About Off the Wall

I am just a lover of reading and writing, and can ramble on and on, so I figured I should document my writings in case I ever find it useful! There are so many talented writers on WordPress, I am just blown away. I find it very interesting to read about other people's adventures too! Some of my posts are silly, some are very serious and dear to my heart. All comments are welcome, and thank you in advance for reading my blog!

REAR WINDOW

rear window

Sometimes I feel like Jimmy Stewart in “Rear Window”.  I don’t have a broken leg, just an annoying back and hip.  And I haven’t witnessed a murder….yet.  Anything is possible.

More to the point is the fact that I sit in my comfy chair in my office where I have a window, which on many days is my only outside view of the world.  While I work from home or watch TV I can see the kids go by on their bikes, golf carts, dirt bikes etc.  I see the dog walkers and the joggers, especially on the weekends when the neighborhood fills to the brim.  I see my family, walking to the boat to go for an enjoyable ride around the lakes.  I see LIFE, passing me by.

Sometimes I make up stories as the what the people are doing or where they are going.

The lazy unemployed son who lives across the street?  Drug dealer.  Sells anything you want.  Weed, edibles, vapes, pills.  Also arms dealer.  Has a display of guns in his living room.  Will sell to anyone, including his own son.  Except, well, the son is in jail now.  Drug and weapons charges.

The elderly couple who lives across the street.  Spends most of their days in their garden, which has a tall fence around around it.  They say it’s to keep out the varmints.  They NEVER invite anyone over.  I think they are growing the weed for the other neighbor.

The widower across the way.  I was friends with his wife.  When I walked my dogs late at night,  she would be out by the garage, sneaking a smoke.  She is dead now.  I saw her one day, and she was gone the next.  Never see the widower anymore, seems like he is hiding out in his house.

The Italian conclave that lives on the channel, takes up the whole one side of the turnaround street.  4 houses in a row.  I watch the cars start arriving on Thursday nights, and leaving on Sunday nights.  You don’t go down that street on the weekends.  It seems to have been taken over by the “younger” generation.  I haven’t seen the older folks in a couple of years.  They might be sleeping with the fishes.

The entertainment center of the neighborhood is on the corner, where the two streets split.  Many activities center on that property.  Dogs run, kids play and screech, adults drink beer, basketball is played, swimming is done by all on a hot summer day, all led by the neighborhood Pied Piper.  When evening falls, all signs of life disappear, tucked away in houses and garages, waiting to come back again, under the magical spell of the Pied Piper.  (Who resembles my brother but I’ll never tell!)

Then there are the mystery people, who visit my house when it rains.  I think the rain makes them grow.  They sneak in and out while I am sleeping, leaving only wet footprints behind.  I think I might know them, but I’m not sure.  Every now and then when I think I am dreaming, I hear a little girl’s voice, that sounds just like my niece.   I need to set up some cameras.

Hopefully my window on the world will expand soon.  I am feeling much better, and hope to be getting out and about a lot more!  I have a GREAT massage therapist and physical therapist, so I will be rocking!

P.S.  I almost wish I had a murder mystery to solve, I am great detective!  Jimmy Stewart goes a little overboard at times tho, lol.  Great film.  Everyone should see it.

Oh my Aching Back!

 

backWe all have a bad back every now and then, I think it is a fact of life.  I have had more than my fair share.  Most recently, since February, I have suffered with herniated disks and sciatica.  It has caused me a whole host of problems, included falling and double dislocating the fingers on my left hand, several hospitalizations, several epidural shots, and a surgery 6 weeks ago to do 4 laminectomies and 2 microdisectomies.

Apparently I have Oseoarthritis and Ankylosing spondylitis, which has helped cause these problems.  Whatever, all I know is that I have a bad back.  A very bad back.

After my surgery 6 weeks ago, I went right back to work (there were extenuating circumstances) and was driving to Libertyville 3-4 days a week plus working from home.  I was riding my lawnmower and my quad.  I was going to the pool.  I was dealing with my sleep apnea and going to sleep studies etc.  I was dealing with heart issues and going for stress tests, echocardiagrams and venous studies. I was doing WAY TOO MUCH.  So now I am back to square one with my back, and it is mostly my fault.  And my Catholic school guilt, which prevents me from putting myself FIRST when I need to.  So now I have ruined everything, and I don’t know if it can be fixed.  Crikey.

Tomorrow I go back to the hospital for tests and MRI, to see the scope of the further damage I have done to myself.  I am on very strong muscle relaxers and pain killers (so excuse the poor grammar etc.).  I am dizzy and in severe pain.  It takes me 15-30 minutes to get out of bed, because I have to wait for the zingers in my leg to pass enough to put weight on it without screaming.  Just like before my surgery.  I hate this.  I hate myself.

Sigh.  Why do I do this to myself?  I am my own worst enemy.  From now on I am putting myself first.  No matter what.  Please help me do that!

P.S.  You might want to read a previous post, in which I detail what happened back in February.  How was YOUR week? Redux

The Gorey Details

Another bullfighter was killed recently.  He was gored by a bull he was in the process of killing. He died a gruesome death.  Just like the thousands of animals that are killed in the name of entertainment, for bullfighting.

Do I feel sorry for the bullfighter?  Yes, I suppose I do, it is a human life lost.  However, he basically died by his own hand.  He chose to step in that ring.  He chose to fight an enraged animal that he was slowly and painfully killing.  He chose to do this as his profession, knowing that at any time he may be killed. And truth be told, he slipped on his own cape, making a fatal mistake.

But let’s be real here.  It’s not like his profession is a police officer or fire fighter, where you may be killed at any time in the line of action.  In these professions they are serving and protecting the public and trying to avoid death in the process..  In bullfighting, they are serving and entertaining the public by absolutely serving death on a platter, to the roar of approval by the crowd.  Shades of Roman gladiators, no?  Actually yes, it is all related.

Bullfighting is a series of three tandas, each of which bring more pain and suffering to the bull, in preparation for the final kill.  The matador entices the bull with his red cape (which is only red to mask the blood….bulls are color blind).

This is a gruesome sport, one that has been around for ages.  The arena in Mexico holds 48,000 spectators……FORTY EIGHT THOUSAND.  That’s a lot of people screaming for blood.  And, truth be told, a little goring of the matador probably adds to the excitement level of the crowd too.

I cannot say that I understand the sport of bullfighting.  Per Wiki, while some forms are sometimes considered to be a blood sport, in some countries, for example Spain, it is defined as an art form or cultural event and relevant regulatory frameworks liken it to other cultural events and heritage.

Then there’s the Running of the Bulls, where normal (?) people run in front of bulls down a narrow street, where the participants as well as the bulls may slip on the cobblestones. Another deadly sport I don’t understand.

Back to the dead Matador.  Sad for the loss of his life, sad for his family.  But I am continually sad for the hundreds, nay thousands of bulls slain every year for the enjoyment of the spectators.

But I guess I am in the mood for fighting for the underdog lately.  In this case, the bull.  I have no real pity for the matador. 

 

Dancing with the Devil

Devils come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are easy to recognize.  Some are not, at first.  But they all show their true colors sooner or later.

In the case of this story, the devil showed his colors later in the relationship.

He was a boss.  My boss.  He owned his own company.  It made him very aggressive, narcissistic, and mean.  Very mean.

I will not mention his name, or the name of his company (altho if you really want to know, message me and I will tell you, as people should be aware to stay far away from him).  I will say that he was in a very customer service type business.  A landscape company.

He was very charming upfront, to get your business.  All white smiles and silver haired charm.  But as soon as you signed the dotted line, that all changed.  He lied and cheated you every chance he got.

You were an asshole.  Everyone was asshole, according to him.  Especially his landscape/construction crews.  They were F*ing Asshole Mexicans.  He treated them like animals.

The first year I worked there was like the honeymoon.  Praise, raises, Christmas trees, Christmas music, parties, bonuses.  When I went there to interview, I was smitten.  A very charming office in an old farmhouse, complete with two retrievers and a fireplace burning.  It was a fairy tale.  I could not believe how lucky I was to go to work every day, with nice people and surroundings, and a golden retriever to lay at my slippered feet at my desk.

But then.  His true personality slowly leaked out. It turned into the War of the Roses. I had plenty of warning signs.  He talked shit about previous employees all the time, they were all assholes, and he fired their asses.  Every single one.  Many of them.  Especially the admin employees, who warmed their hands at the fireplace.  They never lasted more than a few months or a year.  No wonder they gave me such a nice one year anniversary party.  I was one of their longest term employees!  There was another one, who I became close with.  He quickly brought me up to speed on the dealing of the devil.  So I was careful.  I watched, I listened.  And most importantly, I never talked back or stated my opinion, because he was always right. The only other long term employee?  My so-called assistant, who was his girlfriend.  Actually more than his girlfriend.  She had a million dollar stake in the company, her previous divorce payoff.  If she didn’t like you, you were a goner.  I digress.

But then.  One day I just couldn’t do it anymore.  He wanted me to agree with him on something.  One of his f*cking asshole Mexicans, a long term employee, had asked for a 10 cent raise.  TEN CENTS.  Now, mind you, he worked these these poor people into the ground.  12-14 hour days in the hot sun of the summer, 24-48 hour days snowplowing non-stop in the winter, or shoveling driveways.  Have you EVER shoveled driveways for 24 hours straight?  They were lucky to get a half hour break.  Most had no food or water with them, the crews were not allowed to stop and buy food.  The Superindent, my friend, would swing by with nourishment and drink that he bought out of his own pocket for the crews.

Back to the poor guy who asked for a 10 cent raise.  The boss fired his ass.  On the spot.  F*ck him, asking for a raise.  He wanted me to agree with him.  I just couldn’t.  I struggled for a response.  So I asked him the one question that had been burning in my mind for the past year….

Why do you own a landscape company if you hate Mexicans?  (Doesn’t have to be Mexicans, you can substitute any other group of people).  They are the backbone of the company!  Without them, there is nothing.

Well.  That was it.  He started ranting and raving at me and throwing things around the office, while I cowered at my desk.  He was so enraged he was spitting in my face.  I thought (maybe prayed) he was going to have a heart attack or stroke in front of me.  He did not stop until his girlfriend called him off, like a rabid dog.  I just sat there like a statue.  I was too frightened to move.  I should have called 911, I should have left, I should have done a million things.  I did nothing.  I just sat there and took it

So then.  The abuse continued.  Ever. Single. Day.  I would come in to find hate email, hate notes on my desk.  Then his tirade, which would leave me sobbing, and then I would have to try and work the whole day with red swollen eyes and a huge headache like nothing was wrong.

The girlfriend turned on me pretty quick.  She quit talking to me.  She ignored me except to send me drunk text messages at night or on the weekends asking why I stayed there.

So then.  No more praise.  No more raises.  No more fires in the fireplace.  No more retriever at my feet, they were leased to the girlfriend’s desk.  (I kid you not).

So then.  At Christmas, there was no music, no tree.  Nothing.  So I brought in a small table top tree and plugged it in.  The next morning the tree was moved.  I found it and plugged it in again, this time in a different spot, with an extension cord.  The next day, the extension cord was gone.  I was so stupid that I did not realize what was going on at first.  This man did NOT want any sign of Christmas in his office.  So I took the tree and shoved it into the kitchen garbage to make sure he saw it.

So then.  There was no year-end bonus.  No Merry Christmas, Happy New Year.  Nothing.  Just an awfulness I cannot begin to describe.  An evilness.

So then.  He fired the Maintenance Manager.  Because he had the nerve to drive in early every day and nap in the parking lot until one hour BEFORE his start time.  F*cking Asshole, he should have been working the SECOND he arrived.  Mind you, he was salaried, and already worked a 60 hour work week.  And he was a new father.  Hence the naps in the parking lot.  But, he was a f*ucking asshole, he had to go.  It was awful.  I locked myself in the bathroom, crying, listening to him crying while packing up his desk.  His wife had quit her job, they had no other source of income.

I should have quit.  I was desperately seeking a new job, but I just should have quit and starved to death rather than work for this monster.

Eventually I did quit working for him.  Wait, I’m sorry, I was fired.  Because he came back from a hunting trip and I was leaving work 15 minutes “early” for a dentist appointment.  He started shouting at me and verbally abusing me in the doorway.  I was frightened.  There was no one else there at work, I was the last one in the office, as always.  So I ran.  I ran away from him, into my car, with him chasing me and shouting at me.  I sped away as quick as possible.  My cell phone rang.  I did not answer it.  Minutes later he texted me, telling me I was fired and not allowed on the property.  I cried all night.  But then I was relieved.  I did not have to look in his face, ever again, and see the evilness there.  I still have nightmares every now and then.

And this, my friend, is how you know you are dancing with the devil.

 

How was YOUR week? Redux

Hi again.  Just wanted to update this post, since it’s SOOOOOOOO apropos.  Again.

Last Wednesday I had back surgery.  4 Laminectomies (L2-L5) and 2 Microdisectomies (L2 and L3).  They sent me home the same day.  I laid low for a few days and was feeling much better, but due to a situation beyond my control, I went into work Monday – Thursday.  Didn’t do myself any favors, and now my back hurts very bad again.  I feel like the surgery was wasted, because I didn’t follow the doctor’s directions.  Maybe some people are like Superman, but apparently I am not, and have enough additional problems with my health to really warrant taking it easy.  But alas, I am afraid it is too late.  Again.  Sigh.  But I will put my smile on and not complain, because I don’t want to be a drama queen or a negative person.  So here ya go.      🙂

 

how was your week

Everyone has good weeks.  Everyone has bad weeks.  I am no exception.

It seems, however, that I have more than my share of bad weeks.  I really do try and stay positive and rise above it, which makes me feel so sad when people try to tear me down for not being a more positive person, and I know there are so many people out there that have it so much worse than me, and my heart and soul hurt for them.  Nobody knows what another person is going through.

But let me have a moment.  I deserve to have my own moment, just one moment, when it seems that everything has gone wrong, and maybe get a tiny bit of props for just weathering the storm that descended upon me.

Before you judge me, let me tell about a week I had a couple of months ago.

I booked a little trip to Florida.  I was SO excited.  I had not been anywhere in many years.  The past four years I have spent dealing with hip replacements/issues.  Many surgeries/hospitalizations/nursing homes.  Not much fun really, so I was really looking forward to a few days of fun in the sun with my wonderful cousin.

About a week before I was to leave, my back started to cause me some issues.  I tried to baby it and ignore it as much as possible, but it got worse by the day.  I really didn’t want to cancel my trip, so I soldiered on.  I arrived ok and my vacation started off with a great evening!  The next day, though, things started to go horribly wrong.

I fell.  I fell pretty bad.  One moment I was getting out of the car, the next I was flat on the sidewalk.  I don’t really know exactly how I fell.  I was in a hurry to catch a train.  At first I thought I tripped.  But later, I realized that my sciatica leg most likely gave out on me, as it had prior to my trip.  So, I fell.  I remember thinking, oh shit, this is NOT going to end well.  I purposely fell straight forward, because I didn’t want to land on my hip.  So my poor hand took the brunt of the fall.  But the brain works in mysterious ways.  I fell, and immediately felt the pain of my hand, and looked at my fingers, and they were all bent this way and that way.  My first thought was, get up and get on the train, and you can worry about bending your fingers back then.  Then I made the mistake of wondering where all the blood was coming from.  I turned my hand over, and a lady who had run over to help me had to turn around and walk away.  Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  A lot of blood and bone.  Open dislocations I believe they call it.  Luckily my friend who was with me kept her wits about her (love her so much) and ran to get some tissues to wrap around my hand.  A nice young gent helped me get up and wanted to call an ambulance, but my friend insisted upon taking me to the Level I trauma center.  Thank goodness.  It was quite a night, a painful night.  Try getting double dislocated fingers pulled out when the whole back side of your fingers are open bleeding wounds and the multiple Novocaine shots are not working.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  My poor cousin had to drive a long way to come and get me, and my poor friend had to spend her evening with me in an ER.  So, after getting relocated (or undislocated), stitched up, and casted, I was on my way again, lol.  However, the drug store would not fill my pain med Rx because I had one on file back at home.  Where my pills were.  Back at home.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

I actually had a good time the rest of my vacation.  My cousin took great care of me.  We went for massages and wined and dined.  I do feel bad, however, because I did complain a few times.  I think I was crazed with pain. I made it home ok, had help on the plane from a nice young gent (again).  My co-worker picked me up from the airport and I went straight to work.  I lasted a few hours, and went home.  Next morning I was at the cancer infusion center to get a Crohn’s infusion.  5 tries for the IV.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Then I went to the  hand surgeon, where they manipulated my fingers around looking for nerve/tendon damage.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Next day I was back at work in bionic metal fingers.  Day after that I was in the ER once again, not able to walk anymore.  My back just gave up the ghost at that point.  ER tried 6 times for the IV.  In the same veins.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

Once they took me to a room a specialist came in and put in a mid-line IV.  Not fun.  So not fun.  They try to numb you up, but they have to go deep.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  So there I was, flat on my back, with open wounds on my fingers that had to taken care of, and a new herniated disk.  Ok fine.  The pain management doc couldn’t take me for an injection for a few days.  Ok fine.  So my Crohn’s Disease (inflammatory bowel disease) decided to join in the fun.  With a vengeance.

Let me define, with a vengeance.  It means having to get up out of bed, with one hand, and severe pain upon standing where you are immobile for a few minutes until the electrical shocks running down your legs subside enough that you can bear weight, and then shuffling off to the bathroom with a cane.  Every half hour.  With a buzzer on your bed so you can’t get out without assistance.  So you have to wait for someone to come.  Or just let the alarms go off.  They come quicker then, lol.   I’m not even going to say ouch at this point.  It was so much more than that.

Finally get my injection into my spine.  Always fun.  Even though they inject you with Novocaine, it’s still needles.  In your spine.  And you need multiple injections, until they get it in the right spot.  But once they hit that sweet spot, the relief comes quickly.  By the next day, I was feeling better.

Once again a co-worker came to pick me up, and took me back to work.  I worked for a few hours, and then went home.  And went about the business of trying to live my life again, living alone, in a house with many stairs.

I’ve got to say, I am SO over the ouch.  Or ouches in my case.  And this has been happening to me, off and on, for 4 years now.  I try SO. DAMN. HARD to stay positive and smiling through it all.  Sometimes it gets to be too much.  Sometimes maybe I become grumpy at times, or don’t “act” like I should.  Sometimes maybe I get angry at the situation.  Sometimes maybe I feel sorry for myself.   But mostly, I just am sad.  Sad that people don’t understand.  I have actually been accused of doing this all to get attention.  Seriously.  Sigh.  But I understand.  I don’t like to be around myself either sometimes.  I guess I can understand why people get tired of me.  But you don’t have to be a mean girl about it.  Just saying.

I am trying to be proactive now, and take steps to remove myself from this situation.  The sad parts, anyway.  I need to stay away from toxic people.  I need to learn that it’s ok if people don’t like me, not everybody has to.  I need to make some positive changes in my life, that will help me, instead of continuing to hurt me.  The emotional pain is SO much worse than any physical pain I have endured.  That is the real ouch.

So what is the meaning of all this blathering on?  I just wanted to share a week of my life, which wasn’t the best week of my life, but it wasn’t the worst week either.  It does sound unbelievable.  But you can’t make this shit up.  I wish it was made up.

So if you see me and I am not little Miss Sunshine, please believe when I say I wish I could be that way all the time.  I will try not to be a drama queen.  I spend most of my time alone in my home.  And that is fine with me.  I am learning to love myself, despite my flaws.  And I’m really not alone, I have Ozzy, Izzy and Mickey Moo to keep me company.  Pets are great.  They love you unconditionally, and don’t judge you.

howwasyourweekendcat

P.S.  Today I have to go for another injection in my back, as the electrical shocks are becoming unbearable again.  For realz.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

P.S.S.  And I am booked to go to Florida again in another week or so.  Let’s hope this “trip” goes better!

 

How was YOUR week?

 

how was your week

Everyone has good weeks.  Everyone has bad weeks.  I am no exception.

It seems, however, that I have more than my share of bad weeks.  I really do try and stay positive and rise above it, which makes me feel so sad when people try to tear me down for not being a more positive person, and I know there are so many people out there that have it so much worse than me, and my heart and soul hurt for them.  Nobody knows what another person is going through.

But let me have a moment.  I deserve to have my own moment, just one moment, when it seems that everything has gone wrong, and maybe get a tiny bit of props for just weathering the storm that descended upon me.

Before you judge me, let me tell about a week I had a couple of months ago.

I booked a little trip to Florida.  I was SO excited.  I had not been anywhere in many years.  The past four years I have spent dealing with hip replacements/issues.  Many surgeries/hospitalizations/nursing homes.  Not much fun really, so I was really looking forward to a few days of fun in the sun with my wonderful cousin.

About a week before I was to leave, my back started to cause me some issues.  I tried to baby it and ignore it as much as possible, but it got worse by the day.  I really didn’t want to cancel my trip, so I soldiered on.  I arrived ok and my vacation started off with a great evening!  The next day, though, things started to go horribly wrong.

I fell.  I fell pretty bad.  One moment I was getting out of the car, the next I was flat on the sidewalk.  I don’t really know exactly how I fell.  I was in a hurry to catch a train.  At first I thought I tripped.  But later, I realized that my sciatica leg most likely gave out on me, as it had prior to my trip.  So, I fell.  I remember thinking, oh shit, this is NOT going to end well.  I purposely fell straight forward, because I didn’t want to land on my hip.  So my poor hand took the brunt of the fall.  But the brain works in mysterious ways.  I fell, and immediately felt the pain of my hand, and looked at my fingers, and they were all bent this way and that way.  My first thought was, get up and get on the train, and you can worry about bending your fingers back then.  Then I made the mistake of wondering where all the blood was coming from.  I turned my hand over, and a lady who had run over to help me had to turn around and walk away.  Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  A lot of blood and bone.  Open dislocations I believe they call it.  Luckily my friend who was with me kept her wits about her (love her so much) and ran to get some tissues to wrap around my hand.  A nice young gent helped me get up and wanted to call an ambulance, but my friend insisted upon taking me to the Level I trauma center.  Thank goodness.  It was quite a night, a painful night.  Try getting double dislocated fingers pulled out when the whole back side of your fingers are open bleeding wounds and the multiple Novocaine shots are not working.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  My poor cousin had to drive a long way to come and get me, and my poor friend had to spend her evening with me in an ER.  So, after getting relocated (or undislocated), stitched up, and casted, I was on my way again, lol.  However, the drug store would not fill my pain med Rx because I had one on file back at home.  Where my pills were.  Back at home.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

I actually had a good time the rest of my vacation.  My cousin took great care of me.  We went for massages and wined and dined.  I do feel bad, however, because I did complain a few times.  I think I was crazed with pain. I made it home ok, had help on the plane from a nice young gent (again).  My co-worker picked me up from the airport and I went straight to work.  I lasted a few hours, and went home.  Next morning I was at the cancer infusion center to get a Crohn’s infusion.  5 tries for the IV.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Then I went to the  hand surgeon, where they manipulated my fingers around looking for nerve/tendon damage.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Next day I was back at work in bionic metal fingers.  Day after that I was in the ER once again, not able to walk anymore.  My back just gave up the ghost at that point.  ER tried 6 times for the IV.  In the same veins.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

Once they took me to a room a specialist came in and put in a mid-line IV.  Not fun.  So not fun.  They try to numb you up, but they have to go deep.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  So there I was, flat on my back, with open wounds on my fingers that had to taken care of, and a new herniated disk.  Ok fine.  The pain management doc couldn’t take me for an injection for a few days.  Ok fine.  So my Crohn’s Disease (inflammatory bowel disease) decided to join in the fun.  With a vengeance.

Let me define, with a vengeance.  It means having to get up out of bed, with one hand, and severe pain upon standing where you are immobile for a few minutes until the electrical shocks running down your legs subside enough that you can bear weight, and then shuffling off to the bathroom with a cane.  Every half hour.  With a buzzer on your bed so you can’t get out without assistance.  So you have to wait for someone to come.  Or just let the alarms go off.  They come quicker then, lol.   I’m not even going to say ouch at this point.  It was so much more than that.

Finally get my injection into my spine.  Always fun.  Even though they inject you with Novocaine, it’s still needles.  In your spine.  And you need multiple injections, until they get it in the right spot.  But once they hit that sweet spot, the relief comes quickly.  By the next day, I was feeling better.

Once again a co-worker came to pick me up, and took me back to work.  I worked for a few hours, and then went home.  And went about the business of trying to live my life again, living alone, in a house with many stairs.

I’ve got to say, I am SO over the ouch.  Or ouches in my case.  And this has been happening to me, off and on, for 4 years now.  I try SO. DAMN. HARD to stay positive and smiling through it all.  Sometimes it gets to be too much.  Sometimes maybe I become grumpy at times, or don’t “act” like I should.  Sometimes maybe I get angry at the situation.  Sometimes maybe I feel sorry for myself.   But mostly, I just am sad.  Sad that people don’t understand.  I have actually been accused of doing this all to get attention.  Seriously.  Sigh.  But I understand.  I don’t like to be around myself either sometimes.  I guess I can understand why people get tired of me.  But you don’t have to be a mean girl about it.  Just saying.

I am trying to be proactive now, and take steps to remove myself from this situation.  The sad parts, anyway.  I need to stay away from toxic people.  I need to learn that it’s ok if people don’t like me, not everybody has to.  I need to make some positive changes in my life, that will help me, instead of continuing to hurt me.  The emotional pain is SO much worse than any physical pain I have endured.  That is the real ouch.

So what is the meaning of all this blathering on?  I just wanted to share a week of my life, which wasn’t the best week of my life, but it wasn’t the worst week either.  It does sound unbelievable.  But you can’t make this shit up.  I wish it was made up.

So if you see me and I am not little Miss Sunshine, please believe when I say I wish I could be that way all the time.  I will try not to be a drama queen.  I spend most of my time alone in my home.  And that is fine with me.  I am learning to love myself, despite my flaws.  And I’m really not alone, I have Ozzy, Izzy and Mickey Moo to keep me company.  Pets are great.  They love you unconditionally, and don’t judge you.

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P.S.  Today I have to go for another injection in my back, as the electrical shocks are becoming unbearable again.  For realz.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

P.S.S.  And I am booked to go to Florida again in another week or so.  Let’s hope this “trip” goes better!

 

Don’t need this kind of present, please!

Tis the holiday season again, let’s all cheer!  Time for family and friends and running ourselves ragged to get everything done.  It should be all fun and games, until we run into the dreaded…..unintended co-worker or close friend gift….THE WORST COLD OR FLU OF YOUR LIFE!  So instead of decking the halls, you are visiting the golden throne or going through boxes of tissues.

Here is the problem, as I see it.  Most people have jobs where attendance is very important.  In fact, if they don’t show up to work, they need an official death certificate to show they were REALLY SICK.  So they crawl to work instead of back under their covers, and infect the whole office.  They don’t WANT to do this.  They are FORCED to do this.  I have had bosses tell me “If you aren’t here you are no good to me”.  Or co-workers who give you the evil eye when you come back because they had to do your work while you were out.

But come to work sick, and pretty soon the whole office is one swarming mass of germs that gets passed around and around and you get multiple reoccurrences of the same problem.  So you are sick for a whole season, and as a result, productivity and morale is at its worst.

This is a real problem.  Corporate will give you the lip service that everyone should stay home when they are sick.  However the reality is quite different.  You get a big black mark against you, and come review time nobody remembers how deathly ill you are.  Therefore, it is just a never-ending circle of sniffling, sneezing, aching, coughing, stuffy-head, fever masses of miserable people.

So my gift to you this holiday season is to tell you that it is RIGHT and JUST to stay home and take care of yourself.  YOU should come first.  I am on the downside of my career, and I wish I had done so many things different, primarily not letting the upper echelon run my life.  YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.  In this day and age of high tech, maybe you could work from home if you are sick, and still be productive for your team.

This holds true for bad weather days too.  If it is a horrible snowstorm and you are fearful for your life, I think you should be able to work from home.   And I know parents with children face more issues when schools close down.  If they don’t have a back-up, they have to stay home.

So this holiday season, be good to yourself.  Give yourself the present of a stress-free environment, both at home and at work.  Be a good employee, and a happy parent or family member.

I am SO LUCKY that I have found myself the perfect part-time job.  I wish I had found it years ago, I would have saved myself a lot of pain and suffering.  My current boss only wants what is best for his employees.  My co-workers are awesome people and great friends.  We treat each other with love and respect.  It is a such a great environment, and we all care deeply about each other.  The office runs like a well-oiled machine, and everybody helps out.

My Christmas wish is that everybody could experience this.  We deserve it.

So Merry Christmas, Happy Everything, have a SAFE and HEALTHY holiday season!

JAN  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes Dreams DO come true….but not today

She went to the concert by herself.  She was too embarrassed to ask any of her girlfriends to go with her.  They would think she was crazy  ier.  She couldn’t explain her obsession, even to herself.  She was too old.  Wasn’t his type.  She told herself every excuse in the book.  But every night she dreamt about him.  Every day she watched his face, as she listened to his voice online.  All 17″ of him.  She wasn’t prepared, however, for the physical impact of seeing him in person….  She had saved up for a good seat and felt like she was staring right up at him.  Goose bumps ran up and down her spine, and she felt light-headed, like she would faint.  Her heart froze up and she forgot to breathe….and then he seemed to smile right down at her as he sang “I get you through it nice and slow, when the world’s spinning out of control”…. Pretty soon she couldn’t tell the reality from the dream.  Things started to get a bit hazy after the concert….

She found herself standing backstage, along with the usual groupies.  Someone asked her something, and she stuttered, “I’m with the band”.  They smiled knowingly, and walked on by. The band was winding down, having a few drinks.  Billy, his buddy and guitarist, handed her a glass.  She took a sip, and grimaced.  Then she heard the voice.  His voice.

“I’m drinking the brown liquor tonight, my friend”, he said.  “If that doesn’t suit you, I’m sure I could find some white lightning”, as he grinned, showing his boyish cockeyed toothy smile that melted hearts.  She looked up, and then around, wondering.  Is he talking to HER?  He clinked his glass to hers.  She could not move.  She was mesmerized.  His brown eyes crinkled at her, as he leaned his long, lanky frame on the doorway.  He put his free hand up on the other side, trapping her in between.

“What’s your story, sunshine, haven’t seen you around here before”, he said.  She lost her words, and downed the contents of her glass, hoping for some liquid courage.  She came up almost choking on the taste, but managed to hold it down.  As it burned fire in her belly, she could finally speak.  She leaned forward, and put her hand on his vest.  “I came here for you”, she said.

“Couple more of these”, he said as he tipped his glass full of brown liquor to her, “and you might just get your wish little lady”.

He whispered in her ear, “You’re like an angel, got me feeling like a devil, and I wanna give you something, if you promise that you won’t tell“.  He pulled a piece of black licorice out of his pocket, and dangled it in front of her.  “My favorite vice”, he said “besides coffee.”   “Goes good with the whiskey”, he breathed in my face.  She leaned forward and they took a bite together.  He smelled deliciously of well-earned sweat, whiskey, licorice and a faint lingering scent of cologne.  She inhaled deeply, to imprint his pheromones in her senses forever.

He pushed his hat back a bit with the glass in his hand.  She raised her eyes and said teasingly “Always with the hat?”  Leaning back against the door frame he said “That’s an excellent question, darlin’, an excellent question.  I’ve always worn a hat, since Little League, and now, I guess I think it adds to the mystery.  Does he or doesn’t he have hair, now that is the real question.”  “I know you have hair”, she said, “I’ve seen pictures without”.   “Now see you’ve gone and spoiled my mystique.  That’s all I’ve got going on”, he grinned.  “Oh, you’ve got a lot more than a hat going on”, she said.

“Maybe we should explore that”, he said, while pouring some more of the brown liquor.  “You’ll be my vacation away from this place. You know what I want.  Holding that cup, It’s pouring over the sides.  Make me wanna spread my arms and fly.

She reached for his hand.  He wrapped his fingers around hers, and looking back said “Billy, I’m leaving you for tonight, take care of the tour bus.”  “Soon enough I’m taking my shot”.  He cocked his fingers like a gun.  “Bang”.

They walked to the parking lot towards her car, away from the horde of fans waiting for him at the tour bus.  She said “You shouldn’t leave your fans disappointed”.  “Not to worry” he said.  “Most of them are happy enough with Pretty Boy Billy”.  As they drove towards her house, she glanced over at him.  “Well I would imagine you have all kinds of girlfriends everywhere”, trying to sound nonchalant about the images playing in her head.  He stared at her a moment.  “Well”, he said, “Let me be perfectly honest”.  “So before this goes too far, let me tell you what you are.  You’re amazing, I’m attracted, but I’m terribly distracted.  And I’m trying to be verbal, and I’m back into this circle because I just found someone special.  And that’s really something special if you knew me.  Nice to meet you, nice to meet you, nice to meet you anyway.  And even if you want me to stay here, I’m telling you right now I should leave before I get to changing my mind, dear. I hope you understand what I mean.”

She stopped the car in her driveway, and froze with her hands on the wheel.  She should turn around and take him back to his bus.  She wasn’t going to make herself a one-night stand, a moment of weakness, a mistake, just another cheap groupie looking for someone to brag about.   But he was honest with her, and she appreciated him all the more for it.  He placed his hand on hers.  She turned her head, looked deep into his eyes.  Satisfied, she took the keys out of the ignition, and opened her car door, walking up to the house without looking back…..

He followed her to the front door.  Put his hands on her shoulders, and turned her around.  He touched his forehead to hers.  “Darlin’, I think you understand me.  That I don’t want to be anything other than what I’ve been trying to be lately.  All I have to do is think of me and I have peace of mind.  I’m tired of looking ’round rooms wondering what I’ve got to do or who I’m supposed to be.  I don’t want to be anything other than me.”  “You are all I want, all I dream about”, she said.  The door closed silently behind them.

She awoke slowly, not wanting her dream to end.  She kept her eyes shut, trying to prolong it.  She knew it was just a dream, but it all felt so real….she sighed as she rolled over to the other side of the bed.  And felt the warmth of a recently departed body.  Her eyes flew open, as she frantically searched her brain and the room for any clues.  Surely it was all a dream.  The best dream.   She blinked as she saw a t-shirt laid across her nightstand.  She grabbed it and held it close to her breast and inhaled of it deeply.   A note fluttered to the floor:

“I’m in love with a girl who knows me better.  Fell for the woman just when I met her. Took my sweet time when I was bitter.  Someone understands.  And she knows how to treat a fella right.  Give me that feeling every night.  Wants to make love when I wanna fight.  Now someone understand me.  I’m in love with a girl, I’m in love with a girl, in love with a girl.  And her name is YOU.”

She rolled back on her back.  How could this be happening to her?  Surely she would never see him again.  Then her phone chirped.  Incoming voice mail, from a number she didn’t recognize.  With her heart pounding, she pressed the button, and heard his voice again…

“Oh, this is the start of something  good, don’t  you agree?  I haven’t felt like this in so many moons, you  know what I mean?  And we can build through this destruction as we are standing on our feet.  So since you want to be with me, you’ll have to follow through with every word you say.  And I, all I really want is you, you to stick around.  I’ll see you everyday.  But you have  to follow through.  You have to  follow through”.

She clutched the phone to her and wept with joy.  Oh yes.  Hell yes.  She would follow through.  She would follow him to the ends of the earth.  Then, startled out of her revelry, she looked at her ringing phone.  It was the same number, calling.  She smiled as she hit the green button….

Downton Abbey

downton abbeyI was late to the Downton Abbey party.  I finally did show up, and then I stayed until I had my fill.  Which was six seasons in one week.  Talk about binge watching.  I was suffering from a horrid sciatica issue, and Downton was the only thing that kept me sane through all the sleepless nights of pain and suffering.

Being Irish and English, I was first attracted to the accent, the proper Queen’s English way of speaking, the beautiful castles, and the rolling countryside.  Then I was quick to notice the perfection.  The casting was perfection.  The dialogue was perfection.  The sets were perfection.  Even the yellow lab was perfection.

So many of the characters made an impression on me.  Most notably, Maggie Smith was more than brilliant as the Dowager Countess.  I think she had the best dialogue of the show.  At least she delivered her lines that way.  She was always very outspoken, and the more trouble she caused, the happier she was.  So it seemed.

Lady Mary was haughty, acerbic, blunt, and irreverent, who verbally slashes at her sister Edith at every chance.  She reminded me both of myself, and my sister.  We also have similar hair cuts, lol.

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I loved Matthew.  He was a doppelganger to my army pilot boyfriend I was madly in love with.  I cried so hard when Matthew died.  Seemed so unfair.

matthew

I would probably be most like Edith.  The overlooked middle child who fought to be noticed but instead fought with her sister and was patronized by her father, and therefore became career driven.  I do love the irony of how things worked out in the end.  Lady Mary married a “mechanic”, as her father called him initially, and Lady Edith married a Marquess.

I became just as emotionally involved with the below the stairs characters as the above stairs.  I think that’s what made Downton Abbey so great.  We saw the flip sides of lives .  The lords and ladies, and the servants that kept things running perfectly.  Seems hard to believe that people actually could not even comb their own hair or put on a nightgown by themselves.  But most interesting was the line of authority even downstairs.  Everyone had to bow and scrap to the Butler, and people took their positions seriously, always trying to work their way up.  The servants hall below stairs was its own micro chasm of all of society.

One word description of some of the other most notable characters:

Lord Grantham:  Old Fashioned

Lady Grantham:  Sweetness

Carson:  Bully

Mrs. Hughes:  Diplomat

Mr & Mrs Bates:  Perfect

Daisy:  Mouthy

Barrow:  Changeling (male version of Lady Mary!)

Mrs. Patmore:  Screechy

I do wish there were another season or two.  Although I will say they did a tidy job of wrapping things up the last season.  But I would have liked to see more of Lady Mary and Robert’s marriage.  Barrow as the new head Butler.  Lady Edith being Marchioness of the manor.  The little lab pup growing up.  And most of all, the goings on below stairs.

 

30 Days of Truth Challenge – Day 11

Day 11.  Something people always seem to compliment you on.

I think I would have to say my smile.  Or my ability to smile through the tough times lately.

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My orthopedic surgeon, who has done 11 surgical procedures on my one hip, says I am the bravest person he knows, that I am always smiling despite all the bad news/pain/suffering etc.

My nurses and aides at the hospital and nursing home were always amazed that I kept smiling throughout the day and through rehab etc.  They were always happy to come help me as a result.  In fact, a few of them would come have their lunch break with me, so it was nice to have someone to talk to!  Oh, and having HBO on my laptop drew everyone to my room on Game of Thrones nights!

Many of my friends think I am a smiley person.  I always try to have a good time.  Of course, I’m sure I have just as many friends that think I am smiling maniacally, like a crazy person.

The greeter and the cashiers at the Walmart always like to chat with me, because they say I am always smiling and say nice things.  They are used to grumpy people, or rude people.

My teachers and class mates at the Y where I swim say I am always smiling and singing and dancing and that I make sure to talk to EVERYONE, not just a special few.  This is social hour for many of the seniors that attend, and I try to bring them out of their shell.  They always ask me to plan the parties.  Once again, just like in college, I am the Social Chairman, lol.

Now trust me, I have not always been  smiley person all the time.  I have gone through several pretty dark times in my past where all I did was cry for a year.  Seriously.  So no, I did not smile then.  But, with time, my smile came back.

A smile goes a long way my friend.  It is just as easy to smile and be nice to people as to be mean and rude.  I think I get better service or smiles in return.  And nowadays, that means a lot to me.

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