Monday, November 20, 2017

In a blink of any eye...

Life can change.

So never truer words have ever been spoken.

If you would have asked me 3 months ago, I would have told you I was going to be blogging about how I was finally done with my classes, classes to become certified to be a foster parent.  That was my plan going into the summer.  That is what I had been preparing for most of 2017.  A new day bed for the bedroom.  A pack and play just in case they are younger.  Fire extinguishers.  Getting the big renovations done with the house.  Start classes for certification.  All the balls were in play.  I was going to do this.  I was going to fulfill my life dream of having a child my own way.

It was finally happening.

In an instant, it all changed.  My life changed. This blog post is not about fostering or adopting or fire extinguishers or a daybed or pack and play, those items are still there but something that is on hold.  How long is still unknown.

Life changed.  Now it is about how much dog food does one need for 6 months?  Who can take care of my lawn?  How will I clean my house?  If I am able to work remote and split time between work and the office, how do I transport my laptop?  How will I get to work?  How do I afford all of the things I am used to doing on my own now that I have to pay for it?

Yes, the planner in me goes there.  The independent me goes there.  The 'I don't want to ask for help' me goes there.  This is where I go when I am faced with the words I don't want to hear.  The worst case scenario that I was told I should not brace myself for because I should not expect the worst.

But deep down, I knew I was going to hear it.  I mean, I can still count on one hand the number of days I have been pain free since September 5th.  The dogs are blessed to get a 1/2 mile walk in around the circle.  No more long walks, no more bike rides.  Mowing the yard requires breaks for my body to rest and then it still hates me.  I hate the pain pills and the muscles relaxers and would rather be in pain.  I mean first there is the addiction that is a middle name to our family.  Then there is the fact that IF I can take them by 8:30 pm, I still am on the struggle bus at 6:00 am getting out of bed.


In an instant, life changed.  I was almost to work on September 5th, going in a little late that day.  First day back from vacation will do that to you.  It was a clear reminder that morning why I go in at 7 am, traffic at 8 am stinks.  I almost made it to work.  1 mile left in my commute.  I was sitting at a red light minding my own business because traffic was backed up.

No idea what HE was doing or what HE was looking at but I am thankful that I didn't see that HE was coming.  HE just was everything Texas and everything about Trucks.  I went from minding my own business to realizing I just was hit from behind.


1-level anterior cervical fusion and discectomy at C5-6.  ACFD.  They say it like it is easy and just no big deal.  Just two months in a cone of shame as I call it, they call it a neck brace.  Just 6 months of significant life suck or life style changes as they call it.  So far I am 2 for 2 on doctors and the same opinion, I need surgery.

In a blink, things never will be the same...

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Let it Go

To blog or not to blog, that is the question.  Some days life seems like a roller coaster of emotions.  Is it just me?  Is it me being selfish and needy?  Or is it really something?  Do I really have a right to feel that way?

I think ever since I found out my hormones were out of whack I question everything I feel.  Is that weird?  Probably.  Then I don't want to say anything to Momma Bear because I don't want her to say, "Is it time for you to go back in? Did you stop taking one of the meds?"  It's like this never ending cycle.

I even question blogging today.  It's been such a heartbreaking day for me.  But I know that by blogging, it leaves Momma Bear in a tough spot.  She loves all of us.  But I need an outlet on it and that is part of what this blog was for, an outlet.  Whether I officially post this or not, has yet to be seen but I need something.  My head is ready to explode.  Nothing has taken the edge off.  When I think about it, it makes cry.  I haven't eaten much today, which we know is not good being diabetic.  Plus the fact that it is probably contributing to the screaming headache.

A wise woman I once spent a lot of time on a couch with constantly said, "Let it Go".  I know that is what needs to happen here.  I need to let it go and just move on.  But my heart hurts thinking about it.  My head hurts.  It hurts and sucks.  It shouldn't be this difficult.

One of my greatest pleasures has been being a super Auntie to my niece and nephew.  I do not get to see them often but when I do, I try to spoil them.  But the road blocks just seem to be so great in seeing them anymore.  Yes, I made the choice 10 years ago to move to Texas, so I don't need it thrown in my face anymore.  You've made one trip here in 10 years, only because there was a football game.  I 100% get I am not on your priority list.  But the hurt is too great to fight to see the kids any more.  Every time I do it is a road block of reasons why it does not work with your "families" schedule.

Every time I think I can see them or even try, it ends in so many hateful texts that some how end up with me being the bad person in the deal.  I just really can't do it anymore.  Hopefully one day the kids will know that I did try to spend time with them but it just was met with too much resistance, that it hurt too much, so I had to quit trying.  I feel like a terrible person because the kids are little and do not know better, it's not fair to them, but I just can't do it anymore.  The idea of saying I can't or quitting drives me crazy but I do not want days like today in my life anymore.

Last summer my nephew spent a week here in Texas with me and we had so much fun.  It truly was a blast.  Definitely a week we both will never forget.  He even took a book I gave him of the trip to school multiple times for show and tell.  He wanted to come back again this summer.  It was going to be our annual thing.  Well today I learned it was not going to happen.  See, July is "like cabin month" per his parents and since the only week I can do in August is the week before school, he cannot come to Texas this year.

I was told that if I want to see them I should just drive back.  But, let's not fool ourselves, when I do come back, I only see them if it fits with their parent's schedule.   (And we shouldn't forget 'July is like cabin month.') As someone that lives 800+ miles away, they have zero appreciation why I enjoy having that one on one time with the kids away from the family that they can see every other day of the week.  Kids are kids.  If they are in groups like that, of course they are going to go to the people they know and see more often.  I know that and accept that, it happens when you live far away.  But it seems that is a lot of the time I am allotted with them.  Some how when I think I am going to get one on one time, it is changed.  If I do not go with the change, I am the bad person.

So many tears have been shed in such a short life span of theirs over this subject.  It hurts.  It crushes my heart and soul.  All I wanted to do is be an awesome Aunt that spoils her niece and nephew since I would never have any kids of my own.  I never asked for anything in return, just time with the kids.  It's hard too because I do not have an outlet for it either.  I do not want my parents in the middle.  They love all of us kids and they love those two kiddos like crazy.  They don't want to be in the middle.

I know I need to let it go.  I know I need to move on.  Today I was told to just "do (them) a favor and never ask again.  It will make it easier on you..."  As much as it sucks, it is probably 100% the truth.  The sun will come up tomorrow and those two little ones will probably know no difference.  Hopefully one day they will know that I did want to see them and spend time with them.  I did try.

Of course, now that I am at the end, I do kind of giggle because I realize I have now brought true the part of the text calling me a cry baby...because I am crying...because it sucks and hurts.   I have brought true the part of playing the victim because that is what this post is about, me being a victim to him being certified asshole.  But I needed to get this off my chest.  It isn't my fault, it isn't my parents fault.  There is only one to blame and I tonight I will pray for strength to deal with the trials they bring over it.  In the mean time, I need to work on letting it go.  I pray that when I am back in August for a week, they will find some time to bring the kids by so I can see them.  I definitely will not be asking for time or expecting that I will be seeing them, that is for sure.  If just know if I don't expect it, I can't be disappointed.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Talk....

It was circa October parents were here visiting for a wedding...and Momma Bear said the words, "We need to talk...."

THAT can never be a good thing can it?  EVER?  With ANYONE?  Let alone your MOTHER?!?

Well, it turns out it was not as bad as I thought it would be in that split second of panic in my mind.  Of course in that split second, I never imagined the positive turn it would have in my life.  Of course, hindsight being what it is...WHY didn't you suggest this talk sooner?!?  Seriously!

What was the talk you ask?  Well, Momma Bear felt that I had become more emotional lately during our daily chats.  That I was crying too easily.  Then she dropped the news that she went through Menopause during her early 40s and thought I might be to.

Whaaa...Wait....WHAT?  What happened to that conversation we had when I turned 35 and was upset because I never had kids and you and my Texas Momma said "40 is the new 30"?  Was THIS forgotten in that conversation?  I'm not really certain when I would have expected to go through menopause other than I know it happens, eventually.  But I'm 42...REALLY so soon?  Am I really going to have to come to terms with the reality of NEVER having a child, already?

From that talk...the journey began.  Momma Bear will tell you it is the best money I have ever spent in life.

I've always know that my hormone's have been a little out of wack.  I would have mid-cycle spotting.  Sometimes they said it was hormones and tried to address with birth control.  Most recently they said it was from a Fibroid that I have.  So, for that reason, I just didn't want to go see my regular well woman doctor.  I mean, nothing personal but I just wanted some answers.  So during my guilty pleasure watching of the Young & the Restless, I saw an advertisement for the Hormone Wellness Center.  Now they seemed like someone that could help an appointment I made.

The first appointment is what they call the "free consult" where they take a lot of blood, talk to you about their program and what happens and then give you a free B-12 shot.  Holy hell...if you have never had a B-12 shot...that burns like no other.  Thankfully as I write this, I believe that my butt is now dead because I do not feel them anymore.  Thank you God!

Of course with the "free" consult comes the sticker shock.  Since they do not accept Medicaid, they do not accept insurance.  The program cost some $3K+ to go through.  You have to $500 upfront and then they offer different payment plan options.  The cost covers all your appointments, blood draws and everything but one of the hormones, which you get at a pharmacy.  I can't explain why, but something just told me I had to do this.  So, during my "free" consult, they took my $500 deposit.

As they say, the rest is history.  As the UNICORN said, I am a plant.  The good news, I am NOT menopausal or pre-menopausal.  So AMEN to that.  However, the test results showed I am a plant. My Estrogen was fine.  Yay!  But that's where the celebrating stopped.  For a woman, progesterone should range between 5 - 10.  My blood result showed 0.2.  Yup...that is right, ZERO Point TWO.  I basically had no progesterone in my system.  For testosterone, woman do have that in their system, just not at the levels of men.  Woman normally are in the range of 15 - 95.  Where did I fall on that scale, yeah...I DIDN'T!!  Basically I was worse off on testosterone than progesterone.

So, great now you know.  But how do you fix it you are asking, right?  Well the testosterone they do what they call an "in office" procedure.  They inject something into my butt to numb a small area.  The stuff burns but that is about all I feel after that.  After the medicine works, they make a small incision and insert these testosterone capsules under the skin and they are slowly absorbed into the body.  The incision is steri-stripped closed and those stay on for 7-10 days.  I cannot do any work outs for 7 days after an insert is done.  The progesterone is a LOT easier.  That is a dissolvable tablet that I take two weeks a month before bed.  It goes under my tongue and will dissolve rather quickly.  I also go into the doctor's office every two weeks for that lovely B-12 shot and then have a B-12 chewable that I have to take twice a week.

That's it.  A month after the insert, they did another blood test to check levels and did another insert of testosterone and adjusted my progesterone.  The do that once when you start to make sure everything is balanced as it should be.

Can I tell a difference in my moods?  I don't know if I can really answer that.  My mom will tell you she definitely can tell a difference.  I know that I don't wake up in the morning with my normal grumbling tone and for that I believe my coworkers are thankful.  Of course, we should not sugar coat it...I'm still not a morning person.

What changes have I noticed?  Who knew I could sleep through the night?  I was always up, I always had to go to the bathroom.  I was always waking up in a pool of sweat like it was 100 degrees in my bedroom.  That mid-cycle spotting is pretty much gone.  I don't crave the carbs anymore.  The doctor has said that I may also be able to come of the anxiety/depression medication as the hormones actually impact that.  I also do not go through PMS like I used to either. There are a couple other changes too, but Momma Bear does read this and there is nothing I can do about we just won't discuss those.

The bad news is there is no "cure".  I go for a blood draw again next week and they will do a new insert the following month.  Then in 2 months, it will be another blood draw and the cycle repeats until the year is up.  Then it will be up to me to decide if I want to shell out another $3K for this or be done.  I know what Momma Bear would say.  So, until the time comes for that decision to be made, I am just going to enjoy feeling better.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The struggle is real

Well if you read my post last week, you saw that as part of Lent, I was making the following  Amendable Commitments:
  1. One Diet Coke a day
  2. No Pasta - sadly this is my go to dinner as of late, pasta noodles, parmesan cheese a little butter...definitely cheep and easy but no nutritional value and in no way diabetic friendly.
  3. No Sunflower seeds - my weekend addiction
  4. Morning prayers before my feet hit the ground
  5. Rosary once daily - currently I just do it the days I travel to work.
  6. Evening prayers before bed.
  7. Attend Stations of the Cross at least twice during Lent
  8. Limit Cell Phone games to 1 hour.

The struggle is real folks.  Really real.  I mean that darn devil shows up in so many shapes and forms, it is hard to believe.

Take for example yesterday....when Unicorn thought she was doing me a "favor" by buying this six pack combo pack of pasta from Costco.  Umm, see number 2.  She didn't know what my resolutions were to know better.  So, now I have to get to Easter leaving that alone, when I finally was in a pasta free house.

I think that the one I have struggled with most is the evening prayers.  Usually by the time I crawl into bed, I am exhausted and just want to close my eyes.  So, I might need to mix that up and do the prayers in the evening when I get home before my workout.  A way to decompress the mind from the day of work. 

How are you doing with your commitments?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


"Your biggest challenge isn't that you've intentionally been making bad choices.....Your biggest challenge is that you've been sleepwalking through your choices." ~ The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

I had ordered a book through Amazon awhile ago.  Yes I am old school and still like the feel of the book in my hand.  In any event, when I ordered that book, it said this was a commonly paired book and I figured what the heck.  I am so grateful I did.  I highly recommend it to everyone.  Reading it now also pairs nicely with Lent.

The premise of the book is that little actions, whether good or bad, repeated daily lead to big results.  If you eat a little bad EVERY day, then you will gain weight.  Whereas, if you eat a little better each day, you will lose weight.  The Compound Effect. 

I think what really hit home and really got me into this book were a couple of key paragraphs within the first two chapters because I easily could relate them to my life.
  • "I bet your grandparents worked six days a week, from sunup to sundown, using the skills they learned in their youth and repeatedly throughout their entire life.  They knew the secret was hard work, discipline, and good habits." 
Anyone that knows either sets of my grandparents, knows this hits their life to a T.  When my grandma moved to town from the farm, I remember going through the chest she had in the attic of all the bank statements of 40 years of marriage.  From the early years of owing the bank money at the end of the month to the later parts of their life where they would buy a new car with cash.  They worked hard for every penny they had.

  • "Don't try to fool yourself into believing that a mega-successful athlete didn't live through regular bone-crushing drills and thousands of hours of practice.  He got up early to practice - and kept practicing long after all the others had stopped.  He faced the sheer agony and frustration of the failure, loneliness, hard work, and disappointment it took to become No. 1."
Well, if you were in the car with my parents and I when I was 30-something, you would have heard this almost exact same conversation.  My dad was revealing that he was so hard on me over the years playing softball because "guys just didn't get to the NFL because their parents patted them on the back and said good job because they gave 90%".  Even if he had made that statement to me in high school or college, I doubt it would have had the same light ball effect.

I have decided that this Lent is going to be the start of my personal Compound Effect.  Spiritually, Mentally and Physically.  I have joined Unicorn's Church group for their Lenten Busy Lives Lenten Retreat.  I am excited to have the extra accountability this season.  Hopefully you will join me this Lenten season making small changes to create a Compound Effect that can carry on long after lent.  Remember, it only takes 21 days to form a habit and lent...well it's longer than that!

Part of the Spiritual commitment I made were the following Amendable Commitments:
  1. One Diet Coke a day
  2. No Pasta - sadly this is my go to dinner as of late, pasta noodles, parmesan cheese a little butter...definitely cheep and easy but no nutritional value and in no way diabetic friendly.
  3. No Sunflower seeds - my weekend addiction
  4. Morning prayers before my feet hit the ground
  5. Rosary once daily - currently I just do it the days I travel to work.
  6. Evening prayers before bed.
  7. Attend Stations of the Cross at least twice during Lent
  8. Limit Cell Phone games to 1 hour.
What small changes can you commit to making this Lenten Season that Compounds into a big Effect?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ripping off the Band-Aid

Are you still waiting for my Merry Christmas/Happy New Year card...well you'll be waiting awhile....

I don't think you want the tear jerker it might be.

In summary:

  • I still don't have a full time, permanent job.
  • I still am working my temp job.
  • Men are still bastards and ATM should have never been trusted...of course he waited until after meeting my parents at Thanksgiving to show he was still a lying bastard.  But he is consistent and lied to them too.  Ha! 
  • Money is still a pinching situation until I can find a real job. 
  • Unicorn took a job in San Antonio.

And that is just the highlight of why we should never, ever, ever, ever, ever speak of that year again.  It is a year that is best forgotten ever existed.  It was definitely a learning and growing experience.  On the positive side, I really learned who my true friends are and who I can really lean on.  I got to go back to school and take classes by way of a grant.  My knitting crafts are slowly turning into a business.  I was still able to go back for the 20th reunion of the college softball team going to nationals. So there were positives, it's just the negatives were so heavy.

So, a little birdy...ahh cuuzzin, points out I just don't blog enough so I thought I better start blogging again.  This year I know I will be better as I will have many positives to share as well as things I am learning along the way.

The homestead will be getting some much needed upgrades by the end of the month.  I knew that I was going to need a new roof at some point.  For obvious reasons, I needed to wait until money was not so tight.  Well, December 29th, mother nature opted to help that cause.  A hail and wind storm left part of my privacy fence knocked down.  Well, when I went to lean part of the fence back up to keep the fur kids in check, I found some shingles. 2015 luck would have it, they were from my house.

One of the neighbors works for a storm company and came out and did a free assessment for me.  In looking at it, she said yep, fence has wind damage and roof has hail and wind damage and the window fa├žade also has hail damage.  YEAH ME. 

Last week, she happily met myself and the insurance adjustor at the house.  Well after a lot of white circles on the roof, the insurance adjustor agreed that there was enough damage to warrant a full replacement of the roof.  They also agreed to cover 3 of the 9 fence panels.  #winning  The Storm guard company said that they would work with me so I don't have to pay anything out of pocket, or that would be their goal.  #doublewin

Well, then I decided I would call the landlord for the rental next door.  Technically because I have the "nice" side of the privacy fence, I should be the one to maintain it.  But, you always lose if you don't ask.  So, I called and asked if they would like to split the cost of replacing the full fence.  As shocked as I was, they indicated that they were beyond happy to share the cost!!!  So, now I have gone from needing to pay for 6 fence pickets to having to pay for maybe 20% of the fence.  #triplewin

For someone that has been as financially strapped as I have no idea the happy dances I am doing right now.  Next step...full time job.....

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Life is like a....

Box of Chocolates...You never know what you are going to get?

Book...each day is a new page?

2015 has been a challenge of maybe epic proportions.  I really am learning that life really is what you make of it.  Some days are going to be bad, some are good, some are eh, but each day is a blessing.  When you put your mind to it, you really can do anything you want to.

I have gone from the unemployed life of having a great schedule to the land of insaneness.  I have lived in the world of insaneness since August 3rd.  Probably about the time you stopped hearing from me on here.

On August 3rd, I started as a temp for The Boon Group (TBG) as a proposal writer.  In other words, a fancy term for putting together all the insurance proposals together for the sales reps, working with the insurance carriers in the process.  The following week, I started classes on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6-10 pm and every other Saturday from 9:30 to 4:30 pm.  The classes I am taking is for PMP/SQL Certifications.  By the time it is over the first of March, the goal is to have my certification in both.  THE GOAL.  If anything, PMP is the big one as that will be the game changer for me.  Once that certification is in place, my base salary will be no lower than $85k.  It's not about the money but the ability to recover from 9 months of not having a "real" job.

Things at TBG are going well.  At the first of September the asked me to be full time.  Of course, HR stopped the bus party and said sorry, you have to work 800 hours first before we can hire you full time.  #sucksballs  I really do not think what I do everyday is something that I would want to do long term.  BUT, it does help cover the bills and I really think it would be a good company to work for.  Now it would be a matter if they had that job there for me.

What I have learned since April 15th is that I have an amazing family, a wonderful group of close friends here in Austin and when it comes to can stretch a dollar pretty far.

I really do not think I could have gotten through the past 6 plus months without my immediate family, Unicorn, Grace and ATM.  They have all been a wealth of support and really been there to pick me up on the bad days.  Of course, let's not sugar coat it, Unicorn still gives me a kick in the pants when I need to get over it and move on. 

I think that ATM has really been the surprise of the group.  It's really nice to have him back in my life.  We both have gone through some serious stress points this fall but I know that he is there for me every day.  Obviously I do not know what the future holds for us but I know that we will always be friends and he does bring a lot of positive to my life.

I think probably the hardiest thing for me these days is just balancing the budget.  If you know me, you know me how well I like to know where my money is going and making sure that I am going in the right direction.  Well, obviously working at TBG, I was making more money that unemployment but way less than what I made at Xplode.  I couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting ahead and why my savings continued to dwindle away.  Once I found the error in my spreadsheet, it hit close to the heart and well there was that moment of panic.

After it is all said and done with and the bills are paid for the month, I have exactly $140 left to feed myself and the pups.  Now keep in mind, that is assuming there is no holidays, I don't get sick or any other situation where I have to take time off without pay.  Of course, I also have the high maintenance dog that is allergic to everything and requires a $65 bag of food every other month but Finn's is only $35 and his last 2 1/2 months.  Ouch.   But, now that I know what the problem is and what I am up truly isn't so bad.  Now don't get me wrong, I really am looking forward to the day where my lunch is not 1/2 PBJ sandwich, 1 cup of carrots, an apple and 1 oz of chips....and yes, I do measure that all out every Sunday when I prep my meals for the week; but you have to do what you have to do.  So, yes the dogs might be eating better than me. 

Ultimately, as they say....this too shall pass.  But I have definitely learned the importance of that 9 month emergency savings fund, family, life saving friends and knowing exactly where every penny goes....just don't judge the highlights and that I am is desperate need of time with the Hairdresser.