Friday, May 27, 2005

I love a guy with a stesthescope!

The p's trip to North Carolina, unfortunately, ended up not being the grand adventure they had planned. My mother was sick most of the time, she said, with this annoying heaviness on her chest, shooting pains in her arm, and shortness of breath. Hmmmmmmm.... On the way home, they had just crossed the Indiana line when they had to pull off the road and find a hospital b/c Mom was in very bad shape. Now this is my 77-yr old father driving and following those blue "H" signs you always see on the road. He is so cool under pressure, it is amazing. The ER they found was in a teensy town and, from what Dad said, they pretty much woke up the doctor on duty. Guess it isn't so often a strange Impala screeches into town with a visitor in cardiac arrest in-tow. Once stablized, she was to transfer to another hospital about 30 miles away which was better-equiped to handle the tests, etc. necessary to find out what was wrong. Typical of my parents, my dad told the doctor, "I'll just pull the car around and pick her up at the ER door." AS IF it was just ok to get back IN THE IMPALA and DRIVE THEMSELVES to the other hospital. Mom was quite upset they made her ride in an ambulance because, "I felt terrific by that time." Ya, ok. Turns out she had 99% blockage in a main artery and had to have surgery the next day.
Since The Impala was due to be returned, Mom & Dad decided Dad would drive the 4-hours home, return the car w/out penalty, and have me drive him back down to the hospital. I just couldn't seem to get it thru to them that it was ok to extend the rental. They wouldn't have it. I drove the million miles to the hospital the next day with Dad, who expected Mom to be dressed and waiting at the door to go home. She was hardly dressed and waiting. Instead, she was headed for surgery...just try breaking that to Dad. I think there is a reason I got a Communications degree.
Surgery went beautifully and Mom's heart is full of O2! YEA! By the time we got to visit her, she was madly in love with her male nurse and was happily munching on some Cheerios. She was released to go home on Thursday with strict instructions to stop every hour or so...which extended our trip to nearly 7 hours. What does it matter, tho, when your formerly sickly mother is happily chatting in the front seat. Happily chatting about the male nurse, but nonetheless...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Have a Heart, Please!

Oh for pete's sake...just exactly what is going on? You would think it was a full moon or something...oh ya, it is. At least there is a reason for this madness. Remember Ma & Pa's big road trip?
We...lllll, this afternoon I received a phone call from Pa. Pa never calls me so I immediately knew something was wrong. It turns out he and Ma (I'll just call her Mom, ok?) were driving back in The Impala when Mom started having severe chest pains. They had to exit and find an Emergency Room! Poor P's! By the time Dad called, they had been transferred from ER in PoDunk Indiana to a hospital just south of Indianpolis. She is "having some tests done" tomorrow so *guess who* is driving down tomorrow to be with Dad? Can I be really crass here and say WTF???
Geez, I hate being one of those bloggers with perpetual problems. Sorry folks out there...this bad streak is bound to end soon. Keep your blog-fingers crossed...I'll be in touch!

Monday, May 23, 2005

The H Offensive

Yesterday H & I drove to the north side of Chicago to this fabulous appliance store so we could price some appliances for the house. Today I sit and wonder how this trip, in a matter of seconds, turned into a top-speed suicide mission. How do these things continuously happen to me?
Part I: The Bombing Continues
It started when we, after purchasing at bargain prices, a fridge, stove, and dishwasher, stopped for a bite to eat. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, we had not been out together in forever b/c of H working on the house 24/7, and we seemed to be fairly smiley and happy and getting to know each other again when suddenly H proceeded to tell me we should probably extend the Motel 6 lease thru August. My chicken pita sandwich and tabouli salad suddenly lost its fresh taste. The sun was no longer shining, and I forgot what day it actually was. Huh? I tried to stay all calm and cool but instead I said something really stupid like, "Are you sure?". It all went to hell from there. By the time we got on the expressway thru Chicago, we were in the heat of battle. Mind you, I was driving and we were speeding along at about 75-80 mph with cars whizzing by us on both sides. Cars filled with happy people. Happy people who were on the way to some fun outing. Happy people who were not existing on elevated blood pressures and strong cocktails for the past 11 months. Fur really began to fly when H really blew his top and let out a blue streak of muck and meanness all the while slamming his fist against the passenger door. Do you ever get so pissed off that you are calm? That is where I was. If you have never been there, it is a rather erie feeling. Your ears kind of ring and about a thousand sirens go off in your head you tend to focus on something familiar like your hands, just so you know you are still here and alive. Your voice sounds about a mile is kind of like you are watching yourself perform. The jist of it all was that he is very overwhelmed (ya think?) with this project and it is just not going as it should because the homeowner (me) is making it too difficult by not being supportive. (Meaning: I am not excited to set up camp in the Motel 6 for another month without saying negative things like "Are you sure?".) Has he been reading my blog??? I try to do my venting here as much as possible because I don't even know you people and, unless you saw a red car speeding down the freeway towards downtown Chicago with a guy slamming his fist against the door and a woman staring at her hands, you probably don't know me either. So it's safe. I thought. I am just too damn sarcastic for his serious and sensitive nature. The difference between us gets all amplified during times of stress and this is a time of stress. (Did you ever notice I tend to write in sentences that are like flow charts? Wierd.)

Part II: New Me
I put in my resignation to my horse-therapy volunteer group today so I will be around more to be supportive. I will not be sarcastic and negative. At least not in public. I will spend more time at the house so I am involved and interested.

I doubt anyone will see a new me and I doubt I am even the sole reason for his stress; however, I have become more aware of how my sarcasm in times of crisis affect him. After all, I do have to live with him. Most likely, I will continue to blog about TheHouseProjectFromHell, keep drinking like a madwoman when I am doing laundry, and I will still look forward to my exercise sessions with OZ and my free riding time. Summer will just fly! BTW, if I happen to post a picture of my hands, that is just code for how it's going!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Let's go for a spin!

Yesterday on my lunch hour I had to stop by the parentals to get the house keys and instructions on how to water the plants b/c Ma and Pa are going on a road trip. This is unprecidented! My parents never travel. They are both afraid to fly, my dad's job involved travel so when he was home he was HOME, and they put 5 kids thru college so who had any money to go anywhere anyway? Now that they are, as my mother says, a million years old and finally retired with no kids in the house they are hittin the road, Jack. It is a complete hoot.

Tomorrow they are heading to North Carolina to visit my youngest brother, Mr. NASCAR. He moved to NC about a year ago when he got a job with NASCAR. Thankfully, he has not yet started to wear loud shirts with lots of colors and ads nor does he wear cowboy boots. I think the p's want to make sure he is not anywhere near becoming a redneck and is still the Indiana boy they know and love. Anyway, by the sound of things, one might assume they are off to tour Europe or sail the seven seas. When I pulled in the drive, their car was out of the garage, tossed aside as a piece of junk...while my mother exclaimed, "You have GOT to see this car! We just picked it up!". I was escorted briskly into the garage, the first to view the rental car. My parents have never had a brand new car, much less a brand new RENTAL car. There it was, gleaming under the shop lights of the garage. I ohhhed and ahhhed over the lovely Chevy Impala with leather ("LEATHER!") interior and ("we don't even know how to work this!") in-dash CD player. "Best of all", beamed Dad, "it has a SUNROOF!" I suddenly had visions of my recently retired mother standing up with her head out the sunroof screaming "PAR-TEE!" going down the highway at 55 mph. (Dad always goes the speed limit or a bit under.) These are people who have for years driven a Ford Ranger with manual windows and an AM radio. To them, the Impala is on par with ipods, Tivo, and DSL internet. They are amazed and they feel very wealthy.
After our homage to the rental car, the two of them had me file past the cooler filled with snacks for the road (finger sandwiches, celery & peanut butter,pudding cups, carrot sticks, and a lot of beer for when they get to the hotel), the suitcase, and the stack of books my mother plans to read. "All of this," bubbled Mom, "will fit in that Impala!" It really is cute how excited they are...Mom even said she practiced using the cell phone. She used to yell when she called you b/c "I don't see the microphone on this tiny thing" and then when she went to hang up, you would hear her say, "how do I turn the damn thing off?...Ray, how do I do this? it still on or did I already push something?" You had to yell into your own phone to tell her how to turn hers off.
At any rate, the p's are locked, loaded, and off on their Southern adventure! Let's hope for safe travels and happy trails!

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

I'm not feelng so good...

Last week I had to leave work for a bit in the morning in order to go to the bank to sign some loan papers. It was a nice sunny day, one where you have a bit more energy because the air is nice and crisp and you really don't mind having to wear sunglasses because you are so thrilled at the brightness of the day. I decided to drive "thru town"...the city where I live has a really fabulous, picture perfect downtown. It is a bit Andy Griffith-ish with it's courthouse square, lovely landscaping, and quaint shops along the main street. I like driving "thru town" because there is always something interesting happening...such as a sidewalk sale or a farmer's market...and it is fun to watch the people. There are a lot of interesting characters in a small town.

When I was pretty much in the heart of town...almost to the grand courthouse square, I came to a stop sign. It was only a 2-way stop and there was a car approaching from the non-stop side so I waited for it to pass. As the car came closer, what looked like a dog was hanging out the know how dogs love to stick their heads out of the car? I thought to myself, "awwwwww, look at golden retriever. I love when dogs do that...they always look so happy!" The car was just about past me when much to my disappointment, I saw it was not a golden retriever but a person! He had his head, his right arm and shoulder hanging out the passenger window. I thought, "Hmmmmm...why is that guy hanging his upper body out of the car window. That is dangerous." (When I was a kid my mom scared us by saying we would get our heads cut off if we did that. Needless to say, I pretty much kicked that habit.) When the car was about a millisecond past me, this passenger-out-the-window-guy puked his guts out. It sprayed all over the side of the car and all over the quaint all-American downtown street. It was so sickening but so funny at the same time...something about the irony of the perfect day and the perfect storybook downtown getting spewed with puke from this guy speeding by in a car. Call me strange, but that was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. Happy Spring from the quiet Mid-West.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Walk, Trot, Canter...oh YA, Baby!

Last night was my night at my *other job*, the one where I meet my tall dark handsome foreign guy with those lovely big brown eyes. I get to stroke him, whisper in his ear, and once we get moving, I get out my whip. Ya just can't beat working with horses. I got to the barn, lunged OZ, and decided to ride Immy, the schoolhorse with no pulse that I have been forced to ride and conquer in order to learn the fine art of cantering. One of the boarders at the barn had her little daughter with her...the girl was about 6 or 7. Another girl, who is about my riding level, and I were going to ride in the indoor (Olympic) arena and the girl's mother said, "Little Denise wants to ride the pony and try a little jumping. Do you two mind just keeping an eye on her while I am outside?" We kind of looked each other like, " want US to watch your kid? We can't even ride much less save a child on a runaway pony!"

Once the three of us were on our horses and in the arena, this little girl trotted off on her pony and started casually cantering around...then she went LEAPING over the jumps with absolutely no effort at all. She was fantastic! It was more like she should have been watching us. I hated her. After a while, she asked me how come I was only trotting. I wasn't about to tell her that at age 40 I am terrified to go that fast on a horse so it takes me a long time to get up my nerve and wait til she gets to be my age and just try to learn riding then instead of as a tiny child with no fear and see just how easy it is. Nope, instead something happened. Something really monumentously big. I started to canter! Well, actually Immy started to canter. I was so peeved at that little girl that I gave Immy a squeeze and sat back and suddenly we were wonderfully, gloriously cantering! El Instructor was above in the viewing area with some other people and when he glanced down to see my wonderful world of cantering, he and the others started applauding. I even waved, mid-canter! In a matter of minutes, I loved that little girl with all of my heart and soul and riding apparal. It was like a drug...I was flying all night. Now I just need to hire that kid for my lessons!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Cement rocks H's world

In the neverending saga of Project HouseFromHell, the cement truck arrived bright and early this morning! (Applause, applause!) H was ready on standby with the digital cam so he could record every moment of the wonderous truck pulling up to the site with its long trough of gray matter oozing out. For the first time in years, he popped out of bed at 5 and was out the door to meet and greet his cement friends. When I arrived at the *site* on my way to work to dutifully observe the action, H handed me the cam and said, "Get a few pictures, the guys will make fun of me if I take them."

I like a guy with a big truck!

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Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Motel 6 Hiroshima Event

Well, let's just say we'll try to put this week behind us, shall we? Exhausting/emotional/difficult...there is just no proper adjective to describe it. Aside from the poodle health issues, work was crazy, the weather was funky, I was not sleeping enough, and I was just plain cranky. Then Thursday came and just blew it all to hell.

Thursday part 1: I like my job enough; however, sometimes working within a very small group of people can make you wacky. When there are very few people, the work should be *shared*. Everyone pitches in and does their part, right? One person, who shall remain nameless and I will refer to as simply WTC, felt a significant imbalance in the workplace pie, so to speak. "Wait!" cried WTC, "My piece is way bigger than his...I can't eat all of this!" Get my drift?

Thursday Part II: My part-time horse-exercising job was in upheavel most of the week b/c a horse trainer from Germany was visiting. Having her at the barn meant several thousand other people at the barn...everyone was taking lessons from her (excepting me, remember I don't have a horse!). Instead of OZ (the horse I work-with in order to get some free riding time) and I having our quiet discussions on life, we were squished in the barn aisle (not an easy task since OZ is about 8' tall) and forced outside for our lunging exercises. I was also unable to saddle up my trusty schoolhorse and ride for Olympic gold because the indoor arena was jam-packed with German trainers and students. I felt like the poor pathetic wanna-be as I longingly gazed at the students, their beautiful horses, and their precise instruction by the visiting trainer. Def. not good for the ole morale. On the way home, I was feeling very down on myself and decided I should just quit this riding gig because I will never be good at it nor do I have any hope for getting a horse in the next 6 mos, etc. etc. You know how once you get started on the POOR ME thing it escalates until you are convinced you are a complete piece of shit...that is where I was namely because the drive home is about a half-hour and that is plenty of time to descend into the depths of shit.

Thursday Part III: The Bomb
Enveloped in my World of Shit, I arrived back at the Motel 6. It was about 9 pm, I was feeling miserable, I had not eaten since noon, and the only parking place I could find was in the next *section* of the complex. There must have been a party happening and I was not invited...tons of cars! I lugged my gear (backpack of clothes, saddle (unused!), etc. to the apartment. H was just home from working on the house...I would venture to say he was feeling the same as I. The discussion went something like this:

H: Hi
WTC: Have you eaten?
H: Nope.
WTC: Want some cheesy soycrisps?
H: Nope. I think we are going to have to stay in the Motel 6 until August.
WTC: I think I'll fix a drink.
H: I talked to the drywall guy today and he can't get to us until the end of May so everything is going to be pushed back. We won't be in the house until at least August.
WTC: I think I'll just sit here and drink.
H: I knew you would be mad.
WTC: I will sit here and drink and die my slow death.
H: It won't be that bad.
WTC: I will sit here and drink and die my slow death never having owned a horse.

So, here we are, anticipating an entire summer in the Motel 6. This adventure in living was supposed to end in MAY. Then JUNE. Then JULY. Now AUGUST. On the upside, there will be oodles of blog material. The pool is opening at the end of the month! I was still trying to wrap my head around the extension of our stay when H informed me last night that he had a bit of a heart to heart with the drywall guy. I believe he may have mentioned the *Sheila* (how the heck do you link those, anyway?) the guy is going to *see what he can do*. Keep your fingers crossed, people.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

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Come on, Vogue!

As you can see, our little Missy has the tres kewl *Elizabethan Collar* thing a mere $1991.97, I might add. She did not do well the past few days. In fact, I was home for lunch on Monday (no fire this time) and it was actually a bit of a *situation*. Ya, go MY life. The poor Miss was very shakey when I got home. I held her and talked to her and kissed her to make it all better...but it was not better. When I was getting ready to go back to work, she would not stop shaking. I picked her up and told her to be very very strong. Mommy would be home soon and we could all share cocktails. This did not work. I ended up in tears, pleading with her to stop clinging to me like a frightened child. (Again, let's just be thankful I don't have kids) Finally, I scooped up my purse and marched out of the Motel 6. Poor Mr. P, our other dog who seems to have no health-related issues was left in the dust. I was taking Missy to work, dammit. How could I leave her in that state? To make a long story short (ya right), Missy sat on my lap, clinging to me the entire time, at work while I frantically phoned the vet to say, "What the hell? I just spent $2K on this dog to make her FEEL BETTER and she is a FUCKING MESS." Yep, got an appointment right away. The vet HERE got on the phone with the vet THERE (at Purdue U in Lafayette) to discuss the Missy Mess. The meeting concluded with a perscription for a major painkiller. Can I get things done or what??? After getting Missy home and administrating the pain killer-tab, our clingy, very expensive, in-pain, fabulous bionic dog fell into a blissful sleep. Needless to say, I was holding her when she fell asleep and her *Elizabethan Collar* ended up smushed against my chest in such a way that I kind of looked like Madonna in that Vogue video.

Missy, I am glad you are feeling better and you are able to sleep. I am also glad you, in return, gave me big pointy boobs for a few hours. Love you, Miss... :)

Son of a Beach!

Last evening, H came skipping home with the exciting news that the *Building Inspector* had *Green-Tagged* the house. Translating in to: H's electrical job he has been working on for the past million years passed inspection and, according to the *Building Inspector*, will not cause us to glow, buzz, spark, or catch fire in the new house! YEA! This latest benchmark sends us lurching forward to the next phase of the project. (YEA again!) Now it is time for insulation/drywall/drive the well/finish siding/and place our order for the eucalyptus country ledgestone fireplace, column thingie in the livingroom, and the surround on the front door. Yipes. Further, H has instructed me to think about paint colors so we can keep this thing a' hopping. Wha?? Does he not KNOW how many paint colors are out there? Good gawd. After breathing into a paper bag for several moments, I managed to stop the entire color wheel from spinning into blackness inside my head. No problem, I said to myself, the colors we had in the old house were perfect. Those I had easily scammed from the house of a friend of mine who happens to have very good decorating taste. Easy breezy! My supposed dilemma was solved! Time for the bar to open!!!

Happy soon-to-be-homeowner me stopped at the paint store today at lunch to get the *palatte strip* for Hazelwood, the only color name I could remember from the old house. Smiling at my clever plan, I approached the paint helper-guy...

ME: Hi there, I am looking for Hazelwood...where can I find that little color strip thing that has the little color family?
Paint Guy: How long ago did you last order Hazelwood and/or its family of colors?
ME: About 2-3 years ago
Paint Guy: Oh Ma'am, we changed our colors last summer. We can probably still make Hazelwood but I don't have the color family for it.
ME: What is Hazelwood called now?
Paint Guy: Oh Ma'am, I have no idea. We now have about 1,800 colors. Here is the case of strips if you want to take a look.
ME: I am supposed to remember what my OLD LIVINGROOM looked like by looking in this case? Are you SURE you don't have Hazelwood & family?
Paint Guy: Oh Ma'am, I am not sure. It might have a different name now. Like I said, here is the case of strips.

OMG. I swiftly grabbed strips #J15 & J16 and got the heck out of there before I went mental. Now, sitting on my desk, are some possibilities: Baja Beach, Beach Bum, Head for the Beach, Sand Castle, & Sandalwood Tan. Why am I getting the feeling we have moved to a more outdoor theme as far as color names? Wasn't Hazelwood a nice name for a color? Let me keep looking...maybe they have one called *Potent Cocktails on the Beach*.