If you wanna feel better about your family, just read about ours...

Starring: a dad, a mom, a son & daughter-in-law, a daughter & son-in-law, a teen, a tween, a grandson, a granddaughter, 3 dogs, 2 rabbits, 2 dwarf frogs, an unfortunate number of tadpoles, and a whole lot of love.




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Friday, March 31, 2017

Zip-Whining

Sometimes an activity gets planned and I think, Oh, this will be a blog, but then everything's going along so smoothly, and I think, well, this might not be entertaining after all. But then, outta nowhere, it happens. Something huge. Often tragic. And almost always involving Ron. At my expense.

Two weeks ago, we went zip lining at Mega Caverns in Louisville with a group of friends, and as it so happened, it was over the weekend that marked the anniversary of our first blind date 17 years ago. We call it Shon Day. (Our names. Shari + Ron. Combined. Please don't make me explain everything to you.)

Anyhoo, 4 fun couples zip lining through caves in Kentucky. How could this not get ridiculous, right? Don't get me wrong, we had a total blast, but nothing crazy-blog-worthy, although considering we're talking dangling from a wire hundreds of feet in the air with our lives literally in the hands of 2 teenaged employees responsible for clipping us safely to the lines and then stopping us from careening into the cave walls at each end, I should probably be more grateful. But the writer in me had hopes for some excitement to report. Granted, one of us got car sick on the way down, and some loser chick line-jumped her into the bathroom stall at a gas station, but it didn't escalate to a fight or anything, so you know it wasn't me. I don't choose many battles with strangers, but line jumping me to pee would definitely be one of them.


Later, BFF Lissa and I decided to sneak a selfie during the probably-really-important instructional lecture on how to put our harnesses on...and then we needed help putting our harnesses on. But still. I needed more.

Things did get stupid at the halfway point when we had to cross what was basically a swinging rope bridge with our partner. Ron forgot he's the one afraid of heights and started jumping around in the middle of the bridge to mess with me and ended up traumatizing us both in the process. Had that gone any more wrong, I wouldn't be around to write it anyway. And when one of our trusted teenaged guides pretended to slip off the edge of the platform, I stopped looking for blog material and snapped into survival mode.

The final ride consisted of side-by-side lines where we were required to climb onto a small wooden platform across from our partner and race them to the bottom. One guide stayed at the top to get us hooked up. The other guide waited at the bottom to catch one of us. The husbands. She caught the husbands. The wives were responsible for spotting and grabbing a single rope hanging at the end of our line while everyone gathered at the bottom who'd gone before you screams "CATCH THE ROPE!" as you fly by, just in case you're feeling rebellious and deciding that not catching the rope would be the ultimate finger to the man. And assuming you do actually catch the rope, then you have to hold on for dear life to avoid sliding back over the abyss until the guide is finished making sure your husband is totally safe. How 'bout we just put all the forks in the spoon slot while we're at it.

I'm not a feminist. I do not claim to be able to do all that men can do. So give them the damn rope to grab because I prefer the 90lb teenaged girl safely catching me at the bottom, thanks anyway.

We'd planned on doing their ropes course afterward, but when we stood looking at a Chuckie Cheese version of a ropes course and our group of 8 large adults were scheduled to go behind 2 birthday parties of 7 year olds, we gave our non-refundable wrist bands away and spared ourselves a shred of dignity. Obviously, disgracing ourselves on an amateur ropes course designed for children could've very well ended up being the blog, but not worth it.

So we left, nothing really to report, except a fun relatively smooth adventure with friends as we headed to the hotel...with our cake.

Despite Ron going to the added effort of trying to have the Walmart bakery write 'Happy Shon Day'...which after 4 failed attempts later, she still got it wrong, and it ended up saying, 'Happy Birthday Shon Day'...the cake really had nothing to do with our anniversary or even the adventure with friends. We just take a cake to every hotel. And then we split it down the middle and eat it with forks straight off the little cardboard saucer till it's gone, as seen in this picture from Hilton Head. We do it every time. It's like our thang. The only difference this time was that we'd share it with our friends...and cut it into individual pieces and eat it from plates like civilized human beings, because, you know, witnesses. And since I don't allow myself sweets at home, our hotel cake is a big deal. Like, huge. Don't screw with that.

So we arrived at the hotel. Ron carried our luggage and I carried the cake. I stepped into the elevator uneventfully, because I'm 45 and this ain't my first rodeo. Ron stepped one foot across the threshold and WHAM. He got smashed by the elevator door and thrown up against the side. Okay. I was there. I saw the whole thing. Ron doesn't move fast, but that door was comin' in hot, and it's been my experience that elevator doors closed a little less violently than that, but apparently, Kentucky Drury Inn's think their elevator users have had it far too easy for far too long with, like, having time to get both feet inside. Time to start cracking the whip.

Later that evening, Ron ran up to our room to get the cake. Then he waited for the elevator to bring it back down. See where this is going yet? Now, having been just recently rammed by that very elevator, one would think that'd be fresh on his mind, and maybe, oh, I don't know, NOT balance the cake on one hand like a waiter or at the very least, pick up the pace when it came time to climb inside. But no. And WHAM went the door into his arm and SLAM went the cake onto the floor.

Man buys wife cake.
Man takes wife to hotel with cake.
Man destroys cake when he gets crushed by the hotel elevator. Twice.
*Cue music*...Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme...

The good  news: It didn't say 'Happy Birthday Shon Day' on it anymore. Funny how that minor
mishap pissed me off just 24 hours previously.
The bad news: It didn't say anything on it anymore, because the icing was thrown off the top of the cake and squished down the side.
In more bad news, and this will probably surprise you: I don't have a great track record with my emotions when it comes to food crisis and my responses should never be witnessed, much less videoed. (ie; the Mrs.Grass's Soup Incident of 2016...and now the Hotel Cake Catastrophe of 2017.)

After the meltdown lasting roughly 4 minutes, I pried off the lid and verge-of-tearsed the pile of icing across the cake in what ended up looking like a mix of frothy poop laced with blood. A few people actually accepted a piece, certainly not because it looked good, or even to be polite, but in an attempt to get Ron's head off the chopping block. Then we sat there looking at the mess on our plates until Andy broke the silence with a line from Clark Griswold in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation..."If this tastes half as good as it looks, we're all in for a real treat."

And a blog was born. See? As promised. Huge, tragic, involving Ron, and at my expense. Voila.
Everyone needs a group of hilarious friends to make memories with, who make you laugh till you cry, willing to share your nasty elevator floor cake, and witness your meltdowns but love you anyway. If you don't have some, get some.

It needs to be said that Ron redeemed himself this past weekend at a Drury Inn we stayed at in Ohio. His elevator entrances and exits were clean and well executed and the cake never touched the floor...of course he was forbidden to carry it, so there's that.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Roast Ghost

I've written about our dogs before. Not exactly warm fuzzy stories, but then again, 'warm and fuzzy' doesn't exactly describe anything about our family. You might remember the infamous dog fight/missing eye story featuring our dog, Summer, in Fright Night, and who could forget the notorious poison control/vomiting inducing trauma with all of our dogs in Dog Days. (Sadly, Tia was hit and killed by a semi in front of our house later that year.)

We've since added Bam Bam to the mix. His full name used to be Bam Bam Brown Bear, after the Alaskan Bush People, but Caymen changed it to Bamberly James because she doesn't share my borderline obsessive infatuation with the Alaskan Bush People. He's a mix of Chinese Crusted Powder Puff and Frat Boy Asshole, so I guess his new name suits him. A few months ago, we called him '30-Turds' for a week when he went completely insane one night and pooped a landmine of individual piles of dung all over our rec room. Bam's loads of fun.

But a story you may not remember from years ago was tacked onto the end of  Piece, Bye Peace, which referenced our dog Quincy and her nasty habit of sneaking pieces of dead animal carcasses into our house. I wouldn't bring it up again, except it's a detail that explains a part of what happened here on Monday. And trust me when I say, that's the only thing explainable about what happened here on Monday.

That's the day I have both grandbabies. That being said, on Mondays, there's a baby gate blocking the top of our stairs. I honestly thought the worst thing that happened this past Monday was Summer and Bam Bam suddenly losing their freakin' minds and digging up the carpet on the bottom stair. Because, seriously, what else could they do in one day?

Don't ever ask that. Because late that afternoon, I found Quincy, sitting on the top step, just on the other side of the baby gate, holding a giant piece of dark brown something in her mouth. Oh lawd, not today. Nobody else was home, my grandson was playing downstairs and I'd just laid our granddaughter down for her nap, yet none of that stopped me from screaming, because I know a scream-worthy situation when I see one.

I jumped the gate, opened the door to the garage, and began yelling, "Get out! Get out! Get out!" So she dropped her treasure on the top step and ran out the door. So then I started yelling, "Pick it up!! Pick it up!! Pick it up!!" which is obviously a command we need to work on because she stood in the garage with a look that said, I don't know what you want from me. But Summer knew, because she bolted to the top of the stairs and grabbed it, which caused Quincy to run back inside to defend her goods.

*Insert dog fight and more screaming*
Sassy really knows how to entertain babies.

The whatever it was began shredding apart before my eyes until I finally got them off of it and back outside. Accepting the fact that my overactive gag reflex was about to get a thorough workout, I slowly moved toward the mess on the stairs, and then the smell hit me...beef? I bent down to see a perfectly seasoned freshly cooked roast ripped into large chunks all over our stairs and my mouth started watering. (Hey, better than gagging.)

The obvious question. Where in the crap did Quincy get a roast?
It boiled down to 2 choices, because we only have 2 neighbors. One next door and one across the street. Nobody's gonna throw away a whole roast, and seeing as Quincy knows how to nudge a screen door open, she'd obviously just stolen somebody's dinner.

So I packed all the roast pieces in a Walmart bag and hid it in the outside trash can under all the dirty diapers, as you do. Then I waited guiltily inside for the angry text, call, and or knock on the door that was surely gonna come. I mean, meat was stolen. I wouldn't let that slide.

When Tuesday morning rolled around and I hadn't heard from anyone, I assumed somebody must not have had their heart set on roast and moved on with their lives. Then Tuesday afternoon, a knock on the door.

I opened it to find a man standing beside a large white van with the dogs barking at his feet.

He said, "Are these your dogs?"

Crap.
I said, "Yes."

Please don't say roast. Please don't say roast...

He said, "I almost hit them with my van."
I said, "Why?"

Please don't say roast. Please don't say roast...

He said, "Because they were in the road."

Huge sigh, thank you, Lord.

As I was talking to him, the neighbor came hurrying from her house across the road.
She said, "Is this about your dogs?"

Sh*t.
I said, "Yes."

Here it comes. Roast, roast, roast, roast...

She said, "They've been crossing the street and going way back in the fields over there."

Sigh of relief, I can't live like this.

I thanked them for watching out for our dogs while carefully avoiding blurting out the word roast, and closed the door having just dodged 2 bullets.

Then I went to Zumba and found out that bullets travel in 3's.

As I was getting out of my van, my next door neighbor was arriving for class and approached me in the parking lot and began catching me up on what's been going on with her, when she suddenly said, "Oh my gosh, and THEN on Monday, I cooked a big dinner and we never even got to eat it."

You know that special effect they do in movies where the person listening, like, blacks out inside their head, and the person talking starts to sound all muffled in the background. Turns out, that's really a thing.

When I finally came to, I asked, "What'd you cook?" because that seemed like a more casual follow-up question than, Did my dog steal it.

She paused and said, "Grilled chicken."

How have I not had a heart attack yet?

So the mystery of the roast lives on.

Of course I'm not happy that our dog stole someone's dinner, but I'm relieved it wasn't any of our neighbor's...and let's be honest, if she's gonna drag a dead animal into the house, it's a refreshing change to have it already prepped and cooked.










Monday, January 30, 2017

24 and counting...

Writing our stories was always intended for my kids and grandkids to have a small piece of our family history to share forever. To pass on funny memories and maybe even some life lessons from my perspective along the way. It had nothing to do with followers, much less a career, although I'm grateful for both. But this particular entry is more so for my family. I'm sharing it in honor of our son and daughter-in-law, who chose to elope 3 years ago. I'm sharing it in honor of our daughter and son-in-law, who opted for an Ohio State themed wedding, where the women went barefoot and the men wore baseball caps. And I'm sharing it in honor of our 2 daughters still at home, to reinforce the message we've always taught our kids:
Don't just think outside of the box. Destroy the box.

God might use this in some way for you, too. That'd be great. It's also possible this might cause you to look at me differently or judge me for it, but I basically roll that dice every time I sit down at my computer, so here we go.

Our wedding anniversary is today.
24 years ago, Ron and I had a wedding.

I treasure it as the day I legally married my best friend, and we celebrate it accordingly, but we all know the wedding anniversary symbolizes the wedding and that's the part I could've done without.

As is probably the case with most weddings, everyone had opinions, all of which were openly shared with the 2 young (or as many would've said, "too young") delusional engaged people who obviously had no idea what was "proper."

You see, we were the couple who wanted to elope, but that wasn't an option, (what would people think?) anymore than Ron wearing his baseball cap at our wedding was an option. (in a church? never!)

A few of our other controversial preferences were to have only one bridesmaid and one groomsman, (rude!), black for our wedding color (insert all the "symbolic" jokes here), we wanted our pictures taken before the wedding (yes, he saw me in my dress before I walked down the isle, *gasp!*), chose our favorite song by heavy metal band 'Firehouse' to play after our vows (scandalous!), and wanted dancing at our reception. (Sweet mother, nooo...*thunk*) Thank goodness I didn't start drinking until I was 40, because I feel like I would've lost the margarita battle of 1993.

As it turns out, all of those things are now totally Pinterest Wedding Approved. See? We were just ahead of our time.

But let's be perfectly honest here. Judgment of our wedding choices was simply a symptom of deeper issues. The bottom line was, there were people who didn't approve of circumstances surrounding our marriage and tensions were running at an all-time high. Therefore, our wedding is forever tainted by the memories of disapproval of others. Not exactly a feel-good anniversary story to publicly share, right? And that's why I haven't.

So when I read a blog entry by Beth Moore last month and hers was laced with the same undercurrent, I was shocked. Beth Moore? Thee Beth Moore had people throwing shade at her wedding? Maybe there's more of us out there than we think.

I mean, I get it. We were seemingly the most mismatched couple in the history of ever. Totally non-traditional. Unconventional. Many would argue, rebellious. Solely focused on loving life and loving each other. Everything was laughable. To heck with what people thought. Clearly in denial of the trials that awaited us. All of which was chalked up to the naivety of being 21 and carelessly in love. Even God must've cringed when our worlds collided, right?

Or is it possible, God brought 2 broken pieces together to make a whole?

My strengths where he's weak. His strengths to carry me in my weaknesses. Both of our strengths to stand against outside forces that continually try to divide us.

And God is the cord that ties the whole thing together where we're both weak, pretty much suck, and without Him, would've shredded each other a long time ago.

God was there when we met on a blind date. He created the magnetic force that wouldn't allow us to remain apart when Ron left for the military. He didn't walk away or turn His back on us when we chose to go against His perfect plan by moving in together a month before our wedding, and He not only forgave us, but blessed us. He was there when I walked down the isle in a white wedding gown and He looked at me with love instead of judgment and disdain. He was there when my cousin Susan, dressed in black, stood by my side as my only bridesmaid that day, as He knew she'd be the one who'd always remain there. He was there when my heart thumped to the beat of a 90's love song as it filled the sanctuary after Ron and I said our vows, and He was watching when, more often than not, we were the only ones dancing at our reception.

Then in 1998, He took us by the hand and led us to our church family, who opened their arms unconditionally to a couple of misfits like us, who to this day can still be found sitting in the front row center, my husband raising his hands in worship, with a ball cap on his head.
"...The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
~1 Samuel 16:7~

24 years later, 4 kids, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, and 2 grandkids so far.
Started with a mismatched couple. Grew into a family. Non-traditional. Unconventional. Many might argue rebellious. Focused on loving life and loving each other. Everything is laughable. To heck with what people think. Possibly in denial of the trials that await us, which some might chalk up to the naivety of being 45 and still carelessly in love.

If anyone disapproves of us at this stage of the game, I've got good news for everyone.
The part about "for better or for worse till death do us part" doesn't apply to you.
Raise your margaritas. Cheers all around.

God is here. Every single day, every single moment, every failure, choice, regret, and success.
He is here. Always has been. Always will be.

Thousands of things I'd change if I could.
A million things I wouldn't.
I'm sure the same will be said over the next 24 years.
Welcome to life.

But today isn't about regrets. It's about celebrating a love that beat the odds, a lifetime of both good and bad choices that God is using to mold us into who He desires us to be, a determination to keep submitting to Him, always trying to do better, and looking ahead to another year of loving each other even more fiercely than the last.

Now if you'll excuse us, we've got a song to dance to...and I've got a killer air guitar solo that I held back at the wedding, speaking of regrets.

video
A big THANK YOU to Zac for putting the song from our wedding to our picture dancing at Aubrey's.





Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dread-room Makeover

Do any of you wives out there ever feel like you share a room with a messy dorm mate rather than a husband? Or is that basically the same thing?

According to talk show segments everywhere, our bedroom is supposed to be a "sanctuary." A "getaway." An "escape." Well, that pretty much described every other room in our house except our bedroom. This is what I'm talking about...



Guess which side of the room is whose. Granted, it could've been much worse, and 10 minutes before I straightened it up to take pictures, it was. But the clutter, piles, and disorganization, not to mention the mosh tosh of mismatched furniture didn't feel like a sanctuary to me...maybe more of an asylum.

So I did what women with zero design talent do. I turned to Pinterest. And it didn't take long to find a bedroom that looked like actual grown-ups lived there and I thought that'd be pretty cool.

So it was off to choose furniture and match the paint color, which turned out to be called Ground Nutmeg and that felt very grown-up when I proudly handed the sample cards to the paint desk guy..."As you can see, we opted for the ground nutmeg motif with Chantilly lace trim." I sounded more mature already.

Well, once you have the furniture and paint, it makes no difference that it's 8 days before Christmas and your house is in full on holiday upheaval. You start rippin' sh*t up and by 7pm on Friday evening, we were elbow deep and fully committed, like it or not.
And Ron decided he did not.

I was in charge of painting the white crown molding trim...sorry, Chantilly lace...and by crown molding trim, I mean the old brown chair rail we removed and raised 3 feet. Voila. Crown molding trim.

Hey, part of maturity is deciding we ain't goin' into debt over this crap. So I was lathering Chantilly lace over top of the original stained chair rail trying to decide the line between tastefully-distressed and got-tired-of-putting-coats-of-white-paint-over-brown-stain, when I glanced back to see how Ron was doing with the ground nutmeg and found him sitting on our bed trying to get a treat out of a dog kong. This picture was taken at the 8 minute mark. It went on for 3 more minutes after that.
But he got the treat out, so check that off his bucket list.

He finally started painting and announced, "It looks like poop."

No it doesn't. You just need to put it on thicker.

Off to Walmart he went to buy a paint sprayer, accidentally held it backward, and painted his chest. He looked down at himself and said, "It still looks like poop."

No it doesn't, because Pinterest wouldn't do that to me. Now put it on the walls and stop screwin' around.

By the end of the weekend, our walls were done, most of our furniture was put together, and we were down to the bed. But when the box springs wouldn't fit into the frames, he admitted that he actually bought 2 single frames with the idea to design his own super tall mega bed. Soooo...2 single bed frames and countless stacks of boards and screws later, our bed is almost as tall as our bedside lamps, my feet can almost reach the top of my hutch, and the dogs are forever banished to the floor because they can't jump that high. Hell, I can barely climb up there. And thankfully we removed our ceiling fan last summer or decapitation during sex would become a probable threat.


But the bedroom is done. Maybe not exactly Pinterest worthy, but it certainly meets my amateur standards and I'm quite happy with our little getaway.


I don't even care that I thought Summer's tail was covered in dried diarrhea before realizing she'd rubbed up against the wet paint on our walls.
I mean, so what if our sanctuary is done in shades of poop and white...
if Pinterest says it's on-trend, IT'S ON-TREND, DAMMIT.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Half Staph- Part II

When I left off in Part I, by the end of October, the only visible evidence remaining from the Staph infection that had been coursing through the left side of my face was a scar above my left eye.

Fast forward to Saturday December 10th. My 45th birthday. We were on our way to Columbus for a getaway weekend, when I noticed my left eye was aching and I told Ron I hoped I wasn't getting pink eye. That night, it hurt to even have it open and I went to bed early.

Sunday evening when we arrived home, I needed to run back out to the van for something. So barefoot, I tried to jump between snow patches, not realizing the spaces between snow patches was sheets of ice, and I planted my ass straight down into the edge of our front porch.

By Monday morning, when I couldn't tolerate light, or reading, or watching the new episode of Sister Wives because everything was blurry, I entertained the thought of a brain tumor, my ever present silently lurking fear, because look at me. I can't see things and I fall down.

Later that night, through a conversation I had with an extended family member, I found out she has Type 2 Diabetes and was my age when she was diagnosed through routine blood work with no symptoms. Off to Google I went and woke Ron up at 2am.

"I have bad news. I have 3 out of 10 signs of Type 2 Diabetes."

He humored me and asked which ones.

I said, "I pee a lot, I'm hungry, and I have blurry vision."
He replied, "You drink gallons of coffee daily, you're always dieting, and it's 2am. My vision's blurry right now, too."
Me: "I also fell down."
Ron: "What's that have to do with diabetes?"
Me: "Nothing. That'd be the brain tumor."
Ron: "You don't have a brain tumor. Probably just a parasite."

New rules.
I'm no longer allowed to google things at 2am.
He's no longer allowed to comfort me.
Lines have been crossed.

That morning I called my family doctor to request blood work. The receptionist asked why.
Um, because there's like a 3 out of 10 google chance that I have Type 2 Diabetes. Why the interrogation? My blood work was scheduled for the following day.

Then I called an eye doctor, because if I can't watch Sister Wives anymore, what quality of life am I really facing here? They got me in that afternoon.

As I sat in the waiting room, the annoyingly repetitive song 'Hey Santa' cranked through the speakers, causing my eye to throb, and I started mentally making a list of everything I'd say to Carnie Wilson if I ever met her. Then a lady sat next to me and reeked of Pine, and she didn't silence her phone, so the 'blooop' of her texting sounds almost made me forget how pissed I was at Carnie Wilson. That's when it occurred to me. All my other senses are obviously overcompensating for my loss of sight. Oh, lawd, I'm like Mary Ingalls. And my mind flashed to clutching Ron in the middle of the night screaming, "HELP ME, PA, I CAN'T SEE!"

So. My irrational freak flag doesn't just fly at 2am. Noted.

They called me back before I could start groping stranger's faces and I was given an eye exam with the letter chart across the room. My right eye was still my normal 20/20. Then the doctor checked my left eye and all the letters suddenly morphed into Chinese symbols and she finally put us both out of our misery when I guessed the number 9 and General Tso.
Hey, be happy I'm not calling you Pa.

Then we put our faces against a machine, she looked in my eye and said, "Oh my gosh."
Dear doctor's everywhere. Never look at a patient and say, "Oh my gosh."

Then she called 2 other doctor's in and told them, "I've never seen anything this bad before."
Dear doctor's everywhere. Don't say that either.

As it turns out, the original Staph was never gone, and it spent 2 months growing into a 4mm ulcer that had worked it's way through 4 layers of my eyeball and was starting into my pupil. I was put on antibiotic/steroid drops every 2 hours and had to be seen every day to make sure it responded, before deciding whether or not to refer me to a corneal specialist to admit me into the hospital for iv antibiotics. By Saturday, I'd seen 7 doctors in that practice, all of which were excellent. Apparently, what I had was so rare and the risk of rupture so great, that they all took me under their wing to see me through, and I'm officially out of the danger zone and don't have to go back until January 2nd. I'll always have a scar on my eyeball and my vision will never return completely, but should only be noticeable when I drive at night, and it could've been so much worse, so there's that.

So, on a serious note, God was in this big time, I'm extremely thankful for His protection and that He paved the way and led me to the doctors I needed and in the perfect timing. See? Jesus loves hot messes, too.

As for my blood work, all my numbers are (in my doctor's words) "Off the chart perfect."
"You mean I don't have Type 2 Diabetes?"
With a look on his face I'm sure he reserves for all of his most special patients, he replied, "No you do not. So is there anything else I can do for you today?"

Well. Since you asked.
Talk to me about parasites.





Monday, December 26, 2016

Half Staph- Part I

Funny story for ya. And by 'funny' I mean random, gross, and disturbing, which is basically the same thing. I won't post pictures because I don't hate you.

During the 2nd week of our alone trip to Hilton Head in October, I developed a large bump on my forehead above my left eye. Just out of the blue, boom. Bump. And it hurt like a mother, but what are ya gonna do? So vacation went on as usual. The following day, it started oozing. (I told you this was gross, get that look off your face.) On Thursday, my left ear began to hurt, and on Friday, the left lymph node behind my ear was swollen, and my left gland was protruding out of the side of my neck. Ron suggested I go to the island urgent care, but I refused, because one, we were leaving that night, and two, nobody anywhere on that island ever moves at an 'urgent' pace. I knew I'd lose my last full day of vacation, and I'd be nice and pissed off for the long ride home. It could wait a day, because I obviously had an ear infection and I'm exceptionally good at diagnosing myself and others. It's like a gift, really.

So on our last day, I got a full body deep tissue massage, thus increasing my circulation, and in turn the rapidly spreading infection, as you do.

We arrived home the following morning and I was walking into our local urgent care that afternoon. The receptionist asked me why I needed seen, I told her I had an ear infection, she asked me what made me think that, and I explained because I know things. Please. My ear hurts and I'm not a moron.

An hour later, after a thorough exam and a confusing amount of time discussing the oozing bump on my head, both my ears got a clean bill of health, and I was diagnosed with a staph infection that started with the bump and had worked it's way down the left side of my face and was continuing on down my neck. Hey, I never claimed to be a doctor.

So I left with strong antibiotics, an ointment, and strict orders to stop wearing make-up on that side of my face for 10 days, and I'd be good as new. Except the next day I woke with my left eye swollen shut and an excruciating headache. Now, I'm no headache expert because I don't get them, but this was the kind where light hurt my eyes and the sounds of voices pierced my soul. Ron wanted to take me to the ER, but I wanted to wait it out. He reminded me that my mom almost died from a staph infection a long time ago, but I reminded him that hers was from a hip surgery, so it was a lot more serious than mine. He replied, "Whereas, yours is near your brain...I can see where that's better."

He can be a bit of a smartass.

At 9pm, I caved and let him take me to the ER, because he assured me that Sunday nights are their least busy time. That would be false. It was SO packed, in fact, that I had to share a room with a teenage boy who had a chronic cough and wheeze and who passed the time by watching loud YouTube videos with his dad on their iPhones until I thought my head would either explode or I'd end his cough and wheeze forever when I shoved my fist down his throat.

I'm not proud of who I become when I'm in pain.

Ron, hater of all confrontation, finally went to ask the nurse if I could have a room of my own. He returned and said the answer was no. Five minutes later, I stormed out of my room shared with Wheezy Dwarf and informed the nurses that I'd be in the waiting room when the doctor was ready to see me. Maybe it was my tone. Or the fact that I looked like somebody beat the shit out of me and I'd just referred to a teenage boy as Wheezy Dwarf. Doesn't matter. I got my own room.

Then I had to pee. I told Ron in no uncertain terms that if the doctor came in while I was next door in the bathroom, he was not to let her leave before I came back. My butt no sooner hit the toilet seat when I heard Ron laugh and tell the doctor I was in the bathroom. And then he let her leave as I sat peeing and yelling at them through the wall.

I ask so little of him.

An hour later I was home having learned nothing new. I still had a staph infection, the meds I was given were correct, Sunday evenings are the worst possible times to go the ER, I have a low tolerance for noise, and my husband doesn't listen when I talk.

For the next 2 weeks I did all my normal activities with my left eye bare of all make-up, my eyelid swollen and crusted, a Band-Aid on the bump, and my bangs hanging all casual across my left eye in a lame attempt to disguise the whole mess.

During those 2 weeks, in an unfortunate turn of events, I used a new body lotion the morning of a funeral. It wasn't until we were halfway to the graveside service on an unseasonably warm and sunny day that I realized I'd lathered my body from head to toe in a glitter based lotion and I was shimmering like a vampire off of Twilight...except of course I had one bare eye, a swollen crusty eyelid, and a super-sexy gash across my forehead. Sometimes it's a miracle when I just make it through the day without hurting myself.

Several days after finishing my antibiotic, all that remained of the bump on my head was a scar resembling bruised fruit, but my eyelid was still swollen. Back to urgent care I went, where I was informed that the Staph was gone, and what I was experiencing was residual damage that would eventually go away. And a few weeks later, my eyelid went back to normal and life carried on.

But if you think that's where the story ends and I lived healthily ever after, we haven't been friends long enough.

Tune in tomorrow when, the week before Christmas, things got weird. Like, diabetes, brain tumor, Sister Wives, weird...because Hypochondria should be multiplied, not divided.







Saturday, November 26, 2016

Football Games

Things I've learned about my husband:

1. Football is considered a life source and therefore he eats, breathes, and lives it. More specifically, football played by THE Ohio State Buckeyes. (Emphasis THE, pronounced thee, for some reason.)

2. Nothing elicits an eye roll from him faster than a tall-feather-hatted marching band UNLESS it's THE(E) Ohio State Band. aka; The Best Damn Band In The Land. (Not THEE best damn band. Just The. Keep it straight.) And you will stand on your feet for the damn band, or else.

Things he's learned about me:
1. I read books during football games.
Don't judge me. I cheered for football in high school, I force my daughters to pose for annual cheer uniform photos with me wearing mine...and sometimes theirs just to shake things up...and I still remember the routine, and have been known to perform it, when the Buckeyes score, because the OSU tune is the same as Shawnee's fight song. So, play the song and I will dance, but as for watching the game, no. But I'm still totally cool, just so we're clear.

2. If he doesn't roll his eyes when I pull out my book, I won't roll mine when the drum major high-kick-leads the tuba player to dot the "i" in script Ohio. I'm not saying they're not the best damn band, because they really are, but I don't get all teary-eyed.

With our agreements in place, we try to attend a couple games a year, because according to him, there's nothing like watching the game in "the shoe." See, it's called the shoe because the stadium is shaped like a horse shoe, not a tennis shoe, and that's a really dumb question to ask, so don't. Not that I did. Just, don't.

Last month, we attended a game with our son and daughter-in-law, and we decided to give tailgating a try, because we've never done that. So, Ron bought a tiny charcoal grill, we threw some meat in a cooler, and cornhole boards in the back of the van, because we're not gonna look like virgin tailgaters, peeps.

That is, until our flame kept going out, so we gathered dry pine needles to drop in there and then we'd douse the grill with lighter fluid, (between the hamburgers and hot dogs, we're not idiots), dodge the shooting flames, and try not to make a scene. Then we figured out that you should wait until your charcoals actually start burning before you put the meat on the grill, so we used sticks to lift the searing hot grate of meat off the grill and put it on the ground on a campaign sign we conveniently had in the back of the van, because you never know when you might need one. Remind me to throw a pair of pot holders in there, would ya?

The Ohio State Medical Center might wanna seriously reconsider their "Game Day Charity Parking" in their lot.

We choked down our smoke-flavored-chemical-seasoned meat off the ground and walked to the stadium like a boss. We're like tailgating pros now.

We found our seats and it occurred to me. I forgot a book. I was sitting in a shoe with no freaking book. And then it got worse. A loud obnoxious guy directly behind me began frequently standing up and yelling, "It's GAAAAAAAME DAYYYYY" in case the other 100,000 people there didn't know that, because he's helpful. So to escape the situation, I made trips to the bathroom with my daughter-in-law, but 2 out of 2 times, I got hit on, because I wore the only red thing I own, and apparently a tank top that says 'Take Me To The Weekend' makes for a perfect invitation for creepers to offer to take me. Ron scolded me for wearing it and stopped letting me go to the bathroom. I think that's called victim blaming.

So there I was, grounded to my seat, searching for something to busy myself. And that's when I saw him. The kid sitting next to Zac, and I knew he looked like somebody, I just couldn't put my finger on who the somebody was. All I knew was that the somebody was a cartoon kid. Not a cartoon cartoon. But like, a pixel cartoon. Zac agreed and thought maybe the Polar Express kid, so I googled him but that wasn't it. Then I did that thing where you stare at somebody and try imagining them in different scenes (insert loud intrusive "It's GAAAAAAME DAYYYY" from over my shoulder...SHUT UP!) and then I closed my eyes and began picturing him talking to Santa and....O.M.G!!! He's the Rise Of The Guardians kid!!!

And there it was. My mission was to get a picture of the real life pixel kid, who became my hero in the final battle scene of The Rise Of The Guardians, when he looked the boogie man in the face and said, "I do believe in you. I'm just not afraid of you." Because that's what I envision myself saying every time I square off with Satan.

Leave me alone, you wouldn't survive a day in my head. The voices alone would eat you alive.

Anywho, the real life pixel kid was not makin' a discreet photo op easy on me. Just look over here at my phone without realizing I'm taking your picture, dammit!!
"It's GAAAAAAAME DAYYYYYY"....SHUTTTT.UUUP!!!



 
By 4th quarter, I'd had enough. This was gonna happen one way or the other. I tried the one way. Time to try the other. The straight forward approach. By that point, some people in the seats in front of us had left, so Zac and Barbara moved down to make more room. That placed me directly beside pixel.

Be friendly, not creepy. The kid's like 15 and I'm wearing a shirt with the words "Take me" across my newly-implanted chest. Play it cool. Be Casual. This calls for discretion. Here goes...

"So. Has anyone ever told you that you look just like the pixel kid on The Rise Of The Guardians?"

Ok, so I suck at discretion.

He answered, "No, but that sounds like something my Grandma Judy would say."

Grandma Judy?! Your GRANDMA JUDY?!?
Why you little son of a ......

"It's GAAAAME DAYYYYY"....I'm going to hurt you in the parking lot.

So today Ron and Zac are in the shoe for the big Ohio State/Michigan Game. They didn't take me.
Mustn't embarrass ourselves.
Or something.