Monday, August 30, 2010

And Off She Goes

Our niece is college bound as I write. She's not the first to go off, but she is the daughter of my late brother David. This is an event I know he would be beaming about. My daughter rode along with her and her mother to help move her in and "check the place out", so I'm getting updates along the way. She said Nicole shows no signs of nervousness-just plain excitement.
She wasn't scheduled to make the trip, but with a last minute ditching by another niece she was happy to fill the spot. I think she feels good about going along to assure Nicole is all set. My brother and daughter were very close so if he's looking down I'm sure he's content in knowing his daughter is in good hands.

From the time Nicole was born my brother was beaming. Proof is in the hours and hours of video taping he did of her every move. Like all families the first one has all the pictures and videos and when number two comes along they lessen. She shared his love of Mustangs and the Packers. Apparently we didn't do a good job of keeping that up as she could care less about football now. They would come over on Sunday's for Packer games and she would sit next to him and watch the entire game. The two of them had a collection of football helmets and at one time she could name every team by their helmets. I think she may have been five at the time.

I envision him being around now and her going off to College. I'm almost certain that my brother would have found a Domino's around her Campus to work at and in a heartbeat would have relocated. Otherwise he would be up there every chance he had. If all holds true to what I've always been told he's up there watching over her now. She's doing great and it's hard to watch her go. She got all the lectures last night and I'm sure she'll experience the life of freedom in some ways. We warned her that she's not that far away. Aunties J & A are all about the road trips. If she's anything like Ben's opera star, she will flourish.

It's just hard watching the little girl with the cowboy boots and hat going off on her own. I'll get over it. Soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Scratch That Weekend...

Maybe it was the date, like an omen haunting us. Two years ago on this same weekend my brother passed away. The events leading up to his passing started the weekend prior when we were camping. I'm not one to be superstitious but I think I may cut the entire August camping thing off my list.

This weekend started out good. We got an early start and had things set up and were kicking back within two hours of arriving. Then the storm warnings started coming through, the wind picked up and the rain started. A few minutes into the storm we all heard a rather large thump and first thought was something bounced off the top of the camper. It wasn't much later that we discovered the thump was the tree branch that hit our truck. Left a nice dent in the hood. A picture was taken and the branch was burned in the fire pit. The rain eventually stopped, the jack & cokes were consumed and the night went on.

The next morning we discovered more damage to the truck. The windshield is cracked and there is another crack in the hood. Never saw it the night before, but there were leaves on the truck and it was raining. I feel fortunate that the falling branch did damage to the truck and not to one of us. The rest of the time spent camping went pretty well. There was a little giddiness at camp as some of the campers were taking off for Vegas later in the day.

When we got home I went to unpack the cooler and when opening the fridge I found it to be warm. The freezer items were still frozen. We ended up loading everything into the downstairs fridge and coolers. The mighty maintenance man found that the compressor was shot. The fridge is around 30 years old and came with the house. It didn't seem worth fixing so off we went to Menards to purchase a new fridge.

Ended up with a very plain fridge. I really didn't have the time to shop around and compare prices and I also knew that there really wasn't anyone around to help him carry the fridge in beside me. All in all I didn't get a fridge that I like very much. I think Barn knew it as we were walking out of the store as he has now doomed us further. "I know that's not the one you wanted but it'll be good in the basement. Plus it came with a 25% in store rebate that I'll be able to buy the sump pump with". I think he may still have the slap marks on his arm. And one should never ask "what's next". On my way to the car I simply looked up toward the sky and said" What else you got? Bring it on!

So, I felt a little sad this morning and I know family members are also still struggling with the loss of our brother/father/son. I have my moments which I thought would go away after a while. Its just not on the date he left us, or his birthday, or holidays. I miss my brother and I don't think a day goes by that I don't think of him in some way. I'll admit I don't cry as much but it still hurts. I don't know what step I'm on as far as the grieving process, but I still can't get past the anger part of it. My day was cheered up a bit with a 5:30 am phone call from my friend/sister-in-law from Vegas. I talk to a lot of people during the course of my day, but it's only a few that can get me out of a funk. I thank GOD everyday that 10 years ago my brother made a very wise choice in marrying her.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Walking To Memories

Toward the end of last week I decided to get back on track and start walking outside again. Waiting until early evening proved to be a good idea as the weather cooled a little, however the mosquito's were vicious. Early mornings on the weekend tend to work out better. I wish every day could be a weekend because I love walking in the morning. There is nothing better than having the sidewalk to yourself except for an occasional jogger or fellow dog walker. Sadie seems to do better in the early morning also. My initial thought was to get up an hour earlier every morning and hit the pavement with my four-legged walking partner. This morning my alarm went off and reality set in. Sadie was snoring away and I didn't want to wake her. She looked so peaceful. (not a valid excuse). So my walk will be after work, which really isn't to bad. The humidity and oven like heat seems to have taken a break.

So each day, with poop bag in hand, Sadie and I have set out for our 2 mile walk. I make sure she's hydrated and has made her deposit prior to leaving. I have taken to counting how many houses we go past before she feels the need to poop. The first day she made it about 3 blocks and decided to squat and poop on a semi-busy street. Nice. Nothing better than picking up poop while cars are buzzing by. Day two she waited until we were almost back home which I thanked her for. I've begun to carry two bags. One for the early deposit which I can usually find a garbage can to dump it in rather than carry it 2 miles. The other day I took Bella along also, who managed to make the entire trip without incident. By yesterday I thought Sadie would get the routine under control and be able to make it without me having to stoop and pick up poop. No, we made it four houses away and there she went. I thought for sure she wouldn't make the rest of the trip without doing it again. Even went an extra 1/2 mile. She made it! We'll see what today brings.

I like walking the neighborhood. It beats walking in the house staring at the TV. Each day I try to change up the route a little to take in some different scenery. Strolled past my elementary school and saw that they have grades K-4 through 8th grade now. Wondered if they still play dodge ball on the lower playground. The lower playground was only for the 6th graders when I attended the school. Funny how it made us feel so grown up, but yet cut off from the rest of the school.

I live in the neighborhood where I grew up so it's interesting to see the changes. Walking past former classmates and friends homes I sometimes see their parents still live in the homes. Wondering how many of my classmates bought their parents home like I did. Last night I took the path through the park that we used to hang out at. When Ben and I were younger we used to get with friends and being that the park was not developed yet, would go and have bonfires deep in the woods. Had this whole set up with logs to sit on and a small fire pit we dug out. We used trees that were down , branches and leaves to keep the fire going. The path is now asphalt and I can still see the spot we hung out at. We hung out there for an entire summer and never once had anyone come through. Of course the area was not to developed and the woods was pretty thick. There used to be a fairly large pond that I learned to ice skate on. My dad would come with us and I would skate and my brothers would sled. We had the park to ourselves. The pond has now been drained and covered up and I'm pretty sure the hill shrunk. The park is built up with basketball courts, a baseball diamond, soccer practice and a playground. The kids all looked to be having a good time but I wonder if they'll have the memories that I do.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm In a Band

In my dreams that is. I woke up the Saturday morning around 5am and decided that for being a Saturday it was just a bit to early to get up. I turned on the TV and started watching Drumline. I've watched the movie before but it won over the millions of infomercials and religious shows that were also playing.
I figure I dozed off during the first ten minutes and couldn't have been asleep more than 1/2 hour or so when I woke up laughing. Once again I fell asleep during a movie and took on a role in the movie. It was a star-studded dream.
First off my friend Kim was the band leader. We all had blue uniforms with the tall white furry hats (looked more like the guards at Buckingham Palace). Kim was out in front just marching away with her baton in hand. She also had a whistle in her mouth that she would not stop blowing (found out later that annoying noise was actually my daughters alarm clock). My husband was playing the tuba and smoking a cigar in between. Steve was walking along playing an electric guitar with an amp strapped to his back. He was sweating. Jodi was on the flute and was wearing a skirt with white boots. Then there's Janet who was playing the drums and walking next to her husband also playing the drums and they kept switching drumsticks in mid air (very talented). Our friend E was playing a trumpet and I was walking next to him holding his sheet music, not playing anything. The most vivid part of the dream was walking down Howell Avenue and Kim just going to town with that baton. Pete was standing on the curb waving us on. Gotta love the fun dreams.

Then there's the deceased brother dream. He gave me money to go to Vegas. Some of the gang are going to Vegas next week and I opted to stay home with the husband that does not fly. I have the urge to go, but I guess it can wait. In my dream my brother showed up and said he knew how much I wanted to go, and he'd take care of things while I was gone. He showed up with his suitcase and was ready to take care of the household. Don't want to analyze that dream.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dreams Again

I seem to be having a lot of action dreams lately. The ones where you wake up in the midst of moving around. At first what you're doing is a little fuzzy but then you either wake fully and laugh it off or just fall back to sleep and forget it.
The other night I went to bed and must have fallen asleep pretty quickly. According to my husband we were in the middle of conversation and I drifted off. I recall slipping into a dream where I grabbed the girls basketball off the porch to put it away in the garage where it belongs. On my way to the garage Barney intercepted the basketball and began to dribble and then shoot a couple baskets. I asked for the ball back explaining that I needed to put it away and if he continued to play with it he'd just leave it lay in the driveway. He kept urging me to shoot a few. I told him I wouldn't shoot against him because he cheats and always blocks my shots (isn't that what basketball is about..blocking shots). Anyway I took the ball and backed up to attempt a hook shot. As I put my arm out to shoot he ran up from behind me and blocked my arm and thud I hit a solid wall. "What the hell" I heard as I woke up and realized that I had carried out the motions and decked him pretty good in the chest. I was going to apologize but figured he probably had it coming for something so I went back to sleep.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

More than a book

Did you ever think about how many uses there are for a book beside reading? First you must take into account the size of the book. For example a paperback book can be used to prop a door open, add a little more height to a reading lamp, and if thin enough it can be used to prop up a table leg. A phone book or catalog has many uses. Doubled up they can make a booster seat for a child. As the child gets older and taller you can remove one book (showing my age here as we didn't have booster seats when I was younger). Short little old ladies use the phone book to sit on while driving. My use for the phone book today was to add more height to my monitor. I have had some neck and shoulder pain for the past few weeks. My monitor at home is positioned so I can look straight at it. Work is another story. There are several areas where I use a computer and the monitors are not positioned to be operator friendly. I could lug my paperwork back to my office and sit and enter it all there, but its not a very efficient practice. I find myself constantly tilting my head back to see the monitor. It's an area where the PC is at standing height and the monitor is above it. Unless you're Paul Bunyan it's not very user friendly. I'm working on getting that problem resolved. At one time someone in my office had a box made to set the monitor on. I'm a little taller than that person and have asked for a shelf several times. I've rummaged through the "old office equipment" area with no luck. This morning I took it into my own hands and found a phone book from 2004 , slid it on top of the box and my life has now been made easier. For now.

My sick husband seems to be recovering. He's a little spent but should have his energy level back to normal within a day or so. On top of his being ill he discovered that the rash he had on his leg above his ankle is poison ivy. His nurse wife fixed him up with some ointment and gauze to keep it covered. I think in his delirium he didn't realize what it was, just that it itched. Web MD is a wonderful thing.