Hello again!

I have let this blog flounder for far too long and today is my first day back at it.  We have had a wacky, crazy year. I’m not even sure that I should try to summarize it, but find myself wanting to. Let’s start where I left off… oh my. Okay. That’s a rough place to start.

December 5th, 2018 my mom left the nursing home to go home for my dad’s birthday. She lasted at home until December 7th, when she had to be rushed to the emergency room. I went down on the 9th because it was clear that she was on her way out of this world. She passed away on December 12th. I spent the month in College Station or Wisconsin. We had two funerals for her, one in each of her hometowns. They were lovely, both of them attended by family and friends and filled with beautiful reminiscences of her full, mostly happy life. (Please note that this is short, not because I am being in any way flippant about it, but because I’m crying too much to say more.)

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In January we tried to be humans. We had our annual board game extravaganza on January 1st at my dad’s Tyler house so he wouldn’t have to be alone yet and could be a little distracted from all the sadness. April is with him all the time, but we come and go and try to bring a little joy to them with our visits.

February and March went by kind of in a blur. We visited College Station every couple or three weeks and spent half of spring break with my dad and sister. David and Nick were each gone a week in April and then it was birthdays and Easter all at once. We celebrated in the Tyler house, trying to avoid sadness, but failing. Easter was one of my mom’s favorite times of the year.

In May everything ramped up. The six month anniversary of my mom’s death was literally Mother’s Day. How’s that for irony for you? April and Dad ignored the day completely, while Nick, the kids, and I went to Scarborough Faire for the day (something I’ve been wanting to take the kids to for years. They were, naturally, underwhelmed because we’d waited too long).  All the end-of-year “lasts” were heightened because it was David’s last high school everything. We had a graduation party for him the day before graduation, we all attended graduation night outside at the stadium, and then the very next day he left for his band’s spring trip. And because we’re crazy, we had a family BBQ the following Monday with Nick’s family.

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June was even crazier, though. Nick and David left the first weekend, Nick for work in the Czech Republic and David for Tennessee for working a pre-teen camp. Then I left for China the same day Nick came back from his trip (and no, we didn’t even get to see each other at the airport). Greg spent weekdays at his Nana & Pa’s house while the other two boys came and went. David had college orientation for a few days in there. Nick and all the kids went to the Houston Aquarium for Father’s Day while I spent Father’s Day with my dad in Tianjin. Then kids all spent the last few days I was gone working the pre-teen camp at Camp Piney Woods while Nick was in Tennessee for work. We all were supposed to get home Wednesday, June 26th, but my flight got delayed by several hours and I ended up getting home at 4 in the morning on the 27th. Then on the 29th, Greg and David got in a van with other church kids and left for Teen Camp at Camp Pinecrest in Missouri. (I will most likely blog about my China trip in some upcoming posts.)

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Today is first day I’ve felt human and somewhat put together in a really long time. I’m getting back onto somewhat of a schedule. I’ll be spending weekday mornings at the gym and afternoons writing. Ree has this whole month free, so we’ll be starting parent-led driving lessons for him this week as well, probably in the mornings after I’m back from the gym. 🙂 Greg will be in day camps most of this month and who knows what David will be up to? I sure don’t! He was looking for a job last time I checked, but no one would hire him because he was out of town so much this summer (he has one more camp he’s working at the end of the month).

So there you have it. We are crazy and we know it. 🙂 See you tomorrow.

 

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A Big Day

I love how facebook always gives me so many years worths of memories every single day. I really have used it as another journal of sorts over the years. Today it reminded me of two very important things in my life that happened on November 28th over the years:

  1. Nick proposed to me on November 28th, 1997. He hadn’t meant to, really, but he’d asked my dad for my hand in marriage and my dad got super excited and congratulated me on my engagement before Nick had a chance to pop the question. So he went out to his car, got the ring, and proposed on the spot. 🙂7021534869_a8117f26ec_n
  2. We moved to our current town on November 28th, 2002. We lived in a little rental house next to the middle school that all my kids have now gone to (one would have been there right now, but he has strep throat, so he’s home with me today). Here’s a lovely photo of David from one of the first days we lived in the house. Why is he in the dishwasher? Who knows?! Did you know that this blog goes back to before 2002? You probably can’t read all the old posts, but I can and wow are they fun. I just learned that even though we moved on November 28th, our phone line didn’t get installed until December 5th. How did I live without the internet for that long?davdish

Health update for the blog

I realized that ages ago I said there would be a health update for the blogland people and I never got around to it (FB and real life friends bear with me).

So I have a lot of health issues going on right now. I’m going to post by condition:

  1. RA/Fibro: things are pretty even keel right now, which is fantastic!
  2. Migraines: apparently they are good right now, too, which is unexpected*.
  3. Anxiety/Depression: no worse than usual.
  4. Vasospasms: these are new. I thought they were migraines* at first, which delayed treatment for a long, long time. I’ve been having these weird episodes for 6+ years and one of my neurologists decided they were just another weird form of migraine, so that’s what we’ve been treating them as. I got a new neurologist and he says that this is not migraine-related, it’s a heart/brain condition that people usually get after they have a stroke. It’s a low-blood-flow-to-the-brain thing. In any case, I was put on a new medicine a month and a half ago and it was pretty terrible at first, I’m not gonna lie. It has finally started to calm down this last week or so after a month and a half of not being able to do much more than keep up with taking kids to school, laundry, and dishes. I feel like I have fallen out of my life and ended up here in this weird world where I just take care of myself and am not being a proper human.
  5. Thyroid issues: another new thing for me that might turn out to be an old thing. I’ve been having trouble swallowing off and on for many years. It feels like there’s a lump in there that I just can’t swallow past. It gets worse in allergy season when I have drainage issues, so the doctor really thought it was just that. But it wasn’t. Another doctor thought he felt a lump in there a couple weeks ago, so I had an ultrasound last week, and it turned out to be one large nodule and 5 smaller cysts of various kinds. The nodule is located in a place to be snuggled up against the big artery that connects *surprise, surprise* my heart to my brain, so there may be a connection with the vasospasms there. I am waiting to see what the endocrinologist says (once they call me about an appointment date).

 

That’s it for now. Let me know if you want any of that explained further and I’ll do so in the comments. 🙂

Inktober Day 6 “drooling”

So the kids in my story need dragon’s drool for a spell to help find their missing uncle, who has been kidnapped by his ex-best friend. It’s always the ex-best friend, says Greg. Always. So they need to a) find a dragon that drools, and b) sneak up on it and steal the drool. Does anyone else think this is a terrible idea or is it just me? Matilda was way less trouble, former hippo or not.

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Inktober Day 5 “chicken”

I almost died laughing when I saw today’s prompt. I never looked at the whole list before; I’ve been doing mine after I see someone else post theirs each day. So when I drew roast chicken the other day, I didn’t know “chicken” was coming up. Hahahaha. So, meet Matilda the chicken. She lives in the village, talks to the children about how she used to be a hippopotamus, and is generally quite delightful. 20181005_112454

Inktober Day 4 “Spells”

So in the story I am working on, there hasn’t really been any magic, exactly, so far. It is fantasy and is a reworking of something I started a decade ago. In pulling it into the current world I am working in, I’m having to imbue it with magic in places that were not strictly magical before. One of my characters learns that she can make sigils of protection over the children in her care and she travels to a place that has a magical library to learn more about it. 20181004_173634.jpg

Inktober Day 3 “Roasted”

20181004_173540Roast chicken with onion, potatoes, and parsnips. In the world my story takes place, people can dream up whatever food they want and it appears to them and they can eat it. This part of the story is a little bittersweet because the children learn that they can have their dad’s special dinners conjured up for them and it tastes just like home.

Inktober Day 2: Tranquil

I learned about Inktober in a NANOWRIMO forum this year. A lot of people there are doing it, too. Some of them are drawing, so are writing about the prompts, and some, like me, are drawing things that go along with this year’s Nano novel. 20181004_173101

Inktober Day One “Poisonous”

From their FAQ:

Inktober is a month long art challenge created by artist Jake Parker that is focused on improving skill and developing positive drawing habits. Every day for the month of October anyone participating in the Inktober challenge creates an ink drawing and posts it online.

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Hello, hello.

I know, you’ve forgotten I exist, or I’ve forgotten I exist, or something like that.

Last time I wrote here (a year and a half ago. Yipes!), I was starting Novel in 90. It went really well, I nearly finished that novel, I started outlining for the next, life was going well. Then school ended, several financially horrifying things happened in real life, and we spent a LOT of time trying to repair that situation. I did spend quite a bit of last fall writing and then dropped off in the new year again. I took a lot of time off to crochet and cross stitch and then end of the year PTA stuff took over. The summer was busy, filled with trips to Nashville and Wisconsin and summer camps and family reunions and prepping kids for new schools and one for his senior year of high school.

Last week hit hard with a new medical diagnosis (which I will write more on later); it was that kind of thing where you look at your life and go “WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE!? I HAVE ALL THESE THINGS I WANT TO ACCOMPLISH AND I NEED TO STOP WASTING TIME AND START NOW!!” The biggest thing: WRITING.

So this week I am starting back to basics with writing. Yesterday I spent my “writing time” listening to podcasts about writing prep work, reading articles about getting your writing mojo back, and generally just dipping my toes in the water. This morning I installed Scrivener on the new computer (another one died last year) and am working my way through the tutorial for a refresher course and this afternoon I am doing a NANOWRIMO Prep Write-In.