Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lyme Disease

That's right. Lyme Disease. Although this blog did not start out as a follow Jen's ailments blog, it has become such a blog, and I am horrified. The fact is, my ailments have become the focus of ALOT of things in my life, and hard as I try to get around that, it keeps poking me in the head to get my attention. Ouch! Well, today I went to my primary care physician, to follow up some bloodwork tests that were done, and sure enough, I tested positive for Lyme Disease. All I know about Lyme (or knew I should say, I've been on the computer for hours) was that it was a tick bite disease. The side effects, as written, read as a commentary of everything that is wrong with me. So, this is good news in that we will now be treating the culprit of all these symptoms. With a course of appropriate antibiotics, and adequate pain meds. I am reading all the sides that come with the meds, and to say that I am overwhelmed would be putting a positive spin on this. I have read some blogs about lyme disease, and I can promise you that this will not become a dedicated blog. It is a boring litany of ailments, all of which I agree with, but shall keep to myself as much as possible. My New Year's resolution (I'm breaking the resolution of 2006 that said I would not make New Year's resolutions - not a total failure - four years) that I will write much more than I have been, and I will find more interesting topics. This was decided yesterday, before this news of Lyme. And so, I am allowing a 24 wallowing period, and this is part of it. Poor Jerry-he's in for a long night. I keep singing the Celebrex song. All of these meds warn against suicidal thoughts. I don't think it's the meds that cause suicidal thoughts, I think it is only the fact that you are taking so many meds . . . That's a joke. I realize it is no laughing matter, but as I pointed out to Jerry long ago - "If I wanted to commit suicide-I'd STOP taking all my meds. I'd probably be dead in an hour". Maybe not, but I thought it was an astute observation. Our snow is melting as fast as Long Island's is piling up. For those who are shoveling, my condolences. To those who are waiting for the slopes to unmush-my condolences. The grass is always greener they say.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas. Because we managed to stay awake until (and through!) the Christmas Eve church service, it truly does feel like Christmas. For me, the Christmas Eve service transcends all the nonsense that we go through in order to gift each other, and although that is such a wonderful time when we're all together and having fun and sharing our gifts with each other, making sure sizes are right and wishes are answered, it still makes it all have meaning at 12:00 when the lights are extinguished and everyone lights each other's candle and sings "silent night". Yup, that's the good stuff. Sometimes, when circumstances beyond my control, or even just plain laziness, get between me and the Christmas Eve service, I miss it. And without fail, I am always sorry. It is the service where the message breaks through to my cynical heart, and I am moved. And to miss it means a whole year must go by before that opportunity comes again. and although in that year I may be moved for other reasons, and my cynical heart may be spoken to through another voice, that Christmas Eve service is the one that really matters, because so many other forces are vying for my attention. And sometimes those are the ones we're hearing. This year, I'm happy to say, we made it. A lovely dinner out with Jerry and Allison at the Fireside Restaurant, sitting fireside, and then a trip through the neighborhoods to see the lighted decorations and of course, the spectacular moon that we all shared. This was done specifically so that we would not eat at home, sit down in the living room to wait for 10:00, and then to crash and burn, saying "I can't". Well, yes you can, but you choose not to. And so, knowing my weaknesses (sitting in the living room after a nice meal and crashing and burning) we decided to eat out and STAY out until it is time for church. This way, we managed to eliminate that crash and burn opportunity and we made it! Jackie and Jesse and Walter and Jackie made it up Christmas Day, and like the rest of the northeast jumped back on the thruway on the 26th in hopes of making it home before the snow hit. It was a disappointingly short visit, but I feel lucky that we had one at all. This year was particularly busy, I believe because I completely had Christmas denial right up until the 20th or so. . . You live your consequences. That is what I always tell my kids when they ask my opinion on their decision. You live your consequences. Not me, you. So how will this affect your future? Well, let's just say the week before Christmas didn't leave alot of time for spiritual reflection. I was constantly behind the 8-ball. And so, I lived my consequences. Thankfully, we can sit in a pew at 10 PM on Christmas eve and realize "if it isn't done by now, it isn't getting done". That is peace. I love it. I can sit down and hear the message, without interruption, without going over lists in my head, without putting incredible pressure on myself to get things done. None of it matters. It's Christ's birthday. That's the message. It needs to last longer this year. I need to hold that message in my heart, longer than before. I need to act on it, more. Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Peace.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winding down.

We're off to the mall. aaaarrrrgh. I am hoping that the spirit will take me to a better place. I'm not a mall shopper under the best of conditions, and the Saturday before Christmas is not the best of conditions. We're also bringing Allison with us, as she has some shopping to do as well. The dogs have enjoyed a lovely morning, taking their walks outside in the 4 degree weather, coming right back in to the toasty warm house, and being served cookies and treats. I do feel the spirit when it comes to the dogs. I am accutely aware that this is most likely our last winter with Jake, and unless something miraculous appears in our option pool, it's a sad time for me. We can't even really talk about it to each other, it's just too painful. And so, we enjoy each moment with our friends and hope that tomorrow is a better day for him. Bailey is confused in his buddy's inability to run and frolic in the snow, which is what he is doing every chance he gets. For a southern dog, he doesn't appear to be too fazed by the temperature. He's mostly a black and white flash passing quickly by the door. He bounds up the steps when he's ready to come in, the same six steps that take Jake a few tries before he's able to make it up. We've discussed the possibility of a ramp, because Jerry is carrying the 120 lb. dog down. (Go Jerry) He's able to make it up (Jake, not Jerry, I assumed you knew Jerry was making it up) but the incline would probably be just as daunting for him. It takes a few passes before he gets his nerve up. Then with a fast start, he propels himself up to the porch. I am always there with a treat, hopefully to make it more palatable to him to even be outside. He doesn't seem to be so interested in the pasture these days, he's content to just keep himself close to the house. I see the single set of prints in the snow, heading out to what used to be Jake's favorite place, and it makes me sad. Bailey is running alone. Daphne, who is also in her senior years, is only a fan of the pasture when she can run out there, turn on her back and rub and wiggle in the grass. She's a summer dog. So, the holidays are barreling down on us, and I'm as unprepared as ever. I believe, I believe! Santa, where are you when I REALLY need you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Marathon Shopping

Tis the season. I am seeing all around me people doing extraordinary things, in the name of the holidays. I have been witness to random acts of kindness, and perfectly wonderful gifts given to strangers. This is the best part of the holidays. I love that people are giving, even when they have little to themselves. It's a miracle for sure. We are in the last weeks of Christmas preparation and it seems as if half our family of kids will be joining us Christmas day. They will get on the road after breakfast on Christmas morning and get to us sometime in the afternoon. The group that is coming does not know the meaning of slogging through. We make that upstate to Long Island trip without benefit of rest stops, usually. Even the dogs have learned to hold it in and make good time. We're funny that way. I've taken to traveling with audio books these days. It is a good a proper way to really get into a book, and still do important things like keep your eyes on the road, or knit. I tend to be the passenger on those road trips, and I get alot of knitting done. It is the perfect way to pass the time and be able to ignore the roadside view, which has become quite ordinary. I've seen it alot. Jerry tends to tune out the audio books, unless it is something that he is really into, like a murder mystery or something. I myself prefer the introspective historical novels. Since I'm the one with an active library card, I usually win. It's hard to believe that it is December 14th, and we have not begun to Christmas shop yet. I'm still pondering the best way to attack this situation, and with Jerry in tow, I am thinking that the mall this weekend should be a great way to start. I know there are people out there who are done. They started shopping in September and have finished long ago. I prefer to wait until the last minute and really go in for the desperate shopping experience, where vendors are marking down left and right and you feel as if you've really worked at your purchase. A shopping warrior. I remember back to one year when I decided that I would get my shopping done early. I started in July. By the time Christmas came around I had forgotten what I had purchased and who it was for. I ended up doing the last minute run around because I realized that what seemed perfect in July was no longer right. Things change in six months. And I've also been guilty of finding Christmas goodies packed away in March-never delivered to their intended recipient. Hidden so well even I didn't find them. I am guilty of Christmas overload. Hence, the last minute shopping marathon. It's all fresh in my mind at Christmas. I can remember who I bought it for, and where I put it. See you at the mall!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Screaming is fun!

It's been a while since we decorated our tree "fully", with all the ornaments collected over the years. Jacqueline reminded me that we were down on Long Island last year, and so we didn't do the whole house decorating. She's right. Last night, with help from both the girls, we put up our pre-lit Christmas tree (aren't they great?) and decided that it was too cold and dark to go retrieve all the ornaments from the second floor of the garage. Jerry brought the boxes in this morning and Jackie and I began to decorate the tree. The second box, which was cardboard, was a little disappointing because apparently it had been home to a mouse (mice?) and the shredded papers and mouse poo was clear on some of the ornaments. Some we were able to salvage, some not. Thankfully, the ornaments that were important were usually glass and thus not damaged by mice. It was a skeeve producing activity, not a glorious holiday memory in the making. Once, Jackie screamed and backed up fearfully, but it was only some shredded paper. We were reminded of the year we lived in Sea Cliff. At the time I was a single parent living in a two bedroom apartment with two girls and a boy. Hence, my sleeping arrangement was a foam roll-out sofa on the floor. Now, before you go feeling sorry for me, I can tell you that that particular apartment had a fireplace in the living room, where my bed was, and so every night I went to sleep with a beautiful fire at my feet. It was theurapeutic and soothing. But I digress. One night I awoke to feel something on my neck, and half asleep brushed it away. The edge of the blanket perhaps? I got up in the morning and ran into town (most likely to 7-11 for a french vanilla) and as I pulled into the driveway I could hear blood curdling screams coming from inside the house. As soon as I heard those screams, I knew what it was that had "fluttered" across my neck the night before. I ran into the house to find Jackie (15 at the time) standing on her bed in her baby doll pajamas, unlaced workboots on her feet (her brother's perhaps?) with a tennis racket in one hand, a fly fishing rod in the other. She was mouse hunting. I went back out to the hardware store and purchased as much mouse eradification paraphanalia I could find, and came home to join her. We placed traps carefully around the house, secured the mouse into one room, and within hours we had caught him. He was stuck to one of those paper glue traps that seem so humane when you're buying them, not so much when you're taking a half dead, partially stuck and terrified mouse, to the garbage. Good times. As we continued to decorate the tree, we were lulled into a peaceful and secure feeling when out of the box jumped a mouse. A live, FAST, mouse. Jacqueline (with her blood curdling scream that brought back so many happy memories) flew, her feet barely touching the ground, into the hallway. She had seen him go, and she had seen where he went. I, who have lived in the country for some time now, was picking up her vibes and was now sitting in the living room chair with my feet off the floor. We decided we needed to get him OUT of the house. Propping open the front door, we found Jerry on the porch with the offending box of ornaments, picking through to make sure this was not a family situation. We believed the mouse was under the hutch and went after him with a broom to push him out. And out he came. FAST. They are incredibly fast. And I PROCEEDED TO JUMP ONTO THE COUCH IN THE LIVING ROOM, KNOCKING DOWN A DINING ROOM CHAIR AND END TABLE IN THE PROCESS. The mouse went straight for the outdoors, as any sane animal would do when faced with two screaming lunatics. I was screaming as loud as Jackie ever had, me, who lives in the country and is faced with mini-mice quite often. We catch them, move them on, and forget about it. But this screaming Long Island mall-queen opened up that dormant but inherant mall-queen in me, and I was loud. It was incredibly exhilarating! I had fun. Knowing that the mouse is gone is making this a happy memory. Those glorious Christmas memories that we always remember. Merry Christmas Jackie and Jerry. That was fun.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dog Antics

We're just hanging by the fire, my Jackie and I. We're up to four dogs again, with the arrival of Blue, Jackie's four pound Chihuahua. The canine dynamics are amazing and go like this: Jake-the labrador/great dane mix. He is the king of the castle, and is allowed priveleges that no other dog has due to his age and first dog status. He uses this relentlessly and is quite vocal when things don't go his way. His bark is loud and moves the furniture when he lets loose. He is a pussycat. He tries to be the alpha dog, but point in fact is that he is just a big baby and is imtimidated by a four pound chihuahua named Blue. When Blue arrives, Jake comes to say hello, and then goes to bed. In the past, we have had instance to suspect that Jake might have had a stroke, and after crying and saying goodbye as Jackie and her canine companion left, we were quite surprised to see Jake standing at the doorway wagging his tail as if to say "bye bye". He was only taking to his bed because Blue was there. Now we know that it is all a drama and he is quite fine, just a little annoyed. He'll get over it. Bailey-the Hound/Pointer mix: Bailey and Blue are arch enemies. They are both the alpha dogs, and when they are together in this house, it is a constant battle for the top dog position. There are also alot of jealousies going on. This morning after a little "tussle" in the living room, because Jackie had given Bailey a little extra attention and loving, we were surprised to see that someone (?) had peeed in Bailey's water bowl. The bowl happened to be empty and so we were able to see that it clearly had something besides water in it. Now we don't like to place blame without being absolutely sure, but Jake's arthritis is so bad he can barely pee outside without being sloppy. Daphne would not have been able to place herself over the bowl as her stomach is dragging on the ground. The obvious culprit is Blue. Talk about a statement! Bailey is lurking everywhere making sure that Blue doesn't have access to his favorite spots. It's a game of "Can You Top This?" It's going to be an interesting couple of days. Daphne - Chihuahua/Jack Russel mix: Daphne is smitten with Blue, and he likes her too. We have established that this relationship is something like the Queen of England going after Ashton Kutcher. Picture that. It's hard to do isn't it? They just don't go together. Well, that's how it is with Daphne and Blue-they are not a match made in heaven, but they're giving it the old college try. It's pretty funny. Love is in the air, every where you turn. Dancing, cuddling, hopping around. They just can't help themselves those cute kids. The actual "match up" has not happened, much to Daphne's frustration and Blue's youth and inexperience. Kind of sad really. I wish they would just get it over with and we could all move on. I'll keep you posted! Jackie is enjoying the new guest bedroom digs and has reported that the queen size bed is wonderfully comfortable. Keep that in mind as you make your weekend getaway plans - come see us! We're off to the shops today, and will pick up Allison from school to add to the fun. It's promising to be a busy day.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


I'm convinced that we live in a snow globe. It has been snowing for four days and we have one inch accumulation. It's beautiful! All the hard work we have been doing over the past few months is finally coming together. It's nice to know that we can take somewhat of a break over the winter. It is my favorite time of year when you can cozy up to the pellet stove and read a good book. That's what we do here. I've realized that blogging requires you to get up and out there and interact with people! It gets harder to do when the snow is falling and I'm all cozied in. I try though. We are putting up an artificial tree this year. My neurosis about live trees and pellet stoves has overwhelmed Jerry, and I have made my point. So off we went to WalMart to purchase a beautiful pre-lit christmas tree. I am unable to enjoy the live tree in the living room because I am so fearful of fire. So that is how it goes. We have nine acres of beautiful christmas trees and in comes the wal-mart special. Oh well. I was at Wal-Mart today picking up my glasses - bifocals. What a revelation. I thought I couldn't see in the distance because things were far away. It turns out that glasses have corrected my distance vision, and I am able to see clearly. I have been using the reading glasses for years because I am truly unable to see up close. I need my glasses to eat dinner, otherwise it is just a plate of colors. Detail is lost to me. So these new glasses are must amazing to me. I also had the transition sunglasses added, and I no longer have to fumble for my glasses, changing from driving to reading directions. It's now all clear. I am boggled by this. What was wrong with me that it took this long to get this corrected? What was I thinking! So that's what we've been up to. Take care!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Updates from Caroga 12/06/10

Well gang I have not been keeping you updated so here is the best I can recall( Age is a Bitch). It's not that we are getting older, it just seems like so much going on here that it all seems like too much.......or maybe we are just over whelmed because we are getting older. I'm am having my morning coffee and looking out of our new living room window watching the snow falling and typing. So now, for whats new..... You all have seen the pictures of the new grandchild, Michael. We love him and miss seeing him, thank god for the Internet as we do seem to get new pictures every day. He is growing very fast. Every time I speak to Nicole seems she has it all under control as a New Mother, we are very proud of you Nicole & Mike. Payton our Step Granddaughter seems to also just Growing so fast. Hurry up grandchildren and come visit....We got winter stuff to do with you. Thanksgiving came and went, Jen & I helped out serving/delivering meals in the morning at a local church. Cooked a turkey at home and had a couple over for dinner. We are so thankful for what we have! Seems all the all the grown children , Jackie, Walter, Brian , Ali doing well Brian had been in the NYC Police Academy for 5 months, Just a Short 30 days or so from Graduating from said Police Academy and he got called to the Suffolk County Sheriffs office to become a Sheriff. So off Brian went and now he is in the Suffolk County Police Academy for another 6 months or so. Deer hunting did not go so good this year for me...Only out one day( Again that so much going on thing). I work part time here (30 hrs) and just not fitting in to a hunting schedule. I heard a 10 to 12 Pointer seen just down the road and even shot at by Daves cousin. Jen's got the Guest Bedroom up and running, New Wallpaper, New rug, New trim, and last but not least, that futon is gone and a new queen size bed going in today.. All of our snow moving equipment , Main generator, Back up-back up generator in order and ready to go. I hear that it might be a light snow fall season. If you stand in our yard and listen I think you can hear the Snow making machines over at Royal Mountain humming along at night, wont be long now til they open. We purchased a Christmas Tree in a box and any day now it will be going up. Saved a living tree this year. That's about all I can recall for now, off to spend some time with my Bride before work.. Til Next time Gang.....Jerry