Friday, November 30, 2007

Off To The Woods

We're taking a little "mid-winter" trip this weekend to visit the Indian Casino up north. Nice place, small and I usually do okay. As always it's fun to people watch. Let's see how many chain smoking little old ladies require my assistance in putting their money in. Can't figure out how to insert the money or card but these broads can push the buttons like there is not tomorrow. This day just happens to fall on our anniversary to so a big win would certainly help that celebration along.

Brother-in-law is still in the hospital. Last word yesterday is that the CAT scan showed almost normal. He wasn't quite as confused. Let's just home he continues on this road.

So, the Packers lost to the Cowboys. It was a good game to watch...until Brett was out. That made it more interesting as #12 hasn't played much. I got a kick out of sitting at a machine which happened to be near a table of younger folk. The comments that were coming out were keeping me quite amused. "The assholes been on the bench all season so far. You think he'd get out on the field and do something", as he scrambles for a first down. She was a hoot...that is until she glared at my friend the Cowboy fan.

In my special message to my friend..Congratulations to your boys. Let's breath a sigh of relief that tattoos aren't quite as bad as a body piercing.

Friday, November 23, 2007


In the past it was a huge deal for my two sister-in-laws and myself to wake at the crack of dawn on Black Friday and hit the stores. Over the past few years it has dwindled to hitting the stores later in the day to maybe not going at all. We never really came home with a lot. Just people watching was fun in itself.

After prodding my son for gift suggestions yesterday, of course he shows me something from Kohl's that he wants that is a good deal in the Early Bird special. I read the fine print. Some of these items are available on-line but only during these hours. Hell if I was getting up a 4am. So last night around midnight I logged on to find that it was in fact on sale then. With my 15% off and free shipping it was well worth the click of the finger verses the trip to the store.

My brother-in-law has managed to take another turn for the worse. He woke up yesterday confused and agitated. Sister-in-law D spent a good part of the day trying to convince herself that he was not himself and to not let what he was saying affect her. She's a strong girl and managed to make it until around 4pm before she chucked it in and went home. She unplugged his phone first to assure he wouldn't make any phone calls. Earlier in the day she had left him for a few minutes and he had phoned his mother begging her to come and get him. This set off a round of events that occurred when I should have been mashing the spuds.

Today will be another CT scan as the area in his head where the shunt was put in is swollen. This could be a possible build up of brain fluid again. She had 12 hours of him being somewhat back to normal. She's thankful for that little bit.

Our family Thanksgiving turned out well. Good food, no arguments..good company and my son directed the clean up. J (Annette) was a huge help. We won't mention my husband waited until the last dish was done and the kitchen cleaned up before showing up with his dirty plate. From the sinister grin on his face one would think he planned this out.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Day

Although one should be thankful on a daily basis we sometimes look at Thanksgiving Day as the day we should give thanks. My brother-in-law had yet another surgery today and the call I got an hour ago was one of joy. I have been friends with my sister-in-law for 34 years. We've been through a lot together. Our weddings, the birth of our children, a loss of a child for them, my divorce, my marriage to A, the death of her parents, the list goes on. For some reason their life together has been somewhat of what I'd consider a test. A test of love and a test of faith. There were times when she'd be so discouraged but then buck up and deal with things. Yesterday when she told me he had to go back in she sounded so down. They found a kink in the shunt that the doctor had put in from his brain to his stomach. Luckily the kink was in the stomach area. They tested the shunt by injecting die through it after the surgery and found it to now be working properly. She did not know what to expect when he came to as he's been very confused for about a month now. The man woke up knowing things he has not been able to remember for a month. Her and I were bawling over the phone. We can only hope that he moves forward from here. For this glimmer of hope I thank God.
Of course this got me to thinking...this can sometimes be dangerous. But in this case it's all for the good. I compiled a list in my head of things I'm thankful for but I took a little different route:

I bitch about going to work everyday..but I'm thankful that I wake up each day and that I have a job.
I bitch about cooking..but I'm thankful that we have money to buy food and a home to cook it in.
I bitch about aches and pains..but I'm thankful that I can feel them.
I bitched about all our boarders but I'm thankful that I could help each and everyone of them out.
I bitch about the price of gas..but I'm thankful that I have a vehicle to drive
I bitch about my husband..but I'm thankful that I have someone to share my life with.
I bitch about my parents living so far away..but I'm thankful that they are still able to enjoy their lives.
I bitched about my ex-husband but I'm thankful that I married him as without doing so I would not have the children I do.
I bitch about snow-but thankful that it paints such a pretty picture.
I bitch about mosquitoes when camping-but thankful that we have such a great time with good friends.

Things I'm just plain thankful for:

For the most part my family is in good health. Those that have had illness's are with us today.
My children and grandchildren. What a joy! I'm thankful that I now get to hear my kids scold their kids for the same things they did and I can secretly chuckle.
My husband-there are no words to express how thankful I am.
I'm thankful that my brother was divorced twice otherwise I wouldn't have the wonderful sister-in-law I have now.
I'm thankful for my upbringing. My parents did right by us.
I am thankful for each and every one of my friends. You are all special to me.
I'm thankful that I have a family to share tomorrow with. (even though I get to cook)
I'm thankful that they eat my cooking and don't wince when I'm looking.

There was a time in my life when things were just plain rotten. The days I didn't want to get out of bed. I am thankful that my father gave me the lecture of my life as I truly believe that he put me on the right track.

Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cause LeRoy Says So...

I'm a freak of listening to Leroy Butler on KLH on Monday mornings, which repeats on Tuesday morning. I didn't catch him yesterday, in fact I'm not quite sure of what I listened to on my way to work. Both my husband and I woke up feeling a little ill. Me, at 3am and him around 5. At first I though it may have been the Mac & Cheese we ate at Big Momma's but no one else was ill. So it remains a mystery.

Anyway, back to Leroy. I like listening to him as he shines hope upon the next weeks Packer win. Funny how he poo-pooed the game with Detroit and went right into talking about how the Packers can and will beat the Cowboys. Now, I said I don't talk smack as it's bad luck, but he did have some good points. I will leave it at that rather than get into any smack talking arguments. We all know that anything can happen.

One of the DJ's then asked the question I have wondered about for awhile. "Is the Mac & Cheese at Thanksgiving just an African American thing or what?". I used to work with a girl who told me that Mac & Cheese was the most important part of their Thanksgiving Dinner. He confirmed that. Not boxed Mac & Cheese, this stuff has to be home made with three cheese's and sour cream. So at work today I took a poll. The two AA women answered before I had the question out. Everyone else looked at me like I was nuts. The girls went into detail about how it has to be made and what the repercussions are if it's missing. I wondered what my families reaction would be if I pulled a large casserole dish of Mac & Cheese out at Thanksgiving. As if you need another food item to sit like a rock in your belly. But the solution for that from the girls and Leroy was that you do not eat, or eat very lightly the day before so you are near starving when the feast begins. (I'm getting the home made recipe tomorrow and will try it out some other time)

My brother-in-law is going for another surgery tomorrow. The shunt has a kink in it but luckily it's in the stomach area rather than the brain. He's still pretty confused and the doctors all though this would clear by now. The dye was shot into the shunt this morning and the kink discovered. He's supposed to be released Thursday morning but with his history of extended hospital stays who knows. We're hoping for the best.

Here's to my sister-in-law J who is in much better shape this year then she was last year at this time. I'm happy that she will be joining us for Thanksgiving this year rather than opting for the Meals on Wheels. No drinking blue slushies so you can pee blue again this year. Pull out the Pink Hat, all survivors eat first. (I'm not sure the hat will get you out of dishes though)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

He's Not Real?

We hit the Milwaukee Christmas (oops Holiday) Parade today. This planning started back in mid-October when my two nieces hit me up about it. Apparently the childhood memories got to them and they felt the need to go. In the past we've had a good time watching the parade and have weathered rain, snow, very cold temperatures and as I can recall one year where it was 50 some degrees and we were all in sweatshirts. Yesterday when I heard how cold it was going to be I tried pulling a fast one and offered hot chocolate, chairs and our living room to watch the parade. This did not go over well. By 6pm last night the plan to go was in action.

The must haves at the parade are doughnuts (real, not Dunkin or Honey dip) and hot chocolate. There was no way I was getting up at 7am to secure the doughnuts. I was always in charge of the hot chocolate. Upon rising this morning A went off to Walgreen's for tape for the video camera. He arrived home with doughnuts. "gotta have em" were his words. I boiled the water, dug out the awesome air pot thermos and made the hot chocolate. Everyone arrived on schedule and off we went. We met my grandson Dylan and my son's girlfriend on 3rd and State and staked our claim. I then discovered that the hot chocolate was still sitting on the kitchen table. Starbucks was visited and all was well.

A lot of interesting things go on while waiting for the parade. Santa was spotted. As I pointed this out Dylan looked a little sheepish. I saw him say something to Laura and then he climbed in my lap and proceeded to tell me very secretly that he didn't think Santa was real. I was crushed. My baby was all grown up. What was I thinking? A boy that goes out and kicks butt in football is not going to huddle up with the guys and tell them what he wanted Santa to bring him this year. I give him credit for not yelling it out. He wasn't sure if the 15 & 17 year old still might believe. It was now up to me to explain this. I thought back to when I found out and tried to remember how my parents covered this all up. I'm trying to act fast on this one when all of a sudden he says " I can't believe you guys lied to me for 7 years". My comeback " no 8 years". "Grandma when I was 1 I didn't know what the heck was going on". "Did you guys really think that I wouldn't figure out that there is no way a 300 lb. man is going to fit down a chimney"

I did my best. I explained that there really was a Santa although refereed to as St. Nick, and he really did bring gifts to children. The story just grew from there. I remember my parents saying that Santa is the magic of Christmas and relayed that to him. We went through the list...tooth fairy-fake/ Easter Bunny-fake. Every costumed character that went past in the parade was a costume or real question and answer. And then Ronald McDonald appeared. I looked at Dylan and he looked a little puzzled. "I'm not quite sure on that one" he says. "I'm not real sure someone would dress up like that on purpose".

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Boy Was I Wrong

I figured since I had such good luck with daytime shopping yesterday that I would venture out to do some daytime grocery shopping today. How bad could it be? A weekday, and mid-morning. What a joke!
As I pulled into the local P&S parking lot I noticed that it was quite empty. A good sign, I thought. First stop was the produce department. Not bad except for the cluster of carts of produce waiting to be put into place. On to the deli where beside myself there was one person waiting. I listened to the goof behind the counter describing why they call Vegas "Sin City". It was a funny conversation, only he could not work and talk at the same time. So the customers waiting started to grow as dork boy carried on his story. I think clearing my throat brought him back to reality.
Aisle after aisle I discovered that all stocking must be done during the day as every fricking aisle had crap in carts or on pallets to be put on the shelves. It was worse than Walmart. I was in search of the advertised Turkey and after looking myself for a few minutes I went to the meat service counter. Now, there is a window where I could see 3 men working away and I know they could see me. Rather than ring the service bell (because why in the hell would I be standing there) I waited a few minutes. Then after feeling really ignored I layed on the bell. A man with meat covered hands came out looking really angry and prior to asking me what I needed began to search for the missing meat counter person. " All I want to know is where the advertised Turkey's are". He points down an aisle with his meat juice covered hands and I nicely tell him that I looked there. Then he barks out that someone would bring them out. Needless to say, meat covered hand man brought me out a nice big 22 lb. Turkey. He did take the time to wipe off the outside of the Turkey where he left meat prints.
I thought this would be the end of a trip gone bad but I was mistaken. The check-out with the bagger was the shortest line so I opted to step into that line. If anyone is ever wondering why grocery prices are rising it's because they put one fricken thing in a bag. I swear that I had 18 plastic bags of groceries that could have been combined together into maybe 10. And my Turkey wasn't even in a bag.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Only Good Thing..

Day 2 of the night shift is over. I have composed a list of the good side of working nights.

1) Shopping at a mall during the week, mid-day rocks. The stores are your own. If you can dodge the mall walkers and the jerks in the mall trying to persuade you to "try this hand lotion" or switch your cellphone service, then you're doing good.

2) I was able to get caught up on some phone calls to business's that are only open until 4pm.

3) There is no traffic on the freeway at 11pm at night. A 20 minute commute is knocked down to 12 minutes. (okay so I sped a little)

4) After 5 pm the management team has pretty much left the building. One can accomplish a good amount of work when not being bothered.

5) That's all I got!

Here's the bad:

1) 2pm traffic sucks

2) Daytime tv sucks

3) My body and brain want 1st shift

4) I have to be quiet when I get home so as not to disturb someone.

5) I have become accustomed to a 1st shift life and want to get up-go to work and get it over with.

Let's just quit the list as it could go on forever.

On a lighter note, I was almost taken out by an elderly woman at Southridge today. I'm not sure she could see over the steering wheel. I was walking from the parking lot to the store and she was coming right at me. It was a moment of chicken. Who was going to move first. In the end I did as she was coming right for my hip. The one I just had surgery on. I had this image of pain and going through all that again so I moved aside and let Mrs. Magoo continue on her way. I'm sure she didn't see me as I didn't see her fist shaking out the window as she drove on.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Yeah... I Was Wondering If You Could....

After watching Office Space the other night I came to the conclusion that the approach used by the boss is often used at my place of employment (minus the cup of coffee). This week I am "taking my turn" on the night shift to assist in training of fellow employees. As I've expressed before I am not a night shift person. I have grown used to getting up, doing the daily hygiene things, and shooting off to work. Start your day and get it over. I dislike waiting around all day to go to work. Not that I'm sitting here waiting because as I write the laundry is going and I am getting dinner ready for my husband. He may be the happy one in this situation. He'll get dinner and not be bothered all night. Just him and the dog bonding. I see it now, Sadie in the kitchen, maybe at the table, having dinner with dad.

I did manage to talk him into joining me in some Christmas shopping last night. I know, it's not even Thanksgiving yet but the opportunity was there. I asked, he made a face, I explained how I do this alone every year, he agreed. I did have to look for him a few times as he wandered, but for the most part he helped out. My lame excuse for wanting him to come..I didn't want to get mugged in the Walmart parking lot. I'm pretty brave, but I hate that parking lot. The little dork driving around in the security car is not going to save anyone.

I was able to watch the first half of the Packer game yesterday. My son's girlfriend had a Pampered Chef party at 2pm. She felt bad enough so I saw no need to inquire as to why one would schedule a demonstration on a Sunday afternoon. They had the game on so all was good. I caught the highlights. All was good.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

It's Back...

I know I'm going to take a lot of "ribbing" for this but the only food I consider edible from McDonalds is back. Yes folks, back for the season is the McRib sandwich. Color me happy! My husband is currently on a McRib run. He loves me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

When Life Hands You Lemons.....

I truly wish I could find something good or funny to write about in my post. Racked my brain, nope, I got nothin.
My brother-in-law was discharged from the hospital today. Physically he's fine. Sister-in-law was under the assumption that he'd be going to the rehab floor for a week or two so they could work on his mental state. Their insurance will cover for him to go into a Nursing Home, but not stay at the hospital. The girl has exhausted what donated vacation time she has and is not able to leave him home unattended. He's a bit clouded yet. He had no psychiatric evaluation prior to leaving although all the nurse's could have been able to attest to his mental state.
A & I stopped in to see them after work today. He was sleeping when we got there but woke and came into the kitchen to chat with us. At first he made sense, asking A about work and talking about small things. He then went into the bathroom and after taking too long my sister-in-law D went to check things out. She found him taking the light fixture in the bathroom down. For what reason is beyond all of us. He then came into the kitchen, complained of a headach and proceeded to open up a pill bottle and self medicate himself. We then took any medications that were in the house and locked them up. Yeah, he's ready to go home alright. They live about a mile from us so I'm sure we'll get a call soon.
There is a slight chance of hope. Their insurance will pay for adult day care which happens to be at the same hospital she works at. She'll find out tomorrow if he can go. She then can at least go back to work. Not saying she'd be able to concentrate much, but more then she could if he was at home alone. Oh, there is another great thing...they may just be able to stream-line the hearing for Social Security that was applied for a year ago. This illness started more than 2 years ago. He quit his job in October of 2005. This is when things began to esclate. All we can do is be there for them. A winning lottery ticket would probably be welcome right about now.

Did I mention also that work once again sucks! Yes, my 1st shift job is rotating onto my most dreaded shift next week. 3pm to 11pm. I am going to this shift to train the untrainable person who will be running the line on 2nd shift. My co-worker /friend has been on 2nd for over a month now attempting to train him. She's not real patient and he's not to attentive. It's going to take more than a week but that's all I care to work it. There is a slight chance that there may just be a little good in starting at 3pm. When I figure it out I'll let you all know.

Monday, November 05, 2007

You're Almost Perfect????

I think my husband may have been a little on the tipsy side the other night. He's have a horrible couple of weeks at work, has worked some long hours and has been a little on edge between work and his brother being ill. Saturday night we ventured out after a visit to the hospital. After I saw him consume his first drink like it was water I knew I'd better take it easy as I would be the driver. As the night progressed I was handed the car keys and also watched the eyes grow glassier by the moment. I figured it was just about time to go when he sat down next to me and in somewhat of a slur proceeded to tell me that " I was almost perfect". Yep..time to hit the road buddy. But he wasn't quite ready yet. He would go on to put his 5 bucks into the slot machine and play for what seemed like an hour. Luckily he lost it all or I'm certain we'd still be there.

The best part was when we got home. Our dog is not allowed in our kitchen. I had gone into the other room for a moment and came back to find him standing in the kitchen staring at the floor. I then saw the dog, in the kitchen chowing on something. When I asked he told me he dropped his piece of lunch meat and cheese on the floor and she got it. Something tells me that I'm the only one that doesn't allow her in the kitchen. She probably loves when I work nights. No doubt the big guy has her eating at the table with him. He then went on to continue his "almost perfect" conversation. It appears that if it wasn't for me being " a little bit on the bitchy side" once in awhile that I'd be in that category. Hmm... I guess I'm bitchy When I wake him up prior to 11 am on the weekends. Maybe because the night before I'm told that he wants to be up early to get somewhere before it gets to crowded. Maybe because when I do wake him up at 11 or so he's pissed off because I "let him" sleep so late. Regardless of all that I guess he sees me much better than I see myself.

On a sad note I got news tonight that one of our friends that we know from the bar has passed away. He's been in poor health for a while now and suffered a stroke a few weeks back. He was a good guy who always had a hug and a smile for you. We'll miss you Pat!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Third Times A Charm?

My brother-in-law has been through hell. 15 days ago he went for surgery to remove a tumor from his brain. He is still in ICU. He has had two additional surgeries, one to insert a shunt and another to reposition the shunt. The doctor was hoping his natural valve in the brain would take over and drain fluid after being plugged by the tumor for who knows how long. This did not happen, hence the shunt. He was very cloudy, very confused and I know to himself he made perfect sense. The man put on a show for us everyday. His last surgery was Thursday and they just might have it right this time. He was still a little cloudy yesterday and was a little irate when told he'd been at the hospital for 14 days. I'll be heading up their shortly to see what today holds. My sister-in-law is holding up well. She just wants her husband back.

I haven't done to much of anything else the past two weeks. I hear Miller calling me and later on tonight I just may answer his call.