Archive for April, 2011

Doomed, dooooommmmed DOOOOMMMEDDD! I tell ya we are pretty damn doomed.  I am working on my Advanced Marketing Research group project and I am feeling pretty damn doomed about it right now.  I seem to be the only one who even minutely understands the software and math part of the project and it is mighty darn tiny at that.  I have watched more Youtube videos on how to do a hypothesis test in SPSS than I have watched videos in the last year.  Doomed, dooooommmmmeddd, DOOMED!

My head hurts just thinking about it.  I went to bed thinking about it, I woke up this morning thinking about it.  I am having nightmares and daymares thinking about it.  Doomed, little whimpering noises, head on the table, many sighs, and a few gut wrenching deep breathes.

I found a couple of articles and a few videos that were helpful, I have the chi-squared test figured out, I performed a linear regression analysis, I think I finally picked the “right” variables.  I have some answers that sort of make sense.  Now I just have to write words to go with the numbers.  Doomed, still but not so much as before, I think a break and some exercise to clear the head is in order. . .

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Holidays are such bitter sweet times.  We enjoy getting together with our families but there are always people who are missing.  This year I was able to be with Army Girl and her boy K, Hubby, Gpa, B, J and A.  Luckily Navy Girl and Air Force Girl were able to spend the holiday together.  They were still missed.

Holidays are about getting together but they are also about people who can’t be here.  Besides those who can’t make it home there are all of those who have died.  They are all very much missed too.  Easter was – IS-one of those holidays that didn’t doesn’t have a lot commercialism attached to it, but you still had have a great excuse to get together.  (We miss you Mom)

There are lots of families who can’t get together for the holidays.  They do like we do and make the best of what they have.  Sometimes holidays are celebrated days, weeks even months out of turn.  In the end it doesn’t matter what you are celebrating, as long as you can do it with at least some of the people you love, or at least like.

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There are some things I just find gross and snot is one of them.  Gpa’s sinuses are all messed up and he has a lot of it.  His nose runs a lot because of the oxygen and he only has one tear duct so things don’t drain properly.  Needless to say I spend a lot of time trying not to gag.

He has been especially croupy lately.  The weather is changing and that affects his breathing plus Medicare or Linn Care or somewhere in between the two has changed his medicine and now he isn’t getting enough.  His doctor has prescribed albuteral through his nebulizer 4 times a day, and Medicare or Linn Care or both have decreed that he can only use the albuteral once a day.  Needless to say this is severely affecting his breathing.  By the end of the day it is a real struggle for him.  It takes his whole body just to draw a breath.  He has been going to pulmonary therapy lately to try to increase his stamina and his ability for breathing.  They assessed him as having severe COPD as opposed to very severe.   I was surprised and a little disheartened to realize that it will get worse.

There is a noticeable change in him since he hasn’t been getting as much albuteral.  Besides his breathing his memory seems to be affected.  Plus he seems to be getting obsessive about things that really shouldn’t be a worry let alone obsessed over.  I know that as people age they get fussier but . . . really?

I am sitting here watching him breath, I can hear the crackling in his chest, and his nearly constant small coughs to clear the gunk.  I get tired watching I am pretty sure he gets tired doing.  It amazes me that he just keeps on.  But I am glad he does.

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Memories, I have been thinking about memories a lot lately.  I was driving home the other day, it is a long trip and I try to look at as much as I can while I drive.  There is an old abandoned house along the route.  Old houses that are so neglected and falling down are so said.  They look sad and depressed.  I always wonder “what has happened to cause this house to be abandoned?”  Now a-days it is probably foreclosure, but this particular house has been empty for many, many years.  It is an old farmhouse with some old broken down trees to go with the old broken down house.  But there is something remarkable about the house.  It has these old beveled windows.  Many of them are broken but you can still see the remnants of them.  It is the windows that draw my attention to the house.

One of my earliest memories is when my grandparents moved from the brick house to their white house.  I am not sure how old I was but I was pretty young, maybe 4 or 5.  I remember feeling very grown up “helping” to move things between the two places.  The move was only a matter of blocks so I remember walking – or in my case running- between the two.  I don’t remember much about the brick house except a stone stair case and the windows with the beveling that made rainbows.

Most of the memories I have of grandma’s house were from her big white house with the two big veranda style porches.  Grandma’s house had three entrances which I thought was the coolest thing ever.  Her yard had great big tall trees in it that kept the house remarkably cool.  She also had the most amazing patch of lily-of-the-valley.  I would love to get some for a flower garden someday.  Grandma used to wear lily-of-the-valley perfume too.

What do you think about when you are driving?  Do you pay attention to those old places?  What do you remember?

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beginnings of my garden 4-11-11

Gpa and I are starting a garden.  Now I have no experience with gardening.  The closest I have come to gardening is a few things in pots and that has been more hit and miss than successful.  We have decided to do a “one foot” garden.  We are using a smallish area that was a flower garden by Gpa’s house.  We are going to put in a couple of tomato plants, a couple pepper plants,  one or two cucumber plants, some carrots, radishes, and some onions.  I would also like to put in some of the spice plants like chives.  One of the ladies who I work out with said she has some of the spice plants she could give me as starters.  I hope she can give me lots of advice too.

So far I have dug up the plot where the garden will go and now I have covered it in black plastic.  I am going to leave the plastic on for a few weeks to kill the weeds and things growing in there.  I figure if I get the seeds in the ground before the end of May we will be fine.  I know everyone is so ready for spring to be here and they want to get things growing but I think waiting will be a good idea for us.  Our plan is to just grow what we can eat now.  I do not know how to can things and really don’t want to get into that.

The green movement is all about knowing where your food comes from and trying to eat locally.  Sometimes it is easier to say than do.  But we are going to try.  I saw at Menard’s that they have strawberry plants.  I might get one and put it in.  Now I know you can’t get much from one plant but this is an experiment so we are keeping it small.

It is going to be an interesting experiment because I really don’t know a plant from a weed so hopefully I will be keeping the right things.  I will keep you posted on how things go.

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I have been so angry lately.  Just fed up at everything.  Not wanting to be where I am; wanting so desperately to have a job and be able to support my family.  That I forgot that what I am doing right now is very important too.  I am still looking for a job, don’t think that I have given that up but I have given up my anger.

Today when I woke up I just felt like it had been washed away in the storm we had last night.  It was a quick down pour, like a quick burst of cleansing rain and wind.  If it hadn’t been lightning out I probably would have gone out and stood in it.  But lightning scares me, so I just watched it from the window.

Anger often clouds our thinking.  We get so caught up in the “unfairness” of it all that we forget to look at the good things.  When I talk about being here and taking care of Gpa, all the right things come out of my mouth.  I talk about how it is the one solution that made sense and that in the end I will never regret it.  But what I don’t talk about is how I regret and resent it now.  How angry I am that this intelligent, thoughtful, vigorous man has been reduced to a petulant, mumbling, grouchy pain in the butt, and all because of an addiction to cigarettes.  It makes me so mad!  Cigarettes killed my mother and now they are stealing away my father and in some ways if feels like they are stealing my life too.

I have never seriously smoked.  I have tried them a few times in the very far distant past but really do not see the appeal.  I never really achieved the high that most smokers enjoy I just got the painful breathing and the burning throat.  I do not see how that could be remotely worth it.  I see what smoking has done to my dad’s breathing, I hear what it is doing to my sisters, and I know it makes me very angry.

We cannot change other people we can only change our response to their actions.  I have been responding with anger because I am helpless to help them.  They have to do it themselves.  I have to accept my limitations in that.  I don’t want to be angry all the time.  I want to be happy and let them be who they are.  I cannot change them, but I can change me.


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When the government shuts down this weekend our congressmen and senators have graciously offered to not get paid until they get their heads out of their asses and work to together.  Well la-de-fucking da to them.  They make $174,000 a year, which is $14,500 a month.  I am pretty sure they will all be fine.

An e3 makes $1838.70 a month, an e4 makes $2014.20, and an e5 makes $2230.20.  Now these amounts are all before taxes, so that lowly e3 actually only brings home $800 for half the month.  These senators and congressmen will be fine if they aren’t paid for the time that the government is shut down but we have soldiers, sailors, air men and marines who are putting in more than 100 hours a week for that pay, and to rub their noses in the government’s stupidity is just a travesty.  How dare they play with these people lives like this?  How dare they wreck young people’s lives by playing politics with their money?  Do you think the electric company cares that the government is acting like assholes?  Do you think the car company cares that the military person didn’t get paid so they can’t pay their bills?  Do you think that it is just a few parks and a bunch of so called “rich” government workers that are being affected by this?

How dare you!!!!!!  Get over your stupid selves and get this fixed!  It matters here people; it matters to the people who are paid to protect this country.  They will continue to show up and do their jobs even as they lose everything.  They will protect your sorry asses even as you screw them over.  They will protect you even as you act like the equivalent of junior high bullies and mess with their lives.  They will protect you, and reward them by acting like a bunch of asses.

Grow up, get the budget passed.

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The human connection is such an amazing thing.  With some people you just click, you both seem to be on the same wave length and you can get a lot accomplished.  When it is a group of people who are working together amazing results come of it.  And when it happens to a diverse group who will probably never meet it is downright miraculous.  I am working with a group now that has just clicked.  We seem to pick up each other’s signals and there seems to be someone to fill in all of the gaps for the project we are working on.  I have never worked with any of these people before but I sure hope to meet them someday.  We are a diverse group; we are from the east coast, the west coast, the south and the central part of the country.  We have men and women, we have young and old and yet we seem to have clicked and produced a pretty darn good project.  It is one of those groups you come away from the call energized.

There are some people on the other hand that make it very hard for you to like them.  They are fussy and whiny and think everything should revolve around them.  They are the type that doesn’t understand why people don’t like them and they are always playing the victim.  It gets old really fast.  Those types of people just suck the fun right out of any situation.  You want to like them, you want it to be a fun time, and then you just want it over so they will go away.   It is sad; I hope I am not one of those people.  I try really hard not to be.  We are all self-centered, it is how we have prevailed as a species, but most of us are also community-centric.

I spent some time this week with cousins who I don’t get to see very often.  People are so amazing, no matter how awful the circumstances of the get together there is always laughter.  Even though my family evidently doesn’t have any Irish in them we have always been able to put on a good Irish Wake.  A majority of my family is full of good humor and will always be able to come up with a funny story about . . .  well pretty much everyone in the family.  We truly believe in celebrating a person’s life, to remember someone with happiness and laughter is the ultimate memorial.  Even though we don’t see each other often we click.  We understand each other’s jokes and we are all willing to pitch in and be a part of anything that needs doing.  It is all part of the human connection, and that is such an amazing thing.

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I have been having some problems lately.  I get depression sometimes.  It isn’t just being a little down it is being unable to focus or care.  I am coming out of it; there has been a series of events that have shown me that I have it pretty good and need to focus on that.  I told you about my exMIL passing away and my cousin dying in a car accident last week and now, last weekend on my way home from a terrific weekend with my girl friends, a tragic accident.

This time I do not know the victim, I just saw what happened.  Actually I saw the aftermath of what happened.  I was traveling south on the freeway when there was a hail storm that dumped a couple of inches of hail on the road.  What happened after that was a series of accidents that lead to a horrible crash.  The car was so smooshed, and I could see the person trapped inside. . .

I didn’t stop to help.  I would have been in the way; I didn’t have any gloves or my first aid kit.  I would not have been a help.  I talked to Navy Girl who among other things is an EMT and she said it was better that I kept going.  I talked to other people and they said the same, but I still feel bad.  I think some of it is the “there but for a twist of fate” feeling.  I still feel bad that I didn’t stop, but I also did the right thing.



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