Friday, April 28, 2006

I Believe...

... that I'm tired of being the good daughter/granddaughter/niece, etc. I was talking to Kathy about Nanny's condition and having to explain to my aunt over and over why the medical professionals wanted us to do (Dr. Flanz never asked, he just said do it). Of course, the medical care has changed over the years, especially with informed decisions and the patients bill of rights.

Anyway, Kathy said I was definitely earning another star in my crown - what she says to me all the time because she knows that as the only one still living close to home, I get asked to do a lot. I told her the thing was getting too heavy and I don't wear it anymore. The answer to that - MOVE!!!!

Sometimes, I really want to!

Have to go - time to go back to the hospital and be the good granddaughter and niece.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Enough Already!

I got the phone call on the way home. Nanny was in the ER with pneumonia and would I go by there and check on things - my mom called me, but said my aunt (dad's sister) asked for me. Since I live 5 minutes from the hospital, what could I say.

Anyway, when I got there, her color was bad and her O2 levels were all over the place. The doctors said there was definitely pnuemonia in the left lung and it sounded like it was in the right - by the time the 3rd doctor showed up, they were saying it was definitely pneumonia in both lungs.

And her kidneys are not putting out right now - whether it's because she had gotten so severely dehydrated, or they have shut down - we don't know yet.

So, now I have something else to worry about -

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

What Do I Want To Do When I Grow Up?

It's interesting that this was posed as a subject for a blog yesterday because a fellow co-worker and I were having the discussion about what to do for retirement. We both decided that we are tired of the responsiblilty and the drudgery of getting up and going to work. And neither of us are in a position to retire - I'm not old enough and although he's just barely old enough (early retirement in our company can start at age 50 - at least through this year - if you have the "points"), he has one son in college and the other is in Jr. High.

So what do I want to do with retirement? Until our company was sold last year, I thought I would retire from it when I hit 55 because of a grandfather clause regarding retirement benefits that would expire in 2012 - the year I turn 55. Now that we have been sold, I don't know. The grandfather clause still plays for the retirement benefits I had accrued through the sale date, but not for current/future benefits.

And my Mom is still working part-time at age 73. So do I really want to quit working at 55? I don't think so. But I could take retirement with this company and find something else to do. The question is what? And that is the answer I don't have at this time. I think I would like to move closer to my sister and my niece, but what if my Mom is still around. Would I be able to leave her - and what if Kathy and Audrey don't live near one another then? What would I do with myself? I don't think I would be financially set for full retirement, but could I live off of a lesser paying job or part-time work? I know some people that have gone into consulting, but some of them work longer hours than I do now. Would that be rewarding enough to offset the aggravation?

I think I will pull a Scarlett and think about it another day.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Give Me Restraint!

Oscar has been missing Buddy as much as the rest of us. He quit eating for a couple of days and has been moping around the house - finally starting to come out of it a little this week, but then we've had to leave him alone a lot this weekend. So while I was at the International Festival, I went by the Dalmation Rescue League's booth. They had the cutest 3-month old female Rottweiler. She is amazingly well-behaved for a puppy - already knows sit and sorta knows come - probably as well as Oscar knows come.

She would definitely give Oscar a run for his money. She will grow into a big dog. She would give Oscar someone to play with and tussle with. She's still a puppy. She's so cute. She will grow into a big dog!

OK, can you see that I'm trying to show some restraint here?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Projects! Projects! Projects!

I basically finished my Mommy album project - at least the first pass. I gave it to Audrey this weekend. I don't think she really appreciated it, but I think she will in the future. We decided that Kathy would keep it at her house. The things that were important to Mary are slowly finding their way to Kathy's house.

I have several other scrapbooking projects to finish - I'm working on the Man in My Life challenge and need to work on pages for that. I need to finish the Kathy Mini-Album and start mine and Mom's. And I need to make a special page for Buddy - I want to use the Rainbow Bridge.

Then at work - tomorrow's the day for my big project. We go for final approval. Today was not a good day. I warned everyone was in a bad mood - that I had had 2 really bad days and not slept well, and it showed later. We started getting questions from one of our stakeholders and the answers that the programmers gave was not what we had previously agreed on - only thing is I was the one replying to the note, so it looked like it came from me - even though I didn't agree with the answer. We later had to requalify our answer and had to argue with the programmers as to what was in and out of the scope. All of this was taking away from finalizing our presentation (which was supposed to be finalized last Thursday, but we can never leave well enough alone - people think that it's fine to make changes at the last moment and that everything will just fall in place - oh yeah, all the copies had already been made, collated and bound).

Good luck to me tomorrow!!! And I pray that I don't kill someone in the meantime.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Very Sad Day!

We put Buddy to sleep today. It's amazing how much a hole a dog's absence can leave in your heart.

Friday, when I left to go to Atlanta, Buddy was doing OK, but was starting to pant signifcantly. By the time Mark got home Friday, he was starting to drag his left rear leg and the left side of his face was drooping a little. When I got home last night, he was having trouble getting up and down because of his hip/leg, and the panting was more pronounced. His abdomen was swollen as well.

I made the decision last night that it was probably time even though he seemed to be still eating and was happy to see me. It was just so hard watching him try to move. Then last night, he stayed in my room most of the night and was not sleeping much. He seemed to be watching me. I kept listening to him pant and then stop - I would check to see if he was still breathing - he would be laying there watching me.

So I got up this morning and Buddy was in the hall but didn't want to get up. He was watching but didn't want to move. And the way he was holding his leg, I knew it was hurting.

I couldn't stay with him - I needed to leave him. But Mark went with me to take him to the vet, and had to lift him into the truck - last week he was able to jump up on his own. Yes, I knew that I was making the right decision, but it didn't make it any easier. And I hated leaving him! But I had to take my mom to the doctor and I don't think I could have stayed anyway. That part really makes me feel guilty, but I've had so many losses in the last few years, I couldn't be there for my puppy! I couldn't handle it! I hate that part!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Mary's Almost Wedding

Dear Audrey,

Working on the Mommy album, I tried to capture the trip to Hawaii, but couldn't do it all justice in two pages.

Mommy had been engaged to Marvin Yoder. Grandpa Harold always said that he would pay for our wedding, or he would pay us $2000 cash to elope - he would still come out ahead if we eloped. Well, Mommy and Marvin decided to take the money and get married in Hawaii. Thing is, they invited the family and some friends.

Continental Airlines had just started service from Houston to Honolulu and had great air/hotel packages. So, Grandy and Grandpa Harold decided that they would go. Grandy didn't want to miss her baby's wedding. Maggie decided she would go and take Nanny. Aunt Pat and Uncle Raymond loved going to Hawaii and didn't want to pass up the opportunity to go. And Mommy's friend from college, Allison (the same Allison that you were named for when you were named Audrey Alison) and Gareth decided to join the party. Kathy didn't plan on going because she was moving to Norway the next month and didn't think she could afford it with the move.

About 3 weeks before the wedding, there was a bridal shower for Mommy at one of her friend's house. I think it was on a Sunday afternoon. Kathy and Maggie were invited and we went with the plan that the 3 of us would go out to eat after since it would be one of the last times all of us would be together before the wedding.

Mommy opened all of her presents at the shower, and we were enjoying all the food and talking when Mommy made the announcement that while she enjoyed all the lovely gifts, she couldn't accept them because she had decided to call off the wedding. She had good reasons for doing so. Anyway, most everyone went ahead and gave her the gifts.

Kathy, Mommy and I went to Barry's Pizza afterwards for our dinner. It was early when we got there and the waiter came up to us and said that we seemed really happy and that we must be celebrating. Kathy sings out, "She called off the wedding, she called off the wedding!" Kathy was really happy because she didn't like Marvin. (There was another funny thing - don't remember what led up to the comment, but we were teasing back and forth with the waiter - he was cute - and Mommy said something about she knew about something he was doing or talking about because she was "in the business". Mommy waited tables to put herself through school while working on her Masters.

So everyone had already paid for our trips to Hawaii, so we decided to go ahead with the trips. Since Marvin, wasn't using his ticket, Kathy decided to go in his place. So the running joke was that Kathy was the groom. Everywhere we went, Kathy had to carry Mommy over the threshold. We got lots of pictures with Kathy picking Mommy up.


Sunday, April 09, 2006


Buddy has been listless and not eating much lately. Mark's been working a lot of hours during the week and both dogs don't normally eat as much when no one's home for some reason. But this kept on going on. And last night I noticed that his neck was swollen. I took him to the vet today and it seems that it's his lymph nodes in his neck that are swollen. And the vet found a swollen lymph node in a hind leg. So, she wants to do some blood work and cytology. But it looks like it may be some sort of lymphoma.

Why???? I hate that Buddy is suffering, but why does it have to probably be cancer? With everything my family has been through and is going through - why does it have to be cancer? I'm really trying not to borrow trouble and not think the worst - but it's really hard.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Seeing Deb!

I did have some fun today (shopping is not fun!) - I got to have lunch with Deb. She was down from Dallas for an exercise workshop. We had a really nice lunch and a long visit. Deb has been with me through all this stuff with Mary and more importantly, she's a survivor - she had LCIS. it was really great seeing her today!!


I went by to see Mom this afternoon after going shopping this morning for clothes for Audrey ("while your'e out, get something from me as well"). She liked what I brought at least. But the conversation talked to clothes in general and what people were to the office. And we started talking about Kathy. Well, somehow it came out to how good Kathy is, how hard Kathy works, how successful Kathy is, yada yada yada. I say that I need to go home to check on the dogs - "will you go get me something to eat?"

I listen to how perfect my sister is and then ask me to do a favor? Mom, do you realize how much you do that to me?

Vent over!!!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Fabulous Friday

Fabulous Friday Finally!!!

Fun for me!

foto fixing to do!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Why I Scrapbook

I started scrapping to make a birthday present for Mark's grandmother. The book is done - he hasn't given it to her yet. ptthhh on him.

I've continued and really tried to improve my scrapping skills for Audrey. I'm putting together the Mommy Album so that we can tell Audrey about her Mommy. Mommy wanted Audrey to know certain things about her, and I thought about writing letters - which I do occasionally, and my mom came up with the idea of a book. So, I try to include a page of journaling with most of my Mommy pages so that Audrey has the story behind the pictures.

In addition, now I've started branching out - again, Audrey will eventually be the beneficiary, but I'm trying to chronicle the rest of the family.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006



My life seems to be in a constant state of change. My company has changed twice in the last 2 years, 3 times in the last 6. I haven't changed companies, my company has changed. I have had 3 bosses in the last 3 years. I've had 3 offices in the last 4 years. I'm not even sure what my job description is anymore.

I've lost 2 members of my immediate family in the last 3 years. We have had major changes in the family dynamics as a result. I lost my best friend in the process, but my other sister and I have become closer. The biggest change since Mary's death is Kristine and David getting together and now getting married and how that has impacted the family.

There are definitely days that I just want to yell "Stop! I want to get off the merry-go-round for a while!!!" They say change is good for the soul, but my soul has had too much of a good thing lately.

The Mommy Album

I've been really working hard the last week or so on the Mommy album for Audrey. And now I have good reason to. Mom and I are going to Atlanta to see Audrey for Easter.

The Mommy album has been a work of love but man, I hate why I'm the one that has to do it. But how is else is Audrey going to get the stories that her Mommy should have been the one to tell - what it was like for Mommy growing up. Kathy tells her stories, but I'm the one digging out the pictures and putting the words to those pictures. David has his new life.

Since I'm so much older than Mary, I was already gone to college and work during all of her teenage years. So, I was on the periphery of her life during that time. This makes it even more difficult. Fortunately, I've been able to get in touch with a couple of Mary's high school friends who have also shared their memories. I'm saving those for Audrey as well.

So yes, the Mommy album is a work of love, but I really do hate why I'm having to do it. But hopefully, it will help Audrey remember her Mommy and it will help her to know her Mommy just a little better.

Monday, April 03, 2006

My Birthday This Year!

This year was the year of the non-present, except for those I got myself. I bought a 200-500mm telephoto lens for my camera, 4 tickets to the Rodeo to see Alan Jackson (and only used 2), and a flight to Washington, D.C. to see friends on the following weekend.

Mom told me to order that "slide thingy" - scanner with the capability to scan slides and use her cc number, only she hasn't given it to me. Mark and Kathy are still waiting for me to tell them what I want. In Kathy's words, something that I've always wanted. Hah!!! Don't they know I can't think under pressure?

Anyway, I thought we were going to miss the rodeo because Mark was working out of town and didn't get home on time. We missed the first little while of the rodeo, but saw most of the bronc riding, the calf roping, steer wrestling and the bull riding - oh, and don't forget the calf scramble - those poor kids! And Alan Jackson put on a great concert. I wasn't sure how Mark would like it since he's not a country fan, but he told me I picked a great concert to attend (of course it's the one that was actually on my birthday)!!!