Saturday, October 14, 2017

Movin on.....looking under sofa cushions for a million dollars'

Good morning from the south. Yep, I am here with the Big leftie to work on some house related issues. As you may or may not know, the southern house was destroyed in a flood when an older water pipe burst and flooded the first floor as water gushed for days. Finally the housekeeper found the flood but damage was done and mold grew. Nice huh? The entire first floor is gutted and the second floor is in bad shape too.

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Since the house was 25 years old, there were other issues such as the heating/AC units were non operable (which can be nasty on a 100 degree day), then the roof needed replacement, the pool was unusable (more about keeping an unusable pool on life support later), and so on.....

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Yikes, so glad we had insurance...although if you ever worked with an insurance company, you are probably laughing right now.

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Flash back 2 years when dad and I decided the house needed some updating. Sooooo, we contacted an architect whose father designed the home. He has some interesting stories on how the house developed and was built by Architect 1.0. It gave us another insight on how Pop and the Southern Belle worked to create their lovely retirement home in a stunning location.

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As we met with our Architect 2.0, he walked through the house and had some keen insights. All I wanted was a bigger kitchen and family room. After all, this is what I crave in any and friends surrounding the kitchen island, cool tunes on the radio, wines (yes, wine and some beer), singing, chopping, laughing, and loving being with one another. It's really what life is all about, right? Then we watch a movie or stupid television show, go to bed, get up and do it again....Yep, a dream, right...or nightmare? You choose!

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So, Architect 2.0 walked around the house with us (pre flood) and said:

"Yes, you can eliminate this wall and have a bigger kitchen and family room."

That was it, right? Six weeks and a few construction workers....and then.....boom!

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New kitchen and family room.

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Is that what happened?

Uh, this is me...BPM typing....of course that is not how it went....

Fade to black.....

As Architect 2.0 walked around, he began working me.....yep, I say...WORKING ME!


OK, picture this... as we walked around the first floor, he says: "Hmmmm, you could have a bigger eating area to accommodate your posse. Let's push this room out a bit."

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More eating room...just break through house and add space? "Sure, I said....."

We turned the corner and walked toward the first floor master bedroom.....Looking up at the vaulted ceiling, he says: "How would you like a loft with a spiral stair case adding  another room and bathroom to the space?"

Another room, bathroom, spiral staircase....sounds cool....go for it.

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2.0 was NOT done.....

Walking up the stairs to the second floor, he saw opportunity...."you can add another bedroom and bathroom in this space" I need another bedroom and bathroom?


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As we walked down the hall, he thought..."you can break through this wall and have a larger bedroom, new bathroom, and a balcony to watch the golfers go by and drink your morning coffee...."

Balcony....bedroom, bathroom, coffee...peace...quiet.....hmmmm....another great idea....

Are we done?
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What do you think?.....he looks at the area and speaks with dad..."You can create a small media room....."

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Dad thinking "I can hide from the crowds, laughter, and especially BPM's singing..." was immediately entranced by the idea.

Done yet? Have we spent every cent plus borrowed on my grandchildren's college funds yet? What about the 401K I once had?

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One last need a new roof!

Crud, double crud! Triple crud!

Nope. Not done....

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New mudroom for the dogs....

Fireplace and columns in the living room....

Fill in the was unusable and costing a fortune to maintain the "Cee-ment Pond" as Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies would screech.

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Done yet? Uh, nope....

Guess what? The driveway was crumbling because the tree roots were growing and pushing the cement up. Need a new driveway....

Done yet?


The landings and walkways were rotting and needed to be replaced.
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Done yet?


The landscaping was overgrown and needed to be torn out and replaced.

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Done yet?


The trees were overgrown and were either dying, rotting, or leaning against the soon-to-be replaced roof.....

Now are we done?

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Yes. We are done...financially...mentally....spiritually...emotionally....

Even the Property Bros would leave this project alone....

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Finito. What did we agree to do?

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More later.....


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Movin' on....De-nial is not a river in Egypt

Good morning! It still feels like summer and I love it. Although, I have no idea how to dress for work....long pants, skirt, capris, shorts.....bathing suit? Image result for sweaty woman gifBecause of labile temperatures in the classroom, I began to bring a portable fan that is powered by the computer to class. I stand in front of the little thing as it blows a breeze. I still perspire and want to use a Fieldcrest plush towel to wipe off the brow. It looks like I have run a marathon after a two hour class. Image result for sweaty woman gifAlso, this group of students do not like to speak in class, so I am on my own as I deliver a monologue rather than an invigorating class discussion each Tuesday. Then.....they had a test in the afternoon after my class, so they chose to study while I spoke rather than listen to the "Stooge on the Stage".... Their eyes were looking at their notes and they appeared to be listening when they were actually reviewing their notes for the forthcoming  test.Image result for woman teacher clss disinterested gif

Was I upset? Angry? Miffed? Hurt? They would rather study than listen to me pontificate about the virtues of the electronic health record?

Actually, I let them think that I did not know that they were studying and kept on with my monologue. It's their tuition money, not mine. If they want to sit in my class and paint, I don't care. However, there is something on the syllabus called "class participation." That gives them 15 points. Then there is a weekly quiz and a huge cumulative final exam which will focus on ....yep, you guessed it...the virtues and usability of the electronic health record.....And away, my's your nickel....
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How are things at home? Can anyone say "one day at a time? One breath at a time? One moment at a time?"

Here is my take on this crazy not (and I do not) live in the past or future. Yesterday is over and done. Tomorrow is not guaranteed (sounds like a Hallmark card). We have this moment only. I am training myself to live one minute at a time, which means I do not dwell on the past. When I think about it, I stop myself and command: "Stop! This moment only!" It jars me back to the present and I stop lingering in a state where I should not be. Therefore, past events do not haunt me. Gone....finito!Image result for one day at a time gif

Does this mean that I do not plan? Oh sure, I plan. However, once the plans are made, I leave it up to life being flexible enough to accomplish my goals and plans. If not, so be it. Image result for live for today gif

Is there a named theory or philosophy that I subscribe to? Nope, it is called survival. I can't go into a path of darkness mulling, dwelling, commiserating. It is no way to conduct your life. A person has to look for the good in every situation. Stay present. And keep their spirits up. The only way to do it is either deny troubles or look at them as opportunity.
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Sounds stupid. Maybe it is even naive. But my denial has helped me over the years to open my eyes and take care of the immediate and plan for the unknown.Related image

one last thing, this life throws lots of curve balls at us. Do I swing away at them or run?

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If you know me, you know the answer. I swing. I may miss but I won't go down looking (baseball metaphor for not taking a chance).
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Two things....

1. Take care of yourself and eat right. Sure, we can say, get enough sleep, but ladies....we know better, right?Image result for woman teacher clss disinterested gif

2. Give your angst, fears, concerns, and troubles to God. I love the line from the Carrie Underwood song: "Jesus, take the wheel." Related image

Yep, I am, I am praying, Jesus, take the wheel....but first can you fill up the tank?



Sunday, October 8, 2017

Movin on....back again.....

Greetings on a yukky Sunday. Big shout out to Wildcat, Ice, and Mk for encouraging me to write again. Honestly, I was done. I was in a black hole and no desire to leave it. That's right. I was going to stay in darkness and not emerge.

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Does that sound terrible? know my black hole, I had Snickers bars, Skittles, cookies, boxed wine, my rosary, and some water. That's all I needed. My provisions kept me in size XL athletic pants...oversized hooded sweatshirt with gray hairs sticking out of my head. I was quite comfortable......

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Is that the way it went?

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Nope! Although I was a semi reclusive state, I knew I needed to stay strong and steer the ship until we all had some rays of sunshine....although the size XL pants are not that far from the truth.....
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Ok, so I am back...what has been happening? Well, I can't give you the last 6 months in one post since my fingers will cramp up and I have to take a break or two and grab a healthy will balance the huge Costco cookie I had for breakfast. You see, folks, it is all about moderation, she reports with tongue in her cheek.

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And so, what has been happening....Sniff, sniff....

Honestly, I started this blog to share my weird journey with family and friends. I have an odd life that gets odder and odder the older I get. As Wildcat says, "no one would believe this stuff...." And honestly, I do not make it up.Image result for being strong gif

As I type, I am listening to my iPod....Carly Simon is singing...."I haven't got time for the pain...."

Can you imagine my state of mind when I downloaded this song from iTunes? Yep, the reality is I cannot languish in sadness and despair. Get you butt movin on, BP mom.....

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And I did. After all, I have to be the voice of reason. I am the caregiver, soother of boo boos, while offering non judgmental love and support. I cannot give in to sadness. Time to get going....

Sooooo, what's up?

The last you read, the big leftie and his family were dealing with a diagnosis that would knock a weaker person off their feet. He has a chronic (which means it will never go away) neuromuscular disorder that causes trouble breathing, double vision, and muscle weakness. He has to be on medication for the rest of his life and figure out ways to pull together an independent and successful life for himself. Doable? Yep. It can be done. For someone without the work ethic, the answer would be no. This guy? You betcha.  Image result for being strong gif

Once he was discharged over Easter, we began to research MG to get a hold of what it is all about. His medication helps but sometimes he gets cramps and fasciculations. When tired, he occasionally gets double vision back and loses his voice. He has to pace himself to not overdue things.

This diagnosis came out of left field (back to baseball metaphors). I did not see it coming, although if he had told me that he had double vision, I would have pulled the trigger on consulting a neurologist sooner. This bit of information, he kept to himself as he almost aced his LSATs with double vision. He was seeing 8 responses on the test rather than the usual four. He was also driving which I did not know either. Yep, BP mom is always the last to know.

Once the treatment program began, he began to regain his voice and strength, although both are not fully back. He had to hold off law school for a year and is now finishing his graduate degree in criminology to prepare for school. He also started playing golf and is now driving the ball 300+ years on his drives. This makes him happy since he can no longer pitch.

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He also continues to work at the health club and began (reluctantly)  coach velocity at the indoor baseball facility. His friends are basically settled in their lives and he feels left behind in many ways. Actually, he is. However, I tell him that God is preparing him for something big and he has to be patient. Hopefully, he will be able to start law school next August.Image result for being strong gif

I have decided that he is my hero. With everything life has thrown at him, he has hit it back with vengeance. Does he get depressed and angry? Sure! Who wouldn't? I wish that I could take it from him, but it is not my designated journey. Like other heroes, like our own MK, I am saddling up equipped with fortitude and will do everything I can to make sure that this guy has a normal happy life. How will I accomplish that one? Ah....I've tackled bigger issues. This one may take a while, but I can visualize success.Image result for being strong gif

BP Grandmom used to say, "When God closes a door He opens a window...." We can go through this window, but first, I have to get back to boot camp, get rid of the Cheese Doodles and Skittles, and lose enough inches to wiggle through the window with the big guy looking for  happiness.
 Image result for hiding and eating cheese doodles gif iTunes song is now "You can't always get what you want...." by the Rolling Stones....

 No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need

yep, I was definitely in a hole when I bought this one too.....
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More later.


Monday, April 17, 2017

movin on...Oh my goodness......

Good morning! Big shout out to Dr. G, BP Grandmom, Grandpop, Big Sis, Scooby, Saint, and Betty for keeping the Easter brunch tradition alive without me. Dr. G picked up the hosting duties when I figured out that I would be booked for the weekend....which I was.....Image result for easter celebration gif

OK, where was I? Ah yes....bed....I had a few hours of sleep while our hero was in the hospital being tested for....Myasthenia Gravis......That's right...a chronic neuromuscular disorder, which can be debilitating if not cared for properly.
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Lots of crazy thoughts were going through my Why this guy? Hasn't he suffered enough?

No? OK.....

Can't he ever have a break?Image result for i need a break gif

No? OK....
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When can he live a normal life?

Never? OK.....
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Back to the city but first, I had to do my BP mom everything that he liked to eat...grab socks, robe, pajama pants.....big chocolate Easter bunny.....reeses peanut butter eggs....My car was full and I wondered how I was going to get everything into his room since I had to park far away and pay $$$$ for a holiday parking space....Image result for carrying too many things gif

Somehow I managed to get everything in as I carried it like I was a mule...on the my pockets....then I get a text...

Can you bring me a hot chocolate?

Sure, let me drop my cargo off first.....Image result for carrying too many things gif

Finally, I got to the room and unloaded the goods. He was sitting in the chair looking pretty sick. I had the chance to meet his excellent nurse and we chatted. Exhausted, I put him back to bed and got caught up on his progress. He had a CAT scan and MRI and blood work. The results are's not a virus.....not ALS, not MS, not MD....or a flu...he has myasthenia gravis.Image result for easter celebration with family gif google images

More later