Monday, February 26, 2007

it's good to be home

I'm sure it'll take a few days to get back to normal... whatever that is, but it's good to be home ...piles of laundry, bickering kids, wicked weather and all -it just feels good to be back.
My flight out of Charlotte, NC yesterday ended up being delayed by just over an hour, which put me into San Fran literally, MINUTES too late to board my flight home... the stinkin plane was still sitting at the gate but a few of us were bumped to a later flight because the doors had already been closed. It all worked out and I was able to get onto the next flight out. It was beautiful flying beneath the blue sky and above the thick white clouds. Just a few bumps on the descent, we landed just after the sun had set. It was pouring rain and just after we touched down a rip of lightning lit up the sky! My girl was waiting out in the rain for me as I came off the plane... hubs was a bit less enthusiastic and waited alongside the terminal just under cover of the roof...wimp. (kidding... I would have done the same!)
We drove home thru an incredible rain and hail storm -kind of exciting, actually. I guess there's been no shortage of rain while I've been gone. There's lots of water standing in the fields at the wildlife refuge across the road and the forecast calls for rain thru the end of the week... maybe we should get started on an Ark?
Got home and checked in on Pop. He's funny, he didn't do much all week but had lots to chat about. I think he might of missed me just a little bit, lol!
The boys were home, waiting for me. I got to hear about all their comings and goings this week -which included a double date for one of them -aaack! lol! Even though I talked to the kids a few times while I was gone, I missed all them *SO* much. I swear they look different -even after just 8 days.
After being on the go for about 20 hours yesterday, I tell ya, when my head hit the pillow last night, it was an almost instant lights out. I woke up at about 4:20am to an earthquake -which ended up being centered about 32 miles west of here. I called Pop to check on him and he actually thought someone might have crashed into his trailer! He's just not used to our earthshakes up here on the coast, yet -lol! Thank goodness we had no damage around here. I looked on the USGS website this morning and it's listed as a magnitude 5.4 -we had another, smaller quake just after 8am -I was driving, so didn't feel it, but it was listed as a 2.9.
Rain, hail, earthquakes... it's still good to be home. ;)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

morning came waaaay too early...

Got up at 4am to catch my 6am flight from TN to NC ...I feel like a zombie. I never did really get set to east coast time during this trip since mom and I stayed up late each night talking, laughing, crying. Last night was no exception, we didn't say our goodnight's until close to 1am and I couldn't quiet my mind for some time after that. The alarm was set for 4am but I was awake a good 10 minutes before -I guess I was afraid I'd be so zonked I'd sleep thru it. lol!
The visit was bittersweet... wonderful to see her and spend time together and at the same time, difficult to deal with the idea that it might be our last chance to hold each other and say those things we so often hold back. We squeezed a lot in these past few days and for now, I'm planning another trip this spring...
Right now I'm in rainy Charlotte, North Carolina. Local time is just past 9am. My flight to San Francisco was sched. for 9:20am but as of now has been bumped to 9:40am due to a delay out of Boston. Last night there were tornado warnings for Arkansas, Missouri, and northwest Tennessee (I was in northeast TN). I only saw a bit of news but it looks like a couple of tornadoes have ripped thru parts of Arkansas... skeeery stuff for this westcoast girl. I really feel for those people... can't imagine experiencing that kind of chaos and devastation. That said... hopefully the wild weather won't cause a problem with my travel plans... I'm beyond ready to see my babies.
This is a pretty big airport... the people watching is good. Think I'll go stretch my legs a bit before I'm stuck on the plane for 6+ hours.

Before I sign off, I want to send out a huge thank you to all of you who have posted and e-mailed me over the course of the past several days. Your kindness and support means so much to me. Love you guys! xoxo

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

enough with the drama already...

Woke up this morning with puffy eyes and a headache -something of an emotional hangover, I guess. Thank goodness the emotions are in check again -for now anyway. I don't know why it is that I fight to hold back tears, even when I'm alone. I just hate to give in but sometimes it's good to just let go and get it over with.

Today was spent at home with mom and Aunt June. Mom and I watched a lot of tv and played several hands of Skip-Bo, her favorite card game. Tonight it's more tv... maybe a little ice cream after her last breathing treatment of the day.
Aunt June was a busy bee... as usual, today. This morning she made muffins from scratch and this afternoon she made some homemade Tomato soup for tomorrow's lunch. A couple of gals who have kind of adopted my mom and her sisters are coming for a visit and lunch. I've already scored a couple of recipies to take home. I'm always amazed at the way my aunt's cook and yet their kitchen is always clean. They make it look so effortless. Each time I step into the kitchen I leave a path of destruction in my wake. I should definitely be taking notes.
Aunt June is taking ice cream orders... chocolate cherry cordial for me and black walnut for mom...

Monday, February 19, 2007


Today flew by... I can hardly believe I've been in TN 2 days already -the time is speeding by way too fast and there's so much left to do, left to say.
I'm visiting my mom and my Aunt June this week. Not a visit I wanted to make but a necessary one. My mom is sick -she's been sick for several years now, but just recently her illness has advanced to the point that time is a precious commodity. My mom lives here with both of her sisters, and her brother in law. They brought her back here to TN so that they could care for her as her illness has progressed. My Aunt June was an RN in San Francisco for many years and now she and my Aunt Ruby are mom's primary care givers. They get her up in the morning, prepare her meals, bathe her, give her her meds and breathing treatments -Aunt June even draws her blood here at the house because she isn't able to go anywhere unless it's by ambulance. Beyond all of that, they love her -sincerely and without judgement.
My mom was a smoker most of her life. Even when she was diagnosed with emphazima, she continued to smoke. She tried several times to quit smoking but she's always been a nervous person, going without made her anxious, she lacked the will power. I think she had the "it'll never happen to me" attitude. I mean, it wasn't like it was cancer or anything...right? She got sick pretty often -always ended up with a deep cough that would rattle her body -she broke ribs every so often because of the violent coughing spells. She'd get pneumonia and ended up in the hospital several times. I don't think she ever associated it with her smoking. Denial is a powerful thing.
Finally her dr suggested that she use supplemental oxygen. She didn't have to use it all the time, just when she was doing something strenuous and felt out of breath. Her dr. told her that the smoking had to stop -and it did, for awhile. Pretty soon she was sneaking out for a quick smoke -just half a cig, no big deal... then back in, for a few minutes of oxygen. This went on for a couple of years until she had to use the oxygen anytime she went out, grocery store, dr. visits, hair dresser... she had to haul the CO2 tank.
We all tried to talk to her about the smoking and offer support if she would just quit... but she was defensive and felt as if we were attacking her each time we brought it up. The subject was taboo.
One year, she came up to spend the Christmas holidays with me and my family. While she was with us she got sick. I took her into the ER and she was admitted. She was in the hospital with pneumonia again... She was in there for several days this time. Long enough to scare her and get her over that hump (with the aid of an anxiety reliever) to quit smoking. She was so proud of herself (and believe me, so was I!) when she realized that this time it was working... she still had the urge to smoke, but it was manageable. Of course now she was to the point that she was on oxygen full time. She had to get an oxygen machine because the tanks weren't enough anymore.
As her health declined, we talked about her coming up to live with me and my family so I could care for her. At that time she was still mobile and taking care of herself but she was tethered to that machine and even with a portable CO2 tank, it was too difficult for her to leave home to do errands, grocery shopping etc.
One thing lead to another and I got a call one day from my aunts. They had been talking for quite awhile about mom's need for more advanced care and they wanted my blessing to bring her out to TN. My first reaction was NO WAY. My mom and I lived 6 hours apart but we were very close, talking on the phone at least once a day. I'd take the kids down to visit her and my dad just about every time the kids had a break from school... I wanted her to come to me. The more we talked the more I began to see all the thought that had gone into their plans. My Aunt June had the medical background that would be necessary to keep mom at home for as long as possible and Aunt Ruby would be able to help out in other ways -together they would be able to offer her a peaceful, healthy, and loving home. I could offer her an abundance of love but with 3 kids and a busy household, the peace would be rare and with all the germs kids bring home, the healthy thing was not likely. So, with a heavy heart, I went to help her pack. Aunt Ruby and Uncle Bob drove out to CA and picked her up and as I watched them drive away, I knew that life was never going to be the same.
The arrangement has been a blessing. As much as I miss having mom close by, the trade off of knowing that she has round the clock care, by these wonderful people that love her has been my saving grace.
Since she's been here, Mom has made many new friends -people who stop by to visit and let her know she's in their prayers. She's even fortunate enough to have a dr. who lives down the road and is gracious enough to make house calls, just to check up on her. There's definitely something to be said for small town living.
I've brought the kids out here to visit Grammy and their great aunts and uncle a couple of times durring summer vacations, and I've been out a couple of times by myself. Each time we've been warmly welcomed and made to feel at home.
Anyway... the point of this rambling is that I got a call a couple of weeks ago suggesting that I might want to make a visit, soon. I've known the time was coming, that preparations need to be made and things put in order... but expecting it, doesn't make it any easier. I see her and she looks much like the last time I saw her. But when I sit with her and we chat or play cards, I can hear that her breathing is more labored. She's completely lucid, but her meds make her sleep more -which she hates... doesn't like the idea of missing too much time from her day. Time goes too quickly.
Aunt June and I were talking today about what the future holds and how there is no way to know how much time is left. She mentioned that mom's dr. is amazed that she's hung on this long. As much as I dread the idea of losing my mom, I dread even more, the idea that she will linger or be in pain. I worry about what her final days will be like and if I'll have enough time to get to her. I don't want her to worry about me -which I know she does... I want her to be at peace and let go when the time comes. Aunt June told me today how much my mom looks forward to my phone calls, hearing what we've been up to and news of the kids. She said "you are her lifeline". It's a wonderful thing to know you're loved that much... I can only hope she knows how much I love her, too.
I'm purging all of this here, because I need to let go of the grief I feel, even if just a little bit. I don't want my mom to know how scared I am. How afraid I am that the one person I *KNOW* loves me without question, and that I matter to more than anything, is going to be leaving. I feel selfish and mad. It doesn't seem fair. I keep reminding myself that people deal with loss everyday -life will go on, eventually it will hurt less. I feel all this and yet, I'm lucky enough to still have her here, to get the chance to make sure she knows how much she means to me -a chance that so many people don't get. I should feel lucky, but right now I'm just sad...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Four Catholic ladies are having coffee together, discussing how
important their children are.
The first one tells her friends, "My son is a priest. When he walks
into a room, everyone calls him "Father."
The second Catholic woman chirps, "Well, my son is a bishop. Whenever
he walks into a room, people say, 'Your Grace.'"
The third Catholic woman says smugly, "Well, not to put you down, but
my son is a cardinal. Whenever he walks into a room, people say 'Your
The fourth Catholic woman sips her coffee in silence. The first three
women give her this subtle "Well...?"
She replies, "My son is a gorgeous, 6'2," hard bodied, well hung, Male
stripper. Whenever he walks into a room, women say, "My God!"

If gas prices don't go down soon...

my kids are going to have to start hitch-hiking to school! {just a joke... sorta... lol!}
Are gas prices going up everywhere again??! I only wonder because it seems like no matter how low the prices dip across the country, the prices here on the northcoast of California seem to stay high -DISGUSTINGLY high! Sometimes as much as $1 higher per gallon than the nat'l average.
A short time ago, our prices had dropped to about $2.59 and believe it or not, I was actually good with that... But, in the past couple of weeks they have inched back up -$2.67, $2.69, $2.79 and then yesterday -$2.89! WTH?! We live along a major highway for pete's sake- I can't believe it cost's SO much more to deliver fuel to us than it does to other places...
It really hits my family when prices get high because we live in a rural area, and outside the school district our kids are enrolled in. I drive the kids to school and pick them up -as well as any other extra curricular activities they can weasle their way into... It's really not so bad -I mean, I'm glad that they're active and involved but -jeeezelouise!! Add in the trips to town for groceries, dr, appointments etc... Ima go broke here if something doesn't change!
Granted I drive a gas hog 4 wheel drive and there *are* more fuel efficient vehicles out there but I have 3 growing kiddos who are in the habit of hauling a buncha crap with them -football & soccer gear, hunting/fishing gear, small animals and the like... a VW isn't going to cut it for us.
I know there isn't much we can do besides planning our errands and outings so that we can limit our trips but GAAAAH! I absoluetly dread going to the gas station these days.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I'm convinced that no one knows....

how to waste time better than I do. I get sucked into things way too easilly... especially when it comes to goofin around on the 'puter. Like today... IM'ing with my partner in crime, we were taking these dang quizzes and laughing. Goofing with blogs, then another quiz ...more laughter... and poof! before I know it, the better part of a day is gone.
...but dangitall if I can resist finding out the answers to such burning questions as: WHAT GAY CHILDHOOD ICON ARE YOU?! Am I going to find the meaning of life in these quizzes? Doubtful. But some of them are funny as hell and I found myself wishing I could be the goof that gets to sit around making this crap up!
Ah, but I digress. Back to that childhood icon thing...
You Are the Very Gay Peppermint Patty!

Softball is the huge tipoff here...
As well as a "best friend" who loves to call her "sir"

So, like I said, I got the chance to spend the better part of the morning dorkin around with my homegirl -a chick who has a SOH just as warped and twisted as mine and who makes make me laff until it literally hurts. With her I can be myself with out censure. She gets me ...and that my friends is a rare and beautiful thing.
Of course taking these quizzes with a friend is way more fun so you can compare notes on who's got the best 80's theme song (mine: Beat It hers: Venus), what your last words will be (mine: "Nice doggy." hers: "So, you're a cannibal." ) and my personal favorite, what song should you strip to? (mine: I'm Too Sexy {pffffft!} hers: Dude Looks Like a Lady {now,unless you know how gorgeous my PIC is, there is no way you could know how f'ing funny that is!}.)Ahhh, good times... gooood times.

All in all not a bad way to spend a morning -definitely better than doing laundry and dishes.

If my car had a bumper sticker...

this would definitely be the one!
Your Bumper Sticker Should Be

Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things

sarcastic... moi??

You're Totally Sarcastic

You sarcastic? Never! You're as sweet as a baby bunny.
Seriously, though, you have a sharp tongue - and you aren't afraid to use it.
And if people are too wimpy to deal with your attitutde, then too bad. So sad.

Back in the holler, they call me.....

Your Hillbilly Name Is...

Sandra Dee Beaver

...only 60%?

me thinks there *must* be an error in the calculations. :)
You Are 60% Gross

You're more than a little gross, but probably no more gross than the average person.
Maybe it's time to drop some of those disgusting habits that could eventually embarrass you!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Another one of life's little mysteries ...has been solved.

It's true... I'm a nurturer. I found this "personality quiz" on my pal, La(dee-FRICKEN-da)'s blog a few days ago.
...always a sucker for a free psych exam, I raced on over for my evaluation.
You Are An ISFJ

The Nurturer

You have a strong need to belong, and you very loyal.
A good listener, you excell at helping others in practical ways.
In your spare time, you enjoy engaging your senses through art, cooking, and music.
You find it easy to be devoted to one person, who you do special things for.

You would make a good interior designer, chef, or child psychologist.

Oddly enough -with the exception of all that crazy talk about me cooking and making a good chef- it's pretty accurate.

Okay, enough fun. It's time for me to engage my senses with some music and interior design -known in these parts as *housework*, so I can spend some time on my art before I have to pick up the kids -whom I may or may not be forced to use a little child psychology on while they bask in the nurturing goodness that is moi.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

I miss my OOOOmph

It's Sunday night, hubs and kids are in bed and here I sit, clickity-clacking away on the laptop. I feel exhausted but a review of the day yields no reason why I should be. I managed to do a load of laundry, fill the wood box, load the dishwasher and take a shower, but there are SO many other things that *need* doing not to mention all the other things I *want* to do... why then, is it so hard to actually get stuff accomplished?? What is it that holds me back? I have no ooomph, no drive... I miss that. I miss the days that I could hardly wait to spring out of bed and start tackling my to-do list and the nights I would lose track of time and stay awake into the wee hours of the morning because I was so into my task that I couldn't stand to leave it unfinished. I miss the feeling of enthusiasm.

I hoped that starting on this new medicine would help me to feel centered and focused -and honestly, I DO feel a difference. I'm just not sure it's enough. I know there's no magic pill that's going to fix everything and I still need to work at being happy and getting things accomplished but sometimes the simplest things feel like such a huge undertaking.

The fact that tomorrow is Monday, fills me with dread. The daily grind of getting the kids to school, then coming home and getting things DONE around here before it's time to go back and pick the kids up, then the afternoon/evening routine of homework detail and dinner prep. makes me wonder if being a SAHM is what I should be doing. Maybe, as much as I *want* to do it, I'm not cut out for it??

As a child, I envied those kids who's mom's picked them up from school and the kids who got to play sports or join clubs because their parents were willing and available to shuttle them to and fro. Being available for my kids is SO important to me but I'm afraid I end up letting them down more often than I make them happy or proud. I worry about the same thing with the hubs -I often feel like I'm a big disappointment to those around me. I sometimes wonder if I'm missing a domestic gene because it's so dang hard to for me to juggle the kids, hubs, house, finances, and all the other junk that comes up on a daily basis. It just seems like it should be easier.
Aside from a happy family, all I really want is a clean house, my bills to get paid on time and a little time for my hobbies. Really now, Is that so much to ask??

I'm thinkin It's high time I jumped on the bloggin bandwagon

Oh, I can just hear it now, "if your friends all jumped off the top of the Empire State Building, would you??" Uhm, no. Being terrified of heights, as I am, odds are you would probably never find me anywhere near the top of the ESB, but since we're only talking blogs here (we were talking blogs, weren't we??), I figured, what the hey ...I want a place to share what will probably end up being WTMI about the daily minutiae that *IS* the life of leafa mcbirdie.