Day 16 – Dreaming out loud

Last night as I stood in the shower with hot water and steam surrounding me, I looked out the window into the darkness.  Only a few lights from a neighboring house shown through the silhouette of trees.  The world outside still, and frozen.   I usually open the window when I shower.  I like how the fresh air mixes with the steam.  When it’s cold out, the steam turns into a mad fog; dense.
This post isn’t about the shower, or the steam… my ADD took control for a moment. Sorry. 😋
What was going through my mind as I stood in the shower looking out the window is what this post is supposed to be about.  I was thinking, “If I could live anywhere in the world without worry, where would it be?”
I think most people would pick somewhere tropical, especially if they’re like me and hate the cold.  Maybe others would pick a place that feeds their particular sense of adventure, (sports team, the great outdoors, etc.) It didn’t take me long to know the answer.  I would live right where I do now, central Kentucky.   It’s not bad here.  Lexington is the second largest city in Kentucky, the people are diverse, and the scenery changes like east to west as one travels from the little downtown that could with its two buildings to rolling hills and several-million dollar horse farms.  In other words, its a great place for great pictures.

Kentucky isn’t like any other state.  We have 4 distinct seasons, none of which is too extreme. We have so much to offer for entertainment, IF you like small town living entertainment; shine makin’, bourbon drinkin’, all night bowlin’, mud-runnin’, fishin’, hikin’, horse racin’, gun slingin’, deer killin’ entertainment. But if you prefer a more highfalutin kind of entertainment we also have Starbucks complete with FREE wifi. Don’t get no better than that, yall!!

Another fun thing about Kentucky, there’s no law that requires you to drive only cars on the road.  That’s right!  Here in Kentucky we can drive dune-buggies, tractors, dirt bikes, backhoes, horses AND lawn mowers on our main roads!!   I’ve seen it, sooo it must be ok. HHmmm…. I wonder if you have to obtain a certain type of license to drive a lawn mower on a main street? Something to Google!

(sigh) Who am I kidding?  I don’t like living this damn hucklebug state.  This is a state to visit- not live in.  It’s a kick back and relax kind of state and ain’t nobody got time for that!  I can relax when I’m dead!! If I had my druthers I’d live in a big city with buildings so tall you can’t tell the real temperature outside.  I’d like to live in a condo or loft where I could have a veggie garden on my balcony or rooftop and never have to hear a lawn mower or smell horse crap. I would love to walk everywhere I wanted to go, like to the aquarium, the park or the water front.  I’d love to live where there are specialty stores only, for example; the butcher. Just a butcher, not a butcher plus other shit. Knowutimean? I don’t want to buy a good cut of red meat and a box of tampons at the same time. That’s just too uncomfortable.  I like to cook so I will need a cheese shop, several types of ethnic markets for spices and oils, oh and a liquor store that carries good wine.  I want thrift stores, tattoo parlors, and back ally restaurants that serve food so good you forget what your mommas’ taste like!!  And let’s not forget that I need an opera or play house that I can dress up and go to on weekends. When I have had enough of big city living I can take vacation to my birthplace or move to Florida to die like all the other old people. Right?

Yeah so that’s me dreaming out loud. That’s all that is by the way, a dream.  The place I’d like to live is downtown Chicago, but it’s too far for me to stay as close as I need to be, so it can be the place I vacation to when I’ve had enough of this small town livin’.    Before I know it, like my 91 year old grandmother, I will be the oldest member of this hot mess and while I’m calling all of the shots from my recliner on Thanksgiving, Imma want to look at the faces around my table and see what I’ll be leaving behind.
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Bad pix of my and my Nana. It was her first “usie?” 😂

Day 13 – The Thermostat Light

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I’m a little OCD..and a little ADD.
Ok that’s a straight up lie.  I’m a whole lot of both and I’ll admit, I have a few quirks.  My biggest is any type of light on when I’m trying to sleep – it pisses me off.     I have black curtains in my room that match nothing simply because street lamps and passing headlights keep me awake.   It gets worse….
Inside the smoke detector is a little steady glowing red light that blinks green every 5 seconds. Know how I know that? Because I saw it once and I watched it, then I started counting the time between the blinks.  My husband was sweet. He took the smoke detector  apart and covered the teeny-tiny light with black tape so I couldn’t count it.
Did you just call me crazy? That’s not nice.  I’m not crazy – just easily distracted.  It’s not like I’m constantly washing my hands, opening and shutting the doors three times before I leave or avoiding stepping on cracks.  At least I’m not Bob.

Anyway, over the past few weeks the thermostat hasn’t clicked off much due to the North Pole living right outside my door and this is an issue for me. You’d think it would be the $300 electric bill that bothers me (that’s my husbands irritation) but it’s not, it’s the little red light across the hallway that is looking at me everytime I open my eyes!!!   Most people wouldn’t give it a second thought. I’d like to think that’s because most people don’t have 20/15 vision therefore they can’t even see the damn light… haha.  Yeah..who am I kidding? I’m Bob.
Oh well, at least the crazies I have can be fixed with black tape and alcohol. 😉

Baby steps.

-Willow

Day 12- Last Semester

Today was the first day of my last semester of college.  I have no reason to be in college. I don’t need the degree, I don’t have to work. However, I want the degree just so my kids can’t point fingers at me, “Well yoouuu didn’t graduate college…”
Uh  uh. Momma don’t play that game.  Those little brats aren’t about to blame me for how they messed up their life, the drag me on Dr. Phil. Nope. I refuse to be their bad example.

I have good kids (so far) Two of them are out of high school, married with babies (well, one baby is still cooking) and one is about finished with her college degree(s).   The other has his own business and is doing well.  We have one about to graduate HS and head to Florida for welding school, so that’s good!! Then there’s the three girl still in 7th and 10th grade.   I don’t if I’ll survive the rest of their MS/HS years so who knows if they will.  😂

The oldest is about to turn 16 and she plans to goto culinary school. The next is 13 and has no clue what she wants to do.. and the 12 year old plans to be a pediatric neurologist with three D’s on her report card (as of last Friday).
Hahahahahaha.  I told her at this rate she will be lucky if she can up-sell apple pie over the drive-thru speaker. 😂

Of course I was kidding and she knows that, so calm the hell down.  she was born with the sarcasm gene… she knows me.

I really don’t care what any of the kids do. If they want to up-sell apple pies at McD’s, they can… if they want to change oil at Valvoline, more power to them. Whatever makes them happy but they WILL do it with some kind of degree or certificate even if I have to walk them to class and sit beside them all day. There’s no options in today’s world.  I want them to move out and take care of themselves.  Maybe it’s selfish but once they are out I don’t want them to move back in. They need to sprout wings and fly…and they can’t do that if they have failed to get an education that will provide them a good career.
Knowutimean?  So ok.  I have to go now because I have things due by midnight TONIGHT!!  I’m pretty sure my professor is Satan.

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-Willow

Day 11 – Kill Whitey

I’m usually quite tame on here.  I don’t say what I’m thinking because I don’t want to ruffle any feathers but I am really confused. Really!  I’ve been thinking about something for years and I need help in understanding some things.  The older I get, the more confused I get about individual status.  I’m white. My family is mixed with Black, Mexican, and Asian. We have straight and gay people too.  I’m not a racist.  I’d beat my kids asses off if I heard or saw them discriminate against another, that being said,  I don’t know why I’m not allowed to have ‘white pride.”   I don’t know why I am not allowed to feel good about my race or my Christian religion. I don’t know why I can’t have my own white holiday in which I can take off from work/school. Not that I want to because it would be AWFUL, but if I wanted to, I don’t know why I can’t go to a white festival that shuts down Main street all day, with other white people to eat white people food and listen to white people music while I wear my white people attire.   I am in no way trying to take away from Cinco de Mayo or Black Pride day or Gay Pride day, or any other Pride day-  I’m simply stating a fact.  I don’t know why every other race, culture and religion can celebrate who they are without facing backlash.

I get it. White people decades ago enslaved Africans.  I get that white people centuries ago took land away from the Natives… I know some white people were whacko but I didn’t do this; not my grandparents, or my parents, not my generation, not my kids and not their kids- yet we are to made to feel like we have done something wrong.  Why?

And please explain to me when black people become ‘African Americans’?   I mean, I don’t care, it’s not my box to check, but the title doesn’t make sense to me.  Correct me if I am wrong, unless you’re born in Africa and/or unless you’re an actual citizen of Africa, you aren’t African, therefore you cannot be African-American simply because you’re black.  If you are born here, you’re an American.  You might be black or white or Chinese or Indian or whatever— regardless, you’re just American.  I don’t know why people need to stand out and make everything so difficult.  I don’t know why black people are still crying about how white people enslaved them.  I don’t get it- I never will when this isn’t NOW!!!   I know it was bad BACK THEN but come on now, get off of it already.  It’s 2015!!!

Why can’t we all just be who we are and be allowed to be proud of that? Why can’t we celebrate who we without worrying if it’s the ‘right’ thing or not? I’d like to be able to be who I am without getting shot over it. I’m profiled for having a lack of pigment.

I’m white. You’re black. You over there might be Hispanic or Asian- maybe you’re straight, maybe you’re gay…. who the hell cares????  I don’t, so why do you?  Why do you have to make me the bad guy when you don’t even know me?  Just like you aren’t your entire race, neither am I.

We are all just people, and it’s not right that the world wants to Kill Whitey.

Day 9 – 14 months

Today marks 14 months that my daughter has been seizure free. This is a big deal as every month that she doesn’t have a seizure brings us closer to the 2 year mark.  Once Danielle gets to the 2 year mark, she can go off of her anti-seizure medication. (If she wants to)

On Christmas Eve 2012 I got a call at 2:30 am that my 10 year old fell out of bed and had a seizure.  Wth?
There’s nothing like being awakened from a dead sleep and hearing something like that. Adrenaline flooded my body as I got dressed and flew out the door.  My husband drove as I sat impatiently, praying to God that Danielle was ok. 
When I got to her friends house she was already on a gurney being wheeled to the ambulance.  She was crying and confused but she knew who I was.  Once inside the ambulance the medic asked a bunch of questions ..like, “Has she had seizures before?”   She hadn’t.  She has been perfectly healthy. Good kid with straight A’s and no mental issues. 
Danielle was confused and crying for most of the ride to the children’s hospital in the next town over.  No way in hell was I letting them take her to the bugtussle hospital in our rinky-dink town. 
By the time we reached Children’s, Danielle had come to herself and was asking why was she in an ambulance and whatnot. (Later she explained it felt like a dream) Inside the ER the same questions were being asked by everyone and their momma. I was getting irritated with all of the repeating of myself. I’m was like, “Dayum, isn’t that shit already in the notes?”
I understood having to repeat to certain people but not to every freaking person that wore scrubs and entered the room.   Who wants to deal with all that crap when their kid was just foaming out the mouth and turning blue?   The last straw was when child protective services asked me and my husband to leave the room so they could talk to my 10 year old alone.  Heartbroken and beyond disgusted I left knowing the questions they would ask her.  They wanted to know if she had done drugs and/or if she had been sexually, physically, or mentally abused. Although it was a routine procedure, I wanted to donkey kick that CPS lady in the trachea.  I felt as though I was being accused of a crime when I know I’ve never even spanked my child once nor had I ever taken any kind of drug around her.  I have a weird phobia of drugs due to an overdose that my own mother had when I was a child.  There’s no way I’d ever hurt my child or any child for that matter. And oh my god I felt bad for Danielle.  This kid was sheltered from racy tv, racy music, bad language and anything else that might strip her of her innocence too soon.  She was my baby, the youngest of three and my last. I just wanted her to be a little girl for as long as she could and now some bitch from CPS was asking questions like, “Has anyone ever touched you between the legs?”
The hell? 
I kept thinking, “She had a seizure you cow, how about running a flipping CT SCAN on her brain?”

About 4 hours later Danielle was admitted into Children’s. Later Christmas morning she had several tests done, all of which came back normal.  I wasn’t ok with this answer.  Normal people don’t have seizures out of the blue like that.  The doctor didn’t speak English well and he had the bedside manner of a stick. I kept trying to ask questions and understand the reasons why Danielle had a full-on grand mal seizure but he made me feel like I was an idiot and like I was bothering him.   Dr. Stick wanted to put Danielle on a medication with a side effect of a flesh eating rash.. um no… why would I want my kid on that when you just said she was perfectly normal????  Oh and the best thing ever, Danielle’s follow-up appointment was set for months away because Dr. Stick was busy.  Um. No. No. No!!

Once home I was a nervous wreck. I had spent way too much time on Google reading up on grand mal seizures and SUDEP. I was scared to death that Danielle would seize again and stop breathing that I couldn’t sleep. Every two hours my husband or I would go upstairs to check on her and every little sound I heard inbetween, I flew like Superman up to her. Fear consumed every atom of my being.

A friend of mine is a surgeon up in Cincinnati and lucky for me, he had a friend who’s a pediatric neurologist at Children’s Cinci. Guess who got an email address and an appointment that same week? That’s right, momma don’t play when it comes to her babies. 🙄

Dr. Wesslekamper was (is) amazing.  He took time and explained that sometimes shit just happens – no reason required.  He said that many things can cause a single seizure; stress, hormones, sleep deprivation, illness or disease. Since Danielle had perfect test results we would go with sleep deprivation due to the craziness of winter break and the excitement of Christmas.  No medications were needed just follow a few rules and see what happens.

Rule 1: Get good rest.
Rule 2: no electronics 30 mins before bed.
Rule 3: read a book before bed to transition the brain from stimulating lights to sleep mode
Rule 4: don’t be alone while walking home or swimming
Rule 5: no locked doors
Rule 6: no baths unless the door is cracked open
Rule 7: no climbing trees
See you in 6 months, oh and by the way, a single seizure doesn’t make anyone epileptic. He said if we get to 1 year without another seizure we were almost guaranteed never to deal with another one.

Fast forward 11 months later.
I wake Danielle up from falling asleep on the sofa while watching, “Polar Express.”  Danielle is sent upstairs with her sisters to brush their teeth and get ready for bed. A few minutes later I hear some ruckus going on upstairs and I head up assuming I was going to settle a fight between the girls.
Joy tells me that Danielle fell, got up and then threw her toothbrush. Danielle said she didn’t and that she was just tired and she was fine.  Danielle comes out of the bathroom and her arms fly away from her body and she falls face first into a basket of shoes.  She immediately pops up and cries that she hurt her belly.  I knew what was happening and I knew I needed to get her downstairs.
Danielle went limp on me a few more times before reached the carpet downstairs.  I had her lie down and I told her that I thought she was going to have another seizure. She cried out, “I don’t want to have another seizure!” Following her last word, out she went.

Those were the longest 3 or 4 minutes of my life. My husband called 911 while I talked to as her body contorted and stiffened.  When she turned blue and foamed from the mouth I cried out to God, “Please God, I can’t do this again…”  I administered the emergency meds and finally she stopped seizing.
Another trip to children’s, more normal test, and another trip to Cinci after.

Two unprovoked grand mal seizure gave my “perfectly normal” child a new title; Epileptic.  With the title came her Keppra and with all this came a crap-ton of anxiety.  The initial goal of reaching 1 year seizure free was extended to 2.  Shit.
We have done everything we can do to ease mine and Danielle’s anxiety starting with the purchase of a $700 bed monitor.  Danielle freaks out when her body jerks as she falls asleep. That’s because her second seizure started like that.  She said she was fine when I asked because she felt like she was just tired. She thought the seizure jerks were sleepy jerks. 😥
The bed monitor has been a blessing but it sucks real bad when the cat gets in the bed and starts kneading the blankets.  Hahaha. The monitor thinks Danielle is seizing, goes off and I fly! That kind of adrenaline will NOT allow me to go back to sleep.

Danielle was recently put on a small dose of Lexapro once a day for her anxiety and panic attacks. It’s been three months and she’s doing great!
The only issue we have now is keppra-brain. Hahaha Her anti-seizure medication causes her to forget things and sometimes it gets frustrating to have to keep reminding her to do something..like fold her clothes or take her meds. (We bought a pill box for that)
So yeah, 14 months seizure free today. It’s a big deal.  Only 304 days to go!!!

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-Willow

Day 8 – Plasma

Before Scott and I were married, we were what you call, broke as heeeell (in my best Madea voice)  Scott has an excellent job with the state and being at the top of his grade, he is paid very well however, when you divorce a woman as complicated as advanced college calculus, a good attorney cost a lot!  Then there’s the other court costs and fees where he fought for custody and child support. Yeah.. so as I was saying… we were buuuuuuuuusted!!
One day I brought up how some people in my family use to donate plasma when I was a kid so they could buy cigarettes and gas.  
Scott and I found a plasma center in the next town over and decided to give it a go.  It wasn’t as bad as I expected when I walked in.  It was clean and professional looking. The center did have a lot of freaky looking people in the waiting area which made having to fill out a crap-ton of paperwork and waiting three hours go by faster. Got plenty of good laughs.
The screening process for plasma donation is crazy.  As I said, there was a phonebook thick packet of paperwork to fill out, then a small physical and then discussions about every tattoo and body piercing I had as the man scribbled their placements on a poorly drawn outline of a person on a sheet of paper.  When all was said and done, my outline looked like a forensic report from a crime scene.  Really? My tattoos came across as wounds from a prison shanking?
Good grief.

My husband was called back first but came back out before I even had a chance to be called. He apparently had a fever that he didn’t know about. He wasn’t sick, didn’t feel bad..he was fine but ok-
Then I was called back.  Nerves fluttered inside my belly as I made my way through to the donation chair.  As I sat down I took a look around at the other broke as hells. Everyone was either reading or listening to their ipods. They seemed ok as they danced their feet back and forth.    My nurse guy came over and began to explain the process as he wiped my skin with an alcohol swab.  A small poke and some tape and all was good. 

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I sat there content looking around then glanced at my arm. The catheter in my vein was hooked up to tubing that was hooked up to two spinning cylinders that sucked blood from my body like some kind of mechanical vampire.  It was pretty cool to watch the machine pause then separate my whole blood into blood and plasma.  I was doing ok until the machine started sucking again. I saw my blood slowly fill the tube and I got all cold and clammy. As the sweat bead up on my face I became dizzy –  my nurse guy came over and asked if I was ok and I said, “Nope. I don’t feel well.”  The next thing I know, he is unhooking me from the tubes and another nurse lady start putting ice on my head, neck and lower back.  Then they’re both telling me to move my feet.  Move my feet?  Why the hell do I want to move my feet?  I don’t want to move my feet I want to not throw up… like, can you get me a twinkie or some juice, damn?!?!
I felt better after the nurse guy hooked my other arm up so the bionic vampire could regurgitate my fluids back into my body.  When I wobbled out into the waiting room where my husband sat he said I looked as white as a ghost. I told him I think I fainted hahahaha Scott said he knew something was going on when everyone in the back started buzzing like angry bees.
Hahahha oh well. Shit happens and guess what? They still gave me my money… that’s right, momma got paid.

Day 7 – My Blog

It took forever for me to figure out why my dates were wrong on my posts. I knew I was posting day 1 on the first day of January and Day 2 on the second..so on and so forth but my posts continued to have a date stamp of a day ahead.  I knew there had to be some sort of time zone thing I needed to adjust but where on earth was it?

I’m not new to blogging but I am new to WordPress and trying to get the settings right has been difficult.  I came from Blogger, it was really simple, probably because the choices were few. WordPress however has so many options and many are in a language as foreign to me as Chinese.  I’ll get there- eventually.

I did learn that trying to customize a WordPress blog on a Galaxy is damn near impossible. After awhile I gave up and logged in from the trusty – dusty laptop. MUCH easier.  I took a little time and clicked about, reading and checking or unchecking boxes.  Only the Lord knows if I’m doing it right..
I did manage to set a profile picture, find my time zone and add a header photo to my blog. Oh and I made some color changes, that’s a start!
My header photo is of a small pond with all these weird blackish ducks and in the middle is a single white duck.  I took the picture at a park a couple of years ago.  The white duck stood out because it wasn’t like the others.  That white duck reminded me of me. As you visit me here you will see what I mean.

Visit. There’s another bit of WordPress confusion.  I’ve noticed that on my stats page I have visitors and I have viewers. What’s the difference?  If someone visits your blog aren’t they viewing it too??  I haven’t learned how to do it differently if there’s a difference.  When I open my app, I go through the blogs I follow feed and I read, like and comment without a clue as to what kind of stats you’re getting from it. Am I visiting or am I viewing?
There’s plenty of time to figure it all out over the next year as I face my challenge of writing a blog everyday per my New Year’s resolution.
However, I am open to any suggestions, tips or tricks you can share to help me do this thing better.

Before I go, I have to say I am super excited that I have 41 followers.  Wow. 41 people have liked something about one of my posts enough to wanna hear more.  That’s so cool!  Thank you!!

Now Imma go and try to find some sleep. Yall stay warm, cause it’s cold as hell here!
Wait. That’s stupid. Hell isn’t cold, it’s hot, but I can’t say it’s hot as hell here because it’s 5°f with a -11°f windchill.
I’m so confused right now.

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P.S.

Cooper Jones should have been named the Frito Bandito.  Even after a bath with all the trimmings, his little feet still smell like corn chips.  Doxies like to tunnel and they like to tunnel under your blankets; Everytime I rolled over, I got a hankering for some chili n’ cheese. 😨

Day 5 – Wooley Worms

No matter where you live in the US, you’re feeling the cold tonight.  In my state we’re dropping down to 16°F.  Tomorrow night, 2°F. 
Have I mentioned that I hate winter? I don’t like to be cold. I don’t like chapped hands and lips, itchy dry skin or having skin the color of milk.
Our house is old, probably about 50 and although it has been completely flipped, the new windows don’t hold up well in air as cold as tonight’s.  Because our electric bill was $300 last month I decided to shrink-wrap all of the windows with plastic and a blow dryer.  That was a job lemme tell you!!!  We also bought draft protection for the doors and heat deflectors for the floor vents.  It’s still freaking cold in this house!  Maybe it’s because we have all hardwood flooring.  Maybe it’s because we have electric instead of gas heat. Maybe it’s both. Whatever it is, it sucks ass.

I know kids in the northern states walk to school in temperatures way colder than this, hell, I stood on the bus stop in colder temperatures than this but my kids aren’t built for it.  I’m hoping that they will get at least a 2-hour delay in the morning. That way they can stand at the stop when it’s warmer out, like a whopping 22°F!!   Perhaps I’m just being a pansy mom, but I really do not like my kids out in the cold… not even the grown ones who have to goto work.

Have you ever heard of a wooley worm?  Wooley worms are fuzzy black and brown caterpillars that have 13 segments.  Around here those segments represent the 13 weeks of winter.  Black parts are bad, brown, opposite.     We found a wooley worm in mid-fall.  I thought it would be a good idea to bring it in and let Rae, my 16 month old granddaughter see it.  She was cute playing with it and laughing as it crawled on her little hand.  Then it happened 😨  Rae pulled the wooley worm into two pieces and now I’m pretty sure thats why it’s freezing outside.  I let my grandbaby freeze the US.  I suck.

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