Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hit Me With My Best Shot

What a week.

Yesterday, I had surgery on my wrist, to correct Dequervain's Tenosynovitis.  Say that three times fast.  It was a little surgery, but I had to go to the surgery center for it.  Seth volunteered to take me, but Jim, ever the gentleman, insisted on taking his woman forth to the slaughter.  Everyone was quite nice as they prepped me.  They told me I didn't have to put a gown on, instead having me put on a "bunny suit", which is code word for waterproof zip front jumpsuit, complete with matching hat and shoe covers.  Jim promptly announced that I looked like a Smurf, which I'm sure I did.  Thank God his phone was dead, or those pictures would've been out there for everyone to see.  I brought it home for Seth, figuring hey, he's in college.  He can do things with a zip front waterproof jumpsuit.  It likely will include his horse head.  What happens at Butler...........

So tonight, I had to give myself my first Methotrexate injection, for that damnable rheumatoid arthritis.  I haven't been doing as well as the doctor wants on the oral stuff, so she changed it to injections and added a malaria drug too.  Reading the package insert on that one is great:  it'll treat malaria, but rabies shots might not work on me.  Chew on that for a while.  That's not the kind of side effects you read about every day.  Add to it that Methotrexate is used for chemo and tubal pregnancies, and it makes my life just that more odd.  It's a darned good thing I have a sense of humor.

I psyched myself up for this injection thing.  I actually told Seth that I was gonna teach him how to do them, because if he wants to go to med school, it's something he should learn.  He thought it was kind of random for me to suggest it and in the end, I decided to just do it.  You'd think it wouldn't be a big deal, because I've been a nurse for 30 years.  Seriously.  I've given shots to probably hundreds of people, and started IVs on almost as many.  I've stuck needles in babies' heads and feet, and everywhere from stem to stern on grownups too.  So what's the big deal?  I have no idea.

I took it all out and headed to Seth's room, because Jim was not gonna be any help, given the level of snoring he was doing.  Told Seth I just needed a little hand holding, and we talked about why I was having to do injections, with a little talk about RA.  Teachable moments, yes.  Delay of game, YES.  He was playing some weird engineering game that I don't understand on his computer, so I laid down on the bed by him and prepared my attack.

Only I couldn't bring myself to attack.  Started to a few times but just couldn't close the deal.  I finally decided that I just couldn't SEE lying down, so I sat on the side of the bed and went for it, straight into the "shakes when I laugh like a bowl full of jelly" area.  You know what I found out?  I give a damn good shot!  I literally didn't feel a thing.  WOOHOO!

So now I guess there's nothing to be afraid of unless my hair falls out in clumps or I get bitten by a raccoon.  Let's keep our fingers crossed.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Stuff That Moves Me

I've said it before, and even if you haven't read much here, you probably know just how much I lovelovelovelovelove music.  As in, music of all kinds.  I was blessed with parents who loved music, and cultivated that love in us.  We all took music lessons of one kind or another, and we all still can play an instrument or two -- though, in my case, not well, but still, I can still get through some piano.  Sure, we grew up listening to the crazy stuff like Spike Jones and Mrs. Miller, but we also listened to all kinds of other music too.  One of my earliest memories of music in our house was listening to The Sound of Music Soundtrack, while my dad taught my sister to waltz.

Mom and dad love musicals, so show tunes were big in our house.  It made me smile the other day when Seth posted something on Facebook about how good life was as he was in his car listening to show tunes with his friends (several of whom are music majors).  Thomas is on a huge jazz bent these days, posting regularly his newest awe of Miles Davis and the like.  Jillie is more of a pop girl, but Michael is doing his best to bring her to classic (spangles and sequins) country, a la George Jones and Hank Williams.  He is, as she says, something of a music diva, and there are MANY rules surrounding music at the upcoming nuptuals.  Jim is a little concerned that the rules mean there will be nothing to dance to, but I'm sure it'll be just fine.

And so it was that I found myself watching the Dr Who 50th Anniversary episode on Saturday, with Jim and Seth.  I'm Johnny Come Lately to Dr Who, having only started to watch it in the last couple of years, but when Jim has watched it from the first episode, and Seth is a Whovian of note as well.  It's fun to watch wtih them --- Seth and Thomas are amazed at how much Jim knows about the series.  Me, I just love the music.  Jim?  He fell asleep ten minutes into the anniversary special.

The first time I actually "watched" the show was on a Sunday afternoon.  Jim was watching it in the bedroom whilst I napped.  I just remember waking up and thinking "what is that AMAZING music?"  It truly has some of the most simple, but moving music out there.  It's just perfect for the ebb and flow of the action, and the heartbreak is palpable too.  It's not unlike the Titanic score, that brought Jill to panic back in the day.  (And, just for update, she did finally see the movie a couple of months ago.  And cried like a baby, too.)

That being said, I have spent a good portion of the past two days listening to Dr Who music, and waiting for Jim to watch the 50th anniversary special for real.  It's recorded on the DVR and he'll get round to it in the next few days, I'm sure, and I will get all teary all over again, and Seth will once again wish that he had David Tennant's hair.  And we'll all count the days till the Christmas Special, when we say goodbye to Matt Smith.  I can't say that I'm attached to the show in any way like I was to LOST, but I will cry when Eleven leaves us.

Meantime, this:

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Empress of the Universe

We were watching the History Channel yesterday.  It was a program about the Ming Dynasty, and some Chinese Emperor, who was purportedly considered to be both the best and the worst ruler in Chinese history.  Among many details they reported was how he picked his concubines, and the rules surrounding them.

It would seem that the concubines didn't make many moves that didn't involve the eunuchs.  They had to report illnesses to the eunuchs, who took the information to the head eunuch, who decided if they would call a doctor.  If they did, the doctor had to be escorted into the palace by eunuchs, and then they had to have a couple of female escorts when the doctor did the exam.  All so the emperor could have his concubines to himself.

Eventually, he fell in love with one of the concubines, and made her the empress.  This made her very, very rich, and her family was given great riches as well.  Eventually, the emperor got old and died, at which point the empress and fifteen of his favorite concubines committed suicide.

That's all kind of crazy.

This got me thinking:  Jim calls me the Empress of the Universe.  Occasionally, he slips and calls me his queen, but he is reminded that that's a big no-no, cause that's what the ex called me .  It's definitely a no-no, so he has taken me as the Empress.  Of the Universe, no less.  Seth was sitting at the kitchen table when I announced that, as Empress of the Universe, I would require eunuchs.

At which point Seth announced quite firmly, "I'm out."  I laughed harder than Empress Protocol probably allows.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


So, the Spare to the Throne is 19.  I'm not sure who allowed that to happen, but it did.  I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday -- or IF he wanted to, now that he's a college guy.  He asked if we could go shopping for clothes, because thankfully, his friends like to dress up, so he wants to too.

Actually, he's always liked dressing up, but he didn't do it often.  And he sometimes got it a little wrong, like the time we did pictures with my family when we were on a cruise.  Somehow, his father couldn't locate his dress shoes, so he came out adorably dressed in a vest, dress pants, bow tie and button down shirt.  Adorable, given his missing front tooth, and then you got to his feet, garbed in neon orange flip flops.  The photographer said he would just shoot him from the feet up, at which point my mother said he'd better keep the flip flops in the picture, because she just loved it.  And he did.

He loved wearing a tux at prom, and can't wait to wear one at Jillie's wedding, and after wearing them every day of his high school career, he has banned both khakis and polos from his life.  I guess ya gotta love a man who knows what he doesn't like.  So The Spare, his little lady friend (who we LOVE), my boo and I headed off to shop.  Jim was an integral part of this, because he not only could give the man's perspective, but he also worked for some time in retail, selling menswear, so he could steer him in the right direction.  Comes in handy, that man does.  So Seth ended up with several new button downs, a new vest, two ties, and a pair of pants.  Jim -- a devoted non-shopper like myself -- enjoyed himself, if you exclude Seth's insistence that he wanted a teal shirt included in the mix.

He will be looking quite dapper now, and Jim's next goal is to teach him how to iron over Thanksgiving break.  Seth insists it's not necessary, even hinting that it's a dying art, but it's pretty useless to argue with a Marine.  I'm thinking that next weekend, Seth will be ironing.  Good thing I just replaced the batteries in the smoke detectors.

Speaking of which, after we went shopping, we headed to Stir Crazy, only to find out that they were closed.  On to Plan B, wherein we ended up at Benihana.  Seth loves a hibachi grill, but his big concern was if they had a vegetarian option for his girlfriend, who doesn't eat things with a face.  Of course they do, so we enjoyed a wonderful dinner of steak, chicken, and shrimp, plus the show the hibachi chef put on.  It was totally yummy, and we sat around afterward just chatting about upcoming plans.  Seth's girlfriend realized that one of her friends had been seated near us, and his mom came over the chat for a few, then we took our leave and dropped the kids off at Butler again, with many hugs and an I Love You or two from the boy.  Love. That. Kid.

We hadn't gotten more than five minutes from campus when Seth texted and said that Benihana had been evacuated about five minutes after we left, due to some kind of electrical fire.  MAN!  We were THAT close to getting a free dinner!  Oh well.  Maybe next time.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Parents' Day Out

This was Family Weekend at Butler University.  Seth was anxious to have us come over and hang, but for what, he had no idea.  Apparently, they only email the schedule of events to the parents, and mine went missing until the night before, where I dug it out of the depths of emails I had gotten while on vacation for two weeks.  Electronics.  At best, a mixed blessing.

I had been texting back and forth with Seth all week, trying to figure out the plan, so finally on Friday, I sent him the web page explaining the weekend.  He replied "not much of interest," which kind of surprised me.  Butler goes all out, so they had everything going on from football, high ropes, drum circles, tours of the planetarium and Clowe's, to, of course, basketball.  He immediately replied, in typical Sethanese fashion, that he hadn't seen that you needed to click in order to see the list of events.  Oye vay.  He told me that we should just come over and hang, and maybe we could go watch the rehearsals for The Nutcracker (one of his friends is playing in the orchestra) or do a tour or two.  Then he told me not to come over early, because he was really tired, and his best friend was there spending the night, so he knew he'd be up late.  

This spiralled into a circle of confusion that lasted until the next afternoon, when I had given up hope of getting together and started cleaning and doing laundry.  Of course, that was when I got the text asking when I was coming over, because he was now up (it was 12:07pm).  More texting.  More confusion, and we agreed that he would come here for dinner, and I would go there at 2:30.  I called him when I was almost to campus, and was met with a "you're coming today?  I thought you were coming tomorrow!" Oye AND vay. He told me to come on over, because he and his lady friend were just hanging out.  Truth be told, in the flurry of texts, I was the one who messed up the details, but we were both fine with it, because it was a great time.

Did we do any of the Family Weekend events?  Nope.  We went to Starbucks on campus, where one of his roommates works.  We ended up sitting there for three hours, just chatting, while more and more of his friends and their parents wandered in.  I ended up finding out the following things:

1.  If you have a Scottish brogue and order water in a restaurant, you will more than likely be met with "we don't have that."  And Seth's buddy's mom can switch from the brogue to an American accent at the drop of a hat if she's thirsty.
2.  If you have a college student who comes home to do laundry, you are not allowed to order out.  Seth's girlfriend was offended when she went home to see her family and do laundry, but mostly to have a homecooked meal, and they decided to order Chinese takeout.  She felt deprived.
3.  Seth's roommate woke up to an unaccompanied female sleeping in the other roommate's bed.  Apparently, said roommate left to go do things and left his girlfriend sleeping in his bed.  Not cool.  
4.  Seth's posse includes Catholics, Jews, Lutherans, agnostics, and atheists, to say the least. Their political leanings vary from ultra conservative to liberal to apolitical. Their majors vary from violin to pharmacy, physics to creative writing.  One of his friends is British, and another is Polish.  Needless to say, the conversations are VERY interesting.
5.  Starbucks has these fantastic Refresher things that don't have coffee in them, and that taste AMAZING.  And Seth's girlfriend orders the same lattee at Starbucks as I do.  Serendipity and all that.
6.  The laundromats in the dorms don't take quarters, so when the internet is down, you can't do your laundry, because debit cards won't work.  Seth has yet to bring laundry home, but it's coming, I'm sure.
7.  You can make the Spare to the Throne unbelievably happy if you bring him back three boxes of salt water taffy from Florida.  He was almost giddy.  Yes, he loves the stuff that much.
8.  Seth's girlfriend understands Sethanese!  This is no small accomplishment, folks.  

Yes.  I have hope for our future, because these kids are amazing. 

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Travelling in Cars with Marines

We just got back from vacation in the Sunshine State.  OK, truth be told, I took a week off to unpack the rest of the boxes here, and then had a colonoscopy. There, I said it.  But if you haven't been screened, do.  And then follow up the scope with a nice trip to the beach.

We had a lovely condo overlooking the beach.  I have to agree with the person whose guestbook entry read something to the effect of "our 17yo daughter walked in and said 'my life just got sooo much better.'"  Cause yeah, it is that amazing of a place.  We had crashing waves 24/7, right outside our window.  Talk about good sleep...........I had the nuttiest of nutty dreams all week, and I loved it.

Here is what our days consisted of:
1.  Get up and watch the sun rise on the left.  Possibly go back to bed.
2.  Watch the dolphins move from east to west in front of the balcony.  Possibly go back to bed again.
3.  Eat breakfast, complete with wonderful coffee, custom made by my private chef.
4.  Spend most of the morning trying to decide how to spend the day.
5.  End up on beach chair under an umbrella, with a cooler and a good book.
6.  Go back to room and assess the damage.
7.  Take a nap.
8.  Decide where dinner will be.
9.  Dinner.  Sadly, no good seafood was to be found.  Sadness.
10.  Back to condo, where he watched TV and I read till sleep took over.
::and repeat::

Happily, we got to see the Bratty Gurl and The Intended several times.  They took advantage of our cable to watch Walking Dead one night because yes, when you haven't seen your mom for two months, the first thing you want to do is figure out how to steal the remote.  That's my girl.  And after a blissful nine days, we headed home again.

Somewhere in Alabama, we listened to 93.3 Y'ALL, a radio station with the tag line "we're a hot mess."  And they really are:  Hank Williams followed by Guns N Roses, then One Direction followed by Sam get the idea.  Totally bonkers.  Of course then we passed the sign that said "Go To Church or The Devil Will Get You," replendent with a big red Satan on it.  Good stuff.  Somewhere a bit further north, my brain exploded when I heard "Lisa Mitchell plays the most music on" whatever random station the radio was on.  (Yes, I left my iPod at home, much to Jim's consternation.  Somewhere in southern Tennessee he said quite emphatically "I wish you'd brought your iPad (sic).  I want to hear some Gaga."  Can't help lovin that man 'o mine.......  Alas, without the Nano to entertain him, he was left to his own devices.  And this man is never bored.

Now let me tell you, my boo is an interesting one to ride in the car with.  Our trips generally start with him putting on his seat belt while telling me not to kill him.  Of course, my driving hasn't killed anyone yet, but I guess he figures that the admonishment will keep the phone poles at bay.  Once we start down the street, he starts narrating.  It goes like this:  "oh look, there's a UPS Store......CVS....China Buffet right next to Chik-fil-A..." and so on.  FOR MILES.  It's a good thing I worked in the nursery for so many years, cause girlfriend can tune out just about anything.  That being said, somewhere in Tennessee, the drivers lost their minds, driving by us like the Millenium Falcon at warp speed.  That was about the time my boo began his impression of Darryn McGavin in "A Christmas Story."

"Oh look, that tree is pretty, but where are the flaming red maples.  HOLY $#@&!  What was that guy doing?  Driving like a #$**!!  Oh look, there's a gas station at this next exit.  Do we need gas?  OMG LOOK OUT that &#@) is driving right up you @#*!  Oh look, there's a water wheel....."  Yep. Sometimes the Marine comes out with very little warning.  Loudly.  And since I can't get the man to relax and let me do the driving, and God knows he can't go to sleep -- he might miss a Stuckey's sign -- I just laugh. It's pretty entertaining if you just roll with it, and God knows it's better than the days of travelling with an infant with an ear infection, or a toddler with motion sickness.  It's really funny to see what will fly out of his mouth next, Goofus, Gallant, or Gunnery Sergeant Hartman.  I did, however, draw the line as we got closer to Nashville, telling him quite sternly that he could not A) narrate or B) shout in consternation as I drove through the city, or we truly MIGHT both die.

It was at that point that I realized that his pre-travel command to not kill him might, in fact, be serious, because the man became silent as a tomb. Even past several billboards featuring Carrie Underwood in a corset.  As in, not one decibel.  For miles.  Through construction, detours, and past several police officers at the ready.  Boyfriend SHUT. IT.DOWN.  Until he saw the next Cracker Barrel sign, at which point it was on like Donkey Kong.  And he narrated the entire way back home to Indiana.

So now we are home again, and intend to stay so until after the wedding.  And that's all I've got to say abou that.