Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Remote

My daddy is my first hero.  He can do almost anything. 

He can build things.  He can hunt, fish, and grow things in the garden.  His lawn and flowers are to be envied.  His orchard produces lovely fruit that he then makes into delicious jellies.

He and my mother have been married almost forty years.  They raised two successful, happy, and may I say attractive children.  He is an expert in his field. He was an amazing baseball player. 

He is a quiet observer, but he always has good advice when you need it.  He would give you the shirt off his back if you  needed it.

But there is one thing I don't think I'll be asking my sweet daddy to help with...EVER.  Hooking up electronics. 

Brian and I gave my parents a tv for their bedroom a month or so ago.  It's a little smaller than the one they had before, but it's a flat screen instead of the big dinosaur they had in there before.  The problem arose when they switched out the tvs.  The new tv wasn't in sync with that satellite box and remote, so they need one remote to turn on the tv and one to work the satellite box. 

My precious father has on more than one occasion accidentally pushed a button on the TV remote that renders the TV unwatchable.  Now, he is a problem solver.  In his line of work, he has to be. So he continues to punch buttons, trying to get the picture to come on.  Eventually in frustration he gives up and my mother calls me.  I try to solve the problem over the phone, but we so many remotes at our house that I can't remember what he needs to push.

Good thing that we only live 5 minutes away.  Usually the call comes about the time I have just put my pajamas on or am about to.  I change again quickly, and Brian and I drive over and fix it.

Daddy's getting savvier though; last time we were half way there when my mom called and said he had figured it out.  So, we pulled in to the Sonic for a smoothie and a sundae instead.

Confession...I'm Tired...

You may have noticed my entries have dropped off drastically.  I didn't feel I had anything witty enough to contribute.  I was/am so tired I can hardly make it through the day.  I get home from work and collapse on the couch.  Frequently, I fall asleep and then a few hours later Brian will wake me up and tuck me into bed. 

I don't want to go anywhere when I get home. I don't want to talk to anyone.  I don't want to do anything.  I don't want to run anymore.  I don't even want to take Bear for a walk...and that's part of his prescription from his vet for his health, too...

My body hurts.  I have a headache (though not always a migraine) as often as not. 

I honestly was reluctant to try to do anything about how I felt.  What do you make an appointment for? "I don't feel good?"  Well, I didn't, but that seemed silly to me.  I didn't know if I was just super stressed (YES!); after all, my mother had just had a major surgery for a stage one cancer (remission now, no worries).  My grandfather is still healing six months later in a hospital from a staph infection he contracted at Christmas.  This blog exists because of what Brian and I went through with his cancer.  Just a little stress.

Well, I felt silly making a doctor appointment for stress.  Buck up, Buttercup.  Geez.  You are not the only person with problems.  So you are tired.  So is everyone else.  But y'all.  Seriously, I could barely function.  I really hurt. 

So, finally I couldn't stand it anymore.  And rather than say I didn't "feel good" when I made the appointment, I said my headaches had increased.  That wasn't a lie.  It was just only part of it.

My doctor listened patiently as I verbally vomited everything that had happened recently.  I got a little emotional. She sweetly gave me a tissue.  She reassured me that I could have made the appointment for "not feeling good."  That's allowed.  Who knew?  "How do you diagnose that?"  I asked.  "We start with lab work," she said.  It had been years since blood work had been done on me.

I waited for a few days and yesterday the call came with a few answers.  No thyroid problem. Crap. The weight gain is my fault.  Cholestorol is a little high.  Crap.  And pretty anemic.  We just don't know why yet. So, a prescription iron pill.  Crap (or not for those of you who know what taking iron does to a girl.)  And Vitamin D to add a little extra pep. 

I have to go back next Friday for more bloodwork to make sure the iron is working.  To make sure the anemia isn't a symptom of something else.  I'm hoping NOT obviously, but while they are working on those results I'll be in the Caribbean on a cruise so I'll try not to dwell on it and get my Vitamin D the old-fashioned way. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Protecting, Serving and Celebrating

This week Washington D.C. has been the safest place on the planet.  Or not, depending on how you look at it, I guess.

It's National Police Week.  And they are convening their annual get together there.  Few professions in the world celebrate each other the way police officers do.  Perhaps it's because no one else will.  And this week, it does not bother them.  They do a job that almost no one is willing to do and do well, and almost everyone is willing to criticize.  This week they celebrate the living and they celebrate the dead.  And unfortunately, lately too many have paid the ultimate price. 

My own personal hero skipped out the door Wednesday morning at 5:15 am (that's right, I said AM) to go commune with The Brotherhood for 6 days or so in Washington D.C.  Normally this is a man who hates to fly and certainly won't greet the morning with a smile. 

This year is even more special for countless reasons.  The first being...he is alive to go at all.  A miracle that we are thankful for every day. 

And in addition to meeting up with his friends from New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, California and Australia, this year, he gets to take along his two best friends from Texas for all the fun and the ceremony. 

I have no doubt that countless toasts will be raised.  I have no doubt that some whoppers will be told.  And nothing rejuvenates Brian like this week with people who understand him like no one else ever can.  And it doesn't matter where they are from.  They make connections that last and it gets them through until next year.


Sammy died today.Quite unexpectedly.  He just laid down on my parents' sun porch and went to the Rainbow Bridge.

Sammy was my parents' sheltie.  He was part of a couple.  He leaves behind Liberty Belle, also known as Libby. 

His favorite past times were chasing the frisbee and barking at the pool sweep with Libby as it made its way around the pool.  He never particularly favored actually getting in the pool for a dip, however.  He did tolerate his baths pretty well.

Sammy was a quirky fellow.  He wasn't big on car rides...shelties are known for car sickness, you know.  So we kept those to a minimum.  We even have a mobile vet for he and Libby.  He wasn't big on human sneezes and he really hated it when you had to file your nails with an emery board.  He barked and barked at you.

He loved his toys; he had a whole basketful of babies.  The witch that cackled was always his favorite though I think he was partial to a ribbiting frog, a mooing cow and lively monkey during his short little life as well. 

He never learned to walk on a leash either so he had to stay at the house.  But he didn't want to ride in the car and he had plenty of entertainment in the backyard with the pool sweep and the birds.  And let's not forget the squirrels.  Sammy was so fast he damn near caught one of those birdseed-thieving squirrels one day. 

Sammy didn't mind all of the other dogs in the family coming over for visits (and there are always plenty of them), but he always had to meet them at the door and tell them who was boss of this house.  That always made me laugh because he was so small.  Here he was--this tiny little sheltie bossing around my border collie and my brother's Airedale.  Good stuff. 

I think it was also to say that Libby was to be respected while they were in the house.  He loved his Libby.

He also loved my nephew who will learn another life lesson tonight.  Darn it. 

Sammy had terrible allergies.  He chewed at his paws and often had ugly sores on his foot where he couldn't resist the temptation to scratch the itch.  He had trouble with his ears, too.  He bore all of it with patience.  Including the medicine he had to take.

I write all of this in high praise of the little man, but he never seemed to think much of me...even though adding him to the family was my idea.  That's ok, Sammy.  You loved Mama and Daddy and Libby very much.  You didn't have to like me.  I have a firm belief that all dogs go to heaven so Max, Boots and Gus met you at the Bridge tonight.  Probably with a brand new frisbee. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

I've been a little lazier than usual...for awhile now.  I have been using the birthday treadmill intermittenly, but I have to say that my TV watching has become a little more regular in recent weeks. 

I guess sometimes you just need some total down time.  I'm really struggling a bit.  The very thought of having to fight my way through another three weeks of school is completely exhausting to me.  But I didn't come here to whine about all that.

I was chuckling to myself about what I've been watching on television lately.  You won't catch me watching Grey's Anatomy.  I have no idea who is still shaking a tail feather on Dancing With the Stars

I have a thing for River Monsters. I  especially like River Monsters Unhooked because you get the little blips with the inside story from that particular fishing trip on Unhooked.  The new season has just started...all new fishing excursions looking for scary stuff in rivers all over the world.  I've never been crazy about swimming anywhere but my parents' pool and this show just confirms it for me.  But I love it anyway.

Monday night at 7 pm it's time for Antiques Roadshow, baby.  I love it!  I love to see people's treasures and I love to see their expressions when the appraisers tell them the value of the item.  Tonight I thought they were going to have to get oxygen for some little old ladies in Biloxi, Mississippi when they found out how much their stuff was worth.  Very cool.

Is that too weird? 

I used to love to watch Trick My Truck on CMT.  I don't even know if they make that show anymore, but it was so cute...though the truckers might take exception to being called "cute."  I loved watching this group take a clunker rig for a deserving driver and turn it into something swanky.  I could watch that show all weekend. 

And of course, give me a good Law and Order rerun any time.  Especially the Angie Harmon years. 

And then there are all my favorite DVDs that I fall back on...mainly to fall asleep to.  Britcoms and The Red Green Show.  So there's my tv confession.  When I watch, I crave that familiarity. It usually doesn't matter if I've seen 10 times.  It's more about the company the voices provide than the actual entertainment...well, except for the fish and the antiques.