Friday, April 25, 2014

Replacement Parts

I should have gone for the full warranty. I want the one that replaces ANY part that fails, breaks, or just doesn't function properly.

No, not for the car or the computer. For ME! Body parts replacements, covered by the warranty for my lifetime. Why isn't that offered? (Of course, none of us could afford it if it was, right? )

Yesterday I woke with foot pain. Not gout. Other foot. No injury. No trip, fall, stumble, nuthin. WHY DOES IT HURT? It hurt on and off all day, causing me to limp pretty good. By bedtime, it was better. Then it woke me all night, every time I turned over. Today I am hopping. WHHHHHHHHHY!?!?!?!  (be sure to insert appropriate levels of whininess here.) [Side note . . . the computer does not recognize that word. Ha. Doesn't know me well enough at all.] I have NO CLUE what it is besides really painful and extremely annoying. I will put ice on it and see if it helps. Then I'll try heat if it doesn't. I'm already elevating and wearing warm slippers. Other than that, I will try swearing and limping and see if that helps.

On another note, this morning we took Nicole to work (as the sun was coming up) and then Joseph went to work. It is the first day I have sent him off to work in over 13 years, so YES, it feels realllllly strange. It will be quiet here! Caspian was up until 3 a.m., so will probably sleep until noon. I bet I get a TON accomplished with no one to ask me questions, say they're hungry, need help finding something, have a problem to figure out . . in other words, I can focus. (This is me trying to convince myself I won't be lonely.)

So I am off to work, limp, and wonder why in the world I didn't find one of those damn warranties so I could replace my left foot this afternoon.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Life is all about adaptation, right? Rolling with the changes. Accepting new directions. Going with the flow. And I'm trying, really, I. Am. Trying.

First of all, in yet another one of the many ongoing snafus of freelance writing, I have been paid less than half of our average income this month. That average income, of course, was just barely making it, so half? Half isn't even close. Thank goodness for a generous daughter willing to share her paychecks. Thank goodness for sons who give whatever they can. But really . . . why, oh why, oh why can't I be paid when I am supposed to be????

Second, jobs--and the search for them--are all over the place. Nicole has gone from part time to full time. Joseph has the first job he has had since we moved here in 2001. He is working 2-3 days a week at the local nursing home. Having him gone like that feels very, very strange.

The boys are applying to jobs left and right. Coryn has two job interviews next week so far. Caspian is, as I write this, riding his bike in downtown handing out resumes wherever he can. How we are going to get everyone to work with one car is still a puzzlement, but we will figure things out between cars, bikes, and mass transit.

I am rolling with it, while trying to keep up with deadlines that are speeding up fast--work IS coming in more and more these days, and I am grateful, but sometimes keeping focused is not so easy.

Adapt. Easier than it sounds.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Yawn! New Orr Schedules

For the 31 years Joseph and I have been married, we have struggled with establishing any real bedtime routines. First we were young. Then we had babies. Then we had toddlers. Then we had teenagers and I worked at home and he was retired and I was a night owl and he was a morning person and then we got older and our sleep patterns got wackier. He fell asleep, practically sitting up, but woke early, unable to go back to sleep. I fell asleep much slower, waking multiple times a night due to hot flashes. Sheeeesh. No wonder I can't really remember NOT being tired. :)

Now that is all shifting. After months of Nicole's work schedule going in all directions, she is regularly scheduled for 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. four days a week. This means rising at 4:45 in order to get her to work on time. Today Caspian began working full time also, and guess what? He starts at 6 also. We can't, as hard as we have tried, be in two places at one time, so three mornings a week, Caspian has to bike to work (his employer is located right next to a bike trail, fortunately).

So now, four of us are up by 5 a.m. and out the door by 5:30. (Before this? Up between 8-9 for Joseph and I, and the kids . . . well . . . you know . . . lots later.) We see the sun come up. We hear the birds start to sing. (I am grateful this is all happening as summer rolls back around, instead of plunging back into winter darkness.) After years of being a night owl, and not even thinking about crawling into bed before midnight, life is about to change. No more late nights,  I fear. I know I will get more done, and feel productive, and make my husband happy (he always wanted to rise early--puns welcome here), but it's tough for me. I like late night. I feel at peace then. I stop working. If it's daylight, I feel compelled  to be at the computer working on an assignment, and I will see a LOT more daylight hours. Ah well, life is all about change, right? It is what keeps us young, right? Don't mind me while I keep repeating this for the coming months. In between yawns, of course.

Friday, April 18, 2014

I Guess It's My Turn

I've watched my husband go through it.
I've watched my mother go through it.
I've watched various friends go through it.
I've done all I could to help, or at least just let each person know I was there.
I guess now, it's my turn.
I am . . quite honestly . .  depressed. I am struggling to get out of bed in the morning and maintain a decent attitude. I am frequently swept over by feelings of fear, sadness, hopelessness, and lethargy. Anyone who knows me knows this is NOT me. I thrive on stupid puns, raunchy jokes, inside references, and repeated laughter. This is just so NOT me, and I don't like it.
I'm eating healthy, and trying to get more rest. I am surrounded by wonderful, loving, supportive people who would, literally, do anything for me. My work is picking up, summer is coming, and all will be well. But I can't seem to see these things as clearly as I can see money problems, life changes, obstacles that feel, right now, insurmountable.
Watching someone you care about go through depression is awful.
Being that person is worse--I know that now.
I guess the key is . .  don't stop in the middle of it. Do what everyone else does and GET THROUGH IT.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Appear to have a broken . . . thermostat.

If I was a car, it would be a fairly simple fix. I appear to have broken thermostat and it's making my life somewhat difficult.

Two years ago, when I went through menopause, I had night sweats. They were unpleasant, for sure, but I made it through them, almost willing to put up with them for the bliss of never having another period.

Now, in the last few months, I am having hot flashes again--not just at night, but during the day. Even worse, they alternate with intense freezing spells. I am so cold, it's like I can't get warm. Today, I had four blankets, a husband, a dog, and two hot packs and I was still so cold, I didn't want to move. No, no fever. No anemia. Just so damn cold. Then, in less than a full second, I can be swept over by another hot flash. Grrrrrrrrr.

This does not for a good night's sleep make, believe me. On a good night, it happens to me twice. On a bad one, five or six.

So, if you're out and about and you happen along a new human thermostat, could you pick one up for me? I'd be really grateful.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


This is such a typical type of exchange between Joseph and I, I had to include it.

Life has been really difficult lately--a great deal of stress from multiple sources. I was talking quietly to Joseph and this is how the conversation went . . .

Me: Life sure has been stressful lately, hasn't it?
Him: There have definitely been some pebbles on the road.
Me: Then I wish I had thought to put some shoes on, because this is painful.
Him: Grin.
Me: Just promise you will keep walking down the road with me, holding my hand, and I'll keep going.
Him: Just your hand?
Me: (rolling my eyes) Okay, on my butt.
Him: Much better. Won't notice the pebbles that way.

Can you tell why we've been married for more than 31 years? Typical.

Friday, April 4, 2014

One Action at a Time

Tonight I was reminded of how I personally attempt to make the world a better place.
I don't march in parades, or volunteer in political causes, or write letters to the editor, although I applaud those who do and respect their passion.
I simply try very hard to role model my values and morals (secular though they may be) to my children, and in doing so, teach them at the core that they have the power to make a difference.
Tonight, we were in one of our favorite thrift stores. We know a number of the employees, one of which always greets us with a big smile, calling us "The Happy Family". Tonight when we said hello, it was abundantly clear that something was amiss. She had a "social" smile on. We stopped and asked her if she really was okay, and the tears began to flow. She wasn't. She was undergoing serious medical testing and so far the results were discouraging.
I offered--and gave--a hug. I asked her if she had a support system in place to help her ,and she said that so far, she hasn't shared the information with her mother or her husband. That is such a terrible burden to carry alone. I gave her my name and phone number and told her that if she needed someone to meet for coffee, call and vent to, or hold her hand at the doctor's office to call me. Will she? I don't know, but how could I not offer?
On the way home, I was talking about this, because Caspian was there to see what happened. I told him, this is how I hope to change the world, with kindness. And if you see it, you will do it too. And if you do, your children will and your children's children. And if enough of us do that, if we model kindness and compassion, if we reach out to those who are in need, it will ripple outwards.
We can't cure the world. There will always be illness, violence, cruelty, and anger. But, I hope, that by raising children who have seen the opposite modeled. my great-great-great granchildren will live in a happier, more peaceful world.
One action at a time.

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Nothing important here.
Train wreck.
Just keep going, nuthin' to see here, folks.
Tami. Is.In. A. Mood.
How kind of you to ask. Just what I had hoped you'd say.

1. Had a social gathering yesterday and had this idea in my head what it would be like. What would happen. How it would go. Well . . . let's just say, it didn't go anything like that. At all. It was a stretch for me to organize this, so I most likely set myself up for disappointment.
2. Had a very intense phone interview this morning for what could be a mighty fine, high level writing job. Wanted to sound my best . . . not sure if I did . . . will find out next week if I made it to the "next level of the interview process." Eeek.
3. Had an hour long work review call with a team of colleagues--great people really. Nice, polite, good sense of humor. But, it's still hard when they are pulling apart your words and telling you to redo them, even if they say it very, very nicely.
4. Have to get taxes together for Saturday. I hate taxes more than I hate people who spit. That should tell you how much I hate taxes.
5. I have been given three hours to complete an assignment, i.e. I can BILL for three hours, but that's it, so if it takes longer, so be it. I got the assignment LAST NIGHT. When is it due? TOMORROW.
6. I'm not sleeping well--awakened at least 4 times a night with hot flashes, followed by freezing. I'm like spring weather, always in temperature flux.
7. In a period of 24 hours, I have had to write about erosion and weathering, computer tech courses, poetry, literature, and educational reform. My head hurts from trying to keep it all in there, switching topics and grade levels at the blink of an eye.
8. Meeting someone again today to help with their book . . . I don't mind helping others create their novels, I don't, but when I'm stressed and tired and feel pulled in 16 directions, it is harder to be altruistic and share my time. Does that make me sound like a bitch? I don't mean to. I care about these people and really, if I can help them write their books, I'm glad. But sometimes giving up my time and expertise and suggestions and guidance isn't easy. I don't feel generous. I wanna be selfish. I wanna sit on the couch and read, and take a nap, and watch dumb stuff on TV. Why doesn't anyone PAY me to do those things, she says with a whine. :)

So there you go. Nothing major. Kids good. Really good. Husband good. Weather improving. Health pretty good--diabetes and blood pressure completely under control. Really . . . no room to complain, yet . . . I seem to have found some.

Venting. It's good for the soul.