Sunday, May 13, 2012

On A Personal Note

One Of My Healthy Trees
Now that the difficult part of school is out of the way, I wanted to catch up on things happening in my world, my personal world; my home, my family and my life.  I'll add some pictures too.

Sick Tree
I am mostly happy with my house and home.  My front porch is filled with plants and the yard is manageable.  The mulberries are mostly done and one of my apple trees is turning an ugly color.  That's too bad because it is such a heavy producer and normally so healthy.  Let me know if you have a suggestion of what to do for my poor tree.  Also, if it turns out that we stay in our house, we are going to do two things.  The first is put down wood flooring.  The carpets have always been nice but over the last year have started smelling like a dog. Steam cleaning, carpet deodorizer and vacuuming help to some degree but I always notice the smell and dislike it.  Second, I want a deck on the back of the house.  I should change out the windows, but that's a project for another year. These two are relatively inexpensive and I can do them myself.  Well, myself and my cousin Christian and my wonderful almost husband...

Spoiled.  Just Spoiled.
Eleanor, the queen of all things inside and outside of the house, is still the queen.  She gets prednisone twice daily and this has really improved her quality of life since about two years ago.  I know that I am only extending her life and that she is on borrowed time.  I have been telling myself this for the last six years.  I want to make her life as comfortable as possible and enjoy every minute and I have operated under this assumption for too long.  The result is a very spoiled and demanding cat who wakes me up at will and meows like crazy until she gets what she wants.  She has put on weight, going from six pounds to about ten, which makes me ecstatic.  I have taken squirting her with a water bottle when she acts inappropriately.  It has some effect- mostly on my roommate and on Grey.  They are surprised and relieved that I might insist on some discipline on our little grey and white tyrant.

I noticed this spring that Big is getting older too.  He has some obvious arthritis in his left front shoulder and cannot walk more than two miles nor cavort for much longer than half an hour.  He continues to be the sweetest dog and he loves to play with Tobey, my roommates dog, and they seem to be lifelong companions.  They do not like to be separated at all though Big is the dominant one.  Tobey is the tiny vocal one but Big always seems to have the last word.  He likes much more lately to just lay at my feet or at Veronica's and just be with us.  He is still highly respectful of the cat.

Getting Older
Veronica is still my roommate. She is finishing up her Masters in Library Information Services and looking for a place to be once she is through.  She is one of the most determined people I know, continuing to get up at 5 a.m. two or three times a week for boot camp and doing zumba several times a week too.  We talk a lot and coordinate schedules and give each other endless advice.  The only real place of conflict is in the kitchen where we are both used to being the person in charge.  I wouldn't even say that this is real conflict as we don't yell at each other or be rude or anything like that.  She makes me feel like I am capable of living with someone and not destined to be hermit for the rest of my life.  Thank God, because living alone is almost impossible when you get married.

Grey and I both turn 39 this month and I for one am grateful for my health.  I know I have had continuous and chronic bronchitis this last year from my work place, and my asthma was out of control for awhile,but other than that, I am a mostly healthy person.  All of my limbs work and I do not have diabetes, high blood pressure and I can do almost anything I want.  I took Grey to prom with me this year. Every year I chaperon the Pathways High School prom with Cathy, Jackie, Mandy and Becky.  Cathy, Jackie and Mandy are all teachers there. Becky is like me, a volunteer.  It is always a hoot, with girls wearing too short (in my opinion) dresses, boys dressed for the first time in tuxedos and everyone on their best behavior dancing to music that was meant for grinding.
Our First Prom!

Yesterday we went for a walk and ended up going about 8.5-9 miles.  There is a little fitness park on the route with a kind of adult playground designed to assist people with exercise and doing outdoor stretching, sit ups, push ups and so on.  There were also a few straight bars, We took it upon ourselves to play on the equipment and took a couple of photos, congratulating ourselves on being almost 40 and still getting blisters on our hands from playing on the monkey bars.

Upside Down Smile
Then we went to Grey's family gathering for their Mother's Day and May birthday celebration.  I like his family.  Even if I didn't know they read my blog, I would still say that.  They are genuinely nice people and over the course of the last six or seven months, I have enjoyed slowly getting to know them.  I do take pains to curb the rough edges I know I have.  It's not lying; they know I teach in a ghetto, that I taught in a prison and that I'm a generally tough sorta gal.  But I also know how to behave in polite company and am careful not to swear in front of children or pick my nose or wear anything slutty (not that I ever do) or do anything... untoward. However, like all relationships, at some point you have to just admit who you are.  I can't avoid the fact that I have had some very colorful experiences and last night I accidentally related one of those to Grey's family.  Grey's family, who is about to become MY family. Permanently.  Now, they have all been kind and not pressed me too much and I like to just listen to the conversations.  Last night's centered around squeamishness and what happens to people in the sight of blood.  Somehow I said something about offering to clean the gunk out of a dog's eye.  That led to the slippery slope of how I was accepted to vet school. That lead to me blurting out that if anyone needed anything castrated, they could just let me know.  Now, I was trying to demonstrate how that particular skill set no longer serves me, how farm life was wonderful but it's not something I am likely to return to.  As soon as those words left my lips, I wished I could grab them from the air and stick them back in my mouth and swallow them.  Instead, they hung invisible in the air.  In the dead silence that ensued, my face got beet red.  I looked at Grey.  No help.  He looked as stricken as anyone else.  Then Grey's brother in law noted that absolutely no one in that house would need that particular service.  There was laughter all around, then everyone took turns adding to that sentiment, and I realized that they were going to tease me about it forever.  I think I'm ok with that and even added that since everyone in the room had daughters, they might find my knowledge helpful after all.  Then I knew to shut up.  I did not add that I taught my brother-in-law to castrate pigs last summer or that I can perform lots of small surgeries. I think I over-shared enough for one night.  Ramblina had done her damage for the evening and I disabused people of the notion that I am all sweetness.  Not that they ever thought that.  I'm going to shut up now.

For our honeymoon, we decided to go to New Orleans.  I have not spent much time there and none in the last 8 years.  Grey has likewise only visited once.  We are going to spend time on historical tours, eating at the Cafe DuMonde and drinking coffee.  Since his parents and younger sister live in Louisiana, I asked if we couldn't stay a night with them on the way home.  I particularly connect with his sister and I hope that spending time with each part of the family will help all of us to become closer. To do that, though, I have to do my part and that involves not just putting my best foot forward but finding a balance between honesty and too much honesty.  Grey didn't tell me that he told his family that I have a May birthday too.  They surprised me with gifts and cards and hugs.  It was, on the whole, a neat time.

In the meantime, I have to finish teaching at my middle school.  I will whip the yard and house into shape for all of the festivities and hopefully get to start going to zumba again with Veronica.  We will see how my lungs hold out. Oh, and enjoy my life.  I'm going to remember to appreciate the people I have and be grateful for the life I have been given. And I'm going to hang out as long as I can.
Look! No Hands!

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