Monday, December 26, 2011

... And a Happy New YEEEEAAAAAR!

I feel lots better than I did at my last posting. Thanks so very much to those wonderful people who contacted me directly to check up on me. It really does make a difference even if I'm not always able to say so right then. I finally went to the doctor today. 7 straight days of being sick was more than enough, thankyouverymuch. I have gigantic horse-pill sized antibiotics, a little something to help with the aches, and a sore hip from the steroid injection. After just four hours, I'm already feeling better.

I guess I didn't realize just how sick I was. All I knew was that I was miserable and I wasn't 100% sure why. I thought I had kicked the worst part of the cold after just a few days, but I was so wiped out! I literally spent the last 48 hours in bed except for occasional drink and bathroom breaks. I tried to take my temperature, but I couldn't really be sure I was getting a good reading on my old thermometer so I was talking myself out of going to the doctor and berating myself for not being a better mother and wife. I mean, this IS supposed to be the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Why else would I be more interested in sleeping than baking cookies and shopping? It MUST be that I have failed as a human being and had lost ALL my Christmas Spirit.

I can not even describe the relief I felt when I decided to "gift" myself with a brand new, digital, IR, ear canal, 1 second reading thermometer only to find I really WAS running a fever and I DID have a valid reason to feel like crap. Yay! I'm not a bad person and I don't hate Christmas! I'm just sick! Rejoice!

The added benefit of having proof of being sick was that not only could I excuse myself from cooking and participating in the majority of the festivities, but my whole family instantly stepped up and picked up the slack for me. I still feel terrible that I wasn't there to actually BE there over the last few days. However, my heart is supremely warmed at the outpouring of love that my WP, my sister Spike, and her new hubby Walrus showed. They were all guests in MY home, but they helped wrangle kids, clean, cook, and even wrap gifts. Most importantly, they all let me sleep as much as I needed and didn't make me feel guilty about it. I couldn't have asked for a better gift.

Speaking of gifts, I have yet another reason to be overwhelmed with thanksgiving. This year, we were able to handle ALL of our Christmas gifting on our own, without financial help from friends, family, churches. or anonymous donors. It may not have been the largest Christmas, but everyone got at least one thing they REALLY wanted. We were even able to let each of the girls have a budget for gifting to each other (which is really the best part, I think.)

It was only a few years ago that we were gifted with our entire holiday from members of our community. Never have I been more humbled, thankful, and embarrassed all at once. Since then, it has been my goal to never have to be in that situation again. It isn't that I am not grateful. It is exactly the opposite, actually. I am so grateful and they were so generous, I would hate to take that opportunity away from someone else who needs it more. Plus, I feel if I need that type of help more than once, I would be taking advantage and not learning from my own mistakes. Sometimes crazy stuff happens and you need help to make it through. If you don't learn from it and better yourself, then any help that was offered was, frankly, a waste.

In any case, the hole we were in at that time was so deep that it has taken years to pull out of it. Along the way we have had friends and family provide more help than I will ever be able to pay back or even pay forward. We learned where we made mistakes and we have been able to see what could have been done better. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and pride that we are getting back on our feet again. Yes, we still are receiving help in the way of a very reasonable rent that is payable on our pay schedule. But, we have come a long way on our own by taking better care of our  responsibilities. Learning how to be a grown-up is tough!

So, I hope each of you is having a wonderful holiday, however you plan to celebrate it.
Be Awesome to each other.


Sunday, December 18, 2011


Today as I read Post Secret (like I do every Sunday) I realized that I have so much in common with all these people who wrote secrets, but they aren't secrets to me. I have someone I love so very much that I can tell him all the things that go through my mind. He knows about everything that has happened to me from as far back as I can remember. Every day we talk and I still tell him everything about my day and every thought that goes through my head. Most days I don't need to tell him, he just knows. Somehow, though, the telling makes it better. The happiness is brighter, the fear is quieter, the pain is smaller.

However, there are times, like the past few weeks for instance, that even sharing all this doesn't help enough. I don't know what makes it happen or how to really make it go away. The Grey Monster just creeps up and grabs a hold and I am stuck. Ugly thoughts about regrets, mistakes, broken promises, and destroyed wishes... they all come back again and again. I feel as if I am somehow not as smart as I should be because I can't make this go away.

The worst part is feeling like it is all my fault. If I had just done THIS, or avoided THAT maybe I would be as thin, and wealthy, and successful as I should have been. Every bad decision I've ever made piles up and I can't even breathe. Sometimes I have dreams where I am so angry I wake up screaming and yelling and trying to punch people. Other times my dreams are so very, deeply, impossibly sad that I wake up crying and sobbing. Why on earth does my brain need to fabricate these things? Do I not feel horrible enough during the day that I need to feel worse at night?

I will say that I am sleeping less than I used to. I don't nap nearly as often or for as long. The daily aching pain is much better, although I still have spikes of pain whenever I move around. I only get headaches once every few weeks instead of several every day.  I'm able to more easily do the normal things I need to do every day - shower, get dressed, eat, run my errands. I still don't feel "normal." I don't know that I would recognize "normal" if I ever felt it. Above all else, I feel guilty for being so self-centered and focused on my own petty issues instead of on the really big things that I could be doing to help someone else.

So, even though I can tell I have come a long way from where I was, I'm still not better. I am completely different than I ever was before, and I am beginning to accept that. I'm not happy with where I am, though, and I really need to be better. I'm not sure how.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I have ants in my pants!

Ok, they aren't exactly in the pants I am currently wearing, but they are everywhere else around here so I BET they are probably in some pair of my pants somewhere. This is just the latest surprise we have encountered in the adventure I call, "Moving in to My In-Law's House." I don't want to sound ungrateful or anything like that. My in-laws have been SUPER generous to us in many other ways other than letting us take over their house (for a GREAT price) when they retired and moved. It's just that...well, STRANGE things have been happening since we moved in. Things that no one should have to endure.

You see, there was an earthquake about three hours north of here a few months ago. We did feel the shaking, and some of the aftershocks too. Since then, I've noticed things around the house have CHANGED. Now, every house in this area is known to have foundation issues. It comes with the territory - literally. The entire area was once a mesquite grove and the roots of those tree never go away. They just keep growing and moving and destroying anything built on top of them. Because of that, running from the front door to the back corner there was already a crack in the foundation. It has been that way for several years. Now, however, there is at least one more crack running from nearly the same starting point to the OTHER back corner of the house. And the dining room is tilted enough to give visitors vertigo. And the walls are cracking further.  And, apparently, the GINORMOUS ant colony that my house sits on was disturbed. Boy, are they pissed!

In Texas, we battle all sorts of creepy-crawlies on a daily basis. That's just part of life 'round here. Anything that flies will probably bite, and anything with more than four legs will most likely sting. I still don't believe the wild tales of foreigners (from New York) that tell  me ants up there don't bite. Really? How do you know they are ants, then? Ants BITE. That's what they do! Red, black, it doesn't matter; if they are in my house they will die because I don't want me or my family to get bitten.

Except now, there are literally TOO MANY too kill at once. My kitchen floor is criss-crossed with little ant armies marching towards the peanut butter. The bathrooms BOTH have little colonies building lakeside resorts by the toilets. I have found them in every single room in my house! After I kill them, I have begun leaving their corpses around as an example to the others. I have sprayed so much Raid that we had to air out the house because we were choking on the fumes. I have tried every home remedy available - DME, Simple Green, Talcum powder, you name it. All it seems to do is invigorate them more as they learn how to overcome and adapt to my new tactics. It seems we have little military badass ants now, that are threatening to invade, conquer, and come up with a little ant way of yelling Oooh Rah! before every attack.

Then, they took my sugar. I am not pleased.

I used the sugar shaker in the kitchen for my first cup of coffee, and when I went back for another cup, it was gone. GONE! I looked in the cabinets and in the pantry with no clue. I even checked the fridge, the freezer, and the skinny little cabinet by the back door where we keep our spices. I was beginning to panic, thinking I somehow threw it away in my pre-caffienated stupor. Without sugar, there can be no more coffee.... and without more coffee.... well, the thought doesn't bear consideration.

So, as I was wandering around the house in a furious craze, I found it - there, in the living room. Now, I know what you are thinking. Surely someone HUMAN moved the sugar shaker and left it on the coffee table. But I assure you that could NOT be possible. After all, I have threatened my children with everything up to and beyond death for bringing ANY sort of food in the living room. They wouldn't have DARED to bring the sugar in there this morning while eating Cream of Wheat and watching TV. No, that just isn't possible. Not after the pleading and begging and threats of starvation and personal bodily harm.

No, I am POSITIVE it was the ants. They moved it there in an attempt to foster dissension in the opposing Army's troops. They knew how angry I would be at LEAVING FOOD IN THE LIVING ROOM, so they made a calculated attack against my psyche in the hopes I would turn my ire against my own children and, in doing so, temporarily forget my war against The Stinging Creatures With Six Legs. You never can trust anything with more legs than yourself. It is just the way of the world down here.

Oh wait... it just might have been the husband, after all....

Screw it. I'm calling the exterminators anyway.

Deb "Aunty not ANTY" Lollar