sunflowery's Diaryland Diary

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Hump Day Update

I'm here, I'm here. I'm back working full time now and my time is all messed up. It's amazing how much you can get done when you only work 1/2 time.

We had a fabulous weekend visiting my family. The hardest part of the whole weekend was finding our way out of the city on Friday afternoon. I had the bright idea of taking Hwy 55 South to Rochester and going through La Crosse. Which, once we got out of the city, was a wonderful way to go, but oy! I am following signs through downtown Mpls, but where the heck does Hwy 55 go? I ended up in the 'hood y'all! Seriously, 45 minutes later, we were finally on our way. Sheesh!

My lovely parents allowed us to bring our laundry, so my husband got a week off from that hated chore. It was so good to see them again.

Saturday we went to my oldest nephew's football game. There is nothing like watching 4th and 5th graders in full on football gear go at it. Peat's team tied the opposing team 12-12 (I think that was the final score). The kids just had a ball. There was one tense moment when one dad got angry at the refs (Who were high school boys) and just WENT OFF from the sidelines. Not only was he screaming and yelling and just being a pain in the ass, he was dressed head to toe in army green camo. NICE. But this city league does not take kindly to toxic sport-parenting. The coach of Peat's team is also on the board of the league and he took all the parents aside and reminded them that these are kids (players and refs) and that they are here to have fun and there is a 0 tolerance policy on toxic sideline coaching from the parents and the next time there is an incident, the parent in question will be ejected from the park. That's what I like to hear. So toxic sports dads, get over yourselves and let your kids just play the frickin game.

After the game we all went over to my brother and sister in law's new house. It's cute! I have to admit to being petty and jealous. They have a brand new, beautiful home that they filled with brand new beautiful furniture and decor. I adored what they did with their home and am so happy for them, but I couldn't help but remember our 13 inch TV back home. Or our 20+ year old, grandma's cast off, uncomfortable as all get out couch. Or our 700+ square foot apartment that sometimes feels like 100 square feet. I know I am just feeling sorry for myself. But I would just like to know that SOME DAY we will have a house and at least some furniture that was manufactured in this decade. My parents didn't have brand new furniture until I was in college, so I keep that in mind too. I just let the little green monster get the best of me. Hopefully I hid it well.

Anyway, we also enjoyed the best chili ever, thanks to my brother and his bachelor days recipe. My husband loved it enough to ask me to get the recipe.

Sunday was church, of course. The church my family goes to is the church I grew up and was baptised in. There aren't too many people who remember me from those days...but there are still a few. I saw a gal who used to be in the youth group when I was a leader. She's married now and has a 3 month old baby girl. Also, a former neighbor came up to me and asked me if I remembered her daughter. I had been their babysitter over 20 years ago. Now this girl is an adult working in a lasic eye surgery clinic. Sheesh. She was 3 the last time I saw her and now she's all grown up and out of college. Her brother is a husband and father for crying out loud. Aren't they supposed to stay little, the way I remember them in my head?

The biggest blast from the past was when I was talking to the gal who used to be in our youth group, a guy walked up to me and it was my old high school boyfriend! I haven't seen him (I mean really seen him...I've glimpsed him around town now and then.) in probably 16 years! It was good to briefly catch up with him. Man, do times change!

After church we met my brother and his boys at my parent's house for lunch and to watch the Packers lose to the Bears! Go Bears! (Although the Vikings lost on Monday night and that was not fun.) And then we took off to come back to MN.

On the way back, Bob and I talked more seriously than we ever have about moving back to that area of WI. In fact, first thing Monday, I started looking at companies in that area and applying for jobs. I looked first at what Big Bank Co had available there and expressed interest in a couple of jobs. I also expressed interest in about 7 other jobs with other companies in the area. I will probably do that weekly or bi-weekly for the next year just to see what happens.

I changed my hair. I colored it so that it's now a reddish brown color and I began fliupping it up. It's so "That 70's Show" now. Bob loves it and I realy find it kind of cute myself. I will post a photo on Friday as it's my 4 month surgery anniversary. Speaking of the 70's, I have a work event the first week of October that requires dressing up in 1970's garb and while I have an outfit, I am painfully lacking in accessories...anyone have anything I can borrow and get back to you? Peace symbols, BLUE eyeshadow and pink frosted lipstick? chokers? Let me know ASAP. I will even reimburse you for postage if you need me to.

Getting back to working full time is good. Especially since we are dangerously broke right now. I haven't been paid my short term disability pay yet, but I did get the good news that it was approved and should be forthcoming. The bad news is, I don't know when or how much. We are seriously broker than we have ever been. We have had times where we thought we were broke...we weren't. We are now though! Sheesh this is exciting. Will we be able to buy milk this week? Who knows! Will the gas in my car hold out until we have cash again? Your guess is as good as mine. In fact, will I have a car to drive to work? Here's hoping! Seriously, when we have been in situations before that we thought were bad...we didn't know what bad was.

And yet through all of this, I am not pannicking. I mean, what good is worrying about it? Does worry add dollars to our bank account? Does anxiety pay the bills? No. So I keep going, doing the best I can, picking up some overtime where available, and we will get through this...like we always do. We will be fine and will be closer through it all. It's just kind of scarey while we go through the thick of it.

I made home made beef barley veggie soup in the crock pot and let me tell you...Mmmmmmm good doesn't even BEGIN to describe it. My loving husband had this to say, "Honey, the reason I love your cooking so much is because when you make a meal, you MAKE A MEAL! It's not just watery, soupy soup...it's Man Soup!" Isn't he just the cutest! Oh, and here's the easy-peasey recipe for those of you so inclined: -meat of your choice cut into bite-sixed pieces. (I used left over roast beef...Thanks Mom!) For the following canned veggies, include the juice they are packed in. Do NOT drain! -1 can whole kernal corn -1 can green beans -1 can peas -1 can carrots -1 can sliced potatoes (I had to cut them smaller still) -1 can beef broth (If you use chicken, use 1 can of chicken broth) -1 package of onion soup mix I added 1 cup of cooked barley for extra flavor and texture. If you do this, make sure to add at least 1 can of water to your recipe. Cook in the crockpot on low for 6-8 hours and dish up. It is extra yummy!

--------------------------------------- About A Year Ago Today: September 17, 2003: A No Good Very Bad Day

The weirdest thing just happened. In the span of about 10 or 15 minutes, the skies clouded up with dark black clouds and all of a sudden, rain poured out of them. Then the clouds blew past, the skies cleared up and the sun shone as if there hadn’t been any clouds at all.

Sweet Baboo and I went to an informational meeting at our apartment’s leasing office last night. There is a company called RentExtra that works with apartment leasing companies and renters to help get the renters into home ownership. Once someone signs up with RentExtra, $100 is credited from their rent payment every month towards the closing costs/down payment of a home. The max you can build up in credits is $1800.00. The cool thing is that it is also retroactive, so if you have rented from the same apartment company for a year, already you are credited for the months you rented.

Sweet Baboo and I signed up and have already been credited $1200! 6 more months and we will have the max towards a down payment or closing costs! They will also work with us to make sure our credit rating gets fixed up and looks good over the next year so we can qualify. Then, they will put us in touch with the best realtor to meet our needs. It sounds like a good program and we are excited to have the opportunity to work with them.

Today is one of those days that I wish I were someone else or somewhere else. I feel like a failure today. I know this will pass, but it feels awful. I feel as though everything I touch falls apart. As though I am worthless and hopeless and will never amount to anything. Being childless? My fault. My husband’s MD…not my fault, but his struggles with it? My fault. Our money troubles? My fault. Rather than being Midas of the Golden Touch, I am Aimless of the Go Wrong Troubles. Woe is me, I know I sound dramatic and emotional, but I am just stating how I feel right now. As if I can do nothing right and as though the things that go wrong are all my fault. All lies, I know…but the feelings persist.

Daisy cat is doing well and healing from her surgery. We will get to bring her home tomorrow. I cannot wait to see her as I miss her. She is new to us, but already she feels like family.

Sweet Baboo has an appointment on October 27th with the physical therapist for his assessment for a power wheelchair. That was the soonest they could come and see him. After that, we should know more about where he is at physically and what they are thinking of in terms of long-term care for him. He is also going to see his respiratory physician next week in hopes of finding out why he is starting to feel bloated and ill again. Much like he felt before he went into the hospital last Spring. I hope they can figure it out because I AM NOT watching my husband go through that again. (Oh God, please, no.)

Thanks for reading.

September 18, 2003: A short entry about cats and weather

Weird. Someone found my diary by Googling: "gastric bypass south africa". And "Horse Cake". OK.

The weather got weird today. It was humid and 73 when I left my apartment this morning. Then the clouds blew in and we got a nice little thunderstorm around lunchtime. Now It’s cloudy, foggy and 51 degrees at dinner time. We do need the rain though.

Sweet Baboo brought Daisy home from the vet. He said she went right to her litter box, used it and then laid in it. Ewwww! Then he said Maisey walked into the bathroom and sniffed around, walked right up to Daisy's face and hissed at her. Daisy hissed back and Sweet Baboo broke them up. I can understand Maisey hissing if Daisy got into her personal space, but to just walk up to her and hiss, well That’s just snotty.

We joke that Maisey thinks she is queen of the apartment and that she has singlehandedly rid our place of 2 cats. When our friends L & L lived with us for a month, the originally brought their cat too. But Maisey and Whiskers fought so much that L & L gave Whiskers to L's mom to watch. That was cat #1.

Then came Daisy. She was with us for a day and a half before having to go to the vet. Then she was gone for 2 1/2 days. That was cat #2. But now Maisey has to learn to get along with her because she’s not leaving.

We have to drive to Hastings tonight. SB's sister and brother in law have a car repair place there and are going to look at his truck. We are driving down separately, dropping off his truck and then coming back home in my car. Then we have to make the trip back on Saturday. It’s a long ways, but we are so thankful for their help. They are the kindest, nicest people I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Family really means something to them. They have done so much for us since our marriage...there is no tangible way for us to ever be able to pay them back. I just hope they know how wonderful we think they are and that we can find ways to bless them as much as they have blessed us.

Thanks for reading.

September 19, 2003: It’s Friday... That means Friday Five!

1. Who is your favorite singer/musician? Why?

Even though he passed away several years ago, I still love the music of Rich Mullins. The words, the melodies, everything. He expressed in song what I felt in my heart.

2. What one singer/musician can you not stand? Why?

Christina A, Brittany Spears, Mariah Carey, et al because they are hos.

3. If your favorite singer wasn’t in the music business, do you think you would still like him/her as a person?

Maybe not. I have heard Rich was kind of brusk and sometimes hard to deal with.

4. Have you been to any concerts? If yes, who put on the best show?

Yes, lots...Hall and Oates, Rick Springfield, The Cars, REO Speedwagon, Huey Lewis and the News, Amy Grant, DC Talk, Micheal W. Smith, Audio A, Jars of Clay, Petra, Newsboys, etc. DC Talk had an awesome show.

5. What are your thoughts on downloading free music online vs. purchasing albums? I don’t see the difference in downloading music to an MP3 player versus recording a mix tape of CD, so I think downloading should be legal and allowed.

Do you feel the RIAA is right in its pursuit to stop people from dowloading free music? I do since it’s a legal issue. But I think they are going about it all wrong, arresting 12 year old girls downloading kiddie songs and 80 year old men who let their grandkids use his computer.

On to the entry! Patty Bunge is a friend from my Madison days. If you can’t help her yourself, maybe you know someone who can. Here is Patty in her own words: “Hi - I am in need of your help. I am riding in the City Tour MS Bike ride on Sunday, Sept 21. My fundraising efforts for the event have been pathetic - 1 person has responded with $5 and I need to raise at least $50 (my goal was $300) by Sunday. Would you please consider support my ride and giving money towards National MS Society? If you know of someone else who may be interested, please pass on the info! http://www.nationalmssociety.org/ild/home/epledge_search_1.asp enter my name as "Patricia Bunge". Thanks for considering this request and need!

Your sister, daughter, friend, niece, cousin, granddaughter...Patty.”

Well Fall seems to have made its way here. I swear it happened in an hour yesterday late morning. One hour it was 73 degrees, the next, the temps had dropped, the winds picked up, and it was 53 degrees! If we’re lucky, we will get 1 or 2 (maybe 3) days of Indian Summer…but for all practical purposes, it seems as if Fall is here. As much as I love Fall, it bears remembering that winter can’t be far away. Blech.

Sweet Baboo and I drove to Hastings to drop off his truck for repairs. It was dark and rainy, so much so that the roads were hard to see. The trip took us 2 ½ hours to complete. We left at 7:15 and did not get home until 9:45. We were both exhausted by the time we got back. Thankfully, the rain started to let up a little on the drive home. It did not help that there was a bunch of construction messing up the roads either. So, SB will have his truck by tomorrow barring any repair nightmares. We have to make the trip back sometime tomorrow afternoon.

Daisy is home and settling in. Poor baby. Her paws are a little sore, but she is doing just fine. She has taken to just lay in the bathroom, so we set her back up in there. We leave the door open so the cats can socialize. Daisy is so good. She doesn’t hide, but neither does she bully her way around. Maisey, on the other hand, will walk straight into the bathroom, look around all wary and stealthily, and then will hiss mightily at Daisy who just sits compliantly by. These 2 certainly are characters. Maisey is mad that we brought another kitty home. She won’t rub us or let us pet her and she walks by us and grouses. She makes this little Meh, meh, meh sound. She sounds the way Tubby (www.bitchypoo.com) looks.

Last night I put Daisy on my tummy while I watched TV. She curled up and went right to sleep while I petted her. Maisey fretted, paced, and sniffed. She got up onto the end table nearest me and just sat there staring. Sweet Baboo said, “Look! She wants to be where Daisy is now.” I laughed and said, “No she doesn’t. She just doesn’t want anyone else to be there.” I cannot wait until they are well socialized and able to be left alone together. It will be interesting to see what that looks like when it happens. Will they be buddies and friends or just learn to tolerate each other? Tonight I think I will try a trick the books suggest…I am going to feed them each a little tuna in dishes right by each other. That way they will share a yummy treat and learn to be near one another.

September 22, 2003: Twitchy Fingers and Cat Fights

Happy Birthday Dan!

I had a very nice weekend, though I spent most of it refereeing cat fights. Maisey just will not let Daisy be. It’s fine if Daisy is sleeping or just laying about somewhere. Then Maisey relaxes or does her usual routine of looking out the sliding glass door. But if Daisy should want to eat or play or use the litter box, Maisey has to stalk her and get in her face and hiss at her for some reason. Daisy just looks at her like she’s insane and goes on her way. Daisy will be sleeping calmly in a chair and Maisey will stalk up to her, stare at her for a long time and then, WHACK! Out of nowhere, Maisey will tag her with her paw and then run away. Daisy usually opens an eye to see if this should be something she should get excited about. Then she closes her eye and goes back to sleep. It’s kind of cute. Except when it’s 4:00 AM and they are fighting over 2 feet of bed on the other side of me! Yeah, that was this morning.

I got a lot done over the weekend. Cleaned the apartment (except for vacuuming…I didn’t want to freak out Daisy.), picked up Sweet Baboo’s truck from Hastings, made crock pot beef stroganoff (mmmmmm!), and touched base with a few friends. It was a nice, relaxing weekend. Other than the fact I didn’t really get a lot of good sleep. I think I was off because of the new kitty and then was off because I was off. I feel like a zombie today.

SB called me and said I received pictures and books today in the mail! Yay books! I just finished the last one at work over my lunch hour and was wringing my hands because I didn’t have any more to read at home. Well, now I do. What I don’t have much of anymore is shelf space on my bookshelves. Thankfully, they have a United Way book drive this week. I can bring in books as a donation, free up some shelf space and be a good Samaritan all at the same time.

Even in my zombified state this morning, I managed to be industrious. I cleaned the kitty boxes, made crock-pot Swiss steak, and was able to have a nice breakfast before heading out the door. My original plan was to get up around 6am and start laundry for SB, but I didn’t fall asleep until well after 2 last night, so that was a no go. SB did it himself today, so that’s done too! We are doing well. Oh! This is weird. Today, my left hand index finger kept twitching. The muscle between my thumb and forefinger was spasming on its own making my finger jump and twitch. SB is worried that it might mean something, I just think it’s because I’m tired and use the computer so much. But I did call the nurse line at the doctor’s office and am waiting for a call back.

I checked the 401K I just opened at work and already I’ve made almost $2.00! Whoo hoo! Unfortunately I don’t qualify for matching funds until I’ve been here a year, but still almost $2.00 of profit for less than a months’ worth of investments is pretty good, I think. Only 8% of my check is going into the 401K right now, but that’s still about $200/month. Not bad for a beginning investor.

Thanks for reading!

6:33 a.m. - Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2004
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