Sunday, December 27, 2009

Just a New Chapter In My Life

Wow where has the time gone? Thanksgiving has come and gone. Christmas is over. I haven't posted in over a month. I am behind on reading my favorite blogs. One of my followers has passed away. Life has continued and I am missing it.

I have no time for the gym. I have no time for myself. I don't get more than 2 or 3 hours of sleep at a time. Dan spent 11 nights in the hospital and 20 nights in rehab. Now he is home.

I check blood sugars twice a day. I enforce regular mealtimes despite Dan's protestations of not being hungry. I am keeping a log of blood sugars and will call them in weekly. I keep a schedule in my head of pain meds and keep in touch with the back surgeon's office and the PCP's office. Yesterday I made 2 trips to the pharmacy and had to talk to an on-call physician regarding meds that were supposed to be called in but weren't. Life is difficult and different.

We are now going to try and eliminate the drugs that are making him so sleepy that he not only doesn't want to get out of bed, he can't walk safely to the bathroom alone. I jump up constantly day and night to make that walk to the potty so he doesn't fall.

All this said, Dan's surgery looks perfect. He is healing well. Now for the hard part.......feeling better and getting stronger. I wish to thank everyone for the good wishes and the concern. Life will return to normal and so will we.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Unoffical Holiday

When I was a kid and my mother was struggling with Multiple Sclerosis I remember her having days where she was teary eyed and sad. When I would ask her what was wrong she would say to me that it was "Feel Sorry For Virginia Day". The next day things were back to normal and we went on with our life. She knew she couldn't dwell on life's complications and waste her precious time feeling sorry for herself. Hopefully I learned from that example.

Today isn't marked on the calendar but it is officially "Feel Sorry For Janet Day". I am celebrating by myself and then I will fold some laundry and run to the store for green beans and my Sunday paper.

Dan spent his third night in the hospital after his back surgery. I think he is doing OK but his legs are very weak and I am worried about dealing with the home situation. Meanwhile he is anxious to come home to recuperate. I am so afraid he will fall. He doesn't want to go to rehab. He also won't eat if I'm not at the hospital ordering his food.

I'm glad this holiday doesn't come around often.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yes We Have One More Day

Today we call the hospital for the arrival time for tomorrow's surgery. We were already told it might be 530 am. No sleep for us as Dan plans on staying up all night so he will be ready on time.

Last night as Dan was heading for the stairs to go to bed, I told him, "You know you are driving us crazy". He replied, "I'm driving myself crazy". Hmmmmm. That's interesting.

He crawled up the stairs on his hands and knees with me pushing from behind. This will be the last time until the surgery. Life has become interesting. Not good. Just interesting. Challenging for sure.

We actually slept last night. I'm sure Stefanie slept also as Dan wasn't up all night walking around bumping into things and stomping his numb feet. Danielle wasn't taking any chances as she didn't come home.

Off to work I go for my last day. Dan will sleep in as he isn't going anywhere today.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two Days to Go

I actually slept last night. Of course Dan woke me up a few times. My head shot off the pillow but I heard nothing for a nano second and exhaustion took over and I fell back to sleep.

Danielle was not so lucky and she yelled downstairs at us this morning to be quiet. It wouldn't be so bad if he slept at night while the rest of us are desparately trying to get some tidbits of sleep. No, he roams around all night, bumping into things, stomping his numb feet so he doesn't fall and basically makes us all miserable. Water boarding would be nothing compared to this torture.

Well off to work for the day. Dan will nap in the recliner while the rest of us try to function. Thank heaven for hot coffee. Two more days until the back surgery. Hopefully the hospital will turn him around and he will sleep at night so the rest of us can too.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Three Days to Go

I think part of my problem with this countdown of days is the constant cooking. I am not used to Dan being home so much and he is used to being able to belly up to the food bar whenever he wanted to at his favorite truckstops across the country.

We barely finish one meal and he is talking about the next meal. And the shopping and the planning. I want out! Help! I need sleep. And who knows when I am going to get that night's sleep. I am a whiner. Officially. I said it. Three more days.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Four Days To Go

I get up this morning and come dowmstairs for coffee. Dan is in the recliner in front of the TV. I take a sip of my coffee and Dan proclaims, "When you are done here, I will let you know what I want for breakfast."

I offer up eggs and toast. He says, "No. I want a big salad".

I visualize chopping vegetables with one eye as I wasn't properly caffienated yet. It takes two big mugs of coffee to get both eyes open.

This is going to be a long week.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Five More Days

Five more days until Dan's surgery. On Thursday we went to Dan's primary doctor and got the EKG and the official "blessing" from that doctor to go ahead with the surgery. Dan finally understands he cannot take any Ibuprofen until after the surgery. When his doctor explained why, he merely sat and nodded and said, "Oh, I didn't know that". When I had explained it, he said, "I don't care! I need it"!

It is going to be a long 5 days. Dan's days and nights are turned around. I need a good night's sleep. So do the girls. Danielle yelled at me this morning as she was headed out for her volunteer work with "Habitat For Humanity" and then work after that. Dan's voice is loud and our walls are paper thin evidently. Dan doesn't understand how his voice carries and when I remind him, he gets mad at me. So Danielle blames me and so does he. Five more days......

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Have Won 2 Battles But The War Isn't Over Yet

This caretaking thing wouldn't be so bad if we didn't have to fight about everything. I say, "Your feet are swelling. You should put your feet up. You are sitting in a recliner you know".

He replies, "I don't want to".

I reply, "People with swollen feet don't have a choice. Now RECLINE Damn it"!

The next day, I say casually, "We need to get a stool for the shower so you can sit and use the attachment to rinse off".

Husband replies, "I don't want a stool. I want my back FIXED"!

I say, "I know you do but for now we need a stool for the shower".

After a fun-filled afternoon of the husband going in and out of the shower to rest/soap up/rest/rinse off he admits we need a stool for the shower.

Wish I had thought of that.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Uncharted Waters

Dan is officially at home now. We cleaned out his truck last Friday night. It was not fun. I knew this day was coming but that didn't make it any easier. I drove there after work and packed up my car in the dark and in the pouring rain and we came home. We had a late dinner at his favorite Grand Rapids restaurant, Arnie's. That was the only pleasant aspect of the evening.

This past week he has spent much of his time sitting in the recliner in the living room. Getting upstairs is "like climbing Mount Everest" to put it lightly. His back surgery is set for November 19th. I am looking forward to it.

I feel like we are entering a new phase of our lives. We are entering into "uncharted waters" and I don't like it. No one asked me what I like. No one asked Dan. I didn't want to end the last chapter.

I am afraid to spend any money as we don't know how this is even possible financially. He has no disability money to look forward to. I even asked the Physician Assistant yesterday at our appointment if we should just file now for permanent disability and he told me not to. We need to do the surgery first and then evaluate. I pay my mortgage with what? I am thankful I don't have a car payment. I can only stretch meals so far. Four people eat a lot of food. Four cats eat a lot of cat food and don't even get me started on the amount of cat litter they use!

I am taking this new chapter day by day. That is all anyone can do. When I think of Christmas coming and Stefanie's birthday on it's way, I get a scared feeling in my veins. I know the girls are not children waiting on Santa but still,,,,I don't want to totally disappoint them. And I do know they can take disappointment.

Well, off to the grocery store. I have my list, my coupons, and my returnables. Life will be good again.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


October makes me think of many things, some happy things and some sad. My dad died in October. I think of taking the kids trick-or-treating when they were little. I think of how excited they were for Halloween parties. We used to always go to the cider mills and buy warm donuts and ice cold cider. I love October for many reasons. I remember raking leaves into the street as a child and jumping in them. I remember the smell of burning leaves. I can't believe they let me as a small child light the match and they were in the house....Times have changed.

Every October Danielle remembers a friend that died. It has been 9 years. He was good looking, 16 and popular. And he was murdered. The town mourned. Things like that didn't happen here. This is the story written by Mitch Albom. A friend of Danielle's had posted it on Facebook for anyone from New Baltimore to remember. I remember coming home from work at night and seeing Danielle on TV in the funeral procession walking to the cemetary from the church. I saw her in her Varsity Dance Uniform dancing at the soccer game. I saw her grieve. And every evening she and I went over and over the situation. What do you tell your grieving child to make her feel better? Years later she still questions what happened and why. It will never make sense and it will never be explained. Here is Mitch's article....A Bullet's impact. I know it is long but it is a really good article.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Should Be An Interesting Weekend For The Rowley Family

It is going to be a Rowley family weekend. Dan's niece is getting married in Indianapolis on Saturday. Grandma is coming up from Florida. Danielle and her boyfriend are driving down on Friday. Stef and I are bringing up the rear and leaving on Saturday morning.

We arranged for a cat sitter for Saturday night and we will be back home on Sunday. Dan can't go as he is out and about in his truck. He is in too much pain for a family celebration anyway.

The girls both bought new dresses. I'm wearing one from last year but it has only been worn once so it's like new to me. Besides no one will be looking at me anyway.

Hope this weekend goes well. Hope we all have fun and I hope they live happily ever after.....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Thank You Carolyn

Fw: At last!
Originally uploaded by jntrowley
This isn't the post I thought I was going to do today. Funny how that works sometimes. I had planned on detailing my Friday goings on and how I went to the gym after work and how it rained all day and was cold and ugly. Stefanie and I went out for comfort food for a late dinner (patty melt from a family restaurant where you get a lot of food for not much money) and then I got the call from southern Virginia in his semi on a dirt road, overlooking a precipiece, in the dark, can't turn around, can't see how to get out from where he had gotten himself stuck,,,all because he thought he would try and find a Chinese restaurant with a driver he had just met. The other driver went on through and Dan couldn't.......

Instead I get an email from the long lost Carolyn my friend that I was able to reconnect with recently and she had forwarded me a picture from our lunch this summer in Fort Wayne. This is it!!!!

I am in the back row (where all tall girls went in grade school when any picture was taken) in the pink shirt. Carolyn is in the front row in the blue button down shirt. To the right of her in red is Jana (we have been friends since before kindergarten). Diana is the one on the right in the first row. I have known her since kindergarten. She is the one that told me the facts of life. But then she told me that it wasn't true and not to believe it. I believed her. Both versions.

This one get-together this summer gave me a much needed respite from my life at a much needed time. I was so grateful these people included me for a couple of hours and I got to relive a more carefree time. Many of these people in the picture have serious health issues . One has Multiple Sclerosis. Some have had cancer. For this one afternoon we just shared our thoughts and hashed over some good old times and ate.

Thank you Carolyn. Thanks Jana and Diana and Debbie. Thank you taking the picture Kathy (You look great by the way). Thank you to Joan for orchestrating the whole thing.

I hope I get to see everyone next summer at our high school reunion.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Think I Have Lost My Identity????

OK so I still know who I am I think but I had to go to a new hair stylist and she works a bit differently than my last girl. She washes the hair, cuts the hair, straightens curly unruly hair (that's me) and then cuts it again. And you are done. Out the door with straight hair. When I left the salon I swear I didn't even recognize me in the rear view mirror. My daughters liked it. Dan liked it. My co-workers liked it.....

What is really funny is that I can actually do it myself and it looks OK. Not me but OK.

Even funnier, today I just did the old usual thing with my hair. I washed it, dried it with the diffuser like I used to. I put some gel in it and scrunched. Like old times. However, it looked awful. Not the old me. Not the new me. Who is me?

Monday, September 28, 2009

September 28

Today is the 41st anniversary of my mother's death. No matter how old I am every time this day comes around I am 16 again. I have never been able to resolve the issues I have. I continue to be a little crazy. I will always be 16.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Confession Sunday

I sat in the Dollar Tree parking lot all by myself and satisfied a many year craving by eating cotton candy. I have no idea where this came from but while I was shopping there just browsing around the store I saw the package. I knew I had to have it and now. And it was great! And then I went on with my day thankful for the hand sanitizer that I keep in my car.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

All The World's A Stage

There hasn't been a lot to laugh about at our house lately but I wanted to share this. I am the only one in the household to think it is so funny but here goes....

Scene: One dark, rainy Friday night in late summer at the Rowley house.

Time: 11pm

Players: Danielle (oldest daughter) home alone waking after her nap.

Stefanie (younger daughter) arriving home after a evening of fun and
Dan and I are arriving home after a long trip to pick Dan up from his
truck in Grand Rapids after 30 days out as an over-the-road truck driver.

Action: Danielle decides to slip into the attached garage to get her textbooks out of her car so she can study. She is wearing her underwear. She has the garage light on so she can see to find her car.

First Complication: Stefanie parks in her designated parking spot and hits the button to open the garage door. She gets out of her car, slams the car door and runs for the house in the pouring down rain.

Second Complication: Dan and I turn into the driveway. At this point Danielle is the "deer caught in the headlights" in her underwear with the overhead light on. She panics. Dan (not noticing Stefanie running alongside our car heading for the garage) hits the button to open the garage door. The garage door closes at this point giving Danielle a moment to run back into the safety of the laundry room to grab a pair of scrubs lying on the dryer. Good thing Stefanie never puts her clothes away.

Third Complication: I see Stefanie standing in the rain by the closed garage door. I hit the button to open it for her explaining to Dan what has just happened while Dan hits the button to open the door and actually is closing the door again on poor Stef. She is glaring at me while I am laughing hysterically.

Conclusion: We finally get the garage door open. We drive in. Stefanie sloshes in. Danielle gets the books out of her back seat. We all go into the house and live happily ever after. The End.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Am I Being Compulsive?

I am certain that I am not the only one that has this problem. No one talks about it. No one seems to understand my dilemma here. My inbox is full. I sit down to read my email and each one seems to be something that requires more attention than I seem to have at this moment. I put it in a folder or I just leave it to read thoroughly later.

Later when I see all my emails I think, "Oh, I am waaaay too busy right now. I need to come back later and read this and then delete it." And I sign out.

My phone has the same problem. My inbox is constantly full of text messages. I read and delete and read some more. Delete, delete, and I am still in the danger zone. Some are so cute I have to save them. Some are so sad I can't delete. I have text messages from the day my poor cat died. I can't hit the delete button on that day.

I have the same problem with library books. I would rather pay an overdue fine than return an unread book. It is just wrong to send a book back to the library without finishing every page. I finish a book even when I don't like it. I always think that there will be some redeeming quality in every book. I may learn just one thing....

I need to sign off now. I have an overdue DVD from the library, The Shield Season ? and it's overdue and I haven't finished it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stefanie's New Blog

It took me by surprise but Stefanie decided to start her own blog. You can find it at Trials and Tribulations of Stefanie. I think she has learned a lot by her recent troubles and I am very proud of her.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Libby likes purple claws

I have had enough of my whining lately so I decided to show what types of activities I engage in in my spare time. And no Libby did not like putting her fake nails on but I think she is used to them now.

Jack isn't getting fake nails as he is so sweet that he only scratches in pre-approved scratching areas like scratching pads, etc.

Simba got black fake nails as he hasn't quite figured out the scratching idea. He prefers the leather recliner.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another Day in the Life

So I am driving along minding my own business after work. I am not very happy. I feel sorry for myself today and Dan and the situation we are in. The next round of doctor appointments for Dan is a few weeks away. His pain is worse. His balance is worse. I have alot to think about.

I picked up my phone (a very bad habit) and texted Stefanie as she had been strangely quiet today, meaning I hadn't received any text messages from the queen of texting. I feel guilty using my phone for no good reason on the expressway, so I toss it on the seat next to me.

I look over at it. It is still there. I pick it up again to see if she answered me. She did. I send a quick text. And toss it again on the seat. I look at it longingly. I pick it up. I toss it aside. I am thinking to myself that if I have an accident because of my texting I am going to be very sorry.

Suddenly all the traffic stops. I look in my rear mirror at the car behind me. Whew! I am OK. He stops. I take my foot off the brake and hit the accelerator. We stop again but not suddenly this time. Bammmmmm! He hits me. My phone flies to the floor. I tense up and haven't gone back to normal yet. Now I am mad. I pull over and get out of the car to look at my rear bumper. Scratched but not too unslightly. I expected way worse.

I look around and I seem to be alone. I had pulled off the left side of the expressway in between construction barrels. Way in the distance I see an old minivan on the right shoulder. A chubby man in a Hawaiin shirt with baggy shorts is looking at his front bumper. That has to be my guy. He gets back in his car and uses his phone.

So I get back into my car and call the police. While we are waiting for the State Police to arrive I see him trying to get my attention. He is motioning to his watch on his wrist and throwing his hands in the air. Oh no buster we aren't just going to drive off. I want him to get a ticket now. I'm pissed.

The officer came. I saw him hand the guy a ticket. And he escorted me back into the crazy traffic. I feel better but now my shoulder doesn't feel right and I'm sure I will wake up with a stiff neck. This poor little black car has been rear-ended so many times. Poor little car. Poor me.

Well, now I have something new to think about.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

When Memories Attack

I just had a long buried memory come to me. How weird is that when something you had totally forgotten comes to the surface? I was reading a post from Vodkamom and I remembered something from my childhood.

My friend Sue and I were walking across the street in our hometown and we were having a conversation as kids do. Sue was having a hard time keeping a secret and just had to tell me. As kids do. She told me that the women at her church had taken up a collection to buy my mother a new washing machine.

Now this was a big deal for us as my mother had been hand washing lots of her clothes as we could only get to the Laundromat once a week and she was in a wheelchair all day while my father slept. He worked nights so he could be home with her during the day. I was in school during the day and spent nights sleeping downstairs to be near her in case she needed something while he was at work. Many times I saw my mother hand washing small items and hanging them on a rack to dry in the downstairs bathroom.

Money was tight in our family as my mother had to quit work when her illness became worse. She had her own hair salon when I was young but gradually tapered her business down to nothing as the Multiple Sclerosis became more debilitating. Her health insurance was cancelled because of her illness. My father was the only breadwinner and her first Social Security Disability check didn't come until the day she died. She had a hard time proving she was disabled evidently to the government.

Anyway, when my mother found out about the washing machine she cried. I think that was the first time I ever saw her cry over something that made her happy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

My 100th Post Was a Long Time A-Coming

It has been quite an experience writing this blog. I have met some amazing, witty, kind, talented people. I have met people that I feel a real connection with. I have met people that I enjoy reading and they actually read my drivel in return. I have received much more than I have given.

My first commenter many posts ago was Far Side. I was so pleasantly surprised when I saw that I had a comment about my cat Bob. I went on and on about how poor Bob got sick and how he passed away. I cried when I wrote it. It made me feel better but sad anyway.

And then I met Jeanne and Andrea. They are so different but I just enjoy them so much. I was Andrea's first follower. Now she has over 100 and growing....Her photography amazes me. I love her animals. I know them by name. And Far Side's old family photos remind me so of my grandparents and my parents. I love to look at them on "Wistful Wednesdays". Jeanne is so smart and such good entertainment. I felt a connection with her the first time I read her blog. She is a friend.

My first follower Suzanne is a grade school friend. She is always there for me and has never commented but I know she read all about our history teacher and heard about my grade school embarrassing moment for the first time. I hadn't even told her about sitting on T's head and smashing it into the playground!!!!

I have told all of you about my father leaving me at the park at the family reunion and taking me to the gypsy camp on Easter Sunday after our fifth grade teacher reminded us not to go there because "gypsies steal children". I have more stories about my dad taking me to poor families on Christmas Eve and leaving my gently used toys for them as Christmas presents. Their families couldn't afford a Christmas and he thought that my toys would help them be a bit happier. I hope it worked.

I have mentioned many times how my mother died young and I felt so abandoned at age 16. I never mentioned how my dad married the "Wicked Witch of the West" a month and a half after my mother's death and basically turned his back on me and my brothers and left me at a crucial time in my life. I forgave him later but it still hurts and I can cry at the drop of a hat. One day I will tell the story of my stepmother and you can make up your own mind.

I have whined about my husband's back problems and talked about all his medications and how he loses his balance and falls down. I don't know how much longer he can work. There I go whining again.

I have talked endlessly about my cats. I told you how my poor Bob got sick and died on election day. I talked about Stefanie's cats. And I even showed a video of my friend's cat punching me. I'm sure you are sick of my cats. But I love them and I am sure that T isn't sick of them. She is the biggest cat lover I have ever come across. Bless her.

And of course, I talk about my daughters. I complain about them. And I love them soooo much. They are amazing. They are beautiful inside and out. And they are the best thing I have ever done. I am so lucky.

There you have my year in review. I have so enjoyed writing these posts. And I hope maybe you have enjoyed reading them. Thank you for being there for me. And commenting. And emailing me when you haven't heard from me for a while. All that means so much. Thank you.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stefanie is Gainfully Employed at Last

I have been very lax lately. I think about blogging. I read a couple of my favorite blogs and something stops me from starting a new post. I am just not feeling it lately.

Anyway, just a quick note to let everyone know that Stefanie DID get a new job. Yay!!!! She found this job all on her own and had two interviews and landed it all by herself (with lots of coaching from me but that doesn't count). I am very proud of her and she seems to be doing fine. She is a bit surprised to find out that she knows nothing. She is quite overwhelmed actually by all that she doesn't know. She is used to jobs where after a brief training period she knows everything there is to know.

Not so here at the optometrist's office. She has lots to learn and will continue learning until she quits. She even made flashcards yesterday to help her learn new terms. We talk "optical talk" every evening. I will continue to do what I can to help her without interfering (I hope).

I plan to be back in blogging order shortly just in time for my 100th post. See you then.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sniff, Sniff, Snort!!!!

Anyone else ever use the computers in the library? It really is wonderful to have these computers at our disposal. I can check email, research any material I can think of, and browse to my heart's content. I love the library.

So what am I going to complain about you might wonder? My computer neighbors always have a cold or sinus troubles. It doesn't matter when I come here, day or night I seem always to get the same annoyance. My neighbor to the right of me sniffs and my neighbor to the left of me snorts. They never have a tissue. I never see them blow their noses. After a while, I am just about ready to offer them one of mine.

The other problem is the cursing over the computer and or website they are on. Personally I am not interested in the trouble they are having. However, constantly I am hearing complaints about what they are trying to do. I would assume that these are the same people that cannot read to themselves without mouthing the words aloud.

There is also one gentleman that wears earbuds and just browses through pictures, etc. He has to have major sinus problems and is there everytime I go to the library. Lovely. Sniff, sniff, snort!!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Importance of Being Janet

Last Saturday I left my normal Saturday routine of grocery shopping and vacuuming and drove to Indiana to visit with a bunch of women that I went to high school with. Actually one girl went to kindergarten with me and several went to my grade school. I ran into construction, an accident, and had several stops as I did take my 57 year old bladder with me.

But I am so glad I went. We laughed, ate, and reminisced over old times. We talked about the grade school principal, other people we went to school with, our kids, our husbands, and most of all, we took a few hours out of our weekend to connect with our roots. Sometimes I forget where I came from and who I used to be. These people knew the old me. The policeman's daughter, the athlete's sister, the history buff's sister, and my mother's daughter. They knew the original me, the person I used to be before I left home sad and hurt. They knew "Janet" not "Jan". I left "Janet" back in Plymouth, Indiana. I don't know her anymore, but for a few hours last Saturday I became that person again. And I had fun.

I am so grateful for being included in the group even for just one afternoon. I am grateful for the laughter, and the companionship of old friends. Now I am back at home and back at work and in a few minutes I will be back in the grocery store. However, I am just a little bit changed. I remember being "Janet" and it wasn't bad after all.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Stef is at a job interview right now. Keep your fingers crossed.

The cats are happy happy and that means fighting when I am trying to sleep. In fact, they fight right on top of me. I definitely have a front row seat.

Dan is disappointed. We just came from a doctor's appt and his doctor has to send us to another doctor because he thinks he must be missing something. The new CT scan just doesn't show why Dan is in so much pain. Where is the answer?

Danielle is good. Working. Making money. And has a big bouquet of flowers from the boyfriend. We keep them up on top of the entertainment system. So high in fact, that she forgot that he even sent them. Jack has the tendency to eat flowers so the higher the better.

And thank you for all the nice thoughts you guys sent my way. My pity party is over. People have way worse problems than me so I need to get on with it. I am planning on driving to Indiana for lunch on Saturday to meet up with a bunch of girls I went to high school with. That should give me some well needed laughs I'm sure.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Need Some Comforting Words

I need to reach out to all my bloggy friends for some comforting words. I could say, "Don't worry. Things will be OK. Everything happens for a reason. All this will make Stefanie (and me) stronger in the end. Your husband will be all better after back surgery. Danielle will be happy and make lots of money. All three cats will be happy. There, there. Don't' worry. Be happy".

See I know all the words but when I say them I am not believing them. I need you guys. Comforting words always sound better coming from a friend. This is the scenario in my house right now.......

1). Danielle is starting back at one of her old jobs and will be making better money. That in turn will make her happier. And she is on the Dean's List for this past semester. All good things.

2). Stefanie and Jay broke up and she moved back home. And no, not into her old room. She is in the basement. I just couldn't let that happen cuz I haven't even painted the old bedroom yet and it isn't ready to be trashed......

3). Simba came home with her as she didn't trust Jay to feed him and give him love. I now have three cats. And three cats is waaaaaaaay more than two cats.

4). My toe is still killing me and I have stopped going to the gym. No wonder I am stressed!!!!! I will be back at the treadmill, etc. next week. Today is the first day that the pain level is actually at a tolerable level.

5). Dan is doing worse. He is having more problem with his back. He is having problems with his balance, showering, etc. He sees his doctor later this month and is having the CT scan also. Next month is when he sees his surgeon. And his insurance is changing for the worse as of July 1st. Oh yeah, he did say that he would trade my big toe for his back. I declined.

6). And today Stefanie lost her job. Since she and Jay work together and these fellow employees love gossip and texting and such, the rumors were flying and Stef said something she shouldn't have said to one such employee and it got back to the manager, reports were filed, and Stefanie and the girl got suspended and today Stefanie was fired. Now I have been telling her to get another job for like three years because she doesn't make any money there, because she is going nowhere fast there and I predict that one day soon the place will close for lack of business. Now she has to do something. In the end, she will be better off.

Thanks for listening. Now to fix some dinner and sit on the couch. With my three cats. Maybe I could get them to say, "There, there".

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I'm On a Roll Here

So after my last episode where I locked myself out of the house on Saturday afternoon, the next morning I decided to do an encore....

I was planning to run out on Sunday morning to buy my two Sunday newspapers so I could sit on the couch and let my sore toe heal. I started the car and rolled back a couple of feet. The noise I heard under my car stopped my heart. I put the car in park and jumped out. The car was resting on a bowling ball!!!!When I emptied out the two brown plastic crates yesterday to use them to stand on, I neglected to put the bowling ball in a secure spot (so it wouldn't roll under my car).

Now what? The ball was stuck right where one might place a jack if one had a flat tire. I couldn't just pull it out. I twisted it and it came right out and the car let itself down to the normal position (without a bowling ball).

I drove to the store to buy my newspapers and came home and stayed in the house the rest of the weekend.

Some people just shouldn't be left home alone.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Some People Just Shouldn't Be Left Home Alone

OK so in my mind I fantasized a weekend where I would eat what I wanted, go where I wanted, and read for hours on end lying on the couch eating out of the ice cream carton. It started out that way seriously.....

I had a real nice Saturday doing exactly as I pleased. I went to the library, shopped at Meijer, sat outside in the grass with my two cats. The weather was nice. I was happy. The cats love being outdoors and I had them in their harnesses and tied their leashes together. For some reason when cats are on leashes they really don't go anywhere. That is why you can't walk a cat on a leash like a dog. And since I tied the leashes together and cats can't agree on a direction, they just hang out and enjoy the day. We sat in the front yard and enjoyed the beautiful weather. Life was good.

Then I decided to water my flowers and had to run in the house to fill my water pitcher. I watered the hanging baskets but when I tried to get back into the house through the garage I realized I was locked out of the house!!!!! Again!!!!! The garage door just locks whenever it feels like it and has been doing this to me for years. Some people just don't learn from their previous bad experiences.

The last time I locked myself out I took the ladder from the garage and pried the dining room screen out and climbed in head first onto a dining room chair. This time my heart sank as I realized that the ladder was upstairs in Stef's bedroom. I used it to pull down the wallpaper border last weekend. So now my brain went into overdrive. I emptied two brown plastic crates from the garage, and stood on the two stacked crates. I am tall but I still couldn't get myself up to the right height. My windows are higher than I remembered. So in a burst of mental activity I ran around the house and emptied 150 feet of garden hose out of the plastic deck box. I ignored the bees buzzing in and out of the box. No time for my fear of bees today.

I drag the deck box around to the side of the house and stand it on end. It is higher than the two stacked crates. Up I go on the crates and then a knee onto the deck box. I'm glad I didn't look down at this point or I don't think I would have made it into the dining room. Not fun to enter the dining room head first with your feet out in space. Also nice to know that someone had to have seen me do this and I guess they just chuckled to themselves and drove on by.

Meanwhile the two leashed and harnessed cats are just eating grass and gazing around enjoying themselves. I come out of the house and put away the crates and then drag the deck box back onto the deck and I am so tired at this point that I don't lift my foot high enough on the top step and trip, stub my big toe and fall down onto the box. Up I go and back goes the hose into the box. The cats and I go inside and onto the couch I go with ice on my toe.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Odd Weekend

I am spending an odd weekend. I think I'm alone for an entire weekend. I can do what I want. I can eat what I want. I can watch what I want on TV. I can read a book on the couch and not move for an entire weekend.

Years ago (all my life actually) I have wanted time alone. That was a real source of contention between my and my husband back in the 70's. I wanted him to go home so I could have some alone time and he wouldn't go. Thinking back, I don't think he had anywhere to go but that would be the subject of another blog post.

Once, my mother-in-law took my kids to Florida with her and I was alone. It took me about a week to realize that I didn't have to race home after work and that I could actually run down the road for an ice cream cone if I so desired to. Then the kids were back home and my free time was over.

My husband is in New Jersey in his truck. Danielle is working/house-sitting with her boyfriend. Stef pops in and out but I normally don't see her that often. Last week was an exception as her cable was shut off and she showed up at home three days in a row. Now the cable is back on and I don't expect her anytime soon.

I bought a harness for the kitten to take her outside as the two cats are insane about the outdoors and they slip outside every chance they get even as I am screaming, "You are not going out, absolutely not, No No" and they are both outside running around the driveway and I am running around after them. I plan to hook both of their harnesses to the leash and just let them enjoy the weather.

I went to Meijer and bought food for these people that probably aren't coming home this weekend. I bought a new hanging flowering basket on sale. I went to the library for myself. I added a follower to my Twitter account even though I think Twitter is stupid and I haven't tweeted in a coon's age.

I actually ate lunch. Never do that on a Saturday as I have always been too busy running errands or something. My husband asked my daughters once, "When are you two going to leave Mom alone"? I was always running them somewhere or picking them up and taking friends home after.

I am thinking that I will have a "Damages" marathon tonight and tomorrow. I have the DVD from the library. I can have pizza tonight and I won't have to hear, "I don't feel like pizza". Maybe I will skip dinner and just have dessert. Who's going to tell on me?

Actually I have a feeling that someone came home while I was sleeping last night. When I went to bed the coach lights were off and today when I got up the lights were on. That's the thing about adult children. You never know when they are going to pop in. They have keys and cars and they don't need a ride home.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Way Too Many Random Thoughts

The other night I laid awake thinking about my husband's back problems and came to a decision. In the morning I told him that I think he should go ahead with the new tests, see the back surgeon and agree to go ahead with the surgery. After the surgery, file for disability and quit truck driving for good.

As usual when I told him my thoughts, he said that he was going to wait until December as planned and use his vacation time and just put up with all his problems until then. A few hours later, he totally changed his mind and said OK to do the surgery this summer. This reversal is so typical of him.

On another note, I received the nicest email from an old friend from grade school. We had lost contact with each other when I lost her address. My fault. My brother called her cousin and got the new address for me a few months ago. I lost that. My fault again. Then somehow accidently she found my email address buried in a forwarded group email and wrote to me. This time I will not lose the address. I will not lose the address. And my old friend actually read my blog. And she liked it. Maybe it was just the wine she drank while she read all my drivel.....

Stefanie still owes me money for her last phone bill and for her brake job on the vehicle that she didn't want any input from me and bought anyway......She stopped in last night while we weren't home and ate some cookies and picked up her cat.

Haven't seen Danielle lately. I am sure she's fine. She will surface soon....

The cats are happy and trying to escape outside every chance they get. Jack is trying to teach Libby (the kitten) how to remove the screen in my front door to escape. Bad cabin fever affects cats too.

The weather is beautiful. I have cabin fever too. And I have discovered that since I am a member of a gym I don't walk outside anymore for exercise. Funny because I always said gyms were stupid. "All you need to exercise is a pair of tennis shoes".

I have noticed that many bloggers have slowed down on writing and commenting. I think they may have cabin fever too.

Not happy about Shawn Johnson winning "Dancing with the Stars". I guess the deal is if you win a gold medal in the Olympics you can win the mirror ball. Wonder how Michael Phelps would do?????

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Most Embarrassing Elementary School Moment

Have you ever just felt like telling an embarrassing story? For no good reason? Well here goes.... I spent 6 years of my life at Webster Elementary School. When I was in 3rd grade we were obsessed with the game of Hopscotch. We played it before school, at recess, at lunch. That was back when children actually played outside. Before computers, before virtual reality, before all that stuff we really played on the playground and had fun.

We loved Hopscotch. I had my lucky stone. And I was good. Well, one day we were playing and a boy (lets call him T)was kinda hanging out with us and I think he was playing too. One of my friends? (Carol) pushed me like kids do and she pushed me quite hard. Hard enough to push me into the boy (T) and knock him down on his side onto the playground. His head went down onto the pavement like he was going to take a nap only instead of taking the nap I lost my balance completely and SAT ON HIS HEAD!!!!!! Carol couldn't do that again if she tried. She laughed. Everyone else around us laughed. T didn't laugh. I didn't laugh. Needless to say, T never played with us again. I don't think I ever spoke to him again even though we went to school together all through high school.

Webster School has been long since torn down. Most of the people living in Plymouth, Indiana have a brick from the school. There is a new Webster Elementary School in a different location now. I wonder if they play Hopscotch?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

My Memories of Mother's Day

I have always disliked Mother's Day. I suppose I was excited back in grade school when I made something special for my mother and grandmother. I saved a card I made for Grandma Ball that stated she was the "Greatest Grandmoth of All". Funny I didn't notice the typo then but now it is glaring.....

I do remember bringing a little Petunia home from church for my mother. I was pretty proud of that little drooping flower. Hope it made her smile.

Actually I dreaded Mother's Day long before my mother passed away. It seemed to happen every year that some well-meaning lady at our church would call my mother and let her know that she had invited me to the Mother Daughter Banquet and that I had told her that I didn't want to go. It made me sad to go with someone else's mother. I wanted my mother to be able to take me places. I didn't want to go with any other woman no matter how well-intentioned she might be. And then of course, my mom would apologize for me and accept the invitation and then tell me what time my "new mom" would be picking me up. Truthfully I don't think my mother realized how sad it made me. I think she was thinking like an adult and didn't want to hurt any one's feelings. Sometimes it would be a Sunday School teacher that had never married and had no children. Sometimes it would be a woman that had no daughters only sons. It didn't matter to me. I didn't want to go.

But I did go. And I was polite. And I was sad.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Libby's Mirror Image

libbys mirror image.jpg
Originally uploaded by jntrowley
Ok just one more before I move on. Danielle took this in her bedroom. Libby was confused by the mirror and you can see Jack in the background. He isn't quite so helpful or affectionate towards us anymore because he has Libby. I guess that just means that Jack prefers the company of a cat as opposed to our company. I guess that's ok as he is a cat.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'd Rather Get It Myself

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
I figure this will be my last cat picture for a while. I need to move on to a new subject but thought this was funny. When I come home from work Jack gets so excited that this day he thought he would help me fix dinner. He likes to be in the kitchen or in the living room with me or in the laundry room. He doesn't mind getting stuff out of the vegetable drawer. You just may not want to eat what he gets out of there for you......

Monday, April 27, 2009

Jack Needs Some Fresh Air

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
Yesterday when my friend came to my house to pick me up she found my indoor cat Jack on the front porch. We bought him inside and while we were talking, Jack removed the screen and went outside again.

I came home from work today and got out my phone and recorded this............ How am I going to keep him inside after this??? I think he is a bit too smart for his own good.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Simba's Happy Again!!!!

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
My house has waaaay too much drama for my liking. I thought by this time in my life the kids would be off doing whatever and I would be home alone bored. I thought I would be knitting again to pass the time. I don't know what I thought actually.

It took 48 hours to cheer Simba up but Jack did it. They go everywhere together. Frick and Frack is what I called them this morning. They like to come into my bedroom in the morning (way before I planned to get up) and start their fighting routine rolling over and over biting and kicking on my rug by my bed. I just lay there and watch them play. I am so happy that Simba isn't sick. I just had never seen a depressed cat before.

Jack just didn't give up on him. Every once in a while Jack would come up to Simba and try and lick his head, and Simba would lash out at him and hiss. Poor Jackie would just look at him and almost shrug his little shoulders and walk away with his head down. So after keeping Simba in my room on Wednesday night to pamper him I left the two of them downstairs on Thursday night to do whatever cats do in the middle of the night.

On Friday morning I was awakened by the two of them fighting on the floor by my bed. I got up and the two boys ran down the stairs ahead of me to be the first cat to the food dish. I fed them and they started running around together playing and chasing just like old times. Jack had done his magic during the night. All is well.

Slight bump in the road here. Stefanie now wants Simba back. The little fluffball kitten (Libby) is starting to annoy her. Libby cries all the time, Libby chews on cords, Libby climbs the screen. Jay and Stef miss Simba now that he isn't sad. They want him home.

I get a text message yesterday at work that says, "I am dropping Libby off at a shelter Saturday and coming over to get Simba. I want him back. You guys can't have him no matter what Dad says. Simba doesn't like Libby and I don't want her anymore because I want Simba to be happy."

Now Dan and Danielle even though they are allergic to cats will not allow Libby to go to a shelter. Sooooo now I get Libby. Jack pretty much loves everyone and doesn't seem to care who comes over. Little does he know that he is getting a brand new baby sister today and losing his best friend Simba.

However Stefanie has agreed that if she takes Simba back home and he gets depressed we have to switch cats again. And Jack gets Simba back. Waaaay too much cat drama here.

People at work were cracking up laughing at me yesterday. The comments ranged from, "Wait until Stef has kids. She will have to get rid of the baby if the older child doesn't like it"! to " I am dropping the baby off at your house Mom cuz it is annoying me"!

The saga will continue........

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Can Cats Get Depressed????

Stefanie's cat Simba came to visit again. She and Jay got a new fluff ball kitten named Libby and Simba now sleeps all the time and won't play. Libby tries to get him to play but she is a baby and he's not interested.

Jack loves Simba and can't understand why Simba won't play with him. She left him at our house last night and all evening poor Jack kept licking Simba and biting him and trying to start their grizzly bear fighting routine and Simba's just not having it. Dan thinks that Simba is depressed. I was afraid he was sick. I checked him out this morning, petting him all over and checking his little paws. He looks fine.

When I came home from work today, I fed both cats, watched Simba use the litter box, and then watched him as he ate from the dish that Jack had just eaten off. Then I brushed him all over. He layed on the rug in the foyer and seemed to enjoy my grooming efforts. Then I got both cats interested in their favorite toy, the long stick with the tinsel and feathers on it. Jack was doing circus leaps in the air and Simba cautiously put a paw on the toy and daintily chewed on the feathers. Jack would race around in a circle after the whirling toy and Simba cocked his little head and looked at the shiny tinsel and I let him chew on it again. Finally, I hid it away so no one can pull all the feathers out and eat the tinsel.

Simba settled down for a nap and poor Jack walked around planning his next attack on his quiet friend. I left to run an errand and will see what I find when I get home. Maybe he is depressed like Dan says. I told Stef she should come over tomorrow to visit Simba. He probably misses her. How does one cheer up a cat anyway???

One of our doctor's asked me today, "How many cats do you have"? I answered "I'm not sure......"

Monday, April 20, 2009

Peace and Quiet!!!!!!

The answer is pretty obvious to me and K and Far Side and Roshni et al. I finally got rid of the land line phone. I have been wanting to for a while and my husband kept asking me when I was going to do it. It just seemed so

The scene at our house at the end of a work day was this: I come in the door and the phone is ringing. Hmmmm. Someone trying to sell me new windows. I put away my things and attempt to feed the hungry cat. The phone rings. Someone wants Stefanie to pay a bill. I don't answer. I open the refrigerator to decide on what to prepare for dinner. The phone rings. I don't look at the caller id. I don't listen to any messages from earlier in the day. I don't answer the phone all evening. I look forward to 9pm when no one is allowed to call to sell me anything.

The last straw was when the phone rang, I looked at the caller id because who in their right mind just jumps up and answers the phone without looking to see who is bothering you? Well, it said "Capital One" and I thought OK I will answer it. I can be nice sometimes.

Me: Hello?

Capital One: Good bye! (computer voice)

I picked up my cell phone, called Comcast and cancelled the phone.

No regrets what so ever. Peace and quiet reigns supreme.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

What is it?????

I got rid of annoyance this week. Here are some clues.

1)It is something that I have wanted to do for a long time.
2)If I was younger I would have probably never have had it in the first place.
3)If I were older I would never think of getting rid of it.
4)When I moved out on my own I was so excited to have it.
5)My daughters haven't used it in years.
6)Sometimes when I came home from work I didn't even look at it all evening.
7)I won't miss it.

What is it???? And what took me so long to do it anyway? Life is great without it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where's Janet????

Since I got such nice comments about my dad on that last post, I thought I would show his other side. Everyone has two sides I'm sure. In my family every first Sunday in August we would gather for our family reunion at the park and we always reserved the same table. My mother always said that it was the only day of the year she was happy to have Multiple Sclerosis so she didn't have to participate. I almost envied her this one.

So on this day, my dad piled us into the car for the yearly meal in the city park. Both of my older brothers went this time as did both of my dad's parents. We had a carload that day. I didn't like going to this event mainly because there was never anyone there my age. Every year there would be an article in the paper about the reunion and I was always listed as being the youngest person there. I kind of resented this when I was like 14 or 15 years old. I had some cousins that would have been fun to play with but their parents never made them go to the reunion. My dad was always the president and held the business meeting after the meal and it would have been nice to have other kids to play with when the adults were having their meeting. On this day, my dad told me to go play on the slides and swings while they had the yearly meeting and took up the collection to reserve the same table.

I played for a while in the park and when I came back to our usual spot.....everyone had gone home. I tried not to panic but no one looked the least bit familiar and I just kind of walked around and then I sat on the picnic table and waited. I remember feeling really alone. After a while, I had to move to another spot because another family reunion had reserved the table for their potluck meal. OK so now I began to worry. I knew how to get home but I was young enough that I had never actually been allowed to walk home from the park. I thought I would wait some more before starting the trek home. I would imagine that I was about 5 years old at the time.

Meanwhile back at my house, my brothers walked into the house and my mother asked, "Where's Janet?" They didn't know. My dad walked in and my mother asked, "Where's Janet?" He didn't know. Now she's mad. She could understand that my brothers didn't know (or care) where I was. She understood that my dad didn't remember that he had taken his daughter to the park and told her to go play and then left without her, but she was actually mad at his parents for not realizing that their granddaughter was missing.

So Dad decides that he needs to get ready for work before he comes to get me. On goes the police uniform and back into the car he goes. He pulls into the driveway at the park and there I sit on the picnic table. I remember being relieved when I saw him that I didn't have to walk home but then I was annoyed that he was so nonchalant that he took the time to change his clothes.

After that day it became quite the family joke about how I got left at the park. Somehow after that I really hated that reunion and dreaded going there every year.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Sunday with the Gypsies

I have been waiting patiently to post this. I wanted to wait until near Easter as it is an Easter memory....

When I was in the fifth grade our teacher Mrs. Shirar, being a dutiful teacher warned us of a danger in our town. We were being dismissed for the Easter weekend from school and she reminded us to stay away from the gypsy camp north of our small town. She went on to say that gypsies are known to steal children and we should tell our parents of the nearby danger. Now it is hard for me to relate to that story but there really was a group of gypsies parked in at a campground near our quiet little town.

I went home and told my father what the teacher had warned us about. Well, he laughed and told me he was going to do one better than that. He was going to take me there!!! And he did. I came home from the Easter church service and he told me that we were going to the gypsy camp. I wasn't too sure about this but he was a policeman and he had already been to the camp and told me that we were invited.

We were welcomed guests of the gypsy camp. I will always remember the pigs on huge spits roasting over the fires, the music playing, the young girls dancing, and how nice everyone was to us. They were travelling in small trailers and were all parked in a big circle. The women were wearing fur coats and had long gold necklaces made of coins. They were dancing so hard inside one of the trailers it fell off one of the supports and the trailer floor was sloping so much it was hard to stand up.

My father was offered a glass of beer which he accepted to be polite but whenever he put it down they filled it back up. So he quit putting it down and just sipped it once in a while. The alcohol was flowing quite freely as I remember.

I remember that they gave us colored Easter eggs as presents. We didn't stay for dinner but I'm sure that was offered too. My father instructed me to tell the teacher when we went back to school and she actually had me stand up in front of the class and tell everyone about my visit to the camp. I wonder now what Mrs. Shirar thought of my dad for taking me there.

The gypsy leader, Big Green ended up being taken to the hospital that night by a group of his friends. He had a bit too much alcohol and they caused quite a ruckus in the emergency room. I guess Big Green put his glass down too many times.....

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Come and Spend the Morning With Me

Stefanie texted me this morning to let me know she was at the brake shop waiting for them to open and to make sure I was going to pick her up like we had planned. I texted her back to let her know I would. I dressed quickly and headed down the road to get her.

We talked for a bit just standing in the kitchen like we have done for years. We always have a lot to say to each other. She told me about her new little kitten, Libby and how her older cat Simba was acting toward the new kitten. OK, let's get down to work here!!! Stef let me know that she had kind of planned on getting a nap in before she had to leave for work. Not so my dear. You are mine for the morning.

We headed upstairs and went past Danielle's closed door. Quietly we went into Stef's old room with all the odds and ends that had been left there for me to deal with. We put the twin bed in the basement, took pictures off the walls (man were they dusty!!) and the most fun of all, pulled the old dresser out from the wall and tried to figure out how the mirror was attached to it. We tried to not wake Danielle as we struggled and sweat over the awkward pieces of furniture and also tried not to step on the cat as we went. Only one time did he slip past us and ended up under Danielle's car parked in the garage. The under side of the car wasn't nearly as dirty as I thought it would be. I pulled Jack out and put him back in the house.

The old dresser fits perfectly in the garage. It will come in handy out there. I will find lots of things to use it for..... I put it on my side of the garage so I don't have to worry about Danielle driving into it. I speak from experience. I had a dented freezer out there for years before it bit the dust.

There are still bits and pieces of her childhood in the old room but I can manage them. She sorted through some memories and let me know what she wants and what she doesn't want. We found a lot of coins, trash, and Q-tips. Jack had fun. Stef and I are sore and dusty but in a good way (for me). She took a shower and dressed for work. The Jeep's brakes are good now. She owes me big time for this one. Making a payment plan. I'm standing firm on this one. Even the guys at the brake shop were quizzing her on how long she has had the vehicle and how they inspect brakes for free before you buy. I think she did learn from this experience. Enough said.

I can think of a lot of nicer ways to spend a sunny Saturday morning but we accomplished some much needed work. Actually I enjoyed her company too. I doubt if she will be back next Saturday.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stefanie is my Captive

Stefanie is all mine Saturday morning. She is dropping her new vehicle off to get a brake job (no comment) at our favorite brake shop. In order to get brakes repaired on a Saturday at our favorite brake place the vehicle has to be dropped off at 8:30am and you stand in line outside waiting for the doors to open. Everyone troops in and drops their keys off and either waits to hear the bad news or leaves and comes back later.

I will be picking her up that morning to bring her to my place to spend the morning. Perfect!!! She can spend the rest of the morning going through the bits and pieces left in her room. I have been trying to decide what color to paint the room and whether I want a "sitting room" or a spare bedroom in the place of the mess she left me with. I plan on getting every scrap out of the room and starting with a bare canvas. I can't wait. Stefanie, on the other hand isn't too excited.

If you have been reading this drivel for any time you might? remember the pictures I bravely posted of her room (January 2, 2009) I was desperate.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pet Peeve of the Day

One of my pet peeves (there are many more actually) is when I call a business (be it the cable company, gas company, electric company) and they spend 5 minutes telling me by a computer voice of course how I could easily access them on the internet.

I am calling them because I want to speak to a human being. I am not at a computer. I may be driving my car, on my 30-minute lunch break walking the corridor to get a moment of privacy or I may be sitting in my car in the parking lot. I am calling them because I need to speak to someone that can respond to questions that I may have. I do realize that these companies are online.

Am I the only person that occasionally requires the customer service department??? Sometimes I think that the company has no human beings.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

So The Saying Goes.....

I have been wanting to do a post with just sayings that I remember from people that used to be in my life and aren't anymore. Here goes ... with some explanation. Some sayings are self-explanatory and I will give no explanation.

These are all from my father...
1) Oh, happy day! (Whenever he was happy about something. Sometimes he clapped his hands along with it).
2) I know where my bread is buttered. (This was in regards to why we had to drive a Studebaker when all my friends parents drove cool cars. He worked at Studebaker's).
3) Don't cry over spilled milk. It could have been beer.
4) You have a champagne taste with a beer pocketbook.
5) A fool and his money.... (talking about my brother buying another antique).
6) Hey, I went on a diet one time (for a day).
7) You can go broke saving money. (his thought on buying something you didn't need and can't afford just because it was on sale).
8) My public awaits!!!! (He would be dressed in his police uniform with his lunch packed in a brown paper grocery bag and ready to leave for work)
9) He's only 15,16,17,18,22,26... (referring to my older brother that constantly tormented me and my other brother (the painter).

These are from my Grandmother Ball (the Montana homesteader/seamstress)...
1) I'm not hungry now, but if I don't eat it, I won't get any. (Referring to my constantly hungry older brothers).
2) We need a revolving door put on this kitchen (also referring to my brothers coming back into the kitchen before she could even get it cleaned up after dinner).

These are from my World History Teacher (she is discussed in a previous post "Room 100")
1) If you read trash, you will be trash.
2) The more you know, the more you know you don't know.
3) If you waste time, time will waste you.

I was wondering today what saying my daughters might remember me by. I came up with a couple....
1) Having you two girls is the best thing I ever did.
2) My life didn't even start until I gave birth to you and your sister.
I highly doubt that either will remember me saying those things but I did.

So, the other day Danielle was talking about how I hate throwing away food (this stems from my Depression Era father I'm sure) She told me she hates to throw out food because she knows that I will search through the trash and look it over and wonder why she threw such perfectly good food away. She came up with this saying, "Well the WHOLE STRAWBERRY isn't rotten!!! Nice.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Stef's New Ride

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
Well, Stefanie traded in her father's old 1992 Bonneville and came home with this 2001 Jeep Laredo. That would be a good thing I guess but I am afraid for her. The payment is high and she has never had to make a car payment before. And now she has her own car insurance and she's never had to pay car insurance before. I am very afraid but I wish her the best. She wanted to do this on her own so didn't really consult us with any details. Not much I can do.

And no her room isn't all cleaned out. I went in there and rounded up some miscellanous clothes, washed them and had her sort through them. The saga continues.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Mother

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
This is one of the rare pictures that I have of my mother. She was born in 1919 in Montana in a log cabin. Her parents were homesteaders and had a ranch near Camas Prairie, Montana. I cannot imagine how hard their life was. I know the ranch was named "The Lazy B" and that is about all I know. They did move back to Indiana in the late 30's and my mother finished high school there.

I love the dress she is wearing in the picture. I know that her mother made all her clothes and she wished that she could buy clothes from a store. You know kids always want what they can't have. I think she was about 9 years old in the picture.

My mother died at age 48 of Multiple Sclerosis. I value every picture that I have of her. I love looking at this young, healthy child's face.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The House Next Door

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
This is a painting that my oldest brother, Chuck did when he was in his early 20's. He had just gotten out of the army and had come home to go back to school. My grandmother had just died and my parents sent my brother to stay with our grieving grandfather. Well, I think poor Grandpa drove my brother nuts and Chuck ended up outside looking at the house next door. My brother always loved interesting architecture and tended to see things the way they used to be (or should have been) and so this painting came about. When I graduated from high school I told my brother that this was my favorite painting of all those he had done and he told me that I could have this one as a graduation present. I didn't feel right about taking it out of Dad's living room and when Dad died in 1993 I brought it home.

I have taken my daughters to see the original house back in Indiana and it certainly never looked this good in my lifetime. The people that lived here never took care of it and it was quite rundown. But in my brother's mind this is how it looked.

Chuck doesn't paint anymore as his two old houses and way too many antiques take up all his time. I hope that one day he will paint again.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lundy Hates Me

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
I spent the last week babysitting for my friend's three cats while she spent some time visiting with her parents in Florida. I go to her house morning and evening to feed the kitties and scoop the litter. Lundy is the oldest cat and is in charge of the household while his parents are out of town. He greets me at the door each time and each time he hates me more. It doesn't matter how nice I am to Lundy he punches me with his fists. This blurry dark video documents one of my visits. Please bear with me. I just had to try this on my blog.

Monday, March 9, 2009

AquaJuice is Here!!!!!!

Originally uploaded by jntrowley
I was shopping at Meijer yesterday and noticed a new product on the shelf. I passed by, did a double-take and passed by again. This is apple juice with water added and they are calling it AquaJuice. Is is me or is this ridiculous?
I have been adding water to my juice that I take to work with me everyday for years. I don't want all the sugar from regular juice and I like the taste of a little juice.
I think my Depression Era father would roll over in his grave right now if he saw this!!! We are so stupid (lazy) that we can't put our own water in our juice???

Friday, March 6, 2009


I saw something on the news the other night that I thought was worth mentioning. A new product called Latisse is now being offered to women wanting to grow long, lush eyelashes. It's pricey but something many women have wanted for a long time.

Funny that this product is a glaucoma eye drop only this time it is being marketed to women to grow longer eyelashes. It is sold with applicators so you can apply it to the sparse lashes and wait to see the lovely, dark, long lashes appear. It is kind of like a chia pet! Only it grows hair not greenery.

In this scary economic time I am not sure how many women want to spend $120 a month growing longer lashes. I would be more apt to spend that money on groceries, gas, bills, etc. Guess I'm just funny that way.

Oh, and one more thing, one of the main side effects of this medication is that it causes trichiasis (misdirected eyelashes) that have to be plucked out by a doctor. Gee, that sounds fun. But then beauty comes with a price.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

You Got People in There

One of our patients told me a story the other day about her grandchild. She told the 5 year old grandson that she was going to the eye doctor. The grandson replied, "Did you know you got people in there?"

"What? What do you mean?" she asked him.

Grandson replied as he got up real close to her so he could look her in the eye, "My mom said you have 'people' in there, inside your eye".

So I dilated the grandmother's "people" (pupils) and let her have a seat in the reception area for 15 minutes so the doctor could look at her optic nerve.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Update on My Life

I haven't had much to say these past couple of days. I do have some topics running around in my head. However none seemed appropriate for my mood. These are some of my random thoughts.....

Stefanie is moving today into a new apartment with heat, dishwasher, washer, dryer, and toilets that flush! That is an improvement over the last place. Danielle said Stef's last place should have been condemned. She couldn't get over the slanting floor in the living room, not to mention the lack of heat in the place. I am currently babysitting for their cat, Simba so he wouldn't get in the way of the big move. As I am writing this Simba and our cat, Jack are fighting quietly in the living room. No one is crying or hissing. I think that is a good sign.

Dan's debit card is cancelled. We received the form letter from the bank explaining that his debit card numbers had been "compromised" and they were doing us a favor by cancelling his card. He is finishing the last few days of his month over the road. He took the news well actually. Of course, he stockpiled some cash when he heard the news as his card is good through today and then he's on his own. Truckers never know how much cash to keep on hand because they never know where they will be sent next and how many tolls they will have to pay. For example the George Washington Bridge in New York City costs a semi $40. And they have to go back over it again to return to civilization. Such is the life of a truck driver.

When Dan comes home this time he is going in for his 3rd injection in his spine. I hope he gets some relief. He is still in a lot of pain from arthritis in his spine and a pinched nerve. Shot number 1 and 2 helped but there is room for improvement.

Danielle is still looking for a job that suits her better. The job market here is not pretty. Stefanie needs to find a new job..... but that is an ongoing story.

The gym thing is going well. I seriously enjoy going in there and sweating and pushing myself to do the time on the elliptical and on the treadmill. I think it helps my stress level as long as I don't look at my phone to see the missed calls and missed text messages. A few days ago I made the mistake of looking at my phone to see the text, "I broke my left contact in two pieces". And the next text was, "Call me". That kind of ruined my workout. Yesterday after work I parked my car in the lot at the gym and looked over to find out that I had left my gym bag at home. So much for Friday's workout!

Danielle's boyfriend sent her flowers yesterday, "Just Because" and Jack has been trying to eat them ever since.

I changed my clickable link color to pink on my blog so people can find it. I think it is working. The video on my sidebar is a guy Danielle used to work with at a sports bar in Troy. He is pretty good. I have watched his dance quite a few times I have to admit. The other clips are from his figure skating career. Thought they were interesting. He has his own channel on YouTube - Dustbustr5. I didn't even know you could have your own channel!

I never did get my Paczki so when I saw some Entenmanns donuts marked down to half price today I bought some. I don't think it is good to deprive yourself of something that you wait all year for. I will eat them next year.

Hmmmm. I am starting to think about pizza. Talk to you later.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tea for the Widow

This morning as I was making my morning coffee I was listening to the news on the kitchen radio. The story was about how some companies want to cut out retiree health insurance. The company is in bankruptcy and in order to cut costs they are asking the judge if they can stop paying benefits to all their retirees. They were saying that back when our parents and grandparents got a job the company took care of us "from cradle to grave". Times are different now....

I remembered a story that a coworker told me when I worked at NuVision. She was several years older than I and her father had been the butler for the Edsel and Eleanor Ford household many years ago. This is the mansion that I had taken both of my daughters to visit. The home is beautiful and well-preserved and open for tours. She told me stories about how her older sisters remembered the Hollywood stars attending the big parties at the mansion and how she used to stand at the end of the sidewalk and wait for her father, the butler to come home for lunch each day. She remembered how they summered in Maine with the Ford Family, living in a little cottage on the property. She told me of lobster cooked on the beach and how much fun she had every summer.

The last summer she spent in Maine was the summer that her father, the butler died in that little beach cottage. They had to wait for the medical examiner to pronounce her father dead after his heart attack. Mrs. Ford came into the cottage and made tea for the butler's mother and sat with the family until the medical examiner arrived to do his job. My friend talked so respecfully of Eleanor Ford and appreciated that act of kindness so many years ago. And so did her mother.

Many years had gone by. Eleanor and Edsel Ford had both passed away. The butler's widow was in her 90's living in a mobile home park in Florida. The Ford family had been paying her a widow's pension for many years. She needed to go into a nursing home as she wasn't able to live alone anymore. The Ford family paid for the nursing home. They took care of their employees "cradle to grave".

Sunday, February 22, 2009

To Paczki or Not

This Tuesday is Fat Tuesday my all-time favorite holiday. Well normally this means that I would sniff out some bakery around here that ships real Paczki from Hamtramck in the wee hours Tuesday morning so I can buy a dozen of these heavenly creations. I can just feel the heaviness of the bakery box. During that special Tuesday I would probably eat at least three of them, each one better than the last. The law of diminishing return does not apply to Paczki.

I mentioned the upcoming holiday to Danielle and she in no uncertain terms said, "Mom you can't bring those things into the house". If Dan was home he would be good for three or four I'm sure. Stef would probably help out for at least one. She doesn't overindulge in anything that doesn't come in chocolate. Danielle would weaken and eat some too. However, it is just Danielle and me here and a dozen of those things would just be too much temptation for her I'm sure. I of course have perfect control over my cravings.

So I have been eating very healthy and going to the gym. It really doesn't make sense to break down and eat Paczki. I looked at some today at Meijer but those really aren't the real thing. They are more like a jelly donut than a Paczki. I didn't buy them today but but I did hold the box and then put it back on the shelf. Tuesday is coming quickly.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Sad Sign of the Times

Most days are just busy at work but no stories to tell. You have to be careful about not violating privacy laws and such so no names here.

A couple of days ago one of our longtime patients came in with a problem. His eye was red, hurting, and his vision was down. He wasn't sure if he was doing the right thing by coming in to the office but it took our doctor 2 seconds to tell that he had developed an infection inside his eye. This can happen because of the surgery that he had had on his eye years ago. It leaves him with an increased risk of infection that if it happened could make him lose the eye completely. If this infection is caught early it can be treated with massive doses of antibiotics and sometimes it is necessary for the patient to be hospitalized.

We don't treat this problem normally but we send the patient immediately to a doctor in our building that treats them and then sends them back to us after the problem is resolved. So that is what we did that day.

Well, a few minutes later we got a call from that office telling us that they were refusing to treat the patient because he had a previous bill of $106 and didn't have the money to pay the old bill. The office policy could not be compromised even so the man would not lose his eye. The doctor did tell our doctor what to prescribe for the patient. And they sent him back to us to treat.

The patient had previously asked me for a sample of his regular eye drops because he said that he had no money and he could barely keep his heat on in his house. I gave him a sample and took a quick look at the front sheet of his chart to see how old he was. I thought to myself that he probably never thought that he would be in that financial situation in his retirement years. The new drops that were needed for the infection are very expensive, there are no samples, and can be only obtained from a small pharmacy near us. Insurance rarely covers them.

Our doctor told us the next day that he couldn't justify that the money he might spend on a nice dinner with his family could save a patent's eye. He got out his credit card and paid for the medication over the phone. The patient left to go pick up his eye drops at the pharmacy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ten Rules for Being a Good Patient

Jeanne did a post this morning stating the rules she has learned in her 55 years. Well I am 57 so I must have learned a couple of things. I kind of thought about this as I was working today so this is from a health care worker/patient perspective.

1. Don't show up for your appointment on the wrong day and demand to be seen even though your doctor is not in the office.

2. If your cleavage is wrinkled please cover it up.

3. If you are so fat you need a double-wide wheelchair please bring someone to push you around the office. Don't project the attitude that it is my problem that you are fat. I didn't feed you Twinkies.

4. Don't refuse to fill out paperwork when you are a new patient. We need all that crap.

5. When you go to the eye doctor wear your glasses. Some people think we want to see how poorly they see without glasses. We don't.

6. Don't schedule your other doctor's appointment across town at the same time as your appointment with us and then get mad at us because you are going to be late.

7. If you beg for a cancellation appointment please don't tell me you can't make it because your dog has a appointment at the groomer's this afternoon and you won't be able to come in.

8. When I explain the whole electonic prescription process we are doing now, don't go to the checkout counter and ask why we didn't give you a paper prescription.

9. If you have to go to the bathrooom, please don't wait until I call you back to the exam room. You have been to our office 100 times and you know the bathroom is out by the elevator.

10. Please take a shower before you come in for your appointment. If you see employees walking around behind you with a spray can that isn't Easy Cheese in that can. If my eyes are watering when I talk to you it isn't because I got something in my eye. It is because you stink!!!

Now these are just a few things I have learned working with patients for 20 some years. I was actually surprised how easily these came to me which makes me think there must be a lot more in my head. I think I had better keep them in my head. Some things are better left unsaid.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm Back Jack!!!

The mail brought me sweet relief. My debit card came!!! Life is good again. Too bad I don't have any money.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Guest Blog

Tuesday I am guest blogging at Interstitial Life and I am excited. I hope you will check it out. I wrote it back in September when I was the only person reading my blog. Somedays I still am the only reader but that's OK too.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Year New Look

Along with my resolutions I thought my blog was getting tired. So I changed colors and added a picture to my profile of last year's Valentine flowers. I was getting really sick of the manly profile. I also like the slideshow of the cherry blossoms. I feel so much better now even though my debit card still hasn't come in the mail. Valentine candy is half off now so that's a good thing for me.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Recap of the Week

Well my new year is a few days old now. I am counting from the opening of my new gym and all my resolutions. Things are going well. I went Tuesday before work and the next three days after work. At first I just did the treadmill and then branched out after that. I am a newbie at this crap so I am just trying a few things on my own first before I do the "Fitness Evaluation" that Rocky wanted me to do.

Rocky is a cute, perky, happy little fitness trainer at the gym. She saw me struggling on the StairMaster and thought she would spread some of her happiness and charm my way. Here I was sweating and ready to give up and she comes over to smile and encourage me. No thanks. I told her that thing was "kicking my butt" and I was ready to leave. "Oh, you can't leave now. You just got here". She smiles. Rocky just moved back to Michigan after living in Atlanta for a while and I think the Michigan weather has affected her somehow. No one here is that happy.

I try not to look stupid as I try this cycling thing and then the Elliptical that my daughter likes. I didn't like it. Today for the first time since I started going to the gym, I am sore. Mostly the calf muscles. Dan says that's good and that after I start weight training I will be "sore all over". Are these people trying to encourage me or scare me off? I think they enjoy my pain vicariously. Let them get their own pain. This pain is mine.

I have been getting more sleep. The cat and I go to bed earlier. Problem is, he wakes up earlier too because he is a cat.

I have also been taking more vitamins. I have a little pill reminder thing and it is kind of empty at the end of the week. Not completely empty but I am trying.

So overall I think I am doing OK. I feel like I am getting a head start on spring actually. The good thing about the gym is it is always daylight in there so the short days aren't getting me down like they usually do.

Next week I am going at least 4 times. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Fight 255 at Detroit Metropolitan Airport

This morning I was reading Alice's Underground Adventures about Flight 90 that landed in Hudson Bay and how modest and professional the captain was. It was nice to have something good in the news for once.

I did comment on her post about how it made me think of a hot August evening 1n 1987 when I had taken my husband to work earlier in the evening. I was returning from that trip when I smelled a horrible thick smell and didn't know what it was from. I heard and saw fire trucks and police cars racing by us. My oldest daughter was only three and the younger one was just an infant in her car seat. I told Danielle that when we got to Middlebelt Road we would be able to see what was going on. Well, when we got further up the road I saw that the traffic on the opposite side of I-94 was completely stopped and men were directing traffic wearing shorts and t-shirts and carrying flashlights. This was really odd.

Further down the road I saw that there was a huge fire on the railroad overpass off to our right. I looked down onto Middlebelt Road and saw hundreds of small fires burning. The trees were on fire near the road. A large chunk of the fuselage was on fire just to the side of the freeway. Police were frantically directing us to keep on moving. I had no idea at what I was looking at. I thought a train had crashed. I heard no reports of a plane crash on the radio. I was just listening to music. This was way before cell phones. I had no idea that my husband was frantically trying to get ahold of me. He had heard about the plane crash and knew I was headed right for that area.

It sounds stupid now that I was driving right past an airport and looked at a plane crash and didn't even know what I was looking at. Now my cell phone would be ringing and I would have been talking to my husband the entire way home. Not so that night. Danielle and I just talked all the way home and decided that when we got home we would turn on the television and find out what was really going on.

When I walked in the door at home, of course the phone was ringing. My husband thought that maybe I was the one that got hit by the fusilage and was injured. I did see that fire and had no idea what I was seeing. The news reports said that no one could get near the crash. I had just been there.

Danielle being only three was very concerned about the little girl that survived Flight 255. The sole survivor was four years old. She was in the hospital for a long time and when released went to live in Alabama with her aunt and uncle. You don't hear about her anymore. We sent her a get well card. Danielle helped pick it out. She saw the pictures on the newspapers for the next few days. People thought it was strange that a three year old was reading the papers but she had seen way too much that night and so did I.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Is it Too Late For New Year's Resolutions?

My gym finally opened. I have been there 2 times already and I am going back tomorrow and Friday. It is beautiful if a gym can be beautiful. All new equipment, carpet, showers, lockers, pool, sauna, etc. I have never been a "gym" person and now I belong to one. I told Danielle when she was thinking about joining a gym that if everyone showed up that had memberships there would be no room for them all. I told her they make their money selling memberships hoping that no one will come. I went on and on..... I told people that all they need is a good pair of walking shoes and the great outdoors.

Every year when the weather finally breaks I put on my shoes and start walking. I try to walk for an hour a day at least 5 days a week. My clothes start out in the spring quite snug and by summer I am fitting into summer clothes quite nicely. By fall, these clothes are sloppy looking and people are making comments like, "You aren't planning on losing more weight are you?" Then winter comes, and I sit on the couch, watch TV and gain weight. I get depressed. I get fatter. And I wait for spring so I can walk again.

This year I decided will be different. I was thinking that a gym membership would help with my winter depression. I thought that this would be a good place for me because they have a pool and I never get to go swimming. I could walk on a treadmill until I am exhausted without slipping on the ice and sloshing through the winter mess we call Michigan.

1) I will go to the gym at least 3 times a week, more if possible.

2) I will get in shape BEFORE spring.

3) I will take my vitamins. I had been taking them for a long time. I take them to work in the morning and I take them home at the end of the day.

4) I will strive for 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night.

5) I will put myself first for the first time in many years. Wait a minute, I have
never been first in my life.

6) I will TRY and have a better attitude and enjoy each day. (Today doesn't count. I spilled tomato soup on my white scrub pants and got clipped by another car at lunchtime. I am not filing an insurance report. Just don't feel like dealing with the insurance company, getting a rental car, and putting up with the dealership. They know my car by name. I don't' want to go back there again.)

7) I will make more time for reading. I get into bed every night and start reading and after a page I am ready to turn out the light. I love reading and want to seriously increase the amount of reading material I can devour.

OK I think that is enough for now.

Happy New Year!

Monday, February 9, 2009

How I Spend My Free Time

I have over the course of our married life installed all the electronic components in our house for the past 20 years at least. My husband used to be a manager of a Radio Shack in his previous life and at that time he was able to hook up turntables, receivers, speakers, Pong (an antique video game), and car stereos. Somehow he forgot all of that when VCR's came out, etc. That's OK with me actually and I have set up all four televisions, two combination VCR/DVD players, one individual DVD player, and of course, the infamous WEBTV.

For Christmas I was able to convince my husband that the 14 year old television in the living room needed to be replaced and the perfect Christmas gift to each other would be a new flat screen television. The old one was a 25 inch model that had the tendency to allow the picture to casually slip halfway down the screen. When there was a breaking news event, I had no idea what it might be. That event wasn't on my screen but probably somewhere below the television screen and above the carpet. And if that wasn't enough, it started a popping episode where the whole picture would disappear with each large "pop" and when this ended, the picture was too large for the screen. It was as if I had hit a "zoom" button (if there was one). That was OK. I could still watch the television but now if it was a basketball game, the score was off the screen. Dan would call me and ask if the Pistons were winning and I might respond, "I think so. They look happy". And if I watched QVC the prices were halfway off the screen. All I knew was the item being displayed was something like 79? The dollars were missing. That could have been dangerous if I was a QVC shopper.

So, of course I went to (my favorite place besides the warehouse) and ordered a new 32 inch flat screen television that was delivered right to my door. It was a miracle! I could pick up the box by myself. Getting the old television off the stand was something else. Danielle and I struggled with the old monstrosity and got it as far as the dining room floor. There was a blizzard going on at the time and I figured I would get it to the curb around spring.

As I was preparing to take the new television out of the box, Danielle asked me, "Don't you want to wait for Dad to do that?" I looked at her in shock, and she smiled and said, "Mom, I was KIDDING"! OH, I get it she was making a joke! No I wasn't waiting for my husband. That was funny.

So, on my snow day from work, I set up the new television, hooked up the cable, hooked up the old VCR, and attempted to hook up the DVD player. I read the television manual, looked at the numerous diagrams, looked at the back of the television, looked at the back end of the DVD player. And scratched my head in disbelief. This was complicated stuff. Well, at least I could watch the television. And I had the whole screen, and just half. I could get used to this.

And that is the way it stayed for a while. Yesterday I decided to put the job of hooking up the DVD player on my "to do list". I never used to make lists but after being with my husband for so many years, I now make lists to go to the grocery store, and lists to decide what needs to be done over the weekend. Never thought it would happen to me. What spurred me on what that the library finally came up with Season 3 of Prison Break after making me wait for months on the list. There's that word again.

So, I get out my manual for the television, the manual for the DVD player, and the original remote for the new television, the remote for the DVD player, the universal remote for the television, and the Comcast remote. I look at the back of the television, and the back of the DVD player. I have lots of cables hooked up to each but there is no Prison Break going on. I read both manuals thoroughly. Then I realize that this is a manual for the DVD player that broke last year. In the trash with that manual! Then I start rearranging the junk drawer. OK, back to work. I follow the direction perfectly. Nothing. I unhook everything and announce to no one that I will have to call Comcast and pay a ridiculous amount of money to have some idiot come in and hook it up for me.

After dinner, I get out my manuals, and all my remotes, find the cables again, and try a different method. Maybe the Best Picture isn't for me. How about a Good Picture? And maybe Progressive Scan isn't something I need or want. It says to turn off both components. I do that. Hook up the black to the DVD player, run about the back of the couch and hook up the black to the television, hook up the yellow to the back of the DVD player, hook up the yellow to the back of the television, hook up the white to the DVD player and run around the back of the couch to the back of the television and hook up the white back there. Done! I turn on both and try a different source and Prison Break starts playing. Yay!!!! The cat just sits and looks at me. HMMMM. I wonder why I see a split screen with two images. I hit play. There are two Michael Scolfields and two Teabags. I pull the DVD player out and flip the switch on the back and I am in business. And people think I have a lot of free time because I don't have to cook dinner for my husband every night. And my kids are grown. Somehow, the time just flies by.

Now back to Prison Break.