Sunday, February 28, 2010

If there is a tv movie, I want to be played by Gabrielle Union

The weekend I dreamed of and the weekend I had in reality were as different as night day. As I drove down Friday morning, I received a call from my mother asking me to go to see a doctor.

Long story short, there is a chance I have been exposed to MRSA. It is a story that I will go into another time. So basically, I was an hour from my mom but not allowed to see her. The doctor couldn't confirm I have MRSA but couldn't deny the possibility based on the evidence presented to him. For the next 10 days, I am on high powered antibiotics. I am very upset by all of this for many reasons--not be able to see my mother or my son. I drove down Friday morning and back up Friday night.I am regarded as Patient Zero by family and friends. Even though, technically, I am not Patient Zero--that is someone else. Anyway, to them, I am Patient Zero. I have spent my weekend taking antibiotics, watching tv, reading magazines and figuring out how to handle this situation come Monday.

One positive that has come out of this saga. I found out my weight. And even without meds and therapy, I have maintain my weight. With the stress of my mother's health, new job and being away from my son, I am still at a healthy weight of 107 pounds. I was 111 pounds at my physical in July. I celebrated with a 12 piece chicken nuggets, fries and lemonade from Chick Filet. And a milkshake. I deserved something after a not very nice Friday.

If a tv movie is made about this whole sordid affair, I do want Gabrielle Union to play me. She would make a kick ass Silly Girl! Of course, right now, I don't feel silly. I am Pissed Off Girl.

Daily Dose

1. Law and Order SVU marathon

2. Drinking plenty of water because of the antibotics

3. Finding three movies with Vin "Oh my God you are so gorgeous" Diesel.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Trying to be zen girl

Today was a nice day. D, my co-worker and partner in crime, decided after working some killer overtime last week that we should do something nice. We took a long lunch break and to the mall. Okay, the mall in RR is kind of sad but a consignment type shop has opened there and had winter clothes for a $1. A dollar. I brought a studded black sweatshirt, a jacket, a thick winter jacket and a cropped khaki pants. Then we had a nice lunch at Chick-fil-A.

So tonight, I am not writing stories. I reading magazines and newspapers and packing for my trip home. I am being zen. I am eating a homecook meal. Not fast food or food from an event I have covered. Tonight, I am not a reporter. I just girl in jeans with holes, eating peanut butter and chocolate straight from the jar while watching the nightly news and gossip shows. It has never felt so good to be home.

Daily Dose

1. Everyone should have a partner in crime.

2. Orange soda makes things okay.

3. Be able to discuss LOST with people who understand your frustration and happiness.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

All is right with the world

The last two days have been a blur of activities. I drove home Sunday morning. I saw my son briefly before heading over to my mom's. She has lost a lot of weight and looks so frail. It scares me because the word frail and my mother should never be in the same sentence.

My dad and my brother have done a good job as caregivers. But when I took care of my mother, I spoiled her. I may sure she had a newspaper everyday and three meals a day. She pointed all of this out to me. I told her that they have jobs and the time I didn't have a job. She still expressed how nice it is to have me.

So after driving four and half hours, visiting with my son and driving an hour to her house, I cooked her a homemade spaghetti dinner. My dad either orders out or puts barbecue on everything he cooks. So I made enough spaghetti for her to eat the next few days. For some reason, my dad hates spaghetti. I have never understood this. How can you not like spaghetti?

Today has been interesting. I am writing from the radiologist. My mother is having the markers done for where they will shoot the radiation in her arm and pelvic area. Plus, we will find out her radiation schedule. It is all very overwhelming but I have found that I eat better around my mother. I guess I want to show her I am doing okay. Before the doctor's appointment, we had grits and liverpudding. (Yes, liverpudding is exactly how it sounds. It is an acquired taste and I love it.)

After the appointment, we visited my aunt, brought my mom a cane and brought the ingredients for t-bone steak dinner with baked potatoes and a side salad. I am not a steak person but it tasted great. I think because it made her so happy to have a meal she wanted and to see her daughter eat. I left her house feeling good. A hour later, I had a slice of cake and cold glass of milk with my son. My son helped to make it with my sister-in-law. We ate cake and discussed Scooby Doo. Then 45 minutes, I started my four-hour journey back to RR. I didn't get home until 10 p.m.

I had a trustee meeting today and a funeral for a co-worker's wife. I wasn't tired or stressed. On the ride home, I realized I have to take things as they come. I can't heal my mom but I can make what time I have with her good. So if she wants a homecooked meal or go on a little trip, we go. I have finally got my insurance cards so I am looking for a therapist. So things are looking up.

Daily Dose

1. Tonight is LOST!

2. I am working on the balance of work and play by looking at various activities.

3. The look on my mom's face is told me how proud she is of seeing my stories in the newspaper.

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's not all doom and gloom in RR

In the last two days, I haven’t slept well last night. I think the stress of my life is starting to get to me.
So this morning in a brief break between to events happening at the same time, I stopped and had breakfast. It was just a steak biscuit and orange juice. But I took a moment to just decompress and soak in the atmosphere of Hardees.

I am not in the best of moods. But I no longer want the world to end a fiery mess. I am working so much that I feel I am losing pieces of me. When I worked at the Tribune, I let my job consume me. I will not let that happen this time. A balance between work and self will be found.

I covered a Women’s Conference today that made me feel better. Actually, the first time I have felt good all week. One of the speakers was from the town where I used to live. Her presentation inspired me to do something with my life. As an adult, it is hard to make friends. It’s not like high school and college where you are in small environment. The real world is large and scary for the social challenged like me. As reporter, I talk with people everyday so I just need to put myself out there more.

I am leaving early in the morning to see my mom. She is looking forward to it. I think I am a better going to the doctor companion that my brother. He is all about making it to the destination and coming back. I like to take scenic route and stop places. Plus, my mother and I have had some really good conversations. I am not sure how much time I have left with her but I am going to enjoy it.

PS A special thanks to everyone for their kind words and prayers. I will do appreciate it.


Daily Dose

1. The chicken salad served at the conference was awesome along with the cup of broccoli and cheese soup. Not a broccoli fan but it was good.
2. I get to see my mommy and my boy tomorrow.
3. I got a new pen and it writes so smooth.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When life hands you lemons, make some really good lemonade

The women in my family have this inner toughness that is hard to describe. We are not the emotional huggy types. If there is an obstacle, we keep going. It is how things were growing up and life in general. You have something bad or tough happen, you take a moment and keep going. This has always been my mantra. My husband’s family has a different mantra of either hugging it out or complaining. But my mother-in-law has the mantra of my family.

The point of this is that for the first time I am having a hard time following the mantra. I would prefer to curl up in bed with the covers on my head but there things to do like work and life. After having a ton of tests done, spots of cancer were found throughout my mother’s pelvis. The surgery for her arm has been postponed for 6 weeks so she can undergo radiation. When she told me, I had trouble breathing. She is holding up well considering all she is dealing with and will have to deal with. I couldn't imagine having to have my broken arm in a sling and not in a cast.

I have to admit growing up that my mother and I had a rocky relationship. When I left for college, we would deal with each on other on an as needed basis. It wasn’t until my grandmother was diagnosed with bone cancer and given a year to live that we started trying to be at least friendly with one another. This was in the late 90s so the two of us have come a long way in our relationship. I am so glad now that we both made an effort to connect.

The few months are going to be rough. And what my mom is dealing with makes me more determined to stick with recovery from my ED. Things are out of her control but I can do something. I can be more proactive and try a harder. I owe it to myself, my mother and my son. And how can I be of help to her if I am not doing well. It would be a slap in her face. So I am sad but I must be strong for her.

Daily Dose

1. Men’s figure skating is tonight.
2. Having very supportive co-workers
3. Twinkies

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Holding on

I added up my hours for work. Monday and Tuesday, i worked a total of 24 hours. I have given this newspaper 24 freaking hours of my life.

I have to admit the last few weeks have not been easy. My ED has reared its ugly head. She knows when things are stressful or sad for that my sheer will to keep an eating routine goes by the wayside. I am going home this weekend where I will pick up my insurance cards. And next week find a therapist and get back on my meds. I have realized now is not the time to be without a safety net.

If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere--Unknown

A friend once said this to me. She said it kind of summed up life. If life was too easy and comfortable, it probably wouldn't be worth it. I have thought about that quote a lot these days and again. Today, the publisher rewarded the newsroom with pizza from Pizza Hut. I envied my co-workers ease with eating. I ate one slice with on problem. But with the first bite of the second slice, the whisperings of my ED started. I still managed to eat the second slice. I rewarded myself with slice of Hershey Sundae pie from Burger King.

It is nice to sit and watch tv and not worrying about writing a story or being at an event. This weekend, I will be busy with work and then heading home to see my son and mom.

Daily Dose

1. Free lunch for doing a job well
2. Watching figure skating and snowboarding. It makes me want to be more active.
3. Hearing my son's voice.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I survived Valentine's Day so where's my shirt?

I survived V-Day. I spent yesterday watching tv and eating pizza and peanut butter oreos in bed. I just couldn't stomach going home and seeing my husband with someone else. The heart can only take but so much.

So I watched a marathon of Snapped (where wives and girlfriends kill) and the Olympics. Overall, a great day plus I went to CVS and bought myself a box of chocolates. And they were soooooooo good.

I am not down on love or V-Day. I know there is something out there for me. Right now, I just need to figure me out and the rest will come.

Today, it was county commissioners along with other stories. I just finished writing two stories and sent them to my boss. While watching my favorite movie, Day After Tomorrow. Jake Gyllenhaal always makes me happy. Plus Hoarders comes on at 10.

Overall, I think I am doing well considering I am on no meds or seeing a therapist. And let me tell you meds would be so helpful right now. I have figure out a plan to be a good daughter and mother while handling the responsibilities of my beat. I am going to have three day weekends when I don't work. This means 10 hour days Tuesday-Thursday. I'll be off on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and work on Mondays. It's the only way right now. And I can go 10 hours without even thinking about it. I want to have a life but at the same time I want to be there for my mother and son. So far now, this is what I do. However, this plan is subjected to change.

Daily Dose

1. Jake Gyllenhaal

2. Coming home to a freshly made bed. One advantage of motel living.

3. Standing in line at a convenience store and hearing two guys talking about an article I wrote and how much they learned reading it. I felt like Clark Kent since I was wearing my glasses. The story was about a couple who had been married for 60 years.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Best Friday in a longtime

Thursday was an interesting and long day. It started with doing many interviews at a high school. It ended with me interviewing a couple who had been married for 60 years. They were so cute and had a great story. Doing recon at a PTA meeting. And finally covering a meeting of a group planning to sue the school system I covered. I got home at 10 p.m. tired. After an hour break, I wrote the story and went to bed at 1 a.m.

I woke up early to write another story and to check the weather. Surprise, surprise--more snow in the forecast. I don't think I will ever make it home again until the spring. So I arrived at work in a foul mood. Plus, I am bummed about Valentine's Day. My husband has met someone. So I wasn't really looking forward to go home.

I think my co-worker knew this so yesterday after deadline, we went roaming. First to Big Lots to buy V-day candy for the newsroom. Then to Food Lion to find a flower for the design editor. We discovered that Dollar General is closing so we had to do some discount shopping. And finally to the community college bookstore for pens. I am a pen freak. There I say it. There are five coffee mugs on my desk full of pens. This is in addition to the primo ones in my bag. The bookstore manager is a pen freak so it will be great source of pens.

After the returning to the paper, we stayed for 30 minutes. Grabbed a fellow reporter and decided to use our gift certificates to go to this cool resturant down the street. I don't do well eating with others. It is something I have worked hard on. I did pretty good with them. We talked shop and ate some great food. I had broccoli and cheese quiche that came with a fruit salad. It was wonderful. Great food and great conversation.

When we finally returned to work, I wrote three stories. It was one of the best Fridays I have had in a longtime. Even though, I feel conflicted being away from my son and my mother. I am glad I work there.

My mother will find out about her test results soon. Her surgery for her arm is Feb. 22. She can't wait. I can't imagine having basically a broken arm for three weeks and it not being set. She is miserable.

Daily Dose

1. Getting my laundry done so I can wear my favorite jeans.

2. One of my favorite movies, Pretty Woman, comes on tonight.

3. Just vegging!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Working in a petri dish+ indulgence= sickness

I love my job. I hate the fact that I work in a petri dish. People are always sick here. I missed out on the bad cases of the flu, bronchitis and upper respiratory infections. But I got the boat to stomach virus USA. I started feeling weird Saturday night but thought nothing of it. During the Super Bowl, I felt like crap. And I'll leave it at that.

I went to work on Monday feeling crappy but by 2 p.m., I couldn't take it and went home. By nightfall, the vomiting and etc began. On Tuesday, I called in sick because I was exhausted and just plain feeling bad.

I am back at work today. I still feel iffy but there are stories to write and cover. Since Monday, I have eaten applesauce and Ritz crackers. Tonight, I had a chicken breast with baked beans and mashed potatoes from KFC. And it tasted soooooooooo good. So I am getting back to being me. I wish there was some vaccination I could take to work at my newspaper. I guess I just need to eat right, take my vitamins and say my prayers.

On a different note, my mother saw the orthopedic surgeon on Monday. On Friday, she will take a range of tests to see how far her cancer has advanced. If everything is okay, then they will schedule the surgery to replace the two bones in her arm. I am working hard tomorrow so I can leave early Friday to go home and see her.

Daily Dose

1. Sleeping on the bathroom floor feels so good after you have puked your good guts out.

2. After today, I understand what a blustery day means.

3. Finding the perfect Valentine Day present for my son.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

There is something about that show!




I have become a huge fan of the show, Hoarders on A&E. There is something about it. Or it could be with enough time, I could be some of the people on that show. My room here at the Brookwood could give me a entry for the show. So I used the last two days to start the cleaning process. Plus, I don't want the manager to say something to me. It is more of things than being dirty. I keep my dirty clothes in the laundry basket under the bathroom sink in the bathroom.

I took some pictures to show the before. It will be awhile before the after pictures are posted because it will take awhile to go through the containers. But I am working at it.

My mom meets with the orthopedic surgeon Monday to discuss her arm. I feel guilty for not being able to be there for her. And she understands. Once a date for her surgery is decided, I'll figure out how much time I spend with her after the surgery.

I am watching the Super Bowl. Honestly, it's more for the commercials than the games. Football is a foreign language for me. I know who Peyton Manning and Reggie Bush are but I have not a clue what's goes on on the field.

I cleaned a lot yesterday. Today, I went to Hell on earth or as others call it Wal-Mart. I went to the Dollar Tree and found H&M underwear for a $1 a piece. I found three pairs. Cool undies for $3.

Daily Dose

1. Chips, queso dip and a Sunday newspaper.

2. Find H&M underwear at the Dollar Tree.

3. Spending most of Sunday watching a Hoarders Marathon. After a looooong week, it's nice to just veg.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Life returning to normal

Things are finally returning to what resembles normal around here. I am tired of writing about snow and weather conditions. I am ready to get back to my bread and butter of commissioner and board of education meetings.

Last night, I watched the season premiere of Lost. It was awesome, amazing and confusing. For every question answered, more questions popped up in its place. This is going to be an interesting season. I am tired this morning due to staying up to watch Lost and finally finishing that thick Stephen King book. The combination of what I saw and read made for some weird dreams. So I am a little sluggish today.


Daily Dose

1. Bread shelves are restocked.

2. I finished the Stephen King book, which was more than a 1,000 pages.

3. For every soda I drink, I have to drink two 16.9 ounce bottles of water. So far, so good.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The beginning of the end of Lost

I am a huge Lost fan. This show had me when that plane crashed on the beach. For five seasons, I have cried, screamed, pulled out my hair and sometimes simply said "What the f---?" Tonight is the beginning of the end. The end of one of the best shows that I have ever watched. For 6th and final season on Tuesday nights, my life will come to a standstill for this show. And Lord help anyone who tries to stop me.

I think there is 16-18 episodes left. Questions will be answered I hope. In May, when this show ends, I want to know everything. I want to know what 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 means, what is the smoke monster and statute with the four toes. JJ Abrams and crew hasn't let me down yet so he better not now.

And for the first time since I have watched the show, I have found others who watch it at work. Six people to be exact. I am sooooo excited. And thanks to the weather we have had, I don't have to cover one of many town meetings so I will be ready to go at 9 p.m. I am so excited I can hardly stand it.

In other news, my mother had an appointment with the radiology. They told her to see an orthopedic specialist. She will need to have surgery to repair the bones in her arm and shoulder so she can use the arm in the future. My mom is tough and wants the surgery so she can get back to her life.

Daily Dose

1. Pimento cheese on Ritz cracker.

2. The new Entertainment Weekly with Lost on the cover.

3. My mom rocks! I love her attitude and spirit.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The world is thawing out

I worked Saturday, which means I am suppose to have Sunday and Monday off. I agreed to come in at lunchtime Monday to help out with the snow coverage. This means I got up at 9 a.m. and had a bowl of cereal. Listen to music as I showered and got dressed. After digging my car out, I slowly headed out into the world to run errands before going to work. Overall, I am in a very good mood today. And no one was going to bring it down.

While at the post office, I noticed some fire fighters, some in gear, shoveling snow at the station. I made my slowly across two ice covered parking lots and a road to take their pictures and talk with them. And then made my way back. This was actually quicker than using my car. I took a cool picture of a Navy snowman. Today has been a laid back day. I am trying to get everything done and get home before all that has melted, refreezes.

There might be more bad weather on the horizon especially this weekend. I really want to go home this weekend and see my mom and my son. I’ll say a little prayer and keep my fingers cross.

The Grammy’s were interesting last night. I am a big Dave Matthews Band fan so it was nice to see them perform. The first concert I ever attended was one of their’s. Pink’s performance was awesome. It makes me want to take lessons to perform aerial stunts like that.

Daily Dose

1. Chicken nuggets from Chick-Filet are the best.

2. Tomorrow is the season premiere of the last season of Lost. I can’t wait.

3. Having a junk food day on Sunday. I had moon pies and Pepsi, nachos and turkey chili.

Spending time with my son

Memorial Day is always special for me as a reporter and a person. It is a chance to recognize who gave their life so I and others can have t...