Posted in Around the House, Everywhere But Home, Family Time, Friend Time, health, I Am Traveling, I Really Do Cook, My Own Personal Weirdness, Writing

Lisa’s Writing Vacation

AKA: How I managed to spend a whole week NOT writing

This was a hard week for me. As I’ve mentioned before, my half-brother Ray passed away last month. Last Thursday I drove to DFW and dropped my car off at Katherine’s and she drove me to the airport. I hopped on a flight to California in order to help out Ray’s widow, Susan, and kids getting reading for the memorial service. I’d brought my writing stuff with me, hoping to get to spend some of my free time writing, but there honestly wasn’t any minutes to spare.

I got to their house after a long day of driving and flying and with a negative time change, I was so very tired and it was only 8pm. I tried to stay up and talk with everyone, but it was no use – I was in bed by 9:30pm PST.

The next day I woke up at 4:45am, but managed to coax myself back to sleep until about 6:30am. I went to make coffee, but my nephew ran out and shooed me away, telling me that his dad always got up and said “Make the coffee, Joe,” and he was determined to keep on making the coffee, even without his dad around to remind him. Just like that, I could hear my brother in my little nephew’s voice and see him in his every movement. I had to shoo myself away before I cried all over the little guy.

We spent the rest of the day taking kids to and from school, organizing, then cleaning rooms of the house and the patio so it could be all ready for the memorial service the next day.

My biological maternal grandparents

The next day I was again awake at 4:45am, but this time I got up, made my own coffee, and spent some time taking photos of photos in my birthmom’s room (which was where I was staying). Her walls are absolutely covered in photos, many of which I’ve never seen before. I stood up on a stool and angled myself this way and that to get the best photos possible. Once the other’s were up, I started decorating the house with photos of my brother and his family, and then put out the tablecloths, and washed up all the dishes and platters I thought we might need. An hour before people were due to arrive, the first visitor showed up. He was the ex-husband of my brother’s housemate and since he was early, we put him to work carting drinks into the house, setting up the coolers, and re-installing the door to the garage that Joe had taken off a few weeks ago (and was unable to put back up alone).

After that, everyone else started arriving and over the course of the day I manned the buffet table, meeting many members of the housemate’s family and Susan’s family. There were even some little kids there. Everyone brought fruit. It was fruitopia. The day spun by so very quickly. We were unable to have the main part of the memorial service, due to some clerical errors that kept Susan from being able to get Ray’s death certificate (and therefore also his remains), so the little tree she was going to plant in his honor remained on her front porch. A few of us spoke about Ray, even his little son Jeff, and we all cried. It was nice to meet so many people that loved my brother and sister-in-law.

Because it was also the busiest day of the band year back home, I skipped out on the early evening’s visitor (who had come late due to his work schedule). I went back to my room and watched the livestream of my kids marching at UIL Contest and then looked for photos of them from the Rose Parade earlier in the day. I texted with them, congratulating them on their Sweepstakes win. And then I went back out and joined the conversation.

My kids at UIL Marching Contest.

The next morning I did not get up early. We all got up a little later and then moseyed over to church, which was part Southern Baptist-part rock band church-part surfer dude speak. Everyone there was really nice and no one bugged me about my mask. After church was lunch and after lunch my best friend from high school came and scooped me up and we ran off to Starbucks for a while. I was sad to leave her when our time was up, but I love how easily we slipped back into that friendship for a couple hours.

After that, Susan and I loaded up the kids and went to the beach. We didn’t stay long, just long enough for Joe and I to get thoroughly soaked from the waist down and for Jeff to lecture us on the improbability of us turning into merpeople and Susan to get creeped out by some weirdo. A couple hundred beach pictures in ten minutes, really. But it was good. I always feel better at the beach.

I am at Imperial Beach with my nephews.

Susan dropped us back at the house and stayed just long enough to say hi to the chair lady. Then she drove back out to pick up Angela. I made my “famous” chicken spaghetti and “Aunt Mandy’s” green beans for a late “fancy” dinner. I laughed at that. Chicken spaghetti is the easiest thing ever. I taught Joe my secret sauce, just in case they liked it. Oh boy, did they! Jeff said I took him to “Flavor Town” and “Delicious Land.” I’m so happy it was well-receieved.

We went to bed very late that night, in some part due to a conversation that needed to take place out of the earshot of the children. We had to wait for Joe to fall asleep. In the end, an agreement was reached about what would happen with the kids if something happened to Susan. It was a hard conversation, but necessary. I was really glad to be included.

The next morning we all got up at the crack of dawn so Susan could drop me off at the airport and then take the kids straight to school. I waited in the longest TSA line I’ve ever seen, but made it to my gate all right. The flight itself was mostly okay, but there was a medical emergency towards the end in first class, so we ended up spending quite a while at the gate waiting for that to get sorted out. Then Katherine picked me back up and we had a late lunch and then went to rest at her house for a while before I drove home. I was feeling so foggy and out of it, I was worried about driving home. I did end up making it home okay, but I had to stop for a while halfway home and walk around for a bit to get my brain back online. So I didn’t get home until about 7:30pm (I’d expected to be home by 5pm).

Katherine and I tried to make up for me not remembering to get a photo with Emily.

Tuesday I spent cleaning my entire house. Being away from home on a super busy weekend makes the mess so much worse. But I was also still feeling so groggy and weird that it was hard to get anything done. I started to worry that I was coming down with a cold or something. I attended my Spiritual Practices group, but I absorbed none of the conversation, alas.

Wednesday morning was my pill box refill day. I couldn’t find the pills I needed to fill the box. I finally realized that the reason I was so out of it was that I had picked up my medicine at the pharmacy before I left on the trip, but had forgotten to put that one in the box I took with me. So I’d skipped it for a couple days by accident. (And now I know just how essential it is to my health and well being.)

I taught a lesson at the Wednesday Whatchamacalit group that day and it went well. That is detailed in an earlier post. Later. I spent the rest of the day resting/spending time with my younger kids because I knew that the next day I had some more big cleaning to do.

Thursday I went over to the David House and helped him get it cleaned up because my dad was coming to visit. David was supposed to have finished moving rooms before my dad came to town and he had not finished. Plus there was resetting the room he’d moved out of and resetting the closet of the room that stored the stuff that used to be in that room and putting stuff from the room he was moving to into that closet. If it sounds circuitous, it really was.

After that was the recycling. I don’t think anyone has taken the recycling out of the house since January. I filled my entire Jeep up from top to bottom and back to front. It was only about 2/3 of the total recycling. I had other errands to run, though, so I did that and never got back to check on the David House.

This morning I got up and realized that I’d never gotten around to doing the critiques for the Pineywoods Critique Group, which was just as well because I hadn’t sent anything in over the last weekend, either. So the spouse and I went and got haircuts, which we have literally never done at the same time before. Then we ran a couple errands and ate lunch. One of the errands was picking up all the boxes of history for the ETWG Historian position before the current Historian moved and took them with her.

This was the last thing on my To Do list for the day besides feeding and chaperoning the band. It’s also the first real writing I’ve done all week. I’m not sure I’ll have time during the weekend to write, unless I am very careful with my time. We have the game tonight, my dad in town, an afternoon church party tomorrow, dinner at my dad’s and games, then church Sunday morning, and an ETYO concert Sunday afternoon. I may not get anything sent in to the critique group this weekend either. Chapter Nine of CQ needs re-drafting. Maybe I’ll send them some more poetry.

Posted in health, The Past Comes Back to Haunt Me, Writing

BYOB Delays

My posts for BYOB have not turned out to be daily. I have been having health issues again, the same brain and blood issues that I had last year and the year before and the year before. It always seems to get worse this time of year. You would think I would be used to it by now, but I am not.

So, I am up to day three now with my posts and today is the thirteenth. I don’t imagine that I will catch up, but I did have a phenomenally productive day yesterday with writing, so there is still hope.

My whole publication over at Medium.com can be found here: https://medium.com/life-according-to-lisa.

Posted in Around the House, Computers and Internet, Crafts, Exercise, Family Time, Friend Time, health, Lifelong learning, Music, My Own Personal Weirdness, Organizing, Parenting, Television & Film

Huge List of Activities to do with Kids during Covid-19

I started this document ages ago and have shared it with many friends, family members, and FB forums already. It’s compiled from many, many different places: lists on facebook, travel websites, space websites, family websites, school websites. It’s broken down into categories for ease of use: The Arts, Books, Celebrities, Coding, Crafts, Disney, Exercise, Food, Movies/TV/ Mental Health, Museums, Music, School Related, Travel, and Non-Internet Things to Do.

Hope you enjoy it. Here’s the link.

Posted in Family Time, health

My sister is in the hospital

My sister’s girlfriend messaged me late last night after I was already in bed that April had a headache, chills, and a cough. I woke up to that message this morning. Later on she reported that my sister’s fever hit 103.4. The girlfriend is a nurse and this had her rattled. She wanted to take my sister to the hospital, but my sister, a child of my mother if ever there was one, refused outright. Then her breathing started getting choppy, so now girlfriend has won and my sister is in the hospital. They won’t let girlfriend, or anyone else, in with my sister. She’s all alone.

Girlfriend (who I haven’t yet asked for permission to talk about here, hence the use of “girlfriend”) is getting text updates directly from the doctor because they are friends. April’s blood pressure is super low and her pulse fast and it all screams sepsis, apparently. My mom had that a bunch. It is definitely not good.

I’m stuck here. Both towns have shelter in place mandates. I can’t see her even if I went there, but I so want to go down there. I talked to my dad and he seems calmer than I expected. I am freaking out.

Posted in Around the House, Everywhere But Home, health, My Own Personal Weirdness, Writing

Pneumonia and other disasters

My youngest has pneumonia — they diagnosed it on Monday. My family of five had four dentist appointments and one doctor’s visit scheduled this week even before that happened. We’ve been to the doctor every afternoon this week besides that. I still made it to a critique group on Tuesday and led a lesson on the Snowflake Method at the public library group on Wednesday. My eldest son sat with the smallest so I could go. Other than that it’s been pills and breathing treatments and trips to the pharmacy over and over. In one five-minute window, while sitting in the doctor’s office and overseeing a breathing treatment, I spoke to one other doctor’s office about how the scan from last week showed that my thyroid was “super enlarged”, the dentist about my husband’s recovery from minor dental surgery, and the endodontist to schedule an appointment for my abscessed gums, all while texting with the flute teacher about her own bout of pneumonia and the French horn teacher to say that we really couldn’t make it this week. Today I had to reschedule two other appointments because of bad schedules at the places I was going (how do they manage to schedule people onto days the doctor won’t be there?). All this to say that there has been no writing this week, other than the four-page document I wrote about the Snowflake Method. *sigh*

Posted in health

Nosebleeds

I started having nosebleeds Saturday morning. The first few were quick and easy and spread apart. By late evening they were heavier and closer together. On Sunday I had about 10 nosebleeds by midnight and was literally bleeding out my eyeballs, so David took me to the ER. At one point there were three nurses helping because it was just too much blood. They eventually got it to stop after several hours and several things tried. I had a CT scan that turned out normal. I had an appointment with my ENT first thing this morning and he cauterized a burst blood vessel. I promptly passed out. He told me it was all (the burst blood vessel, the passing out) probably caused by high blood pressure and I need to lower my stress levels. He gave me side eye when I laughed and laughed.

Posted in Around the House, health

Thank God, life can be normal again

All my people are home from their various places now. David and Nick have been to the Feast of Tabernacles at the Steamboat Springs site in Colorado and they had quite the adventure getting back home because they got caught in a blizzard without snow tires or chains. They ended up having to do a huge detour to get home. Greg was in Lake Texoma with his aunt, uncle, and girl cousins with a different FoT group than we went with a couple years ago, but they stayed on site at the same resort that our main festivities were at last time, so it was familiar for him. They all had fabulous times at the places they went and I’m sure soon I’ll see more photos of their trips.

They were gone for about 10 days, about 8 of which I was sick with a horrific sinus infection — like hallucinations, fever, two kinds of antibiotics sick. Poor Ree. He was stuck home with me, which meant that sometimes he had to make his own meals and once he seriously offered to walk to the grocery story (he doesn’t drive yet. We need to work on that.) In any case, we are glad other people are back now.

Posted in health, My Own Personal Weirdness

Whining

The problem with being sick when your mom has died is that you have no one to call when you just want to whine about it and have someone tell you that “you should check the color of your tongue and take mucinex, why do you hate mucinex? Oh hey, did I tell you about the new building over by campus? It’s awful. Everyone is going to hate it. But there’s another new restaurant on University that we should go to when you come down…”

Posted in health

Not so exciting Friday Night

My exciting Friday night: two new medicines to help with my RA/Fibro flare (a Medrol taper pack and Lyrica), store bought autumn squash soup (I wish I had the energy to make homemade), and a TV show that irritates the cats. It’s just me and the cats home tonight. Everyone else feels well enough to have exciting plans. Wahoo!

Posted in health

ToGoodToBeTrue

I had this Too Good To Be True nice kind of day where you kind of secretly wait for the awful thing to happen. Yeah. Prednisone wore off and I’ve got a sinus infection. I was finally going to get to chaperone the band. I was feeling so good. Now I feel like someone took a blowtorch to my sinus cavity.