Thursday, March 23, 2006

So beautiful outside...

Here it is, the first official week of Spring. The average high temp here in Wichita for this time of year is 54 degrees. It was about 32 today...and we've got snow. Three weeks ago, we had the air conditioner on when it hit record high temps in the 80's. This has been some of the craziest weather that I can recall.

We've got a little over an inch of beautiful undisturbed white snowy goodness outside. Well, semi-undisturbed. We let Spike out when we came home from dinner around 9 and he romped all around the yard. In weather like this we never have to clip him out on his tether. He stays right in his yard, romping and bouncing like a wild rabbit.

It's so quiet outside. Granted, it's late and all of my neighbours are quite a bit older than we are, but still. I love nights like this. I love watching the snow fall and sitting in front of the fireplace. Henry will bring the laptop into the living room and work on things for clients and I'll settle into my stitching spot and stitch a little or curl up with an afghan and drink cocoa. He bought me the most awesome Dulce de Leche cocoa mix from Target last Fall. I had barely touched it until the last few days.

When I came home from my job testing today, he came straight up from his basement office to ask me how it went. He was so sweet, helping me take my boots off for me and warming my hands up since it was so cold outside. Usually, my Escape Hybrid is kept in the garage but he had it in the driveway so he could set up for a photo shoot for Ebay goods. He made that everything was out of the way so that I could park inside tonight. He knows that even in snowy weather I cannot resist a floss sale and that I really shouldn't be out in the cold scraping ice off my car. So I'll probably be going to Michael's either tomorrow or Friday to go buy floss for the PR "Dawn" SAL. How do you say no to a SAL like that when the girl the chart was created for says, "Ah, c'mon and stitch with me!"

Speaking of stitching, I swear that I am going to put some stitches into May I Have This Dance soon. I'm still so intimidated by all that over one...and by the gridding that I did. I keep waivering, wondering if I gridded it right or not. And I don't know if any of my lokscroll rods are long enough. I think I have some rods that Vana made for me that I can baste it on to. I may have to go pick up another pair of side bars, though. I've made some wonderful online friends in the stitching world in the last few months. Just incredible people who worry if I don't post every couple of days or so. It's so touching that people who have never met me in person care so much.

Another plus is I *finally* have my good anti-inflammatory again! I actually slept really good last night because of it. So major thanks given there!

I have so many things to be thankful for. I have an incredible husband who treats me like a princess. I have a beautiful daughter who is just the most awesome 8 yr old anyone could ask for...and did I mention that she's beautiful? *grins* I have wonderful friends who give me unconditional love and acceptance. And my dear, sweet Gran, who is all the way down in Midland, TX, 12 hours away from me. Even though she can't really hear me when I call her, she knows that I care enough to call and check on her. She's the most precious thing in my life right now. I still can't believe that my Gran is 93. She'll be 94 at the end of September. If I close my eyes, I can see her snowy white hair and beautiful porcelain skin...her crystal blue eyes and her smile. I truly love my Gran's smile. I love everything about my Gran. I miss being little and snuggling up with her to listen to her stories about growing up poor in the country. I miss watching her get ready for Eastern Star meetings and seeing her dressed up in formals. She always brought something home for me from those meetings: a cookie or two or some homemade fudge and nuts. She'd come in and tell me all about how pretty everyone was. She never talked about what actually happened at the meetings, but I suppose that's part of being in Eastern Star. It's kind of like Vegas. What happens at Eastern Star stays at Eastern Star. I'm pretty sure that they weren't whooping it up with male strippers, but I used to imagine grand tea parties and the like.

Maybe that's what I need to do. There's a new little tea room here in Wichita. Maybe I should get Jessie, Anita and some of the other leather girls together and go for high tea. I haven't had a good tea party in a long time. That would make a good birthday party. Then there's always the Old English Tea at St James in May. The lemon curd tarts are awesome and the Spice Merchant always has some phenomenal tea for us. Last year, it was ginger peach and I fell in love! Hey, I totally forgot that Chelmsford Tea opened up not too far from my house. They make great tea sandwiches and their tea selection is amazing! They have an Earl Grey with a touch of vanilla in it that just makes me smile thinking about it.

Good lord...I've babbled and rambled long enough. You're probably all bored to death if you've even bothered to read this at all.

I'm going to take one more long look at the snow under the moon light and then go snuggle up in bed with Henry and two favourite guys.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


So I had my last visit with Dr Mills today before he moves to Ohio. He read the report that Novacare sent him and he was pissed! The whole time he's reading over it I could see the muscle in his jaw working. He's firing off a response to their "report" that will pretty much tell them that they are incompetent and wouldn't know which end of a stethescope to use if their lives depended on it. He wrote me a new script for my Lortab, but changed with formula I was getting and upped the number in each refill. I was a tad bit shocked when it cost me $61 to pick it up. But when you've got to have something that works, you've got to have it.

I contacted Adult Protective Services in Texas and gave them all of my contact information so I can help them in the case against my mother. I felt better after doing that. If even one thing that I can do helps them get any of Gran's money back then it's worth it. This was the first doctor visit I've had where I didn't call my mother on the way home to let her know what was going on. That was a little sad for me, but it doesn't hurt as much as I thought it would.

Merrie cooked dinner for us tonight. Chicken fried steak, gravy, mashed potatoes...OMG...they were sooooo good! Now that's Texas-style comfort food at its best! Dessert is fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream. She's spoiling us rotten and taking great pleasure in doing so.

I went to lunch today with Vanessa. Nothing like hitting Cortez for some chile verde and diablo sauce. Then it was off to Frameworks to pick out frames for three pieces of needlework that she and Becky had finished. As usual, we picked out gorgeous frames. They'll be ready on Friday for pickup. Vanessa is one of the most prolific stitchers I know and her pieces are always beautifully stitched. We may not always agree on what pieces we want to stitch or what fabric, but they always turn out really nice.

After a couple of near 80 degree days, its cooling back down to the usual 50-55 range here. There's a mini-cool front that blew in late this afternoon. It just seems so wrong to have the a/c on in early March. Of course, tornadoes in January are just kind of wrong, too. Mother Nature is so not happy with us and she's letting us know in more ways than one.

There was a huge grass fire in Butler County not too far from Wichita that burned about 7000 acres today. Some vacant houses were burned but none that were occupied burned. Some of their siding was scorched, but they never actually burned, thank goodness. This one was sparked by some moron dragging a trailer hitch and chain. There were three grass fires in Wichita yesterday that were started by idiots throwing cigarettes out of their car windows. How stupid do you have to be do something like that when we're in drought conditions and there's a burn-ban through out most of the state?

I'm thinking that tomorrow might be a good day. Today was pretty good. My pain level wasn't quite as high as it has been, but it's still up there higher than it should be. I know that I'm not in the worst shape of my life and that there are people out there who are far worse off than I am. I'm thankful everyday for the gifts I have in my life. And hey, after all is said and done, I did wake up this morning, so that's a good thing!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I Promise that next post will be something happy

So here's how my weekend had gone. Friday, I get a wonderful letter from my neurosurgeon letting me know that as of March 31 he is leaving his practice here in Wichita and moving to Lima, OH. There are no other neurosurgeons in the Wichita Clinic so I'm on my own essentially to try and find someone else to do any and all follow up work.

Today, my sweet grandmother calls. She was so short of breath that we only talked for a couple of minutes. Her live-in nurse, Mary, gets on the phone to talk to me. It's never good when Mary needs to talk to me. When my grandfather died 20 years ago, he left my grandmother very well off. He left her enough money to last her lifetime and still have more than enough to pass on to his two children and their children. Apparently, that's all come crashing down. My mother has been on all of Gran's accounts for several years now and in the last two years or so, she has managed to drain 2 of the 4 accounts and was apparently working on the 3rd when Gran's accountant caught the rapid depletion. So what should have been able to last all of Gran's life and most likely mine will now only cover about 2 1/2 years for Gran. I am devastated that my mother could do something like this. I knew that she was spending more than she should and that she was making frequent trips to casinos in Topeka and Newkirk. But I had no idea what was going on. The accountant has notified Adult Protective Services and now they are investigating. Mother has even threatened to leave the country if they keep calling her trying to find out what she has done with the money.

It breaks my heart that she could do this to my Gran. If she needed money, she could have asked and, more than likely, Gran would have given it to her. She didn't need to take it. Now she's put my baby's college education at risk and that truly pisses me off. She's put my Gran at risk. Gran is now talking about getting a reverse mortgage to make sure that she has the money to live on. When she does that, there goes the house I knew as a safe haven...the house that I could always go to when I needed to go "home." Mom took the money for the down payment on her house 11 years ago...without asking. Mom's house will never again feel like home for me. Mom will never be the one that I call when I need a mother.

I have put together a pretty good family for myself. I married the most amazing man. Henry is my best friend, my life partner, my everything. I have a beautiful, smart and loving daughter in Rhiannon. Thomas is the best grandfather in the world for Rhiannon. He loves her as if she were his own. Then there are my closest friends. Pam, as flakey as she can be, is just wonderful. Vanessa is not only the best stitching buddy I could have asked for, but she's always there for me when I need her. I guess sometimes you do make some of the best friends of your life when you work with someone for years at a time. And then there's Panda and Stephanie. I haven't seen them in person since 2000 but I know that they will always be there for me. They have been for 18 years now. And there's Merrie. Sweet Merrie. She's the newest edition to our family village. She's just amazing. She adores us and Rhiannon and she wants to help me as much as she can while I'm in so much pain.

I have never missed my Grandfather and my Daddy as much as I do tonight. Daddy may not have been the best father when I was growing up, but I know that he loved me and he truly respected my Grandfather and Gran. He loved me until the day he died. He's been gone now for 16 years. Grandpa has been gone for 20. I was Grandpa's baby. I spent more weekends with my grandparents that I can count. I went to poker games with Grandpa. When I was old enough to drive, I would take him all over town on errands. I loved spending time with him at his farm, watching him on the tractor. I can still smell the fresh tomatoes from his garden that he would bring me. I can almost taste fresh tomatoes, feel the juice running down my arm. Sometimes at night, I can hear him whistling and singing. I really miss him. He would have loved my baby girl...just like he loved me.