Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Moma came bearing curtains!

I had a great visit with my mom last weekend. She got to my office around 3:00, helped me finish up a project, and then we went to my house. Friday night's plans consisted mainly of (1) hang my bedroom curtains. So we did. It is amazing what a difference a little cloth hanging from a rod makes! It is actually dark in my bedroom at night now. No street light "pollution" in the bedroom now! Plus, they're darn pretty curtains. Hand-me-downs are a great thing when you have a mom and sister like I have. I laughingly told Moma that if it weren't for her and C, I'd have no furniture or anything on my walls! They buy the "good stuff" and give it to me when they don't need/want it anymore!

After the plans were completed, we sat on the couch for a sum total of 15 minutes and Moma said, "let's go do something." Ummm, okay. So, we went and wandered around Barnes & Noble and had deep, important conversations about literature with a complete stranger. We both adopted the time-tested way to look smarter than you are -- smile, nod knowingly and let him do all the talking. (All this because we were in the classic literature part and I said I didn't like Dante's Inferno or Paradiso and he overheard.)

Saturday morning, we lazed around the house, then went shoe shopping for a bit, looked at a McMansion on the way home and then it was time for her to head off to A, D & the Kids.

All-in-all, a great, allbeit short, visit.

During our chatting, something kind of struck me. If people had told me at 15 (actually age 13-20) that I would like my mother, much less want to spend time with her, I'd have thought they were insane.... and Moma felt the same way. It is funny what a little time, maturity (on my part, obviously), and medication will do. I wonder what my life would have been like, what my teen years would have been like, if I had been diagnosed and treated for my depression.

I realize that 20 years ago clinical depression, mental illness in general, had a certain stigma attatched that has, thankfully, begun to go away. But I look at my life now, with medication, and realize how much better I feel and sometimes wish we'd known then what we know now.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Want a Hippopotamous for Christmas

Still, it begs to question.... is Jessica housebroken?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Only When Your Mother Visits

Last night I de-catted my house. I swept, vacuumed, then mopped the tile floor, vacuumed the bedroom, vacuumed the furniture, did part of my laundry, disinfected the kitchen (okay, so that one isn't so unusual... I bleach the kitchen a lot thanks to a particular microbiology class :::shudder:::) and just in general CLEANED my house. Tonight I plan to dust it really well and re-sweep and finish up the laundry when I get home from school.

Not only did I de-cat the house I attempted to de-fur the cats with this de-shedding tool I go a while back. It is a knock-off of the Furminator that I got at PetsMart by a brand called Bamboo. Normally, I comb them using a fine toothed flea comb, but I didn't seem to be getting much fur lately but there still seemed to be many furballs left as gifts for me. Those pictures they show of mounds of fur beside the animals isn't far from truth. Buddy is a small animal and I am pretty sure I got about a half pound of fur off of him! (Picture is from the Furminator website.... Bud is actually black.) I put the fur into a grocery sack and had about half a bag of fur from Buddy alone. Just think that is one or two less furballs I'll have to clean up and that much fur I don't have to sweep up!
Anyway, I can't be the only person in the world who does this mad cleaning thing when certain people come visit. I've noticed that when some people come to my place, I will pick up and maybe run the broom around to get the big chunks of stuff and the inevitable fur/dust-bunnies I have. But, when certain other people come, like certain friends or my parents, I feel I must go all out and make my house (at least look) immaculately clean. I'm not sure why I drive myself so crazy about it. I mean, Moma knows I'm not a great housekeeper.... she saw my bedroom when I was growing up! She's going to be at my apartment for less than 24 hours and I've already spent 2 hours cleaning!
I make it sound as if I am a pig.... I'm really not, but I also don't get stressed out if I end up with five pairs of shoes under the coffee table or there are dirty dishes in the sink.

Oh well, the upside is that the house is really clean and Moma is stopping in on her way to Amarillo to see A&D and the kids (or more appropriately, the kids and A&D).

Monday, August 20, 2007

Digesting Bad News

It is strange how I still see my grandparents as young and active when in reality they aren't so young or active any more. Granddaddy B's 87th birthday was August 17, Grandmother B will be 85 in November. My other grandparents are all in their 80s. When did they get old? I don't seem to remember it happening, but it appears they have.

Last week, Grandmother called my aunt and uncle to come from Oklahoma. They came expecting to see Granddaddy B in the hospital when instead, Grandmother was. As Grandmother was discharged, Granddaddy had bloodwork done and was told to go to the hostpital in Amarillo immediately.

Grandmother had had another "spell" with her heart (she has congestive heart failure and has for what seems years) and she was in the hospital for about a week. Grandmother will have a pacemaker implanted sometime this week. She and my Aunt J and sister A met with the surgeon this morning.

I talked to Grandmother last Tuesday and she told me in her sugar-coated way that Granddaddy was in the hospital, but he was "fine" and would be "fine." As I got more information and the week wore on, it seems he's not really "fine" and it has been a bit hard to come to terms with.

Granddaddy had a mild stroke which has led to a diagnosis of ALS... Now, there is some waffling on the diagnosis at this point (as I understand it, diagnosing ALS is more a matter of ruling things out as opposed to finding an actual disease process). But, as of this morning, my Aunt J said that most likely that is the diagnosis. The doctors are just saying it is "bad"... there "is no cure"... typical doctor-ese. So, now it is just a matter of planning and preparing for things no one ever wants to plan or prepare for.

I spent a lot of the weekend crying and finally accepting the fact that my grandparents, no matter how much I want them to be, are not immortal.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

A Wool Pi and 100 degrees

I have a group of folks I chat with online (we're all crazy cat people with diabetic cats) and one of them makes a cat bed called a Kitty Pi. The are knitted with wool yarn and felted to make adorable cat beds.

Well, I got one for each of my guys in the mail all the way from Canada yesterday just as the weather has really heated up. Wool kitty beds in August.... hmmm. They did seem to enjoy them, though. (Maxie is the big kitty in the front, Buddy is in the back)

Well, for the first 20 minutes they were in the house they loved them, anyway. Then they decided the tile floors were cooler. My guess is, they won't be using them any time in the near future since this is our forecast for the five days....

WEDNESDAY: high 99 low 79 THURSDAY: high 100 low 79 FRIDAY: high 101 low 79 SATURDAY: high 102 low 79 SUNDAY: high 100 low 78

I guess honestly, I shouldn't complain since it is August 8 and we have yet to reach 100 degrees this year and we've had lots and lots of rain so we're not in a major drought. Still, 100+ degree weather makes me (and everyone else) cranky. Thank goodness for air conditioning!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

There but by the Grace of God

The bridge collapse in Minneapolis yesterday made me really think about the little things in life that we take for granted... like we'll make it safely home every day. I live and work in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex and drive over rivers and on high rise overpasses all the time, and I've never given them a second thought as I drive. To be honest, I probably won't again after the news of the collapse is no longer the "breaking" news story. But, for now, I have a greater appreciation for the fact that I safely drive to work or to school or home and that my family and friends do the same.