Tuesday, December 31, 2013

You get what anyone gets...you get a lifetime.

I guess I'm not as healed as I thought.

My brother had to use nephew guilt to get me out of the house tonight.

I'm okay now that I'm here, though. The whole 2 minutes it took me to get here.


My grandpa is home from the hospital, with orders for a nurse and a physical therapist to visit every day. The physical therapist is a real blessing and just what he needs to get him up and moving.


We're scattered all over town tonight. New Year's Eve used to be mandatory event, but now it's always a last-minute thing...because New Year's Day IS a mandatory event. We have Christmas Eve, my brother's birthday, and New Year's Day all in a week, that's a lot of family time even for us! Because, you know, some of us are a little obnoxious and hard to get along with.

I'm not naming names or anything...

So all we've got here tonight is me, my mom, Chelsea, and my brother's family. Dwayne's at home hurting (I miss him!).


I had a lot of hopes for 2013 and I can't be disappointed...I'm not at all where I wanted to be, but I'm not where I was either. If I've learned anything, it's that any progress at all is good progress. My mind and body have healed some...not as much, not completely, but COMPARATIVELY.

I'm smiling more, and I can laugh.

I can even look forward to 2014.

Love you all...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

When there's nothing left but you, and me, and the wind

My grandpa's in the hospital with pneumonia, again.

He called my mom, my aunt and the ambulance late Christmas night, because his head was hurting so bad. We worry about his head ever since his brain tumor last year.

But no, they admitted him for pneumonia. His CT looks okay - well, it did after we explained to the tech that Popa was missing a large portion of his cerebellum due to the brain tumor. I swear the tech had written a book about how the CT was inconclusive because no one had thought to give the poor guy my grandpa's history beforehand.

So after all the XRays and CTs and bronchio-thingies, he definitely has pneumonia, and they're saying it's OLD pneumonia - meaning he's never gotten over the pneumonia he had in June.

And this all does lead back to the brain tumor, because he won't get up and be active anymore.

Before the brain tumor, my grandpa looked more like he was 60 than 80. He was in top physical condition, and the only thing that had slowed him down was my grandmother's death the year before.

And then he went to the doctor because he was dizzy, and was immediately hospitalized for a massive brain tumor, had two major surgeries, a bout of intensive radiation, and is still here today, 83 years old.

The doctors say most people his age would not survive this, but this is my grandpa we're talking about.

But now we're here, and he has to get up and moving to get better, and he will not get up.

The lack of a cerebellum in his brain makes him dizzy. He has fallen quite a few times. He needs to go slow and use his cane and walker. I know he has never had to use it before, but neither has Dwayne, who is 40 years younger than him!

The doctors say walking walking walking will cause Popa's brain to remap around the cerebellum and he will get less dizzy as time goes by.

But he's still not doing it. So he won't get up and the pneumonia won't go away and I am so frustrated.

My grandmother and my grandfather were perfect soul mates and both stubborn as mules.

My grandmother would just worry my grandfather to death until he gave in. My grandfather was more sneaky in his approach to getting my grandmother to do what he wanted, he picked and chose his battles so that when he asked, she said yes.

My grandmother would know how to make him get up.

So...second year in a row we're spending New Year's at the hospital. Ya-ay?!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December Photo A Day, Days 20-25 - I`m Listening To, On The Door,Sparkly, Tradition, Wrapped, Best Bit Of Your Day

Day 20 - I`m Listening To
The Weepies make everything better.

Day 21 - On The Door
This is my mother's purple door. The purple was my idea, I couldn't believe when my mom agreed! I haven't seen another door that color in Louisville. We're cool like that...LOL! Chelsea made the wreath. Isn't it absolutely beautiful?

Day 22 - Sparkly
This is my mom's tree. I love Christmas trees.

Day 23 - Tradition
These are the stairs at my grandpa's house. Those little nutcrackers and snowmen go in those exact spaces every year. We bought the nutcrackers when we lived in Germany, and my grandma made the snowmen. They're all crocheted - she had mad skills like Chelsea, Chelsea inherited her talent from my grandmother.

The framed photo on the bottom right is a picture I took at their farm, and behind the railing on the very upper left you can see a corner of the portrait my grandpa had commissioned of my grandma when they got married. 

Day 24 - Wrapped
We celebrate our family Christmas on Christmas Eve, and nearly all the presents were open before I remembered to get a picture of something wrapped. :)

Day 25 - Best Bit Of Your Day
Usually on Christmas Day we go over to my mom's, but she was in bed sick today, so yay!, I got to stay in bed all day. But first, I got up at 6:00 a.m., did stockings, went back to sleep. Then I got up at 8:00 a.m., wandered into the living room, and stared at the tree. 

Long story short, I hugged the tree. For a while. We had a moment. Finally, my floor-sleeper cut into our moment and said, "Um, Michelle...why are you hugging the tree?"

Because I felt like it? I had no idea. Then I woke up a little more, and was like, why WAS I hugging the tree?, decided that the Vicodin I took for my headache was the reason, and went back to bed.

Happy Christmas! :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I'll know my name as it's called again...

Just taking a quick break from the Photo thing to make sure I'm alive...I'm alive, right?

The migraines just keep coming, they keep coming. I may get a couple days of relief, sometimes even three or four days, but that's it.

I've convinced myself that they're much less worse than they used to be, but on a day like today, I'm not feeling it. I'm just feeling pain.

The other day, my mom was telling me about how 'comparatively' lucky she is with her kids...you know, compared to the kids of some people she knows. Meaning, her adult children (me and my brother) aren't felons, alcoholics, drug addicts (that one's iffy), homeless, disrespectful, evil human beings. 

She couldn't stop there, though! LOL...she had to point out that she's very lucky with us, our only problem is that we're a 'mess'.

Well, okay, that's true! But we get it from her, so there!!

But I have goals for the new year, I really do. I actually had goals last year, and I don't think I accomplished any of them. Except maybe I went to work more. Yay! I accomplished one thing!!!

So here's my goals...some of them are pretty lofty. For me, that is.

2014 Goals:
1. Try to start driving again.
2. Try to go to church again.
3. Try to handle my own money again.
4. No floor-sleepers.
5. Try to go to work every day.
6. Get rid of migraines.

7. Go outside.
8. Try to clean.
9. Go to the supermarket.
10. Go outside some more.
11. Consider going to the supermarket.
12. Play my instruments again.

Okay, that's all I can handle right now. I thought of several more but I was getting extremely anxious just writing these down as it was. So ridiculous, some of them. I used to have a life, and now I'm...here.

Okay, two more:

13. No self-pity.
14. Really, it was just one more, but I'm a tiny bit superstitious. :)

Love y'all. :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December Photo A Day, Days 17-19 - Tree, Big and 'Tis The Season To

Day 17 - Tree

Can you tell this is a tree?

Every time we have an ice storm, there are two willowy trees in front of my apartment that bend completely to the ground with the weight of the ice.

When the ice melts, the trees stand back up.

What looks like Christmas lights up there is actually the setting sun behind me glinting off the branches.

Day 18 - Big

I begged Chelsea to help me with this one.

We decided our kitty was pretty big (!), so Chelsea grabbed her and went and took a picture.

Then we laughed hysterically at the expression on my poor kitty's face.

My cat's big, right?!?!

She was just a kitten when I got her, and then she grew and grew and grew. For YEARS, she kept growing. She's apparently a Maine Coone mix, they're the ones who keep growing and get big and furry like that.

Day 19 - 'Tis The Season To

'Tis the season to GIVE.

Chelsea took this picture for me as well. This is one of our local Angel Trees. Instead of exchanging presents with people who have everything, you can take names from the Angel Tree. 

This way your money and time goes toward purchasing clothes and toys for a child who may otherwise not have a Christmas at all.


In other news, I'm trying my hardest to make it to January. That's when I get my days back and I can take a day off and just THINK.

The ability to stop time would be so handy. I want that.

Monday, December 16, 2013

December Photo A Day, Day 16 - Makes You Feel Merry

Day 16 - Makes You Feel Merry

Our stockings...guess which one is mine? LOL

I still don't have much to say, because of migraine. I'm just swallowing pills like candy trying to push the pain away. I hope my liver forgives me. At least I don't drink!

I'm honestly at the point where I'm going to go back to peanut butter. If I have a headache anyway, why can't I have the good things in life while I'm suffering?

I just want a Reese's Cup.

Okay, I'm done whining! LOL Just thought I would vent for a minute...if I can't vent here, who can I vent to?!

On an up note, here's Ten Things That Make Me Feel Merry:

1. My kittycat
2. UK basketball (especially when they're MAKING THEIR FREE THROWS)
3. snow
4. music
5. Chelsea (when she's not being a grump)
6. Dwayne
7. books
8. kindness
9. generosity
10. LOVE

Sunday, December 15, 2013

December Photo A Day, Days 13, 14 and 15 - Composition, Drink and Lights

Day 13: Composition - The building I work in, and the tree I like to gaze at during meetings (I think I took this in September)

Day 14: Drink - My drink is still Diet Pepsi

Day 15, Lights: My grandpa's tree...Chelsea took this picture today

I'd say more but I'm still recovering...The immediate care center gave me an antibiotic, and I'm actually taking it, that's how bad I feel. Well, felt - I am feeling better than I was.

So, okay, here's a thing - today was my great-aunt's birthday party (this is my grandma's sister). We were supposed to have her party last week but we had snow and ice so we had to reschedule. 

My aunt (my mom's sister) was in charge of bringing the birthday cake this time. So, when it's time to put the candles on, this is what she comes up with:

Do you see a giant piece of cake missing from the corner? Because I do.

We all stared at Aunt Sondra in disbelief, and she said, "What? I was stuck in the house with Alyssa all week, and the cake was going to go bad, so I gave her a piece. Just don't say anything about it and no one will notice."


So this cake wasn't meant to be eaten, Aunt Sondra had bought another cake that wasn't a week old to actually eat. Why couldn't we put the candles on that?

I've mentioned before that my brother is completely obnoxious, AND that we're very much alike. In unison, we both said, "I don't care how old my cake is or how hungry you get, please don't EVER give me a cake with a piece missing out of it." LOL 

So that's all...my aunt is something else. She is my grandma multiplied by about a thousand. Audacious to the most outrageous.

My great-aunt Edie is the sweetest, gentlest soul in the world, so of course she didn't say anything about the missing piece. 

Dwayne loves to point out how sweet and gentle she is and what in the world happened to the rest of us.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December Photo A Day, Days 11 and 12 - Green and Joy


For Photo Challenge Day 11, I give you Green - Chelsea in a floor-length, handmade cape. The outside is black lace, the inside is green felt. It's hand-stitched... 

It took Chelsea forever and ever to make this, I would look inside her room and see her sewing away. I have no idea why she doesn't use a sewing machine! The button is also handmade. My girl is truly talented. :)


For Day 12, I give you Joy - Me, taking my beautiful baby daughter out in her first snow, 21 years ago. 

My mom took this picture, I'm standing on the front sidewalk, still living at home, of course. I'm still a teenager, fresh out of high school, just started college, still wearing my high school jacket - the one and only RED piece of clothing I've ever owned. :) 

I have to laugh when I look at this picture. Inside the house we had me, my mom, and my grandma all fussing over baby Chelsea to make sure she didn't get a chill on her 1-minute foray into the weather. The result is the wrapped up baby you can barely see here, LOL. :)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

December Photo A Day, Day 10 - `R` is for...

Photo, Day 10, `R` is for ray of sunshine after a snowy morning

As usual, I had nothing to do with the idea behind or the taking of this picture. This time Dwayne was my go-to person...

Me: I need something that starts with `R` that I can take a picture of.
Dwayne: How about `R` is for this ray of sunshine that I'm staring at right now?

See? That seems so easy, right? But my mind does not work that way. Creativity just isn't my thing.

Dwayne took the picture, too. He's so awesome...

The picture was taken after my appointment at the doctor's office this afternoon. School was cancelled this morning because it was snowing snowing snowing and then by 3:30 the sky was completely clear and migraine sunny.

When I walked out of the apartment this morning, my world looked like this:

You know, snowing

I was late to work today. I live on top of a very steep hill. Mom came the back way to pick me up, and the car slid in the snow right past my entrance. 

She had to turn around and come back up the hill, and nearly got stuck. 

But she didn't. Unlike my sister-in-law, who DID get stuck on Friday, and had to leave her car at my mom's...and Dwayne, who also got stuck on Friday, but managed to back out of it.

Living on a hill is hilariously funny at times.

Monday, December 9, 2013

December Photo A Day, Days 6-7-8-9 - Shadow; 6 O`Clock; I Shop Here; This Is The Weather Today

Friday's snow

I'm dreadfully behind and I've been dreadfully sick. I don't know if it's the flu. How can it be? I HAD A FLU SHOT. I worked two whole days last week. I'm still feverish and headache-y and nauseated and I'm so dehydrated and I can't get enough water.

And I'm full of things to talk about but my head is so heavy...I want to talk about Friday's ice and snow and the two and a half hour journey it took to get home and how we actually did get stuck going up our hill, it was pretty funny. 

Mark and I finally switched seats at work, and I love it. Except that I am closer to more annoying people talking so I need better headphones for my iPod. And I have less privacy, but I knew that going in. I didn't count on the annoying people talking part, though. The headphones can't come fast enough!!

I apologize for my sloppy blogging and blog-visiting...I am sure I will start feeling better this week. Pleeeeeease let me feel better this week...

Now on to December Photo A Day Challenge, Days 6-7-8-9:

Day 6: Shadow (Chelsea took this, because I had no idea what do do)

Day 7: 6 O`Clock - My phone screensaver. I've posted this pic of me & Chels before, it's my favorite.

Day 8: Where I Shop - A close tie between Walgreens and iTunes

Day 9 - This Is The Weather Today - Seriously, what would I do without my iPhone?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December Photo A Day, Day 5 - In the Cupboard

For the December Photo Challenge, Day 5, here is a photo of what I have in the cabinet above the microwave. I put all my special glasses and stuff up here because it's so high up and kind of hard to reach.

This is, once again, a Chelsea photo. I can't help it! I'm laying down because it's been a migraine week, AND she is so much better at taking pictures than me. 

Look. I MADE her, so, it's almost the same as me taking them, right? HAHAHAHAHAHA LOL Okay, I know, not really...

If you look closely at the picture, you can see what my treasures are... Derby glasses, because, you know, where I live! Apollo space program glasses, because, you know, I'm a big geek. 

The most special of all are the painted wine glasses, those were done by my very talented daughter herself. She is ULTRA skilled at arty stuff.

That very noticeable pumpkin thing in the middle is NOT mine, I don't think. It's a communal special cupboard, apparently.

Tomorrow I swear I'm going to work and getting back in the game. My head isn't going to bother me any longer. I'm taking my life back. Well, I'm going to try.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December Photo A Day, Days 3 and 4 - Silver and Tiny

I swear, this was Chelsea's idea

So I yell for Chelsea to come here because I need help with my homework (obviously)...

Me: I want to combine two days to catch up, so I need something silver and tiny. Do you have anything silver and tiny?

Chelsea holds up one finger, turns on her heel, goes to her room, and comes back immediately. WITH A DIME.


When we got done laughing, I said well, okay, and then we took the picture.

Actually, Chelsea took the picture this time. I arranged my blanket (this is the awesome afghan my grandma made for me when I was little, isn't it beautiful?).

So yeah, wow, this picture thing is going great, right? LOL... Such fascinating pictures yall are getting out of me, LOL LOL!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December Photo A Day, Day 2 - Where I Stood

View from my grandparents' back porch

A day late! Oh, challenges challenge me...

I took this picture in July, I think. This is a picture I took from where I was standing on my grandpa's back porch.

On the right you can see a very small part of my grandma's rock collection...she has rocks lined up like that around both sides of the backyard fence, and both sides of the garage, and both sides of the shed. She had a crazy thing for rocks - everywhere she went, she came back with rocks. Even from places where you weren't supposed to get rocks from. Think Painted Desert.

Those are her flowers on the left, below them is a stone that says Grandma's Garden.

That swingset's been there since I was little. My grandpa made it. It's set into the ground in concrete, so I guess it'll be there forever.

There used to be a huge oak tree in that space where that water thing is now.

We've held several wedding receptions in this backyard.

Over to the left, out of view of the camera, is my mom's backyard. 

Even though I live a few miles away now, I consider both of these houses my real home.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December Photo A Day, Day 1 - Red

Chelsea the Impossibly Cool

I forgot all about doing December's Photo A Day thing, so this one is most likely cheating on several levels. It was my mom who actually took this picture, AND it was taken a few months ago, AND I think it's more reddish than red.

I will endeavor to do my homework myself, and on time, from now on!

Right now I'm just marveling that I've made two posts in one day. Hey, I might meet that blogging goal after all!

#epiphany #heywaitthisisnttwitter #ohnoimmixingmetaphors #ihaveanexcuseofcourse
#thatsrightyouguessedit #ivetakenmyambienalready

Night, yall! :)