Friday, July 20, 2007

Country Time Lemonade, Sports Cars and Dean Martin

Look to the right. See that face? That's me, making an effort to claw my way back to being a normal human. Or at least an abnormal human who doesn't whine like a madwoman. At this point, either one will do! (Geez. I've really got to lay off the Country Time Lemonade - I'm looking a little yellow and all that sugar appears to be making me a tad bit...bloated!)

Anywho..."T" at left one hysterical, yet uplifting comment about this whole "phase of life" thing. "Phase of Life". What a phrase. That reminds me, my neighbor, who is all of 26 years old, very kindly explained to me how she was expecting "the change" early because it runs in her family. Okay, so A) I'm sorry to hear that, truly, and B) "the change"? How quaint is that? That sounds like something I heard in that funny little film they showed us in 5th grade. You know the explained how one day, us girls would "become a woman" when we started menstruation. It also explained how that was also called (and I'm quoting here)"the Curse...and here's why..." (all said in a very June Cleaver like voice). "The Curse". Please. Talk about getting something totally and completely backwards. Looking at it from this side of the river, I'm thinking that starting my period should have been called "the Change" and going through menopause should be called "the Curse". You can tell a man came up with these labels. A stupid man. A stupid man who wanted revenge against his mother, probably. A stupid man who wanted revenge against his mother and who was never able to get a date ever in his whole life. Oh Wow! Hmmmm. Where'd that come from? I may be suffering from a little jealousy here. A man hits middle life crazy and he buys a Corvette. A woman hits menopause and all she wants is to fall asleep deep inside a walk-in freezer. Men and very, very different. On so many different levels.

Oh gosh, here I thought this post was going to be happy and cheerful and not about being nutso. How did I get from the Famous 5th Grade Film to man-bashing because men get to drive a sports car while all I'm driving is other people crazy? Must try harder, must try harder. As my childhood heroine, Scarlett O'Hara said, "Tomorrow's another day". I'll work on talking about a different topic tomorrow. (Like the new Harry Potter book. I promise not to give away any of the plot for those who aren't reading it right away, but I know I'll have to say something about it being here!) In the meantime, I think a little Dean Martin music (thank you T) is in order. You can't help but feel great listening to him.

And the hits just keep coming...

I would so very much love to follow up my menopause post with something witty, amusing and deeply insightful. But....that's not gonna happen. I got nothing for 'ya. Today will be the 4th day of my HRT. And you know what? Let's just clear this up right now. I know what HRT is supposed to stand for (Hormone Replacement Therapy). That's what they all say anyway. That's actually a great, big, fat lie. It's somebody's idea of a joke - a really bad, bad joke. Through my four days of first hand research, I've discovered that HRT actually stands for Heat Rants and Tears. It's about time someone was honest about this. There IS no mistake. Just to prove it, I've managed to cover all 3 initials this morning alone. Actually, I did it in record time...I woke up, wallering in the HEAT that is taking over my whole entire life, then I followed up with a RANT to a company I'm having an e-mail war with and ended with TEARS because my son's been delayed a day, this company I'm fighting with via e-mail is getting on my absolute last freakin' nerve, my back is killing me - right between my shoulder blades - and Randey called in the middle of it all and said he'd take me to Barnes and Noble at midnight tonight so I could get the Harry Potter book the second it's released. How sweet is that? Randey, I mean. The rest of it? Not so much. I thought these stupid pills were supposed to help???? I know I'm a little off right now, but I could have sworn that doctor said they'd help with the hot flashes right away. Oh and hey, that's another thing. Flashes? What flashes? Does a tidal wave of heat that rolls over my body and takes up residence from my chest to my head really count as a "flash"? In what universe is constant boiling heat considered a flash? I'm thinking a "flash" is more like..."now you see it, now you don't" kind of quick. Not "oh great here comes another wave - let's hope this one doesn't last the next 6 hours like the last one did".
I think I liked it better before the doctor told me what was going on. At least when I thought I was plain ol' crazy, I felt compelled to try and hide it. Now I'm just angry. I'm angry that this is happening and I'm angry that, in this day and age, they haven't come up with something to make it all better...NOW. Is this normal, people? Aren't these pills supposed to work right away? Is that too much to ask? Anybody else experienced this? And hey, here's a question...when I thought I was just crazy, I was so much more tolerant of the heat. Why is it different now? Does my subconscious think that being menopausal is an excuse for being a terror? Surely not. I think I'm just...scared, worried, panicky...wondering (hoping?) if the doctor didn't misdiagnose me and really, rather than going through menopause, I'm really either crazy or maybe even dying from some dreaded disease that's causing me to cook from the inside out. (Yeah - that dang Drama Queen persona rears her ugly head again!) Most of all, though, I'm wondering if I should even be on HRT. Is 4 days too soon to decide? Should I be noticing a change or am I supposed to give it a week or so? Does anybody know? I think this is the worst part of all. Not knowing if what is going on is normal. Did I expect too much from the HRT right away? Should I go slap the living tar out of my doctor for making me think it WOULD make a difference so soon? Or should I just hang in there, STOP RANTING IN MY BLOG, and just wait for these pills to start their magic? Hello? Anybody?

I swear...crazy is just EASIER...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This is one of those TMI (Too Much Information) Posts but it's MY blog so I'll say what I want (but you should probably read the warning first!)

Warning! Warning! Warning! If the word "menopause" causes you discomfort, embarrassment, and/or a general feeling of unease, DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER! If, however, you are human, possess even the slightest modicum of compassion and/or are, or know of, a woman of a certain age and have any desire whatsoever to develop an understanding of the level of angst, confusion and exasperation this normal condition will have on your loved one at some point in time, feel free to read on. I'm posting this random picture in order to give you an opportunity to stop reading NOW if this subject is just too much for your tender sensibilities (although please note that from this moment forward, you will forever be known as "That Cowardly Nancy-Pants of a Jerk Who Has No Feeling For Anyone Other Than His/Her Own Narcissistic Self"). Okay, welcome to the discussion, all you brave, kind hearted souls who have chosen to read further. As some of you may already know, last week I suffered a bit of an emotional freakout, otherwise known as a wicked case of The Blah's. I thought I had recovered from them, when in very short order, I was stricken yet once more. This was becoming a pattern. Up and down, up and down. Happy, not. Happy, not. Glistening ever so slightly, sweating like a pig. You get the idea. It's been happening for awhile but lately...well, lately, it's almost gotten unbearable. I was sooooooo anxious yesterday afternoon, for no apparent reason, that I called the GYN and made an appointment. My request went something like this, "I need to see the doctor. I'm pretty sure I'm experiencing something that just isn't right. No.....this can't wait. Yes, I've seen the doctor before. No...just for a normal check-up. Yes, I'd like to see him soon. Listen, you don't understand! I can't keep doing this. I can't stand feeling like the whole world is caving in on me. I can't stand waking up at 1 or 2 or 3 in the morning and not being able to go back to sleep, I can't stand these headaches and I can't stand one more unexplained palpitation! I NEED to see the doctor. SOON! Yes, okay, right. Tomorrow at 2:30 will be fine. Thank you so much. Sorry if I seemed a bit tense." Whew! Thank goodness they probably get a few calls like that a year or I might have been facing verbal assault charges in the near future. So anywho, I head on down to the doctor's office today. Half of me convinced I'm crazy. The other half of me not really caring if I'm crazy. Just looking for some help. Some relief. Something, anything. The doctor took me back to his office. We discussed some blood work I'd had done a few months ago. He tells me I have great numbers except for this one little part of my cholesterol figure. No big deal. We can straighten that up with some Omega 3. Yeah, sure, whatever. Let's get to the important stuff, okie dokie? I tell him what's going on. I think I may have even demonstrated my feelings with scary facial expressions because, at one point, the doctor actually kind of leaned away and looked a little leery of me. Like I'd attack the one person who could help me right now. P-u-l-l-ease. Anyway, I told him about the heachaches, the anxiety, the backaches, the insomnia, the heart palpitations, the heat that was boiling my blood every other minute of the day and night and making my skin burn. He then, ever so calmly, asked me if I knew when my older female family members had experienced menopause. I didn't. He went on to say that I was experiencing early menopause myself and he was only asking because it tends to run in families. I'm not that far ahead of schedule, though. No need to panic. Why, by golly, he's treated some women who went through it in their 30's. Huh. That's fascinating. Really. But I'm a selfish wench and, quite frankly, wasn't too interested in their sob stories just right then. Let's talk about me, shall we, Doc? Yeah, I'm a little embarrassed about that attitude now, but at the time....well, at the time, I had about a million things going through my head. My first thought was "Oh my gosh! I'll never be able to have another baby." I actually thought that. Me, mother of 4 whose ages range from 26 to 15. Like I could even face having another baby. I felt that initial reaction just proved I was a little nutty and in dire need of help. Then my second thought (and this one is my personal favorite). "I won't be a real woman anymore. No feminine side, no nothing. I'll never be the same". Okay, so drama is one of my stronger suits. Whatever. I'm just saying what I felt. Mock me if you will. Just don't mock me to my face. You're liable to get a taste of my decidedly unfeminine side when I cuss you like the sailor my uncle once was. Oops, there goes that moody thing again. Let me throttle back some and get back to the subject at hand. Anyway, to make a long painful story every bit as long and painful as it felt, the doctor and I discussed some options and have decided on a few things to help me get through this since I'm obviously not handling it as well as some have. I'm a ninny. Big deal. I'm going to take the medication as prescribed and then we'll revisit the situation in 3 months. Hopefully, things will get better. This rollercoaster ride is wearing me out. And poor Randey. What a rock! He's so sweet and so supportive. He's been taking the route of "Life's hard - wear a helmet" to get through some of the worst moments. And there's been some bad, bad moments for him to get through. Well, it's not like he's the one boiling alive from this freakin' heat while having the worst backache in the world and everything else on the planet going wrong with him...uhhhhhhh, hold it a second. I did it again, didn't I? Moody, moody, moody. Can't let it keep getting the best of me. I'm going to be one friendless, lonely, misunderstood, yet nicely medicated, individual if I can't get a hold of this soon. I think menopause is one of life's little tests to see if you and your dearly beloved are really, really, really meant to be together. And God Bless him, so far, Randey's hanging in there pretty good. What a man! I just hope I can hang in there. Right now, the score is Menopause 1, Me 0. But the game's not over yet...


As some of you may already know, I have a few...obsessions, I guess you'd say. Like Christmas, Star Wars, Harry Potter, my Pool (an object totally and completely unrelated to the Hare Krishnas, despite how it may sound). I also kind of have a thing for watches. I really don't know why, but I do. The watches pictured here are just the ones I was able to grab within 30 seconds...I could dig up more, but I think you get the idea from just these, don't you? I love watches. It's not that I have a compulsion to know what time it is...and it's not even that I like to wear jewelry. I just like watches. But only when I'm not at home. I get ready to leave the house and I'm looking for a watch to go with whatever it is I'm wearing. I return home, step through the door and the watch, along with all my other jewelry (except the wedding band) comes off. I have gold watches, silver watches, black watches, stone watches, Christmas watches, flower watches...I even have a Dr. Suess Cat in the Hat watch. Years ago, I coined the phrase "trash watch", meaning that these watches weren't to be taken too seriously and they should never, ever cost more than $20. I have them because I think they're just a fun accessory. And let's face it...anybody can coordinate shoes and a handbag to match an outfit, but how many people out there actually try to coordinate their watch as well? Okay, the truth is, the watch is probably the only thing I do coordinate. Well, that's not strictly true...I do think your shoes should work with your outfit, even if they're only flip-flops or sandals. In fact I have this gorgeous pair of flip-flops that are a to-die-for apple green glitter I bought the last time I was in Destin...but that's another story. We're talking watches today, not shoes. If there are those of you out there who have yet to discover the beauty and fun of a good trash watch, I implore you to rectify that. You won't regret it. Now get to shopping...I'll be "watching" you! (So sorry, so very, very sorry for that pun. I just couldn't resist. I tried. I really did.)

The (Now) Dreaded Hummingbird Moth

Randey was outback (as in our yard, not Australia!) last night, when he saw what he thought was a hummingbird feeding on the Dayturas. He came running back in the house and grabbed the camera to take some pictures. These are what he got.
I downloaded them this morning and, once I could see the pictures up close, realized that...this was NO hummingbird. I did a little research (and I mean a little. It's early and I haven't had near enough coffee therefore I can't be devoting hours on this right now merely in the interest of total accuracy. Besides...does it really, really, really matter if I'm completely right on this one? No.) My dab of research led me to a website devoted to Butterflies and Moths of North America. Who'd have thunk they'd have something like that? Well, I guess I did on some level or I wouldn't have been looking, huh? Anyway, their picture and description have led me to believe that Randey has captured (on film anyway) a Pink-spotted Hawkmoth. It's kind of pretty, kind of freaky, and more than a little bit odd looking, if you ask me. And if I'd known last night that Randey was dragging me outside to check out a giant moth instead of a petite hummingbird, it would have changed my whole attitude about the situation. Hummingbirds are darling...moths are something from The Silence of the Lambs movie and are not to be trifled least not by the likes of me...

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Serenity Pool ?

I've been thinking...yes, it does happen occasionally ...and I've decided that, considering all it can do for a person, shouldn't a bathtub have a better name than...bathtub? That just sounds so...I don't know...Little House on the Prairie-ish. Like washtub. Washtub, bathtub...both sound like you're supposed to get whatever's in there clean and get it over with as soon as possible. That's not what a bath should be about. I enjoy a nice hot bath...I mean I really enjoy it. I can, literally, spend 2 hours a night soaking in the tub (there's that word again!). Before you start raising your eyebrows and shaking your heads, you have to understand, I come by this honestly. My mother's a big tub soaker (and I mean that in the kindest possible way, Mom). Why, due to her record of water consumption per month and the industrial size bottles of VitaBath she used to buy, she's long been declared the Cleanest Woman in North America. And while I certainly enjoy a good soaking, I could never hope to live up to the standards she has set. But back to the point at hand. Shouldn't a bathtub be called something better? Like "The Serenity Pool" or maybe "The Lagoon of Luxury" or even something as basic as "The Water Haven". Wouldn't it just sound better to say "Hey, I'll be soaking in The Serenity Pool for awhile!" instead of "Yo, I'll be sittin' in the bathtub for the next hour or so."? Yes. Yes, it does sound better. Uhhmmmm. What a second. On second thought, it also sounds like something one of those bald-headed, flower carrying, orange sheet wearing guys who used to hang out at the Los Angeles airport would say, doesn't it? Maybe I should just stick with calling it "the bathtub". It's a simple, boring word, but I guess it'll have to do.

The New 'Do

I forgot all about posting a picture of my new hair-do during my emotional freak out of last week. But here it is...should have fixed it a little to give the full effect but that's kind of what I like about it - I don't feel like I have to do something with it every time I step out the door. Randey says he likes it, although he sort of ruined that by adding "I just have to get used to it" in a rather forlorn voice. Then he redeemed himself by saying I seemed "bubblier" with my hair shorter. (Good thing he wasn't here Friday, huh?) Now I'm thinking a make over at a terribly posh cosmetics place and then maybe I'll even look into joining Weight Watchers. Oh, wait a minute. That's just crazy talk. I could probably deal with the make-up bit - maybe - but I know perfectly well Weight Watchers will try to take away my whipped cream on my latte's not to mention my stash of chocolate. And that just ain't gonna work for me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

To Charlotte, Penny and Kimie

Your e-mails during my Blah Time made a world of difference to me! I loved the Twinkie e-mail and the "helpful chart" for Randey regarding the best things to say during "these times". I printed that one up and put it on the refrigerator. He and the boys laughed (and seemed oddly grateful at the same time). Thanks again for the e-mails and I appreciate you reading about my blatherings...everybody wants to feel like someone's listening, you know what I mean? And yeah, I would be flattered to count you three as family!

The Wheelbarrow

Would you just look at this wheelbarrow? My mother-in-law, Donna and my stepfather-in-law, Wally, made this! Isn't it amazing? Randey and Kaleb brought it back yesterday...they unloaded it and we admired it for awhile then jumped in the car and ran to Lowe's to find some flowers to go in the back.
We found the flowers, but bought the wrong size pot to put them in! But I wanted to take the pictures anyway so I could show this off to everyone! I obviously need to read up on how to adjust the light on my camera, but you get the general idea, right?
I think it's absolutely beautiful and I love it, love it, love it. Thank you Donna and Wally. I appreciate the gifts (see the lighthouse below!) and will treasure them always!

The Lighthouse Base

How great is this? Donna, and Wally made this lighthouse base, too! Isn't it beautiful? This first picture shows a view as you look down into the top...the words Love, Hope, Charity, Family, Joy, Faith are written there.

The second picture shows it with our bugzapper as the topper. We could also use a birdhouse or a light fixture or basically whatever we wanted to for the top, but I think we're going to place this on our back patio with the zapper.
How great is this lighthouse, though? Thank you Donna and Wally - you know I love it and am so pleased to have it! You guys do great work!!

I've been to Funk City - not a bad place to spend a day or two...

My wicked case of the blahs is pretty much gone...thank goodness! I found that I've been fighting the blahs all wrong 'lo these many years. But now, I know better how to handle these little speed bumps in the road of life. Thanks to my blogging friend Kat, I have been enlightened. I will no longer struggle against the inevitable. When the blah's start knocking on my door, I'm packing my bags and heading to Funk City without an argument. It's just better that way. You see, normally, I try to not give in to the blahs. I tell myself it's wrong! don't do it! put up a fight! Yadda. Yadda. Yadda. No longer will I engage in this futile behavior. I've seen the error of my ways. When I first posted about the blahs coming on, I got this link from Kat. . I clicked on it because...well, because I was nearly comatose with the blahs and, while I held out no hope that this would help, I was still cognisant enough to know that it couldn't hurt to read a little advice. And boy, am I glad I did! It was liberating! I read it once and then read it again. Then...I gave in to the moment. I flounced my grumpy self on down to the store, bought some reading material as well as 3 six packs of Coca-Cola and a bag of Clementine tangerine's plus a pack of Snickers bars. I came home, put on my favorite gown, fluffed up my pillows on the bed, climbed in and prepared for my trip to Funk City. As I had been well on the road to that location, I arrived in basically no time at all. I read my magazines, I drank my cokes, I inhaled my Snickers bars, I munched on my tangerines...I even watched some TV and listened to an audio book (not at the same time...hello - I was looking to relax, not overload). Friday night was gloriously funky! I slept in on Saturday because I could. And then Randey called...he and Kaleb were on their way home. Now I had a decision to make. I could stay on my little vacation to Funk City and greet their return with a "glad you're home - how about grabbing some take-out for dinner?" OR I could get up, sprinkle a little cleaning liquid here and there (not enough to actually clean but enough for Randey to smell it and think I've been cleaning - this is not being deceptive! Well it is, but it's a long standing deception that Randey and I carry on with - we both know it's a lie that I've been "cleaning all day" but we both feel better if we pretend we believe it!). I thought this over for a bit and then realized, I wasn't actually feeling all that blah anymore. I didn't immediately jump up, of course. What if I was wrong? The blahs can do that to you, you know. They can fool you into thinking they're gone and then BAM! right upside your head - they'll take you out again when you least expect it. So I very prudently waited an hour or two. I still felt pretty good after that so I waited a little bit more, just to be sure. Come on! They were driving back from Florida...I had time to decide my path without being foolhardy. I got up, moved around a little. Made a latte'. Ate a Toaster Strudel. And some potato chips. And a little watermelon. Then made the decision. I was back. Funk City was but a memory (a pretty darn nice one to be sure). I got dressed, did my hair, threw on some make-up and was fresh as a daisy and twice as cheerful by the time they pulled up in the drive. Ta-da! All is well. My blahs are gone, my husband's home...and I still got take-out for dinner. Couldn't have worked out any better. Thanks guys, for some great comments, encouraging words (including yours Aunt Sandi - although why you wanted to end my personal little Pity Party is totally beyond me!ha) and sound advice. And while my trip turned out to be so wonderful that I'm almost looking forward to my next case of the's still good to be back.