Friday, December 28, 2007

year in review: december 2007

it's over? already?

i honestly can't believe december has come & gone already. not too terribly much to report. i rescheduled my sushi party that was postponed by my september hospital stay into a scandinavian holiday party. i made glögg, rosettes, served jarlsberg & lefse. there were 8 of us, so it was nice & intimate. only so many people fit in my apartment anyway.
christmas eve was on my own & s and i actually opened our gifts on sunday night when he got back from 4 days in missouri for a wedding. i spent christmas day at his family's place, 9.30am until 9.15pm. that was quite a long day when i couldn't politely escape the house (even though s & his brother left for 2 hours). well, i survived.

new year's eve to be at a friend of s's, pizza & video games, probably. oh, and a rootbeer keg. i'm kindof looking forward to a quiet celebration.

see you next year!

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

year in review: november 2007

the month of no insurance

after getting bills for 2 hospital stays that added up to about eighty-five hundred dollars, i really appreciated the unions that negotiated my pay & benefits. then i received a call that said i don't have insurance & it should've been cancelled two years ago. this was all because i had been let go from my initial hospital job & re-hired in my current position 2 weeks later & things were not properly reinstated. somehow blue cross continued to pay for two years (they brought it up once last year & i was told it was resolved), then decided i really wasn't supposed to have it & they didn't want to have to pay for such a sick-y. eventually things got sorted out, but only by going through the university ombudsperson & the director of the benefits office, all the while receiving bills for all my bloodwork & hospital stays. hopefully everything's all resolved now.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

year in review: october 2007

life as usual

i went back to work on the 1st of october after my 8 day hospitalization. people still told me that i should've taken a couple more days, especially when they found out i'd just been discharged on sunday afternoon. like the week before, i just needed to get out & move around. i wanted things as close to back to normal as possible. i also found out, 6 months after my grandmother's death, that i had inherited a small amount of money from the sale of her house, a house i will never again have the chance to visit.

then on wednesday i fell down the stairs. i had gone up there at 3am to confront my neighbor for being incredibly loud. i was so frightened & weak that after asking him to keep it down, my legs were shaking so badly that i dropped my phone on the top step & when i bent over to pick it up, i tumbled face first down the stairs. that was so fun. i considered calling in to work late, but just had s drop me off. turned out that my coworker had gone to the er with my boss because she (coworker) had a panic attack.

on friday, to make up for ruining s's 24th birthday, i made reservations at givanni's & we got all dressed up. also, i wanted to wear the dress i bought for my college roomie's wedding that was to be that saturday. s refused to make the 4 hour drive because he didn't think i was up to it. dinner was fantastic, food & company included.

mum also booked tickets for us to go across the pond. it'll be 5 years since she went the first time in march 2003. should be fun, so long as we both stay healthy!

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Friday, December 21, 2007

year in review: september 2007

the month of hospitals

my dad has been undiagnosed with some pretty odd symptoms for quite a while. at first he thought it was celiac sprue, with his inability to digest gluten, but it's much more than that. as a result, my parents went to mayo so he could get checked out. we were going to drive up since it was labor day weekend, but they rented a car & drove down here instead. that way they got to meet s for the first time, not quite a year after we started dating. they stayed the whole weekend & we all helped put together my new mission-style dresser. as the 'rents said, that was a good indicator of what kind of person s is.

i also wasn't feeling so hot while they were here, but mostly tried to suck it up. went to the doctor the week after they left, then on monday the 17th i was in a great deal of pain, called the doc. he had me keep an eye on it, but i was still hurting on wednesday the 19th & when he called back on my lunch break he said that he wanted to admit me to the hospital. i, shocked, said, 'what? you mean now? today?' not at all what i was expecting. it had to be s's birthday & he picked me up, so i could pack a bag & they admitted me around 4pm. a private room was all ready for me & there i stayed for 4 days, discharged that sunday. every 4 hours iv-infusions of super-strong steroids, so it wasn't like i could get a full night's sleep. you'd think that people in the hospital desperately need their rest, but no matter to the hospital staff. i couldn't get more than a couple hours of sleep at a go because they were constantly waking me up to infuse drugs, draw blood, send me down for an x-ray, etc. at least i was ambulatory & they let me take a shower. and s visited me, even at 3am one morning, so he got to know the overnight nurses.

the doctor was gone monday & tuesday and i went back to work as usual. i really needed to get out & stop feeling cooped up. except that i started to have just as much pain as before i was admitted. when doctor t got back on wednesday, he returned my call (his colleague's response to my initial call on monday was wait or go to the emergency room) & had me re-admitted. this time i had to share a room with an 80-something woman named margie who spent the entire night moaning, crying out & calling the nurse. i felt bad for her, but i was completely exhausted. they couldn't give the poor woman anything for her pain because they were trying to get her prepped for surgery by thickening her blood, so i felt guilty asking for anything to knock me out & i just dealt with it. by the time i got back from my infusion in the afternoon, the kind nurses had put in a request for a private room for me & all my things had been moved. another 4 day stay. i was on so many steroids that i was having major mood swings & crying at the slightest thing. (it didn't help that the 1st time i was admitted my father was having a needle biopsy to check if he had lymphoma). the doc put me on an anti-depressant to counteract the side effects of the steroids.

btw, the majority of the 8 days i spent in hospital was on a clear liquid diet. i had lost 12lbs in a week before i was admitted & that certainly didn't help me maintain or keep from losing more weight. first time i've ever had a problem keeping on weight!

next up: recovery

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

year in review: august 2007

feline phobia

(warning: this is long)

august 1st
4.45pm-left work and called craig.
5.00-arrived @ gibsons and loaded up sweetie's accoutrement. chatted for a bit and placed her on my lap in the soft carrier. she swatted at s and got her claws stuck when he tried to pet her.
5.15-unloaded, turned on ac, set up food, water, litterbox and let sweetie roam and get a feel for the apartment. petted her and she threw herself down in the middle of the living room panting, so we turned on two more fans & left for hyvee.
5.40-s left me at home and went over to a friends. when i walked into the kitchen, sweetie dashed in and clawed my bare ankle, causing me to jump and bash my leg into the stove. she paced the litterbox, so i gave her some privacy, but she continued to growl as i tried to put my groceries in the fridge. she then chased me in to the living room. i was wearing a dress, so my legs were fair game. i sat unmoving for 20 minutes, while she eyed me from around the side of the couch, growling.
6.20pm-i cautiously walked across the living room to my bedroom and closed the door. sweetie followed growling outside the door while i put on jeans. she was still there, so i lay down with a book for a few minutes.
6.35-i have to pee, so i sneak from my bedroom to the bathroom. sweetie is still growling from the living room. she moves outside the bathroom and swipes her paw under the door a couple times, trying to get at me. i call s & tell him what's going on and he says he'll be over soon.
7.00- i walk quietly into the kitchen because i'm starving and left my hyvee chinese on the counter when sweetie chased me into the living room. she glares at me and stays in the living room. i can hear her growling on the other side of the wall and intermittently lapping water.
7.15pm-s comes striding in, bundled in his army pants, boots laced up and carrying gauntlet gloves. he has me sit on the kitchen counter and his idea is getting her in the carrier so i can get my stuff to take to his place. he walks into the living room and sweetie goes for his legs, hissing and shrieking. he pushes her off and tries to grab her with the gloves. she's not having it and craps on the carpet in the corner. he tries two more times to get a hold of her without hurting her.
7.55-s calls his friend & former neighbor who has two cats and her sister is a vet. they talk for a while & she offers to call her sister.
8.05pm-deb calls back and her sister has asked why the cat hasn't been put down yet. she also says she needs to be rehabilitated and we should go to pet central because tamara rehabs feral cats. she also says that if we can get her in the carrier, we can leave her overnight and come back the next day because if she's in an enclosed space she'll hold her bladder. i want to let her out once i'm out of the apartment, so she has a chance to calm down and hopefully get more comfortable.
8.20-while s is in the other room trying to get sweetie in her carrier (& at this point at least under a laundry basket), i call you, a, to see what your expert opinion is.
8.45pm-s is exhausted, sweaty and starving. he's made i don't know how many forays into the living room and has yet to be successful. he is pissed, but i'm practically in tears at the thought of calling the gibsons after having sweetie for less than 4 hours. he calls, talks to kristal, who calls him back after talking with craig and asks for directions to the apartment.
9.00-k arrives, armed with laundry baskets to bring sweetie home. she sits on the couch and coaxes sweetie into coming over to her. she purs normally, but then goes back to hissing and spitting.
9.45-after 45 minutes of vigorous labor, they manage to get her under a laundry basket and slide a board under it. i run to s' new place for duct tape and they load everything into the suv. we tell her about tamara and she says they're familiar with pet central and will see if rehab is an option.
10.10pm-i smoke a cigarette and we go for drinks and food for s at the vine.

august 2nd 2007-after calling the vet and talking with the cat rescue woman, the consensus is that sweetie's drastic attitude change may be the result of a brain tumor and c & k make the difficult decision to euthanize her. c sent me an e-mail letting me know. i was really upset, but probably not nearly as much as they were. (and i still have a scar from where she scratched my ankle.)

later in the month i got a touch of food poisoning from one of the mexican places, which set off a downward spiral that put me in the hospital in september. yay! but before all that we had c & m over for a yummy thai dinner & plenty of good wine.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

year in review: july 2007

pre-kitty fiasco

the holiday was rather odd for the 4th, considering it was smack in the middle of the week. i guess it's always nice to have a day off, whenever it is. we spent the day bbq-ing in s's parking lot with his neighbors, then neil stopped by from kc & chatted for a bit.

mid-month i found out that one of my old grad school professors needed a new home for his cat, sweetie. we'd been talking about a pet, so we went over there & met her. she seemed a nice puss, but she'd gotten a little possessive of her humans over the two little girls in the house. we figured it would be okay to have her in a one-person apartment with no children, so we arranged to get her on august 1st. i had half the week off & i thought it'd be a nice time for her to acclimate to her new surroundings. little did we know what was in store...

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

year in review: june 2007

a great beginning & ending

the first weekend of the month s & i went to a b&b about an hour away. it was really a lot of fun, besides the driving there part. as you may know, s driving my car drives me nuts & turns me into my mother. when we arrived, we found out that they upgraded our room because there was only one other couple staying that night. pretty awesome!
on the recommendation of our hosts, we drove up the road to a restaurant. after getting lost in a sudden storm, we finally found the place underneath a gorgeous rainbow. i'll leave the rest of the night to your imagination.

at the end of the month, we drove up to the twin cities for tim & nathan's ceremony. we stayed with grandma mary ann & s's uncle. they took us out to dinner, then on saturday morning we went to the church and met up with les, who i hadn't seen in ages, almost since greek class back in college. that afternoon i had to try on the bridemaid's dress for a & t's wedding next june. we went to the park for the reception. s was convinced there would be dancing. i told him he didn't know t & n.

the year's half over!

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Monday, December 17, 2007

year in review: may 2007

graduation & loneliness

time for caps & gowns! (not for me; i graduated hs 10 years ago & college six years ago now.) pickel, s' roommate, graduated & moved out of their apartment, the same weekend s left for 2 weeks of national guard annual training. i had keys, so i spent a lot of time over there while he was gone, watching expanded cable, surfing the internets & just sleeping. it was a long two weeks. when s got back, he presented me with a little white box from one of the 'boutiques' on the ped mall. it was a pretty little silver & gold twisted bracelet. i'd lost the best bracelet in the world a couple months before & he remembered how sad i was about that. it was also right about our 6 month anniversary, though we didn't actually celebrate it.

admittedly, part of the reason i spent so much time at the other apartment, besides missing s, was that my creepy peeping tom neighbor had escalated his attentions. creepy ricky has been 'birdwatching' in the windows of the apartments since i moved in 5 years ago. he stands around the corners of the complex & hides when people walk up. really he's probably a maladjusted, shy middle-aged man, but his tendencies to watch people & particularly ask me creepy questions (like if he can take my picture when i was taking out the trash), put me on edge. he was sad when i was thinking about moving & said he wished we could talk more & be better friends. i'd barely said a dozen words to him before that point. then he asked for my phone number & continued to call me, leaving messages. i shouldn't have given him my actual number, but i was flustered.

that's about it for may! stay tuned for june!

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

year in review: april 2007

it still hurts

this month started out rough & it went downhill from there. on the first i found out that my grandmother, who turned 94 in march, was taken by ambulance to the icu. sh had just been moved from her home of 60 years into a home/facility, was hospitalized. by that monday night, she was gone. all the other relatives were there in the hospital in her last moments & all i had was a letter i'd written the previous week. (we had exchanged at least weekly letters for the past year or two.) even though it's been 8 months, i still get teary when i think of her and as i type this. i flew home for the funeral; it took place in a beautiful old, country church that my grandma helped to found & where my parents were married 32 years ago. and one of my classmates from hs helped to arrange everything at the funeral home. it was odd to see him as an adult because he was always such an ornery kid & now he's married with a baby (or two as i write this) and holding a very grown-up job.

i got back in time for easter service with s & brunch buffet with his family. also this month, my coworker mistakenly drank bleach at work. they were cleaning a pitcher & left it on the counter, looking like it was filled with water, so she poured herself a glass. good times. she was fine, but they did a unsedated endoscopy on her after hours to make sure there was no damage.

mandy & tom visited from nashville and got to meet s, along with his brother who was in town the same weekend. s even treated us all to dinner at givanni's. very generous of him, since he didn't arrive until after we'd finished the appetizer (he was out of town at monthly drill for nt'l guard). on a less exciting note, we also had to call the cops on my crazy upstairs neighbor lady. for the past few months, i/we'd sporadically heard shouting, screaming and stomping coming from her apartment. then it escalated to 4 nights in a row of ever-more threats. basically we could only ever hear her, so i don't know how the guy put up with it, not responding to the "i'm warning you; give me my money; get a lawyer; you're not walking away from this" bullshit. so s called the cops when it was after 10pm and showed no signs of letting up. after they banged on her door & had a little talk with her i didn't hear anymore tantrums. i really didn't want to be around if it escalated to a true domestic disturbance.

those were the most significant events of the month that i can recall since my grandmother's death still affects me strongly & surpasses anything else that happened.

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

year in review: march 2007

what happened in march?

okay, so i officially met the parents as i was invited to mama-in-law's birthday dinner. my how awkward, as i love eating in front of people i don't know, let alone people on whom i want to make a good impression. it went fine; i didn't spill on myself, too much.

well, for spring break s left me to go to tulsa & visit his brother. he & his roommate drove down and they went to a flogging molly concert on st pat's day. i apparently spent the day incognito. i had my hair pulled back & sunglasses on when dani, her friend nola from the twin cities & i went over to chris & monica's place. i said hi & walked into the kitchen to dump the case of beer i was carrying. chris didn't even recognize me & thought some strange chick just walked right into his house. it was funny.

also, we had some semi-serious discussion about moving in together. s brought it up & he was the one who eventually shot it down a month later. this is also when the noise began to escalate from the psycho upstairs neighbor screaming & crying & stomping her 37 year old feet like a toddler having a tantrum. joy.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

year in review: february 2007

the month of my birthday, valentine's day & the big snowstorm

s had some gorgeous flowers, lilies & roses, sent to the hospital on my birthday. everyone at work was jealous. until my boss's bf in cali sent her a couple hundred dollar bouquet for v-day. we also went to the ever-classy red lobster that night. i wore my sexy kenneth cole pumps with 3" heels. not the best idea i've ever had since it was winter. i had s help me down from the curb & as we're both completely klutzy i slipped & bashed my eyebrow into the corner of his glasses. i even had a nice gash above the inside corner of my eye. smooth move!

this valentine's day was also my first holiday with a significant s.o. i found the 'perfect' gift for him & i was so excited to give it to s that i ended up having him open it early. it was funny because right after i'd bought it, he told me that homemade ice cream was one of his favourite things ever. s got me a pair of cute red velvet-y jammies.

my mother underwent a complicated hysterectomy & she lost quite a bit of blood. i can remember going in to work, knowing that she was in surgery & waiting, waiting for my dad to call me to tell me it was over & everything was fine. at noon, he still hadn't called & she went into the o.r. at 7am. i was freaked, even moreso when he told that they'd just then wheeled her into recovery, 5 hours after beginning surgery. she's fine, but they ended up having to cut her open versus doing the surgery laparoscopically.

at the end of the month we had a wicked snowstorm. i don't ever remember going to the grocery store & having so many people stocking up for the bad weather. luckily, it was a friday afternoon & we had nothing planned for the weekend, except a recipe i wanted to try out. we went to fareway because i didn't know where else to find duck. turns out they had whole duck, only frozen, so i had to wait until saturday night to make dinner, but things turned out okay. and by sunday things had started melting & we hit the brunch crowd at country kitchen with half the rest of the city.

well, i've got a party tonight. time to get ready. on to march tomorrow!

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

year in review: january 2007

i'm borrowing this idea from another blog i regularly skim. recapping the year 2007 month by month over the next few days. it should be a good way to jog my memory of the events, both good & bad, besides rereading my not-so-daily bloggings.

a new year

the year started out slowly since i was recovering from a nasty flu bug just after christmas day. s & i spent new year's eve together at a party flowing with cheap champagne (thanks, matt & joe!) i, of course, avoided the truth or dare jumbling towers & it was a first for s. but things weren't the same for heather's choice when she's far away in savannah.
not long after, chronica arrived back in town & invited us over for their joint b-day celebration. funny thing is, s & chris graduated hs together and neither realized their girlfriends knew each other. odd, since monica & i are 6 & 5 years older than they are, respectively. turned into a regular friday night party. i never would've guessed it.
s & i also attended an e18 concert in cedar rapids where we had the pleasure of running into my ex. it was surprisingly pleasant to realize that it no longer bothered me to see him. that was probably the best revelation all month.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

two-fer: at work, at home

the bf dropped in at the end of the work day to say he'd give me a ride home. most of my coworkers had met him before, but after he left k turns to me and says, 'm-----!!! where'd you get such a good-looking fella? is he as nice as he looks?' i had to laugh at the way she said it & of course, it made s blush when i told him.

also, a couple weeks ago we had an amusing exchange.

me, entering s' apartment: *knock, knock* it's me!
s, from the other room: i know!
me: how'd you know?
s: sexy knock.


Monday, December 03, 2007

you stay

this post has been a long time coming. ever since my gran passed in april of this year, i've had an incredibly difficult time attending church services. the funeral was basically the same weekend as easter and my dad's birthday. that's basically eight months now. being hospitalized in september and recovering from that just made it that much easier to make excuses for not going. perhaps this is just a normal drought in my spiritual life. i kinda hope that's all it is. i still pray every night before i go to sleep, but i feel like i'm not keeping up my end by worshiping in a formal setting, or at all some days/weeks/months.
listening to my ipod one night before bed, the song in my title came on. it sortof put things into perspective. even if this malaise continues for a while longer, i think it'll be okay, eventually.

you stay
by scott phillips

i’ve run away in search of greener fields
but you have stayed despite how that must make you feel
i’ve sown the seeds…and pain is all i reap
but here you stand…your love remains as deep
though i turn away…when my consistency sways
you stay, you stay
foolish things i’ve tried…i’ve turned my face, ashamed i would hide
but you kneel and smile and gently then you comfort your child
a star a stable and angels all hail the day you came
and even though we tried to make you leave
because of me you stay, because of me you stay

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