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Monday, August 30, 2010

When will I get my life back?

We survived the first week of school. As That Man pointed out yesterday, we even did so without the weekly phone call from the nurse or principal. Maybe, just maybe, our little terrorist is growing up.

I am STILL trying to catch up from the summer. I keep thinking that things will slow down, but the mail brought yet another invitation promising to keep me busy through um... well...

October 12thish? No, wait. We have a birthday in there. Okay. For Sure! October 17th. THAT is when I get my life back. Of course, the children and husband still have soccer through October 31st. The 9yo has Westernaires forever. But only every other weekend. So somewhere in between, I WILL have a life. Right?

All right. Let's get real. I have children. There will always be activities.

Soo... June 2022... the last child will be graduated, and, if she's still a terrorist, out of my house.

Let's set a date: June 2022, I will have my life back.

No, wait... by then, the older two will probably have given me grandchildren, and since it's been my lifelong ambition to be a grandmother (not too soon, mind you, but I'll be able to handle it from the older two in 2022, though the younger two had better wait a while!), I'm more than willing to devote my life to being the best grandma in the world.

Which means...

I'm never getting my life back, am I?

Oh well, that's why God invented chocolate and tea, right?

Monday, August 23, 2010

The beginning of a super happy dream come true

I have long said that I am one of the last Americans to not own an iPod. Frankly, I've never thought I'd use one. I don't really listen to a lot of music. When I do, it's on my computer, or in my car, so why would I need an iPod?

Well, hubby got me an iPod touch for my birthday. At first, I wasn't terribly excited. What am I going to do with an iPod?

Then I realized what I had...

It's got web capabilities. Honestly, I could care less about the whole browsing thing. What I thought was cool was... TWITTER!!!

So many times, I'm on the road or out and about, and I think of something really Tweetworthy. But since I REFUSE to get a smartphone, I can't Tweet it. Now I can. :)

Then, as I started browsing apps, I realized that I can put the Kindle app on my iPod touch and now, instead of reading my free Kindle books that I downloaded to my computer on the computer, I can read them on my iPod touch.

AND THEN... I found an app that will help me accomplish a major goal I've had for a long time.

I can organize my home library. A couple years ago, I found a program that lets you use your webcam to scan the barcodes of your books into your computer. And then, it organizes them so you know which books you have and where they are.

My goal, my dream, has been to have the list of my books with me so that when I'm in a bookstore, I know which books I have and which books I need. I have a rather nasty habit of buying multiple copies of the same book. Or, I'm looking to read the next book in a series, but I don't remember which books I've read. I own um... well... last time I counted... over a thousand books. So I need a device to hold the list.

Which brings me to...

My iPod touch!!

Unfortunately, the original program I downloaded is lost somewhere on one of my computers, and I kinda think it might be on the one that crashed, so it's gone. And I don't remember the name, or if it's compatible with the iPod touch.

Sooo... I'm putting my plea out there. Help me make my dream come true. If you use an app to organize your books, and like it, let me know.

In the meantime, I'm going to keep playing with my new toy!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Green eggs and ham and noses

Fair warning to those who read today's blog... it might be a little gross. Read at your own risk.

I am an allergy sufferer. I've had allergies for as long as I can remember. I've been on every med, done the shots, tried every alternative out there, and I am still plagued by allergies. But there's one thing I would never do.

The Neti Pot.

I'm sorry, but those things look gross. And the thought of all that stuff running through my sinuses grosses me out.

So for years, I've heard about the Neti Pot. I've been told to get one. I've read articles about the benefits.

But I did nothing about it, because frankly, I was afraid and grossed out.

I'm not sure when or where it began, but since childhood, I have had an irrational fear of water on my face and in my nose. I never learned to be a good swimmer because there was no way I was going to put my face in the water. My biggest fear- getting water in my nose. I don't care what methods are out there for not getting water in your nose, I always do, it feels gross, and I'm scared to death of it. So I've chosen to avoid it entirely.

With my allergies, I've been forced to tolerate nasal sprays, and I do okay with them. But the thought of a stream of water from a Neti Pot, in my nose, simply cannot be tolerated.

My doctor recommended a nasal irrigation thing that frankly, I haven't done. Again, the thought of that much water in my nose is just gross. Instead, I used an extra amount of saline nasal spray and called it good. A mist, after all, is less gross than a big spray of water.

I know, I'm weird... and yes, I use gross a lot. But seriously, I have a very low tolerance of things that gross me out. And I refuse to do anything that grosses me out.


My allergies are going crazy. I'm doing acupuncture to help them, but it's a slow process, and unfortunately, not enough to deal with the ragweed this year. My doctor has done all he can do, my acupuncturist has done all she can do, and everyone keeps saying the same thing- I need better nasal irrigation.

Today, I tried the Neti Pot.

I didn't hate it. It was slightly gross, but not nearly as gross as I'd imagined.

Was it a miracle cure? No. Do I feel better than I did? Yes.

I feel like Sam I am after finally trying green eggs and ham.

So for all of you, whatever you're afraid to try, no matter how gross it looks or seems, try it and see. It might not be nearly as bad as you thought, even if it's a Neti Pot.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In between the to-do lists

It still feels like I just got back from RWA. While I was still in RWA catch-up mode, I got a phone call from my cousin. My grandmother in PA was not doing well, and not expected to make it. After a brief conversation with hubby, who basically said, "this is not a question of whether or not you go. It's a matter of how fast we can make it happen," I was on a plane to see my grandma.

The mind plays funny tricks on you while you're going from airport to airport, not sure if during that last flight, the grandma you haven't seen in about 15 years has died. I never meant for it to be so long between visits. As a kid, every summer when I went to my dad's, Grandma was there to babysit while he worked. I spent every summer during my childhood sharing a bed with Grandma. We read every night. So much of who I am came from those nights with my grandma.

But then I grew up. When I graduated from college, I didn't have the money to visit her. Then, her heart problems prevented her from being able to travel, so I couldn't have her visit me. More time passed, and as our family grew, it seemed more and more expensive for us to be able to see her. Airfare, car rental, hotel... so visiting her became a dream that would happen someday.

We forget that as we age, so do our family members. Grandma has had a series of health crises, each one more serious than the last. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at writing snail mail letters, and she doesn't know how to use a computer. She doesn't have long distance on her phone, so I've had to call and leave short messages that barely said anything. And I admit, those didn't happen as often as I'd have liked, either.

Because as anyone who knows me knows, my to-do lists are always ten miles too long. I think of others often, but when push comes to shove, I have to do the most pressing item on the list.

Last week, I chose to put away the lists and focus on my grandma. I spent five days with family I haven't seen since I was small. People I barely recognized, but still connected with. The to-do list grew. I did only the bare essentials, and spent most of my time sitting in a hospital room halfway across the country.

I realized that in between the to-do lists, there is another list. A place where the precious people of our lives need to know that they're important to us. Where, if your kids come in to the room, they know that you're willing to put down the computer and give them a snuggle on your lap. And loved ones who are far away don't have to wonder how you are because you've taken the time to say hello and that you're thinking of them. Without potential tragedy to force you into it.

The good news is that my grandma is improving. She still has a long way to go, but she and I made each other a promise. When she is back in her apartment, she's going to make me some of her famous spaghetti sauce. And I'll come back to learn how to make it.

While there will always be laundry to do, I won't always get to make sauce with my grandma.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Back from RWA

I have about a million things to catch up on, and yet here I am, blogging. Everyone keeps asking how RWA was, and I struggle to come up with a good answer. I had a great time. A lot of really good things happened. But I also found a lot of stuff stirred up inside me and I'm not yet sure what to do with it. Nor am I sure what to do with the overwhelming pile of stuff that stacked up while I was gone.

The thing I hate about going away is that life still goes on all around you, and you have to come home to a world that didn't hit pause because you did. I've always said that I'd love to spend a month in the mountains with no Internet, TV, or other connection to the outside world, and just be. Which is a fabulous idea, except the world will still be waiting for me when I get back.

I know everyone thinks I'm such an extrovert, but I truly am an introvert who works really hard at being friendly when I have to be out in the world. Some days I do better than others, but after a week of having to be on, I'd really like to be off.

Are any of you introverts? How do you recover from being away for over a week?