The last day

How can it be?? My glorious 5-day holiday is almost over! I am going back to work tomorrow. How can a normal 5- day workweek take forever but 5 days off flies by at a dizzying speed?

My girls and I spent time doing service hours this weekend. Yesterday we chose what crafts the scout troops would do for nursing home door decorations (thank you, pinterest) and shopped for supplies. Today the scouts mass-produced the decorations like bosses.

Cupcake liner Christmas trees:

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Paper lanterns:

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We made 40 trees and 32 lanterns. We will go to the nursing home next weekend to decorate and sing Christmas carols. We are going to make that place so festive!

We also had the girls address holiday cards for the military. We have over 100 cards for the Heroes Wear Fatigues program and Walter Reed hospital.

What a wonderful way to spend the end of my holiday. I feel refreshed and recharged. And tonight the Walking Dead midseason finale will be the perfect ending before reality rears it’s ugly head tomorrow morning at 6am.

Rain

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It has been raining for three days straight (and I have had a headache for three days. Coincidence? Probably not). So much water. Water is standing on the roads, in yards, in fields.  The earth is so saturated it just refuses to absorb any more. I am tired of driving in it, walking in it, taking the dog out in it.

The silver lining in the lingering rain cloud? It is warm enough that the rain is staying liquid. Snow would be so much worse!

 

photo credit: David Goehring

Lucky Me

Daily prompt: Luckiest people: Who was the first person you encountered today? Write about him or her.

Maybe it is just me, but I don’t really “get” this prompt. “Encounter” implies a chance or unexpected meeting and I haven’t seen anyone outside of my family today given that I am still on holiday. I tend to avoid going out on Black Friday. And I don’t really understand what any of that has to do with being “lucky.” But it is still November and I don’t have the energy to think of something else to write about so let’s do this.

Encounter of the first kind: my husband came to bed at 6am. He worked all night, pulling a double shift. This wasn’t much of an encounter, I vaguely remember him crawling under the covers beside me. I didn’t sleep well last night (I never do when he’s not home) so I was dead to the world at 6am.

Encounter of the second kind (or kid-kind): I heard little feet come down the hallway and my bedroom door slowly opened. The small one crept around to my side of the bed and started talking to me. The small one talks a lot. Luckily, I let the kids stay up late last night and they didn’t wake me up until about 9:30am (yet one more thing to be thankful for). Once they start coming into the bedroom for me, however, they tend to keep coming until I get up. My day officially began.

Encounter of the third kind: After lunch, I mustered the energy to drag myself to the DMV. I checked the website to make sure that they were open and it appeared that they were. Not that I wanted to visit the seventh circle of hell, but I never can make it there when I am working. I ventured out into the rain to comply with the law and transfer my tags to my new car. I arrived only to find a red piece of paper on the door: closed 11/26 – 11/28 for the Thanksgiving holiday. Encounter averted.

The rest of my day has been gloriously encounter-free. My girls and I played Clue and are now watching The Wizard of Oz. I think that makes me the luckiest person.

 

 

Thanksgiving

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Booze: the savior of family holiday gatherings.

I kid, I kid. Seriously, I am blessed and have so much to be thankful for.

I may snark about my family in an attempt at humor, but I love them. Even my in-laws, who are a helping of dysfunction with a side of crazy. I am so glad that they made the trip to share Thanksgiving with us this year.

While my kids may drive me to partake in the sweet nectar that is Crown Royal from time to time, I love them more than words can adequately express. They are my heart.

And my husband, who I probably snark about the most, has been my best friend through thick and thin for 16 years. He puts up with my crazy which I know isn’t always easy.

Even though I have more aches and pains than I used to, I have good health. This is something I never take for granted.

My job may feel like it is slowly stealing my sanity, but it stimulates my mind and feeds my soul. I love helping people.

I have a nice home in a safe place. I have food and clean water.

I have faith and freedom.

I am rich beyond belief (and I’m not talking about money).

I think this sums it up quite well:

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(This isn’t mine. I saw it on facebook. I do not have a source for attribution).

Happy Thanksgiving, friends. Eat much and make memories. Love and laugh. Be blessed.

The night before…

It’s the night before Thanksgiving and all through the house…

We have out of town guests

They are my husband’s parents and he has been working all afternoon. Fun times.

My seven year-old, the social butterfly, has been talking non-stop since they arrived.

The cat is wiggy because we have extra people in the house. The dog is in heaven because more people = more hands = more belly rubs.

We have been to Walmart three times today and I still forgot to buy more paper towels (but I think we are finally good for food for tomorrow).

We had takeout pizza today because I didn’t want to cook two days in a row.

My kids are excited because they are going to camp out in the playroom on air mattresses so my inlaws can sleep in my daughter’s room.

I have been watching hallmark channel Christmas movies most of the day. Not by choice.

I had forgotten what it was like to spend so much time with someone with a head injury and memory loss issues (my mother-in-law).

I am kind of excited about getting up and cooking all morning. I plan to eat a LOT tomorrow.

I am thankful for so many things. But that is a topic (and post) for another day… Thanksgiving!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, everyone!

Restless

My productivity tonight has been hijacked by my restless legs syndrome. It is really hard to focus when I am twitching constantly.

I’ve had RLS for about 20 years. I am currently experiencing symptoms frequently enough to be labeled moderate to severe, but I also sometimes have brief “symptom holidays” from time to time (though these seem to happen less as I get older). The symptoms have also spread over the years to my trunk and arms.

Tonight is one of those nights where my legs and arms are quite active and I cannot find relief despite constant moving and stretching. Hopefully I will be able to sleep. My doctor thinks that my RLS is one reason why I wake up tired and my husband will attest to the fact that my legs jerk all night.

I am too distracted and frustrated to write so I am waving the white flag. Tomorrow is another day.

Weekend Rewind 11/22/15

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It’s Sunday! That means it is time once again for Weekend Rewind, my weekly chat post – no rules, no prompts, anything goes.

Let’s get random…

We had our first really cold snap of the season. Our temps got down to around 20 degrees overnight. We, thankfully, did not get any snow but I know many of my friends were not so lucky (or were lucky, depending on their opinion about snow). I had to break down and turn on our central heat and now every time it kicks on I hear the cha-ching (dollar signs) sounds in my head.

My dad turned 65 on Friday. Today we had a party and my girls picked out the cake and ice cream. The cake had a picture of a deer on it and the rest of the cake was camouflage with green and hunter orange trim. They love their grandpa so much. Friday was also my brother-in-law’s 40th birthday. Two milestone birthdays on the same day!

I’m excited for next week because 1) it is Thanksgiving and 2) I only have to work two days next week (Monday and Tuesday). The break is much-needed. My in-laws will be travelling from South Carolina to visit for Thanksgiving. We have lived here for 10 years and this will be only their second trip to visit us. I was kind of surprised when they said they were coming, especially with my mother-in-law’s accident last year I thought the long trip might be difficult for her. So we will have guests for at least a couple of days next week. I am only slightly stressed about that – the excitement of a work holiday is trumping the family stress.

It was another football Sunday here. We watched the Rams lose to the Baltimore Ravens (sigh).

Only about a week left in November, NaBloPoMo’ers! We are in the home stretch!

My girls are playing hide-and-seek with stuffed animals. The person that hides has to made the sound of their animal. This makes them easy to find so I’m not sure the purpose. But my seven year-old made the rules so go figure.

Have a great week and a wonderful Thanksgiving, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alysha

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I was concerned last night when I saw on Twitter that our local I-55 off-ramp was closed for two hours due to an accident. Having a ramp shut down for that long never has a good outcome.

Then I saw the news today. It had indeed been a fatal accident. I recognized her name immediately. Alysha. As often happens in small towns, we have connections. We went to high school together. Her sister married a guy that was in my class. I used to work with her grandmother when I was a receptionist at the church. We both made our home here as adults. Our kids are in the same school. She was 39.

She was driving home late last night. She exited the interstate at our hometown like she had probably done a million times – the same exit I take every evening. She came up the ramp and stuck an 18-wheeler that was parked on the shoulder.

Today her family is grieving. My heart breaks for her two sons. On facebook, I saw her obituary, tons of prayers and messages from her friends and a gofundme account. None of it seems real.

Once again, someone was taken too soon. She had so much life left to live. I feel so guilty about all of the grumbling I have done about turning 40. Turning 40 is a privilege that Alysha will never have. It is just another reminder to live every day to the fullest because tomorrow is never promised.

Rest in peace, Alysha.

 

photo: Sean MacEntee

Early bird

I am not a morning person. Getting up early for work is a challenge every single day. For this reason, mornings are always hectic, rushing to barely get there on time (traffic accidents are my nemesis) or running late (which happens more often that I would like to admit).

Knowing that today would be particularly busy, I grudgingly got up and out the door earlier than usual. It was not easy – torturous actually – but I realized that it made my morning smoother. Traffic was a little lighter and I made better time on my commute. I got to park a whole floor lower in the parking garage. I didn’t have to share the garage elevator with anyone. In my clinic building, there were only three of us on the elevator (rather than being packed in like sardines). My clinic was empty, lights still off. It was nice to be able to get some things done before anyone else was there to interrupt me. I enjoyed this slow, easy start to my clinic day.

Of course, I told myself that I need to leave earlier every morning – make it the rule rather than the exception. Good intentions. I will certainly try.