Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What's up

I've been very busy lately.  

My co-workers and I formed a team and participated in the CHOC walk on Sunday. 

If you aren't familiar, it's a 5k that takes place inside disneyland and CA adventure, with the proceeds benefitting Children's Hospital of Orange County.  
As a team we raised $550.  I'm so happy we were able to donate to such a great cause and the walk itself is SO FUN.  

The only downside is that it is held before the park opens, so we had to be there at five am.  Disneyland is an hour from my house.  That put me up at three-thirty am.  Yawn.  
It was worth it though.  We really had a great time.  And to see all of the teams people put together for kids(both living and deceased) is inspiring. I definitely  needed those tissues I brought with me!

They have characters all thought the park that you can take photos with.  So fun.  

Our team name was "The Derminators".  Joe came up with that one.  I don't know what's up with my fake smile in this picture.  I think it took the guy forever to take the picture and by the time he took it that's all I had.   




One cool thing is that participants can buy park hopper tickets for $78 each. They expire in one month.  Lisa decided to take advantage of that deal and I bought some tickets for her and the kids and they flew in tonight to spend a couple of days at the parks.  Joe and I will  join them on friday(I took the day off), which is also his birthday.  He's thrilled to be spending his birthday at disneyland, and especially thrilled that my sees-ter got us all matching Mickey shirts to wear too.  Thrilled I tell you ;)

He's happy just to spend his birthday with family though, and is being a good sport about it, as usual.  

In less happy news, 

I'm having to go to physical therapy three nights a week.  It sucks the life out of me.  Not just because a lot of times it hurts, but because it adds another hour and 20 minutes on to my already long day.  I leave the house at 6:45 to go to work and some nights I don't get home until seven thirty.  

Exhausted doesn't even begin to cover it.  

Joe and I are working opposite shifts right now.  I'm not seeing him much.  It's a bummer. But it's ok.  
Just different.  

I do find that with him being gone in the evenings I'm going to bed earlier, which is a good thing.  My body needs the extra rest.  

There are a lot of changes going on at my job.  People I love are leaving.  People who are like family to me.  I cry just thinking about it.  The first was one of our beloved doctors, whose last day was today.   I cried in the bathroom at least three times.  

Two more people I've been working with for years will have their last days next week.  

Then my boss is leaving. I love her so much.  I'll be a mess that day.  For quite a long time after that actually.  


I don't do change well.  Or goodbyes.  

As for what my future holds there, I honestly don't know.  I have no plans to change jobs at the moment.  They pay me well, provide medical insurance and paid time off.  Not an easy thing to find in a job these days.  

But I will miss my family.  It won't be the same without them.  

I've been feeling very off this week and attributed it to all of the changes at work, until I looked at the calendar and realized today was the anniversary of my mom's death.  It's funny how your subconscious works.   I always feel more emotional this time of year.   It's to be expected I guess.  

Well off to bed I go.  One more day to get through and then a three day weekend for me.  Much needed.  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Whine

Car accidents suck. 

Like they really, really suck.  

I never imagined how this was going to affect my life.  

Every aspect of my life.  

It's affecting my job because I have to leave early three times a week to go to physical therapy.  
THREE times a week.  More than half my (work) week.  And I have to go for three months!

That puts me home at seven or seven thirty, depending on whether I have to go to the store or run an errand.  

I'm so tired.  


I'm tired of being in pain.  This will probably sound stupid but I didn't know I would still be in so much pain.  My back and neck hurt all of the time.  I thought I would be over that at four weeks post accident.  Physical therapy has been working but I've only been four times and it's slow going.  

I did have a massage last night and it was lovely.  I did feel better after that.  

It's affecting my weekends because I can't DO anything and I end up laying around.  I'm so sad to be missing the dragon boat practices.   It wouldn't have worked out anyway, with joe working Saturday nights, because he would be sleeping on Sunday but I could have gone alone.  I miss it. 

I can't ride.   I miss that.   I haven't even been to see the horses in forever.  

Joe and I are working opposite shifts right now.  He's working 9:30 pm(right when I'm getting ready for bed) to 5:30 am, which puts him home around 6:00 and I'm getting ready to go to work.  

Thankfully we still get to have dinner together.  Otherwise we wouldn't see each other at all. Other than that,  from the sharing a rental car standpoint it's the perfect schedule.  

Still having to use a rental because my only working car broke down two weeks after my "new" car was in an accident.  When it rains it pours.  

My car is still not fixed.  It's beyond ridiculous.   I had to pay for the first week of the rental car myself and now the ins company doesn't want to pay for more than a few days of the new one because my car should have been fixed by now.  

Ummm......Ya think?! In order for that to happen everyone would have to get their heads out of their you know what's.  The attorney.  The ins co.  The repair shop.  None of this has gone as it should have, from the very beginning.  

I really can't take much more of this.  

Now I'm coming down with a cold and I feel crummy, which is probably what prompted this whiny post in the first place.   

I'm going to bed with a cup of tea and copious amounts of Vicks.  

I'll feel better in the morning.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Instant change

Photos of the actual route I drive  to/from work every day.  


You know that saying "your life can change in an instant"?


I've always heard it said but I never thought much about it.  

Then on a Tuesday morning about three weeks ago I was on my way to work.  I was cruising down the mountain with Kenny Chesney playing on the radio.  I may or may not have been singing.  Loudly. 

A pretty typical morning for me.  

I had just gotten to the bottom, past the "dangerous" part of the drive.  A nice flat straightaway.  I had come to one of the only two stop lights on my route.  

So there I am sitting a a stoplight, on my way to work, listening to the radio when I look in my rear view mirror and see someone coming up behind me.  Fast. 

Next thing I know 

BAM.  

I remember that was the last thought that went through my mind before  impact. 

 "Gosh he's going fast". 

Then BAM.  

Then nothing but pain. 

As far as I could tell, he never even braked.  

I sat stunned in my car for a few minutes. At least that's what I'm told.  That I sat in my car sobbing for about five minutes before pulling over to the side and getting out.  The driver of the car that hit me said he had to knock on my window several times before I responded to him.  

I remember I was covered in liquid. I didn't know what it was.  At first I thought I was bleeding.  Then I thought it had come from the air bag.  Except the air bag didn't go off.  Turns out it was a cup of coffee I had in the cup holder.  It literally exploded.  It was all over me, the windshield, the roof of the car.   Everywhere.  

The rest is a complete blur.  Waiting for the police. Giving them all of my information. Two hysterical phone calls, one to my boss and the other to my sister.    Calling a tow truck.   Waiting for joe to come get me to take me to the hospital.  

The hospital is a blur too.  Waiting(and waiting and waiting) for the doctor.  X-rays.  They asked me if I would like my pain meds before having the X-rays taken. The X-ray technician was already there to get me, and the doctor still hadn't approved the pain meds and I didn't want to make him wait so I went ahead and got the X-rays before the pain meds.  

Here's a little tip.  ALWAYS get the pain meds before you have any tests done.  

After the pain meds nothing but a haze of people coming and going asking lots of questions. 

Joe driving me home and going right to bed and staying there for three days, drowsy from pain meds that made me so sick I opted for the pain over taking them. 

 All a blur.  

Did I mention the pain? X-rays showed nothing broken, just severe  whiplash.  

Just?  Did he say *just* severe whiplash?

There's nothing "just" about the pain I was in. Nor about the pain I've been in ever since.  

I'm in pain when I wake up.  I'm in pain when I'm at work.  Some nights I'm in pain while I sleep.  

Thankfully I sit all day at work and they gave me a headset to wear while I'm on the phone.  

I never anticipated how much this would impact my life.  It has consumed the last three weeks of my life. 
 
Lost wages.  

Doctor's appts.  

Pain.  

Constant throbbing pain.

Emotional distress, as I lay awake at night wondering how I'm going to pay for all of the extra expenses that have come up because of this accident.   

My worst nightmare had come true.  Being the  only wage earner in my home, and unable to work.  

I blew through all of my PTO and couldn't afford to take time unpaid.  So I went back to work.  And it was hard. It has been hard.  

More stress as my old car, and currently my only working car broke down on Thursday, leaving us with no car at all.   

An even worse nightmare.  Having no way to get to work.  

I wake every morning praying for the strength to get through the day, the week, until the weekend when I can lay in bed all day on muscle relaxants and heating pads.  Because that's all I have done for the last three weekends.  

Sleeping.  Laying in bed. Muscle relaxants.  Heating pads.  Tylenol, which helps only minimally, since I can't take anything else due to the kidney disease.  

I've had to pull out of the dragon boat practices and race in October.  I'm so sad.  

I can't ride. Hike.  I can't do much of anything physical at all.  

I've moved from being sad to just plain pissed off.  

My life turned upside down because some kid wasn't  paying attention.  He says he wasn't texting but I don't believe that for a second.  You don't ram into someone else stopped at a stoplight and claim you never saw them unless you are seriously distracted, with your eyes off the road.  

I call bullshit on that one.  

I've hired an attorney.  I don't have the time or energy to deal with this on my own. And I have to be sure all of the expenses I've incurred are reimbursed.  

I'm not a sue happy person. In fact, I've never been involved in a lawsuit before. I know it's a long hard road when you go that route rather than settling with the ins company.  

I'm ok with that. 

I start physical therapy on Monday.  I hope it helps relieve some of the pain.  

I have a rental car now.  I hope my old car doesn't cost too much money to fix. I hope my "new" car is fixed sooner rather than later.  It's been above a hundred degrees here and my old escape has no air conditioning.  

I'm ready for my life to go back to normal.   

Your life really can change in an instant.  


I know things could have been so much worse.  I'm alive, with minor injuries and my car is fixable.  It's just thrown a wrench in my routine. But overall. I know I'm very lucky.  

Sunday, September 07, 2014

On a roll

I'm on a blogging role.   I miss blogging.  I'm sad that it's gone by the wayside to fb, instagram and a hundred other forms of social media.  I've been blogging for nine years(!)  It's hard to walk away from that. At least for me. So I'll keep blogging.  Long after people stop reading.  

Living in the woods is a dream come true.  I love coming home at night.  Weekends are my favorite time, especially in the evenings.  I love nothing more than sitting out on my deck and listening to the crickets.   Some night are really loud and I try not to think about the actual number of crickets it takes to make such a sound and where they are all hiding.  Lol



We know there are mountain lions around, but I haven't really seen any critters out and about.  There is a skunk that comes out in the evenings.  The other morning I found this on our porch.  Evidence of some raccoons that got into some trash I left out on the porch(bad, I know). They had a little feast out there.  

We haven't been hiking that much, only taking walks around the campground.  We've caught some impressive sunsets and full moons in the last couple of months


I have a few flower boxes going on my deck but not much of a garden.  I need to make some covered boxes to grow vegetables.   We get very little full sun. Our entire property is covered in oak trees.   I've never been much of a gardener, but I can't seem to find many vegetables that grow in shade.  I tried some tomatoes in one of those topsy turvy planters that hang upside down that I got at Big Lots for .99 cents. It has produced a tomato.  One.  Tomato.   Isn't it beautiful?  Lol.  I'm not exactly sure when I should pick it. It looks pretty ripe right now.  Anyone have any experience with growing vegetables in a mostly shaded place?  I guess I'm late to the party.  Are there vegetables you can grow in the fall?  Must google. 


Speaking of fall. I couldn't help myself and put a few fall decorations out.  I didn't put out the witch hat shown below yet.  I'm not that crazy.  Although I was talking to joe today about where to put the Christmas tree.    :).  Hey people, it's coming!  Might as well be prepared.   

Ok I'm a little crazy because I did make some halloween cards. I was bored.  

Every morning when I leave for work this is what I see. Leeloo comes to the window and cries.  Breaks my heart. She loves her momma.   




It's been hot.  Unbearably hot.  Joe snapped this in Lake Elsinore when he went to pick up my medications this afternoon.  Thankfully it's about 8-10 degrees cooler where I live but 100 degrees is still too hot for this southern CA girl.  I'm ready for fall!






Our newest family member

So I mentioned at Fourth of July that my Sees-ter talked us into taking one of the kittens she was fostering.  

I was very hesitant at first. I've never really considered myself a cat person. I'm more of a dog person. We did have a cat, for about 14 years and I loved her but she wasn't very affectionate.  She was an outside cat and came inside mostly to eat and be harassed by the dogs and then left to go back outside. She was sweet but I never  thought I would have another cat.  

I wasn't convinced I wanted one but we couldn't get a dog just yet and I was missing having an animal(besides a snake-yuck!) in our house. 

So we decided on a kitten.  We wanted a black kitten but after looking at several shelters there weren't any available.  

Then my Sees-ter called and said she was going to be fostering a litter of kittens and I should rescue one of those.  I told her I'd think about it.  

But when we visited her and got a look at them I fell in love. It's a kitten.  A sweet little baby kitten.  Who could resist that?  Not me apparently.  They sure are cute!

We had our choice of any of them but one of the gray ones, who Grace had already claimed.  
I loved the tabby on the right but it was a boy and joe wanted a girl. That left one of the two orange ones, or the other gray one. The other gray one was very shy so we didn't choose her. Out of the two orange ones, one of them was very sweet, but not that smart.  She was always missing feeding time because she wouldn't come when she was called. She seemed to be in her own little world.  Joe said she wasn't the brightest bulb in the pack. He vetoed her even though Lisa said she was very sweet, because he wanted a "smart cat". 

Ummm.....okay.  So we chose the other orange one(not sure which one in that picture)

We had to wait until she got older and spayed, so we left her at Lisa's and waited until she brought her to us a month later.  

Finally they brought her to us. She settled right in.  We named her Leeloo after a character in Joe's favorite movie(The Fifth  Element) who had flaming red/orange hair.  It fits her. 

I never anticipated how much joy she would bring to us.  There's nothing like having a baby kitten purring on your lap, or chest as she prefers.  

She's so much fun!  And I swear she thinks she's a dog. She has to go everywhere I go.  If I'm in the bathroom, she's in the bathroom. When I go to bed and lock her out of the  bedroom(because she jumps on my head and that's not conducive to sleep), she's crying at the door to come in. 
I've become one of those people whose house is full of cat stuff.  Scratching posts, cardboard boxes, felt mice filled with catnip.  Our dog never had this many toys.  I'm sure a cat tree will come next.  



She's so nosy too.  When I'm wetting my hair in the shower or putting on makeup she has to be right. There.  Seeing what I'm doing.  So funny. 

Now I see where the phrase "the curiosity killed the cat" comes from.  She's into everything!

My sister told me about this app on the iPad for cats so of course I had to try it. Much to my shock she loves it.  I've never seen anything like it.  



She actually plays the game and taps the bugs or the fish when they come on the screen! It's trippy. It came to the point where if she was sitting on my lap and I was doing something else, she would tap the screen on the ipad until I put on her game. I can't figure out how to put videos here but it's hilarious.  

Oh, and I taught her to play fetch. I've never seen a cat play fetch before.  

Joe says she's a genius. Doesn't everyone think that about their kid?  Lol. 

One thing I wasn't expecting  was the damage she might do to our place. Holy heck she's destroying the place!  The couch, the screen, the drapes. She's like a Tasmanian devil.
There goes our deposit!  Oh well. She's not doing any more damage than a puppy would do and we still plan on getting one of those soon(ish). 

This is not cool.  


But she's adorable when she's asleep!  Lol.   
Sometimes she sleeps in the strangest positions. 


We sure do love our Leeloo.   


Saturday, September 06, 2014

Staycation

Right after the dragon boat races, and only a month after my last vacation I decided to take a other week off, as Lisa and the kids were coming to visit again.  Gotta love a job that gives you three weeks of PTO a year!

We planned on staying close to home this time.  A staycation. 

We crammed so much into one week!  We went to the fair, we hit the spectrum and Dave and busters.  Went on a whale watching trip(my favorite part). We swam in the pool every day, and in the ocean one day. We spent time in Laguna.  We  visited balboa island, which I haven't done in years, and rented a boat and toured the harbor.  


Finn loved the boat
Sawyer took a little convincing. He was happier on the shore

The weather was nice and hot and the pool was blissfully empty during the day.  

One night we headed to the clubhouse for a game of pool. 


We spent a perfect day at the beach in Laguna and like I said, swam in the ocean. I love swimming in the ocean!  It's so fun!  I don't know why we don't do it more often.  




We stopped by the sawdust festival on the way home and Grace made a vase at the pottery booth. 

The next day we hit the Orange County Fair.   We waited until it was cooler and visited in the evening. It was less crowded too. 
Lisa and the kids rode this.  I sat out on that one. 
Yeah, no thanks.   Just looking at it gave me a migraine.  

Of course we had to visit the baby animals. Is there anything cuter than a baby cow?
Lisa gave her a kiss

Then we all went and made leather bracelets out of her skin.  ;)



No trip to the fair is complete without a funnel cake 



Out of everything we did while they were here, whale watching trip was the highlight of my week.  We went with the same outfit we did several years ago, and again they did not disappoint.  It's Captain Dave's Dolphin Safari in Dana Point. If you are local you should check them out. They are amazing.  

The last time we went we didn't see any whales, only dolphins.  The dolphins were so spectacular that I didn't even care that we didn't see whales. This time I was looking forward to seeing dolphins, with no expectation of seeing whales since the whale watching season was almost over. 
I love being out on the boat.  

Imagine our surprise when the captain said he had word of a blue whale sighting. We were so excited!

I can honestly say this was one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had.  There is something so amazing about being in such close proximity to a majestic creature.  She was so beautiful.  Being that close to her took my breath away.  The entire boat stood silent, in awe of her. 

She swam RIGHT up next to our boat.  The captain said he couldn't remember the last time they had such a good viewing of a blue whale.  They see more gray whales than blue ones.  We were so lucky.  


We didn't see any dolphins on this trip, but I didn't care.  The blue whale sighting was one I will never forget.  


It was awesome.  I would do it over again. It never gets old. 




The staycation ended with a block party at a good friend's and then it was time for Lisa and the kids to head home. 

So that sums up my summer.  It adds up to a whole lot of fun.  

Now I'm all caught up except for the introduction of our newest family member, but that deserves it's own post.