And then Mom came over. She took Gramps for a cyscopsopy today, and apparently he has bladder cancer. It's in the early stages, and he's going in for a procedure to remove the mass ASAP.
And now being giddy and happy about being able to write feels... kind of silly and frivolous.
I'm dealing... pretty well, all things considered. Better than the last time he was diagnosed. (What the HELL, Grampa? First a sarcoma on the arm, then leukemia, and now bladder cancer. PLZ TO STOP WITH THE CANCEROUS CELL-GROWING, KTHX.)
So, yeah. Good thoughts, prayers, whatever your personal preference happens to be -- would be greatly appreciated. ♥
I have these two pet peeves. And they're two pretty significant ones, as far as these things go (three, actually, if you count how much I hate to listen to noisy eaters slurp and lipsmack their way through a meal).
Peeve the First: I hate being interrupted. Because nothing sends the message that what you have to say isn't important like someone cutting you off mid-word. Double bonus points if the person interrupting does so to change the subject entirely. Nothing sends a clearer message than not allowing someone to get a blessed word in edgewise.
And who do you suppose is enemy number #1 in that department? My mother.
Peeve the Second is that I hate being made to wait. I'm not talking about having to wait in line, or having to wait for someone who is running late -- I'm talking about having to wait for the same person, all the time, no matter what. I'm talking about being made to wait despite many talks about time, and getting out the door reasonably on time.
Mom's enemy #1 in that department too.
I love my mother -- she's pretty awesome. But damn if she doesn't drive me up a wall.
What brought this on, you may be wondering? The fact that I have been sitting in her living room for over an hour, waiting for her, and then thought I'd see if I could write an LJ entry during that time. Turns out I can.
You JACKASS. Throw. Your gum. Away. I spent twenty minutes CUTTING a wad of filthy spearminty CRAP out from between my dog's toes.
I have no words for your stupid,
Please start reminding me of your redeeming qualities, or I'mma have you made into a HAT.
NO LOVE RIGHT NOW THAT WAS MY FAVORITE SWEATSHIRT
Last night was an aberration. Resist the siren call of the fast-food joint. Please.
Love, Kisses, and the 2-mile walk we'll be taking today,
Dear Uncle B,
I swear to all that's holy, I will kick you exactly where you think I won't. Stop. Being. A. Douchebag.
Dear Uncle J,
You can't really help being a douchebag. Or a dickhead. So stop trying to ruin B's life under the guise of "helping." You too could benefit greatly from a kick in the good-n-plentys.
Don't think I won't do it.
You rock beyond words and help keep me sane. I try to return the favor, especially now because your brothers are effing morons.
Love and Kisses,
It would please all ever so much if you could perhaps stay out of the hospital for at least six months at a time. Really.
Love and Kisses,
SO! Today I was supposed to meet up with the ARPH rep and do a dog (two pups, actually) transport to Orlando. Over the weekend, a potential adopter surfaced and is interested in adopting both, so no doggie-transport today. Instead, I tagged along for an in-home interview of another potential adopter/foster home.
First, though, I met Rosie, the rep. We hit if off immediately and were showing each other pictures of our dogs on our cell phones. Huge amounts of dog geekery everywhere. She's around my age, which made it a little less awkward, and she's... spunky. There's no other word for it. She is absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt spunky.
After the interview, we decided to go and grab some lunch together. Unfortunately, the moment we sat down and we both checked our phones, I saw five calls from George.
This, I know from experience, is a bad sign.
So I called him back, and Mom answered, and she explained that Gramps was going to the hospital again and George was driving her and then went into an in-detail account of Gramps' symptoms, which are largely flu-like, except a bit more intense, and she hasn't been able to get them under control.
Rosie drives me back to the car, we agree to do lunch some other time, and I haul ass to the hospital.
I'm home now, for the time being -- the pups need to be let out and my body had been starting to digest itself. Now I've eaten, and will take the dogs out.
Not the kind of excitement I really enjoy on my Monday, y'know?
It's been a little while, most of it filled with holiday prep that was gloriously plague-free. Last week I took the dogs in to be groomed, and then went to get my hair cut as well -- I'd had it in an asymmetrical bob (shorter on the left than the right, and shorter in the back than the front), and it was a fun cut, but I'd kind of had my fill of it, so I asked my hairdresser (who, we figured out, has been cutting my hair for upwards of fourteen years) to even out the left and right sides, because, really, the left side didn't seem all that short.
Ahahahah I HAVE NO HAIR LEFT GUYS.
I wore my hair pretty short back when I was in grad school, and this is... hmm. A little shorter than that. I CAN LIVE WITH IT, because my hair grows pretty quickly, but it's a bit of a shock, still. I think it's kind of cute, sort of.
Tuesday, Mom and I went for manicure/pedicures to spoil ourselves before the inevitable cooking/baking/insanityfest. It was a really great time, and the only sucky part of it was that after the appointment we had THINGS TO DO, except all we really wanted to do was go home and crack open a bottle of wine. Which we did not do, to our credit. Tuesday also saw brother in-law and nephew come by for a little visit, which was nice, though I was totally outnumbered by stinky boys. ;)
Wednesday there was cleaning and tidying and taking George to get his hair cut and lots of errands and turkey prep.
Thursday was fan-damn-tastic, and I discovered that homemade pumpkin cheesecake is the Best Thing Ever. The turkey was a little dry, but I think that has to do with the fact that it was SO big (just shy of 30 lbs, yo). I tried to get a really big one because Mom and I split the leftovers, but I really need to stick to birds within the 26 lb range, I think. So I'm not too upset about it -- it was just a little dry, so not a complete disaster.
The long weekend was REALLY nice and I played way more Fable 2 than I should have, but then Saturday hit me with a migraine, and it stuck with me for most of Sunday, and today my head feels weirdly... achy and sore.
We also got a FAKE TREE this year, and put it up Friday. It... it's really nice. I mean. Really nice. I've been burning a Yankee Candle Co. candle, and every now and then get a whiff of it, and am fooled for a second. It was also pre-lit, which rocks, because I hate stringing the tree with lights. (Anyone else who has faux Christmas trees -- what do you do to get that tree-smell? Inquiring minds want to know!)
And also: A MEME
If you had me under your command and could make me write anything,what would you love to see me write? I'm not actually going to write any of these (unless something strikes me - then i will, eventually), but I am curious.
So, the weekend can be summed up in bullet points:
- I nearly missed my flight because of some stupid rubberneckers on I-95.
- New England fried clams are made of win and awesome.
- My cousin Gina and I should not be allowed to go into Sephora together.
- I am willing to give baaaaaby!cousin's new husband a shot, but I'm still not terribly impressed.
- My shoes were crafted by Satan himself (MY TOES ARE STILL NUMB).
- The first wedding I cried at, ever.
- Baaaaaby!cousin and I officially have the worst mothers in-law, ever.
- OMG PRETTY TREE COLORS
- WTF NEW ENGLAND. I DID NOT PACK MY FAVORITE SWEATERS JUST SO YOU COULD INDULGE IN AN INDIAN SUMMER.
- I love my crazy family (with the exception of that one uncle, who is, was, and will in all likelihood always be a complete douchebag).
I landed in Orlando Sunday night, and George picked me up -- we stopped for a pizza on the way home, and the puppies were INSANELY HAPPY to see both of us, omg. Sunday night is kind of a blur, and I think I was asleep by nine. Monday was George's birthday, and was mostly spent catching up on sleep, because god knows I slept not at all over the weekend. Tuesday was house-cleany day (and I cleaned out the fridge to figure out a Mystery Funk -- don't know what was causing it, but now my fridge is all clean inside, which is very yay).
I'm still kind of blah feeling, and I also feel like I'm fighting off a flu, which is no fun at all. Especially since I ought to be working on something for tomorrow night's class.
...But mostly I just want to go back to sleep.
Today, it was back to yucky, soupy weather. I can't wait for fall, because, yeah, that week or so in November is worth the wait. XD
( Family stuff )
( Adventures in Athletic Footwear )
( Today's To-Do List: )
EDIT: SOMEDAY I will make a video of the dogs at mealtime. Because Sydney is just too much. (She sounds like she's trying SO HARD to form syllables. And if she could, I'm reasonably sure the first words out of her mouth would be "FEED ME. FEED ME NOW.")
Oh, that's right. Because I spent almost all of yesterday horizontal. But more on that in a second.
Grampa came home Saturday! He sees his regular doctor in a week, and a neurologist in two weeks. At this point they're pretty certain it was a TIA, because they're finding no signs of ... anything, and apparently TIAs leave nothing behind. So, yay!
Now, as for me.
I'm reasonably certain (because I had a touch of it before, years ago) that I somehow managed to contract a mild case of -- wait for it -- SALMONELLA POISONING. I'm not entirely sure where it came from, but I suspect my cookie-making activities Saturday night had something to do with it. (Never, ever, ever nicking cookie dough again OH MY GOD EVER.) Suffice to say I spent most of yesterday on the couch, huddled under blankets, burning up with fever. (I'm not even kidding. Sweatpants, sweatshirt, thick socks, and TWO BLANKETS and I was still shivering.) About three bites into breakfast I felt suddenly, ickily full, and was just feeling... gross. One thing led to another, and then I was on the couch, burning up, sipping water and keeping it in my stomach where it belonged.
Unfortunately, my body does not like being made to stay horizontal for quite that long, and by about five this morning I was tossing and turning, trying to find a position that was remotely comfortable. And then I started getting hungry. I took this as a good sign and snuck out of bed for some cereal and a glass of water. I still feel a little feverish, but mostly weak, which is unfortunate, since I am so tired of lying down. I think Cheerios with some sliced up banana was suitably bland. We'll see. I didn't finish all of it, but now I'm not so insanely hungry, and it'll probably help my headache.
I think I'm going to tidy up the kitchen a bit and see if I can go back to bed.
Also, oh god,the dogs so need to be walked today.
Grampa's staying in the hospital another night. They had a slew of tests scheduled, and had just taken him away for the first one when I called mom at... whenever the hell I called her. Noonish, I think. They're thinking it was actually a TIA, but there does seem to be something wonky going on with his liver, so yay for more tests. Yesterday he was in good spirits, cutting up, and just generally being a laugh riot. Apparently today he's lucid and crabby, and has bitched out at least one nurse. IF ANYONE ON MY F-LIST IS IN THE NURSING PROFESSION, YOU HAVE MY UNENDING RESPECT AND GRATITUDE FOR PUTTING UP WITH CRANKY OLD MEN LIKE MY GRANDFATHER. Oh, god why, Grampa. Why. (I only heard a portion of what he said to this poor woman, and I just. Oh god. What. Grampa. Grampa. God damn it, Grampa.)
Now the rest (love my bullet points. LOVE THEM):
- Holy crap, so tired. Quite literally running around all day, from about 8 AM to... well, damn. 8 PM. Go me.
- chash is made of spicy awesome. I love you, okay. LOVE. "But not the gayest thing a guy could ask you to do." Just. Love.
- YUM (TOMATO BASIL SOUP I LOVE YOU TOO.)
- I really should not be allowed to shop at produce markets by myself. Because today I had carry-out help. As in, could not carry out all my produce by myself.
- I bought a pinot noir rose wine today, called "Pink Floyd." Could not resist it, shut up.
- Holy monkey jebus, the car needs a tune-up. (ALMOST STALLING OUT AT A RED LIGHT IS NOT FUN TIMES.)
- Can anyone recommend a good natural peanut butter? One that does not, as my darling husband so eloquently puts it, "taste like ass"?
- I recently rediscovered my Furuba soundtrack, and listened to it while I was driving all over hell's half-acre today. I'd forgotten how much I love it. So soothing. ♥
- Dammit, I need new sneakers. My old ones, which are not actually THAT old (about six months?) are still giving me blisters regularly. Ngh.
Grampa is doing better! He has spent most of today in a room in the Emergency Treatment Center (which is the fancy name for the ER), and then a holding room -- they're keeping him overnight so they can run some more in depth tests, since not many of the ER tests are showing much of anything. However, he was more lucid during my last visit which was around 8 PM, so that's good.
Um. I'm pretty unbelievably exhausted, so I'm going to go faceplant somewhere, I think. I just wanted to give a little update and say thank you for all the kind words and positive vibes. ♥
An ambulance just took gramps to the hospital. Looks like he had a small stroke.
Any of you who pray, please do so. If you don't, positive thoughts are appreciated.
Coming back from a walk and seeing an ambulance in front of your grandfather's house is never a good way to start the day. :(
Showering, then taking dogs to daycare, then off to hospital. Will have my phone.
Anyway, I'm in the bridal party! And the bridal party were given a number of dress styles to pick from, in a specific color ("Harvest Gold"). I chose a really pretty strapless A-line dress. I had my measurements taken at a dress shop down here, and sent those measurements to my cousin, who ordered the dress from her shop.
The dress arrived today! Huzzah! It's pretty! Double huzzah!
It. Fell off.
It. The dress. It. It's. It's too big. Like, "I must have lost two inches in three months" too big.
Okay, so after a few emo entries, I'm finding that the writing bug is slowly returning. I wrote about a thousand words on UT last week, which made me very happy, and I even ironed out some plot points that had been bothering me for a while and some characterization issues. So that's GOOD.
The rooster is still at large. Not good. But I'm not going to run around trying to catch that thing. Screw that. I'll sic Darwin after it first. Hell, I may get him a retractable leash just so he can get some distance in and really scare that cock.
Mom and Gramps are going away to NH for two weeks starting tomorrow. Mom has offered to go to Trader Joe's for me (YAY!) and bring back goodies. Words do not express how much my mother rocks for doing this. (Everyone. Flood Trader Joe's with Location Request Forms begging them to put a store in Florida. Please. There may be baked goods in it for you. Locations in Brevard or Indian River County are best. Satellite Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, and Vero Beach are all communites that would LOVE a TJ's. And they're all within reasonable driving distance for me, too!)
I'm not entirely sure what TJ's is stocking these days, since it's been a few years since I last went to one, so if anyone has any recommendations for travel-friendly (i.e.: non-perishable) goodies that I might include on my wish-list, I'd appreciate it. I know the store stock varies by region, but that's okay. Also, there was a coffee that I used to get, back in the day. I don't remember the name of it, but it came in a blue canister with a bird on it (I want to say it was a toucan). DOES ANYONE KNOW IF TJ'S STILL STOCKS THIS COFFEE. Because I am going to ask for it if they do, to hell with Tora's disapproving looks. (If she could bring back refrigerated goods, the list would be so much longer. I have yet to find a pink grapefuit juice I like better than TJ's brand, and coming from someone who lives in Florida, that's pretty pathetic.)
Now, onto the ARGH section of the entry. It's not fair that this job has ME written ALL OVER IT and is over two hours away. I'm tempted to apply for it anyway, but I'd feel like an ass for turning it down if I managed to get it. But still! I COULD SO DO THAT. But... two hour commute? Holy god, kill me please. I love the job listing. I love the job listing like burning. Okay, it's a county job, BUT STILL. It's got a good starting salary, and the job listing was written by someone awesome. Of course, that salary combined with Tora's salary would mean I could afford a new vehicle that would probably make such a commute bearable. But still -- four hours of my day spent behind the wheel of a car (particularly given gas prices today) =/= awesome. I dunno. What do you guys think? (I might work on a writing sample, and if I can write a decent sample, then maybe I'll apply just for laughs.)
I'll stick to my original plan for this week regardless, which involves buying a book (thank you for the rec, somnambulicious!) and working on a business plan for the tea shop (SBA website, here I come!). And I don't have class NEXT week, so much of next week will very likely be spent working on my various fics, original and otherwise. (Someone, please talk me out of writing a ROCKS FALL, EVERYONE DIES ending for OGAM. I'm that desperate to finish the damned thing, srsly.)
Also? Sunday? This Sunday marks one year since Tora and Bunneh said "I do." One year since a whole assload of LOLZ DRAMA that I still cannot believe happened. Also one year since we stopped talking to his parents, and if that's not worth celebrating, I don't know what is.
PS: Anyone who follows officialgaiman -- is Maddy not the best guest-blogger EVER?
PPS: I suddenly want to enter the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest and write an entry mocking my mother in-law to commemorate the anniversary.
One thing did occur that annoyed me a little, and it's still gnawing at me today.
My uncle and aunt have their girls in a Catholic school. It's a Pre-K through 8th grade school, and... well, it's a good school. My uncle happens to be very friendly with two very influential people associated with the school. He happened to tell them that his niece is a teacher. They told him to get my resume and they'd "push it through," whatever that means. So, he asked for my resume yesterday. And I tried to tell him, as politely as I could, that that age group is a bit younger than I'd like to work with.
Did he let it drop? No, not exactly.
I tried explaining to him that teaching fundamentals in grammar isn't my forte. It's not what I like, it's not what I want.
Did he let it go? Nope.
Tora and I had to pop home for a bit to feed Darwin, at which point I asked him his opinion. He told me he thought it was a great opportunity, and, hey, I've now got experience with younger kids since working at Sylvan. I then tried to explain to him that working with younger kids is not what I want to do. He then pointed out to me that this school starts their teachers out at $40K/year, and that it would probably give me some great experience for whenever Holy Trinity starts looking for a Brit Lit teacher (I disagree vehemently with this).
So I ended up giving my uncle my resume.
I'm not very happy about this little development. I've gone from wanting to work with college students, to actually wanting to work with high school students, and now I've been guilted and strongarmed into submitting my resume at an elementary/middle school for a job that, let's be honest here, I do not want.
I do wonder if I'm being overly picky here. But, and, okay, the intellectual snob is coming out -- I have a Master's Degree in literature. I do not want to teach middle school.
Why does no one seem to hear that?
Anyway, we went out to dinner Sunday night (that would be March 4th), and Mom came over to our house because two of my uncles (nimrod and asshole) were staying there. Asshole had taken her bed, and Nimrod was on an air mattress. Mom didn't want to take the couch, so she stayed with us.
About three in the morning, Darwin heard Mom get up and started barking. I shut him up (holygodscaredthecrapouttame) and went to check on Mom. Mom was sick. No, correction -- Mom was violently ill. Food poisoning, of course. Or so we thought.
Anyway, Mom stayed with us Monday and Tuesday -- by Tuesday she had energy enough to let me take her back to her house (Nimrod and Asshole were gone by this point). Mom hunkered down and gets some much needed rest.
Wednesday morning, Tora woke up for work, feeling awful. Turns out he'd been up sick around three in the morning. He felt queasy and gross, and couldn't keep any food down. Kinda like Mom.
NOT food poisoning -- stomach flu.
SO! I proceeded to care for Tora Wednesday and Thursday. By Friday he was able to eat bland foods. Friday I did the grocery shopping, renewed the car registration, and cleaned the house. Because I had a feeling I knew what was coming.
Nine o'clock Friday night, it was my turn. I was out of commission the whole weekend. Called into work Monday, because while I was able to eat, and the food was staying where it belonged, I could not do jack without breaking into a sweat. Yay.
Today is Wednesday, and I'm finally feeling somewhere close to 100%. I'm still queasy a lot of the time, but I have an appetite and am able to eat. My energy level is back to normal levels -- or close to it -- and I'm basically feeling more like myself.
Aren't I fun?
Next thing you should never say: "You can't go into hock over an animal. I know you love her, and she is a love, but she's just an animal."
Never, ever say that, either. Trust me on this one.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that the vet called last night with... not-good news. Her hematocrit level was down to 7% (should be around 30-40% in a healthy cat), and that her anemia is the non-regenerative type, which increases the likelihood of FeLV. Her initial test (a basic blood test) came out negative, but he wants to do a bone marrow test to make sure it wasn't a false negative, because all signs seem to be pointing to FeLV.
EDIT the Second: I wrote to a local feline specialist today and got the following reply:
Bronte is going to need a blood transfusion w/ a PCV of 7 % regardless of the cause of the anemia. A bone marrow aspirate after she is stabilized from the transfusion is a logical next step. I am assuming she has been tested for FeLV and FIV. It sounds like she originally was being treated for a red blood cell type parasite called Hemobartonella. It is usually treated w/ doxy and pred for 3 weeks. It also usually shows a regenerative anemia. Immune mediated anemias in cats are rare except in FeLV positive cats.
The doc then went on to recommend two veterinary internists in the area.
Never again. Never, never again -- I am not ever, ever getting a random kitten from an "oops" litter ever again. I'll go to the pound first. I'll buy a purebred cat. But if there's any way I can avoid going through this kind of heartache again, I'm doing it.
Last week was... relatively eventful. Had a nice mother/daughter day with Mom, during which we brought Zoe and Darwin to the groomer, dropped them off, and then went and grabbed a light breakfast and went off to the open-air mall. I got a wine rack at World Market, and a bottle of Vampire pinot noir (want to go back and get a bottle of the merlot), and a box of PG Tips, which I'd been missing sorely. That's such an awesome store to just wander around and get lost in. And they've got a great wine selection. I need to go back and get a bottle of Marilyn Merlot, too -- I had two bottles for the longest time, and drank one on my 30th birthday, and the other we opened on the honeymoon. (We never opened the Perrier Jouer on the honeymoon, and I'm starting to wonder if we'll EVER open it, because whenever there's a special occasion, it's like, "Is this worthy of a bottle of Perrier Jouer? I don't think so...")
However, now that I think about it, there may be an event that will necessitate the opening of such a bottle. We'll see. More on that in a little bit.
After World Market, we wandered around a bit -- I got my watch battery replaced (and while we were at the jewelry store doing that, I found a pair of earrings that I was drooling over-- come to find out there were $968. Mom's response? "You've got good taste, girl.") and then we meandered over to a place called "Wine Styles," which is a local wine shop (kind of out of place in The Avenues, which is mostly established chain stores). Mom got a bottle of... something, and I picked up another pinot noir (which claimed to have notes of root beer, so I felt compelled to get it, just to see for myself).
Anyway, we started talking to the owner and... well. Suffice to say the tea-shop idea has never really left my mind. If all goes according to plan, I will be signing a lease in April and opening next October. Key words, of course, being "IF all goes according to plan." Big if. But... that would be an event that would call for a bottle of very good champagne. So I'll be saving the bottle of PJ (which I seem hopelessly destined to misspell, and right now I'm feeling too lazy to double-check my spelling). So. We'll see what happens there. I'm both terrified and excited, but more excited than terrified, which I take as a good sign.
The week went quickly, leading up to Friday, which was HELL. OMG. HELL. I got up at 7:30, and I quite literally did not stop until 7:00 that night. Ran around ALL DAY. UGH.
Yesterday was nice and lazy -- I got through about 2/3's of The 'Cane Mutiny, a book on the history of the Miami Hurricanes, and... did not much else. Today we had to go to a baptism, which was nice, even if the church was one of those churches where everything is new, hip, and happenin. I don't like hip churches. They make me uncomfortable. I mean, the pastor was nice and all, but there were no hymns --just praise music. And the lyrics flashed across this huge screen in front like karaoke. Tora and I sat in the back. Me? I'm from the old school, with organs and proper choirs and ... well. Not bongos and tambourines and jazzy electric keyboards. Granted, if that's your thing, cool. But it's so very not my thing.
At the moment I'm kicking Universal Truths Chapter 11 into submission, trying not to overthink myself into writers block. Because I do that. As I write, I try and anticipate what my lovely beta-readin' pals will have to say about what I've got, and what usually ends up happening is I make snarky mental remarks about EVERYTHING I write, and end up deleting it all fifty million times over. Which, as you can imagine, has me creeping forward at a snail's pace.
Add to this a lot of, "Hey, Kara, come look at this!" from the next room, and random pop-ins from my mother, and you can imagine how cranky I'm getting. (Though, to be fair, Tora doesn't know that I'm actually trying to DO something in here. Which is my own fault entirely. If I told him I was working on UT, he'd leave me alone.)
Anyway, a lot of this is moot, because it's getting on six o'clock here, and the Miami/FSU game is on in two hours. I've got super-fantastic nachos to make, and wings to order and pick up.
So, whee! NCAA football! 'Canes/'Noles! Wheeeeee!