever it happens.  His body is tired, he's ready to go be with my grandma.  He's ready.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Read All About It

Today is my Thursday.  I leave (real) Thursday afternoon for Omaha until Sunday.  I'm going to see my grandfather, and I have to be honest...I'm dreading it.  I spoke with my brother yesterday and things sound pretty grim.  I guess he had some hallucination on Thursday, and beyond that, he's barely eating and is under 100 lbs.  He told my mom the other day that he's ready to go be with my grandma, and he's told others that he's tired and ready to go.  My mom reminded him that I would be there Thursday and my uncle and aunt (his son) would be here April 9.  He said he would rather us not see him this way and instead remember him as a healthier version of himself.  It's ridiculously sad and I have been warned by both my mom and brother of how different he looks even since Christmas.

Work is a drag this week.  I'm not super focused and there's just too much going on.  BF and I had a big, stupid fight on Sunday and it really screwed over my Monday.  We talked some last night (started out unproductive, ended on a slightly better note), but we have some things to work out in the coming days.  I think that situation is just exacerbated by everything going on with my grandfather, and also next week is the anniversary of BF's dad's death.  On top of that, my GYN called today and I had yet another abnormal PAP test.  I have to go in for my one millionth (approximately) colposcopy next Wednesday because of the low grade cells that pop every time almost.  Life is just really hard sometimes.

I'm not getting enough sleep, which isn't helping.  In the middle of the BF drama last night I went and had my first session with my new trainer since my other one left.  Nice guy, but not the same.  I will likely do as planned and finish out my last session Monday and then wrap up the personal training and go forward on my own.  He had me doing push ups (which I LOATHE) and kettle bell swings (which were actually not bad).  I was dying, though.  Inadequate sleep, almost nothing to eat all day, emotionally drained.  Not ideal.

I am really going to try to get to bed earlier tonight.  We'll see if I'm successful.  I just want to go home and hang out with my cats (integration of new boy with the existing two is going very well) and J.  It's hard to have any issues with BF going on right now because I need him right now.  He's available to me, but I'm a little standoffish because of the argument and it's going to take some time for me to feel normal again.  It's hard to focus on dealing with that on top of everything else, and I honestly think the time away in Omaha will be a good thing.  I have no time to get any clarity on anything here, there's just too much swirling in my brain.

The irony of all of this is that stress, lack of sleep, poor diet are all things that can contribute to my abnormal test results, while those same results often trigger more of those reactions.  It's a challenge to remember to take care of myself when I just feel like sleeping.  Woke up with a migraine and am not surprised after all the crying, tiredness and inadequate eating of yesterday.  Sigh.

I need an escape.  I haven't read a book that really intrigued me in months.  I'm half reading two books right now that are both meh to me.  The first is "Fates and Furies", which I really wanted to love.  It's OK, but I don't ever look forward to reading it.  I want to finish it, but I've legitimately been reading it off and on (mostly off) for over a month and I'm not making a ton of progress.  The other is "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler, which is a mixed bag.  Some of the chapters are pretty enjoyable, while the ones that chronicle her improv days (over and over, in detail) are skim worthy to me after the first such section.  It's not proven to be a laugh out loud book for me at all yet either.

Does anyone have any recommendations for books that you found incredibly engrossing, awesome, don't want to put it down lately?  I need something to focus on that actually gets my interest, especially since I have some flights coming up.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ring like on your finger

As I've mentioned, BF and I have been discussing engagement and marriage more and more often recently.  We've had a few separate conversations about the ring, initially sparked by my ex-H's purchase of an insanely expensive ring for his fiancee.  I assured BF I did NOT want something crazy like that and he said "That's good to know!!!" and we both had a chuckle over it.

We've discussed the idea of me picking out my own ring, though I still feel a bit disappointed at that notion.  Yes, it means I definitely get something I like, but it does take away the surprise element. We've also talked about going to look at rings so he gets an idea of what I like and my ring size, as well as him just getting help on a ring from either my mom, my gf, A or J.  J has offered to let me show her some ideas of what I would like and to assist BF when the time comes.

Herein lies my question.  I definitely do not want BF breaking the bank on a ring.  I feel a bit older and wiser this time around and know that I'd rather invest money into a house or a vacation or something that we can both enjoy.  When I got married to ex-H, he bought me a ring set that was way more expensive than we could afford.  It was beautiful, but beyond our means.  Now I'm in a much better situation financially, but I still don't want to go overboard.  I have pretty simple tastes.  I loved my old engagement ring, but the band I had to get was matched to the engagement ring and thusly had a row of diamonds on it.  OK, but I wanted just a plain platinum band and ALWAYS felt that the wedding band was too much for my tastes.

So, when it comes to engagement rings, how do I decide what price range to focus in on?  I will fully disclose that I'm definitely keeping it under $2K, and really am thinking more in the $1K-$1500 range.  This definitely limits me in many ways.  I'm bound to end up with a smaller diamond, a lower end diamond. much do I care?  I've had friends chide me when I say that I'd be fine with a $1K ring, and one who said, "As long as he doesn't buy it at Kay Jewelers or something".  Again, I didn't really get that.  Yes, Kay is a chain jewelry store with super cheesy commercials and a jingle that makes me want to poke my eyes out.  But the jewelry is pretty (for the most part).

I've done my research and the jewelry at places like Kay is definitely not as high of quality.  Lower clarity and color on the diamonds, all that jazz.  I'm here to ask the questions:

Will I even notice that much?

Does it matter?

If I'm OK with a simple $1K engagement ring from Kay Jewelers or Bluenile or wherever, does it really matter what anyone else thinks?  Is there a real, solid reason that I should avoid this price range or these sellers or anything else?

I feel a burden in picking things out myself because I am definitely setting the expectation financially with my ideas, and I don't want to come across greedy or materialistic, because I'm not!  I'm 37 years old, but I will fully admit that when I look at a simple, cheap e-ring (some I've liked are $800 or something), I really like some of them, but then I have that moment..

The diamond is really small (half a carat or less)...will people think BF is cheap or that we're poor?  I really rather loathe that little part of me, but I admit it's there.  I have the part of me that says, "I like what I like, who cares!" and then the smaller, but still there part that worries about what it will say to everyone else.

For the record, I'm not being that nutter girl off looking at engagement rings before engagement is even on the table.  This is something I've discussed with BF and he's encouraged the idea of letting him or others know what I would like, so this is a sane and reasonable discussion to be having.  ;-)

Any thoughts, specific or generalized, on the subject would be greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I cried more than once yesterday, and other random musings

Jeez louise, I am a ball of hormones this week.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you I cried probably three different times yesterday, and teared up again just now when writing a thank you message to my now former trainer.  Oh, how lovely it is to be a cliched girl.  :-D

Life is good.  Truly.  :-)  I am a pretty happy Bluemoon right now!  Spring is lurking and I'm loving it.  Even the cooler days are better than winter, so I'll take it.  I love occasional days for light jackets, open windows and walks around the neighborhood or over lunch.  It just makes everything seem brighter and happier.

I'm madly in love with the newly adopted cat.  R is a big ball of love and cuddles.  He is so sweet and I'm so glad we were able to give him a good home.  His owner was sick and had to give up her three cats, including R.  She brought some of his old toys and his food bowl to the woman who was going to foster him (but never had the chance since he got adopted so quickly).  That woman contacted us to see if we wanted those things and we said definitely.  I think it will be nice for him to have some things from his previous home.  She said the owner was so torn about having to give them up and doing this made her feel better.  I'm happy to do what I can to help his past life live on in our home.

I can't wait to introduce him to our other cats.  Everyone is so curious about one another.  We're trying to switch out beds and blankets to familiarize everyone with all the smells and giving treats on either side of the door to create a positive association with one another.  One of our cats has spent most of her free time since we got R sitting vigil outside the door, and they've taken to occasionally pawing at each other under that space, or sniffing at one another through that crevice.  I'm taking that as a positive!

Beyond that, my trainer is officially done being my trainer.  He originally planned to finish out the month with me, as he recently moved and his schedule was just no longer permitting of the PT job in addition to his regular job.  However, I found out last night that he got laid off last week (the week AFTER he just bought a new house with his wife and three kids), and I was so sad for him!  He filed for unemployment while he job hunts, but working part time at the gym only hurt him on that front, so he stopped our sessions after last night.  We worked with the gym's new trainer shadowing us and he will take over next week for my remaining sessions.  I doubt I'll renew after that, but I guess we'll see how it goes.  New trainer is nice, but I'm not sure I'll ever find anyone as positive, encouraging and lovely as the other.  He was such an amazing motivator.

In other news, a couple of weekends ago marked one year since I moved in with BF.  Craziness!  I came home that Friday night to a BEAUTIFUL bouquet of tulips (my favorite!) and a card from both BF and J.  It was such a nice surprise and made me feel so loved.  This past weekend we went out for appetizers before our firepit dinner of turkey sausages on a stick and s'mores.  ;-)  While out to eat the subject of engagement came up, and I was surprised how gamely BF entertained the convo with J. She was listing off meaningful places he could propose, and he was even joining in.  We joked about going looking for rings, and J volunteered to get an idea of what I liked and my size so that when the time comes, she can help him pick.

I had joked the previous week that we needed to get married by mid-April since my ex-H is getting re-married then.  I'm still weirded out by the notion that once that happens there will be another person with his last name.  I kept my married last name because I identified with it more personally and professionally, but have always said I'll change it when I re-marry.  BF said that if we did that I'd lose out on the time of being engaged, and that he wanted the proposal to be special for me.  I reminded him that I don't need anything crazy or complicated and that the most important thing for me was to be with him.

Yesterday he face-timed with his family to show them the new kitty (it was his telework day), and apparently his sister and mom were asking him when we were going to get engaged and when we would get married.  He told me about this when I got home and I asked why they were suddenly asking...was it because we adopted a "kid"?  :-p  He said no, they were just asking and assured him that they wouldn't say anything to me about the convo.  He told them that it was nothing we hadn't already discussed, LOL.

I reminded him that it's just the thing people do, asking about things like this after a certain point of time.  He's previously expressed the sentiment that these kinds of things make it seem like we've been dating for an eternity and that he's slow to propose.  I assured him that's not the case and that he's fine (at this point, HA!).  I do think he's been caught off guard with how much it's come up lately, and not only from J.

In many ways I think it's a good thing for him to be reminded that we have, in fact, been together long enough to merit engagement.  We have been together for over two years, we've lived together for a year, we just adopted a pet together to add to our menagerie, his kid loves me.  She told him again this weekend that her friends and family keep asking when we are going to get married and that they all want us to get married, including her mom and her mom's mom (whom they live with).  J told me this weekend that her grandma really likes me even though we've only met once.  I'm sure she likes that J likes me so much, and that I've probably balanced things out in some ways  when it comes to BF and his dynamic with J's mom.  I really get along with her and it makes things so easy! Anyway, it will happen when the time is right, but ultimately it feels really good to know that everyone in our lives supports it so much!

What else, what else?  A week from Thursday I leave for Omaha.  I have to say I'm looking forward to the trip home.  I'm a little nervous about seeing my grandfather, as I know he's deteriorated a fair amount since I was home for Christmas, but it will be good for me to see him.  I'm also looking forward to seeing the rest of my family in a non-holiday, non-crazed situation.  The next visit will be in May for the family reunion and that trip is always a whirlwind!  I'm bummed I'll miss out on the R bonding and integration time, though.

J is planning to spend most of her spring break next week with us.  We're going to start the cat integration this weekend, and continue it into next week.  Hopefully a week of supervised time together will lead to everything being good to go the following week for them to all be left alone together!  I'm also glad J will be around to keep BF company for awhile while I'm in Omaha.

One last item of note....I made a large credit card payment Friday (tax refund) and am making another one today (pay day!). After those two payments, the higher interest credit card will be down under $1K, which is AMAZING.  That means that card will be fully gone and paid off by April 15th and I'll be down to the last card, which has a super low interest rate and a really reasonable balance. I am getting so excited about the notion of being debt-free the closer it gets!  I can almost taste the sweet freedom of ZERO CREDIT CARD DEBT!!!  I am going to be doing the biggest blogger happy dance on that day.  :-)

Time to wrap up this novel of a post.  Happy tuesday to all!  :-)

Monday, March 14, 2016

March Madness

No, this post isn't about college basketball.  ;-)  To me, the best part of March Madness is the special All Personnel lunch we have to mark the occasion and the special Happy Minute (weekly end of Friday pizza and beer event) where they give us margaritas one time a year!  

March has generally been a little bit crazy, though, so it seemed fitting.  I ended up buying a plane ticket home for March 24-27.  My grandfather was doing very poorly and it just seemed like a good idea.  He's doing better, but it's still not a bad thing to see everyone another time before May.  The ticket was pretty reasonable and it's a direct flight thanks to Southwest Airlines.  I'm going on this trip solo, but BF will still be joining for the family reunion visit in May.

Beyond that, we somehow got suckered/conned/emotionally manipulated into adopting a THIRD cat. I'm not a crazy cat lady....right???  :-)  BF and J were very excited about this notion, and I got caught up in the wave.  The new cat came from a rescue and is 8 years old.  He's currently hanging on his own in the spare bedroom for the time being, as per the recommendation of the rescue folks.  I'm not sure how long that will last, but it's what we're doing for the time being.  The cats are all getting used to each other's smells by hanging out near either side of the door, plus by smelling the others on us. Hopefully the transition will go well!

I have a big training session I'm conducting tomorrow at work for the rollout of some departmental changes, so that should be interesting as always.  It's for all four offices.  Looking forward to getting that over with and getting people used to all the changes after.  

Weekend was very busy with all the cat stuff on Saturday and Sunday.  Then I got a wicked migraine late in the afternoon on Sunday and it basically wiped out the rest of my day.  It's mostly a painful blur, but I didn't get anything done that I wanted to...laundry, my usual sunday home manicure, miscellaneous house stuff.  I went to bed very early and slept in the room with the new cat.  Glad I had the early bedtime since he woke me at 4.  :-o  Yawn.

I am NOT a fan of Daylight Saving Time in the mornings, but I do appreciate the lighter later evenings.  That part is a perk.

I'm going to go heat up some soup for lunch and zone out for the rest of my lunch break!