Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Always on my mind

I fly to Illinois on Thursday. My uncle asked me if I wanted to be a Pall Bearer. There are 6 grandkids, I think we're all Pall Bearers. He promised to put me between two large men.

I could tell you about when some friends of mine helped me clean out my garage so that when the contractor comes to tear it down it will be ready (there were some really cool things hiding in the depths of the falling-down garage).

Or I could tell you about the Relay for Life I did Friday night (I walked 10 miles in 10 hours).

Or I could tell you that wednesday is the last day I have to work with Obnoxious Grad Student (Yippee!).

But what is in my mind, below and above and around it all, is that my Grandma's funeral is on saturday, and that on Monday I will have to come home and continue to live. She wasn't a constant presence in my day-to-day life, but she was a part of it.

I know, too, that she has Fought the Good Fight, and that she is at peace in Heaven. I know this, I have faith in this. And I know that one day I will join her, and all of the faithful before me. I'm trying very hard to hold this in front of me. But it's still hard. Amen.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A little of each emotion...

I would be just fine if I would just stop talking to people.  Every time I have to tell someone, I cry.  Every time someone tells me how sorry they are, I cry.  Every time someone hugs me, I cry.

As long as I don't talk about it, or think about it, or remember it, I'm fine.

I guess life doesn't work that way, does it?

BTW, my brother is an ASS.  He got all upset at me because I posted it on my Facebook page.  I have facebook friends who are HIS friends, and when I posted it, he got a phone call, and then he was all upset because it wasn't anyone else's business,  why did I feel the need to post it to the world, why did everyone have to know everyone else's business, why did I have to tell EVERYONE??

So, I deleted the update.  I found myself apologizing for telling my friends this hard news.  And that upset me.  Some of my close friends are on facebook.  Some are distant, some are just acquaintances, but some are my close friends.  It didn't dawn on me that it would be a bad thing.  It was nice to read the words and feel the support, even if it did make me cry.

The funeral is set for May 2.  They were supposed to start tearing down my garage on May 4. If I'm going to be in Illinois until the 5th, my garage has to be empty before I leave.  I'm trying to get the start date pushed to May 6 or 7.  Dad and I both agree that he doesn't need to be here for the tear down.  

AND, the cherry on top of today, my friends who were pregnant lost their little one.  She was only 14-15 weeks along, but still, they knew they were pregnant, and then she wasn't any more.

Too much loss.  Too much loss in too little time.

Rest in Peace, Grandma

My g-ma from Illinois died last night, near 3am. We don't know when the funeral is yet. There was only my Uncle there, my aunt in Indiana couldn't get there in time, my Aunt was out west picking up my cousin from Colorado and was on the way home, my mom and dad and brother and I were down here, and couldn't have gotten there in time even if we had tried.

Please pray for our family.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My Grandma

I write this with a heavy heart.  It seems like I have seen more death in the last few weeks than I've seen in most of my adult life.

We got word yesterday that my Grandma is in the hospital, and she is end-stage heart failure.  No one but God knows how long she has left, maybe days, maybe weeks, maybe a month of two.  She probably won't leave the hospital, unless it is under hospice care to go home.  I guess it didn't really sink in initially.  But dad, being dad, couldn't tell mom what was going on, so I did it, and it hit me hard and fast.

My grandma is dying.  Who used to smack my hand when I would lick my fingers when we would bake together.  Who taught me how to make cinnamon rolls, cinnamon Bow knots, homemade bread, and most things that are yeast-y and need kneading.  Who made the most calorie-laden, sugary desserts and called them 'Salads'. Who cooked with butter and eggs and sugar, even though neither she nor grandpa needed the fat and calories.  Who took baths with me when I was very small.  Who used to do some of the most incredible needle working.  Who was amazingly judgemental and rather manipulative.  Who was super hard on my mom.  My Grandma, who was amazed that mom and I were both very good at crocheting.  I didn't get her story on video.  I wanted her to tell me about her life, about when she and grandpa met, where they lived, who she was.

When she passes away, and when grandpa either says it's ok, or passes on as well, I will get her china hutch.  It will make me cry for weeks, because every time I see it, I will think of her.

I don't have a good prayer, because what I want is for more years with grandma.  I want her to meet my kids, be at my wedding.  I want more time.  Amen.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Exciting Friday Nights

It's friday night.  At 10:33pm.

The county rodeo is going on this weekend.  Tonight a regionally popular country artist is playing tonight.  At 10:30.

It's not that far a drive, probably about 20-30 minutes.  But did I go?  I left my friends house at 9pm.  I came home.  Watched tv.  Watched the weather.  Watched Seinfeld.  Now I'm watching  2 and 1/2 men.  I'll go to bed soon.

No wonder I'm still single.

Now remember how a few posts back I was jealous of my friend who goes out and does neat things and has good times?  Yeah.  I remember that, too.

BCBS is about to start sucking...

I take Lamictal for my bi-polar. It's an expensive drug, the name brand for 180 pills is something like $1200. I tried the generic, but I didn't feel like I respond very well, I just didn't feel like I was in control of my brain.

Up until about 2 weeks ago, my co-pay for the Name Brand over the generic was about $150, more than my standard co-pay, but doable. Now the generic price has dropped A LOT, and now my co-pay for Name Brand is $729. Yes, $729. However, because I have insurance, GlaxoSmithKline can't help me, and the only option for help is a Discount Drug Card, which brings the cost of 180 pills to $400. Still pretty far out of my range.

The only possible help for me at this point is if my Employer (large state institution) will agree to cover the cost of this prescription, giving me the option to pay a slightly larger deductible than I would normally have, but still around $150. To be honest, I don't anticipate this happening. I'm making the request, but I'm not setting my hopes in this.

SWITCH MEDICATION: To get to an effective dose of Lamictal takes 6 weeks, you have to build up to the level I'm at now. To jerk me off this medication and put me on a new one will take time. And in that time, I will either go hyper crazy manic, or wonder about suicide depressive. I can't even imagine what will happen. The only possible bright spot is that I have sick leave if I need it.

Right now I have about 1 month's worth of drugs. If nothing gets resolved, I will have to take the generic. Or switch medication. Neither is a very good option.

Dear God, please please let me be able to afford the Lamictal. I'm so good on this medication, I'm so stable, it works so well. Please give the Benefits office a measure of generosity and charity to help me with this. Amen.


I came to the elevator one of the buildings I work in, and there was a woman standing in front of the elevators. Like, 3 feet in front of the elevators. I assumed she was waiting for the elevator..silly gir, making assumptions. The left elevator was sitting on 2, just sitting there. The elevator on the right was coming down, skipped the first floor and went to the basement.

I looked around the woman, and the UP button wasn't lit. So I apologized, reached around her, pushed the UP button, and here came the elevator on the left.

She didn't move, didn't say anything, didn't even acknowledge that I was there and waiting for an elevator. She just stood there looking at the elevator, waiting for Heaven only knows what.

I guess it's just friday, and everyones ready to go home?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thought-provoking Thursday

Manic Mother
My stomach has never been flat. I've always had a little pudge. In high school, when I weighed all of 100lbs, I wouldn't wear tight-fitting dresses or skirts, because I thought my pudge was too bad. Then in college, where I weighed all of 120lbs, I woudn't wear a bikini, or tight-fitting dresses because I thought my pudge was too big. Then in Grad school, (can you see this one?) I finally realized that I had NO IDEA what I had at the time, because I had a great figure in high school, and in college!

So now, I would like my stomach to be shapely, not flat, necessarily, but prettier than it is now. And NOW I finally know, that I should quit judging myself too harshly, because there may come a day when I look back on what I look like now and say to myself, "I looked so good then!! Why couldn't I see that then???"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Youtube--Awesome singer

Ok, so I must be one of the few people left in this world who hadn't seen this video, but it was really cool.

I tried to embed this clip, but it won't let me, so I'll just give you the link and tell you that this is absolutely worth 5 minutes of your time.

Too Old

Another of my friends is pregnant. This is their 3rd child. She said, and I quote, "I wanted to have one more before we got too old." She is 28.

I told her to bite me. I said, "Bite. Me."

Her husband asked what I said. I repeated it. He said, yeah, that's what I thought you said.

(sigh) I'm at a loss. There is nothing I can do to fix this. There is nothing I can do to change it, or to influence it. Nothing.

So I hug them and tell them I'm happy. And I am. I want nothing more than for my friends to have happy healthy children who live to a ripe old age. I want to watch my friends' kids grow up and go to school and have boyfriends and go to college and live life.

But sometimes, sometimes.

Dear God, WTH??? Amen

ps. I feel like I've prayed this several times already this year. Do you think that's good, or bad?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Maddie Spohr's funeral is today at 2:30 in Hollywood Hills, CA.

Her mother is one of the multitudes of strong women and men that have had to bury their children too young, too soon.

As I think about this (and cry, too), I think that my family must be truly blessed. My grandmother (mom's mom) was one of 9 kids, and in all of those family members, I don't know of any of them who has lost a child too young. Not one. I can't even think of any of those children with serious, life threatening illnesses.

My dad was one of 7 kids, there has only been one child, a very sick newborn girl. And again, we must be blessed by God.

Thank you, God, for the gift of healthy children. Keep us strong in all things, safe in your arms. Amen.

Monday, April 13, 2009


I had a hard Easter. Dad and I butted heads the whole time. when I'm not so stressed (my computer died at work today) I'll fill this in. It's quite a story of frustration and annoyance on both sides.

It started when I got home, Dad informed me then that they had spent the night in the emergency room because mom was having a hard time breathing. Turned out to be a clogged trach tube, and once they had suctioned her out she was fine. Thanks for letting us all know, dad.

Then, it went to mom's breathing treatment. The nebulizer with albuterol and some other drug, that was taking up to 2 1/2 hours! I said, that can't be right. You should be able to get it done in about 40 minutes. No! Dad said. It always took him 2 hours! That's just how long it took!

No, dad, I have a friend, Michelle, who has asthma and when she had nebulizer treatments, they took 20-40 minutes. Dad: I don't know this Michelle, so I don't know if she's telling the truth!

???Like someone would lie about that????

Ok, Dad, what did the home health nurse say when you asked her? We didn't ask her! Why would we? I do it, and it takes 2 hours! But dad, that's the thing, it shouldn't be taking 2 hours!

Ok, dad, why don't you call the pulmonary office and ask the nurse. If she says it takes 2 hours, then fine, but if not, then you need to figure out where it's going wrong, because if she's doing this twice a day, and she's only awake for 12 hours a day, then she's spending 1/3 of her life attached to that stupid breathing machine! I would balk at doing it too! Plus, it must not be working, because she's still fighting mucus in her lungs!!!!!

SMurF, do you know how many doctors we see? Dad, just call them and ask! It won't hurt to ask, and you MIGHT LEARN SOMETHING. (At this point, I was getting pretty aggressive, bowing up to him and talking loudly)

Then, for Easter, SIL and I took over the kitchen, we made lunch. We didn't cook the au gratin potatoes long enough, they were still a little crisp, which SIL, Bro, and mom all thought were good, but dad was annoyed because "I told you they took a long time to cook! You didn't let them cook long enough!!!"

Next: My Dad and my Bro still sometimes gets mail for my bro's ex wife. I mentioned that, if he (my bro) would write Return To Sender, Not At This Address, then he would quit getting the mail. Dad got pissed that I would bring this up. Bro was bro, and said with a fantastic sneer, that he just threw it away, it wasn't worth the time. Now, when I bought my house, I received lots of mail for the guy who previously owned the house who had died. So for about 5 months, I would write Return To Sender, Deceased, and lo and behold, they stopped sending me mail. Now, as it annoys the crap out of bro that he still gets his ex-wifes mail, I offered this as a solution: do it for awhile, and you won't get her mail anymore! Dad was PISSED. I'm still not exactly sure why.

When bro and sil left, I did, too. it was just too hard to stay. Dad was mad, mom was sleeping, the computer was working, there was no reason to stay anymore.

Driving home, I had a horrendous headache. It took me half the drive home before I figured out it was a tension headache. I haven't had one of those on a long time.

I went home, mowed my yard, raked my side yard and front yard, and cleaned the house. I felt better, and I slept well.

I'm not going home for awhile now. It's too hard.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thought Provoking Thursday

Manic Mother

What would be your idea of a “perfect” evening?

Over the years the answer to this question has changed.

In college, undergrad, it was drinking, bar-hopping, dancing with guys and hanging out with my friends.  Getting drunk was a high priority, but so was Meeting Guys.

In grad school, it was dinner out with friends, then to the same bar, drinking, hanging out with friends and dancing with guys (notice the change in position; the focus had shifted from guys to Friends).  Getting drunk was NOT the objective here, but at times it was a bi-product.

Now?  Making a meal, having friends over, watching a movie.  If there is alcohol at all, it is a glass or 2 of wine, and the end point is merely spending time and enjoying company.  Getting drunk is a total accident, and mostly to be avoided.

I think this means I've finally grown up.  That makes me smile.  I like it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

For Maddie

My blog reading occasionally gets away from me.

In my absence, Madeline Alice Spohr (November 11, 2007 - April 7, 2009) passed away.

I'm crying for this family.  I cannot even begin to know how hard this is for them.

Here is her page.  It keeps crashing, there are so many people linking and trying to load this page.

A mom of two boys has a wonderful and emotional memorial site.  

Rest in Peace, Maddie.

Dear God, bless this family with the peace only You can give.  Help them draw strength from You, their friends and family, close and far away, real life and blog-reading.  Amen.

Monday, April 6, 2009

static cling

When I have a lot going on, and I'm not super organized about it, and I'm kind of stressed, and the whole thing is due tomorrow afternoon, I tend to pick one small thing and totally fall apart over it.

In this case, my shirt is sticking to me@! It's a cotton shirt, but the air is so dry that I have static cling, and my shirt is sticking to me. So I went into the bathroom with my greasiest hand lotion, took off my shirt, coated my arms and torso, put my shirt back on. It worked for about 10 minutes, and once again my shirt is sticking to me!!!!

It makes it hard to concentrate on what I need to get done, because all I can think is that my shirt is sticking to me.

hhmmm. maybe I need a little break.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Who I am

I ticked off the Pastor's wife at lunch today.  I didn't mean to.  Another man, Steve, and I kind of feed off each other, and we get to talking science vs religion.  This grossly upsets Pastor's wife.  She has no tolerance for what appears to be a lack of faith with regards to science.  Not that this is bad, she is in her mind guarding against unfaithfulness and false teaching, and she is admirable in her defense of faith.

I  am a scientist.  I have been since I was a kid.  I am now in training.  It is my job to question, design experiments, read results, refine experiments, and tease out explanations.  I have been this way for a long time, even as a kid I did this sort of thing.  I would ask a question.  I would even design easy experiments for myself.

God created me as a scientist as much as He created our Pastor to be a Pastor, as He created Jen to be a writer, as He created doctors, lawyers, teachers, physicists, mathematicians, artists, dancers, musicians, cooks, architects, actors, you name it.

So I believe that if God "created my inmost being; [He] knit me together in my mother's womb" (Psalm 139:13), he deliberately created me to be a scientist.

And if God created me to be this way, there must have been a purpose.  So I question.  I question creation vs geology and physics.  I question age of the earth in the biblical record vs age of the earth in geological and radioactive records.  I question my faith at its deepest point.  God did not see fit to give me gift of blind faith, or even shaded faith, for that matter.  He gave me the spirit to find explanations within the natural world that show the evidence of biblical truth.

This does not degrade my faith.  My faith is pure and strong.  That Christ was born a man, crucified, raised, and will come again.  I am a faithful servant.  I attend church most weeks, not because I have to, but because it is profitable to both my faith and my person.  I confess daily, weekly my sins, and I receive the absolution with a full and peaceful spirit.  I take communion knowing well what it is that I do, and I receive the blessings from the same.

Somehow I reconcile my education and my faith.  It is an ongoing  exchange.  But my faith will win out.  It always does.

I am a Christian, and I am a Scientist.  Thanks be to God.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A night in

I get a little turned around sometimes.

I have a friend from college, undergrad.  We were quite the party-ers back in the day.  Lots of bars and parties and guys and drinking, fun stories, hang-overs, bad dates, etc.

I went out quite a lot in grad school, too.  

But then, when I graduated, I moved to a smallish town to be near a job, but the rest of the people I worked with lived in the farther away largish town.  Then, I got laid off, dad got sick, I moved home.  I worked part-time in sales, met a few people, went out a little, but since I was living at home, not a whole lot of going out.  Then, I got a job in the town I currently work in.  I met some new people, I started going out again.

Turns out, I didn't like it as much.  I'm not sure if it was the people I was with (the friends I had at the time), or if it was me.  I'm beginning to think it's me.

But, I started with my friend from undergrad.  She updates her Facebook and Myspace regularly.  I am regularly (confession time) jealous of her.  Of the pictures she posts, of the stories she tells.  Of the summer days on the lake with other good-looking women and men.

But then, I have a nice night with my friends.  I tried 2 new recipes tonight, chicken fettuccine Alfredo and rice pudding.  The pudding was  good, the Alfredo needs a little work.  We enjoyed company, watched the movie Click, I rocked Eli (2 1/2 years old), if I'd had 5 more minutes I'd have had her asleep in my arms.

And I'm not hungover.  My house, apart from my kitchen sink, is very clean.  I'll make church in the morning, and I won't look like death warmed over.  I'll get yard stuff accomplished tomorrow afternoon.  And I will feel better in the evening for it.

So, I'm thinking that maybe what I'm actually feeling isn't jealousy, maybe what I'm doing is recounting my youth.  Remembering how much fun it had been.  I'm thinking how much fun I had, but I have to say that I'm not unhappy where I am now.

I have good friends, a good job.  I have enough money to do mostly what I want to do.  I'm in a pretty good place.

All I'm missing now is a boyfriend :)

Dear God, Thank you, and I'm still waiting for the boyfriend.  Amen

Thursday, April 2, 2009

No More Prescriptions

As I have noted before, I go to several doctors. Last week when I felt bad, the fam med dr referred me to a neurologist, so that would be ANOTHER dr. I'm supposed to go to an allergist, but I just use my pcp. it doesn't really matter what I'm allergic too, just that I am allergic and that I get the correct meds.

I take, at this moment, singulair, flonase, and zyrtec for allergies, Lamictal and Seroquel for the Bi-polar thing, and I have added a generic Zantac (acid blocker). I stopped taking the birth control. Since the ex and I aren't seeing each other, I figured a pill every day for sex once every 3 or 4 months wasn't really worth it.

I added the generic Zantac when I started having stomach aches. They are very reminiscent of the ones I have gotten the past that lead up to ulcer-like conditions. the spots aren't quite ulcerated, but very irritated and raw.

As of this pay period, I have spent $50 on dr copays, and close to $70 on rx's.

I get very tired of all of this. How I wish I was one of those people who don't suffer with allergies. I wish with all my heart that my brain chemicals weren't screwed up.

So sometimes I flatly refuse to go to ANOTHER doctor, to get ANOTHER prescription.

I was late getting in this morning, my stomach was pretty upset so I took another Zantac and some pepto, and it just took awhile to stop hurting.

My friend michelle, who has my best interest at heart, is quite annoyed with me that I'm trying to make myself feel better with generic Zantac when, if I would just go to a GI dr, I could get an rx for Nexium and have it all go away.

I told her that in 4 months, when I'm still getting stomach aches and I get indigestion with everything I eat, I will be bad enough to go to the dr and get another prescription to take. That when it happened, she would be able to say, "I told you so!!". She assured me that she would.

Dear God, Please don't let me get another ulcer. They hurt. I don't like them. I have a hard enough time these days, I really really don't need an ulcer, too. Thank you! Amen.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No Words



Dad is paying to remodel the house, garage, kitchen and update bath. We had 6 contractors come look at the work and submit a bid.

The first 5 were local to the town I live in, and then one was close to dad and drove down to me. Dad liked the one close to him, because he was willing to work with dad, let dad do things like wire the garage, put down tile in the bathroom, that sort of thing. I felt like this was a disaster waiting to happen. I asked mom to sort of help me on this, that if/when she heard dad talk about this, point out how hard it would be. Plus, my dad is 60, and doing that much work on his own, with only me to help, would be hard.

I liked another company, Isaac was the person who worked up the bid. I liked him, he didn't set off any alarms, and my gut feeling was that he would do a good job.

Dad had shut down 4 of the 5, but we didn't have the final bid from Isaac. I asked dad to just keep an open mind and talk to Isaac. Then, after that, I told dad that whoever he chose would be fine, the guy near him or Isaac.

Last night, dad came to my house to meet with Isaac and go over the bid. We got to the end. Dad says, "So, do you have the papers to sign?"

I was shocked! I asked mom what she said to him, she looked at me surprised and told me she hadn't said anything to him.

I guess my opinion counted for more than I thought. Cool. We start May4.